LinkedIn Ads…Beyond LinkedIn?

If you’ve created a LinkedIn campaign recently that was for sponsored updates, you may have notices a new checkbox at the bottom of the Audience page. Here is a screenshot:


First off, the feature bears the “(BETA)” label to let you know that they’re still testing it out. Okay, but what exactly is it? I asked a LinkedIn rep, checked their Help Center and got some info.

LinkedIn Beyond LinkedIn

The short version is that this is effectively the Google Search Partners for LinkedIn. They have put together a network of “brand safe premium publisher sites” where they can take your LinkedIn sponsored update and post it on these sites. As for how that content will be served, LinkedIn says “Your ads will appear in native format within the newsfeed on our partner sites and apps.”

My biggest reservation here is that they don’t disclose what any of the partner website are and there isn’t any reporting that will tell you after the fact. That’s a pretty big black hole to be dropping money into at the already-high CPCs that LinkedIn is charging.

To me it seems a lot like the old LinkedIn Audience Network. Back in the day you could opt to have your ads (not sponsored updates) show on sites like Slideshare. My experience was that the additional clicks were much lower quality and not worth the money, so I’m leery of this new “beta” feature. However, if you’re looking for additional volume in your LinkedIn campaigns I recommend testing, because it could be a great opportunity for you.