Until recently, LinkedIn always seemed to be an underdog in the social media world, often being overlooked and branded as merely a “recruiting website”. But in recent years, businesses have begun effectively using LinkedIn as a content-based marketing tool, and the “underdog” is beginning to evolve into something that is proving to be extremely beneficial to advertisers.
Content Marketing and native advertising are two online tools that are growing in popularity among marketers, and LinkedIn has definitely got the upper hand in its offering of these tools as compared to other social media networks, because it’s a borderline publishing site. In other words, professionals are coming to LinkedIn for professional content, which provides a gateway for businesses to showcase their knowledge.
Native advertising is also easier and more effective with LinkedIn’s “Sponsored Updates”. These appear naturally in the member’s newsfeed among the other shared pieces of content and profile updates. They include the option to “follow” the brand or interact with the post (like, share, comment). Sponsored updates are sold on a CPC or CPM basis and also allow the advertiser to manage targeting options.
A great example of this is when LinkedIn and technology company Emerson worked together to promote the magazine The Atlantic. Articles appealing to businesswomen were distributed to Emerson followers and clicking on the story took readers to the magazine’s webpage, which was surrounded by Emerson ads. As a result, The Atlantic achieved valuable traffic from business professionals, Emerson was able to target their ads to businesswomen and LinkedIn was seen as an influential content resource.
LinkedIn members are in a different mind-set when they visit the site. It is completely business-focused, so users concentrate on professional objectives over social ones and, in turn, are more receptive to promotional pitches. That’s why this social site is breaking out of its HR-shell and growing into an effective advertising tool.