Paper Trail Turn your industry white papers into targeted ads with LinkedIn White Papers

Posted by maggie.hunsucker June 24, 2009

linkedin_logoWe haven’t checked-in with LinkedIn for awhile (blame it on the general Twitter hoopla), but this white collar social network has rolled out some pretty decent ad offerings in the past.

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?

According to Steve Patrizi, Head of Ad Sales for LinkedIn, we can expect more ad products and features soon. LinkedIn plans to launch a new service aimed at college grads.

LinkedIn caters to an affluent, 40+ market of professionals who are looking to further their career. In other words, their market share and ad strategy is quite different from Facebook or any other social networking contemporary. Their core business model is subscription-based, with companies paying $25-50/month for analytics, introduction services, and market research.

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2 Comments on “Turn your industry white papers into targeted ads with LinkedIn White Papers”

  1. I reached out to Linkedin and they have a minimum $25k quarterly budget commitment to get started with WP advertising. I even proposed a small pilot to test the waters so I could make the case for more budget and they did not want to work wtih me. It's a bummer but I wasn't able to test this out. Ken C posted on
  2. [...] 6/25 LinkedIn is like the red-headed stepchild, but sometimes it makes the blogosphere, like in Feedgrowth’s “Paper Trail.” [...] Weekly Round-up 6/26 | Social Media Breakfast | ideaLaunch posted on

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