If you're a professional, you absolutely need to have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile. And if you own a business, you absolutely should have a LinkedIn company page. Taking it one step further, if you have a particular niche -- a service, product, business line, regional business, brand or affinity group -- you want to highlight or target, you should absolutely create a LinkedIn showcase page.

The showcase page, which LinkedIn debuted back in 2013, is a way to communicate about a specific part of your business with its specific audience. Say you own a restaurant that has a catering business, you might create a company page for your eatery and a showcase page for the catering arm. You can create a following for that targeted business.

Here's more on how to create a showcase page and how it's different from a company page.

Setup is fast.

Start with a company page, creating one if you don't already have one. Earlier this year, I wrote a column that laid out step by step how to create a company page.

Next, while in admin mode for your company page, click the admin tools drop-down menu and select "Create Showcase Page."

The next steps are super easy. Name the page, upload profile and cover images and enter other basic information like company address, industry, number of employees and a description of the product, service or brand you are highlighting.

You can create a showcase page in a matter of minutes as I did recently to tout one of my most popular communications services. Once your page is created, load it up with content -- articles, images, videos and status updates. LinkedIn users will see your showcase page listed on the right side of your company profile, under "Affiliated pages."

You can see how this looks on other company pages. Go to Procter & Gamble's LinkedIn page, and you will see seven affiliated -- or showcase -- pages, including ones called Head and Shoulders, Crest Whitestrips Canada and Gillette Club. 

Finally, so that people find your showcase page from your personal profile page, you can also do what I did, which is link to it from your About section.

The showcase page doesn't stand alone.

As for how the pages are different, the biggest thing is the showcase page is not an independent profile. It's housed under the company page, so you must have a company page first.

Employees also cannot link their jobs to showcase pages. When a P&G employee enters their job in their experience section, they can associate it with the P&G company page, not the Head and Shoulders showcase page even if that is their main area where they work. 

Likewise, job postings can be associated only with company pages, not showcase pages.

Otherwise, all the capabilities are the same. You can post links to articles and videos just like you can with a company page. You can see analytics just like with a company page. People can follow showcase pages same as they do company pages; that is the point, after all.