How Ogilvy Became the First Advertising Agency to Surpass 500,000 Followers on LinkedIn
Ogilvy Calls Its LinkedIn Company Page “Our Secret Weapon”
July 4, 2018
Editor’s Note: This is a special encore post. It attracted the fourth-most traffic in the first half of the year of any LinkedIn Marketing Blog post that first appeared in 2018.
About six years ago, Ogilvy, the global marketing communications agency founded by the legendary David Ogilvy, launched its LinkedIn Company Page. Initially, the Ogilvy Company Page started with no followers.
Zero, zip, zilch.
Now, the Ogilvy Company Page on LinkedIn has more than 500,000 followers, most of them procured organically. “It’s our secret weapon,” says Adam Kornblum, Ogilvy’s Worldwide Head of Social Media and Content Distribution.
Note that Company Pages are free on LinkedIn. Any company can create them. Content shared on Company Pages appears in the LinkedIn feed of whoever follows the Page. When used skillfully, Company Pages can amass large, relevant followings and become conduits for organizations to share content with their target audience — which can include potential hires, prospects, customers, and partners.
In its use of the Company Page, Ogilvy has committed to sharing useful and entertaining content aimed at its audiences about once a day. This approach of regular posting reflects a quotation attributed to Irish poet William Butler Yeats, which is highlighted on Kornblum’s personal LinkedIn profile: “Do not wait to strike until the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.”
With its Company Page, Ogilvy aims its content at its key audiences. “We’re trying to attract talent, and we’re also trying to show our clients and our prospects our intelligence in the marketing space,” Kornblum says.
The Company Page is an essential employer branding engine for Ogilvy. “We’re able to attract more talent by personifying and defining the brand,” Kornblum says.
Another crucial Ogilvy audience is its more than 20,000 employees around the globe. LinkedIn, Kornblum says, “is a worldwide channel. We feature different offices around the global network, to show what it’s like to work at all of our different offices located around the world.”
Ogilvy has amassed followings on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media networks. None of the followings are as big as Ogilvy’s LinkedIn following. Kornblum says that LinkedIn is unique because of the expectations of content that the audience interacts with versus other social channels.
“The goal for us (on LinkedIn) has been to have the largest, most engaged LinkedIn Company Page compared to any other agency,” he said. “The reason why it’s important is because LinkedIn is a platform where we can talk to the world. To have a large and engaged presence, it allows us to have a stronger content distribution. The reason content distribution is important is because it allows us to share our creative work, our thought leadership, and our culture to a robust and engaging audience.”
In building its following over the past six years, Ogilvy has focused on creating content that is shareable across LinkedIn. “Our guiding principle when creating and reviewing our content is around a simple proposition: the content needs to be shareable,” Kornblum says. “We ask ourselves, ‘Would somebody hang this piece of content up at their desk?’ So, if someone would potentially hang it up at their desk, because the content offers enough value, it passes our shareability test. For years, we have been focused on ‘earned shares’ as our guiding metric and North Star. Earned shares doesn’t just impact post engagement, it drives community growth.”
Recent posts on Ogilvy’s Company Page illustrate the agency’s approach:
A post highlighting “Ogilvy on Advertising in the Digital Age,” a new book by Ogilvy Non-Executive Chairman Miles Young.
A weekly post featuring Ogilvy’s Jeremy Katz encapsulating the week’s advertising industry news in 60 seconds.
A post recognizing International Women’s Day.
A post highlighting top industry trends in 2018.
Ogilvy’s Company Page also helps with customer marketing. Current clients see the value of Ogilvy’s reach on the network. “Clients frequently ask us to have their work shared on Ogilvy’s social media because it has such strong distribution,” Kornblum said.
He emphasizes that Ogilvy’s Company Page on LinkedIn is an organic content powerhouse for the agency. “If there’s one thing to understand about the power of our Company Page, it’s that earned engagement is not dead,” Kornblum says.
He adds: “LinkedIn is actually our secret weapon. It drives traffic to Ogilvy.com. Compared to our other social channels, LinkedIn earns strong organic engagement. And as of the last two years, we receive a significant amount of visitors who not only only engage with posts but look at our Life pages, and apply for jobs — all in one place. In a way LinkedIn acts like a website, not just a social channel.”
Next goal for Ogilvy’s Company Page: 1 million followers. “Through our Next Chapter plans we expect to see accelerated growth on LinkedIn and our social media presence in general,” Kornblum says.
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