Companies can now sponsor organic content across LinkedIn

LinkedIn introduces an update to its Thought Leader Ads, allowing brands to sponsor posts from any platform member, not just their employees, to reach new audiences and build trust.

Companies can now sponsor organic content across LinkedIn

LinkedIn is broadening the scope of its Thought Leader Ads with its recent update. Advertisers can now sponsor content from any LinkedIn member, extending beyond just the company's employees. This strategic move is designed to help brands amplify a wider array of influential voices, trusted experts, and member posts, thereby diversifying the narratives and insights they present on the platform.

The significance of this update lies in its potential to enable brands to showcase a variety of perspectives and expertise, not just from within their organization but from the global LinkedIn community. This means companies can now promote content from thought leaders and industry influencers directly related to any page or showcase pages they manage, thus broadening their reach and impact on the platform.

Furthermore, LinkedIn's update is a response to the evolving nature of B2B influence and the increasing importance of building audience trust through authentic thought leadership. According to LinkedIn's weekly newsletter, a staggering 73% of decision-makers consider an organization's thought-leadership content a more reliable indicator of its capabilities and competencies than traditional marketing materials. This statistic underscores the growing relevance of thought leadership in today's business environment.

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Matt Tindale, head of enterprise for APAC at LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, emphasizes the critical role of people in thought leadership. By sponsoring posts from employees, experts, and members who authentically promote a company's insights, brands can significantly enhance their visibility, credibility, and community engagement. This approach not only distinguishes brands as industry authorities but also supports their overall marketing strategies.

This expansion of LinkedIn's advertising capabilities follows the platform's announcement of exceeding US$1.7 billion in revenue from its premium subscriptions. The incorporation of AI-powered writing suggestions and profile recommendations has seen widespread adoption, with over 70% of Premium subscribers utilizing these features to attract more views and opportunities. Additionally, early tests indicate a 90% satisfaction rate among subscribers who have access to LinkedIn's AI-powered job experience feature.

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Thought Leader Ads: user success stories

Prior to its public launch, LinkedIn tested this feature with several companies, including Mastercard APAC. Mastercard regularly shares media reports, thought leadership articles, and profiles of their business leaders. With LinkedIn's new ad feature, Mastercard began promoting posts by their business leaders, achieving significant results for the brand, including a 130% increase in follower growth, a 169% rise in engagement rate, and a 175% boost in click-through rate.

"When presented with the opportunity to trial thought leadership ads, we immediately agreed, and are glad we did as the impact was clear. It reaffirms what we all know: people enjoy hearing from people," said Barkha Patel, senior VP of communications at Mastercard APAC. She added, "One of our executives was delighted to wake up to more than 500 notifications on the first day!"

Canberk Beker, the head of paid acquisition at Cognism, also shared his success story: "Thought Leader Ads didn't only help us increase the CTR and decrease the CPC; they also helped us create a non-stop content engine by enabling us to promote each of our employees' posts."

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