Social media websites continue to look for new ways to grow revenue, and in result continue to give business owners new ways to reach a broader audience. Sponsored updates are now a standard advertising option on all major social media platforms, and a new option for sponsored updates on LinkedIn allows advertisers the opportunity to reach an entirely new, professional audience that is more difficult to connect with on other social media platforms.
LinkedIn now offers sponsored updates to their more than 3 million companies with pages on their website. The best part: these messages can be specifically targeted to reach any desired audience segment on LinkedIn. There are several filters you can utilize including location, employees of specific companies, industries, age, sex, job function and seniority. Looking to target marketing professionals? Cake. Real estate agents within a specific metro area? Easy. Senior-level executives at companies with more than 500 employees? No problem. As you set your filters, LinkedIn will provide an updated audience count so you will have an idea of your reach.
What does this mean exactly? Sponsored updates on LinkedIn can accelerate your content marketing efforts, and will help you reach a broader audience than your professional network and those following your company page.Specifically targeting messages to specific segments allows businesses to cater their messages to different markets. And because LinkedIn is a professional social media siteyou are more likely to drum up new business and grow your professional network at the same time.
There is a downside, of course, as there is with any “sponsored” update. It is generally harder to get people to click on and share content they did not opt-in to receive. Users can also hide sponsored updates. And LinkedIn’s complex algorithm may impact the number of impressions you will receive based on your relevance and bid amount.
You can choose whether you’d like to pay on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis or cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM). You have full control of the budget and duration of the sponsored updates. The two options have their benefits—CPM advertising improves your visibility and allows for broader branding, while CPC is best for specific performance campaigns.
There is no set price for either option; rather LinkedIn operates on a bid and auction system in conjunction with a relevance score to determine which updates appear on certain feeds.This is a little bit complicated, but the basis is this: LinkedIn uses their algorithm to determine which sponsored content to show (your relevance score) when a member scrolls through their feed. LinkedIn runs an “auction” each time this happens, and the company with the largest combined score wins. You can set your bid as high as you like, but will only be charged as much as is required to beat the next bidder and win the auction.
LinkedIn uses a relevance score in conjunction with bidding to determine which content appears in member feeds. This number is calculated based on how valuable your content is to your targeted audience, and takes into account the CTR, comments, shares and feedback your content receives on LinkedIn and from who. Relevant, engaging comment will perform better and increase your odds of winning the auction.
After you have setup your campaign, performance metrics will be available and you can track the success of your sponsored updates. LinkedIn will show you the total number of clicks, click-through-rate, impressions, engagement, and how many new followers you have obtained through your sponsored updates. You’ll also be able to track how many times your update has been shared, liked or commented on.
Companies who participated in the pilot program for LinkedIn sponsored updates reported great results—they gained new followers at an accelerated rate, increased the number of leads generated and found this advertising option had a high rate of return.
Sponsored updates on LinkedIn will work best for companies with a content marketing strategy, and who already has a library of content to utilize. You probably have an idea of which content performs better with your audiences, and you can use that data to determine which posts to sponsor to reach a new audience. The ability to target specific demographics, industries or companies makes this a powerful tool that many businesses can utilize to grow their audience and customer base.