With an increase in viewership for online videos in the social networking sites, LinkedIn plans to enable its members have more videos uploaded on the platform with a special focus on B2B ones. This is going to be a new development at LinkedIn post their partnership with Microsoft.
Virginia Sharma, Director Marketing Solutions at LinkedIn India spoke to the exchange4media team about the other leveraging points of the partnership of LinkedIn with Microsoft and more.
How is LinkedIn planning to change its approach to customer-engagement as well as member-engagement in the coming days?
From a membership perspective, we have worked very hard to create a mobile first experience. If you look at the LinkedIn flagship product of what you experience today, itâs a different product as it was essentially re-designed with mobile in mind. The next frontier for us is video. Weâre launching native video. Weâve always had video but it wasnât native and it wasnât built for feed. With the increased consumption of video i.e. something that members would like, it would also be something that our customers would like. Many people in the room create fantastic videos, especially B2B. This would enable the people with the ability to do that within the platform so that they donât have to leave the platform. The third thing that weâre doing is going beyond white collars to, what we call, grey skill workers. LinkedIn Lite is focussed on 2G platforms.
Please tell us more about LinkedInâs partnership with Microsoft. What plans do you have on leveraging this partnership?
I think itâs still early days. Weâre still working on ideas. What we know is that the mission of the two companies is very similar and everything that we do is going to be in line with the missions of the two companies. Weâll do the easy stuff first and then, I guess, watch the space. LinkedIn has done an exceptional job being a pretty lean company. With the backing of a big company, I donât have to choose between one thing and the other.
Since weâre a professional networking platform, context is the number one differentiator. People come to LinkedIn to be more productive. They come in a professional context. The bigger difference for a content marketer is, what kind of difference would make people more successful at work. In fact, if you look at the engagement on the platform, anytime someone starts putting more Facebook or Twitter like posts, the community tends to say that this is not the appropriate forum for this. So this is a very hygienic platform that way, where it is very focussed on people who seek professionalism. Weâre happy staying in the wheelhouse of a more B2B content marketing platform. There are many times when clients come with different business objectives and I say, âPerhaps Facebook would give you better returns for what youâre trying to do.â If you talk to an average millennial and ask âWhatâs LinkedIn?â theyâd say âItâs Facebook for work.â
Now Facebook is also getting into this space of professional networking site, what are your thoughts on that?
Iâve heard about it but havenât seen it though. I know that theyâve been trying to get into this space for a while. Itâs a compelling audience. I think that theyâre very large and Iâm sure that there are many different things they do, so that might be one of them.
What are the three top marketing principles you believe in and you think content marketing leaders across the globe should also practice?
Thereâs a video that Iâve done on LinkedIn that I still believe in. Understanding your customer as an individual is number one. The second one is really around creating a system of engagement. So, youâre following them along their wire journey and youâre not interrupting them but enabling them. So when they come out on the other side, youâre an enabler in that process. You can, sort of, capture them. The third thing is that you have to understand is that your employees are also personas in the internal audience. Itâs inauthentic to talk about content marketing or automation if you as a company donât believe, donât practice or advocate that. I think that an alignment between your talent brand and your business brand is important. Are your employees saying the same things that youâre saying in your marketing? And if theyâre not then youâre just putting lipstick on a pig.Iâve believed these three for many years. Things donât change on that front now.
Tell us about your business and marketing journey before you came to LinkedIn. What were the big lessons that you brought from IBM to LinkedIn?
When I spent many years at IBM, in which I previously had an Asia Pacific role as well as many other regional roles, I failed miserably early in my career. It was good that I was bad there.I think the biggest thing that IBM taught me is leadership, marketing as marketing where you learn that if you spend enough time marketing then youâll learn marketing. If you have an open mind to read and interact with people and the humility to learn, you donât have to work at a place to learn marketing. What I learned is leadership in diverse cultures which is what has helped me here. Working in Asia and working in India, both those experiences helped me do that. What I did not learnt at IBM is when you go from a large company to a mid-sized company, how do you really work with limited resources. You need the power of quick decision making and being agile but you just donât have the resources, the agencies and the dollars that IBM had. When I was at IBM, I had 130 people in my India team on just domestic marketing which doesnât even include the 400 people sitting at the global marketing centre. I would say itâs a good learning to be scrappy. I think it enables us to collaborate more.
Stuart Bowden talks about purchase journey, the revised version of Cannes Lions, Wavemaker Indiaâs performance and a lot more
Emery says everything that Unilever CMO Keith Weed says has a touch of genius. He also talks about his expectations from Cannes, WPP without Sir Martin Sorrell and his love for Mindshare India.
In an interaction with exchange4media, PC Musthafa, CEO & Co-Founder iD Fresh Food shares how the brand deals with competition and marketing strategies followed by them.
Varun Raina, Marketing Manager, Airbnb India speaks to exchange4media about the successful #LiveThere campaign and how Bollywood helps them connect with its young consumer
He is the man behind India's most rewarded and talked about campaign at Cannes 2018, 'Blink to Speak. Read on to find out how he conceptualised the idea and led the team that created the campaign.
Facebook-owned Instagram introduces IGTV, a new app to upload long-form vertical videos, intensifies competition with YouTube.
Piyush and Prasoon Pandey will be the first Asians and first from WPP to be deemed with this honour tonight at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity