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CMO Talks: Goodbye LinkedIn Products and Services, Hello Showcases

By Apr 14, 2014

On Monday, LinkedIn did away with “Products” and “Services” pages on all LinkedIn Company Pages. These pages are where companies described their products and services for the benefit of potential customers, and if you had them on your company’s LinkedIn page, they’re either gone or about to be deleted.

LinkedIn is replacing the “Products” and “Services” pages with “Showcase” pages. Each LinkedIn Company Page can have up to 10 “Showcase” pages, and these will be used to highlight your company’s products or services.

According to LinkedIn:

“Showcase Pages are extensions of your Company Page, designed for spotlighting a brand, business unit, or initiative. [You can] create a page for aspects of your business with their own messages and audience segments to share with.”

“As with a Company Page, you can share Company Updates and Sponsored Updates with LinkedIn members who can now follow the aspects of your business they’re interested in.”

“Showcase Pages are aimed at building relationships with LinkedIn members. For more campaign-based efforts, use our Sponsored Updates, Sponsored InMail, or display advertising products.”

In other words, Showcase Pages will be like blogs. According to LinkedIn, they can be used to:

  • Drive engagement with a dedicated page
  • Share specific content with a targeted audience
  • Create relationships that matter

You’ll be able to regularly update your Showcase Pages with blog articles and news about your products or services, you’ll be able to drive traffic to your LinkedIn Company Page, and hold online discussions with “Showcase” followers.

But here’s the bad news, LinkedIn won’t allow you to keep your “Products” or “Services” pages. And any content you had on your “Products” or “Services” pages won’t carry over to the “Showcase” pages.

Moreover, in setting up the new “Showcase” pages for your products or services, you’ll be able to include a product or service description at the top of the page. But these descriptions will be limited to only 200 characters (including spaces)

How long is 200 characters? Well, this paragraph right here is exactly 200 characters long. This is all the text you will have on your LinkedIn “Showcase” pages to describe your products or services.

As you can see, it’s little more than a Tweet!

The change is quite sweeping, so why now? Well, LinkedIn is doing this to make its site more social media-friendly, and to make their pages more accessible to mobile users.

Many sites, by the way, are changing the layout of their web pages for the same reason. NBCNews.com recently changed to an all mobile format, replacing organized “Headline” links with “Big Photo” links to news stories.

Don’t care for this change? Well, the LinkedIn folks are listening. On the LinkedIn Communities discussion page at the link above, a LinkedIn team member posted this statement about the format change to “Showcase” pages:

“I just wanted to let you all know that we are absolutely listening to the feedback we are getting on this thread (and elsewhere as well)…We appreciate everyone’s take on the direction we are going with our Company Pages…”

So what can you as a marketer start doing right now in order to get prepared for the change?

Well, the best thing you can do right now is start creating the “Showcase” pages. From now on, these pages are where visitors to your LinkedIn Company Page are going to learn about your company’s products or services.

David T. Scott is the author of “The New Rules of Lead Generation: Proven Strategies to Maximize Marketing ROI” (AMACOM, 2013).

 

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