In July of last year, LinkedIn unveiled a new way for marketers to connect to prospects platform: Sponsored Updated. This new form of advertising was designed to be a less obtrusive way for brands to promote their content, placing the ad itself into a prospect’s update stream. Since its initial release, sponsored updates have grown to become an important part of LinkedIns overall strategy, accounting for 13% of its total ad revenue. Theyare exciting because they show how LinkedIn is embracing recent trends in marketing and transitioninginto more of a content platform. This change is huge, not just for LinkedIn but for B2B marketers as well.
Why Marketers are Turning to LinkedIn Sponsored Ads
Marketers, especially the ones in the B2B space, are embracing Sponsored Updates for a number of reasons. Here are a few of the most important ones:
It’s able to target prospects with impressive accuracy. Thanks to the fact that by having a LinkedIn profile these individuals have already offered extremely relevant data and combined with LinkedIn’s incredible ability to play matchmaker, marketers find that the prospects that they can reach are a much better quality than those targeted through other means.
It’s much more natural.Sponsored Updates come up in a news feed along with all of the organic updates, which makes them appear much more natural and less obtrusive. This makes sponsored updates have more in common with inbound marketing than traditional paid marketing, as it takes more of a “pull” approach instead of a “push.”
It’s ideal for B2B. You may have heard some marketers talk about how LinkedIn is a great platform for B2B, and they’re right. Brands are turning to it in order to help them find key potential partnerships. LinkedIn remembers that even though it’s business to business, it’s the people in those businesses who are connecting with each other.
It’s users are in the right state of mind. Unlike other social networks, which people use to pass the time and connect with friends and families, LinkedIn is meant for business. This means that anyone who is on it is already thinking in terms of business and will not instantly dismiss an advertisement when it is presented to them.
How Sponsored Ads Reflect Greater B2B Marketing Trends
Sponsored Updates are a part of a larger move by LinkedIn to embrace content marketing. In a recent interview with Marketing Week, LinkedIn’s VP of Sales, Penry Price, stated the following:
Markets like the UK are using it much more from a content strategy and as a content marketing distribution channel versus where we started a few years ago around jobs and networks
Sponsored Updates are key part of how LinkedIn is turning itself into a content marketing platform. They allow B2Bs to promote the content that they create and reach a much larger audience. Essentially, they act as a bridge between the paid marketing strategy and the organic one.
These updated fit well with LinkedIn’s increasingly content focused ecosystem, which has been growing by leaps and bounds over the past year. In fact LinkedIn just recently replaced the “Products and Services” pages found in each company’s business page with new “Showcase” pages, which act almost like miniature blogging platforms. This expanding ecosystem shows just how serious LinkedIn is about content marketing, and marketers are definitely embracing this new approach.
Has your business been using Sponsored Updates? Please share your thoughts on it in the comments section!
Image By : Sheila Scarborough