LinkedIn Ads Aim To Be ‘Lingua Franca’ For Social Advertising

In contrast to the recent stumbles by Facebook, LinkedIn has done fairly well since filing its IPO (the stock was even up slightly on Tuesday, closing at $107 a share). But that doesn’t mean LinkedIn doesn’t have the same pressures to show a diversified source of revenues. And from the looks of things right now, it isn’t much more assured than Facebook.

To that end, LinkedIn Ads, its self-serve targeted ad platform, now has the ability to understand 17 languages. Up until today, the service was only available in English. Read the blog post.  The goal is to give marketers in other countries the ability to reach all of the 175 million LinkedIn users — 62 percent of whom reside outside the U.S., a rep for the company told AdExchanger.

In an example mentioned in the blog post, LinkedIn says “the addition of new languages to LinkedIn Ads allows a finance executive in Brazil to use Spanish to connect with clients in Spain, while a tech company in Hong Kong can frame its message in Dutch to pursue customers in Amsterdam.”

Total revenue for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions (LMS) was $63.1 million last quarter, a rise of 64 percent compared to the prior year.  While LinkedIn doesn’t breakout LMS revenue beyond this point, its most recent SEC filing tells a larger story.

Under the heading, “percentage of revenue,” LMS’ share of revenue shrank a bit to 28 percent last quarter, compared to 32 percent the year before.

As further contrast, the two other areas of LinkedIn’s revenue stream, Hiring Solutions and Premium Subscriptions, both showed much higher gains, year-over-year. Hiring Solutions saw its revenues grow 107 percent, while its share of the revenues went from 48 percent to 53 percent; Premium Subscriptions’ share was basically flat, but it produced year-over-year gains of 82 percent.

Still, with all those three revenue streams, most investors do not seem concerned about LinkedIn’s potential. That allows the company room to carefully plan its ad strategy at a deliberate pace.

As Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney put it in an investors note after LinkedIn’s Q2 earnings at the beginning of August, “Yes, [LinkedIn] has exited the triple-digit-growth club,” but it was buffeted by European economic troubles and huge growth the year before. ”

“The Page View and Unique Visitor metrics that LinkedIn reported… show relatively strong growth in usage (approx 30 percent). LinkedIn disclosed that its own internal engagement metrics indicated that Page View growth was more like 60 percent, which suggests growing engagement by its user base, which is a good thing. At some level, this bodes well for future revenue growth for all three of the company’s revenue segments.”

LinkedIn operates in 200 countries, so the addition of 17 languages for its self-serve ads will certainly promote greater revenue growth for the its marketing segment. And it will also help it beat back competition in countries that are experiencing higher digital growth in general, particularly Japan, Russia and Brazil.

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