Now they’re testing a new ad platform: LinkedIn White Papers.
Let’s face it. White papers are not light reading. If someone takes the time to find yours, they probably have a genuine interest in your company and products. That’s LinkedIn’s take and why they think white paper advertising has the potential to generate more qualified leads than traditional pay-per-click advertising.
Here’s how it works: LinkedIn will serve your ads to a targeted group of professionals based on your industry and objectives. Members don’t have to pay for the white papers, but they will be asked to fill out a form with their contact information, which is delivered to the advertiser directly. Currently, you have to contact the LinkedIn ad sales department to become a white paper advertiser (it would be nice to see this process automated if the platform really takes off). You will be asked to fill out an online form, specifying the type of ad unit you desire (leaderboard, wide skyscraper, medium rectangle), your budget, target markets, campaign goals, and general contact information.
Before you balk at the idea of paying to advertise what is often a free download on your website, consider the possibilities of white paper advertising. LinkedIn is offering niche advertising, a highly visible distribution channel, and qualified leads, including contact information. Would you rather pay $25 for one qualified lead or $1 each for twenty-five crapshoot leads?