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Thought Leader: LinkedIn’s Entry into Influencer Marketing

For years LinkedIn has been renowned as fertile ground for advertisers. However, it has historically held a modest 4% share of the influencer market. Unlike LinkedIn, platforms like TikTok and Instagram have thrived in this space. This is because they empower creators to collaborate with brands, promote products, and generate substantial revenue. Recognizing the potential to increase profits, LinkedIn is poised to join the influencer marketing sphere. Now, any advertiser can pay to boost posts from users with large followings through a new feature called Thought Leader.  

Growing as a Social Platform

Influencer marketing has taken center stage on platforms like TikTok and Instagram. On these, creators with substantial followings can earn significant profits by partnering with brands. In response, LinkedIn aims to replicate this success.   


To achieve this, it has expanded its capabilities to enable advertisers to boost posts from users, especially those with a sizable following. The recently enhanced product, called Thought Leader ads, was initially introduced with limited functionalities.   


As a Microsoft-owned enterprise, LinkedIn is seeking to revitalize amidst stagnant revenue growth since 2022. Leveraging its user base of over one billion registered members as of last November, the company is strategically positioned to drive expansion. 

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The Digital Arena

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In the landscape of influencer marketing statistics, CNBC reports widespread use. This happens particularly in consumer applications, where savvy strategies can propel creators to fame, amassing millions of followers.   

eMarketer projections suggest that by 2026, Instagram and TikTok will capture an additional 2% market share in the US social media marketing space. It reports Meta (Instagram’s parent company) and Chinese firm ByteDance (Tiktok’s parent company) will be leading the charge.   

Contrastingly, LinkedIn is anticipated to capture a modest 4% market share, translating to an estimated $4.5 billion in marketing revenue, as per eMarketer. 

Leveraging Thought Leader Ads

LinkedIn’s Thought Leader ads, unveiled last year with limited capabilities, initially restricted brands to boosting posts from their own employees. Notably, MasterCard successfully promoted posts authored by its leaders in Singapore. These garnered over 500 interactions on the first day alone. LinkedIn has also leveraged Thought Leader ads for posts by its Chief Operating Officer, Dan Shapero. 

With the expanded rollout of Thought Leader Ads, the platform now allows any user to amplify a post. However, they must have the consent of the original author. The new feature should prove successful since LinkedIn users’ provide specific details about their employment. This allows the ads to be targeted accurately and precisely. 

LinkedIn’s advertising predominantly caters to business-related products and services, such as software and IT infrastructure. Although, the platform also hosts manufacturers, universities, and banks seeking to connect with potential customers.   

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It’s important to note that advertising costs on LinkedIn are relatively higher than on Instagram or TikTok. This is due to the platform’s affluent user base, resulting in more expensive ad impressions.  

In the end, LinkedIn’s foray into influencer marketing through Thought Leader ads promises a new avenue for advertisers. Specifically, it should allow them to engage with targeted audiences on this professional networking platform. 

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