LinkedIn launches Audience Network for mobile native advertising campaigns

Career network LinkedIn has jumped onto the advertising bandwagon and now wants to put its audience data to good use. The company just launched the LinkedIn Audience Network, which enables advertisers to shop for inventory across the network of mobile sites and apps, but also beyond LinkedIn, including properties such as MSN.com or Outlook.com.

Even outside of LinkedIn, advertisers will still be able to incorporate the LinkedIn demographic data to boost their sponsored content. This could be of particular interest to sites and apps that have similar customers.

For now, the Audience Network spans thousands of sites and apps worldwide, including ad exchanges such as Google Ad Exchange, MoPub, Sharethrough and Rubicon.

Divye Raj Khilnani, a product manager at LinkedIn, explains:

“Advertisers running campaigns in the Audience Network are reaching new people they hadn’t yet engaged on one of LinkedIn’s owned and operated properties.”

After initial beta testing with 6,000 LinkedIn advertisers, the Audience Network will roll out across all English-speaking countries.

According to the network, initial tests show that advertisers served between 3% to 13% more impressions. Unique clicks were up 80%.

The move is akin to what other large platforms are doing with their data. Take Facebook as an example. The company launched its own Audience Network back in 2014.

It’s almost like a natural step for networks with a wealth of user information that they have collected over the years to make use of this data at some point. Ultimately, this benefits consumers through highly targeted adverts.

LinkedIn specifically is interested in creating ads that match user profiles across the career network. However, ads will be served natively so that the consumer experience is not disrupted on the mobile app.

The addition could help the company boost its advertising business, which has been a small feature of its revenue stream – perhaps until now. Of its total earnings of $960 million in October 2016, the company reported just $175 million from marketing solutions.