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LinkedIn Product and Services Pages Discontinued

by Jennifer Beever on April 14, 2014

Photo from Flickr by Simon Yeo, Some Rights Reserved
Photo by Simon Yeo, Some Rights Reserved

 

Today LinkedIn Products and Services pages will be discontinued. Here’s what you need to know about the change.

LinkedIn has been sending emails and posting alerts about discontinuing its Products & Services tab under Company Pages. Products & Services tab is just what it sounds like – a place to describe in detail what a company offers. The pages allowed companies to display graphic images and provide links to videos about products and services. They also allowed visitors to the page to “Recommend” a product or service.

Now, LinkedIn is offering Showcase pages instead. Showcase pages allow a LinkedIn member to follow something a company is showcasing. For example, I may want to follow one product or service that IBM showcases, rather than follow IBM the company on LinkedIn. Showcase pages could be used to provide updates on a company division, a product or service, an event, or a publication such as a blog or newsletter.

Showcase pages increase advertising opportunities for companies on LinkedIn (imagine that). Companies can run ads to increase followers for a Showcase page and can also sponsor updates on the Showcase page, the same way they can sponsor Company page updates.

Some people (especially those who made a concerted effort to get product and services recommendations) are upset about the end of Products & Services. They don’t like the fact that their recommendations will no longer display. Others are bemoaning the fact that Showcase pages benefit large companies or organizations with multiple divisions and product lines. They say that small businesses won’t be able to use the Showcase pages.

I’m in favor of dropping Products & Services tab on LinkedIn Company Pages. I feel that Products & Services was just a duplication of what is already on most websites. I suspect that most companies never built Products & Services pages. I also suspect that if a company had the pages, LinkedIn users rarely drilled down to view products and services, so the feature wasn’t used much.

What can a company do to save their Products & Services pages recommendations? In a recent Twitterchat (#B2Bchat) I saw a great suggestion for handling this. LinkedIn expert Viveka von Rosen tweeted that companies can save their recommendations into a slide deck and share it on SlideShare.

Tweet on LinkedIn Recommendations Viveka von RosenSet up Showcase pages for your most popular brands, products, services, events and more. You can display related LinkedIn groups on Showcase pages and assign any of your 1st degree contacts as an Admin of the page. Showcase pages include an image, with the minimum size 974 x 330 pixels. A sample page appears below.

Do you need help optimizing your LinkedIn presence? Do you want to learn how to get qualified leads and sales inquiries from LinkedIn? Contact us today – we’ve worked with many clients to drive results from LinkedIn and other online marketing platforms.

LinkedIn Showcase page Microsoft

 

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Where in the Product Lifecycle is SEO?

by Jennifer Beever on April 4, 2014

Technology Adoption Lifecycle SEOIf you’re just now thinking that it might be a good time to invest in SEO, you should proceed with caution. SEO developed slowly over time, but as an “industry,” it’s now in decline.

In the early nineties, Search Engine Optimization or SEO had a slow start, typical for new technology. When I first started working on SEO in 1998, there were a dozen or more search engines – it was a fragmented industry. Along came Google, consolidation began to happen, and a growing industry was born.

But today the SEO industry is in decline. If you are part of the late majority or laggards (those who drag their feet at technology adoption), don’t buy SEO services that are no longer working. There are still some SEO companies that are selling the old way of doing SEO.

After years of “gaming the system,” SEO companies don’t have many games to play, because Google won’t let them. Google changed its algorithm in the past couple of years to de-list sites that had less relevant links and other spammy SEO practices. Google now emphasizes a good user experience (fast-loading and ease of navigation across devices) and quality, in-depth content. It also recognizes the buzz your site pages get on social media.

So before you unknowingly buy the SEO snake oil from a less-than reputable provider, do some research. Find out how to build a great-performing site. Research what information your audiences want and need and create and provide content around that. Yes, you should know what keywords they use to find your products and services and use those in your site, especially in page titles and headlines on the pages. Yes, you should work to get highly respected websites and social media users to link to your site with high relevancy.

But beware the SEO company that is still selling links and keyword stuffing. They are counting on the late majority and laggards NOT understanding the technology and buying services that are no longer relevant.

 

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6 Reasons I Love Being a Marketing Consultant

  In the early nineties I was inspired by an ad agency with which I worked to start my own marketing business. I made the decision to begin a consulting company focused on providing marketing solutions and founded New Incite in April of 1997. Seventeen years later, here are some of the things I love […]

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The Death of Salesmen, Really

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Is Marketing Staffing Going the Way of IT?

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Is Gratitude a Niche Marketing Strategy?

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7 Must-Have Skills for Today’s CMO

The role of the CMO has changed dramatically in the last six years as companies struggle with new buying paradigms and increased competition. Here are the top skills an effective Chief Marketing Officer must have to produce marketing results. I met with several marketing professionals last night to discuss a pending CMO search. It was […]

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Does Your Website Have Performance Issues?

  Your website is often the first impression prospective customers have of your company and brand. It’s important to make sure that this first impression is positive, and doesn’t drive your prospects to your competitor. How well your website works also affects search engine performance. In Google’s recent algorithm changes, how quickly your website loads […]

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Why We’ve Run out of Time as B2B Marketers (and What to Do about It)

  We’re out of time because our customers are out of time. B2B buyers, like consumers, have very little time to spend figuring out websites, lengthy and technical copy, or detailed diagrams. What does that mean for business-to-business marketers? We need to simplify our marketing, tell more stories and use more visuals. 1. Simplify your […]

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My Favorite Trends to Watch in the New Year

Ad agency JWT publishes a list of 100 trends to watch in the coming year. Reviewing this is a fun exercise in the New Year, since many trends affect marketing. (And some are just plain fun.) Here are my top picks from the 2014 list: #5 Algae which is booming as an ingredient in many […]

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