LinkedIn Joins Facebook in Sponsored Content Frenzy

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LinkedIn sponsored updates are already used by the likes of Hubspot, Xerox, Lenovo and American Express OPEN, all companies that offered glowing reviews, praising LinkedIn’s marketing “innovation.”

“We have seen very high quality leads coming in from our Sponsored Updates on LinkedIn. Not only can we target the audience we want to, we can promote our best performing content, getting even more out of this marketing solution,” said Amanda Sibley Global Marketing Relations Manager, Hubspot, cited by LinkedIn Content Marketing.

The move is not entirely new. It was already extensively analyzed at the beginning of July, as LinkedIn’s first content-marketing ad to roll out all over the network. After several months of testing, the “Sponsored Updates” are closer to the official release. It’s not just a matter of time till all companies will be available to join without special invitations, finally seeing their content in the LinkedIn feed in front of network users wherever they are: on their desktop, mobile phone, or tablet.

The Sponsored Updates pilot program launched in January, and is now coming closer to official release.

The Sponsored Updates pilot program launched in January, and is now coming closer to the official release.

The main three benefits of the LinkedIn Sponsored Updates, as defined by the company, include:

  1. The ability to raise awareness and shape perceptions for brands, products, and services.
  2. The ability to generate quality leads that yield customers.
  3. The ability to build relationships with the world’s professionals, by publishing relevant, insightful content that creates value and establishes trust.

If you are a Facebook user, you are already familiar with the (for many annoying) “promoted posts”, available for both companies and private users. LinkedIn is not reinventing the wheel. Instead, it renames it, to fit its own network. While its Sponsored Updates are still invitation-only, success stories shared by the early adopters show that the tool has potential.

But like everything promoted for cash, LinkedIn’s Sponsored Updates have a potential for disaster too, depending on how businesses will adopt the system, and depending on how LinkedIn will manage customers, to avoid spammy content from appearing in the feeds. Best practices are already defined, and the Sponsored Updates User Guide has been released earlier this month. Keep in mind that Sponsored Updates are only available for businesses with active LinkedIn Company Pages and a Business Account.

There’s also a matter of user perspective: many LinkedIn members pay a monthly membership fee for their “pro” accounts. If LinkedIn decides to push sponsored updates to their feeds too, the company needs to envision a strategy of moderation, even to allow users to opt out of seeing such updates. Currently, LinkedIn doesn’t specify policies for these users.

Linkedin is represented by DKC Public Relations.

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