What the latest LinkedIn algorithm and platform updates mean for B2B marketers and creators.

March 20, 2024 0 Comments

What the latest LinkedIn algorithm and platform updates mean for B2B marketers and creators.


Following an interview published on Entrepreneur.com on Monday with LinkedIn editor in chief Dan Roth and senior director of engineering, Tim Jurka, I wanted to summarise my thoughts for B2B marketers or creators using the platform for influencer marketing, thought leadership or content collaboration opportunities.


This is a quick rundown. If you haven’t read the Entrepreneur interview yet, you can here.


So what’s happening on LinkedIn? Check it below:


1. The ‘Timeliness’ of Content is changing:

Content lives and dies in newsfeeds quickly right now, and the platform is working to extend the lifespan of posts, aiming to keep them relevant and visible in users’ feeds long after their original publication — potentially even years later!

The impact: B2B brands should focus more on creator partnership quality over quantity – producing thought leadership-style content with people that they know really nail their key messages. It also means that brands will potentially receive more long-term value from partnerships. This is a good thing, but if the shelf life of posts are longer, this may also mean reporting windows should extend. Overall, the change supports our views at Custom Influence that the best partnerships are planned and evaluated over quarters or months, not weeks.


2. The Suggested Post Feature:

Related to the timeliness point above, it appears LI is taking more of a TikTok approach at surfacing content you find interesting given your industry or skill set, not just based on your pre-existing connections. I’ve personally seen the ‘suggested post’ feature show up in my feed recently.

The Impact: This is a fantastic feature for budding writers, subject matter experts and professionals who want to grow on the platform. They won’t have to rely on the social graph/connections alone for people to discover their content. For b2b brands, it also means they should have more confidence in partnering with niche, micro or nano influencers over mass influencers for partnerships. Follower count is not everything!


3. The ‘Reach’ Issue

The article addresses what we’ve been hearing from a lot of LinkedIn users lately – creators, social media managers and normal professionals, too: Reach seems to be down overall. LinkedIn says these changes reflect the algorithm being more selective on showing content to just the right people, at the right time. ‘Virality’ is not necessarily the primary goal for content.
The Impact: Brands and creators may want to adjust their benchmarks on post ‘reach rate.’ If running sponsored content/posts, take EXTRA time to find the right thought leaders and voices that speak to your audience. (This can be a big job – and one of the reasons our business exists.) Trust that although reach may be smaller, if your content lands in front of the right eyeballs, engagement rate and overall performance won’t be taking a hit. I feel like I’m going back to my programmatic advertising days here when I say this, but it’s all about RELEVANT reach in B2B. And that same practice applies in influencer marketing as well as paid media.


4. Thought Leadership Ads

LinkedIn shouts out their ‘thought leader’ ads in the article as a way for companies to boost other people’s posts to increase reach.
The Impact: To my knowledge thought leadership ads are only currently available to boost a company own employee’s posts. TBD on whether this feature will be extended to ‘creators’ or external thought leaders as well. Would be a nice to have, although there’s no reason why companies can’t already use thought leaders to create paid media ‘ads’ or creative content right now without Thought Leadership Ads. In fact, UGC (user-generated content) for organic or paid social is something we see growing in the B2B space big time this year. Plus you can re-purpose this type of content outside of LinkedIn — for Youtube or TikTok ads, for example.


5. Verified Badge

Verified users are now a thing on LinkedIn. Users can get verified through a number of methods.
The Impact: Posts from verified users won’t necessarily get more visibility, so no one get over-excited about this. Additionally there’s been a lot of debate I’ve seen about whether or not Top Voices also get more visibility. From our experience, Top Voices do not necessarily get more post reach/exposure. That said, I think over time, existing b2b influencers potentially may lose credibility and a Following if they aren’t verified in some way. Personally, I tried to verify a couple weeks ago and there was a problem with me doing this simply from being located in the UK. (Anyone else experience challenges getting verified? DM me!) Another TBD on the adoption of this feature by the LinkedIn community.


6. Newsletters:

LinkedIn is gearing up to take on competitors like Substack by advancing its own newsletter writing product. They are planning to expand features and functionality for writers.
The Impact: This is a good thing for B2B creators. I know many newsletter writers out there that currently produce two newsletter versions to maximise audience reach and engagement (one for Substack, and another mirroring the content via a LI newsletter). Having a better solution may draw some of Substack’s creators away from the platform, and make it easier for creators to publish overall. There’s a lot to unpack with newsletters and the opportunity to sponsor them is also big for B2B brands right now. We just wrote a blog post breaking down all the detail on independent, creator-led newsletters, if you want to check that out here. 😊


7. Creator Mode:

Creator Mode, which was once optional and characterised by LI profiles with hashtagged bio lines such as ‘Talks about… #web3, #cybersecurity or #future of work’ .. is going away. LinkedIn is hoping to take the best audience-building tools of Creator Mode like LinkedIn Lives and better post analytics and opening these up to all users by default. They are also moving away from the term ‘creator’ – supposedly based upon user feedback.
The Impact: B2B marketers who are used to searching by hashtag or ‘talks about #…’ to find potential partners will lose this functionality. There are plenty of other ways to find the right people, but it may be more difficult if this was your only method. As for language used around “creators,” this has always been tough for the business world. I know personally many professionals I work with on collaborations have spent literal decades building their career, and don’t want to be lumped into a category that they perceive as mostly fashion and beauty product promoters. Despite this point, b2b marketers need terminology and language to distinguish using a social-first approach for thought leadership and b2b content collaboration. So for now, we will continue using words like ‘influencer’ and ‘creator’ in the b2b sense, and are open to evolving with the industry!


If you’ve got to this point in reading, its evident that there’s a great deal to consider when planning or implementing b2b influencer marketing initiatives on LinkedIn right now. One of my biggest take-aways writing this, however, is that although the platform is seen as the leading social network for b2b right now, the best partnerships with creators should be approached from a multi-platform perspective. I’m talking Youtube, X, independent blogs/newsletters, podcasts and even TikTok and Instagram. LinkedIn should of course be central to any b2b influencer activity, but it is certainly not the only solution. Don’t take throwaway comments like ‘LinkedIn reach is down y/o/y’ or ‘Creator Mode is going away’ and feel that there isn’t still tremendous opportunity and success to be had in the space. You can read some of our thoughts on where we think things are headed in 2024 here. And if you want to brainstorm some concepts how influential voices can fit in with your next brand or demand gen campaign, I’m always a DM away!