This week, LinkedIn announced that they will make it possible to use their platform and its comprehensive user data to market towards their over 347 million users. The professional networking powerhouse plans to build a $1 billion business out of their advertising platform out of what their Senior Director, Josh Graff, is calling a $50 Billion dollar market. LinkedIn could serve as a great advertising alternative to Facebook for those businesses that do not sell directly to consumers such as wholesalers and manufacturers.
Creation of the Ad Network
After partnering with App Nexus, LinkedIn will be able to deliver ads based on data from 2,500 business focused websites in addition to their very own site data and applications. The agreement with App Nexus was the next logical step in their plan to enter the market after acquiring the Bizo marketing platform in 2014. They will now simply re-launch Bizo under the LinkedIn name. The depth of professional data that LinkedIn has should allow its business to business advertising campaigns to be extremely successful. Its network of tech savvy professionals who are, more often than not, involved in their business’ purchasing decisions have made their age, job title, connections, and browsing behavior available to LinkedIn via their daily use of the network. This wealth of data is sure to be attractive to marketers.
The Lead Accelerator
A major part of LinkedIn’s immersion into the world of B2B marketing is a tool they have named the “Lead Accelerator.” The Lead Accelerator identifies users of the network so website owners can then understand the types of people visiting their site. The tool aims to improve on the mere 5% of visitors that can be identified by website owners. Once the users are identified, they can then by targeted by companies via the “App Nexus.” LinkedIn has not yet announced the exact price for use of the product but Lenovo, Groupon, and Samsung have already signed up. Analytics and insight will be also be provided to those who invest in the software.
While LinkedIn’s plans are ambitious, they are certainly in a position to succeed in the B2B marketplace. Their ability to enhance the communication of professionals across the globe is unmatched and it was only a matter of time before they expanded their business model beyond “premium” memberships. Keep a close eye on the development of LinkedIn as a marketing platform to see if it could be a worthwhile investment that your company should make in the future.