Join Brad Batesole for an in-depth discussion in this video What are Sponsored Updates?, part of LinkedIn Sponsored Content (2016).
- As online marketers, we're obsessed with putting our message in front of the right people in the right medium. We understand that not all audiences are the same. If you're selling to an audience of new moms, you're not going to be promoting your brand in the same space as, say, a C-Level airline executive. If your brand is on LinkedIn and you're exploring the idea of running Sponsored Updates, there's a good chance you'll want to be reaching an audience of professionals. These are influencers, business decision makers, and those with above-average purchasing power.
And that makes sense. We know, as marketers, that it's important to go where your audience is. And if you want to connect digitally, then LinkedIn's audience of more than 380 million professionals is a great place to explore. LinkedIn has a product called Sponsored Updates. It's their way of helping brands publish relevant content into this professional newsfeed. Even if your brand doesn't have the organic reach on LinkedIn, you can immediately access Sponsored Updates and pay to play.
As with most other paid advertising platforms, you're, in a sense, building an advertisement, setting your targets, delivering it, and then evaluating the effect of that message. The effort is the same. It's just the platform that is different. And we've established already that this platform is aimed at professionals. So, I've pulled up an overview tour that LinkedIn has available for taking a look at Sponsored Updates. I want to go through this together as it's a great way to understand what you'll be building at a high level.
So, the objective with Sponsored Updates is to publish relevant content straight to the LinkedIn feed. When a user logs in to LinkedIn, whether on their computer or a tablet or a mobile device, they're presented with a feed of updates from their connections and people or brands they follow. You have the opportunity to position your brand into this highly visible space through a sponsored update. And what's great about these updates is they're interactive, just like a traditional post in the feed would be.
So you can gain traction through likes, comments and shares, helping further your message and drive additional awareness. And this is a paid marketing product, after all, so there's the opportunity to reach members who fit the targeting criteria that you've set up. You'll be able to leverage all the demographic data with LinkedIn to establish targeting. Everything from company name to school to degrees earned. And Sponsored Updates come with a complete set of reports that help you understand performance. The dashboard includes real-time analytics, so it's easy to make quick decisions based on what you're seeing.
And another great feature of Sponsored Updates is the ability to run content outside of it being displayed on your company page. These dark posts, as I refer to them, let you get really specific messaging to your audience. If you're stuck only sponsoring content that you've shared publicly on your brand page, whelp, you're going to have a very generic messaging strategy. With direct sponsored content, you can speak specifically to who it is you're targeting, which will greatly improve your conversion rates. It really is all about personalization when it comes to marketing in this rapidly evolving landscape.
So this is a component of the tool I believe you'll leverage quite frequently. As you go beyond the basics, you'll have the option to integrate with other platforms. We won't be covering these partners in this course, but you can dig into that deeper once you're ramping up even more with the tool. So now that we're on the same page, we're ready to look at the interface as we gear up to create our first campaign together.
Find more ways to leverage the world's largest professional network with our other LinkedIn training courses.
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 05/18/2016. What changed?
A: We updated eight tutorials to reflect changes to the LinkedIn interface and the workflow around Sponsored Updates.