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LinkedIn isn’t just for networking. It’s a powerful B2B advertising platform as well, with a professional audience and focus on business-related content that creates an ideal environment for delivering your message. Last summer the company rolled out a major revamp of its ad campaign manager in response to – and anticipation of – a sustained growth trend for advertising on the site. In May, LinkedIn announced another round of updates for 2016: new features designed to further enhance the ad platform’s utility, making it easier to manage and providing more optimization tools.
While Microsoft’s deal to buy LinkedIn has been dominating the news surrounding the company, the ad management tweaks are likely to have a more significant impact on companies that market through it, at least in the short term. Some of these new features and abilities are already live, with the rest appearing in the near future. The next time you visit your Campaign Manager you might find you can:
- Save a selected audience. Once you’ve selected all the criteria for a particular marketing message for a text ad or using Sponsored Content or Sponsored InMail, you’ll have the option to “Save audience as template” on the Audience page. Once saved, you’ll be able to pull up the template and use it in other campaigns with the same criteria already selected. This can be a major timesaver for those who manage multiple campaigns. If the audience you wish to target in your current campaign is similar but not identical to the one in your saved template, you’re still covered. After recalling the template, you can continue to adjust it so it matches your new goals without having to start from scratch.
- Extend, archive and restart campaigns. If you’re not ready to let a good campaign go when its date or budget cap have passed, you can simply change the limiting parameters to extend the campaign. Once a particular campaign is over, you can archive it to tidy up your Campaign Manager. It’s not gone though; you can call it up via campaign status dropdown menu. If you need it, select Archived from the menu and you’ll see a list of archived campaigns to choose from. Whether you want to extend an effective and active campaign or reuse one that’s been archived, you’ll save a good bit of time by not having to start over.
- Target based on years of experience. The audience selection criteria will soon expand beyond just selecting titles, allowing you to target your message to LinkedIn users with a specified length of experience. This can be useful in a host of situations, from hiring to communicating with top-level decision makers.
- Get more engagement from ads. Comment on updates from your firm and Sponsored Content are already open to “Likes” and soon users will be able to reply to and share these comments, too. LinkedIn says, “This will help members discover relevant content, offer more engagement with brands, and increase the virality of content that marketers are posting to LinkedIn.” Will it work? Who knows, but it can’t hurt to make these options possible.
- Have more ads per campaign. This change is likely to affect only large companies that advertise heavily on the platform, but it’s helpful nonetheless. Each campaign can now have up to 100 different ads and as many or few of them as you like may be active or paused at any time. For firms that like to experiment widely in order to finely tune their message, this expanded freedom could be a boon.
LinkedIn offers a prime platform for B2B marketing. For those already sold on the merits of advertising here, are these welcome changes? And if you haven’t yet given LinkedIn advertising a try, do the new updates make it a bit more enticing? We’d love to hear your feedback.