If you've ever tried regular ads on LinkedIn, even with detailed audience targeting, then you've felt that black hole feeling of advertising on LinkedIn. So a warm welcome to sponsored updates!
I know, ouch. But if you've ever tried regular ads on LinkedIn, even with detailed audience targeting, then you've felt that black hole feeling of advertising on LinkedIn. (Personally, I was always more interested in their third-party partner network, like SlideShare.)
So a warm welcome to sponsored updates!
What Are LinkedIn Sponsored Updates?
Sponsored Updates are a way to give your company updates a "push" to get them to linger further and longer in the newsfeeds of your desired target audience and into the newsfeeds of new audiences. Ideally, with more exposure, you'll see higher levels of engagement, maybe even some sign-ups or lead capture, depending on what you're up to.
For the purposes of this post, I'm going to do a Sponsored Update for a free webinar that Portent is giving on Thursday, February 27 on segmentation in analytics with our senior analytics strategist, Michael Wiegand.
How to Set Up
One thing is for sure, they make it VERY easy to set up.
Defining "Success" With LinkedIn Sponsored Updates
So I mentioned that this was worth trying, but not how I knew that. In our case it comes from two points of view - one was content engagement (downloading and keeping top of mind for a particular subject) and the other was sign-ups and traffic generation. In both cases, success was defined through site behavior and quality of engagement first, not in a last-click, direct return on investment (ROI) attribution model. I am finding that having two goals, one around awareness and engagement and a secondary around a call to action (download, sign-up), is best to leading the user into your spiderweb. If you're planning on relying on Sponsored Updates as the immediate answer to your pipeline drought, you're going to be sad.
So, how did my sample LinkedIn Sponsored Update do?
Not bad. Not great.
Here's one that did a lot better and was run with the intent of lead gen and more carefully targeted:
If you've done other LinkedIn advertising before, you can access under the LinkedIn Campaign Manager under the Sponsored Ads area, which even then, didn't pull in my most recent Sponsored Update campaign, but did pull this new one in immediately. Reason being, someone else, who is also a page admin for the company, did the Sponsored Update on their profile. So if you're not set up as a business account, watch out for crisscrossing sponsored updates there.
I recommend clicking on the Analytics tab from your company's page and then scrolling through updates to the Sponsored Update you're looking for, click it, and see the stats for that particular update and to see if anyone else has also been monkeying around.
That does it for my LinkedIn Sponsored Update crash course. If you've got results of your own to brag about, post them in the comments here!
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Elizabeth Marsten is the vice president of search marketing at Portent, Inc., a digital marketing agency, in Seattle, Washington. She oversees the PPC, SEO, analytics, and social media departments and is the is the co-author of All in One Web Marketing Reference for Dummies (Wiley Publishing) with Ian Lurie, Marty Dickenson, Michael Becker, and John Arnold, as well as PPC courses on Lynda.com.
See her SlideShare presentations from speaking at MozCon, SMX Advanced, East and West, PPC Hero Con, Searchfest, and State of Search or find her on Twitter at @ebkendo.
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