What is the LinkedIn Audience Network?

So what is the LinkedIn Audience Network? Well, many of us may look at LinkedIn as an online professional networking site, which it is. Yet at the same time, it can become so much more due to how professional the audience already is on LinkedIn. The design of it is to be a place to expect business-related advertisements that make sense because when you go on LinkedIn, you’re already in that mindset.

LinkedIn Audience Network
LinkedIn Audience Network

You may be a product manager looking for a new tool to help with your requirements. Or maybe you’re in shipping looking for software to help digitize your business lines. Either way, LinkedIn tends to have advertising focusing on a different demographic and business leadership type.

Why even consider LinkedIn for any type of marketing or advertising?

While still considered a social media platform, LinkedIn behaves differently than the likes of Facebook, TikTok, or Instagram, to name a few. That’s because of its origins in building out a more professional page. It’s now surpassed 900 million users, with 58 million companies registered as well. People now consider it a global business directory and it connects everyone worldwide professionally.

With that said, a significant portion of those figures is within the United States, with nearly 200 million users. The rest of the world is playing catch-up, and those who tend to have a localized online business profile page will tend to sign up for LinkedIn as well.

How does LinkedIn Audience Network help?

You may say to yourself that LinkedIn doesn’t have as much activity compared to other social media channels. That is true, as around a quarter of a billion people spend less than 30 minutes monthly on LinkedIn. So why consider using advertising solutions on LinkedIn when it doesn’t seem like it will make much of an impression?

That’s where the power of LinkedIn Audience Network (LAN) comes into play. This is, in fact, multiple partnerships with other third-party websites and applications that will extend your advertisements to those channels. LinkedIn understands its users, and it will allow your advertisements to work with LinkedIn’s professional targeting strengths that will help these advertisements reach the right business segment every time.

LAN also helps because of who it targets. Whereas digital marketing and advertising target the mass consumer, LinkedIn is different. It works to target the decision-makers for companies all across the globe. This means that when you create advertisements through LAN and LinkedIn advertising solutions, you’re going to get much stronger conversion rates.

It’s also best for those with longer sales cycles. For example, most B2B models, where you need to cultivate leads, have prospects that you need to follow up within a much quieter space than common digital media and marketing.

Is LinkedIn Audience Network that effective?

Many have reported that most of the traffic will tend to come from these third-party sites in partnership and within LinkedIn’s network, not LinkedIn itself. Those sites are all based on the information types selected at the beginning of the campaign build-out within LinkedIn. Based on preferences and the businesses and industries you want to target, it will help to refine the best 3rd party options to place the ads themselves.

LinkedIn also claims that it will improve your reach by up to 25% and include multiple touchpoints monthly. That means even if the cost per click or CPC may seem high initially, the audience is much more refined and receptive and will often get you more qualified leads.

In addition, you don’t have to focus on just one area, such as search engine advertising. This is because it will disperse across all the relevant third-party verified sites. The advertisement itself, especially if there’s an image, will have automatic formatting and optimized for those sites as well.

This also includes a set of standards to maintain quality and brand safety. This area will have both manual and automated reviews of advertisements that are about to go out.

In addition, the network itself goes through its own reviews and internal checks. This is to ensure that whoever is a network member has had a thorough review. This helps to protect your brand against issues such as fraud and content that some may end up finding, well, questionable.

How to enable LinkedIn Audience Network (LAN)

You will need to head into LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager and head to the area where you can create a Sponsored Content campaign. LAN should be selected by default. You can do a single image, a carousel, or video content when looking to make LAN-ready advertisements. All of this is in the placements section when you’re just about ready to distribute your advertisements. Remember, LinkedIn Audience Network sites are those that are actually going to be related to the selection you make ahead of time.

What’s great here, and it’s also mentioned above, is that you can use LinkedIn’s extensive targeting and filtering solutions to maintain the integrity and relevance of your brand. That translates to you’re going to target relevant people in your industry.

So, for example, if you’re a tech company and properly use the targeting solutions, they won’t post on their party partner sites related to beauty or wellness.

Regardless, some of the top-tier websites out there are partners with the LinkedIn Audience Platform. This is both on desktop and mobile, through distribution partners. You can also upload your own ‘block’ list if you feel certain sites don’t resonate with your brand or product offering. This is a sure way to stay off of sites, regardless of if they are on the LinkedIn Audience Network list.

How can I tell if the campaigns are successful?

You’re still working within LinkedIn’s excellent Campaign Manager, which means you’ll get a plethora of data points that will let you know the overall performance. There are plenty of downloadable reporting options as well as seeing when the campaigns themselves have hit certain milestones.

You’ll be able to track impressions as well as conversions. Also, if you need or want to tweak the campaign parameters in any way, you may do so through the console. If you’re specifically looking for a breakdown of the campaigns’ most effective components, there’s a breakdown button that will have an on / off network selection. This will help to showcase exactly where the traffic is coming from. And will let you know what your target audience is really starting to look like.

A better ROI when done right

Keep in mind while LinkedIn Audience Network solutions may seem like the right fit for you, you cannot simply go blindly into it. You still need to ensure that you produce engaging and quality content. It has to be eye-catching the minute you launch it and it gets views. LAN isn’t a magical button. It won’t fix all your advertising woes or bring in more customers than you can handle in one swoop.

It still falls into the unwritten laws of social media and digital marketing. Take the right amount of time to produce content that gets people’s attention. In turn, getting them to click through the advertisement themselves.

Then you want to make sure that even though LinkedIn has great targeting, it doesn’t mean it’s automatically done for you. Next, you want to make sure that you spend the energy and focus on bringing the right mix of businesses and industries into your campaign. Finally, you want to watch those campaigns, especially early on. If you don’t you’re going to be out of a lot of money when you realize your marketing budget and spending led to no new leads.

You will save yourself a lot of time

Or at least your digital marketing team that handles the advertising budget will. No longer will you need to go to multiple channels. Signing up to be able to distribute advertisements on each and every single website in the LinkedIn Audience Network. Instead, it’s one location and, with the click of a button, goes to where exactly it needs to go with your advertisements.

There’s also the ability to use the audience expansion feature that will help to explore the reach even further. You shouldn’t always use this, and the overall campaign should have a review to ensure it was even effective. What this feature does is try to find similarly related industries. It does this in an attempt to be able to push the advertisements to more sites and grow your advertising exposure. Whether that hits relevant demographics or not is still a big question.

What it can be good for is if your business and offering may be too niche. This helps to grow the reach and possibly find your target market in different industries.

Who it’s not for

Keep in mind that LinkedIn is a professional social platform that is also a place for companies to set up their digital presence and have a safe and secure environment to represent their company. In addition, it’s a place for individuals to showcase their skills. Also, expand their thought leadership, find their next role, and do B2B business.

It’s not about providing a one-to-many retail or consumer distribution pattern. So that means if you’re not going specifically after this type of B2B business area, then LinkedIn Audience Network or their advertising, in general, may not be the best solution out there. The advertising costs and CPC would simply be too much if it was meant to sell one retail item or service at a time.

This type of advertising is reserved for those selling something with higher ticket prices. Or at the least can potentially generate large revenues through long-term subscription sign-ups.

In the end

Remember this is technically still considered a form of digital marketing. So you’re going to possibly want to rely on those that are in the field and can provide expert solutions.

In addition, you’ll want to run multiple campaigns that will need to be monitored and optimized for those better results. At the same time, you’re looking at content creation. So having someone who knows how to develop that content to your branding specifications is going to help a lot.

Just as we mentioned that you would need stellar and engaging content for your advertisement, you also want the backend set up done correctly. Otherwise, it will end up wasting the content that’s been created. When setting up your website, if you need to check for open ports we’re your go-to.

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