A seriously underused function that’s worth a second look…
In the quest to keep things fresh in 2013 (feels like 100 years ago!), LinkedIn added a feature they called ‘Showcase Pages’ but for some reason, feature never really caught on in a big way. Why? We have no idea because there’s really no downside to using them for business!
Let’s face it, LinkedIn became the ‘it’ network for B2B marketers sometime around 2010, yet I’m always amazed at the amount of functionality that people simply don’t know about.
If you haven’t heard of them (i.e. you’re like most people), showcase pages are separate pages that branch off of your company LinkedIn page, allowing you to promote a particular line or brand to a specific audience. They operate as a page within a page, so for example, if your business is software development but you want to have a specific branch for the creation of apps, you can funnel interested customers to the app showcase page, providing those readers with the content that they are interested in.
We all know that making content personal and targeted for the customer is a key part of digital marketing. Showcase pages give you another way to accomplish this with minimal effort.
The Good, The Bad And The Must Know
Analytics — Each showcase page is a page unto itself. In other words, you can get analytics about this particular page, not your business page as a whole, allowing you to drill down and focus attention on that particular market segment.
Still tied to the main page — Despite being ‘independent’, these showcase pages are still tied to your main business page, so your reader / customer doesn’t lose touch with the primary source. Showcase pages can accumulate their own followers, updates, and analytics but still be connected to the original business page.
Ads — You can advertise and buy and sponsored updates on showcase pages, something that is unavailable in LinkedIn group pages.
SEO — LinkedIn and Google are already friendly but you can up the ante by using keywords in your showcase page name as well as in the description area you are provided with. Showcase page names are unique so consider your brand and keywords carefully, particularly since they show up as a sidebar link on your business page. This applies to the posts you put up within the showcase page as well. The ability to link back to a specific product page on your website is also provided.
LinkedIn Showcase Page Downsides? (Are There Any?!)
Waiting for the other shoe to drop? Well, don’t worry, there is only one downside to showcase pages that we could identify: There is no opportunity for the customer to recommend the product / service being ‘showcased’. In the past, the product and services tab on the business page allowed for this.
On showcase pages, it’s gone. User generated sharing and recommendations are marketing gold — versus a company shouting from the rooftops about how AWESOME they are —but they’re gone so the best option is to focus on some user testimonials instead.
Your Showcase Page Best Practices
- Create pages that showcase (hence the name) things about your business that you want to stand out and that you would like to be able to analyze the market for:
- Specific customers or products / services – even an individualized ‘storefront’ for a specific line.
- Use cases or help and support.
- Testimonials from customers.
- Content can be anything you want in terms of format – original text content, video, curated content and so on. Make sure you leverage ORIGINAL content where possible (vs. repeating what’s already on your business page posts, website, blog, etc.) We’re all about recycling content but you have to do it in a way that benefits your reader / customer.
- Promote! Cross promotion of your showcase pages to other relevant platforms, inviting people to come and read the content posted there. Don’t forget to add follow buttons for these pages on your website so that customers / readers who are specifically interested in these products are properly directed.
Some ExamplesTo Make It Easy
Not surprisingly, some of the best showcase pages are done by the large software companies. Here are the top three, according to Demodia.com:
- CISCO — Data Center and Cloud showcase page
- HP — Software showcase page
- Microsoft — Office showcase page
What makes them the ‘best’? The content is useful, up to the minute and well tied with to the main brand. There is the look and feel of the main brand, creating that comfort and recognition for readers / customers, while still exhibiting unique information. In HP’s case, they provide very targeted content, including Q&A webinars and free trials – things that aren’t available elsewhere.
Are you using LinkedIn’s showcase pages? Let us know what you think!