LinkedIn sponsored content can now reach more folks than ever before with LinkedIn’s new Audience Network. Released to the public on September 6, the network increases the reach of this already powerful B2B channel.
Here’s what you need to know to get started with this feature.
What We Know About LinkedIn Audience Network
The LinkedIn Audience Network is currently only available when targeting a select number of countries: United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, India, Singapore and New Zealand.
Eligible Campaign Types
The LinkedIn Audience Network will only be offered for CPC bid type Sponsored Content campaigns.
Text ads and CPM bid type campaigns are not currently supported.
It is also currently not possible to run a Network-only campaign without advertising in LinkedIn as well. Right now, if LinkedIn Audience Network is selected, ads are eligible to appear in LinkedIn or on the Network sites.
Opting Out of Placements
If you’re looking for a way to exclude your ads from specific topics or domains, this is also possible. I will outline how to go about this in the section below.
Number of Sites Included
Right now, there doesn’t appear to be an estimate of how many “premium publisher sites” are included in the LinkedIn Audience Network, but given LinkedIn’s connection to Microsoft, there are likely “tens of thousands”. According to Tech Crunch, the initial LinkedIn Audience Network also included ad exchanges like MoPub, Sharethrough, Google Ad Exchange and Rubicon.
These ads are shown in a native format.
Right now, LinkedIn doesn’t offer a preview tool to see what your ads will look like on partner sites.
Bids and budgets set at the campaign level are honored when using the Network.
So now that you know the basics, here’s how to set up this new feature in your campaigns.
Getting Started With the LinkedIn Audience Network
To get started, set up a new campaign or jump into an existing CPC Sponsored Content campaign. The Audience Network selection is at the bottom of the Audience page.
You can toggle it on and off. It’s important to note that new campaigns are opted into the audience network by default, so you’ll have to turn it off if you don’t want your ads to appear outside of LinkedIn.
Making LinkedIn Audience Network Exclusions
Brand quality and safety have been a hot topic lately. As I stated above, LinkedIn allows advertisers to exclude their ads from appearing on specific websites or topics.
There are two ways to go about making these network exclusions.
LinkedIn’s Categories and Sub-Categories
As you can see in the screenshot above, LinkedIn already allows advertisers to exclude the ads from 24 specific site categories that also include additional sub-categories if you want to get more granular.
Domain Block List Uploads
If your brand is interested in excluding specific domains, you can simply upload a list of exclusions. The list needs to be in .CSV or .TXT format and you’re limited to 20,000 domains, iTunes App Store URLs or Android Play Store URLs.
Right now, LinkedIn prefaces this feature with “We will attempt to match the domains and URLs you upload and avoid serving on those sites or mobile apps.” If your brand is super specific about exclusions, it’s likely a good idea to upload this list and also exclude the categories that those domains fall under for good measure.
It may take up to 48 hours to process a block list and apply to the campaign. Once this list is uploaded, it can be applied to additional campaigns as well.
Monitoring Network Performance
Once you have enabled this spiffy new feature, you will want to review its performance to ensure that it’s profitable, right? Here’s how you go about doing that.
Head to the campaign you want to review performance for, select the Performance Tab and then hit Export.
Select “Audience network ad performance” for your desired timeframe.
You’ll now be able to review your LinkedIn feed performance against the performance of the Audience Network. Currently, you’re not able to see a breakdown of performance by domain, which would be preferable.
In conclusion, this is an awesome new feature that will allow advertisers to expand their LinkedIn budgets and reach audiences for this channel in a new way.
Check it out and let us know your results in the comments! We’d love to hear from you!