LinkedIn Will Now Enable Brands to Sponsor Any Organic Post in the App

LinkedIn is expanding its Thought Leader ads into its own version of branded content promotion, by enabling businesses to promote content from any user in the app, not just their own employees.

Up till now, brands have been able to use Thought Leader ads to convert posts from verified employees of their organization into promotions. But now, businesses will also be able to promote non-employee posts as well, if they choose.

LinkedIn thought leader ads

As explained by LinkedIn:

Nearly 73% of decision-makers say that an organization’s thought-leadership content is a more trustworthy basis for assessing its capabilities and competencies than its marketing materials and product sheets. And influential and trusted advocates for brands can be employees, customers and/or industry experts. The expansion of our Thought Leader Ads format to enable brands to showcase voices beyond their employees gives them a new way to reach their target audience with relevant information, like customer testimonials.

You’ll be able to build your Thought Leadership campaigns via LinkedIn Campaign Manager, which now has dedicated search tools to facilitate Thought Leadership promotions.

“Once logged in, you’ll have the option to search for the person (by name) – 1st or 2nd degree connection – or by post (by URL) for the content that you want to sponsor. The search will yield a list of posts from that member that your business is able to promote.”

Thought Leadership ads are available for brand awareness or engagement campaigns, and only for single image or video posts, so you can’t use straight text updates, polls or slide show style PDF uploads at this stage.

Once you select a post that you want to promote, the creator will then get a notification so that they can “approve” or “deny” that specific request.

So members will be able to opt out of brand promotions, but if the partnership makes sense, and the member doesn’t have an issue an the brand using their comments, brands will now be able to convert testimonials, reviews, comments, any image/video post into a promoted post.

Though it is worth noting that the post creator won’t get paid for having their post included in a Thought Leader campaign. It seems like it could be a future monetization opportunity for LinkedIn, but right now, the only benefit the creator gets is additional promotion in the app.  

Users will see that this is promoted content via a transparency tag above the post text.

It’s an interesting expansion, which could make it a bigger consideration, in order to use organic content and endorsements to maximize your LinkedIn reach.

Though as noted, it does seem like there should be a revenue share system in place too. When it was just employee content that could be promoted, is made sense that this wouldn’t include compensation for the creator, but now, it seems like there should be an incentive system of some kind in place.

Either way, it’s another consideration for your LinkedIn promotions, which could be another way to get more out of your marketing efforts.

More info on Thought Leader ads:

LinkedIn thought leader ads


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