LinkedIn has rolled out a new targeting tool for brands that sponsor content on the platform: Audience Network. The tool increases brands' chances of their content appearing on audiences' LinkedIn feeds, and―perhaps more excitingly―tracks users across the internet.
While Facebook and Google have offered similar retargeting capabilities for years, Audience Network can push LinkedIn into serious contention as an advertising platform, especially for B2B brands that seek out many of their leads using LinkedIn.
Here are three ways brands can start experimenting with Audience Network in their paid efforts.
Follow audiences across the web. LinkedIn has promised advertisers the ability to place sponsored content on "thousands of...partnered apps and websites where users spend their time." Building on its recently piloted trio of internal targeting tools, which gave brands the ability to merge some of their own audience data with LinkedIn user data, brands will now be able to place content on sites where users go after checking their LinkedIn feed, such as fitness sites and Microsoft-owned properties like MSN.com and Outlook.com, according to TechCrunch.
Place ads on websites that won't harm brand reputation. Publishers have been wary about targeted ad spends following reports earlier this year of sponsored content popping up on sites with offensive content. Taking a cue from Google, LinkedIn has promised ad publishers that it will ban those kinds of sites from its Audience Network program, even barring "dating apps, celebrity news publishers, and similar placements." Brands will also have the option to create block lists banning specific sites from their individual ad network.
Harness LinkedIn's extensive user data to measure ROI. LinkedIn provides a wider range of data than other social platforms: not just likes and shares, but endorsements, connections, geographic location, educational history and professional backgrounds. Advertisers that sponsor content on LinkedIn will now be able to see if they're putting their ad dollars to good use, whether they're serving ads to their intended audience and whether those users are completing desired actions like clicking a link or downloading a white paper. Brands will also be able to see which channels their impressions are most effective on: LinkedIn's newsfeed or the Audience Network.
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