LinkedIn launches ad services for B2B brands outside of its own walled garden

LinkedIn is to provide ad services for business-to-business (B2B) brands in and out of its own platform for the first time.

The social platform has launched two products that will allow B2B brands to search for sales leads and place ads across various professional websites as well as its own. Previously it had provided targeted advertising options within its own feed and display ads on its platform with its LinkedIn Ads service.

LinkedIn’s Lead Accelerator claims it can capture missing details of professionals who have visited brand websites by overlaying anonymised LinkedIn data over the brand’s site traffic.

The social network says in a statement that, out of the visitors of a typical brand website only 5% provide an email address. The service aims to reach the other 95% with relevant messages.

To reach these users, the product combines a website visitor’s profile and online behaviour to make it possible for marketers to deliver relevant content based on what a person cares about and where they are in the buying process.

LinkedIn’s Network Display will use its targeting insights to retarget visitors to third party websites and on its own platform.

Joshua Graff, senior director for LinkedIn EMEA told Marketing Week: “The service allows brands to reach the 95% of unknown visitors to a brand website. By placing a ‘pixel’ on brand websites we can send messages to unknown users, that ultimately allows us to analyse them and target the right people.”

Graff adds that previously brands were only able to target audiences on LinkedIn through its feed, display ads and sponsored InMail. Brands could also only target within the walls of LinkedIn, now they also have the option to move outside of these walls.

“This is a part of our long term strategy to connect the world’s professionals,” adds Graff.

Brands such as Lenovo, Samsung, and Groupon are currently trialing the service.

LinkedIn has attempted to increase its ad revenue in the past year. The platform invested in Bizo, a B2B digital marketing company for $175m in August 2014, which it worked with to create the products launched today (19 Feb).

Revenue from marketing solutions products such has Bizo, led to an increase of $153m in revenue for the company’s fourth quarter of 2014, an increase of 56% compared to the previous year.

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