In addition to giving Company Page admins more control over their brand, LinkedIn has also introduced Sponsored Updates. This new ad unit will let more than 3 million companies on the platform pay to promote updates to a broader audience — as opposed to just those who already follow them.

LinkedIn has been testing Sponsored Updates in the feed over the last six months with companies like Nissan, Xerox, and Adobe. The updates look like regular posts, are clearly labeled “Sponsored,” and give viewers the option to “Like,” “Comment,” and “Share” the updates, as well as “Follow” your company.

The notion of paying for broader reach isn’t foreign. In fact, it’s become a pretty standard way for marketers to give their content more visibility. Take Facebook for example. The social network introduced Promoted Posts in June 2012, and by last winter more than 300,000 pages had promoted 2.5 million posts.

Sponsored Updates can be viewed on desktop, smartphone, or tablet. Just as with other content in the feed, LinkedIn will gauge member engagement with Sponsored Updates and aim to display posts that will be more relevant to the individual. In the event that a piece of content isn’t relevant, the company offers the option to hide it from feeds.

According to LinkedIn, early testers have seen positive results. For example, HubSpot, a leader in inbound marketing software, used the ad unit to generate inbound leads from marketers in small- to medium-sized businesses. Through its campaign, the company generated 400 percent more leads from its target audience.

Priced on either a CPM or CPC basis, advertisers can promote updates in 20 languages across 200 countries. Additionally, you’ll be able to track the effectiveness of your posts through comprehensive analytics that provide insights to help you tweak your strategy in real-time.

Sponsored Updates are available to any company with an account representative starting today, and to anyone with a Company Page by the end of the month.

[Image credit: smi23le]