How to use LinkedIn sponsored updates for B2B lead generation

Written by Lucy Jones

Mar 16 2015


 If you want to take your social media marketing to the next phase, LinkedIn sponsored updates offer a precision targeted way to do so.

We’ve already outlined a few ways that you can generate B2B leads on LinkedIn, from optimising your profile, to sending InMails or getting it right with discussions groups.

Incorporate sponsored updates, and your combined activity will achieve impressive results.

What are LinkedIn sponsored updates?

If you have a company page, want to boost your following and want to promote a particular LinkedIn update to a targeted audience, LinkedIn’s sponsored updates give you an easy way to do so, and an alternative to LinkedIn ads.

‘So it’s not a sponsored ad?’

LinkedIn sponsored updates are different to LinkedIn ads in many ways:

  • Unlike typical ads that appear in the sidebar, sponsored updates show in user timelines. Looking less like an ad and more like a company update, the native display appears natural from a reader’s perspective.

  • Drawing users with visuals, you get much bigger images with sponsored updates than ads.

  • You also get more space for copy with updates than with ads. Make sure you make the most of it with relevant, persona focused content.

  • As sponsored updates come from your LinkedIn Company page, not your personal profile, it can boost followers and build brand awareness.

  • Unlike ads on other social media platforms, you don’t pay when someone shares or likes your update - only when they click through.

  • Ads don’t allow users to share them. But as with a regular update, sponsored updates allow LinkedIn users to share them with their own network, increasing your reach.

  • The minimum spend is $10 per day, so sponsored updates are perfect for small as well as large businesses.

How will LinkedIn sponsored updates get me leads?

Sponsored updates have been designed with lead generation in mind. LinkedIn’s own description page highlights that you should use updates to ‘Drive quality leads by sharing insights that professionals seek,’

Because they can be so specifically targeted, sponsored updates, like ads, are a key step towards lead generation and better customer relationships - they build value, trust, and encourage engagement through relevant content.


Using LinkedIn sponsored updates

  • Do your homework. If you’re not familiar with sponsored updates, take a look through LinkedIn’s sponsored update page.

  • Post an update. You’ll need to post your company update as usual. Keep it light, remember this is a social update, not a sales pitch! Your post content should be relevant to a specific prospect (you’ll specify who you’re targeting when you sponsor the post). Your post should offer one link to intriguing content that addresses relevant prospect concerns. Make sure your link goes to a relevant landing page, and that you have the nurture stages in place to continue the sales process.

  • Sponsor your post. Once your company update has been published, you should see a ‘sponsor update’ button, which will take you through the set up and targeting process. you’ll want to choose to ‘sponsor content’ rather than ‘create an ad’.

sponsored update example

  • Keep track. Remember to name your campaign for ease of future reference.

  • Focus your demographic. Like ads, you can hone in your targeting and pinpoint who sees your update. The targeting fields are very good, so make the most of them to really stay relevant. You can specify: Location, Companies (any targets, or companies you want to exclude), Job Title, School Attended, Skills, Gender, Age. For lower budgets, try not to be too specific. An overly focussed approach can be unsuccessful and costly.

  • Select your budget. Choose how much you want to spend, and whether you want to use CPM (cost per 1000 impressions) or CPC (cost-per-click). You may want to start with a low budget, and test with multiple updates to see what effect topic, copy, questions etc resonate best.

  • Make sure your profile is complete. As you’re boosting brand awareness, make sure your profile is complete and up to date! You’re sure to have new people - potential leads - view your profile, so make contact details clear and correct. Find out how to optimise your profile here.

Be sure to keep measuring your results, testing and improving! You can use LinkedIn Campaign Manager to track your campaigns, and view your results.



B2B Marketing Zone