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Do LinkedIn Newsletters Actually Get Results for Brands?



Do LinkedIn Newsletters Actually Get Results for Brands?

The notifications keep popping up in the My Network section of my LinkedIn account. But they’re not the usual request to connect. Instead, they’re invitations from people asking me to subscribe to their newsletters.

I received six click-to-subscribe requests on one recent day. I’d already subscribed to a newsletter or two through the platform. Why the sudden onslaught of requests? Did everybody realize the power of newsletters at the same time?

The answer was simple: LinkedIn expanded its newsletter creation feature to more people recently (and will continue to roll it out to even more in the coming months.)

I started to wonder: Do (personal and corporate) brands find these newsletters beneficial? How hard are they to create?

To answer these questions (and more), I turned to brands and agencies who use the LinkedIn newsletter, one of the people who worked on the newsletter feature, and LinkedIn’s published guidance.

Connect through conversations and ideas

The LinkedIn newsletter capability grew naturally from the platform’s articles feature, according to Lorraine K. Lee, who served as editorial lead for the LinkedIn newsletter product launch.

The idea is to help the LinkedIn audience stay up to date on topics and conversations important to them through content created by the people they’ve connected with and brands they follow. It also gives brands and other newsletter creators the opportunity to connect with their followers on topics they are (or want to be) known for.

Lorraine advises any brand or individual to focus on content that’s genuine and open. “A company that’s writing a newsletter each week sharing high-level policies or updates isn’t going to get a lot of traction.

A company that shares employee stories or struggles the HR team faced when implementing remote work policies is.”

“Any time you can tell a story and show what’s behind the curtain — that’s what will help you engage and grow your audience,” says Lorraine, who now heads editorial at Prezi.

Tell a story and show what’s behind the curtain to engage and grow your @LinkedIn newsletter audience, says @lorraineklee via @AnnGynn and @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Get results with repurposed content

Andy Crestodina, co-founder of Orbit Media, created Digital Marketing Tips on LinkedIn when LinkedIn made the newsletter option available by invitation only. The results have been crazy, he says. In the first 10 months, he gained over 100,000 subscribers. Today, more than 118,000 people subscribe to the weekly LinkedIn newsletter.

His motivation was simple – he wanted to get more value from older blog posts. “Virtually all of our content is evergreen, so I had a virtual assistant start moving old articles into LinkedIn to give them exposure to a new audience. They required very little adaptation, so it was a near-zero effort,” Andy says.

Each LinkedIn newsletter article is about half or two-thirds of the original, with a call to action to read the rest on the Orbit Media website.

The strategy paid off in increased traffic to the Orbit Media website. Since introducing the LinkedIn newsletter in early 2021, more than 10,056 visitors have come to his site from LinkedIn, and almost 90% of them were new visitors.

“For years, we warned against building on rented land,” Andy says, “but when the location of that rented land is amazing and the cost is low, you should go ahead and rent.”

A @LinkedIn #newsletter strategy based on repurposed #content worked for @Orbiteers. So go ahead and rent if the location is amazing and the cost is low, says @Crestodina via @AnnGynn and @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Tweak content for the platform to earn subscribers and leads

Christina Daves, president of CastMedicDesigns, launched the Get PR Famous newsletter on LinkedIn and now has over 2,500 subscribers. (Get PR Famous is also the name of a course and live event she created.)

“I am repurposing content by taking old articles or blog posts and updating them. I also include YouTube videos I’ve done in the past that will help with that particular topic,” she says. “I’m a huge proponent of reusing your content and not always reinventing the wheel. You just need to tweak it specifically for this audience and the topic you’ve chosen.”

Christina says she’s been blown away by the results. She publishes twice a week and averages 1,500 to 2,000 views per newsletter – about 10 to 20 times more than she gets on regular posts. Each newsletter also nets her one or two consultations with prospects.

“More and more people are jumping on board, which will dilute the excitement and newness of this type of content. (But) provide great content, and people will stay with you,” Christina says.

More people are creating LinkedIn newsletters, which could dilute excitement. But if you provide great #content, people will stay with you, advises @PRforAnyone via @AnnGynn and @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Test which format readers prefer

VEM Tooling made LinkedIn its primary newsletter distribution platform based on the surge of readers and positive reactions it received, according to Sales Director David Reid. He says subscribers find the LinkedIn newsletter format more comfortable and enjoyable than traditional email newsletters, though both formats feature the same content.

As far as a marketing tool, David says, VEM has found more success with its LinkedIn newsletters because it reaches a broader audience and allows them to see reactions from readers who click on like and other emojis or write comments. (LinkedIn newsletters also are less likely to get stopped by spam filters than traditional email newsletters, he says.)

How to get started

The first step in creating a LinkedIn newsletter is to see if the option is available to you. To find out, go to the Creator hub by visiting the Resources section of your LinkedIn profile page. Here you will see if the newsletter feature is available:

According to LinkedIn, the newsletter creator access is available to members (and brand pages) that have:

  • At least 150 followers or connections
  • Recently shared original content
  • Agreed to adhere to its professional community policies

(Note: Creator mode will affect your profile appearance, moving the Activity and Featured sections before the About section. It also allows you to use hashtags underneath your title.)

From there, the process is simple. At the top of your LinkedIn home page, click “Write an article.” Create the content and then click “create a newsletter.”

LinkedIn offers these tips as best practices:

  • Choose a name that clearly describes your newsletter’s content focus.
  • Make sure to include your logo in the newsletter and a cover photo for each article.
  • Be direct in your article headlines.
  • Engage subscribers by adding a few lines of commentary or asking a question when you share the newsletter.

Once you publish your first newsletter, LinkedIn automatically sends a newsletter invitation that includes your name and newsletter title to your connections and followers. You also receive a dedicated newsletter page link you can share on LinkedIn and other social media platforms.

Another tool for your content kit

LinkedIn newsletters offer an option for delivering content to and interacting with a community that may not want another email newsletter popping up in their inboxes.

Even if you aren’t the earliest bird to the LinkedIn Newsletter feature, you can still test the tactic to see if it helps your content fly further and attract a wider audience.

Want to learn how to balance, manage, and scale great content experiences across all your essential platforms and channels? Join us at ContentTECH Summit this March in San Diego. Browse the schedule or register today.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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The Biggest Ad Fraud Cases and What We Can Learn From Them



The Biggest Ad Fraud Cases and What We Can Learn From Them

Ad fraud is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, the latest data indicates that it will cost businesses a colossal €120 billion by 2023. But even more worrying is that fraudsters’ tactics are becoming so sophisticated that even big-name companies such as Uber, Procter & Gamble, and Verizon have been victims of ad fraud in recent years. 

So what does this mean for the rest of the industry? The answer is simple: every ad company, no matter their size or budget is just as at risk as the big guns – if not more. 

In this article, I summarize some of the biggest and most shocking cases of ad fraud we’ve witnessed over recent years and notably, what vital lessons marketers and advertisers can learn from them to avoid wasting their own budgets. 

The biggest ad fraud cases in recent years 

From fake clicks and click flooding to bad bots and fake ad impressions, fraudsters have and will go to any lengths to siphon critical dollars from your ad budgets.

Let’s take a look at some of the most high-profile and harmful ad fraud cases of recent years that have impacted some of the most well-known brands around the world. 

Methbot: $5 million a day lost through fake video views 

In 2016, Aleksandr Zhukov, the self-proclaimed “King of Fraud”, and his group of fraudsters were discovered to have been making between $3 and $5 million a day by executing fake clicks on video advertisements. 

Oft-cited as the biggest digital ad fraud operation ever uncovered, “Methbot” was a sophisticated botnet scheme that involved defrauding brands by enabling countless bots to watch 300 million video ads per day on over 6000 spoofed websites. 

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Due to the relatively high cost-per-mille (CPM) for video ads, Aleksandr and his group were able to steal millions of dollars a day by targeting high-value marketplaces. Some of the victims of the Methbot fraud ring include The New York Times, The New York Post, Comcast, and Nestle.

In late 2021, Aleksandr Zhukov was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay over $3.8 million in restitution. 

Uber: $100 million wasted in ad spend 

In another high-profile case, transportation giant Uber filed a lawsuit against five ad networks in 2019 – Fetch, BidMotion, Taptica, YouAppi, and AdAction Interactive – and won. 

Uber claimed that its ads were not converting, and ultimately discovered that roughly two-thirds of its ad budget ($100 million) wasn’t needed. This was on account of ad retargeting companies that were abusing the system by creating fraudulent traffic. 

The extent of the ad fraud was discovered when the company cut $100 million in ad spend and saw no change in the number of rider app installs. 

In 2020, Uber also won another lawsuit against Phunware Inc. when they discovered that the majority of Uber app installations that the company claimed to have delivered were produced by the act of click flooding. 

Criteo: Claims sues competitor for allegedly running a damaging counterfeit click fraud scheme 

In 2016, Criteo, a retargeting and display advertising network, claimed that competitor Steelhouse (now known as MNTM) ran a click fraud scheme against Criteo in a bid to damage the company’s reputation and to fraudulently take credit for user visits to retailers’ web pages. 

Criteo filed a lawsuit claiming that due to Steelhouse’s alleged actions — the use of bots and other automated methods to generate fake clicks on shoe retailer TOMS’ ads — Criteo ultimately lost TOMS as a client. Criteo has accused Steelhouse of carrying out this type of ad fraud in a bid to prove that Steelhouse provided a more effective service than its own. 

Twitter: Elon Musk claims that the platform hosts a high number of inauthentic accounts 

In one of the biggest and most tangled tech deals in recent history, the Elon Musk and Twitter saga doesn’t end with Twitter taking Musk to court for backing out of an agreement to buy the social media giant for $44 billion.

In yet another twist, Musk has also claimed that Twitter hid the real number of bots and fake accounts on its platform. He has also accused the company of fraud by alleging that these accounts make up around 10% of Twitter’s daily active users who see ads, essentially meaning that 65 million of Twitter’s 229 million daily active users are not seeing them at all. 

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6 Lessons marketers can learn from these high-profile ad fraud cases 

All of these cases demonstrate that ad fraud is a pervasive and ubiquitous practice that has incredibly damaging and long-lasting effects on even the most well-known brands around the world. 

The bottom line is this: Marketers and advertisers can no longer afford to ignore ad fraud if they’re serious about reaching their goals and objectives. Here are some of the most important lessons and takeaways from these high-profile cases. 

  1. No one is safe from ad fraud 

Everyone — from small businesses to large corporations like Uber — is affected by ad fraud. Plus, fraudsters have no qualms over location: no matter where in the world you operate, you are susceptible to the consequences of ad fraud. 

  1. Ad fraud is incredibly hard to detect using manual methods

Fraudsters use a huge variety of sneaky techniques and channels to scam and defraud advertisers, which means ad fraud is incredibly difficult to detect manually. This is especially true if organizations don’t have the right suggestions and individuals dedicated to tracking and monitoring the presence of ad fraud. 

Even worse, when organizations do have teams in place monitoring ad fraud, they are rarely experts, and cannot properly pore through the sheer amount of data that each campaign produces to accurately pinpoint it.

  1. Ad fraud wastes your budget, distorts your data, and prevents you from reaching your goals

Ad fraud drains your budget significantly, which is a huge burden for any company. However, there are also other ways it impacts your ability to deliver results. 

For example, fake clicks and click bots lead to skewed analytics, which means that when you assess advertising channels and campaigns based on the traffic and engagement they receive, you’re actually relying on flawed data to make future strategic decisions. 

Finally – and as a result of stolen budgets and a reliance on flawed data – your ability to reach your goals is highly compromised. 

  1. You’re likely being affected by ad fraud already, even if you don’t know it yet

As seen in many of these cases, massive amounts of damage were caused because the brands weren’t aware that they were being targeted by fraudsters. Plus, due to the lack of awareness surrounding ad fraud in general, it’s highly likely that you’re being affected by ad fraud already. 

  1. You have options to fight the effects of ad fraud  

Luckily, as demonstrated by these cases, there are some options available to counteract the impact and losses caused by ad fraud, such as requesting a refund or even making a case to sue. In such cases, ad fraud detection solutions are extremely useful to uncover ad fraud and gather evidence. 

  1. But the best option is to prevent ad fraud from the get-go

The best ad fraud protection is ad fraud prevention. The only surefire way to stop fraudsters from employing sophisticated fraud schemes and attacking your campaigns is by implementing equally sophisticated solutions. Anti-ad fraud software solutions that use machine learning and artificial intelligence help you keep fraud at bay, enabling you to focus on what matters: optimizing your campaigns and hitting your goals. 

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