It's been a couple of months since LinkedIn rolled out the Sponsored Updates feature for all company pages. With more than 3 million Company Pages on LinkedIn, Sponsored Updates could not have been launched at a more competitive or opportune time.

Personally, I am a LinkedIn worshipper. I thoroughly enjoy the B2B marketing potential that the platform provides. Even though I am still experimenting with the new feature, I can say with much confidence that Sponsored Updates are a boon for us!

Let's take a look at how we go about sponsoring a company status update. When you reach your LinkedIn ad dashboard, this is what you see:

how to use linkedin advertising

Select the second option to start with your sponsored updates campaign. You can sponsor multiple updates at the same time; however, it is advisable to sponsor one update at a time to gain maximum visibility for your campaign and avoid cannibalization. Once you choose "Sponsor an Update" you will see the following:

guide to linkedin sponsored posts

It is essential to have a clear and simple campaign name for this type of advertising because we might end up sponsoring quite a few updates. Personally I wanted to experiment with different targeting options, updates with and without an image; hence I kept a simple campaign name which will help me remember the USP of the campaign just by looking at the headline.

This is how your Sponsored Update will appear on a desktop:

social media marketing

LinkedIn gives you an option to see how your Sponsored Update will appear on a desktop, mobile device and a tablet. The next step is choosing the target audience. The options provided by LinkedIn are identical to the self-serve ads.

linkedin guide

Your bid range and minimum bid will vary depending on your target audience. The minimum bid for my first campaign was 191 INR and for the second one was 137 INR.

If you go for CPC model you will only be charged when someone clicks on the link that is present in the update, the image or the video or any other external content piece that you have included in your update, the company name and the company logo. Social actions are free!

sponsored updates

For a CPM model the minimum bid will vary from 574 INR to 610 INR.

Go ahead and launch your campaign. Set up a daily budget; you can run the campaign until a specific date or till your budget gets exhausted. From what I have observed, it is ideal to run one Sponsored Update for two to three days.

Sponsored Updates will prove to be very significant to spread awareness about a new product launch, drive sign-ups for an upcoming event, gather recommendations, and other similar actions.

When you go on your company page you will see a clear divide between the number of followers acquired, clicks received, impressions and interaction via Sponsored Update and via the organic reach of your update.

target audience

The most interesting part about the Sponsored Updates is the analytics offered by LinkedIn. It will not only help you optimize your campaign accurately but also give you insights about your target audience.

The LinkedIn adverting dashboard will show you Top Clicks by Job Function, Region, Industry, Seniority and Company Size.

linkedin best practices

So in your next Sponsored Update you can word your update in such a manner that is most enticing to your target audience. If your target audience consists essentially of entry level people from technical background, you might want to give out more operational level detail in your next update.

The most awaited question here would be: What is the average CTR for Sponsored Update? So far we have observed an average CTR of 0.117%. This shows that Sponsored Updates are performing way better than basic LinkedIn ads which have an average CTR of 0.03%.

The next thought that will pop-up in your mind will be: Are LinkedIn Sponsored Updates faring better than Facebook Promoted Posts?

Here are the stats:

The link click to update likes ratio for LinkedIn sponsored updates is between 10.57 to 11.23, while the link click to update likes ratio for Facebook promoted posts is between 0.09 to 1.22. This clearly tells us that when it comes to News Feed ads (promoted posts) on Facebook, people tend to 'like' the update more as compared to clicking on the link in the update and going to the landing page. Whereas on LinkedIn, people tend to click on the link more often and end up going to the landing page.

This clearly tells us that LinkedIn advertising, even though a little more expensive than Facebook advertising, is worth every penny. As an advertiser the above number helps me justify why I would choose LinkedIn advertising over Facebook advertising when the latter is cheaper (read: some believe cost effective!).

This also restores my faith in the lead generation capability of the platform for my client's business. After all isn't it quality that we strive for, always?

Have you seen a sponsored update on your LinkedIn news feed? Have you tried it as an advertiser? Let us know!