8 LinkedIn Changes That Help With Your Marketing

A year ago LinkedIn revamped its system in an attempt to increase functionality and make it more user friendly, a move that came after its acquisition by Microsoft in 2016. The changes are evident from the moment you sign in to your account. The new app-like home page has been streamlined, giving you quick and easy access to the information you want to see – with the goal for you to use LinkedIn more often and stay engaged longer.

If you’re like me, you haven’t taken the time (until now) to investigate all of the changes. Here are the top eight changes that marketers should know about.

  1. More Content

Your LinkedIn home page now features more organic, sponsored, and native advertising content users may be interested in reading. And shortcuts like the “Work” button in the top navigation bar next to your profile picture make it easy to manage your company page as well as your groups.

  1. Easy Messaging

The new and improved LinkedIn makes it even easier to private message contacts. Now there’s a pop-up “Messaging” window on the bottom right of your home page screen that allows you to quickly and easily select one of your contacts and shoot them off a message without leaving the LinkedIn homepage feed. And, when you receive messages, new “smart replies” automation provides three automated replies you can select – no typing required. Adding personalization to the automated message – like: Thanks, Jane – is coming soon.

  1. Easy Searching

New search features offer a universal search box that lets users search by people, jobs, companies, groups and schools. You can search all of these LinkedIn categories with a single, unified keyword(s) – all of the relevant items will come up on one page, and you can toggle between different categories. Before this change, you had to search in each category separately.

  1. Trending Topics At A Glance

LinkedIn is taking its cue from Facebook, adding an algorithm that selects trending stories for this news feed on the top right of your home page. This move makes it easier for users to engage within the system.

  1. More Analytics

 This one is really good. LinkedIn now provides more analytics so you know how other users interact with your content you post. LinkedIn now shows you things like who liked your content, the company they work for, their job title, where they are located, and where they found your content. If that weren’t enough, the system will also suggest additional articles to share with your network to increase engagement.

  1. Native Videos

Remember how frustrating it used to be to try to embed video into LinkedIn?! Now LinkedIn lets you upload native videos directly to LinkedIn using its mobile app. In addition to being convenient, this enhancement also helps the videos on company pages appear more authentic/organic and less “corporate.”

  1. Blogging Interface

Now you can create a blog post from your home page by clicking on the “Write An Article” link in the top box on your home screen. Before you had to navigate to another page called LinkedIn Pulse and write your post there.

  1. Learning Center

The new “Learning” option in your top navigation bar enables you to enter a skill set that are of interest to you and then access pertinent content that informs you on a multitude of subjects that meet your criteria.

With these changes, it’s likely LinkedIn users could start using this platform even more, which would definitely capture the attention of marketers wanting to reach prospects where they are. You may want to consider creating more LinkedIn campaigns and content for the site.

If it’s been awhile since you’ve checked out LinkedIn, I suggest you log on and see how this platform can help your business.


How Recent Changes to Facebook May Affect Your Marketing Efforts

Recent changes at Facebook may affect how we market to prospects using this social media. Facebook has decided to show less news articles, marketing content, and ads to make way for more personal content from each user’s personal connections. Here are the highlights of this news feed change that you should know:

Changing Its Image

At the heart of this change is the controversy Facebook has had over the years regarding its somewhat tumultuous relationship with the news industry. By showing more personal content and less news and advertising content, Facebook eliminates some of their headaches.

Responding To Numbers

Nielsen data shows a small decline in the number of hours people are spending on Facebook. By increasing the amount of personal content that directly pertains to each user, Facebook likely hopes to stop this decline.

Time Will Tell

For those of us who use Facebook for organic distribution by posting content in prospect’s news feeds, it seems we’ll have to wait and see how far reaching these changes are. There may need to be a shift to purchasing online ads on Facebook if content posts are no longer enabled. Facebook seems to be banking on this, hoping advertisers won’t mind paying for ads if they are seen by “happier” Facebook users.

I’m sure you’ll join me in closely monitoring these Facebook changes and their impact on marketers.

9 Social Media Trends to Watch for 2018

Modern Keyboard With Colored Social Network Buttons.

I came across this infographic by film editing simplifiers Filmora that lists nine trends we marketers should keep an eye on in 2018. A few that got my attention:

  • Video, especially livestreaming, is watched three times longer than regular videos.
  • 30% of our chat conversation will be with chatbots in 2018.
  • Increased brand participation in “dark social” or platforms not publicly visible, like the messaging apps WhatsApp, Messenger, and WeChat.

To see all nine trends to watch for in 2018, here’s the infographic.

How to Use Content to Attract Customers and Close Sales

We all know that content is king. It’s the driving force behind attracting customers and closing the deal. The following seven tips should help you get the highest ROI from your content marketing. Choose the ones that work best for you.

  1. Approach Content Like It’s Tactical Warfare

If you’re going to win the marketing war, you have to have a strategy that has multiple components that reach your prospects on different platforms and specialized ways. Even more importantly, you have to make sure you publish new, relevant content regularly to boost your SEO. And, while you’re at it, refresh your old content so it appears new. Your prospects will like this and so will search engines.

  1. Make Content Laser Focused

You can’t be all things to all people, but by using data analytics, you can get pretty darn close. See what your prospects’ actions are telling you about what they want from you – then deliver it to them with content that speaks to their desires or that answers frequently asked questions. An added advantage of this approach is that it boosts your key word search results.

  1. Develop Content That has Value

If you want prospects to give you their information, you have to give them something in return. And, it needs to be something they want and can use. This encourages paid ad clickthroughs, increasing the number of eyeballs that see your content. Consider offering exclusive content for social followers or build a highly targeted Facebook group for prospects that offers content your data has indicated will be useful to them. Work with sales to find out common objections and address those in your content.

  1. Disseminate Content Far and Wide

Use your website and other social channels strategically to get your content to your prospects where they are.

  1. Actually Look at Your Data

I know it takes time, but if you actually look at your data, it tells you quite a bit about what’s working and what isn’t. You can use your data to determine where you have content gaps and then work to fill them.

  1. Build Targeted E-mail List Segments

The data you gather from engagement in your content pieces can be use to create an e-mail list group that is highly targeted and features specific conversion pieces.

  1. Advertise Special Content Pieces

If you have created an exceptional content piece – like a white paper, case study, or e-book – advertise it to prospects. Ask them to request it from you, which is a much easier way to get the process to “yes” going.

These seven tips are pretty comprehensive. Don’t worry if you’re not doing all of them all of the time. The point is to have them on your radar and to implement as many of them as works for your business. Good luck!


The Producers Helped Capriotti’s Win Top Honors at FLDC

The 2017 Franchise Leadership Development Conference was held October 11-13 in Atlanta, Georgia. Each year, Franchise Update Media works with a team of highly respected researchers to personally evaluate various participating franchise sales organizations and awards franchise winners in several categories at this well-attended event.

Walking away with the Star Award for Best Social Media Presence is Capriotti’s!

“I want to thank everyone on the Producers team for their hard work over the past year.  You are great partners and do such an amazing job each week promoting our brand on social media platforms and creating effective content. We could not have won this award without your team.” Bruce Evans, Capriottis – VP of Franchise Development

Congratulations, Capriotti’s!






5 Ways to Streamline Your E-Mail Creation and Approval Process


email-buttonE-mail marketing is a very effective way to both drive and nurture leads. However, it can be difficult to generate ideas, offers, and content…and to obtain the necessary approvals.

Here are five ways you can streamline your e-mail creation and approval process.

  1. Designate a Gatekeeper

One person should be in charge of your e-mail marketing. This person is the one who will be in charge of making sure everyone responsible is getting their work done on time and that e-mails are being sent when and to whom they are supposed to.

Create an e-mail calendar that includes the e-mail topic, the call to action (CTA), and who in your organization is going to provide copy, data, photos, etc. for the e-mail. This ensures there are no surprises and everyone is working from the same page.

It’s also a good idea to designate one person in each business area as the e-mail contact. This person is responsible for reporting any e-mail worthy news from their department to the e-mail gatekeeper. One of the biggest obstacles with creating e-mails is having the content. This is a good tool to create a flow of content ideas.

  1. Work Smarter

It’s a good idea to come up with two or three reusable e-mail templates. This way you’re not recreating the wheel each time. You can rotate the order of the templates you use so prospects don’t see the same template back-to-back. Then, all you have to do is drop in new copy, new images, and a new CTA and you’re done!

  1. Establish Guidelines

It’s helpful to have some guidelines established before you begin. For instance, decide the contact name and information you will be using for each type of e-mail campaign you send and where it will be placed in the e-mail. Will all e-mails (regardless of who they are from) use the same logo and direct prospects to the same website?

Also, make sure each e-mail adheres to your brand guidelines and make sure everyone involved has a copy of your brand guidelines to refer to. You’ll also want to address what makes a good subject line as well as words to avoid in your subject line so you can increase your open rate.

  1. Develop a Need-to-Know Mentality

Of course, in a perfect world, everyone’s opinion would count and everyone would get equal time to weigh in with an opinion on each e-mail you send. But, we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a fast-paced, results-driven marketing world. As such, it’s best if you streamline your e-mail marketing approval process to the bare bones. Whose eyes absolutely, positively have to see the e-mail before it is sent?

  1. Meet to Discuss Progress

Figure out what works best for your organization, but a brief meeting to discuss new content ideas, what’s working, and what isn’t is essential. (Make sure you have someone from Sales present so you know how the e-mails are working for them.)

If you implement these five strategies, you’ll get your e-mail creation and approval process in check and start seeing the payoff of this effective marketing tool.

4 Ways to Measure the Success of Your Social Media Videos


The success of video in social media can’t be denied. It has the highest conversion rate most likely because it’s the most personal medium, closely replicating real life. So, we marketers want to make sure our videos are hitting the mark. Here are four ways you can measure how your videos are working for you.

  1. Make your video no longer than 90 seconds.

Prospects have short attention spans. Videos between 20 and 90 seconds in length are optimum. After that, your engagement is going to suffer. Make sure you know beforehand where you’re placing the video and what time constraints that platform may or may not have. Another recommendation to consider is adding captions to your video since most platforms have the videos play on mute unless the prospect clicks on the audio. If your captions tell prospects what the video is about, they are more likely to click the audio on.

  1. Respond to what your view-through rate tells you.

Your view-through rate tells you how many prospects your video reached and how many watched it (for 3 seconds or more). If your view-through is lower than you want it, you need to address either the video or your reach. A/B splits are a good option to test the video content. Also, make sure you engage with your prospects from the start of the video or you will lose them.

  1. Know that seconds count.

It takes just 3 seconds to be considered a view, but if you can get prospects to view your video for 10 seconds or more, you know you’re doing something right. You want your prospect to stick around and watch the video you created – hopefully to the end. Prospect video views of 10 seconds or more are considered positively engaged. Anything beyond that signifies highly engaged prospects and a real home run.

  1. Feedback counts too.

Of the videos that reach your prospects and that they can view and that they watch, if those prospects rate your video poorly, then you’ll need to address your content. If, however, they like the video, leave a positive comment, or share the video, then you know your video hit the mark.

Video has emerged as one of the most powerful and effective marketing tools you have at your disposal – if you do it right. Use these four tips and listen to and analyze the feedback you get from your prospects. This will get you going in the right direction.