When it comes to growing your brand and increasing your revenue, social media is important. Here’s why: More than 3 billion people around the world now have social media accounts, and 54% of those users take advantage of social media to research products. The biggest challenge? Finding the right platform for your social media posts where you can connect with your ideal audience. While many companies take advantage of sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to promote their content and increase conversion rates, more business-focused frameworks like LinkedIn can also be advocated. In this comprehensive guide to LinkedIn sponsored updates we’ll tackle the big questions: what are LinkedIn sponsored updates, how do they work, and how much do they cost? We’ll also offer a list of sponsored update best practices to help your brand get the most out of this social content solution.
What are LinkedIn sponsored updates?
Let’s start at the beginning: What exactly are LinkedIn sponsored updates? Also called sponsored content, the official LinkedIn help page says a sponsored update is “an update to your LinkedIn page that is sponsored as an ad and sent to the LinkedIn feed of members beyond those who follow your company.” In practice, LinkedIn sponsored updates are ads created by your company or marketing team that are then delivered to LinkedIn users who follow your page or follow pages in a similar content space. These ads serve as part of the native LinkedIn feed and typically include a combination of relevant text and contextual images or videos, which in turn helps them integrate with similar user content rather than stand out as ads from payment. When designed and implemented well, LinkedIn sponsored updates can help generate organic interest in your brand from both current followers and a broader audience of LinkedIn members. Is it worth pointing out? While these posts are designed to follow the format of familiar user updates, they are always labeled “sponsored content” to ensure there are no misleading users or confusion.
What types of sponsored updates are available?
Brands can create four types of direct sponsored updates:
Single Image Ads
Single image ads include an image and text that display directly in specific members’ LinkedIn feeds.
Carousel Image Ads
Carousel ads contain several successive images that users can scroll through to get a better idea of your products or services.
Video ads offer a way to include multimedia marketing with videos in the feed that users can view on demand.
Unique Job Ads
If you are looking to expand your team, you can create unique job postings for your target audience. They must promote a single job opportunity and be linked to an active job on LinkedIn. You can also create what is known as “direct sponsored content.” These ads will not show on your LinkedIn page or product page before they are served as ads. As a result, companies often use them to test various marketing approaches and see which one produces the best results and use that as the basis for stronger sponsored content updates.
How much do LinkedIn sponsored updates cost?
The short answer is that more resource-consuming ads, such as videos or carousels, will cost more than their single-image counterparts. The long answer is a bit more complicated. First, it is important to understand that LinkedIn uses a bidding model for sponsored ads; you select and create your ad type and then specify how much you are willing to pay; There is a minimum price to ensure that advertisers are paid fairly, but you will never be charged more than your maximum upper limit. Different advertising providers then bid on the service and the lowest price wins. The price of the ad is also determined by your target audience and its relevance score. If your target audience is in high demand, you will be charged more because there is more competition to capture the interest of users. You can also reduce your ad costs by creating relevant ads. The more relevant and content-rich your ad is, the less you’ll pay, because the more likely you are to attract LinkedIn users. The best cost model for your ad is also worth considering: cost per click (CPC) or cost per impression (CPM). CPC means that you only pay when users click on your ad and visit your site, while CPM means that you pay for every 1000 views or “impressions” of your ad. If your goal is to build brand awareness, opt for CPM. If you have an established audience and want to drive clicks and conversions, choose CPC.
LinkedIn Sponsored Updates Best Practices
Want to make the most of LinkedIn sponsored updates? Keep these best practices in mind:
1. Follow the LinkedIn sponsored update specifications.
Each type of sponsored content comes with its own specifications.
Single Image Ads: Up to 255 characters for the ad name, 150 characters of intro text to avoid truncation, URLs with “http: //” or “https: //”, and JPG, GIF, or PNG files of 5 MB or less.
Carousel Ads: Use a minimum of two cards and a maximum of ten. Each card has a maximum file size of 10 MB and dimensions of 6012 x 6012px. Supported formats include JPG, PNG, and non-animated GIF.
Video Ads: Video ads should be between three and 30 seconds long, between 75 KB and 200 MB, and in MP4 format. They should also be less than 30 frames per second (FPS).
Unique Job Ads: Single-job ads should be concise, relevant, and clear and follow the same image guidelines as single-image ads. They must also link to an active job posting on LinkedIn. Failure to follow these guidelines can result in ad rejection. If the ads contain inappropriate or misleading content, LinkedIn may choose to remove the ads or cancel your LinkedIn account. The service also makes it clear that “spam” posts are not allowed: According to your Best practices for sponsored content page, “Companies that post updates in excess are subject to review by LinkedIn and could run the risk of having their page removed from LinkedIn.”
2. Don’t share too much.
While relevant and targeted content can help drive user interest, too many ads too quickly can result in overcrowding. LinkedIn recommends regularly adjusting your content strategy to offer analytics rather than just news, include curated content (with credit) from other sources, and repurpose old content where appropriate.
3. Test, test, test.
As noted above, direct sponsored content is a great way to test new advertising efforts and see what sticks. With the ever-evolving social media market, it’s worth evaluating ad performance every few weeks to see what works, what doesn’t, and where specific changes can help.
4. Spend wisely.
Sponsored updates can get expensive as you add new ads and use various types of ads. Here, it’s worth keeping track of your ad spend and switching from CPC to CPM models once click-through rates start to rise. If your ads start to lose steam, consider going back to CPM for more awareness.
5. Find new markets.
While engaging your target market is critical, diversifying your advertising goals is also important to expanding your overall impact. LinkedIn recommends using tools like Lead generation forms to find better leads, assess ROI, and manage your ads at scale. LinkedIn’s sponsored upgrade model offers a streamlined solution to help brands reach their target market, expand brand awareness, and increase ROI. Best bet? Start with direct sponsored content to see what sticks, then choose the cost model that makes the most sense (CPC or CPM) and adjust as needed to reach LinkedIn’s largest audience.