LinkedIn's 2019 Feature Extravaganza Pays Off
LinkedIn’s parent company Microsoft has just released its quarterly results, showing a booming platform, going from strength to strength.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella:
“LinkedIn again exceeded expectations across all lines of business driven by record levels of engagement in the feed, content shared across the platform, and messages sent this quarter.
Marketing Solutions was up 46% year-over-year, and customers are relying on our new Pages experience, and audience targeting capabilities to connect with LinkedIn’s nearly 630 million members.”
LinkedIn’s strong quarter is not an isolated event. In fact, it has been on a bull run for the last year or so, literally improving as a marcomms channel on a month on month basis.
LinkedIn’s historical weaknesses have always been:
- Poor site engagement and low time-on-site
- Outdated and over-priced marketing solutions
Within the last 18-24 months the platform, following its Microsoft acquisition, has made substantial headway across both.
A Stickier LinkedIn Platform
As per Microsoft’s recent results, LinkedIn sessions are up 24% year on year.
LinkedIn has made a series of subtle tweaks to its feed experience and user interface within recent times, with each contributing a small boost.
In October it reconfigured the LinkedIn algorithm to favour everyday users, kiboshing viral content and many ninjas in one swoop.
This was a smart move by LinkedIn for a range of reasons, however, most interestingly its data shows the positive impact of ego stroking on platform engagement. According to the LinkedIn Engineering Blog:
“Members who receive 10+ likes when they post are 17% more likely to post again the following week compared to members who post but don’t get any feedback.”
The overdue launch of native video in 2018 has also played a big part in LinkedIn’s improved fortunes. Recently Pete Davies, the director of product management at LinkedIn, claimed:
“Video is the fastest growing format on our platform right now, and the one most likely to get people talking”
New features like LinkedIn Live, Stories and Reactions should all help LinkedIn build out user engagement furthermore.
Better Marketing Solutions
LinkedIn’s latest results also show growing uptake from marketers with revenue up 27%.
Obviously, LinkedIn makes a good share of its income from its talent solutions, but its marketing products are starting to gain traction.
LinkedIn is still one of the dearer social channels to run campaigns, but costs have fallen in recent times.
Its 2018 Q4 cost per click (CPC) and cost per impression (CPM) were $3.72 and $7.57 respectively, according to Adstage.
However, both of these are way down on 2017 equivalents.
More site engagement generally translates to lower costs, at least in the short term. Long may it continue!
Ad performance is still not great, although improving, with a click-through rate (CTR) of only 0.26%.
So while LinkedIn is making headway with improved targeting and new ad solutions it is still quite a costly way to drive traffic. Relative to other social channels.
As with many social platforms nowadays, it’s often better to try and engage users on LinkedIn, rather than using as a performance channel.
You can check out LinkedIn's results here.