LinkedIn Sponsored Updates – What and why?

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Since its launch in 2003 (yes, pre-facebook), LinkedIn has recruited over 250 million users to its professional networking website. It is by far the most popular site of its kind, used by companies and employees the world over to maintain professional relationships, hunt for new opportunities and put themselves in the ‘shop-window’.

Alongside its powerful networking tools, LinkedIn also provides marketers with a number of products. In a similar fashion to Facebook and Twitter, businesses on LinkedIn can use a ‘Company Page’ to advertise their offerings and directly update followers with the latest news. Should you choose, you can then promote this content to LinkedIn’s wider user base, by utilising the Sponsored Updates platform. Promoted content appears in the news-feeds of particular users, alongside the organic content from the other users and companies they follow.


Small, medium or big business? Samsung is just one company taking advantage of LinkedIn sponsored updates, although clearly to a B2B audience. 

There are a number of key factors that make LinkedIn Sponsored Updates a viable option when considering your marketing communications:

- Being a network for professional industries, more than half of LinkedIn’s members have a college education or higher and an average household income of $83k in the US (Nielsen, 2011). With such a demographic at your disposal, LinkedIn allows the broad targeting of a highly educated and relatively affluent audience – do you imagine this would be as simple to achieve using Facebook or Twitter.


Relative affluence. The percentage of LinkedIn’s users with a household income of £70k+ is far higher than the GB average.
(Source: Quantcast LinkedIn Report - https://www.quantcast.com/linkedin.com?country=GB) 


- As you would expect, the site offers marketers detailed targeting for promoted content. Your audience can be segmented by age, gender, industry, job function, seniority and/or geography. Sponsored Updates therefore, can be directed towards a relevant audience, providing improved engagement and lead generation performance.

- The LinkedIn platform is very well suited to both B2B and B2C brands. B2B brands can target those in particular job roles, key decision makers, in a more formal environment than other social media channels. Indeed, LinkedIn is already the most popular social media site with B2B marketers, with 91% choosing to use the site to distribute content.


(Source: B2B Content Marketing, 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends North America- Available at http://www.iab.net/media/file/B2BResearch2014.pdf)

If your business has a B2B focus, I suggest taking a read through this report on B2B content marketing in 2014 - it’s an interesting read.

Talking in B2C terms, again LinkedIn provides marketers with unique opportunities. In this case, its true value lies in marketing goods of a relatively high value or particular niche. A perfect example would be a saloon car, popular with executives and probably of the German persuasion. These models start from around £25,000, and are often enjoyed by company car drivers for their comfort, prestige and fuel economy. It would be easy therefore to argue that, utilising a channel where the available audience are generally industry professionals, often with higher than average affluence, is a no-brainer?

LinkedIn has presented many companies with a great opportunity in its Sponsored Updates platform. The site’s user base of industry professionals could prove invaluable to both B2B and B2C marketers, who can choose to target those in particular industries or job roles. With 91% of US B2B Marketers already using LinkedIn to distribute content, is now the time for your company to take advantage?

 

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