LinkedIn’s Advertising Business is on the Rise, While User Engagement Remains Solid

Škoda E´City

LinkedIn continues to see record-high levels of engagement, and beat revenue expectations in the most recent quarter, according to the latest update from parent company Microsoft.

As per Microsoft’s FY21 Q2 update, posted last week, LinkedIn sessions grew 30% in the last three months of 2020, while the platform’s total revenue increased 23% in the period.

As outlined by Microsoft:

“We once again saw record levels of engagement across the platform, as LinkedIn’s nearly 740 million members use the network to connect, learn, and find new opportunities. Sessions increased 30%. Conversations were up 48%. And hours spent on LinkedIn Learning were up 2x, compared to a year ago.”

What, exactly, ‘conversations’ incorporates within this context is not entirely clear, but the data shows that LinkedIn engagement continues to rise, which has been the story over the past several reports from the tech giant.

One of the downsides of Microsoft’s takeover of LinkedIn has been that we no longer get specific performance updates related to the platform, like total member charts and insights into usage. LinkedIn has never been totally forthcoming about active users, as such, preferring instead to report total ‘members’, which is not a comparable metric, but we did once get a little more data on actual platform usage trends over time, while we now only get a brief mention within the broader context of Microsoft’s overall product suite.

But regardless, the data does indicate that LinkedIn is seeing higher levels of activity, while its advertising business continues to grow – which could make it a more relevant consideration for more digital marketers, depending on your industry focus and fit.

In fact, according to Microsoft, LinkedIn’s ads business saw a major boost in the last quarter:

“LinkedIn’s advertising business had a record quarter, accounting for more than a third of LinkedIn’s total revenue. LinkedIn Marketing Solutions was up over 50%, as advertisers increasingly turn to the platform as the trusted way to reach professionals ready to do business.”

Microsoft also notes that the shift to remote selling has also benefited LinkedIn’s business, with Sales Navigator helping to provide more context – “while new tools help sales organizations use LinkedIn data to identify and size opportunities”.

LinkedIn has been adding new ways to tap into its unmatched professional data banks, including ‘Sales Insights’ which it launched in December. Sales Insights provides data on key business opportunities based on your chosen market niche and parameters.

As Microsoft notes, with the shift to remote work, then the eventual re-ignition of the economy in the wake of COVID-19, LinkedIn is in a strong position to capitalize on various key market shifts, which is no doubt part of the reason why it’s seeing such promising results.

Microsoft says that it expects the continued strong engagement on the platform “drive revenue growth in the low-20% range” moving forward.