Are Sponsored Content Ads right for your Business?
With the large variety of social media platforms and paid advertising approaches, it has become more difficult than ever to decide how to allocate your marketing budget so you receive the highest ROI for your marketing dollars. While navigating the online marketing world it is imperative to ensure that your approach is geared to the type of leads & business you are looking to attract. Online marketing approaches geared to B2C sales are very straight forward. If you are selling computers you can set up an add on Google that ensures your advertisement shows up for searches related to buying a computer online, but what about B2B sales? In the past B2B online marketing approaches have not been as straight forward because these sales require building a business relationships which often makes online ads less effective.
Linked-in has provided a advertising platform that provides an appropriate advertising method that helps stimulate B2B sales because the platform connects the individuals that are making B2b decisions. I was personally very excited to start engaging in Linked In sponsored content advertising to see how it compared to our traditional approach of Google AdWords. Originally I was slightly skeptical, thinking that the blog formatted advertisements would be too wordy for our attention deficit society that wants information quick. I also wondered if the sponsored content would be overlooked in a busy news feed. After running a sponsored content campaign I was pleasantly surprised by the level of engagement that my advertisement received and noticed three key advantages of running a Linked-In Sponsored Content Ad:
Education & Source Credibility
Since Linked-In was created specifically for professionals, users are more likely to use Linked-In as a source of information that can enhance their own professional career. Most articles aim at explaining a personal experience, opinion, or sharing knowledge that that can be translated into a work environment. Since these articles are written by professionals for other professionals they gain credibility which enhances the chances of user engagement & trust. Sponsored Content Ads allow companies to provide industry specific content that is relevant to their target audience without the advertisement being viewed as shameless promotion. The indirect approach strives to provide value to its readers that in the future could promote a business relationship.
Another key advantage to a sponsored content is that the advertisement blends into the linked-in news feed without blatantly telling the user it is a paid advertisement. Below the title Linked-In indicates that the article is “sponsored” but the design of the ad is almost identical to any other Linked-In post on your feed
The subtle approach is beneficial because it encourages users to click on the article based on interest. I also noticed that sponsored advertisement are usually placed above the fold, under the second post on a user’s news feed. The placement of the advertisement ensures that users will see your advertisement and even if you do not receive a click you will still attain brand awareness.
Since Linked-In profiles provide vital information regarding an individuals industry, professional title & location you will be able to ensure that your message is being received by the appropriate audience. For example if you have a new type of construction tool that improves productivity you should aim your sponsored content at Construction professionals that Own contracting companies.
Overall I believe that Linked-In Sponsored Content advertisements are currently the most effective tool to stimulate B2B relationships. They help you reach your ideal candidate, provide an opportunity to prove you are an expert & get your company valuable brand exposure. Although they are not geared to instant conversions like Google AdWords, I believe that these articles provide value to readers that stimulate quality business relationships.