Choosing the Right Content to Sponsor on LinkedIn

January 10, 2017

Editor’s Note: This blog post is part of a 14-day series on running successful LinkedIn Sponsored Content. View the previous blog post here.

Identifying the right content to sponsor isn’t just about targeting the right audience. It’s also about making sure you’re getting a return on investment (ROI) by generating the right results from your content.

To choose the right content to sponsor on LinkedIn, you must first determine the goal of your Sponsored Content campaign. Understanding these goals will help you decide what content to use.

Here are some popular initiatives and what content works best to achieve them:

When Aiming to Increase Brand Awareness...

Content to Sponsor: If your campaign is focused on generating brand awareness, buzz about certain events or spotlights your company is promoting, leverage content like company blog posts and press releases to drive engagement. You may also consider sponsoring long-form posts on LinkedIn, visuals, videos, Showcase Pages and important product announcements.

Metrics to Analyze: When evaluating the success of Sponsored Content intended to grow your brand presence, pay extra attention to engagement rates, number of impressions and new Company or Showcase Page followers.

Best Practices: Make your Sponsored Content visual. Use catchy headlines and descriptions. We recommend keeping it to 150 characters or less; using stats also boosts engagement. Stay on-brand and use language that helps shapethe perception of your brand.

Don’t forget to use a 1200x627 pixel image for Sponsored Content ads.

When Aiming to Exercise Thought Leadership…

Content to Sponsor: You’ll need to create content that stands out from the crowd. Whether it’s establishing a position of authority or using humor, be consistent in your voice and sponsor pillar pieces of content or podcasts. Also consider posts about relevant content in your industry, long-form posts on LinkedIn, guest posts on other blogs, industry trends or data and SlideShares.

Metrics to Analyze: When evaluating the success of Sponsored Content intended to position your company as an industry thought leader, pay attention to engagement rates, number of impressions and new Company or Showcase Page followers.

Best Practices: Thought leadership builds credibility for your brand. It should serve as the icing on the cake of creating something truly innovative. Present a unique point of view on a hot topic and create compelling, timely content that resonates with your target audience. Also invite engagement - make it clear in your language that you want people (this means your employees, too) to comment and share to get  an organic boost to your content.

When Aiming to Generate Leads...

Content to Sponsor: Leverage ebooks, webinars and helpful how-to-guides when trying to drive traffic to a landing page to drive form submissions. Blog posts that offer a call to action (CTA) , freemium downloads and industry-related reports have also proven effective at generating traffic to a landing page

Metrics to Analyze: Form submissions, inquiries and conversion rates from views are key. Also pay attention to marketing qualified leads (MQLs) generated from your Sponsored Content and the cost per qualified lead from your campaign.

Best Practices: If you’re like most marketers, you’re likely to use Sponsored Content to generate leads at some point. Remember to target your content so that it casts a wide net while still making it relevant to your target audience.

Try testing blog posts vs. landing pages with CTAs to your download forms, and don’t forget to A/B test everything -- try testing your visuals, format, messaging, etc.

Paying for Sponsored Content shouldn’t be the only content marketing strategy you utilize on LinkedIn. If you’re trying to increase traffic to your content pages through paid strategies, you should also be trying to use organic content to reach the right users.

Tomorrow we’ll explore how to build an effective editorial calendar for LinkedIn. Until then, stay informed by downloading LinkedIn and HubSpot's complete 2 Week Sponsored Content Planner.