LinkedIn Announces Partner Programs For Sponsored Updates And Content

LinkedIn is expanding its content marketing efforts today with the launch of two new types of partnerships — Sponsored Updates Partners and Content Partners.

Sponsored Updates were first launched on LinkedIn last summer as a way for companies to pay to promote the content (slideshows, articles, videos, and whitepapers) that they were sharing on LinkedIn. It’s a pretty common strategy for social networks to try to make money through this type of advertising, and and to work with outside partners to grow these ad programs.

“We always recognized, anybody in this industry recognizes, that utilizing an ecosystem to help businesses scale and grow to the market is important,” LinkedIn’s Vice President of Marketing Solutions Penry Price told me. (Price joined the company last fall.)

In LinkedIn’s case, the company says Sponsored Updates are its fastest-growing Marketing Solutions product. There are five initial partners: AdStage, Brand Networks, SHIFT, the Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, and Unified Social, who will each offer different tools to help businesses run their ad campaigns.

AdStage, for example, says it will offer “the ability to adjust targeting and settings across multiple campaigns simultaneously with bulk changes and group related campaigns into folders to aggregate performance statistics and identify trends quickly.”

Price added that the early test campaigns with partners have led to an average increase of 30 percent in engagement rates compared to advertisers’ campaigns without partners.

And to help companies find stuff that’s worth promoting, LinkedIn says it’s also working with Content Partners, a program that will connect brands with publishers and content-finding tools. The initial partners on this side include The Atlantic, Bloomberg, CBS Interactive, IDG Communications, Newscred, Percolate, Atlantic Media Strategies, Contently, Freshwire, and Group SJR.

Asked if the list of partners will grow in the coming months, Price said that his team is currently focused on today’s launch and on studying the results from the initial partners.

“But naturally, if it proves productive for all of us, we’ll want to expand and let more people gobally use the tools, as well as more within the US,” he added.

You can read more in the LinkedIn blog post.