LinkedIn advertising: 2018 feature rollout and roadmap summary

Sandra Frankowska

Paid Social Strategist

LinkedIn is undoubtedly the best place to reach the B2B market, thanks to its data from over 500M active users. No matter the size and goals of your business, LinkedIn’s unique targeting capabilities make it easy to engage with your intended audience – from job seekers to major players.

We’re going to see much more from the platform this year. In our social media predictions for 2018, we highlighted how LinkedIn would step up their advertising efforts to make better use of their extensive user data (finally…)

At iCrossing, we recently attended an exclusive webinar to talk all things LinkedIn – including better measurement tools, new ad formats and first-party data targeting. Here’s what we can expect this year:

Launching in quarter 1

Video ads

It’s much more effective to get a message across with video than it is with just images and text – especially for B2B brands that might need an extra dose of creativity to engage with their audience.

Until now, advertisers on LinkedIn have had to link to another hosting platform, like YouTube, to use video. But this creates a disjointed user experience and, you guessed it… less views. Going forward, LinkedIn will natively support video ads, meaning you can easily upload and promote video content with better insight into its performance.

In the B2C world, video is already king on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so this exciting LinkedIn update is a great move – for B2B brands in particular – to drive awareness and engage audiences.

Custom Conversion Windows

LinkedIn previously offered a fixed 30-day post-click and 30-day post-view conversion window. Now, you’re able to customise the attribution period to align it with your business goals.

The new custom attribution window will allow you to integrate LinkedIn reporting with other channels, benefiting brands with sales cycles longer than 30 days. The best news? This new feature is already up and running for you to utilise.

Launching in quarter 2

Carousel ads

At last, LinkedIn has introduced a carousel ad format. By uploading 2-10 tiles on one ad, you can drive traffic to different landing pages on your site. Based on other platforms that offer carousel ads, like Facebook and Instagram, they drive a stronger click-through rate (CTR) than ads with a single image.

And there are many ways you can use carousel ads to engage with your audience – from showcasing multiple products, to telling a story about your brand.

Refreshed reporting view

It will now be quicker and easier for advertisers to understand campaign performance, thanks to the new metrics LinkedIn is rolling out. This will include custom metrics (depending on your campaign objectives) to better analyse results and make smart decisions.

As an analyst, a clean, user-friendly dashboard is a necessity, and being able to create custom metrics based on the campaign objective will help to optimise more efficiently. 

Launching in quarter 3-4

Third party impression tracking for Sponsored Content

Following in Twitter’s footsteps, LinkedIn are partnering with DoubleClick Campaign Manager to allow advertisers to better manage campaigns. This update will enable advertisers to report on impressions that lead to conversions and will give them more insight into how their campaigns are performing.

This exciting update will open up a whole host of new opportunities, and it shows that LinkedIn is finally starting to become an innovative media supplier.

Lookalike targeting

One of the challenges we face when targeting a niche audience is low reach. But we’ll soon be able to use LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences data to target high value audiences, by reaching new users who are like our clients’ most loyal customers.

At iCrossing, we’ve been waiting on tenterhooks for this feature. It’s a great way to engage with new users, boost the scale of campaigns and maximise performance.

Bid auto-optimisations

Good news for your budget – later this year, LinkedIn will automatically optimise your bids to drive the best results and spend your money effectively. To do this, the feature will auto-adjust your campaign bid to show ads to users who are most likely to convert. It will identify the most engaged members and adjust bids accordingly to win the auction. Again, this shows that LinkedIn is really stepping up their advertising platform to allow brands to run agile and innovative campaigns.

If you’re looking to incorporate LinkedIn into your digital strategy, these advanced new products, measurement tools and targeting capabilities will make the platform an integral part of a successful B2B campaign – watch this space.

Have a question about LinkedIn advertising? Feel free to get in touch.

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