5 Native Ad Lessons from the Top LinkedIn Sponsored Updates of 2014

Posted by on Jan 15, 2015 in Advertising, Social | 3 Comments
5 Native Ad Lessons from the Top LinkedIn Sponsored Updates of 2014

As a product marketer for LinkedIn, I often guide advertisers on how to craft content marketing campaigns that will resonate with LinkedIn’s audience of more than 330 million professionals.

Increasingly, those advertisers are delivering their content using Sponsored Updates, the fastest growing product in the history of LinkedIn, and our flagship native ad format to help marketers publish quality content to their target audience in the feed.

Linkedin Ads Sponsored Updates

To address the common questions I hear about Sponsored Updates best practices, our team has pulled together the Top Performing Sponsored Updates of 2014 in North America, along with an analysis of what made these updates stand out.

LinkedIn’s Top Sponsored Updates of 2014

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My 5 Favorite Sponsored Updates Tips

With that, below are a few of my favorite tips for Sponsored Updates.

1. Mobile First

LinkedIn Sponsored UpdatesSeventy-five percent of Sponsored Updates engagement happens on mobile, so make sure your copy is concise, your call-to-action clear, and your landing page responsively designed. If your aim is to capture leads, minimize the number of fields a mobile visitor will need to complete on the form-fill. This move will help boost conversion rates.

2. Make It Personal and Relevant

LinkedIn’s targeting leverages trustworthy and up-to-date public data that allows you to reach members based on their professional profile. Have a customer persona in mind? Use our targeting to build that persona into your campaigns with fields like seniority, company name or size, industry, job function, higher education background, skills and more. Reach the exact audience that would be most interested in your story, and personalize the intro copy with “you” language that directly addresses the members you are trying to reach.

3. Test and Optimize

LinkedIn’s Direct Sponsored Content feature allows advertisers to try multiple variations of the same post and optimize for the best image and copy. Most of all, beyond the mechanics of the post, the actual content has to be able to stand on its own, or you will lose your audience’s trust. So before you create an update, ask yourself: “Is the content helpful? Will it make the reader more productive and successful in their career? Is it inspirational?” And of course, “Would I want to read this?”

4. Be Visual

Company updates with images tend to achieve above-average engagement rates. Post infographics, pictures, Slideshare presentations or YouTube videos to draw in your audience.

linkedin sponsored update with thumbnail

5. Address Your Audience’s Most Pressing Professional Questions

When we talked with the most active content consumers and sharers on LinkedIn, we learned that these highly engaged members value content that helps them gain professional expertise, build their personal brands, or make smart professional decisions. The most frequently clicked or shared content formats included interesting new research, breaking industry news, career advice, case studies and knowledge shared by business leaders. Wherever possible, leverage these formats with messages that speak to your target audience’s unique challenges and questions.

Do you have any other tips for successful updates? Let us know in the comments below.

Sign up for a free trial of AdStage today and start managing your LinkedIn ads and other social campaigns in one place.

Andrew is a Sr. Product Marketing Manager at LinkedIn and the lead marketer for the Sponsored Content API.


Follow @andrewjkaplan