LinkedIn Sponsored Updates are here

Even if you’re not a LinkedIn addict like myself, you’ve probably noticed new sponsored content in your home feed. Like many other social networks, LinkedIn is now offering a way for you to directly target audiences beyond your existing company following.

LinkedIn provides a self-serve platform where you can create your content, set your targeting criteria, choose whether to pay per click (CPC) or per 1,000 impressions (CPM) and measure your results. Simple.

But is getting it right simple? Here’s the first sponsored update I noticed in my home feed, from Newsweaver:

Screen grab of LinkedIn Sponsored Update
LinkedIn Sponsored Update from Newsweaver

Why I noticed it:

  • Relevancy

The topic is really relevant to me so grabs my attention immediately. ‘Content’, ‘webinar’, and ‘engagement’ are all terms that I’m interested in and clearly in this instance LinkedIn’s targeting has worked, matching me to whatever audience segments Newsweaver is trying to reach.

  • Creating desire 

Using words such as ‘free’ and asking questions like ‘Interested in a better employee newsletter?’ makes me want to find out more.

  • Engagement 

Another LinkedIn user has ‘Liked’ this post which endorses the message and increases visibility within my busy home feed.

How it could be better: 

  • Quality

The copy in this advert isn’t written very well with grammatical errors throughout. This is a big ‘no-no’!

  • An engaging image 

An image would help this post stand out and if carefully selected, the right picture could help the audience process the message faster.

  • Clearer call to action

Although there is a call to action in this post, it could be positioned more effectively:

Screen grab of LinkedIn Sponsored Update with a clearer call to action
LinkedIn Sponsored Updates need clear calls to action

I think LI sponsored updates are going to be huge news for B2B digital marketers. I just hope that content is well put together and relevant, otherwise LinkedIn users are going to be very put off.

Here’s a nice practical guide to setting up your own LinkedIn sponsored updates from social media examiner. Leave a comment below if you find some good examples to share.

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