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How To Make LinkedIn Your Top B2B Social Media Platform



Eight in 10 B2B marketers use LinkedIn to market their brand. Of that group, 40% say it is their No. 1 platform.

In the next year, 54% of marketers say they plan to up their organic activity on LinkedIn according to the 2022 Social Media Marketing Industry Report from Social Media Examiner (gated). Forty-three percent use LinkedIn as a lead generator, while over one-third buy LinkedIn ads.

8 in 10 #B2B marketers use @LinkedIn to market their brand. 40% say it’s their No. 1 platform according to @SMExaminer via Aleksandra Iakovleva of @VistaCreate @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

That’s a lot of activity happening on LinkedIn. Of course, that doesn’t mean all that activity delivers what you want to achieve. It takes more than an on-site presence to use LinkedIn successfully. It’s about optimizing your brand’s presence and developing quality paid and organic content.

These tips can help you do just that – and I’ve added some inspiration from four companies already making the most of their LinkedIn presence.

Optimizing isn’t just for traditional search

Your company has a presence on LinkedIn, but is it making the most of that existence? These five tips can ensure that you do.

1. Do SEO

Including keywords related to your business can help your targeted audience using LinkedIn’s search feature to discover your page.

Incorporate the most relevant in your page’s headline, tagline, and summary. Add more keywords to your posts. Make sure not to overdo it — repeating keywords over and over isn’t a good practice for traditional search, and it isn’t smart for LinkedIn search either. Instead, use keywords sparingly so that they fit seamlessly into your content.

2. Customize your URL

You don’t have to keep the random numbers and letters that LinkedIn used to generate your page URL. You can alter your URL to align with your business.

This URL – – was altered to make it look like this:

One is nonsense; one perfectly represents our brand name.

To change your URL, go to the business page:

  • In the left sidebar, select Edit Page, then click on page info.
  • Under the header LinkedIn public URL, you can change the suffix of your URL in the text box.
  • Click save at the top of the box.

Now, you can help visitors clearly see the brand in the URL, as well as improve brand awareness when promoting the page link.

Don’t let your brand’s @LinkedIn URL stay a jumble of letters and numbers. Change it to incorporate your brand name, says Aleksandra Iakovleva of @VistaCreate via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

3. Add external links

Whether your goal with LinkedIn is to generate leads, make sales, or increase your brand awareness, you want to drive traffic to your external pages. The best way to do that is to include external links to your business’ portfolio and a direct link to your website in your profile.

4. Implement a coherent design

A brand design is vital when it comes to recognition. In fact, even having a signature color can result in an increase in brand recognition. Your brand should have an instantly recognizable logo, color scheme, and text type. Your LinkedIn page should be no different.

On LinkedIn, you have both a profile picture and a banner image. Make sure you fit your brand’s visual identity and communicate immediately what your audience can expect as they are the first things they see when they click on your page. Don’t shy away from tapping into current design trends to make your LinkedIn page and posts look more modern. When a post is visually appealing, it inevitably gets more attention and engagement.

5. Listen to the data

Luckily, LinkedIn has the next best thing to reading people’s minds with its incredible analytics system.

You can track a number of important metrics – total page views, clicks from unique visitors, and frequency of clicks on external links.

It also allows you to compare your results with your competitors to see how you measure up, in addition to giving a full breakdown of your lead generation analytics.

By studying the data, you can figure out which features of your page are and aren’t working. You can then tailor each aspect of your page as appropriate.

Investing in paid content on LinkedIn

LinkedIn paid content opportunities are varied and useful. They include sponsored content, sponsored messages, text ads, and dynamic ads. Let’s walk through each one.

1. Sponsored content

Pay to promote a piece of your posted content to expand your reach. It will show up as “promoted” content on the home page of LinkedIn users targeted by your brand. Sponsored content can be text only, incorporate an image, video, or carousel, or be an event.

2. Sponsored messages

While sponsored content appears in the news feed, sponsored messages are delivered directly to the LinkedIn user’s inbox. This feature lets you target individual consumers with a personalized message.

This seems like a slam dunk of an opportunity, right? But interestingly, according to LinkedIn, while 89% of consumers say they would like to use messaging with businesses, only 48% of businesses use this tactic to engage with their audience.

Most consumers say they would like businesses to use messaging, but less than half of brands do it, says Aleksandra Iakovleva of @VistaCreate via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

3. Text ads

If you go onto your LinkedIn home page, you can see in the top right corner a little box titled “Promoted” with three small ads. Each one has a headline above less than two lines of text.

These LinkedIn text ads are short and snappy. You can target an audience using broad factors such as location all the way down to detailed criteria such as job titles.

For a bit more info on text ads, check out this resource from LinkedIn.

4. Dynamic ads

Dynamic ads are an amazing resource. Essentially, each ad is tailored to the viewer based on their LinkedIn profile data – profile photos, company names, job titles, etc.

Dynamic ads perfectly blend wide outreach with tailored individual ads. That is a win-win in my book.

Finding inspiration

Let’s look at how some brands use LinkedIn in strategic and effective ways.

1. Post content that resonates

You’ve got to make sure your posted content is packed full of value. Tell stories, demonstrate how your business can help, express your opinion on an industry topic, and explain statistics you’ve noted. In short, create content that your audience wants to read.

This post from dairy-free milk provider Oatly focuses on its European audience, explaining how cow-based milk affects school children in part because of their emission of carbon dioxide. It outlines the European Commission’s willingness to hear about plant-based alternatives. The call to action includes a link to a petition, a link to learn more, and a link to the sources cited in the post.

This post also incorporates both text and video and clearly outlines the brand’s position.

2. Use an authentic voice

People buy from companies they trust. Make sure your posts are created with that trust-building in mind.

Giving your business an authentic voice means that your business will come across as a real living and breathing organization that has a sense of humanity rather than a cold, hard, and bland corporation.

Innocent Drinks, a UK-based smoothie maker, lets its personality shine through in this LinkedIn post about its Beacon Project. Here’s the opening paragraph:

Last week was World Bee Day. We couldn’t bee-lieve it either. Sorry. We know we probably should have posted about it last week on the actual day, but we’ve just been such busy bees. Not sorry for that one, it’s a corker. With that in mind, we wanted to share some exciting news about the Beacon Project. It’s our three-year campaign to test how different ways of farming can promote wild pollinators and make the fruit trees even more fruitful and resilient to climate change.

That’s a lot of bee-related puns, which indicates the voice of Innocent Drinks is filled with humor and is bold and expressive.

3. Use hashtags properly

Hashtags are still a powerful tool on LinkedIn. They can be used to add a bit of emphasis to your posts, but they’re also a key tool for branching out to new audiences and improving your discoverability.

But hashtags should be used sparingly and specifically. It’s best to keep hashtags to fewer than five in the body or bottom of the post.

In this post from L’Oréal about living wages, the personal care company incorporates two relevant hashtags into the text – #LivingWage and #HumanRights. Anyone who enters the hashtag will most likely find L’Oréal’s post. That can increase their brand awareness and show them as a company that cares about sensitive issues.

4. Make it multimedia

When creating a post, you could just write text. But why waste the opportunity to mix the media? You can add photos and videos, share an event, or even engage with your audience through polls.

Using media in your LinkedIn posts helps get eyes on your content. In fact, according to LinkedIn, posts that contain an image can result in up to 98% more comments. So you could be cutting engagement simply by not incorporating a visual element in your post.

Take this post from UK-based plant-based food company THIS. The crisp cold beer next to the deep red of the burger instantly catches your eye (and your stomach). Paired with the hand sticking out of the beer to make the “I” in “THIS” you’ve got yourself an absolute winner of an image with little explanatory text needed.


One more LinkedIn success ingredient

You’ve optimized your page and followed best practices in creating the content. But there’s one important factor to address – how frequently should you publish that quality, relevant, and optimized content.

LinkedIn has one of the longest content lifespans of all the social media platforms, with each post expected to stay on a person’s page for around 24 hours — that’s 18 hours longer than Facebook.

So instead of concentrating on constantly posting content, concentrate on posting content consistently. Pick a schedule that works for you and stick to it.

It allows your audience to reliably trust that your content will come through without constantly being bombarded. And as you know, that trust from your audience is the best and most far-reaching outcome of your LinkedIn content.


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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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Comparing Credibility of Custom Chatbots & Live Chat



Building Customer Trust: Comparing Credibility of Custom Chatbots & Live Chat

Addressing customer issues quickly is not merely a strategy to distinguish your brand; it’s an imperative for survival in today’s fiercely competitive marketplace.

Customer frustration can lead to customer churn. That’s precisely why organizations employ various support methods to ensure clients receive timely and adequate assistance whenever they require it.

Nevertheless, selecting the most suitable support channel isn’t always straightforward. Support teams often grapple with the choice between live chat and chatbots.

The automation landscape has transformed how businesses engage with customers, elevating chatbots as a widely embraced support solution. As more companies embrace technology to enhance their customer service, the debate over the credibility of chatbots versus live chat support has gained prominence.

However, customizable chatbot continue to offer a broader scope for personalization and creating their own chatbots.

In this article, we will delve into the world of customer support, exploring the advantages and disadvantages of both chatbots and live chat and how they can influence customer trust. By the end, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of which option may be the best fit for your business.

The Rise of Chatbots

Chatbots have become increasingly prevalent in customer support due to their ability to provide instant responses and cost-effective solutions. These automated systems use artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) to engage with customers in real-time, making them a valuable resource for businesses looking to streamline their customer service operations.

Advantages of Chatbots

24/7 Availability

One of the most significant advantages of custom chatbots is their round-the-clock availability. They can respond to customer inquiries at any time, ensuring that customers receive support even outside regular business hours.


Custom Chatbots provide consistent responses to frequently asked questions, eliminating the risk of human error or inconsistency in service quality.


Implementing chatbots can reduce operational costs by automating routine inquiries and allowing human agents to focus on more complex issues.


Chatbots can handle multiple customer interactions simultaneously, making them highly scalable as your business grows.

Disadvantages of Chatbots

Limited Understanding

Chatbots may struggle to understand complex or nuanced inquiries, leading to frustration for customers seeking detailed information or support.

Lack of Empathy

Chatbots lack the emotional intelligence and empathy that human agents can provide, making them less suitable for handling sensitive or emotionally charged issues.

Initial Setup Costs

Developing and implementing chatbot technology can be costly, especially for small businesses.

The Role of Live Chat Support

Live chat support, on the other hand, involves real human agents who engage with customers in real-time through text-based conversations. While it may not offer the same level of automation as custom chatbots, live chat support excels in areas where human interaction and empathy are crucial.

Advantages of Live Chat

Human Touch

Live chat support provides a personal touch that chatbots cannot replicate. Human agents can empathize with customers, building a stronger emotional connection.

Complex Issues

For inquiries that require a nuanced understanding or involve complex problem-solving, human agents are better equipped to provide in-depth assistance.

Trust Building

Customers often trust human agents more readily, especially when dealing with sensitive matters or making important decisions.


Human agents can adapt to various customer personalities and communication styles, ensuring a positive experience for diverse customers.

Disadvantages of Live Chat

Limited Availability

Live chat support operates within specified business hours, which may not align with all customer needs, potentially leading to frustration.

Response Time

The speed of response in live chat support can vary depending on agent availability and workload, leading to potential delays in customer assistance.


Maintaining a live chat support team with trained agents can be expensive, especially for smaller businesses strategically.

Building Customer Trust: The Credibility Factor

When it comes to building customer trust, credibility is paramount. Customers want to feel that they are dealing with a reliable and knowledgeable source. Both customziable chatbots and live chat support can contribute to credibility, but their effectiveness varies in different contexts.

Building Trust with Chatbots

Chatbots can build trust in various ways:


Chatbots provide consistent responses, ensuring that customers receive accurate information every time they interact with them.

Quick Responses

Chatbots offer instant responses, which can convey a sense of efficiency and attentiveness.

Data Security

Chatbots can assure customers of their data security through automated privacy policies and compliance statements.

However, custom chatbots may face credibility challenges when dealing with complex issues or highly emotional situations. In such cases, the lack of human empathy and understanding can hinder trust-building efforts.

Building Trust with Live Chat Support

Live chat support, with its human touch, excels at building trust in several ways:


Human agents can show empathy by actively listening to customers’ concerns and providing emotional support.

Tailored Solutions

Live chat agents can tailor solutions to individual customer needs, demonstrating a commitment to solving their problems.


Human agents can adapt to changing customer requirements, ensuring a personalized and satisfying experience.

However, live chat support’s limitations, such as availability and potential response times, can sometimes hinder trust-building efforts, especially when customers require immediate assistance.

Finding the Right Balance

The choice between custom chatbots and live chat support is not always binary. Many businesses find success by integrating both options strategically:

Initial Interaction

Use chatbots for initial inquiries, providing quick responses, and gathering essential information. This frees up human agents to handle more complex cases.

Escalation to Live Chat

Implement a seamless escalation process from custom chatbots to live chat support when customer inquiries require a higher level of expertise or personal interaction.

Continuous Improvement

Regularly analyze customer interactions and feedback to refine your custom chatbot’s responses and improve the overall support experience.


In the quest to build customer trust, both chatbots and live chat support have their roles to play. Customizable Chatbots offer efficiency, consistency, and round-the-clock availability, while live chat support provides the human touch, empathy, and adaptability. The key is to strike the right balance, leveraging the strengths of each to create a credible and trustworthy customer support experience. By understanding the unique advantages and disadvantages of both options, businesses can make informed decisions to enhance customer trust and satisfaction in the digital era.

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The Rise in Retail Media Networks



A shopping cart holding the Amazon logo to represent the rise in retail media network advertising.

As LL Cool J might say, “Don’t call it a comeback. It’s been here for years.”

Paid advertising is alive and growing faster in different forms than any other marketing method.

Magna, a media research firm, and GroupM, a media agency, wrapped the year with their ad industry predictions – expect big growth for digital advertising in 2024, especially with the pending US presidential political season.

But the bigger, more unexpected news comes from the rise in retail media networks – a relative newcomer in the industry.

Watch CMI’s chief strategy advisor Robert Rose explain how these trends could affect marketers or keep reading for his thoughts:

GroupM expects digital advertising revenue in 2023 to conclude with a 5.8% or $889 billion increase – excluding political advertising. Magna believes ad revenue will tick up 5.5% this year and jump 7.2% in 2024. GroupM and Zenith say 2024 will see a more modest 4.8% growth.

Robert says that the feeling of an ad slump and other predictions of advertising’s demise in the modern economy don’t seem to be coming to pass, as paid advertising not only survived 2023 but will thrive in 2024.

What’s a retail media network?

On to the bigger news – the rise of retail media networks. Retail media networks, the smallest segment in these agencies’ and research firms’ evaluation, will be one of the fastest-growing and truly important digital advertising formats in 2024.

GroupM suggests the $119 billion expected to be spent in the networks this year and should grow by a whopping 8.3% in the coming year.  Magna estimates $124 billion in ad revenue from retail media networks this year.

“Think about this for a moment. Retail media is now almost a quarter of the total spent on search advertising outside of China,” Robert points out.

You’re not alone if you aren’t familiar with retail media networks. A familiar vernacular in the B2C world, especially the consumer-packaged goods industry, retail media networks are an advertising segment you should now pay attention to.

Retail media networks are advertising platforms within the retailer’s network. It’s search advertising on retailers’ online stores. So, for example, if you spend money to advertise against product keywords on Amazon, Walmart, or Instacart, you use a retail media network.

But these ad-buying networks also exist on other digital media properties, from mini-sites to videos to content marketing hubs. They also exist on location through interactive kiosks and in-store screens. New formats are rising every day.

Retail media networks make sense. Retailers take advantage of their knowledge of customers, where and why they shop, and present offers and content relevant to their interests. The retailer uses their content as a media company would, knowing their customers trust them to provide valuable information.

Think about these 2 things in 2024

That brings Robert to two things he wants you to consider for 2024 and beyond. The first is a question: Why should you consider retail media networks for your products or services?   

Advertising works because it connects to the idea of a brand. Retail media networks work deep into the buyer’s journey. They use the consumer’s presence in a store (online or brick-and-mortar) to cross-sell merchandise or become the chosen provider.

For example, Robert might advertise his Content Marketing Strategy book on Amazon’s retail network because he knows his customers seek business books. When they search for “content marketing,” his book would appear first.

However, retail media networks also work well because they create a brand halo effect. Robert might buy an ad for his book in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal because he knows their readers view those media outlets as reputable sources of information. He gains some trust by connecting his book to their media properties.

Smart marketing teams will recognize the power of the halo effect and create brand-level experiences on retail media networks. They will do so not because they seek an immediate customer but because they can connect their brand content experience to a trusted media network like Amazon, Nordstrom, eBay, etc.

The second thing Robert wants you to think about relates to the B2B opportunity. More retail media network opportunities for B2B brands are coming.

You can already buy into content syndication networks such as Netline, Business2Community, and others. But given the astronomical growth, for example, of Amazon’s B2B marketplace ($35 billion in 2023), Robert expects a similar trend of retail media networks to emerge on these types of platforms.   

“If I were Adobe, Microsoft, Salesforce, HubSpot, or any brand with big content platforms, I’d look to monetize them by selling paid sponsorship of content (as advertising or sponsored content) on them,” Robert says.

As you think about creative ways to use your paid advertising spend, consider the retail media networks in 2024.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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AI driving an exponential increase in marketing technology solutions



AI driving an exponential increase in marketing technology solutions

The martech landscape is expanding and AI is the prime driving force. That’s the topline news from the “Martech 2024” report released today. And, while that will get the headline, the report contains much more.

Since the release of the most recent Martech Landscape in May 2023, 2,042 new marketing technology tools have surfaced, bringing the total to 13,080 — an 18.5% increase. Of those, 1,498 (73%) were AI-based. 

Screenshot 2023 12 05 110428 800x553

“But where did it land?” said Frans Riemersma of Martech Tribe during a joint video conference call with Scott Brinker of ChiefMartec and HubSpot. “And the usual suspect, of course, is content. But the truth is you can build an empire with all the genAI that has been surfacing — and by an empire, I mean, of course, a business.”

Content tools accounted for 34% of all the new AI tools, far ahead of video, the second-place category, which had only 4.85%. U.S. companies were responsible for 61% of these tools — not surprising given that most of the generative AI dynamos, like OpenAI, are based here. Next up was the U.K. at 5.7%, but third place was a big surprise: Iceland — with a population of 373,000 — launched 4.6% of all AI martech tools. That’s significantly ahead of fourth place India (3.5%), whose population is 1.4 billion and which has a significant tech industry. 

Dig deeper: 3 ways email marketers should actually use AI

The global development of these tools shows the desire for solutions that natively understand the place they are being used. 

“These regional products in their particular country…they’re fantastic,” said Brinker. “They’re loved, and part of it is because they understand the culture, they’ve got the right thing in the language, the support is in that language.”

Now that we’ve looked at the headline stuff, let’s take a deep dive into the fascinating body of the report.

The report: A deeper dive

Marketing technology “is a study in contradictions,” according to Brinker and Riemersma. 

In the new report they embrace these contradictions, telling readers that, while they support “discipline and fiscal responsibility” in martech management, failure to innovate might mean “missing out on opportunities for competitive advantage.” By all means, edit your stack meticulously to ensure it meets business value use cases — but sure, spend 5-10% of your time playing with “cool” new tools that don’t yet have a use case. That seems like a lot of time.

Similarly, while you mustn’t be “carried away” by new technology hype cycles, you mustn’t ignore them either. You need to make “deliberate choices” in the realm of technological change, but be agile about implementing them. Be excited by martech innovation, in other words, but be sensible about it.

The growing landscape

Consolidation for the martech space is not in sight, Brinker and Riemersma say. Despite many mergers and acquisitions, and a steadily increasing number of bankruptcies and dissolutions, the exponentially increasing launch of new start-ups powers continuing growth.

It should be observed, of course, that this is almost entirely a cloud-based, subscription-based commercial space. To launch a martech start-up doesn’t require manufacturing, storage and distribution capabilities, or necessarily a workforce; it just requires uploading an app to the cloud. That is surely one reason new start-ups appear at such a startling rate. 

Dig deeper: AI ad spending has skyrocketed this year

As the authors admit, “(i)f we measure by revenue and/or install base, the graph of all martech companies is a ‘long tail’ distribution.” What’s more, focus on the 200 or so leading companies in the space and consolidation can certainly be seen.

Long-tail tools are certainly not under-utilized, however. Based on a survey of over 1,000 real-world stacks, the report finds long-tail tools constitute about half of the solutions portfolios — a proportion that has remained fairly consistent since 2017. The authors see long-tail adoption where users perceive feature gaps — or subpar feature performance — in their core solutions.

Composability and aggregation

The other two trends covered in detail in the report are composability and aggregation. In brief, a composable view of a martech stack means seeing it as a collection of features and functions rather than a collection of software products. A composable “architecture” is one where apps, workflows, customer experiences, etc., are developed using features of multiple products to serve a specific use case.

Indeed, some martech vendors are now describing their own offerings as composable, meaning that their proprietary features are designed to be used in tandem with third-party solutions that integrate with them. This is an evolution of the core-suite-plus-app-marketplace framework.

That framework is what Brinker and Riemersma refer to as “vertical aggregation.” “Horizontal aggregation,” they write, is “a newer model” where aggregation of software is seen not around certain business functions (marketing, sales, etc.) but around a layer of the tech stack. An obvious example is the data layer, fed from numerous sources and consumed by a range of applications. They correctly observe that this has been an important trend over the past year.

Build it yourself

Finally, and consistent with Brinker’s long-time advocacy for the citizen developer, the report detects a nascent trend towards teams creating their own software — a trend that will doubtless be accelerated by support from AI.

So far, the apps that are being created internally may be no more than “simple workflows and automations.” But come the day that app development is so democratized that it will be available to a wide range of users, the software will be a “reflection of the way they want their company to operate and the experiences they want to deliver to customers. This will be a powerful dimension for competitive advantage.”

Constantine von Hoffman contributed to this report.

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