Everything About LinkedIn’s Sponsored Messaging Updates 

  • Jasmina Ostoin

    Jasmina Ostoin

    Head of Advertising


Slowly but surely, LinkedIn is gaining more and more sympathy from advertisers worldwide. And there’s a good reason for this. Quite a bunch of them actually. 

Having had the opportunity to work with some open minded clients and exploring scaling opportunities for their businesses has enabled me to dive deeper into the platform and use it to drive real growth.

Besides, I was in the loop with all of the updates taking place on the platform, from their tracking going from cookie-based to pixel-tag, to recent updates on serving ads such as the new retargeting options (Link to image-based retargeting article) and now to the most recent update on Sponsored Messages that we are discussing in this article.

After this show of force, I simply can’t fathom a marketing strategy that doesn’t include LinkedIn in it. 

And this is exactly what I want to address today. I want to share my excitement with you.

So, whether you’re an in-house marketer or working for a marketing agency, it’s important to understand the power of Sponsored Messaging campaigns on LinkedIn and how you can leverage them to your advantage.

Inbox updates at member level

First things first. Before setting up any messaging ads, let’s take a step back so we can understand how LinkedIn delivers them to your audience, shall we? LinkedIn introduced a two-tabbed inbox called Focused Inbox. 

<strong>Everything About LinkedIn’s Sponsored Messaging Updates </strong>

This new element comes to fix one of LinkedIn’s members’ top pain points – the relevance of messages they see in their inboxes. The new Focused Inbox allows members to identify and respond to those messages that are most relevant to them a lot more easily. So, your new Focused tab is where you’ll find all of your most relevant messages, while the Other tab will contain the rest of your conversations.

LinkedIn’s team knows its members use the Messaging feature to find new partners and clients – so this is their way of helping us connect and engage more straightforwardly. 

How will sponsored messages be delivered to your audience?

Starting November 16th 2022, members who have a higher inclination to click or submit a lead have started seeing Sponsored Messages in their new Focused tab. However, it’s worth noting that the rollout will happen gradually and that members will be given the option of opting into the Focused Inbox. 

Plus, if you’re not a fan of it, you can always choose to opt out of your dual-tabbed experience once it becomes default for all members. 

Sponsored Messaging evolving – two new ad formats will be introduced 

The novelties don’t stop there. LinkedIn’s Sponsored Messaging solutions are getting a revamp with the introduction of two new ad formats: 

Click-To-Message Ads (Q1 2023) 

This new format is a mix between a hybrid feed and a message ad. The goal is to help members engage in conversations by grabbing attention in the feed and inviting them to start a conversation where they can learn more about your product or services in the Focused tab. 

So let’s say that the user browses LinkedIn through its mobile application or the web. Then, there is an ad for sponsored content, which at first looks like any other sponsored content on the platform. But once the user clicks on the creative or the CTA, a conversation is opened.

Conversation Starter Ads (Q2 2023)

The second ad format will appear as a rotation of ads in a fixed placement in the inbox. Members who’ll see it are encouraged to click and start a conversation in the Focused tab. Once it’s introduced, this new format will eliminate the 30-day frequency cap that now applies to Sponsored Messaging and will replace LinkedIn’s Conversation Ads. Expect this change of guard around Q2 of 2023.    

In their current format, Conversation Ads – or Message Ads -, are direct texts you send your prospects via LinkedIn Messages to spark immediate action. These ads include a targeted message with a single CTA inside. 

<strong>Everything About LinkedIn’s Sponsored Messaging Updates </strong>

What’s great about them is they let you communicate with prospects without having to worry about character limits. Plus, you can also add a Lead Gen Form to your LinkedIn message to collect leads directly on LinkedIn. 

From my experience, these ads drive stronger engagement and outperform traditional ads. Moreover, since they’re delivered in an uncluttered environment, your brand has a much higher chance of getting noticed. 

And did you know that more than 50% of prospects open up a LinkedIn Message Ad? Those are some good numbers right there. 

As long as a member is active on LinkedIn, he’ll see these ads displayed both on desktop and mobile devices. 

However, LinkedIn strictly controls the number of times a member can receive Sponsored Messaging within a given period. This is to maintain the member experience and help your ads reach members in your target audience promptly. As a result, it’s unlikely the same member will receive your ad twice within a short time. Message ads and conversation ads are both charged on a cost-per-send/cost-per-displayed basis

High hopes and expectations? It’s only natural to have them.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that these updates came as a result of user feedback. First and foremost it’s important to see that Linkedin is turning into a platform that actually listens to its users and optimises accordingly.

What’s great about these new concepts is that they are customer-oriented. Rather than just displaying ads for people in a one-way communication stream, these become engaging ways to connect with the audience. Having members click on your ad or engage in a conversation with you means that they’re closer to converting as clients and that you’re spending your budgets more smartly and efficiently.

However, we expect this type of ads to come up with higher CPAs, but in the end, the cost per conversion will tell the truth. 

At Growth Savvy, we are early adopters and we always seek new growth opportunities for our clients, so I know for a fact that we’ll be among the first ones to test them. And I have just the right client in mind for this! 

Keep in mind that you don’t have to try out new features just because they’re out there. But you should always seek to align these new features with your business goals.Until next time, best of luck and let us know what you think about these updates. How will they influence your advertising strategy for 2023?

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