LinkedIn announced today that Sponsored Updates are rolling out to companies with a LinkedIn account representative. By the end of the month administrators of all 3 million Company Pages will have access to LinkedIn Sponsored Updates. Billed as “content marketing in the world’s only professional feed,” Sponsored Updates allow companies to pay to promote their content to specific audiences on LinkedIn — in the same spirit as Sponsored Posts on Twitter and Promote Page Posts on Facebook. Sponsored Updates has been running in pilot mode since January with a handful of companies including Adobe, HubSpot, Mercedes-Benz and the Wall Street Journal.
As we reported earlier this month, LinkedIn is positioning itself as the leading destination for B2B content — and content marketing. Last fall, the company introduced the Influencer program, a custom blogging platform for business luminaries such as Richard Branson and Bill Gates. LinkedIn says that program now includes more than 300 contributors and that there are an additional 1.5 million publishers pushing content through their Company pages.
LinkedIn is hoping those 1.5 million publishers will adopt Sponsored Updates as part of their content marketing strategy. The targeting of LinkedIn offers is powerful. Publishers can select audiences by company, title, job function and seniority levels in addition to the typical geo-targeting options available on other platforms. LinkedIn’s targeting is gold here — and what sets it apart from Facebook, in particular — is the number of users who complete their profiles and keep them updated for professional networking. LinkedIn’s challenge now is to get those users logging in with the levels of frequency Facebook enjoys to engage with the content companies are paying to promote.
Sponsored Updates are priced on either CPC or CPM basis and appear in users’ homepage feeds on all devices — desktop, tablet and smartphone. The ads are marked as “Sponsored” and include social options to follow the company and like, comment on or share the post.