LinkedIn has announced the wide release of Sponsored Updates, which are in-stream advertisements that appear on members’ homepages in the same feed where they see career updates and other posts from their colleagues.
Starting today, all LinkedIn advertisers and Company Page administrators will be able to their own create campaigns using the site’s self-serve advertising platform.
This also means that all members, even those who pay a monthly fee for a premium membership, will see status updates and other posts from advertisers whose companies they may or may not be following. This could be good or bad, depending on how you look at it.
For marketers, having the option to target their messages to the upper echelon of the LinkedIn community is part of the point of paying to advertise.
LinkedIn’s test run with a few companies has already produced a few compelling testimonials. For example, inbound marketing software company HubSpot, who wanted higher quality leads, said that their LinkedIn campaign drew 400 percent more leads from within their target audience compared to other paid channels.
But everything we know about premium memberships from cable channels and streaming services like Netflix or Pandora suggests that paying for a service should cut down on the amount of advertising we see.
Greenlight’s poll of Facebook users showed that 15 percent would pay — and 8 percent would even pay up to $10 a month — not to see any ads in their feeds.
LinkedIn, however, is not Facebook. It’s a professional networking site where people go to take care of business. Members might not even notice that a link to an Influencer article, written to look just like an Op-Ed or perhaps a chapter from an inspirational business book, wasn’t coming from one of their connections or a company they follow.
What do you think of Sponsored Updates? Let us know in the comments.