LinkedIn introduces new retargeting tools

The class of 2020, one of the largest graduating classes in U.S. history, is facing a far tougher job market than they expected due to the coronavirus pandemic's impact on the economy.
Even so, there is some good news for career starters: 1.5 million entry-level jobs are open in the U.S. right now, according to LinkedIn data, which shows a real-time picture of the global job market based on insights from millions of members, jobs, companies, and schools.
What's more, there are certain skills in demand across all industries that can help grads stand out from the crowd, start their careers on the right foot and position themselves for advancement as the economy recovers. Having the right skills can make all the difference, even in difficult times.
During the Great Recession, for example, a large subset of the class of 2009 chose to forgo an immediate job search to pursue additional education and upskilling, setting themselves up to be better positioned for opportunities as the economy began to recover the year following. Importantly, data suggest that it did not delay those grads' career progression.
The same may be true for today's grads. According to LinkedIn's "Grad's Guide to Getting Hired," released Tuesday, these are six of the most in-demand skills across every industry — the ones requested most in job postings.

1. Customer service

As Covid-19 continues to impact the way companies do business, strong customer service skills remain vital. Employees who know how to ensure that customers feel valued, especially as many services are conducted online without that face-to-face element, are in high demand. In fact, we found the role of customer service specialist to be one of our top entry-level jobs right now.
Those that know how to innovate and foster customer loyalty are even more in demand. Whether you plan to go into this space or not, it doesn't hurt to learn the foundations, finer techniques, and the power of creating customer value.

2. Leadership

Leadership is not just a skill for managers. It's a sign of self-awareness and authenticity and one that can take your career to new heights when honed.
Opportunities to lead present themselves every day, and that's never been more clear as employees lose the in-person mentorship they might have grown accustomed to and workers must make difficult decisions when confronted with situations that could endanger the health and safety of their colleagues and customers.
Being able to project clarity, credibility, and self-confidence — the characteristics of a well-developed executive presence — amid stressful and uncertain circumstances is quickly becoming table stakes in our new world of work.

3. Communication

Communication skills are even more important as Covid-19 has led to a dramatic increase in employees working remotely, a change that is
after the pandemic fades.
Effective communication foundations will always be an asset in the workplace, no matter your function or industry. Start by learning how to better pitch yourself to employers, helping you stand out from the crowd at a time when so many will be applying for the same jobs. Also, brushing up on your body-language skills will help you more effectively communicate, and empathize, with your colleagues and managers in a new digital workspace.

4. Problem-solving

Even before the pandemic, the pace of change and volume of information employees encounter each day made it difficult to make the right decisions.
The result: People largely rely on biases and uninformed gut feelings that cloud their judgment and draw them to the wrong conclusions. The world is now more confusing and overwhelming than ever, and well-developed problem-solving skills — like critical thinking and rational analysis — will be vital in navigating the demands of a post-COVID workplace.
Successful employees and leaders know to foster curiosity within themselves and their colleagues, and how and when to ask the right questions to better understand our increasingly complex world.

5. Operations and project management

Operations and project management form the backbone of any successful business, but few fully comprehend how to understand and apply the foundations of operational excellence to their workplace.
As companies struggle with the complexities brought on by Covid-19 — from team members working remotely to staff shortages brought on by furloughs or layoffs — mastering important operational and management concepts like scrum and Six Sigma will be key. 

6. Marketing

How is it that some brands are able to stand the test of time, enduring fluctuating market and consumer demands?
Covid-19 has started to reveal which of today's brands have this staying power and which do not, which brands are so well-defined and executed they can outlast even a pandemic that has dramatically altered how customers view and interact with the products and services they use.
Marketing plays a large role in this, and companies are looking for employees who understand how they can best connect with consumers even in challenging times.
Spending time learning these skills, which will be necessary to thrive in today's ever-changing world of work, will help career starters get ahead as the economy recovers. And consider making it a habit. Lifelong learning can bolster your resilience in economic downturns as well as advance your career.
LinkedIn is announcing some new features for advertisers — retargeting capabilities tied to video ads and lead-generation forms, as well as new brand safety integrations for the LinkedIn Audience Network.
Abhishek Shrivastava, the senior director of product for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, told me that his team has been shifting its product plans in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That includes introducing new features focused on virtual engagement — such as live video events — as the pandemic has "accelerated that need of the market."
Shrivastava suggested that today's announcements are similar, because "these things matter in terms of driving your [marketing] investment further."
On the retargeting side, that means advertisers can now create and target ads specifically to users who watched 25, 50, 75 or 100% of their video ads. They also can target ads at users who opened or submitted a Lead Gen Form.

LinkedIn ad
LinkedIn ad

Image Credits: LinkedIn
Shrivastava noted that LinkedIn advertisers are generally focused on business-to-business marketing, which means there's usually a long process of turning prospects into sales, so these capabilities make it easier for marketers to create a tailored "journey to carry your target audiences through."
LinkedIn has already been testing these capabilities with a few advertisers, including TOPdesk, which says it has increased conversions by 20% while lowering the cost per conversion by 24%.
The video retargeting capabilities also extend to the LinkedIn Audience Network, which the company launched in 2017 as a way for marketers to extend their LinkedIn ad campaigns beyond LinkedIn itself.
LinkedIn says the network now includes publishers like Flipboard, Microsoft News and (Microsoft owns LinkedIn), and that it can now extend the reach of a Sponsored Content campaign by 25% while adding 9x more monthly touchpoints with some LinkedIn members.
To help ensure the safety and quality of those impressions, LinkedIn says it's integrating with Integral Ad Science as "an additional layer of brand protection and contextual brand safety for all ads," and with Pixalate to "score and filter all publishers based on invalid traffic."
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