When it comes to building your brand and increasing your sales, social media is important.
Here’s why: More than three billion people worldwide now have social media accounts, and 54% of those users use social media to research products.
The biggest challenge? Find the right platform for your social media posts to connect with your ideal audience.
While many companies use websites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to promote their content and increase conversion rates, there are also reasons for more business-oriented frameworks like LinkedIn.
In this comprehensive guide to LinkedIn Sponsored Updates, we’ll cover the big questions: what are LinkedIn Sponsored Updates, how do they work, and how much do they cost?
We also provide 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?
The official LinkedIn help page, also known as sponsored content, states that a sponsored update is “a LinkedIn page update that is sponsored as an advertisement and delivered to the LinkedIn feed by members who are not your company consequences.”
In practice, LinkedIn sponsored updates are ads created by your company or marketing team and then delivered to LinkedIn users who either follow your page or follow pages in a similar content area.
These ads are shown as part of the native LinkedIn feed and typically contain a combination of relevant text and contextual images or videos. This in turn helps them fit into similar user content instead of being highlighted as paid advertising.
If LinkedIn updates are well designed and delivered, they can help build organic interest for your brand from both current followers and a wider audience of LinkedIn members. Worthless? While these posts are in the format of known user updates, they are always flagged as “Sponsored Content” to ensure that no misleading users or confusion arise.
What types of sponsored updates are available?
Brands can create four types of direct sponsored updates:
Single image ads
Single-image ads contain an image and text that appear directly in the target members’ LinkedIn feeds.
Carousel Image Ads
Carousel ads contain multiple images in sequence that users can scroll through to get a better feel for your product or service.
Video ads provide a way to incorporate multimedia marketing into in-feed videos that users can watch when they need to.
If you want to grow your team, you can create individual job advertisements for your target audience. You must promote a single job posting and be linked to an active job posting on LinkedIn.
You can also create something called “directly sponsored content”. These ads won’t appear on your LinkedIn Page or Showcase Page until they are served as advertisements.
As a result, they are widely used by companies to test different marketing approaches and determine which one will produce the best results, and to use it as a foundation for more robust updates to sponsored content.
What do LinkedIn sponsored updates cost?
The short answer is that more resource-intensive ads – like videos or carousels – cost more than their single-image counterparts.
The long answer is a little more complicated. First of all, it’s important to understand that LinkedIn uses a sponsored ad bidding model;; You choose and create your ad type, then indicate how much you’re willing to pay. There is a minimum price to ensure advertisers are paid fairly, but you will never be charged more than your maximum limit. Different ad providers then bid on the service and the lowest price wins.
The ad price is also determined by your target audience and relevance rating. If your target audience is in high demand, you will be charged higher because the competition to harness user interest is greater. You can also lower your advertising costs by creating relevant ads. The more relevant and content your ad is, the less you’ll pay – because there’s a better chance of attracting LinkedIn users.
It’s also worth considering the best cost model for your ad: cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-impression (CPM). CPC means you only pay when people click your ad and visit your website. CPM means that you pay for every 1,000 views or “impressions” of your ad.
If your goal is to generate brand awareness, go for CPM. If you have an established audience and want click-throughs and conversions, choose CPC.
Best Practices for LinkedIn Sponsored Updates
Do you want to make the most of your LinkedIn sponsored updates? Follow these best practices:
1. Follow LinkedIn sponsored update specifications.
Each type of sponsored content has its own specifications.
Single-image ads: Up to 255 characters for the ad name, 150 characters for intro text to avoid shortening, URLs with “http: //” or “https: //” and JPG, GIF or PNG files with a size 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 10MB and dimensions of 6012 x 6012 pixels. Supported formats are JPG, PNG and non-animated GIFs.
Video ads: Video ads must be three to 30 seconds long, between 75KB and 200MB, and in MP4 format. They must also be less than 30 frames per second (FPS).
Individual advertisements: Individual ads should be precise, relevant, clear, and follow the same image guidelines as single image ads. You must also refer to an active job posting on LinkedIn.
Failure to follow these guidelines could result in ads being disapproved. If ads contain misleading or inappropriate content, LinkedIn may remove the ads or terminate your LinkedIn account.
The service also makes it clear that “spam” postings are not allowed: According to their Sponsored Content Best Practices page, “Companies that post excessive updates must be checked by LinkedIn and risk having their LinkedIn page deleted.”
2. Do not overwrite.
While targeted, relevant content can pique user interest, too many ads can lead to oversaturation too quickly.
LinkedIn recommends optimizing your content strategy regularly to deliver analysis instead of just news, to include curated content (with credit) from other sources and, if necessary, to reuse older content.
3. Test, test, test.
As mentioned above, direct sponsored content is a great way to try new promotions and see what stays.
As the social media market continues to evolve, it pays to evaluate ad performance every few weeks to see what’s working, what’s not, and where certain changes can help.
4. Spend wisely.
Sponsored updates can get expensive if you include new ads and use multiple ad types.
This is where it pays to track your ad spend and switch from CPC to CPM models as soon as click rates increase. When ads are losing steam, consider going back to CPM for attention.
5. Find new markets.
While engaging your target market is crucial, diversifying your ad goals is also important in order to increase your overall impact. LinkedIn recommends using tools like Lead Gen Forms to find better leads, evaluate ROI, and manage your ads on a large scale.
The LinkedIn sponsored update model provides a streamlined solution that helps brands reach their target market, increase brand awareness, and increase ROI. Best bid? Start with directly sponsored content to see which sticks are being used, then choose the cost model that makes the most sense – CPC or CPM – and adjust it as needed to reach the largest LinkedIn audience.