How to use LinkedIn Sponsored Updates

LinkedIn have just introduced a feature which enables you to reach a wider audience with your posts on LinkedIn. On Facebook you can promote posts, on Twitter you can promote tweets and now on the professional’s network LinkedIn you can sponsor updates. The idea with all of these features is to reach a larger audience that you would normally; you get extra exposure for your posts, tweets and updates in return for payment. On LinkedIn you can pay per by click or for every 1000 impressions.

Sponsoring an update from a Company Page allows you to reach an audience beyond those that follow the Page and you can target by geography, job title and industry. It’s this targeting that makes this form of ‘advertising’ very different from Google Adwords and other display ads. They’re great for B2B businesses and help you get your message in front of fellow professionals who’ll be interested in what you have to offer.

At present, the feature isn’t available for personal profile. Sponsored Updates are displayed in LinkedIn Members News Feed marked as sponsored. Members can engage with the updates as normal by Liking, Commenting and Sharing. There’s also the opportunity to Follow the company. So sponsored updates not only make a company’s content more visible but help build an audience by attracting new Followers too.

You can start a new campaign by going selecting Advertise on the menu beneath Business Tools in the top right corner of your LinkedIn homepage. The new Campaign Manager interface is easy to use and setting up a new campaign is a quick and straightforward process.  I’d suggest using Sponsored Updates to raise brand awareness and to obtain leads. Specifically posts that promote an event, encourage people to download a white paper or subscribe to a newsletter would be good candidates for sponsoring. As with Facebook, Ads going for the direct sale are likely to be less successful.

You can also set up a Sponsored Update directly from your Company Page but there are less targeting and bidding options.

Here are some tips to consider when setting up a Sponsored Update:

  1. Make your headline snappy. An interesting headline will get attention and is more likely to generate Likes, Comments and Shares.
  2. Keep text concise. Don’t waffle. Write no more than 3 sentences. 
  3. Include a call to action. For example, ‘Download our white paper on SEO”.
  4. Add a link.Direct users to a website or your Company Page for the white paper or to sign up to your newsletter.
  5. Include an image.  Make your post stand out in the News Feed by including an eye-catching image or photo.

Are sponsored updates a feature you’re likely to use? Let me know in the Comments below.

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