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Only 23% of B2B Marketers use LinkedIn Ads. We interview Michael Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner to find out that and more.
Welcome to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Here’s your host, AJ Wilcox.
Hey there LinkedIn Ads fanatics. I am absolutely brimming with excitement today, because I get to introduce you to my guest, Michael Stelzner. He’s someone I’m blessed to call a friend and a mentor. And he needs no introduction, but I’m going to give him one anyway. He’s the founder of Social Media Examiner, which is the resource for social media marketers to stay up on industry changes. He’s also the host of the social media marketing podcast, to which I’m a subscriber and have never missed a single episode. It’s got over 400 episodes, and I’ve even been a guest twice. He also hosts Social Media Marketing World. The mega conference for social media marketers in San Diego every year. And as a side note, this is one of my favorite conferences to attend and speak at because it’s the first and only conference with a dedicated LinkedIn track. Finally, some love for LinkedIn. He’s a mentor to many of the biggest names and social media and constantly has his finger on the pulse of all things social, which is why I’m so excited to be talking to him today about the industry report he recently published and how LinkedIn fits into the entire social media ecosystem, plus an exclusive announcement at the end. So stick around just a short news segment today. Just a reminder, I’m going to be doing the first of many q&a episodes here coming up in the next few weeks. So get your questions into Podcast@B2Linked.com and I’ll make sure to feature your question. Okay, without further ado, let’s hit it.
Hey, Michael. So great. You could come and join us here on the LinkedIn Ads Show.
Thanks so much for making the time.
AJ it’s absolutely a pleasure to join you today.
Well, I am in storied company here. I feel like you are the father of the whole social media industry. So I’m just quite honestly very flattered you’ve considered to come on the show. I call you a friend. And I’m really excited for the stuff that you’re going to share with us today.
Well, it’s been great to work with you and become your friend over the years. And I’m really really honored that you also calling me the father because I’m definitely not the father. Probably this one of the jokers, but happy to bring whatever wisdom I can to your audience for sure.
When the jokers bring the wisdom, it’s a good castle.
I guess first of all, how are things been going for you during the whole COVID situation? I mean, tell us personally how things are.
Yeah, well, as you know, you got a chance to come out here and film inside of our studio during COVID. And it was pretty quiet here in the building. Most of our staff are working from home. Things are uncertain like we for sure don’t know for example, if we’re gonna have a physical conference because as of this recording, California is kind of not looking so good with COVID, which we won’t know for a while and that’s kind of unnerving to not know about your future. But you know, I’m a believer that whenever you are dealt a deck that you don’t expect that there’s opportunity in there somewhere. And I believe in innovating your way out of struggle. So we have just used this as an opportunity to be super innovative. You know, that phrase, the mother of invention is necessity, right? So like when you need to do something is when you do stuff that you never thought you could do. And that’s what’s exciting for me is, I believe, incredible opportunities coming as a result of this, and we’re just kind of figuring our way out, but we’re not pessimistic. We’re very optimistic about the future. And we’re just excited to see what tomorrow holds for sure.
Well, and like I mentioned in the intro, you are the creator of the mega conference for social media. This is Social Media Marketing World and I counted a huge blessing personally, that you were able to put on the 2020 show, basically right before all of the COVID shut down happen. So I’m amazed that that was the one show I got to go to.
Yeah, that was crazy because I think everybody became aware it was March 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, right? So literally the very first American who died of COVID was up in Seattle on like, the second day of the event. And all of a sudden, everybody’s like, Whoa, what’s happening here? And then, slowly but surely, people began to realize this might be the last big conference that I’m gonna be at for a long time. And indeed, that happened. So yeah, we were really blessed to kind of be there during that experience. And, and it was just a surreal, really neat opportunity that was granted to us and hopefully, we’ll be able to do it again in the future. We’ll see.
And anyone who has not yet been able to attend Social Media Marketing World, I will tell you, I speak at probably 15 to 20 events every year. And that is by far my favorite. Like if I knew a pandemic was coming and I could choose one show to speak at before everything shut down for five months, that would have been the one. So thanks for making that happen.
Thank you, AJ.
So I know you just I’ll say recently, but this was in May, you came out with this massive report that you do across all social media every single year. So it’s the 2020, social media marketing industry report from Social Media Examiner. First of all, how long have you been doing the report? And why do you do it?
Well, thank you for mentioning that. Yeah, first one came out in 2009. So this is I think, the 12th annual report, if I’m not mistaken. So we’ve been doing it non stop every year for 12 years. And it’s been really fun for me to survey thousands and thousands of marketers, I think we surveyed this year over 5000, marketers all over the world, in B2B and B2C. And it’s just been really exciting to kind of see how they’re changing where their trends are. And we look at everything from use of video, to use of social platforms, to future use of social platforms, to objectives and benefits of social media and a million other things and we give it all away for free in about a 50 page report. We use it internally to help direct our editorial direction and of course, decide what topics to talk about on the podcast and what kind of things to have at our conference. But you know, a lot of people in the world use it to also do some of the same things like we’ve already had 25,000 downloads on that thing. You know, we’re recording this just a couple of months after it came out.
And for listeners who want to go and look at this report while we’re discussing it, yes. Can you tell us where can we find it?
Perfect. All right, make sure you go get your copy. We’re going to be talking about specific points in here that you’ll probably be interested in.
Yeah. And it’s free.
Yeah, exactly. And oh, boy, I’m so glad that it helps dictate your editorial direction that you guys can use it. Because I know it’s valuable for us, we get to take a temperature of, you know, how do people feel about LinkedIn specifically?
Did you have any really big bombshell realizations from the data this year? I mean, was there anything that just punched you in the face?
Everything just kind of at a macro level, changed a little bit like across all social platforms, a lot of the benefits went down across the board, which is one of the things that I kind of thought was interesting, but still, you know, and the benefits of social media that we asked about every year are things like generating leads, generating sales, all that kind of stuff. And still, for the most part, more than 50% of marketers said, actually, more than 59% of marketers said, it improve sales, developed loyal fans, generated leads increased traffic, and increased exposure. So it’s still like the top benefits are there. But the benefits that started shrinking are, for example, providing marketplace intelligence, growing business partnerships. I think this has to be a bigger part of what social media was back in the day. Because back in the day, there weren’t as many social platforms like Twitter was it and Facebook and you could tweet somebody and all of a sudden they’d be open to talking to you, you know, those are, those are kind of different days, right?
Oh, yeah. Love Twitter.
Yeah. So everything went down a little bit as far as the percentages but I wouldn’t say anything, like struck me as absolutely shocking. Not at all.
That’s really interesting. And do you feel like the COVID situation influenced any of this? Do you know how much of the data collection happened during quarantine? No, this was all collected pre-COVID. But I will tell you, we did another content study in July, just for internal purposes. And we we asked some of the same questions and not all the questions, but a lot of the things have held the interest in the platform’s hasn’t changed the order of the rankings, all that kind of stuff. So if anything, I think COVID has increased. For example, we just recently had Mark Zuckerberg report on his earnings call literally just yesterday. And I think if I’m not mistaken, the use of Facebook has gone up by 11%. Meaning the amount of time people are spending on the platforms. So I think what COVID has done for the social media platforms is increased usage and activity, because people are stuck at home and they want to socialize and where else to do it but on the social platforms, right? So COVID has turned out to help the platforms. I don’t think it’s hurt them at all.
Yeah, I’ve seen the same thing with LinkedIn. We’ve seen our impressions, our engagement go up across nearly all of our clients. So I feel like Facebook jumped 11%. LinkedIn probably did too.
And speaking editorially, we’ve seen jumps across our editorial channels as well. So I think the interest in learning how to use social platforms has increased as well. Because the old traditional ways of doing speaking and local events and all that stuff are obviously not able to happen. So those naysayers who have been eh, social media is just for them young kids right? Now they’re all of a sudden, oh, maybe I better learn this stuff.
Which is a good thing, because it’s a very powerful side of our digital marketing tool set.
You mentioned that you surveyed both B2C and B2B right. The first chart I want to ask you about is if you’re following along page 14, where it’s talking about platform use for B2C marketers. And of course, I’m not surprised at all to see that Facebook’s at 96%. 96% of B2C marketers are using it, but I actually was pretty surprised to see LinkedIn at 50%. So I guess my question to you if you have the insight, yhy do you think B2C marketers are showing interest in LinkedIn? What kind of draw does it have for them?
Well, first of all, it’s a really fascinating question. So just to give you some quick data for everyone who’s listening, Facebook is used by 91% of B2B marketers, followed by LinkedIn at 81%. And 50% of B2C use LinkedIn, but only 4% of them say it’s their most important platform. Facebook is used by 91% of B2C marketers, okay, that shouldn’t surprise you, right? But a big chunk of them use LinkedIn also, okay. Now, when it comes to B2B 46% of B2B marketers say that Facebook is their most important platform. Okay, followed by LinkedIn. So almost half of b2b marketers, say if they could only choose one platform, they choose Facebook. And then 33% choose LinkedIn. So this was a choose one right? Here’s all the platforms 46% said Facebook. And then 33% said LinkedIn of B2B marketers. Right? So that’s the question, right? Why so much interest in Facebook? Right? And I think that it’s part of a bigger dialogue, which is, Facebook is used by everybody. Okay. So if we think about this for a second, Facebook is the platform that the world is on. And there’s billions on Facebook and there’s hundreds of millions on LinkedIn. We know this to be true, right? People use Facebook, for personal and for business, right. And people use LinkedIn, probably mostly just for business. So because they already are B2B, and their friends are on Facebook. They go to groups on Facebook, it’s part of their natural living. It’s almost like email for them, right? So the Facebook ecosystem is so huge and so ubiquitous that the whole world uses it regardless of whether that business they work for targets B2B targets B2C. I know your next question is like, well, why? From the business side of things, first of all the ad costs are really affordable, as you know, on Facebook. Secondly, they can do super creative targeting on Facebook that you cannot do on LinkedIn, which I know you know is true. Third, live video is available for everyone on Facebook. You don’t have to wait. You don’t have to get selected. There’s nothing signed no signups or anything right. And fourth, facebook groups are way better than LinkedIn groups. Okay, there was a time where LinkedIn has dominated. But now it’s Facebook groups, right? So from a utilitarian perspective, these B2B marketers, they have groups of customers that are on Facebook. They’re using live video on Facebook, because it’s the only place that they can use live video because they’re not been selected yet on LinkedIn. They’re using it to acquire customers because they know that their customers are also on Facebook, right? So it’s not that they don’t find value in it. It’s just that they use it. Now. This Is the distinction. You know, from the B2C side of it. If we flip the coin, the B2C side, they don’t really put a lot of value in LinkedIn, only 40% of them say it’s their most important platform. 50% say Facebook. And that makes a lot of sense that they would choose Facebook as their overwhelming platform. So I think what’s going on here is it’s just Facebook is the innovator. LinkedIn has never really been the innovator. LinkedIn has been like the ketchup boy, for lack of better words, right? Yep. About four years behind. Yeah. So I think it’d be not smart for B2B marketers to ignore Facebook. And I would I would think you would agree as well, you know what I mean? Oh, yeah. It doesn’t mean LinkedIn isn’t powerful. It just means that LinkedIn is different, right? So I think LinkedIn for a lot of B2B marketers is an important part of their arsenal of marketing tools. But it’s not their only thing that they do. That’s my thinking. I don’t know. What’s your thoughts on that?
Yeah, I totally agree. I get asked all the time. When I’m pitching LinkedIn to a potential customer. They’ll say something like, Oh, we don’t think are customers on Facebook. And I usually stop them and say, well, they are. Everyone is on Facebook, the challenge is we just can’t reach them well enough with targeting by who they are professionally for it to make economic sense, you know, because LinkedIn cost per click is so high, it basically means that if you don’t have a large deal size on the back end, LinkedIn is priced themselves out of the market for you. So anyone with a lifetime value of under about 10k, I tell them go Facebook and Google all day long. But if you have over that, and precision in your targeting, make sense, then yeah, you go to LinkedIn.
Well, and here’s some more interesting data of the B2B marketers that we surveyed, which I think was about 40% of our survey audience, which is, you know, makes sense, because B2C is very much all over social more than B2B is 73% of those B2B marketers said they wanted to do more with LinkedIn The next year. So it’s not like LinkedIn isn’t important to them. They just haven’t yet done as much as they want to do they want to figure it out more. I know that a lot of them are hopeful they’re going to get live, right? Live video. I know a lot of them are like, trying to figure out how in the world, they could possibly make ads work for them. Right? And I’m sure a lot of them are interested in publishing content on LinkedIn, right? Because it’s one of the few platforms that actually does give you really incredible reach. Where Facebook represses your reach, LinkedIn allows that reach to just explode because as you know, every time someone likes or comments on your editorial content, or your post or whatever, their friends see it right. That is so cool. Let’s hope LinkedIn doesn’t take that away. Right? And let’s also be intellectually honest, LinkedIn feels so much more like what Facebook used to feel like that it’s actually become a destination. Where I think for a lot of marketers, it became a place they just checked in and they left. I think it’s now becoming a place that they go and they hang out. And I’m sensing that. Do you feel that as well?
Yeah. In fact, when Microsoft released their last quarterly earnings, they shared something that LinkedIn never shares, they actually shared how much time on platform grew over the last year. This was obviously during COVID. But they showed a 60% increase in time spent in the newsfeed over the previous year. And I don’t think that’s just COVID I think a lot of that is just it is it’s a destination. It’s a place where people come now to hang out and interact, where it used to be come back every six months to update your resume. Well, you know, and it’s funny because we forget sometimes who owns these platforms, right? We forget that Facebook owns Instagram. And we forget that Microsoft owns LinkedIn. But really fascinating news that I just read earlier today, Microsoft is thinking about purchasing the US based TikToK. And that just came out with the news today. So can you imagine if Microsoft was able to somehow make that work where they owned TikTok and LinkedIn. I mean, holy cow. And it doesn’t seem to make sense at first blush, right? Why would they do that, but this is a way that they can capture a younger marketplace. Think about the incredible opportunity to bring people up into the Microsoft family of products, right? They’ve got plenty of cash, you know what I mean? And all of a sudden, it’s like, wow, this could be bringing in some really interesting, innovative technology, if they were able to acquire this from TikTok into the LinkedIn ecosystem.
Yeah, when I heard LinkedIn was being bid on by potential buyers, before Microsoft made the announcement. I just went, oh, please, please, please have it be either Google, Facebook, or Salesforce. Any of those companies could make amazing use of LinkedIn data. And then it was Microsoft. And I kind of went, ah, darn. I mean, there’s some value there, but not nearly as much. Google marketers forever have been just saying they are giving us amazing tools for B2C. We’ve got nothing for B2B. Facebook, the big challenge is yeah, people use it for B2B, but they can’t get people to reliably give them their business info. So those combined, that’d be great. But we got Microsoft, we’ll make the best.
And you know, fascinatingly enough, they do have a pretty, pretty big consumer division with Xbox, right? So imagine if they had Xbox and TikTok, right? And then all of a sudden, you begin to see the connections there, right? And all of a sudden, maybe they take their gaming system, and who knows, maybe they acquire a live video company. I mean, you could just kind of see a whole consumer division of this thing, kind of fascinating diversion. But I’ll let you take back control.
Yeah. And now a younger audience who are being introduced to LinkedIn with a consumer research company. I did a survey of high schoolers and college students on basically how do they use LinkedIn. And I’ll be doing a podcast on this in the future. But what we found is high school students don’t even know what LinkedIn is, college students go, I’ll look at it when I get a job. I mean, if you can imagine something like tying in livestreaming gaming with Xbox, TikTok, I think LinkedIn would actually really benefit as those people get into high school and college and start to build a profile.
It’ll be interesting. We’ll have to watch how that goes.
Love it. Anyone following along to the report here on page 23. It’s about future LinkedIn plans. And it says more than half of marketers, 55%, plan on increasing their LinkedIn organic activities over the next 12 months. And while 55% is pretty high, I’m seeing that it’s only a 3% increase from 2019. I mean, do you have any comment on that?
Well, if you think about how we do the survey, we say, you know, do you plan on doing more or less or the same or you know, something along those lines, right with all the platforms. And when they say that they want to do more, it’s a bit subjective about what those organic activities might be. So in their mind, they might be thinking live video, they might be thinking more posts. So it’s a bit subjective, but it’s good because the good news is more than half right, 55% want to do more with LinkedIn in an organic way. So what that tells me is that there’s interest in continuing to innovate, improve, increase activities, it doesn’t mean they’re just going to post more, it just means that they’re going to try to do more, whatever that means to them. Right. And I think that’s good news. Because if it was less than half, then that would be probably a negative indicator that would show that they’re not so excited about it anymore. So the fact that it went up a little bit is actually not bad at all.
Okay, that’s great insights. On page 29. We see that b2b marketers are far more interested in learning about LinkedIn. That is 72% of b2b versus 52% of b2c. I think this reasons I think it makes sense.
I’m with you, 100%. But I think it’s interesting that 52% of B2C want to learn more about LinkedIn. That’s the fascinating thing here, right. And maybe we should just talk for a little bit about that because I don’t think we really did go into that right. Why would B2C people even be interested in LinkedIn. You willing to talk about that for a little bit?
Oh, hundred percent. Yeah, that was actually one of my questions. I’m curious, like, what is the draw for them?
Well, I think that we’re starting to see it become almost an influencer site like Instagram. And I think we’re specifically seeing this a lot with the female influencers on LinkedIn, like, especially in the in the business world. I think we’re starting to see a lot of people use it as a blog platform where they can just post short form videos. I think we’re also starting to see people just post what they’re doing in their life, right. And it’s almost become like a little blog, for lack of better words, right? Like, this is what I’m doing. This is what I’m struggling with. This is my story, right? Yeah. And it’s not surprising, because anywhere you have the opportunity to write a story. And people follow you. You have an opportunity to build a following because I’ve been around long enough and you’ve been around long enough that this is how blogging started. Right? Yeah. In the beginning, it was people telling stories, right? It was stories of their life, right? Now this has moved on to social platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. So if people are going on there, and they’re in the B2C world, like fashion or home goods or whatever, and they want to establish themselves in a predominantly male dominated platform, let’s be honest, right? If they can go on there as a female, and they can do something that stands out from everybody else who’s doing pure business related content, all of a sudden they have an opportunity because there’s not as much competition. Right. And we’re seeing this with a lot of people. Like we see this with some people go on there and talk about politics, which is definitely B2C, some people go on there, and they talk about whatever they’re an expert in. So they’re using it to draw an audience to them for a consumer facing kind of thing, but they’re using it in a way that is, I don’t know how else to say this. Technically, it makes sense. But culturally, it seems a little off right? Because so much of the platform has been linked to my blog posts about business related topics, right? Discussions around business related topics. But the moment people talk, start talking about personal stuff on there all of a sudden, hey, these are just humans talking to humans and that stuff works. Have you noticed that this is starting to become a trend? And some people are getting traction with this?
Yeah, absolutely. I’ve actually gone through the same thought process myself. If I have to go to one platform and share something, when I share on LinkedIn, it gets 20, 30, 50,000 views. If I go and share on Twitter, I haven’t checked my analytics recently. But I would imagine I get less than, I don’t know, 200 views on a tweet. And so I don’t even think about the culture of what are these networks I’m posting on, I think of I have limited time, where is my audience, and I’m probably going to take it to LinkedIn where I have a bit bigger of a megaphone.
Yeah. And I think that the truth is that if we think about the historical pre-conception of what LinkedIn has been, which is it’s a job place, right, to get a job. So when you’re going on there, to get a job. You’re going on there for B2C jobs just as much as you’re going on there for B2B jobs. Right. So therefore, there are people that are interested in B2C industries that are in there participating. And it kind of logically makes sense. If they don’t really care about the business to business topics that maybe you and I care about. And they happen to go on there thinking it’s for one thing and realize it’s for something else. They might come back, right?
Yeah. In fact, we find several niches inside of b2c that make a ton of sense on LinkedIn. The first is what you’ve already mentioned, recruiting like hiring, recruiting, anything like that, technically a B2C offer, but you reach someone by who they are professionally, so it makes sense in the B2B context. Also, higher education, like recruiting for MBA programs, for instance, is big. We’ve also found financial services and even some kinds of travel tend to do really well on LinkedIn Ads. So I’m looking at that going okay, 95% of our clients are B2B, but we Have some B2C that makes sense. So I guess if they make up a small part of the interest we’re seeing.
Yeah, absolutely. So I think that anybody listening to this who is B2C? And is all in on all the other platforms and maybe not all in on LinkedIn or maybe they feel like they can’t talk about certain things on LinkedIn, I would just say experiment, right? What do you get the list? Let’s see if I can get some traction.
Yeah, I would tell people try to avoid politics and religion, if you can. Try to avoid pictures of you on the beach, you know, holding your drink of choice. But outside of that, LinkedIn sharing is very Facebook. And, you know, people just sharing here’s what I ate for breakfast. I’ve seen that do well. So I think that’s good advice.
Yeah. But if you show a picture of you on a beach drinking and you’re in the business of trying to get consumers to go to the beach, and drink, then go for it, right?
Yeah, then that makes plenty of sense.
I’ve also found that if you share something that’s personal, but you just bend it towards business. I’ve seen our mutual friend Dennis Yu does this quite a bit. He’ll show Something’s just personal about his life. And then he’ll relate it to how it taught him something about how to run his business BlitzMetrics. Yeah. So I think even if you’re just sharing what you had for breakfast, steer it in the direction of what you’re doing professionally and chances are people aren’t gonna beat you up over it.
All right,let’s talk about video platforms, page 36 talks about the video platforms that marketers want to learn more about. And I think my first question for you here is, what is the draw in social media video? And then who’s using it? And how is it most used effectively?
Well, first of all, video is absolutely huge. Let me address this from a couple different angles. Let’s start with LinkedIn in particular, and then I’ll go to the the bigger draw. I think that there’s a big opportunity for video on LinkedIn. First of all, you’ve got live video, if you can get it. It’s amazing for creating engagement. But even uploaded video is also something that you know, as long as you keep it short, right, it’s something could be very powerful. But I think the opportunity for LinkedIn is if they ever come out with a stories based thing on LinkedIn, it would be huge. Just like Facebook, and Instagram, and Snapchat, and TikTok all have stories. If there’s a way that LinkedIn could roll something like that out, I think it would be absolutely huge because what it would allow is part of this bigger trend, which is authentic raw Day in the Life, here’s the experience that I’m having. Or here’s the event that I’m at, or here’s how the sausage is made inside the factory, you get where I’m going with this right? Or here’s what it’s like to work at this business. The fact that it can be just done from a phone instantly in seconds and doesn’t need to be perfect is blowing up on all the other platforms. It’s huge. So if LinkedIn ever does and I I’m almost willing to bet money, they’re they’re considering it behind closed doors, you know, I’m sure they’re probably like, when are we going to come out with stories? When are we going to come out with stories, but if they do that it would be absolutely huge. Now to the bigger question is what is it about video in general on all the platforms for the most part, but especially Instagram and Facebook, it’s a huge opportunity to develop empathy and connection with an audience. Because when they can get to know you, and begin to like you and trust you, that kind of reduces that barrier of wanting to do business with you, right? And I think that the key thing is that most video consumption on the other platforms is like 15 seconds or less, right? So that’s where the story stuff like this is where the story is, is blowing up on every platform because it’s short, highly consumable, and it tends to be linear and it’s kind of a story environment where each one builds on top of the other and it’s super easy to consume. I think that that is really, really big. And I think that LinkedIn for sure saw the value of video with the uploaded video right? And I’m sure you use it and a lot of other people use it. Live video is starting to become really popular. But I do think that video is the future. If we step back and ask why is video the future. Let’s think of this in light of this pandemic, have you been watching more or less netflix….? Since the pandemic happened?
Yeah, me personally, it’s been about the same, but I know a lot of people…
How about the rest of your family?
Yeah, they’re spending definitely more time in front of the TV. Yeah.
Yeah. So you think about this, right? You’ve got all these streaming platforms that are coming out with amazing quality content, right? And it’s next to nothing, right? Or it’s free in the case of Amazon or, or if you happen to like, you know, have an AT&T internet connection you can get HBO max for free. I mean, or Disney+ is next to nothing, right, it’s so cheap. So what you have is you have this incredible high quality content that the world is watching on their television, their smart TVs, on their phones, everywhere, right? So the world has become consumers. The whole world has become like expecting that I don’t have to go to the movies anymore. I can get better quality shows with the click of a button and I can binge watch them and be highly entertained, right? So when we think about that, and we transition over to YouTube, which is the business opportunity, I think for so many of us, is YouTube. And I talked about this at my keynote at Social Media Marketing World, there’s this mass consumption of video on YouTube as well. And I think all the social platforms know that the consumers are expecting to be able to find high quality content that’s educational, or entertainment that they can just watch, right? Short form stuff tends to be entertaining, longer form stuff tends to be, you know, in the case of our world, educational, especially with LinkedIn, generally providing value. And I think that the whole world has just gotten to the point where that’s how they prefer to consume content, by watching. And that means they’re reading less. And, you know, there’s a lot of statistics showing people just aren’t reading as much as they used to. Audio is also down a little bit now because of COVID because people aren’t commuting as much as they used to so they’re not listening to podcasts as much as they used to, but video has completely exploded. My guess is if we looked at the data consumption of video, it’s probably quadrupled. Why do you think everybody’s talking about zoom? So it’s gone through the roof. So it’s a mega trend now. So the opportunity, I think, for us is figuring out how to tap into it. And there are some of our friends doing it really well on LinkedIn.
Oh, yeah, plenty of them. I love what you said about just how easy it is to build that know, like, and trust factor over video. I tell people all the time. I mean, if you’re trying to think of an offer that you can give through LinkedIn, it try to make it a webinar if you can, because two minutes of you talking to camera will build more know, like, and trust factor than reading five of your white papers. So I definitely agree with that.
Michaela Alexis is someone who I think has been doing a really good job. She’s one of your contemporaries. What I love about what she’s doing is she’s she’s using it for storytelling. And this is something all marketers need to think about. Like storytelling is not just a consumer thing. It’s a B2B thing, right? So what makela does really well, she’ll take something that happened in her life. And then she’ll so a story around it right? And she’ll get people to watch it, or consume it. And then she’ll get a chance to talk about what she wants to talk about. And I think this is a lesson so many of us as marketers could take and use in video on LinkedIn, which is how can we sell a story? How can we take something that happened in our life and make a connection to something we are offering to our client base? If we can do that, we can we can move mountains.
Shout out to Michaela. What’s up, Mick? Something else I wanted to mention, you brought up stories for LinkedIn? Message to my LinkedIn partner team, Iam not sharing this outside of NDA. This was outside of your channels. I actually had someone chat me this morning from the Netherlands, showing that story ads are rolling out in the Netherlands. I thought you might be interested.
So how can they have story ads if they don’t have stories?
They have stories they actually launched stories to higher ed first. So education has had it then they built the ad unit off of it.
Oh, perfect. Okay, so stories is coming, then that’s so awesome. Okay, LinkedIn, if you’re listening, this is the part that frustrates us, okay? You can’t just let certain people have these features forever. You need to roll them out to the world. I mean, come on. Learn from your brother, okay?
Well, that’s been so interesting watching video roll out because video was already huge on on Facebook, on Instagram, before it was even released on LinkedIn. So I think a lot of people got into the habit of sharing video and creating on other platforms, but they didn’t even think to bring it to LinkedIn. So you know, they’re a little bit late to the party, but I think that means that there’s a big opportunity for those who aren’t looking past it and overlooking. On page 37. about social media ads. This is one I was obviously paying close attention to. It says that B2C marketers are likely to use Facebook ads, 74% of B2C marketers, 45% of B2C marketers using Instagram ads. B2B marketers are using more LinkedIn Ads. This is up 23%. And so I guess I’m curious, why do you think and we may have already touched on this. But why do you think only 23% of B2B marketers are using LinkedIn Ads? And what does that opportunity look like for reaching the other 77%?
Yeah, well, I think that the challenge with LinkedIn Ads, as you know intimately well, is that they are a little bit too costly, and that they are not as targetable you know, as a lot of the other kind of thing. But if we think about this, it’s true that even on Facebook, the free users of all platforms is monster huge compared to the paid users, okay, so if we think about this, from a perspective, like take Facebook as the behemoth, there’s only like 6 million that actually use it for advertising. That’s it. Okay, out of the hundreds of millions of businesses are on there, it’s tiny little fragment. So while a lot more people say that they use Facebook ads than LinkedIn, it doesn’t mean they use Facebook ads every single day. It so my guess is what’s really going on here is you have most people using organic on both LinkedIn and Facebook. And those that do use ads are using it on Facebook only because they probably haven’t been able to figure out how to make it work on LinkedIn. That’s my thinking. Like, for example, we’re a B2B company, right? We help marketers working for other companies figure out how to take their, you know, goals to the next level. We have not successfully use B2B LinkedIn Ads, we just haven’t. For us for what we sell, we just haven’t been able to make it work. So we’re probably not unlike all the other B2B companies out there, right? They’re just a lot every B2B company is selling the really expensive products that have the huge profit margins and are willing to pay that high cost per acquisition. That’s my thinking.
Yeah, I think that’s really accurate. I mean, when you’re interviewing all these social media marketers, not all of them are advertisers. So seeing a figure that low, even if someone is B2B, they may be an organic marketer and so there’s no reason for them to use LinkedIn Ads, so it makes perfect sense.
Yeah, most people don’t use ads is probably the simplest answer.
And those who do are probably going to start on Facebook. This is kind of off the beaten track. This isn’t a question I told you. I was gonna ask. I was so shocked last year, when for those who don’t know, you had this show called The Journey that was on Facebook and on YouTube. And it was basically a documentary style of what it took to put on the mega conference, Social Media Marketing World. And I was watching every episode, I I loved it. But it was so interesting last year to hear you share on your podcast, anyone who’s not listening to the Social Media Marketing podcast, definitely do. You probably are, if you’re listening to this one, you’ve probably listened to Mike’s show, but you talked about how you just decided to drop the journey entirely from Facebook because the watch time wasn’t there. Can you give us a little bit of insight into it?
Our old adage was distributed everywhere. So the idea was that we would take the journey and we would call publish it on Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn, and YouTube natively. All okay? Now the only platforms that provide true metrics on video really well is Facebook and YouTube. LinkedIn doesn’t do a real good job with their retention metrics. So you don’t just know how many people viewed it, but you don’t know how long they’ve used it unless they’ve changed that, which I don’t think they have. They haven’t have they?
Nope. Through ads, you can see the stats, but organically, you can’t see 75% or completions.
Yeah. So the challenge is, what is the view? And this is an important thing for marketers to wrap their mind around, right? A view is not a view, by the metrics we think of as a view. Facebook calls a view three seconds or longer. YouTube is 30 seconds or longer. Twitter. Nobody knows. LinkedIn, nobody knows.
LinkedIn is two seconds.
It’s two seconds?
Okay, so think about that. And you think about the feed experience on all these platforms. They’re all pretty much the same. It’s all a feed, right? You scroll through it. Generally it’s muted. It’s playing. So first of all, it’s very easy to scroll through a feed and see a video play for two or three seconds and have it counted as a view. But you and I both know that they’re not really intending to view it. So you could falsely see these big numbers and say, wow, look at all the people watching my videos on LinkedIn, and Facebook and Twitter and wherever. But thank goodness, YouTube, and Facebook show you this thing called the retention graph, which means they show you how long they stick around for and they show you the drop offs. So when you actually get to that level of data, you begin to realize that Facebook looks like going off the edge of a cliff after the first few seconds. Okay. YouTube looks like a gradual downhill slide. Not even more of a hill, more of like a, sometimes it’s barely declining and staying flat on YouTube. So then you begin to ask yourself, why is that? Oh, it’s the behavior of the platform’s. So people go to LinkedIn and to Facebook and to Twitter to discover whatever is going on. There’s no intent to go there and watch a video generally speaking, but they go to YouTube to do only one thing, which is to watch video, okay? So as a result, it made a lot of sense for us to just say, we’re not going to publish the journey on all these platforms anymore. We’re going to publish on one platform. And we’re going to link to it from these other platforms. So today, we don’t have the journey anymore. And instead, we produce three original, two original videos, which AJ has got a bunch of stuff on our YouTube channel, you definitely want to check it out. Look up Social Media Examiner on YouTube, and we take those videos and cross link those. We cross link to videos from LinkedIn and from Facebook directly to YouTube. The goal is to promote to the channel known as YouTube for us, because that’s where people go to watch. And it’s been fascinating for me to look at the data to see that some people are watching on smart TVs. Some people are watching on smart devices, some people are watching on desktops. And the goal for us has become we want to grow that channel because that’s the place where everybody goes to watch video. And we want to tap into that mega trend I talked about earlier of people consuming video, right? What’s great about YouTube is it’s kind of like TicTok. They go to watch one video and then the algorithm intelligently introduces a bunch of other videos to you. Those videos could be your videos, right? And people stay and they watch a lot of videos and they have a high session duration. So it’s been a really fun ride for me to go all in on YouTube and just see how everything has been growing. It’s a really, really well tuned platform for video. So that’s why we do not publish uploaded native video anywhere at all, except YouTube. We just cross promote to it, which is crazy, but I’m telling you, that’s where everybody goes for that. And there’s platforms for different kinds of things. And definitely video consumption is all on YouTube. I think that’s the reason why LinkedIn hasn’t revealed the data because they don’t want to be embarrassed by how few people actually stick around inside their videos. They just don’t want the world to know.
Exactly.Yep. It’s just not good on any social site, because that’s not why people are going, they’re not going to be specifically entertained.
Well, the only video that’s good is the short stuff, right? So that’s why ads inside of stories are becoming popular. Because somebody can stick around for 10 or 15 seconds. But because that’s kind of the normal attention span, if you will, where they want quick, high volume, short duration kind of videos. So that’s why I’m sure stories will come to LinkedIn for every lessons.
And anyone who sees a really good LinkedIn story ad for b2b please forward it to me I’m, I’m dying to see how we can use story as effectively. In my mind, I think it’s a very B2C kind of ad format, but we’ll see. I want to I want to be surprised. Alright, so Mike, if you were a brand new B2B company, and you don’t have the same brand power because I don’t know how many followers you have on every every channel, but you are world famous. If you lost that brand power and had to start a brand new company with a with a new name, how would you approach it from all social media channels?
Where would I start?
Yeah, maybe specifically, what would you do on Facebook? What would you do on LinkedIn?
Okay, so first of all, I would definitely start a Facebook group. If I was starting all over from scratch, because it’s all about community. Remember, social is about people and community, right? And Facebook groups is probably the best of what Facebook offers. And the good news about that is I would go in there and start a group and it would be focused on whatever my niche is and I would try to cultivate relationships inside of those groups. Knowing of course, it’s not my platform, it’s rented land, but it’s okay. Facebook has made it very clear they’re all about those meaningful engagements. And you can develop those relationships, which everybody in the B2B world knows is so critical. So I’d start with a Facebook group. And I would also consider using ads too, because if I had the money ads can be a huge accelerant on Facebook because it can be very economical. And whether you’re a local B2B business trying to get Local stuff or whether you’re big national brand, I would be all in there. So that’s where I would start. And then as far as LinkedIn, I would probably say, do whatever AJ says, I’m gonna turn it right over to you. What would you say? Becauses honestly, I don’t even know.
Well, honestly I mean the organic reach is so good on LinkedIn for personal profiles, not as good as companies. So I think the first thing I would do is go build your profile, spend some time on it, start connecting with the right people, and then start sharing because it’s really easy to stand out. Once you become an influencer, once you have a lot of followers who care about you. It’s not a hard jump to get you interested in understanding in what their company is doing. But I would start focusing heavily on the profile. Okay. And I know we’re running low on time, I got to get you to your next meeting. I put a question out to all of my LinkedIn followers and just said, Hey, I’m going to have Michael Stelzner on the podcast, what questions would you have for him, and I had about 15 people responding and give me questions. We only have time for one so I’m gonna highlight Charles Lightfoot III, who asked a really good question. He said, “After seeing where marketers are planning on increasing spend and which platforms they are digging into deeper, I’d be interested in hearing, what are his predictions on lasting shifts in consumer behavior on social post pandemic?” So, in essence, how does the pandemic change what social marketers are going to be doing in the future?
Okay, first and foremost, you got to get video figured out. Okay, that’s the theme that shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody based on this conversation. You’ve got to figure it out. And I would say, if you’re going to do the longer form video, I would go all in on YouTube. And I would figure out a way to make that a big opportunity for your business because YouTube is unlike all the other social platforms, it has a very long tail, meaning your video could all of a sudden months after it was published began to be suggested, as other people are watching video and it might come up just as the next video and all of a sudden it could really take off. And it’s ike a blog post in Google search. It’s that powerful, it’s crazy. So don’t forget about the fact that people go and they seek out content, B2B content on YouTube, I would go there for sure. I would also check out TikTok. Believe it or not, it’s blowing up. It’s not just for the young kids. And I do think that it is probably going to be the next big platform that everybody’s talking about. It’s heavily B2C right now. But there are people that are starting to experiment, you know, with it and trying to figure it out. TikTok is the opposite end, it’s the short form video, right? So if you can figure out how to create short, engaging video on the platform that people are going crazy over then TicTok. And then of course stories on Instagram as well. So I would just say like, get the stories thing figured out. Figure out how you can make that shortm form video because it’s going to be the normal, it’s going to be the new normal. And then just remember, people are spending a lot more time, this is the other big trend, on social media, because they’ve got nowhere to go. They’ve got absolutely nothing to do, I wouldn’t be surprised if we could get this data, how many times people open up the social platforms on their phone in one day, all of them? My guess is it’s at least a dozen. So I think people are just so bored. And they’re so sick of being where they are that they’re going on to these platforms one at a time like this over and over again. That’s a big opportunity for businesses because that means that they’re gonna be there more than ever before. And as a result, that means your ads have greater opportunity to be seen, there might be more ad inventory. And there’s just a lot more opportunity as a result of all this going on right now.
Brilliant, Mike, that is amazing. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us. One thing I want to kind of point out here, I would assume the majority of our listeners are managing LinkedIn Ads, but are also responsible for Facebook. And so this is probably going to be really interesting to our listeners. This podcast is going to be released on August 11. And you have a Facebook Summit happening from August 10 to the 14th. So if you’re listening to this podcast around the time of releases, you’ve got to go check this one out. Mike, can you tell us about the Summit? What are they learning? What are they getting out of it?
Yeah, we brought together 12 of the world’s top Facebook marketing experts to teach you Facebook Ads. So I’m sure a lot of you are using that to teach you Facebook Live, you know, and Facebook Live is, like I said, available to everyone to teach you Facebook groups, Facebook organic marketing. So if you want to really learn a lot more about that, which I know you do because you guys have told me you do based on the stats. This is a great opportunity to get it live to live online event, socialmediaexaminer.com/FBsummit. And for those of you that are also interested, we’ve got a YouTube summit that’s going to be releasing. You heard it here first. I haven’t told the rest of the world, but in a couple of weeks after this, we’re going to have the very similar kind of thing all on YouTube. And it’s going to be focused on YouTube Ads, YouTube video creation, and YouTube’s algorithm and all that stuff. That’ll also be 12 of the world’s top experts on YouTube. So we’ve found that these online summits have been really very well received, and they’re a very economical way. So to find that one, you’ll just want to go to socialmediaexaminer.com depending on when you hear this, and you’ll be able to find that as well. And I have not told anybody about that. So you’re getting like a big exclusive here. Think of these events as like a series of live trainings that are also recorded. But they’re all highly instructional. They’re all pretty much some of the best speakers that you would see at Social Media Marketing World. And I think one of the unique things that I’ve got going for me as I develop a deep relationship with a big bench of experts, as AJ can attest, and these are not just anybody, these are truly the best in the world.
And is there a cost associated with the summit?
Yeah, the price is depends on when you buy. There anywhere from $247 to $497. So it depends when you get in. So if you’re checking out the Facebook marketing summit, as of this dropping, it’ll probably be about $500. The YouTube marketing summit, if you get in early, it would be about $250. So a couple hundred bucks, investment might end up saving you a lot of pain and suffering as you learn from these experts who have been doing this for a long, long time,
Worth every penny. Absolutely! Michael Stelzner, thank you so much for joining us on the LinkedIn Ads show. It’s been a pleasure and looking forward to the next time we get to chat.
My pleasure. Thanks for having me, AJ,
I’ve got the episode resources for you coming up. So stick around.
Thank you for listening to the LinkedIn Ads show. Hungry for more? AJ Wilcox, take it away.
I hope you enjoyed my chat with Michael Stelzner. As promised, here are the resources from this episode that we talked about. The first is the 2020 Social Media Marketing industry report. You can get on socialmediaexaminer.com/report2020. There’s also the Social Media Examiner Facebook summit that is going on right now at the time of release. So check that out socialmediaexaminer.com/FBsummit for Facebook summit. And I mentioned Michael’s podcast, the Social Media Marketing Podcast. There’s a link in the show notes there. So go check that out. If you’re not already subscribed, it is the top Social Media Marketing podcast, and you should definitely be paying attention to it. If you are new to LinkedIn Ads or are training an employee on it, I would highly recommend checking out the course that I did with LinkedIn on LinkedIn Learning. It’s all about LinkedIn Ads and covers the basics of everything you’d want to know about LinkedIn Ads. And the price is right, it’s only $25 or it’s even free if you have a premium subscription to LinkedIn. Look down at your podcast player right now and make sure you hit that subscribe button if you aren’t already. And please do rate and review. If you leave a review I would love to shout you out here on air. So definitely let me know what you think. As always reach out to us at Podcast@B2Linked.com with any suggestions for future content or questions you’ve got, and with that being said, I’ll see you back here next week cheering you on in your LinkedIn ads initiatives.