LinkedIn Unveils Audience Network to Amplify ROI of Sponsored Content across Mobile and Native Ads

LinkedIn Audience Network

LinkedIn Audience Network Now Offers a New Way to Reach Relevant Professionals with Sponsored Content Campaigns

LinkedIn launched the LinkedIn Audience Network, a native advertising network that lets marketers reach even more professionals with ads by placing sponsored content on high-quality, third-party publishers across mobile and desktop.

Why the need for Audience Network?

To enable professionals connect to their audience through LinkedIn Sponsored Content that takes engagements beyond the platform—to premium apps and websites that audiences are using and spending time on.

According to LinkedIn, advertisers have seen a 3-13% increase in unique impressions served, and up to an 80% increase in unique clicks. This means that advertisers running campaigns in the Audience Network are reaching new people they hadn’t yet engaged with on LinkedIn’s various properties.

LinkedIn Audience Network Targets Mobile and Native Ads

We spoke to Divye Khilnani, Group Product Manager, LinkedIn, about this development.. Divye said, “While we had a similarly named product a couple of years ago, the difference is that this a completely different experience. Today, the LinkedIn Audience Network is focused primarily on mobile and native ad formats.”

Different from its earlier version, the new LinkedIn Audience Network leverages Sponsored Content instead of display ads.

What made LinkedIn to revise its strategy?

Khilnani explained, “That’s because Sponsored Content has become a pillar of ad revenue on LinkedIn.It drives 80 per cent of engagement on mobile. We developed this network capability for Sponsored Content because it is more in line with how people use the LinkedIn platform and how advertisers can best reach their target audiences. The new LinkedIn Audience Network includes a number of capabilities that were purpose-built for the advertiser. We have invested heavily in making sure that advertisers have control over types of apps that their ads are served on, as well as robust reporting capabilities, so that they can better understand the ROI of their campaigns both on and off the LinkedIn platform.”

How Effective Is LinkedIn Audience Network in Taking Content Beyond the LinkedIn Feed?

Khilnani said that more than 6,000 LinkedIn advertisers have participated in the LinkedIn Audience Network beta program and saw the following results:

  • 3-13% increase in unique impressions served and up to 80% increase in unique clicks. This means that advertisers are reaching new people they hadn’t yet reached on one of LinkedIn’s owned and operated properties.
  • Click-through rates for Audience Network campaigns are typically on par with or better than LinkedIn’s benchmark. For example, financial services and insurance provider Hiscox achieved a level of engagement that was nearly 4X greater than the benchmark for the financial services industry.

Divye added, “We work with some of the largest third-party ad exchanges such as Mopub, Google AdX, Rubicon, and Sharethrough.”

Data and Member Privacy

He elucidated, “At LinkedIn we have a member first approach towards product development. This means that we always strive to design our products such that our member data is secure and private. The LinkedIn Audience Network launch is no different. We have implemented opt-out controls for our members if they wish to not be served ads off LinkedIn properties. Moreover, we also only charge our advertisers for valid clicks on third-party traffic. This ensures that their cost per acquisition does not suffer due to fraudulent traffic or by serving their ad impressions to an audience that would not want to engage with their content.”

AI/ ML Capabilities Central to the Adoption of LinkedIn Audience Network

LinkedIn product development is centrered around artificial intelligence and machine learning, to bolster its native advertising offerings. Khilnani said that AI/ML capabilities were key to success of their advertising platform, ”We have invested and will continue to further develop algorithms and models to improve advertiser ROI. We leverage these models to help reach the right audience on LinkedIn audience network and also to improve conversion rates from 3rd party traffic.”

The LinkedIn Audience Network is designed to increase your marketing footprint beyond the LinkedIn platform so you can extend your campaign’s reach, deliver on your budget more easily and get your content in front of the right people, wherever they are.

Compare Marketing Performance with Onsite Engagement Metrics in Brand-Safe Ecosystem

LinkedIn Audience Network enables marketers to download performance reports that include clicks, impressions, and engagement that published ads get specifically through the network. This allows you to compare your network performance to your onsite performance.

Khilnani assured users that LinkedIn’s top priority was to promote content in a high-quality and brand-safe context by taking measures to ensure brand safety within Audience Network placements.

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