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eMarketer Marketer Adoption LinkedIn Forecast Feb2020LinkedIn may be a professional social network typically associated with recruiting, but marketers of all stripes have increasingly been viewing it as a valuable marketing channel. Indeed, the latest forecast from eMarketer estimates that next year will see more than half of all US marketers using the platform.

According to eMarketer, 49.6% of marketers at US companies with 100 employees or more will be using LinkedIn for marketing purposes (excluding employee recruitment) this year. By next year, that figure is predicted to cross into the majority (50.3%).

While LinkedIn’s revenue historically has come mostly from recruitment and “Talent Solutions” (as seen in its final year-end SEC filing before its acquisition by Microsoft), its marketing offerings are now the fastest-growing element of its business, with reported year-over-year revenue growth of 42% at the end of 2019.

There are a number of reasons why LinkedIn is an attractive platform for marketers. As shown in the latest US Media Audience Demographics Report [available for purchase], LinkedIn continues to skew towards an affluent audience, with almost half of its visitors having an income of at least $100k – a point likely explained by its professional focus.

Not surprisingly, the platform remains the social network of choice among B2B marketers. Indeed, LinkedIn is a place where professionals turn for guidance. A survey by PathFactory and Heinz Marketing found that half (50%) of B2B buyers use LinkedIn to get information.

But the growth in marketing spend and adoption isn’t just down to businesses selling to other businesses. The platform also appeals to B2C advertisers in areas such as Retail. An earlier study by Smartly.io revealed that three-quarters (76%) of large online e-commerce players who use paid social were active on LinkedIn. Meanwhile, a separate global survey of social media marketers by Social Media Examiner (where the majority of respondents worked for businesses with 10 employees or fewer) found that 46% of those in B2C also used the professional network to reach their audiences.

Given that Microsoft’s filings also show that LinkedIn sessions grew by 22% last year and that the platform now boasts more than 600 million members, it’s not hard to envision more marketers exploring the network in the future.

About the Data: eMarketer’s figures are based on US companies with at least 100 employees; excluded usage of LinkedIn only for employee recruitment.

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