On July 23, LinkedIn announced that they would be integrating Sponsored Updates into users home feeds. These Sponsored Updates will complement other advertising options that LinkedIn currently offers. Current options include using display ads which fit IAB standards, sponsored inMail (sending a personalized message directly to an individual’s LinkedIn inbox), or self-service advertising through your own network where you target an audience and serve them ads on LinkedIn. Could this new offering be a beneficial addition to your ad portfolio?
LinkedIn maintains that these Sponsored Updates are a way for companies to ensure that their high-quality content achieves the audience reach they desire. The offering can be targeted to all types of devices (desktop, smartphone, tablet).These posts will be clearly marked as sponsored, but will allow viewers to interact with the information by liking, sharing, or commenting on the post. They will also have the option to follow the company which produced the Sponsored Update.
Initially available only to those with an account representative, Sponsored Updates will be rolled out to all users with a Company Page by July 31. Don’t have a Company Page? You can easily add one to your account by going to “Interests” at the top of your homepage and then selecting “Companies.” Click “Add a Company,” and you will be prompted to enter information about your company.
Advertisers will select their CPC and CPM prices for these updates just as they do with other paid advertising efforts. As well, there are various filters to choose from for setting up targets relating to geographical location, company name and size, job titles, groups, and education.
In a brief post in the LinkedIn Help Center, some best practices were suggested for Sponsored Updates. Recommendations include using images, ensuring content in the posts is authentic and on the shorter side, and keeping the information relevant.
To track the performance of Sponsored Updates, LinkedIn offers analytics which measure the impressions, clicks, interactions, engagement, and number of followers acquired from a specific post. They will also provide metrics which compare your performance to competitors through the number of followers the company has.
The reach of these Sponsored Updates could be significant, considering the long list of industries included in the three million Company Pages currently on LinkedIn, spanning 200 countries and in 20 languages. The network itself now has more than 225 million members. So far, companies that have integrated Sponsored Updates into their ad portfolio have reported positive results. HubSpot, for example, said that lead generation was improved by 400% when compared to other paid channels. Adobe reported that Sponsored Updates helped with their brand lift and that those who saw their posts were 50% more likely to agree that Adobe is a leader in digital marketing.
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