Hello all! Enjoying the weekend? It’s been another great week in the realms of digital marketing. Updates from Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn shall have to wet our whistles in the interim – so let’s get the round in…

LinkedIn Launches Sponsored InMail to All Marketers

For B2B marketers, LinkedIn is undoubtedly one of the most important networks. The platform has built itself around exclusively connecting professionals with one another – and that’s a powerful thing in B2B.

dmr_191116_960 InMail, Messages and Stories – Your Digital Marketing Weekly Roundup

And this week the platform has opened up its Sponsored InMail feature to all marketers with a LinkedIn Campaign Manager account, making it even easier to deliver the right messages to the right people.

From the LinkedIn blog:

“One of the biggest challenges B2B marketers face is delivering a relevant and engaging ad experience to the right person, at scale. That’s why today we’re excited to announce that Sponsored InMail is joining the growing suite of self-serve LinkedIn products available through LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager. With Sponsored InMail you can engage your target audiences in a personalized, direct and meaningful way.”

The update includes the ability to personalise your outreach messages to multiple prospects, a responsive design to ensure that your CTAs are optimised on all screen sizes (mobile included), and a function that helps your messages reach your targets when they are most engaged (i.e. when they’re active on LinkedIn).

Here’s the explainer video where the details are uncovered:

Good stuff.

Update Bundle for Facebook Messenger

Facebook are really pushing Messenger as a marketing channel, and, as such, we need to start considering this almost as a separate network through which to focus some renewed marketing efforts.

I emphasise “almost” as the tie-ins with Facebook proper are still strong – as some of the updates in this bundle illustrate.

For example, advertisers on Facebook now have the ability to reach people in their Facebook news feeds with ads, and then direct them to Messenger where a conversation can begin.

The Facebook for Developers blog highlights an example from Absolut Vodka, with a quote from the company’s VP of marketing Joao Rozario:

“Using News Feed ads to open conversations in Messenger allows Absolut to move beyond the call to action – it’s a call to conversation, which ultimately leads to a conversion. It’s a novel way to use Facebook ads to drive consumers from content to commerce. So far, our activation rate has exceeded execution benchmarks by 2x and we’re looking forward to continued increases in activations driven by News Feed ads over the key holiday period.”

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(Image source: developers.facebook.com)

Pretty groovy, right?

Further updates to Messenger include a “new list template” which provides a new formatting option for product displays within the app.

The blog explains it thusly:

“Now you have another way to build a structured information hierarchy into your messages. An alternate to our existing carousel configuration, this vertical template gives you flexibility around formatting: each row is tappable and a CTA can be added to the bottom of the template, or to each individual row. The template works well when you want to show people a collection of items in an ‘at-a-glance’ configuration so they understand their options in just one screen. More information here.”

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(Image source: developers.facebook.com)

Love it. Love these updates. If you’re in the B2C realm, Facebook Messenger is increasingly becoming one of your most useful channels – get onboard as quick as you can.

New Tools for Instagram Stories

The Snapchat-ish Instagram stories feature is only a new release, but already the network has been working to improve its functionality.

Two new tools have been announced – Boomerang and Mentions – as well the ability to now add links to your Stories.

Boomerang essentially allows for a stitching together of a burst of photos (kind of like stop-motion effect video), which will then be played forward and backwards. It’s kind of cool, but also a little naff at the same time (in my opinion). I’m sure that there are some creative photographers out there that could do something worthwhile with the function – though I’ve yet to find any examples yet (so please feel free to direct me towards some good ones).

Mentions essentially allows you to tag other Instagram users into your story. This is obviously great for social purposes, but as a marketing function the usage is less obvious. However, I do have a couple of suggestions. The first is to inspire some user-generated content – i.e. run some sort of competition that encourages your following to create an Instagram story that Mentions your brand. The other, of course, is to create some personalised stories yourself and Mention your most important followers… what a nice way to say thank you for engaging with your brand.

Finally, we can now all add “See More Links” to our Stories, which is handy way of directing users to related content after engaging with us in Instagram.

All in all, these updates represent some cool new toys to play with in Stories – nothing ground-breaking here, but welcome nonetheless.

That’s it! I’m now a couple of hours closer to that Spingo (as I am to tomorrow morning’s hangover, but we won’t mention that) – and so are you! See you all next time.