LinkedIn launched programmatic advertising at the end of June, intended to complement the fast-growing sponsored content on the platform.

Given LinkedIn's rich user information, this is a potential game-changer for B2B marketers.

We wanted to ask a few more questions, so we caught up with Matthew Hogg, Head of Ad Operations in the UK.

LinkedIn has a wealth of user data. But are advertisers concerned about inactivity of some users?

We have over 433m members on LinkedIn, including over 20m in the UK, and globally professionals are signing up at a rate of more than two new members per second. 

We always put our members first, so we have been able to attract a massive, highly engaged audience of influential professionals, with 97m unique visitors a month on average. 

Four out of five members on our platform drive business decisions and, because of our secure log-in requirements, LinkedIn advertisers know they are getting their business in front of the people who influence purchasing decisions. 

How is LinkedIn thinking about new ad formats on mobile/app (reportedly nearly 60% of traffic), where MPUs aren't as appropriate?  

The growth of LinkedIn’s Marketing Solutions business is being driven by Sponsored Content [promoted posts in the LinkedIn feed], which is still our biggest focus. 

It grew nearly 80% in the first quarter of this year and now represents 56% of total Marketing Solutions revenue. 

Content in the feed is at the heart of our mobile experience, which now accounts for more than 50% of traffic, and we will continue to focus on ensuring professionals can engage with relevant and insightful content while on the move.

An example of promoted content from HubSpot

promoted content on LinkedIn

What types of LinkedIn audience segmentation are available through private auctions? Can advertisers target specific companies? 

Advertisers can target LinkedIn members programmatically using their data, such as website visitors or DMP (data management platform) data.

Alternatively, using our Private Auctions, advertisers can take advantage of LinkedIn first party data and targeting options, which include targeting by company type, industry, seniority, and a wide range of audience segments.

What potential is there for integration with Dynamics CRM, LinkedIn and DSPs (demand-side platforms)? 

We are working with all major DSPs and continue to invest in these partnerships.

We cannot speculate on product changes while we are in regulatory review and prior to the Microsoft deal closing.

Do you see your ad network as entirely for B2B advertisers? Is context key? 

We are not an ‘ad network’ in its traditional sense, we are a platform for professionals to consume content, find their next job or sell their services or products.

We are therefore the perfect place for B2B advertisers to reach their target audiences at scale, when they are in the right mindset.

Our platform is by no means exclusively B2B though, and many consumer brands, from car manufacturers to luxury watchmakers, have benefited with great success from engaging with our members.

Many B2C brands use LinkedIn for content marketing, both paid and organic.

amazon fresh linkedin update

Of the advertisers trialling your new tech, what success are they seeing, and what tactics are they using?

Thousands of brands are currently buying us programmatically and harnessing our unrivalled data to engage with professionals.

We will be sharing some success stories in due course but we can provide a quote from media agency Essence, one of our pilot partners.

Agatha Isabel, Programmatic Media Planner at Essence, said: "Accessing LinkedIn programmatically has given Essence access to quality inventory, at scale, while allowing us to monitor performance in-house, in real time.

"Not only can we efficiently reach our desired target audiences, such as SMBs, we're able to leverage our own tools, leading to high viewability and performance across LinkedIn.”  

If you want to learn more about programmatic, Econsultancy and Marketing Week's Get With The Programmatic conference takes place in London on September 21st.

Ben Davis

Published 12 August, 2016 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is Editor at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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