It’s all about the content — LinkedIn adds sponsored updates

By Adam Rock

The website, which is traditionally known as a social networking site for professionals, has successfully tested the program over the last few months with brands including Capgemini and Turkish Airlines.

Marked as ‘sponsored’, the updates will appear in member’s feeds on their LinkedIn homepage across desktop, tablet and mobile platforms.

The move will allow firms to promote their content marketing to a much larger segment of LinkedIn’s 225 million members.

Twitter launched a similar program – Sponsored Tweets – in 2010, while Facebook introduced Sponsored Stories in early 2011 and Suggested Posts in 2012.

Sponsored Updates can be targeted to users based on their profile data, and as LinkedIn is a network that consists of professionals it means businesses are more likely to engage with people who are interested in what they have to say rather than the general users of other social networks.

Members can engage with the content via ‘Like’, ‘Share’, and ‘Comment’ options and they can also ‘Follow’ the company that generated it.

“Content marketing is at the heart of LinkedIn’s marketing solutions strategy,” said Josh Graff, Director of Marketing Solutions in the UK and EMEA for the social networking website. “Our goal is to develop a definitive professional publishing platform and create opportunities for marketers to drive business results by sharing relevant content with our members.”

The Sponsored Updates will be available to marketers both on a CPM and CPC basis via a bid-based auction, with companies able to track post and campaign effectiveness through LinkedIn’s analytics tools.

LinkedIn Sponsored Updates is a great addition to the content marketing mix. The key to success is driving engagement using articles, videos etc. that are hosted on a business’ website. We are already seeing strong demand from our clients for content creation and campaign management, relating to the new service.

By being able to monitor their performance, marketers will know whether or not the posts are getting traction. If not, they can then make any necessary adjustments to ensure future updates are more successful.

Users do not have to follow a company to see sponsored posts from it, but members will have the ability to hide specific sponsored updates as they appear in their feed.

About the author

Adam Rock works at TAN Media.

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