LinkedIn debuts B2B display ad network- Lenovo, Groupon and Samsung sign up

20/02/2015

LinkedIn has launched a global display advertising network, with Lenovo and Samsung among the first brands to sign up.

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The professional social network has partnered with AppNexus to deliver ads based on LinkedIn data not only on LinkedIn's site and apps, but a network of 2,500 of other business-focused websites.

It follows LinkedIn's $175 million acquisition of b2b marketing platform Bizo in August last year.
One of the new b2b advertising products is "LinkedIn Lead Accelerator," which lets brands to place a pixel on their websites, which uses cookies to identify LinkedIn users so advertisers can get a better understanding as to the types of people visiting.

LinkedIn says that currently, most website owners only actually know about 5% of their visitors, and that LinkedIn Lead Accelerator fills in that gap.

Advertisers can then retarget those visitors with ads (with different messaging, depending on the different parts of the website they visited) on other websites and outside of LinkedIn across the new LinkedIn Network Display, which is powered by AppNexus.

The data is all anonymized: Advertisers won't know you visited their website, but they will know that 30% of their visitors are finance directors from London, for example. Users can opt out of this form of targeting via their LinkedIn settings.

Advertisers are required to sign up to use the new advertising products on a quarterly, or annual subscription basis. LinkedIn requires that advertisers must have a minimum of 20,000 visitors (or "leads") to their website in order to sign up, but there is no minimum ad spend. LinkedIn would not confirm the cost of a subscription.

Josh Graff, senior director, LinkedIn EMEA, said: “We already understand how professionals interact with brands better than anyone. By combining Bizo’s technology and nurturing capabilities with LinkedIn’s professional targeting expertise, we’re redefining B2B and high-consideration marketing and making it easier for brands to find and influence business decision makers at scale, whether they’re making purchasing decisions for their business or treating themselves.”

The suite of tools are not all self-service. It begins with an office visit, with LinkedIn's team identifying the best course of action and advising on content.

Marketers do get access to an analytics interface so they can see how their campaigns are performing and the types of professionals that are visiting the website, and the cost per acquisition of a customer.

LinkedIn is also launching a widget brands can add to their website that allows visitors to autocomplete forms with their LinkedIn log-in information, and LinkedIn Onsite Display, which will allow advertisers to buy ads on LinkedIn's mobile and desktop platforms.

Stephan Heller, head of merchant marketing for Groupon EMEA said LinkedIn Lead Accelerator will help its “reposition” Groupon as a marketing partner to the businesses it works with.

“From local restauranteurs to major national brands, we’re now able to better analyse our site traffic and identify the sectors that could provide the best leads for us to focus on. Compatibility with our CRM system means we’re able to easily target relevant prospects at the right stage in the buying cycle,” he added.

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