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Step-by-step Guide to Enabling LinkedIn 2 Factor Authentication
Step-by-step Guide to Enabling LinkedIn 2 Factor Authentication

Step-by-step Guide to Enabling LI 2FA

By Jennifer Esty  |  October 9, 2023

LinkedIn, like many other social media and SaaS platforms, is moving towards two factor authentication or 2FA as it often, and mostly without affectionate, known. 

As annoying as 2FA is, it really is the most effective way to avoid hacks, so we recommend moving sooner rather than later. 

Besides, although they aren’t telling us the exact date that it will become mandatory, it will no doubt happen on the day you want to use your phone to post an update from the best event you’ve attended in years… 

It should take no more than five minutes assuming you have ready access to the following:

  • The email account you use with LI (note it may be a personal account) 
  • Your LI password (note you can check your password manager if you can’t remember it)
  • Your phone to set up either SMS authentication or Authenticator App (I chose SMS because it always feels less painful somehow)

I’ve included a step-by-step guide below for anyone who is feeling a little skittish and here are a few gotchas:

  • Enabling 2FA will immediately log you out of LI on all devices
  • When you log back in, you will need to follow the 2FA process you selected (i.e. either SMS or an Authenticator app)
  • Enabling 2FA also affects your preferences for LI Campaign Manager
  • Reminder that by default, giving LI your phone number means anyone who has that number can find you on LI, but you can change that preference in Settings

Step-by-step Guide to Enabling LI 2FA 

You’ll be presented with this notice and assuming you have access to the information I mentioned above, choose Update Settings
Two Step Verification for LinkedIn

Or you can follow these steps:

Enabling Two Step Verification Steps

Here LinkedIn helpfully explains a little more about about 2FA, choose Set up:

Two Step Verification for LinkedIn Explained

You’ll need to login and then you’ll see this prompt:

6-digit Code Sent for LinkedIn Two Step Verification

It’s decision time, which will it be SMS or an Authenticator App??

Authentication Methods LinkedIn

Note the small print reminder about being logged out of all devices!

Two Step Verification Methods LinkedIn

Next steps for SMS users:

Adding a Phone Number for LinkedIn Two Step Verification

Grab your code from your phone!

Entering Verification Code for LinkedIn Two Step Verification

Grab your code from your phone!

Enabling Two Step Verification LinkedIn

More information on how LI is using your phone number and how you can manage those preferences here.

Who can connect with your LinkedIn profile if they have your phone number?

Reminder if you have time and did the above on desktop, go ahead and sort your phone or other devices out before you forget.

If you have any questions about 2FA for LinkedIn, or any of aspect of B2B digital marketing, please get in touch!

A change to insights on Google Business Profiles

By Rachael Clark  |  February 27, 2023

If your company uses a Google Business Profile, you will have experienced many changes to this platform over the last couple of years. And this month Google retires the distinction between branded, direct and discovery searches. Read on to find out why this is important and what you need to do next. 

Changes to GBP

What’s a Google Business Profile?

Google Business Profiles (formerly Google My Business listings) are a key tool for organisations. They appear on the right-hand side of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), and on Google Maps with key business information and CTAs.

This rich set of information makes them an important piece of digital real estate, with the local map often appearing before any other organic listings. 

Listings can be created manually or you may find Google has started one for you; they can be populated with user generated content and are often carefully curated by your digital marketing team or agency. 

What’s changing?

Over the years GBP profiles have become increasingly more engaging with visual features such as photos, videos and product imagery within the listing. Most recently Google has changed how you access and edit key parts of your profile, moving key parts of this functionality within the SERP rather than through the back-end platform. 

In addition to this, Google has changed how it categorises the reporting available from your profiles, most notably how it handles user searches

What were the types of searches?

Up until now Google classified the way users found your business profile into three categories: branded searches, direct searches and discovery searches.  

  • Direct Searches: These were people who found your business profile searching for your business name or address, e.g. “Sharp Ahead Reading.”  
  • Discovery Searches: These were people who find your business profile searching for a category, product, or service that your business offers, e.g. “B2B digital marketing agency.” 
  • Branded Searches: These were people who found your listing searching for a brand related to your business e.g. “Sharp Ahead.” 

These numbers were a way to gauge not only when your profile was being served, but also the level of brand awareness amongst searchers – which was particularly useful when marketing a physical location such as a coffee shop or coworking space – with the all-important discovery searches indicating how many users found your listing who may not have been aware of your brand.  

What will this effect?

If you’ve automated any reporting on these metrics through Google’s API (such as Google’s Looker Studio) you’ll need to get these updated and replaced with new metrics. 

What should I analyse now?

The performance metrics on Google Business Profiles now fall into two categories – how people found your listing and what action they take from it:

  • Views: These are how many people saw your business profile, broken down by the platform and device that they’re on.  
  • Searches: These show the search terms that people used that returned your business profile in the results. This is a useful addition to the platform and can be used as a replacement for the categorised search metrics, allowing you to analyse whether your listing is found through branded or generic searches. 
  • Plus all the interaction metrics you’d expect – calls, messages, direction requests and website clicks.  

What do we think?

The categorised search types were a great way of analysing the performance of your business profile at a glance. However, the loss of these metrics is balanced by the addition of the search breakdown within GBP – giving digital marketers clarity on what exactly is triggering your GBP profile, which can inform your SEO strategy. Top tip: If you find you’re not ranking for generic search terms consider your description, categories, products and services and…  

If you need support with your Google Business Profile or B2B digital marketing strategy, get in touch with us today for a free 30 minute consultation 

Sharp Aheads B2B Marketing Training
Sharp Aheads B2B Marketing Training

Sharp Ahead’s B2B Marketing Training

By John Woods  |  February 17, 2023

B2B digital marketing is complex. It’s hard to learn – and stay current with –  the full range of skills that’s needed to be an effective B2B digital marketer. And a lot of the resources that are widely available approach digital channels from a B2C perspective, which is often not the best starting point for B2B best practices.

Sharp Ahead wants to help our clients and others to improve their B2B digital skills. So we’re developing a range of short-form training sessions and workshops around key B2B digital marketing skills. Some examples of recent workshops:

  • SEO Fundamentals for B2B Marketers

A 2 hour workshop to give B2B marketing generalists a grounding in the key aspects of SEO. We cover the fundamentals of SEO content strategy and copywriting, and an overview of technical SEO.

This 2 hour workshop is for both marketing and sales teams. We cover how the different individuals within a B2B commercial  team can best use LinkedIn for sales outreach and to enhance their company’s branding. 

Canva is a great design tool for generalist B2B marketers who need to create tactical marketing materials day to day. Our workshop shows how to work with templates in Canva to create high quality marketing material without the need for an expert designer.

We can deliver both private in-house training sessions for teams and public workshops for a more general audience. All of our courses are bespoke so timing and subject matter can be adjusted for your specific needs.

Interested in any of the above or keen to talk through other B2B digital training requirements? Reach out to us to start a conversation and see how we could work together – we’d love to hear from you! 

Briefing a designer banner
Briefing a designer banner

How To Give Your Agency A Good Design Brief

By Jennifer Esty  |  January 16, 2023

Do your marketing design tasks go over budget, or require a lot of revision cycles, or just fail to achieve the outcome you hoped for? There’s every chance a better design brief could help…

With this in mind, we’ve put together a few points on how to give your agency a good design brief in order to reduce confusion and increase the chances you’ll achieve your design objectives, from concept right through to delivery.

  • Provide Your Brand Guidelines

Providing your brand guidelines is a crucial part of providing a good design brief. Your guidelines should demonstrate how you use your branding across various media, print, ads & web (etc). If you’re using a custom font, or a font that is not available to download via typekit (or an equivalent), make sure to share your font files with your designer so they have everything they need to ensure they meet your brand guidelines.

  •  Keep Things Consistent:

If you’re briefing a piece of design work for a new advert/design, make sure you present any other ads that you have running, or the latest version of your ad that needs updating. This will help to avoid the design going in a different direction and ensure brand consistency.

  • Provide Design Inspiration

Make sure to include designs from other brands that you like and provide commentary on why you like them. Including a range of different design inspirations will help your designer start on the right track and will also help make it clear which elements of each design you do and don’t like. 

It’s also hugely helpful to provide examples of stock photography alongside the designs. What kind of style and feel do you like? Are the images with or without people? Corporate or more laid back? 

It’s often worth investing in an image library or creating bespoke illustrations so that you can avoid using time on searching for the right images and instead use that time refining other areas of the design. 

If you’re designing for web, it’s also a good idea to provide information around what sort of layout you might like and to even provide examples of any motion design, such as parallax scrolling or animated details, that might help bring your site to life. 

All of this information helps the designer form a full picture of what exactly you’re hoping to achieve with your design.

  • Say What You DON’T Like! 

Telling your designer what you don’t like is just as important as specifying what you do like. When putting together examples of good design, make sure to include examples of the sort of design you don’t want to see so that your designer can make sure they don’t take a direction you’re not happy with. 

  • Specify Where Your Designs Will Be Shared 

It’s important to tell the agency who will be using the design files as well where they will be used. For example, will they be used only by internal resources who just have access to platforms such as Canva, or will they be shared with other agencies who have in-house design teams? This will help your designer understand what file types to provide when packaging up your design and whether there are any dimensions, aspect ratios or resolutions to be mindful of.

To conclude, there really is no such thing as too much context and providing as much information as possible will give your designer the best chance at creating a design you feel truly happy with. 

Want to have these helpful tips at your fingertips? We’ve created a free checklist that you can download and keep on file for whenever you’ve got a design brief to deliver. We hope you find it useful! 

If you’d like to continue the conversation or find out more about the design services we offer at Sharp Ahead, please do get in touch – we’d love to hear from you! 

LinkedIn Banner
LinkedIn Banner

Three Clever Ways to Optimise Your LinkedIn Audiences

By Jennifer Esty  |  December 12, 2022

For those of you who spend time in LinkedIn’s advertising platform, Campaign Manager, you will have noticed a newish notification advising you that “For consistent optimal campaign delivery and engagement, we suggest a minimum target audience size of 50,000”.

Which is all very well if there are actually at least 50,000 individuals who might ever be involved in the consideration of purchasing your products or services.

But for many niche B2B organisations, their prospective customer base is likely to be much, much smaller than 50,000.

So, if you’re looking for ways to maximise your advertising spend on the most targeted group of prospects possible, here are three clever ways to optimise those LinkedIn audiences!

1. Exclusions

Who you exclude from your audiences can be just as important as who you include. There are a few limitations here, for example if your targeting includes job seniority or functionality you can’t exclude job titles, and vice versa.

But there are some very clever uses of them, including:

  • Exclusion lists (think existing customers, competitors, prospects you have sunsetted, etc)
  • Audience traits: people looking for jobs aren’t usually in the marketing for high value products or services in their current role, so go ahead and exclude Job Seekers from your campaigns. It can often reduce the size of the audience by 5% or more.
  • Pesky business development folks: LI is a great tool for prospecting and is used cleverly by business development teams everywhere. You can reduce wastage on folks who are more likely to click on your ads as a way to try to sell to you by excluding them or their related services (including recruitment agencies and <blush> marketing agencies). Unless, of course, they are your target audience!
  • Use Segment breakdowns. As your building your audience, LinkedIn provides Segment breakdowns, which include key demographic information about your audience, including Job function, Seniority, Company size and Interests. For example, you might find that you have a high percentage of Entry level folks in your Audience—individuals unlikely to have budget responsibility. You can then exclude any groups that you would have otherwise targeted unintentionally.

Pro Tip: If you are adding exclusions, in most cases you will want to “OR” rather than “AND” them. For example exclude someone if they are in a list of known competitors OR if they are entry-level employees.

 2. Member Skills and Member Interests

LinkedIn leverages users’ self-reported skills from their profile to provide a reasonably robust dataset for us to choose from. Think about which skills your target audience is likely to have, including specific technologies they might be using, to help focus in on the most qualified prospects. A note that not every skill you might want will be available for targeting so use the search functionality.

Interests are based on content that the LinkedIn member has viewed and therefore are a reasonable indication of whether that individual might be actively in the market for your products or services. The list of Interests isn’t sometimes as exhaustive as you might want it to be so use the search functionality and spend time exploring the options.

Pro Tip: leverage any persona, keyword, or market research you have to hand which might spark some ideas about related skills or interests.

3. Avoid Audience Expansion

Audience Expansion is a tricky little button that is ticked by default when you set up a new campaign. Essentially it allows LinkedIn to show people outside of your target audience your ads, on the basis they have similar attributes (e.g., job titles, companies, or skills).

Given all the trouble you have probably just gone through to create a super targeted campaign, we do not advise letting LinkedIn decide to show them to anyone it fancies. Instead, experience with Lookalike audiences to see how good LinkedIn really is at interpreting your audience criteria. You can then make a thoughtful choice about whether to also show your ads to an expanded group of prospects.

And of course if you need any help with your LinkedIn strategy, or other B2B digital marketing challenges, please get in touch with us, we would love to help!

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