How Elearning Providers Can Reach L&D Professionals on LinkedIn

September 12, 2021

Father and daughter working from home

According to the World Economic Forum, 85 million jobs will be displaced and 97 million new ones will be created by 2025 due to ripple effects caused by the pandemic. No wonder the corporate landscape is experiencing a rapid acceleration of digital learning, particularly with the transition away from in-person instruction caused by COVID-19.

As organizations seek to rapidly reskill and upskill their workforce, elearning is playing a pivotal role. With it, Learning & Development (L&D) professionals are actively looking to help their organizations develop the skills underpinning innovation in the rapidly changing workplace. 

In fact, our data shows that 66% of L&D business leaders – including those in HR, Talent Management, and Training – say their current focus is on rebuilding and reskilling their organizations. In particular, they find it very important to reskill employees in Information Technology, Sales, Supply Chain, Procurement, and Marketing.

This trend presents a terrific opportunity for elearning providers to engage a significant audience of potential buyers. 

L&D Professionals Are Very Active on LinkedIn

When compared to the average LinkedIn member, the 3.4+ million L&D professionals on LinkedIn have engaged with the elearning topic 2x more since January 2020. And they are one of the more active audiences on the platform in many other ways:

  • 182% more shares of content 
  • 120% more likely to checking Message Ads
  • 112% more companies followed 

In other words, they use LinkedIn to keep updated on what companies like yours are doing, and are more likely to amplify your content to their network. They’re also far more open than the average LinkedIn member to engaging one-to-one with brands like yours. 

As Jasmine Paukkunen, Enterprise Account Executive at LinkedIn, underscores,  “As more companies shift budget to online learning, elearning providers will be competing for the attention of L&D professionals. There is a whitespace opportunity for them to be thought leaders on LinkedIn. ” 

3 Best Practices for Engaging L&D Professionals 

With that in mind, here are effective ways to engage your target audience on LinkedIn. 

1.Take advantage of precise targeting by job title. The sheer power of LinkedIn’s audience targeting capabilities is a key differentiator of our advertising solutions. For example, out of the 3.4M L&D professionals on our platform, LinkedIn can connect you with  110,000  Training specialists in North America alone. That means you can take advantage of a zero-wastage platform as you speak directly to your target audience. 

2. Educate the audience and establish your brand. Successful marketers understand that brand building complements demand generation – and paves the way for better acquisition efforts. According to Sara Valentino, Client Solutions Manager for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, “Investing in top-of-funnel efforts is extremely important for engaging the L&D audience looking for elearning information.”

Our data shows that audiences are 6x more likely to convert if exposed to branding content before acquisition content. So, educate L&D professionals on the what, how and why of elearning -- and who your brand is in that context.

3. Stand out with content that differentiates. Covering top-of-mind topics is one way to stand apart from other content and ads on LinkedIn. That said, focusing on topics that are highly engaging but covered less will allow your brand to become a thought leader with minimum competition.​ Make it a priority to own the topics of “e-learning”, “learning & development,” “employee learning” and “learning management system” as you highlight your unique value proposition.

At the same time, offer content and information in line with your audience’s specific topics of interest. Our research shows that talent management-related topics resonate the most with the L&D audience. At a granular level, they are highly engaged with the following topics on LinkedIn:

Employer branding


Product support

Resource management

Human capital



Talent management

Team spirit

Compliance training

Strategic partnerships

Organizational development

Inclusion and diversity



Talent acquisition



Real-World Advertising Success on LinkedIn

As the real-world examples below illustrate, elearning providers embracing these best practices are seeing outstanding results. 

Driving Awareness and Engagement With Prospective Customers

One elearning provider approached us to generate leads. Our team discovered that the company was overly focused on middle- and bottom-of-funnel efforts yet lacked brand awareness with L&D professionals. An analysis showed that L&D professionals exposed to a thought leadership campaign before a lead generation campaign were significantly more likely to convert compared to those who only saw the lead generation campaign. By warming up its audience with top-of-funnel content, this provider generated engagement rates with L&D professionals 2.8x the North American Higher Education benchmark.

Lower Average CPL By 40%

Another elearning provider wanted to diversify where it was advertising while also driving quality leads. It was intrigued by LinkedIn’s unique Conversation Ads format and its ability to engage prospects at any place in their purchase journey. Namely, it liked that Conversation Ads humanize outreach by being sent from someone within their company. The provider also appreciated that this ad format provides ample real estate to communicate its differentiators and allows prospects to self-select their next steps with the company. Combined with precise targeting, this ad format drove open rates as high as 72% and cost per lead as low as $85 – approximately 40% lower than the average cost per lead on other platforms. 

Activate Your Advertising on LinkedIn  

Now that elearning is a popular way for L&D professionals to help their organizations gain needed skills and help employees develop into new roles, elearning providers are smart to find ways to best reach this audience. As our data and the LinkedIn client examples show, companies can tap into a huge opportunity  to establish their brands and engage L&D professionals on LinkedIn. Doing so sooner than later will likely give elearning providers an edge over competitors who don’t act upon these insights. 

For more insight into the elearning opportunity, check out our on-demand Future of EdTech webinar featuring HolonIQ. And subscribe to the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions blog for more EdTech tips.