24 min read

LinkedIn | New Features & Key Takeaways with Julia Fellows

Review key takeaways from the March LinkedIn Madness Miniseries and get the scoop on recent marketing features offered on the LinkedIn platform. 

Julia Fellows, TREW Inbound Marketing Specialist, set a personal goal this quarter for improving her knowledge of all things LinkedIn and this LinkedIn Miniseries was timed perfectly to help as a resources. Through listening to each episode, combined with Julia's own independent research and experience, she has distilled key themes and takeaways every marketer should know. 

During the episode, Julia also shares some of LinkedIn's new marketing features, such as stories, articles and newsletters. 

Whether you've listened to all the previous miniseries episodes prior to now, or are looking for some cliff note takeaways first, you'll gain helpful new tips to improve your LinkedIn engagement and performance for your personal and professional brand.

Did you enjoy this episode? Watch more episodes from our LinkedIn Miniseries!

 

Resources

 

 

Transcript

 

Well, here we are, end of the month, which means that it's also the end of our March LinkedIn Madness Miniseries, I hope you enjoyed each of the episodes. They were all very unique and had lots of great information for marketers, salespeople and executives alike. Today we'll be recapping key themes and takeaways from the episodes as a whole. And we'll also talk about new features, particularly marketing centric features that LinkedIn has recently added to the platform.

 

Let's do this. Welcome to Content Marketing, Engineered. Your source for building trust and generating demand with technical content. Here is your host, Wendy Covey.

 

Hi and welcome to Content Marketing, Engineered.. On each episode, I'll break down an industry trend, challenge, or best practice in reaching technical audiences.

 

You'll meet colleagues, friends, and clients of mine who will stop by to share their stories, and I hope they leave each episode feeling inspired and ready to take action. Before we jump in, I'd like to give a brief shout out to my agency, TREW Marketing. TREW is a full service agency located in beautiful Austin, Texas, serving highly technical companies. For more information, visit trewmarketing.com.

 

And now on with our podcast. Hey, everyone, and welcome to our final episode of our March LinkedIn Madness series. We've gotten to the end. Wow. Well, today I'm joined by Julia Fellows. She's an inbound marketing specialist at TREW Marketing and friend of the show. So happy to have you on, Julia. Yeah, thanks for having me back, Wendy.

 

So Julia's listened and watched intently every single episode.

 

And today we'll be talking about trends in top takeaways that she is leaving this series with and plans to implement in her own professional life at true and perhaps personal life, too, huh?

 

Yes. Yes, definitely.

 

And to that end, Julia, you were just sharing with me before we hit the record button that you just posted your first LinkedIn story.

 

I did. So stories are a new feature in on LinkedIn.

 

They just got launched last year and they're very similar to stories on Facebook and on Instagram and like a Snapchat where it's like, you know, it's just a quick behind the scenes look. It's it's a good opportunity for you to show people not just like what you're doing, but like the behind the scenes of how you're doing it and things like that. So so going into this episode, I had taken a lot of notes and everybody's episodes. And so I took a picture of my laptop monitor and I have, you know, about thirty sticky notes.

 

This is pasted all around my screen. So I don't forget everything. I love it.

 

I think that's that's a great way to keep eye contact. Yes, exactly. With your virtual camera and have.

 

All right. There. Let me I'll have to go check that out. And then also, we almost rescheduled this because, yes, kind of a stinky thing happened last week. Yeah.

 

I had coalbed. I couldn't believe it. I, I work from home. I don't go hardly anywhere, you know, I go to the grocery store, I'm back and maybe pick up food somewhere, but that's it. And so, you know, we really don't know how I got it. But, you know, luckily it didn't hit us that bad. And, you know, my boyfriend, of course, was stuck home with me, too, and that helped a little bit.

 

And, you know, being able to work from home, you know, once I started feeling better, even though I couldn't go public, I could still get some work done. So so that was good. And we're all feeling better now. So.

 

Well, I'm so glad that you had a mild version of it, if you will. Yes. Yes. And so, yeah. Glad to have you back. Yeah. Yeah.

 

And you were the first and knock on wood only person at true marketing. Yeah.

 

The tagline for that one. So hopefully we can get out of this soon. Yes.

 

All right. Well let's dove in. Julia, where would you like to start.

 

Well I think let's let's start with SEO and on LinkedIn works very similarly to search engine optimization on your websites.

 

And there are different ways that you can optimize both your brand profile or your brand page and your personal profiles, you know, a a optimized brand page that just. Just having all of the information available filled in. Offers like 30 percent more engagement. So just if you have a brand profile that just has the name and location in the industry, that's not enough. You need to have your about a section filled in. It needs to be very robust, use keywords throughout your posts and throughout your about a section to get people in who are interested in different topics.

 

And then posting regularly is a huge thing too, just like Google's algorithm for search engine optimization. The more frequently you're refreshing your content, the better. But a caveat to that in one thing, I believe it was Scott who who brought this up. And I've noticed other people mentioning it. You you want to post as often as daily, but you don't want to post more than once a day.

 

Don't use LinkedIn like Twitter. Exactly. Exactly. Instagram, for that matter. Or. Yeah, or Instagram.

 

So LinkedIn, the algorithm doesn't really favor posting a lot in a single day. It kind of starts to look like spam to LinkedIn. So those posts don't get promoted and shown in people's home fields very often. But you don't have to post daily. You know, a lot of the brands that we work with at True, we help them generate content to be posted on LinkedIn, maybe two to three times a week. And usually that's a pretty good cadence.

 

What you can do to supplement that is making sure that you are sharing content that's relevant to your brand or commenting on different posts or liking your partner's posts, things like that. So so it's not just about posting and what you're posting. It's also about how you're engaging with others on LinkedIn.

 

Well, before I want to talk a lot more about engagement, because, wow, that was a big theme. But going back to the profile, that seems like such low hanging fruit that I told you. I'm surprised how many companies haven't taken the time to fully populate their profile and create pages for major products or solutions for. So there's a lot of opportunity to have expansive pages, right and right.

 

And if you're focusing on your messaging, on your website, on your blog, in your other marketing materials, it shouldn't be difficult to pull this together. You can you can pull things from your image library for your cover photo. You can look at the About US section on your website and then borrow some of the language there in your about a section on your company or brand profile.

 

Perfect is easy to implement. Everybody run off and do that if you haven't already because it won't take you long. And 30 percent bump.

 

Yeah, it's huge. It's huge. Good.

 

Well, let's talk more about engagement, because while I think every single person that came on had some form of talk, at least when in regards to organic, the importance of engaging within your network, and there are a lot of benefits to doing that.

 

Yeah. So engagement is definitely a two way street. You can't just be posting all of your own content and liking all of your own content. What you want to do is you want to like you want to comment, you want to share others content as well. It should be relevant to your audience because especially like company executives or your employees. The beauty of their profiles is that when when you comment on something, anybody you're connected with also sees that you comment on commented on it.

 

So you want to comment on relevant things and things that other people you're connected with will be interested in. So you want to you want to respond to comments on your posts. You know, if somebody says nice work, a good that's a great opportunity for you to say, hey, what did you think of this other thing that was in the article or so just kind of starting conversations and adding when you share something from another page, don't just share it, share it with a little bit of context and some comments so that people can see not only that you're interested in this topic, but also what do you think of that topic?

 

Yeah, and I'll give you a really cool example of this that happened to me recently. And as you know, we publish an annual research report on how technical buyers, what their behaviors are in terms of marketing and sales and and in someone in the semiconductor components industry and shared one of the specific findings is so you pasted in the chart within his LinkedIn page and he tagged me in it. So already I follow him. But it drives me to realize he was starting a conversation about the research and all these people started commenting and asking questions.

 

And so it gave me the opportunity to answer additional questions. And it spurred off so many conversations that the original poster, his name's Michael Knight, and actually he'll be on the podcast in a few weeks, but he added a second chart to further educate these people. And more people started responding. And it was just this really cool dialog. So it wasn't, you know, just all self-serving. It was really like, let's all talk about where we were surprised and where they might, you know, validate some assumptions that were so, you know, not every post is like that and gains that traction.

 

No, no, it does. It's nice to be helpful with others.

 

Yeah, it is. And it's important to remember that LinkedIn is first and foremost a networking site. You know, I think brands and marketers, we we tend to forget that it's not just a place for us to repost our blog posts or post ads to try to get people to come to our website. And then beyond that, for for like personal profiles, a lot of people use it as a job seeking tool and. I think it's I think it's easy to forget that you're there to have conversations with other professionals.

 

So I think you're right, those those kinds of posts that start those dialogs, those are the ones that do well.

 

So, Julia, do you think that then there's a role for educational content in general within LinkedIn as people are looking to not only network, but perhaps seeking education? So is that a good way for brands to come in and engage?

 

Yeah, I don't think it's I don't think there's really a hard and fast rule persay. But one thing that we try to recommend for all of our marketing activities is you want to be 90 percent educational and 10 percent promotional.

 

So the content that you're sharing doesn't have it shouldn't all be about your product. It should be about addressing some of the pain points that your audience is facing and different ways of solving things, even if the way of solving that means not using your product or not using your service. True marketing. We have a blog post talking about different ways to work with a marketing agency. And one of the ways that we put on there is you find a different agency like it's OK to fire your marketing agency.

 

I mean, obviously we don't want to be fired, but it's OK. It's important to find the right fit to really be able to tell your brand story.

 

Mm hmm.

 

Well, what other trends did you see as you listen to all these episodes? Yeah, yeah.

 

Let me pick my favorite. OK, stickiness. I love it.

 

Well, one thing that we're noticing a lot with the LinkedIn algorithm is the importance of dwell time. And that's that's not just its. How long are people staying? Are people stopping or slowing down when they're scrolling past your post and are they clicking on your post, how long are they spending looking at that post? When do they balance? When they leave that post? And so one way that you're seeing one thing you might be starting to see in your home feed is a lot more visual content.

 

And we've been using static images for years as something to kind of force people to slow down a little bit and pay a little bit more attention to the content that we're posting. But obviously, like in in other social media apps, video is huge. You know, I mean, it has to be engaging video. You have to optimize it, use use subtitles because something like seventy nine percent of people who are viewing videos on LinkedIn don't have the sound on.

 

I know. I don't usually.

 

Isn't that amazing? Seventy nine percent of it people put video without captions. Yeah. Yeah.

 

And what it. To my knowledge LinkedIn doesn't have like a built in feature where you can turn on closed captions like you can on YouTube. So so it's up to you as the creator of the content to make sure that, that people will understand everything in your video without the sound. So I mean, you could do that with like text animations, which is of course, great. But if you have some sort of talking head video that's not going to work, you need subtitles.

 

Yeah, and I noticed the performance of our posts for this podcast went up tremendously when we started posting video with the captions versus just the static image promoting the podcast.

 

Yeah, that's huge. That's huge. And, you know, video can be daunting and overwhelming. And I'm sure we could talk about video in a whole nother episode.

 

But video is something that can be evergreen or you can use it as evergreen content so you can take content that you've already created and then repurpose it as a video. And I would almost guarantee you'll get more engagement on that repurposed content.

 

Yeah, and just to speak to video being daunting, that's definitely a prevailing sentiment among marketers that they have get high quality production. But here we are, Joia. We're recording on Zoom in on a side by side with both of us going to place this within a nice design frame with a space for captions. And it's a it's a really low effort thing. At the end of the day, it doesn't take us long to produce. It wasn't hard to figure out who you know, those of you out there thinking about doing this, just just scrap it together, figure it out, because this format does work.

 

It does. It does. Although as we learned from it, they're not necessarily the most effective for ads. It's interesting.

 

Yeah, that actually surprised me because organically video tends to do really well. So finding that it doesn't do quite as well on ads was kind of surprising. However, he did kind of mention that, like, there are just too many variables when you put a video in there versus a sponsored content ad that just has a static image.

 

So something to remember as as you're creating ads in it kind of makes me wonder, too, if the content is really well suited for video like video tells the story in a way that's hard to do otherwise, then I could see where that's going to trump that recommendation. So we think about we had a client that and has this machinery for cutting metal that's really cutting edge. And they have all these just super cool, almost like geeky videos that really capture and engineers and tech buyers right away.

 

And I bet you we haven't tried doing advertising with them, but I bet those videos would outperform static in this case.

 

I agree. I agree. So going back to dwell time, another thing that's been helping with dwell time, and you'll you'll probably start seeing this in your in your home feebs is a lot more native posting of content. And this is something that I've heard a little bit about previously, and now I'm starting to actually see it in my feed.

 

So that's posting articles that you would typically post on a like a blog post, posting it natively on LinkedIn website, because obviously they want you to use their tools. So if you use their tools, they're going to promote that content more. They're going to get a little boost in the algorithm. And so there are things like blogs or they call them articles on LinkedIn. You can post the content there. You can post slides. That's something that I've seen is really popular.

 

So dwell time, because people will pause and look at the next slide and look at the next slide. And interesting. So in the end, they've spent a lot of time on your posts. And you can also do this with documents, too. So, for example, if you had like a like a case study that you really wanted to highlight, you could instead of using your typical case study format on your website, you could recreate it in a document and then post it on LinkedIn.

 

Yeah, I think John Experion talked about that in his episode. Yeah, yeah.

 

Yeah. That's that's pretty cool. And Linton's get some other cool features that they're starting to roll out and they started to roll out last year. One of them is I think not so new. And in fact, I think they may have tried it a few years ago and have now made it more robust with its poles, which is actually a really great way to encourage engagement, ask people a question and then give them this really easy way to respond, to give you a quick answer, give them a couple of options.

 

And then, you know, not only do you have data and an answer to your question, but sometimes sometimes people will comment on your post and say, hey, actually, I find this option that you don't have listed there to be a better option, though. So it's a good way to create some engagement. Going back to some of the native posting and features on LinkedIn, they have started offering LinkedIn events and I think I haven't investigated them too much.

 

But I think it's kind of similar to like a Facebook event. So you can invite specific people. But like everything else on LinkedIn, if you say you were going to attend this event, now everybody that is following you, everybody you're connected with, sees that you attending that event. So that helps kind of broadcast everything a little bit better.

 

This reminds me a lot of Facebook doing the same thing. Like you say, you're interested in going to see a band at this brewery this weekend and then going in.

 

It appears that information. Exactly. Exactly.

 

So that's another cool one. And then one that, Wendy, you actually pointed me towards, which I'm super excited about, is they have a native newsletter feature now.

 

So I don't know if that's rolled out to everyone. I think it they're probably like starting with the LinkedIn influencers first.

 

But it's I, I can see it being really valuable for people who have a lot of connections on LinkedIn, but not necessarily have their contact information in their CRM. So and I guess one limitation is that you can only share content that you've posted natively to LinkedIn, but it could still be valuable. You you post some articles to LinkedIn, you post a slide deck, you post some documents, and then you can you can people can subscribe to it just like a regular newsletter.

 

You can encourage people to subscribe to it. So it's it's definitely a cool feature. And you can tell that LinkedIn is trying to get more content native. And they want they want you to post your content directly to LinkedIn, the all in model.

 

But of course, if if you give your original content to LinkedIn, that's who gets the search attribution versus your website, where if you repost, site your secondary content over there, which is not necessarily a good thing for your websites. So just to bring that up to say you're investigating which path is right for your company and gives you listing, just really look into those finer details and decide to approach this. Yeah. Are you going to end up competing against yourself?

 

Yeah. You don't do that. Right?

 

Right. But it's I think it's I think it's still something to consider. And like maybe there's a balance. We always talk about evergreen content, a true marketing and repurposing existing content. So you don't don't make more work for yourself, don't you don't have to be posting all new content on LinkedIn. You can be repurposing content that you've already created and say, hey, I think if I tweet this blog post, if I, you know, change up this video a little bit and post it natively on LinkedIn, well, now all of a sudden you've got a new audience of people who were coming to your website before and then make sure make sure they have a way to get to your website.

 

I think that's a great balanced approach. Surely a good suggestion. And, you know, if you think about it, people coming to your website have more context. You need to tell a different story when you're on LinkedIn. So it makes sense that you would want to tweak that content for different personas anyway.

 

Definitely define. All right, well, what else stood out to you, this is great so far. I know. I know. And now that I'm sitting here and talking with you about it, it's like when I did learn a lot from this series, so I'm really excited. So one of the big things that I noticed in every single episode is people are talking about authenticity.

 

And it does go back to what we were saying earlier about how LinkedIn is primarily first and foremost, they're a networking site, and especially in a B2B space like we're in, it's so easy to forget that you are selling to people. People sell to people. It's not you know, brands don't sell to people. People people buy from the people behind the brands, if that makes sense. It does. Yeah. So. So. I'm more likely to trust someone who's engaged with me and had a conversation and been vulnerable.

 

I in fact, one of my personal best LinkedIn posts ever was I lost my job a little over a year ago and I went on LinkedIn and I was like, hey, I lost my job. I'm stressed out about it, but I'm really excited for new opportunities. And I have people connecting with me and saying, hey, I might have an opportunity for you over here or, hey, I might have an opportunity for you over here. And it's just, you know, being raw, being vulnerable is it works.

 

People respond to that. And so that kind of that actually kind of leads into one of the biggest trends that I've noticed. And a big recommendation that a lot of the guests have have shared is that you need to empower your employees. You know, your employees are your brand ambassadors. And these are the people that people are going to respond to. You know, you can make a personal profile, gets a lot more exposure than a brand profile.

 

So, for example, I was looking at one of the brands that we that we work with today and the the company page at the time only had like six hundred some odd followers. And then I looked at their top three executives and each of them have like seven or eight hundred followers. So imagine how many more people you'll reach when having the CEO post something than you would having your your brand page posted or having your CEO repost it and just amplify that.

 

And I mean, like it or not, a lot of your followers on your brand page are your employees.

 

So you're not you're not like such a good point. Exactly. You're not always reaching like your buyers for your brand page. But but your CEO or your sales people are going to be connected with your prospects and that's a good way to reach them.

 

So in order to empower and your employees, we recommend training them. So show them how to post on LinkedIn. Let's show them the basics of how to post on LinkedIn and give them content. Show them, hey, this is where you can draw content from and then you draw your red lines, you know, define those do not cross lines, but then trust them, you know, focus on your executives and your subject matter experts in your sales team.

 

They're the people that people trust. You know, when when someone sits down to talk to you about potentially doing business with you, who are they talking to? Who are they asking questions? Who they want to talk to?

 

Yeah, who is serving as the face of the business already? Sometimes that top engineer is in a normal sales context. You might not have access to that top engineer to ask them those questions, but if you make that top engineer a face of your company, there's an opportunity for them to ask those hard questions.

 

Yeah, yeah. You know, it it reminds you of contrasting.

 

And I know automation came up a lot as sort of the devil, which is like makes us as marketers go, oh, no.

 

But that in this standpoint, when I think about it, it's really easy to automate. Oh, a blog post went live on our site. It's automatically shared on our company page. But the issue is there's no point of view. Right? It's just like there's no contact. Go read it. Yeah, there's no there's nothing exciting. Now, the title of the blog post might be exciting and that might sort of convert, but I bet you conversions are way higher.

 

In fact, we know they are. When you have one of these company spokesperson give their point of view, talk about why it's important and then.

 

Yeah, yeah, give, give. We share your brand content, but give it some context. Tell tell people why they should read it. Why, why should you even pay attention to it.

 

You know. So it's, it's definitely an opportunity. I know. And kind of combining two ideas from two different brands that we work with, one of them, they have a healthy competition between their their CEO and their their biz dev guy. And they kind of compete. They they both share content that the brand creates and they kind of compete who can get more likes, who can get oul. And then we have this other brand that we're working with that they have this cool like employee incentive program where like, you know, if somebody does some really good work, you you award them these points and then they can use them on this website to buy swag that has like the brand name on it and everything.

 

And I was like, oh, you could apply that to LinkedIn.

 

It'd be perfect. Yeah. And easy to measure.

 

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

 

I like that a lot. So are they kicking that off. So they've already kicked off their incentive program, but they haven't I haven't convinced him yet to use LinkedIn as another possible area where they can earn point.

 

Well it's a great idea, love. Yeah. Yeah. All right. What else do you have for me?

 

You know, I think just engagement, you know, we keep talking about it again and again. Building followers, as as John Experion said in our first episode, Building Followers is a slow burn. So you've got to just you got to keep at it. You've got to be consistent. You've got to be authentic. You've got to you've got to engage with people. You have to respond to comments. You you have to share content. That's not just your own content.

 

It has to be relevant to your audience. Yeah, it's a good one.

 

And I think one of one of the surprising but it makes sense. Things that I heard and I believe it's from Scott Ingram when he talked about his algorithm surrounding engagement. Oh, yeah, I tried to he's explaining it. And it's basically this this formula where you take all the people that you're connected to and you see what percent are engaging with you or that that inspire to engage.

 

And I think about all of the sales outreach, the people that are just spamming me. And I may just begrudgingly say, OK, I'll add you, OK, because I don't want to be rude. I don't want to offend someone.

 

At the end of the day, I don't really care about their feeds because they're not that close to my ecosystem and you're never going to interact with mine. So I'm in the mood of purging. I want to cut the number of people I'm connected with and really get it down to people that I am excited to engage with and that are excited to engage with me. And we can mutually help each other. Right.

 

So absolutely.

 

And I mean, that really, again, comes back to authenticity. Are your connections authentic? You know, one thing that John Asturian mentioned in his episode, which I actually tested it on him and it worked, he said he has a secret, like a secret word in his about US profile, which was actually maybe I shouldn't give away.

 

Yeah, I want to give it away. I won't give it away.

 

But it just it helps him make sure that those connections are authentic because he can tell that you read through his profile before you tried to connect with him. And I think that's awesome. Yeah.

 

And these fgo what was it fo personalization where. Yeah. Had we have a lot of mutual whatever. Yeah. Yeah. I have noticed that more and more. So you know Susan Tatum, she came on to just talk about stopping the sales noise and, and that the sales automation here, it's got to go into working on anyone.

 

So yeah, it's so tempting to use it. And us as marketers we use automation for different tasks too. But you can't over automate it. You you have to be personal about it. Yeah.

 

Well one thing we haven't touched on yet much is, is the role of the advertising and, you know, true marketing. We work with highly technical brands. There's not a huge ecosystem of potential buyers because what they do is so targeted and niche. And we've long used linked in advertising because you could be so prescriptive. And so it's exciting to have Ajayan to just talk about combining general best practices with someone who just lives and breathes advertising in day in and day out and then have Aaron come on and say, that's great.

 

But here's what a small budget did for this really part of the solution. So I found this interesting contrast. Yeah, yeah. But you know what? I think you can still you know, you can still borrow tools and tips from both. Oh, yeah, I know. And and you really have to I mean we say this at true all the time, test things out. And that's really the only way you can figure out what works for for you and for your brand and for the size of your company.

 

Yeah, I really liked Agis Tip on utilizing the text ads that are super cheap with imagery ads which are more expensive, but with the text ads supporting them, you have a greater awareness and he was able to adjust his conversion results. Yeah. Oh my gosh. That's a no brainer for maybe a 10 percent budget jump, you know, which is much of a down that's pretty incremental to be able to see a big change in conversion. Yeah, yeah.

 

That one really surprised me because I've always been kind of like text ads like that. Yeah. I don't pay attention to the side of the screen. That's so Google 2004.

 

Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Oh my gosh.

 

This is this is perfect. What a great recap. Yeah.

 

Any any other takeaways that we haven't touched on. You've been pretty darn thorough, Mr. Liliya. You know, I think I've run out. Sticking out, so. OK, well, good, you can clean up your space the rest of the day. We did it.

 

For those of you watching and listening, if you haven't yet listen to these episodes, you can go to its true marketing dotcom podcast, slash LinkedIn dash mini series.

 

And we have all of these episodes in one place for you to go access. And I'll be sure to put that link in today's show notes as well. And, you know, go take a listen to the ones that sound interesting to you. But all of them had very practical and inspiring advice for being better with LinkedIn. Yeah.

 

And actually, I think we should make this an annual thing. I think that LinkedIn for to innovate, there's more things we can all learn. So I may have to bring it back on next March and repeat the same thing all over again. Are you game. I'm game. All right, great. Well, thanks so much for your time today.

 

Thanks, Wendy. Thanks for joining me today on content marketing, engineered for show neutze, including links to resources, visit true marketing dotcom slash podcast. While there you can subscribe to our blog and free newsletter and order a copy of my book, Content Marketing Engineer. Also, I would love your reviews on this podcast, so please, when you get a chance, subscribe and let me review on your favorite podcast subscription platform. Thanks and have a great day.