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LinkedIn’s new ad products turn power users into marketers

The news: LinkedIn has expanded its B2B marketing offerings with a number of features designed to help marketers reach relevant audiences and analyze performance.

What’s new: Newsletters, product searches, and analytics are at the core of LinkedIn’s push into B2B advertising.

  • LinkedIn Newsletters now allow creators to make recurring posts, notify users via in-app notifications, and will suggest SEO titles and tags to help exposure.
  • Product Pages allow products to be found via LinkedIn searches by product, category, or company. Users can also highlight products on their professional profiles.
  • Competitor analytics give marketers insights into how their posts perform against competitors. Through the new dashboard, users can see what posts, topics, and tags are performing well for competitors so they can stay up-to-date on relevant topics in their industries.

LinkedIn as an ad platform: The professional social media network is wrapped up in parent company Microsoft’s attempt to claim a bigger share of the digital ad market, but its specific niche makes it harder to find broad appeal compared with other social platforms.

  • LinkedIn ads rank low in relevancy. In a September survey, we found that only 18% of respondents felt that LinkedIn ad relevance had improved in the last year—the lowest of any social media platform.
  • Still, LinkedIn is learning from the rivals’ missteps and general shifts in digital advertising. Along with its new products, the platform also announced a Brand Safety Hub in partnership with DoubleVerify, as well as broader access to its first-party data that lets advertisers “target, measure, and optimize… without the need for individual trackers.”

Our take: B2B marketing is a safe bet for LinkedIn’s new push into advertising. LinkedIn is wise to try and turn its power users into on-platform marketers, especially since the ad downturn may make larger brands wary of trying new ad channels.