Sponsored Content, a Trusted Advertising Tactic, is now a PR Tool
Sponsored content. Native ads. Pay-for-play. Advertorials. No matter which moniker you use, this kind of advertising – a hybrid between a traditional ad and editorial — is what the PR community now calls “paid media.”
PR pros like us traditionally have warned clients to steer clear of pay-for-play placements. Occasionally, if a sponsored pitch seemed legit, we may once have turned such opportunities over to a client’s advertising agency.
With the rise of social platforms and search engines, however, we’ve come to embrace paid media as part of the media mix.
For B2B clients, we’re especially enthusiastic about using LinkedIn as a platform for sponsored content. On LinkedIn, sponsored posts seem to be like any “normal” piece of content. However, they show up in the Linkedin feeds of people who’ve been targeted by you for a particular campaign.
Content that Fosters Connections
When sponsored content does its job, the companies that post it garner engagement from new users in the form of leads.
So, what do you post to encourage engagement from LinkedIn sponsored content? The same types of content you’re already posting on your LinkedIn company and showcase pages, namely:
- Links to, or excerpts from, your company newsroom, blog, website pages and social channels
- Original opinion, insights and takeaways about the news in your industry
- Articles, video, and images “curated” to the interests and needs of your followers and prospective audiences
- Stories and photos about your employees and your customers designed to build an emotional connection to your audience
But here’s the difference between regular content and content you pay to disseminate on LinkedIn: the content you sponsor must hold a particular appeal to those who don’t currently follow your brand.
Low-Cost, Highly Targeted
Unlike typical advertising, LinkedIn sponsored content is relatively inexpensive – especially if you use the platform’s self-service Campaign Manager tool. The minimum cost per campaign is just $10 a day. (LinkedIn’s Advertising Cost & Bid Types has the specifics.)
Everything else you need to know about creating, testing, targeting and measuring the impact of LinkedIn paid media can be found on the platform sponsored content pages. If you’ve still got questions, sign up with us for a free consultation.
Does your company sponsor content on LinkedIn? Would you recommend it to others?
Clients ask us questions about LinkedIn all the time. Questions like ‘How do we get more engagement? What’s the right posting schedule? How do we improve our company page?’
So, we decided to create a series of LinkedIn lessons. Our hope is that these will guide you toward better a better LinkedIn presence. We hope you’ll follow along.
Here’s the lineup of lessons:
- Make #Hashtags a #Habit
- When – and How Often – to Post?
- Using Content to Achieve Thought Leadership
- Sponsored Content–A Trusted Tool
- The Best Practices of LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman
- Does Your LinkedIn Page ‘Work’ for Your Company?