LinkedIn to push sponsored content

Of all the social-media platforms, LinkedIn is seen as the good guy when it comes to content distribution. Certainly, the chances of putting a story into someone’s feed is achievable when compared to Facebook or Twitter. Recent research from the Content Marketing Association found that LinkedIn came out on top in terms of B2B, with 67 per cent of marketers saying that they thought it was the most effective.

But LinkedIn had a few interesting announcements regarding sponsored content tucked away within its 2015 results. Firstly, it is dropping its ad network. This decision was partly encouraged by the company’s success in sponsored, which provided 52 per cent of marketing-operations revenue.

There was also discussion of its upgraded mobile app and how LinkedIn has shifted its focus to allow people to view news feeds more effectively. The change has so far seen more interaction with content.

The demise of ads and the realisation that sponsored content is key to growth will mean the introduction of new features in 2016. The company says this will include conversion tracking and enhanced targeting.

Speaking about sponsored content, LinkedIn chief executive Jeff Weiner said: “For Marketing Solutions, we remain focused on being the most effective platform for marketers to engage professionals. That goal is increasingly realised through Sponsored Updates, which saw revenue more than double in 2015 as our fastest-growing monetised product at scale.”

This is big news. For those involved in B2B content marketing, LinkedIn is probably the best social-media distribution channel. Twitter has its purposes – such as indexing and getting links out – but LinkedIn’s platform is better geared towards business and longer posts. The only question is how the company pushes engagement with other sites. For example, the Pulse blogging service is good, but it’s tricky running the same content on your own site from an SEO perspective.

The other concern is that the focus on sponsored does not kill off organic content in the same way as have Facebook and Twitter.

LinkedIn to push sponsored content is part of Content24, the online magazine for London content marketing agency FirstWord.

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