Previously, if you had a company page on LinkedIn, any outreach on your part was limited to users already following your company. With Sponsored Updates, announced today, you can get your message out to a much larger segment of LinkedIn's more than 225 million members.
The advantage of posting sponsored content on LinkedIn is that its network consists of professionals who may be more likely to engage with business-oriented content than are the general users of other social networks. What's more, Sponsored Updates can be targeted to users based on their profile data, said David Hahn, LinkedIn's vice president of product management, on the company blog. To ensure their Sponsored Updates are getting traction, marketers will be able to track their performance using LinkedIn's analytics tools.
For LinkedIn users, Sponsored Updates will be visible on all devices. The posts, which are marked as sponsored, will appear in your news feed along with updates from your connections and the companies you follow.
The idea of sponsored updates is hardly new. Twitter introduced Sponsored Tweets in 2010, and Facebook launched Sponsored Stories in early 2011 and Suggested Posts in 2012. These marketing tools are designed to help brands reach an audience beyond those who follow their pages. By the end of July, any business owner with a LinkedIn company page will be able to create Sponsored Updates.