Expanding on its customer engagement tools, LinkedIn introduced SlideShare Content Ads this week. The new tool is designed to let companies run marketing presentations that initially appear as a page display ad.
A Presentation Disguised as an Ad
It appears that LinkedIn, who bought SlideShare for US$ 119 million last May, is starting to monetize the presentation company’s technology. With SlideShare Content Ads marketers have the ability to connect with their audience and provide rich content without leaving the LinkedIn website.
Instead of posting this information on their LinkedIn Company Page, users can now create something that is very similar to a display ad that once clicked turns into a multimedia presentation which can include videos, blog posts, news and product updates.
When looking at the slide show, which appear as a “sponsored presentation,” users can choose to click through the slideswithin a 350x250 windows or expand it to a full-page presentation.
As with other LinkedIn ads, these presentations can be targeted based on specific criteria such as a person’s job, age or gender.
According to Aviad Pinkovezky, Monetization Product Manager at LinkedIn in his blog post, LinkedIn not only wanted to create a more engaging user experience, but also allow marketers to create more interesting and insightful marketing campaigns.
On LinkedIn, our members are actively consuming and sharing information and insights,” said Pinkovezky. “With SlideShare Content Ads, we combine SlideShare’s rich, professionally-relevant content with LinkedIn Marketing Solutions’ unique targeting capabilities."
This is an idea that’s proving favorable with critics. Cynthia Boris of Marketing Pilgrim found the addition of Slideshare gave marketers who use LinkedIn as a platform, a more efficient and concise way of sharing content.
I really like this idea because it’s a way of getting so much more information across in a small, easily consumable way,” she says. “…As far as I’m concerned, seeing what you can do is more important than all the marketing speak you usually find in an intro letter.”
While when discussion the network as a whole, Tim Peterson of AdWeek applauded the company’s dedication to moving into a more social and and inclusive format.
“LinkedIn has been making a strong play at building out a content arm beyond user posts and resumes,” he says about recent updates.
Marketing with LinkedIn
This use of the SlideShare tool isn't the only update LinkedIn has recently done to their advertising platform. In October 2012, they integrated with YouTube and added a new video advertising tool, while in November they added a new API tool for marketers. As for 2013, the company is off to an impressive start with a partnership with Hootsuite that aims to improve analytics and targeted marketing.
According to Pinkovezky additional advertisement features are expected to be announced in the coming months. Other details about SlideShare Content Ads, such as pricing haven’t been released, but LinkedIn recommends that those interested in the service should contact them for additional details