In the dynamic landscape of digital marketing, staying ahead means embracing innovation and adapting to changes. In 2023, LinkedIn introduced Thought Leader Ads (TLAs), a game-changer for brands seeking to elevate their thought leadership content.

TLAs empower brands to showcase the expertise and insights of their executives, spokespeople and employees directly, without relying on resharing from the company page. This move has not only humanized brand content but also amplified engagement and performance across the platform.

Exciting updates have recently been unveiled in LinkedIn's product roadmap, promising to eliminate existing limitations and enhance the effectiveness of TLAs. 

Expansion to Influencers

As of April 1, 2024, brands can now sponsor content from any LinkedIn member, not just employees, with the original creator's consent. This expansion opens doors for brands to collaborate with a broader spectrum of voices, further diversifying their thought leadership initiatives. When selecting a TLA in LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager, advertisers will have the option to search for the person (by name) – 1st or 2nd degree connection – or by post. Once the post is selected, the creator will receive an email notification asking them to “approve” or “deny” the request. A link that can be shared with the author is also generated to facilitate and expedite the approval process. Once the post is approved and the campaign is live, the promoted post will show with a “promoted by COMPANY’S NAME” disclaimer in users’ feed.

Inclusion of LinkedIn Articles & Newsletter

TLAs will now support the promotion of LinkedIn articles and newsletters, in addition to single images and videos. This expansion allows brands to leverage a wider range of content formats to engage their audience and establish industry authority.

Upcoming launches for TLAs linking to LinkedIn Articles: 

  • From employees: April 1.
  • From Member/Non-Employee, anticipated launch in August 2024.

Upcoming launches for TLAs linking to Newsletters:

  • Newsletters as authored by Companies: May 2024
  • Newsletters as authored by Employees: August 2024
  • Newsletters as Authored by Members/Non-Employees: September 2024

Our latest B2B Thought Leadership Impact Report, in partnership with LinkedIn, highlighted the importance of Thought Leadership, with 75% of global B2B buyers and C-suite leaders saying that a particular piece of Thought Leadership content led them to research a product or service they were not previously considering. LinkedIn's commitment to enhancing its TLA offering reflects the platform's recognition of the pivotal role thought leadership plays in driving engagement and influencing purchase decisions. As brands navigate these new opportunities, it's essential to consider the following:

  • Influencer Strategy: Embrace an influencer strategy on LinkedIn to leverage customer testimonials and product tutorials with an authentic voice, driving credibility and trust.
  • Amplifying Organic Content: Utilize TLAs to amplify investments in organic content, particularly LinkedIn newsletters and articles, and enhance executive visibility and SME positioning programs.
  • Brand Safety: Prioritize brand safety when promoting third-party content. Vet influencers carefully and ensure transparent communication regarding paid promotions.

As LinkedIn opens new avenues for thought leadership promotion, brands should seize the opportunity to engage their audience authentically and drive meaningful conversations. By leveraging TLAs effectively and responsibly, brands can solidify their position as industry leaders and cultivate lasting relationships with their audience.

Jessica Mullin serves as vice president of performance for Edelman DXI, where she oversees media strategy, planning, implementation and cross-channel measurement serving clients across a wide range of verticals from B2B technology to CPG and healthcare.

Elba Leo serves as director of paid media for Edelman DXI, where she has helped clients across a variety of verticals achieve corporate reputation, brand awareness, and executive visibility goals through effective paid campaigns.