Akshit Pushkarna

Why LinkedIn is bullish on AI for business expansion in India

LinkedIn India's Ashutosh Gupta and Abhishek Shrivastava discuss the platform's new AI marketing solution and emphasis on the Hindi language.

To say that the realm of Indian social media has evolved significantly during the pandemic is an understatement. With more and more Indians hopping onto popular social media networks on a daily basis, each platform has developed a different association with the users. For professional interactions, users typically tend to frequent Microsoft-owned LinkedIn exclusively.

Sharing a testament to this, Ashutosh Gupta, country manager, India, LinkedIn, says that the user base for the platform has evolved from 10 million in 2013 to over 110 million members in 2023. Further, the user base is going up by 19% YoY.

He emphasises that the platform focuses on creating economic opportunities globally and this resonates deeply with the Indian audience.

"The post-pandemic era fostered a strong sense of community in India. The spirit of helping one another has persisted, driving our engagement levels significantly. Particularly, the culture of knowledge sharing is vibrant. Indians exhibit a remarkable knowledge-seeking behaviour that is unmatched globally."

LinkedIn also has the largest active and fastest-growing user base in India, according to Gupta. Further, the country also leads in terms of advertiser data and advertiser cohorts right now in India. However, he observes that the platform is not completely dependent on ad revenue for its business. LinkedIn's revenue strategy encompasses multiple pillars.

LinkedIn's 'Talent Solutions' offers businesses avenues to optimise recruitment through data-driven matches, while 'LinkedIn Learning' provides users with a path to skill development. Another revenue source is the premium subscriptions that users can avail of.

Abhishek Shrivastava, VP, product management, LinkedIn, explains that the platform identified a high value to specialise in providing B2B marketing solutions.

This is due to the vast pool of data available on the LinkedIn platform. With this, the company is aligned to assist marketers in performing tasks with optimal efficiency and effectiveness by providing tools and insights derived from its data.

In response to the rise of AI technology, LinkedIn conducted a survey involving 2000 B2B marketers, revealing that 93% of marketing professionals believe AI will support their work and help create space for teams to think innovatively.

A majority of Indian B2B marketers (87%) have expressed their plans to increase the use of Generative AI to improve efficiency (61%) and create engaging content (57%).  Consequently, the platform has introduced various AI-led marketing innovations.

LinkedIn's Gen AI tool Accelerate

After comprehensive testing, the platform has initiated the launch of a broader beta version of its generative AI-based marketing solution, LinkedIn Accelerate. Gupta emphasises that LinkedIn Accelerate redefines ad creation on the platform, offering advertisers a streamlined and AI-driven approach. 

For this, marketers will need to provide a product URL and the AI will analyse the website they shared, along with their company’s LinkedIn Page, and their account’s prior LinkedIn ads to recommend a campaign. 

Marketers can click on an ‘Assist’ button to receive recommendations to improve campaign performance, ask questions about the experience, or connect to a live support agent. 

With Accelerate, the company aims to bring together its automation features, including Predictive Audiences, to adjust campaign targeting so marketers can reach users who are most likely to take action.

Further, the feature will also allow marketers to get Automated Performance Summary Reports to help them understand campaign performance, including spend, cost per key result, impressions and clicks, and trends, like audience engagement.

Shrivastava shares that AI is a central focus for LinkedIn, particularly for marketing. "AI is integral to every aspect of our company and product development at LinkedIn. Accelerate can significantly enhance marketers' capabilities. Traditionally, creating a campaign involved hours of meticulous work, but with Accelerate, we've condensed that process to just minutes. Its ability to optimise campaigns has led to a 21% drop in cost per lead for marketers," he says. 

LinkedIn's focus on localising in India

In a bid to further target the Indian market, Shrivastava mentions that the company made the platform available in Hindi a couple of years ago. After building a significant user base in this language, he announced that the company has now made the option of advertising in Hindi available.

You can run ad campaigns in Hindi as well. This is because we understood that a chunk of Indian users might not be as comfortable using the platform in English. Our analysis observes that out of 110 million active professionals on LinkedIn in India, 50 million prefer Hindi.
Abhishek Shrivastava, VP, product management, LinkedIn

"You can run ad campaigns in Hindi as well. This is because we understood that a chunk of Indian users might not be as comfortable using the platform in English. Our analysis observes that out of 110 million active professionals on LinkedIn, 50 million prefer Hindi. Thus, we are focused on developing a community for the Hindi-speaking cohort," he says.

Further, LinkedIn is also taking a different approach to influencers on the platform. Gupta explains, "We've introduced creators alongside influencers because we believe every member is a creator, possessing valuable insights to share."

He emphasised that influencers, being experts in their fields, provide in-depth knowledge, but the essence of this initiative lies in empowering all members as creators."

Gupta discussed the platform's innovative approach to content creation, stating, "We've entered a new phase where every member is not just a learner but also a creator, contributing to the community's growth. This shift emphasises LinkedIn's commitment to empowering its users as both knowledge seekers and contributors, fostering a dynamic environment where professionals can thrive collectively."

Also Read: ASCI warns LinkedIn Influencers to ensure ad disclosure

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