Microsoft-owned LinkedIn is continuing its efforts to monetize its network of 500 million-plus professionals with the launch of an ad network that will let advertisers target its user-base on third-party websites and apps.
The new tool, dubbed LinkedIn Audience Network, was announced today (September 6) and lets advertisers engaging professionals using LinkedIn Sponsored Content, to then extend its reach by serving it on native ad units on third-party desktop and mobile properties.
Divye Raj Khilnani, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, group product marketing manager, claimed the latest addition to its advertising offering was geared towards helping marketers “get their content in front of the right people, wherever they are.”
In addition, he also underlined its commitment to making sure this happens within brand safe environments. “Understanding your campaign performance is crucial to measuring your advertising ROI,” he added.
“When you deliver ads on the LinkedIn Audience Network, you can download performance reports that include clicks, impressions, and engagement that your ads get specifically through the network. This allows you to compare your network performance to your onsite performance.”
The launch follows a beta program that saw 6,000 of LinkedIn’s advertisers participate, with the average participant reporting a 3-13% increase in unique impressions served, and up to an 80% increase in unique clicks, according to the Microsoft-owned entity.
Financial services firm Hiscox was one of the brands that took part in the pilot. Gyawu Mahama, communications and marketing manager, said: ““When we reviewed campaigns that ran on the LinkedIn Audience Network, we saw a level of engagement that was nearly 4X greater than the benchmark for the financial services industry.”
The launch comes just weeks after LinkedIn announced the availability of native video on the professional network, with an update that would also offer users key insights into which audiences have viewed their posts, including the top companies, job titles and locations of post viewers, etc.
This came a month after the professional announced the launch of LinkedIn Website Demographics, a reporting tool that pulls professional data from its 500 million user profiles that helps marketers see what types of professionals are interested in their offering.
In its latest earnings call, Microsoft revealed that LinkedIn contributed $1.1bn in revenues to its overall performance, although it remains a loss-making operation for the wider organization, with the professional services outfit generating a $361m loss during the period.