LinkedIn is adding a new advertising scheme to its main news feed: Sponsored Updates. These ads will appear in LinkedIn members' news streams on both desktop or mobile channels.
The placement and concept of Sponsored Updates follows the mold many social media users have already seen elsewhere, such as Twitter or Facebook.
Reps for the professional social network suggested that Sponsored Updates are designed to enable brands to build relationships with LinkedIn users by sharing business content (i.e. presentations, videos, and company news).
David Hahn, vice president of product management at LinkedIn, took things a step further in a blog post on Tuesday, positing that the debut of Sponsored Updates marks the latest step in LinkedIn's evolution into a fully-fledged professional publishing platform.
Marketers are increasingly leveraging content to inform, educate, and inspire their current and prospective customers. But the high quality content they’ve produced – slideshows, articles, videos, and whitepapers – does not always achieve enough reach and engagement on their own channels. With Sponsored Updates, marketers will be able to distribute this content directly to relevant professionals in a place their customers and prospects are already consuming professionally relevant content. Marketers can target Sponsored Updates to any segment of our premium audience based on professional profile data across more than 225 million members.
Some other recent examples of moves LinkedIn has taken toward becoming a publishing platform include its acquisition of popular digital news service Pulse, a refreshed interface for its Recruiter tool, and an overhaul for user profile pages.
LinkedIn Sponsored Updates will first be available to customers with an account representative starting today. The service will be opened up to any company with a LinkedIn Company Page by the end of July.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based company has already inked deals for sponsored posts with some big names already, so LinkedIn users can already expect to see these updates from the likes of General Electric, Xerox, The Wall Street Journal, and Mercedes-Benz, among others.
Screenshot via The LinkedIn Marketing Solutions blog