A Comprehensive Guide to LinkedIn Sponsored Updates

Although often underrated or reduced to a “networking platform,” LinkedIn has the potential to help you drive traffic to your website, increase brand awareness, and boost your revenue. How? Through LinkedIn sponsored updates or ads.

In this comprehensive guide to LinkedIn sponsored updates, we’ll tackle the big questions — what are LinkedIn sponsored updates, how do they work, and how much do they cost?

We’ll also offer a list of sponsored updates best practices to help your brand make the most of this social content solution.

What are LinkedIn sponsored updates?

Also called sponsored content, the official LinkedIn help page says a sponsored update is “a LinkedIn Page update that is sponsored as an advertisement and is delivered to the LinkedIn feed of members beyond those who follow your company.”

LinkedIn sponsored updates are advertisements created by your company or marketing team. These are then served to LinkedIn users who either follow your page or follow pages in similar content space.

Users can find these ads on their native LinkedIn feed. The sponsored updates typically include a combination of relevant text and contextual images or videos. This helps them blend in with similar user content rather than standing out as paid-for advertisements.

When designed and deployed well, LinkedIn sponsored updates can help drive organic interest in your brand from current followers and a wider audience of LinkedIn members.

Worth noting? While these posts are designed to follow the format of familiar user updates, they’re always labeled as “sponsored content” to ensure there is no misleading or confusing users.

What types of sponsored updates are available?

Brands can create four types of direct sponsored updates.

Single Image Ads

Single image ads include one image with text displayed directly in targeted members’ LinkedIn feeds.

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Carousel Image Ads

Carousel ads contain multiple images in succession that users can scroll through to get a better sense of your products or services.

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Video Ads

Video ads offer a way to include multimedia marketing with in-feed videos that users can watch on demand.

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Single Job Ads

If you want to expand your team, you can create single job ads for your targeted audience. They must promote a single job opportunity and be linked to an active LinkedIn post.

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Document Ads

Use document ads to share relevant content with users in the form of ebooks, whitepapers, testimonials, or case studies.

You can collect lead information before they open or download your document, and you can track user engagement through the number of downloads and how much of your document is read.

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Event Ads

Event ads allow you to promote events you’re organizing through an ad campaign. You must create the event through LinkedIn first, then turn it into sponsored content to target your desired audience.

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You can also create what’s known as “direct sponsored content.” These ads won’t display on your LinkedIn Page or Showcase Page before being served as advertisements.

As a result, companies often use them to test several marketing approaches, see which one produces the best results, and use them as the basis for more robust sponsored content updates.

How much do LinkedIn sponsored updates cost?

The short answer is that more resource-intensive ads — such as videos or carousels — will cost more than their single-image counterparts.

The long answer is slightly more complicated.

First, it’s essential to understand that LinkedIn uses a bidding model for sponsored ads.

You select and create your ad type and then specify how much you’re willing to pay — a minimum price exists to ensure advertisers are fairly paid. Still, you’ll never be charged more than your maximum upper limit.

Differing ad providers then bid on the service, and the lowest price wins.

Your target audience and relevance score also determine ad price. For example, if your target audience is in high demand, you’ll be charged more because there’s greater competition to capture user interest.

You can also lower your ad costs by creating relevant ads. The more relevant and content-rich your ad, the less you’ll pay — because there’s a better chance of engaging LinkedIn users.

It’s also worth considering the best cost model for your ad: Cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-impression (CPM). CPC means you only pay when users click on your ad and visit your site, while CPM means you pay for every 1,000 views or “impressions” of your ad.

If your goal is generating brand awareness, opt for CPM. Choose CPC if you have an established audience and want to drive click-throughs and conversions.

LinkedIn Sponsored Updates Best Practices

Want to get the most from your LinkedIn sponsored updates? Keep these best practices in mind.

1. Follow LinkedIn sponsored update specs.

Each type of sponsored content comes with its own specifications.

Single image ads require the following:

Up to 255 characters for the ad name.
150 characters of intro text to avoid truncation.
URLs with “http://” or “https://”.
JPG, GIF, or PNG files that are 5 MB or smaller.
Up to 255 characters for the ad name.
150 characters of intro text to avoid truncation.
URLs with “http://” or “https://”.
JPG, GIF, or PNG files that are 5 MB or smaller.

Carousel ads require the following:

A minimum of two cards and a maximum of ten.
Each card has a maximum file size of 10 MB and dimensions of 6012 x 6012px.
JPG, PNG, and non-animated GIF files.

Video ads must be:

Between 3 seconds to 30 minutes long.
Between 75 KB and 200 MB.
In MP4 format.
Less than 30 frames per second (FPS).

Single job ads should be concise, relevant, and clear. They must have:

Document ads require the following formatting:

A PDF format under 100 MB.
Accessible fonts and colors are accessible.

When it comes to event ads, be sure to consider the following:

The ad image will be drawn from the LinkedIn event page with a 4:1 ratio.
Event names can use up to 255 characters with 600 characters of intro text.
Use URLs with “http://” or “https://” from LinkedIn events page.

Failure to follow these guidelines may result in ads being rejected. In addition, if ads contain misleading or inappropriate content, LinkedIn may choose to remove the ads or terminate your LinkedIn account.

The service also clarifies that “spam” posts are not permitted. According to their Best Practices for Sponsored Content page, “Businesses that post updates excessively are subject to review by LinkedIn and could risk having their LinkedIn Page deleted.”

2. Don’t overshare.

While targeted, relevant content can help drive user interest, too many ads too quickly can result in over-saturation.

LinkedIn recommends regularly tweaking your content strategy to deliver analysis rather than simply news, including curated content (with credit) from other sources and repurposing older content where applicable.

3. Test, test, test.

As noted above, direct sponsored content is a great way to try out new advertising efforts and see what sticks.

With the social media market continually evolving, it’s worth evaluating ad performance every few weeks to see what’s working, what isn’t, and where specific changes can help.

4. Spend wisely.

Sponsored updates can get expensive as you incorporate new advertisements and use multiple ad types.

Here, it’s worth tracking your ad spend and switching from CPC to CPM models once click-through rates start to rise. If ads lose steam, consider moving back to CPM to generate increased awareness.

5. Find new markets.

While engaging your target market is critical, diversifying ad objectives is also important to expand your overall impact. LinkedIn recommends using tools such as Lead Gen Forms to find better leads, assess ROI, and manage your advertisements at scale.

Start Creating LinkedIn Sponsored Updates

LinkedIn’s sponsored update model offers a streamlined solution to help brands reach their target market, expand brand awareness, and boost ROI.

Best bet? Start with direct sponsored content to see what sticks, then choose the cost model that makes the most sense — CPC or CPM — and adjust as needed to reach the largest LinkedIn audience.

3 Easy Steps to Build Your Brand Promise [+ Examples]

A brand promise is more than a tagline. It’s a way to show customers what your brand can offer that no one else can.

Like other kinds of promises, brand promises can get complicated. They set high expectations, offer ambitious commitments, and impact relationships.

Let’s talk about what a brand promise is, how to create a brand promise, and see examples from popular B2B and B2C brands. We’ll also share a brand promise template to help you draft your own.

Keep reading or jump ahead to the section you’re looking for:

What is a brand promise?
Why Your Brand Promise Is Important
How to Write a Brand Promise
Brand Promise Template
Brand Promise Examples

Your brand promise should be central to your company, something that remains constant as it grows and evolves.

Not every brand promise is explicit. It’s often more of an internal mantra that’s shared with employees, investors, and partners. But when you’ve built a strong brand identity and clear messaging, your brand promise can be assumed by your target audience.

Brand Promise vs. Tagline

There’s often some confusion between a brand promise and a tagline, so let’s break it down.

While it can be just as short as a tagline, a brand promise tells consumers, “Hey, this is what you’ll find every time you interact with our brand.”

So, why have one? Well, a brand promise:

Helps internal and external stakeholders know what to expect from you.
Gains consumer trust.
Serves as the foundation from which you build out how your company operates from a consumer interaction perspective.

A Quick Brand Promise Definition

Brand promises are short statements. They make a commitment to your customer about what your brand will deliver.

It is a promise after all. So when you break it, it can affect your reputation and your revenue.

For instance, let’s say your brand promise is something like “Innovation at every turn,” and your company hasn’t come out with something new and fresh in the last five years. That can deter potential consumers.

Here are the most common types of brand promises:

Emotional: A promise appealing to emotion.
Action-based: A promise tied to a specific action.
Social: A promise based on ethical or social responsibility.

Why Your Brand Promise Is Important

This one message can have a big impact on customer sentiment, brand reputation, and more.

Because a brand promise is like a pinky promise. For the uninitiated, a pinky promise is usually between two people. It holds more weight than a spit shake, legal contract, verbal agreement, and “I swear on my [insert family member]” statements combined. It’s part of our social contract – once it’s been agreed upon, it cannot be broken.

Your brand promise is the scaled, commercial version of a pinky promise, with your brand holding up one finger and your target audience holding up the other.

Except, in this case, breaking it won’t just ruin your reputation, it can impact your revenue. This promise can affect your market valuation, employees, and stakeholders.

Making good on your brand promise can help you grow your brand, build trust with your target audiences, and boost your sales.

But how can you pack all that power into a single message? Let’s talk about how to create your brand promise.

How to Write a Brand Promise

1. Focus on your audience.

Your brand promise outlines your commitment to your audience. So, to figure out what your promise should be, your first step is determining what your audience wants from you.

It goes beyond a specific product or service, it’s more specific to the experience you’re providing.

For instance, Planet Fitness’s brand promise is based on people’s reluctance to join the gym for fear of judgment and embarrassment. The brand, in response, promises to create an environment that encourages people at all fitness levels to go to the gym and feel comfortable working out.

Another goal of your brand promise is to set you apart from your competitors. What makes you unique, is it your customer service, your product, your mission, your values? Use that to offer a promise that’s distinctive.

In Planet Fitness’ case, the brand did something no one else had done: Address the problem with the gym environment, not its users.

As you learn about what your audience wants, keep asking questions. Do you know what their knowledge level is about your industry? Do you have a clear idea of what they need to know to make a purchase?

It’s important to remember that your brand promise isn’t simply a slogan or commitment. It’s the first step in building a community with shared values. The better you understand your audience, the more likely you are to engage them.

If you haven’t already, develop buyer personas and workshop messages that could resonate with each persona.

Featured Resource: Make My Persona

2. Think about your customer touchpoints.

With your brand promise, you’re guaranteeing something to your customers.

Whether your customer is in-store, on social media, or buying online, place yourself in their shoes and envision how you want those interactions to go. Is there a specific feeling involved? What do they have to gain?

For example, say a customer spends a lot of time on your website but hasn’t made a purchase. Do you have an idea about why they’re hesitating? If you were speaking to this customer in person, what would you say to help them move to the next step?

Once you put those feelings into words, you’ll be able to craft a brand promise that reflects the experience you want to promote.

You may also want to draft three or more secondary promises for each touchpoint at this stage. You may use these drafts to get to your main brand promise. This exercise can also help you narrow your focus to different touchpoints and how they can impact customer experience.

Your brand promise should be consistent across every touchpoint. So, the more time you spend looking at it from every angle, the more likely you are to create a powerful brand promise.

Featured Resource: Customer Journey Map Template

3. Keep it simple, unique, and inspiring.

Your brand promise should be clear and to the point, something you can say in one sentence. It won’t necessarily be as fun as a tagline, but it should definitely inspire trust and confidence.

Try to organize your ideas before you start writing. Having a concise idea of what you want to communicate can make writing easier.

Then, be thoughtful about which words you choose. Does your brand promise need complicated words or industry-specific terms? Is your brand promise about selling an offer or explaining your product? Answering these questions can help you find the right vocabulary for your promise.

Next, introduce some play into your writing. Think about your company culture, awakening the senses, and details that can paint a picture for your audience. This process will probably create more text than you’ll need, but it can help you create a promise with an authentic and empathetic voice.

Then you can edit your brand promise into a single succinct statement that is useful, positive, and hopeful.

If you can’t articulate your promise in this way, perhaps you haven’t fully fleshed out your brand’s purpose.

If that’s the case, start by asking yourself these questions:

What should my customers expect from me?
What does my company stand for?
What makes us unique?

What makes a brand promise successful?

Unlike a promise between two friends, a brand promise is a public agreement with a vast audience. You don’t have to offer a brand promise, but if you choose to, it will set expectations for your community.

That’s because saying you’ll do something is easy, but it can be difficult to follow through. And an inability to follow through on your brand promise can have a long-term effect on brand perception.

To get the most out of your brand promise, test it against the benchmarks below.

Your brand promise should be credible.

Your brand promise should be something that your business or product is qualified to offer. Brand promises that offer too much or don’t align with industry expectations can make customers question their authenticity.

An effective brand promise can offer clues about your business like:

Level of professional experience
Knowledge of complex issues
The character of your employees

This statement can also show your commitment to solving a specific problem for your customers.

Your brand promise should be memorable.

It’s not enough to just grab attention with your brand promise. Instead, you want people to remember your promise and connect it to your brand and products long-term.

Memorable brand promises evoke emotion, draw attention, and offer an audience something new. To create strong emotions, think about the emotions that come up when your customers solve a problem with your product or service. Then analyze the strength of these emotions. You can also look at how different situations might evoke different emotions.

This act of seeing from your customer’s perspective can help you create a “sticky” brand promise.

Your brand promise should have business impact.

In promises between friends, both make the promise because both get something out of it.

So, your brand promise should support what matters most to your business. It might convey product excellence, drive sales, or expand brand influence. And as people in your organization make decisions, they should do so with your brand promise in mind.

As you work on your brand promise, think about it from the perspective of every department and team member in your company. This can help your promise to inspire your employees and support the culture of your business too.

Your brand promise should be actionable.

A brand promise is an offer that a business needs to keep. This means that the promise must be something your company can act on.

As you review your brand promise, ask yourself:

Is your brand promise also a call-to-action?
What do your customers get in return if they commit to your brand?
How can your audience engage or get involved with your brand promise?
What other questions might someone ask after seeing your brand promise?

To be effective, your brand promise needs to be something your stakeholders can act on or see you taking action on, plus why that action is valuable. If your promise is vague or static, you may need to keep working.

Brand Promise Template

There isn’t an exact formula to create your brand promise. But we’ve mentioned that it’s a blend of a few things that make up your company. So here’s a formula you can use to create your promise:

Positioning + Vision + Value Proposition = Your Brand Promise

Write your answers down and start blending these concepts together into one succinct idea.

Crafting your brand promise should be a top priority when developing your identity. Without this core message, you will likely struggle to develop your brand identity and strong messaging to connect with your target audience.

As with everything, expect to have a few iterations. You won’t always have the answer right away.

It may take a few sessions to flesh it out and that’s OK. Because once you have it, it will become ingrained both internally and externally as your company grows.

Brand Promise Examples

Keep in mind that some of these examples of brand promises are assumed and some have been shared by the companies. Use them as inspiration when crafting your own.

Nike — Inspire every athlete in the world.
Apple — Think differently.
Starbucks — To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, one neighborhood at a time.
Coca-Cola — Refresh the world in mind, body, and spirit, and inspire moments of optimism.
Anima Iris — Feel empowered and emboldened.
Telfar — Redefine luxury as accessible and inclusive.
Tru Colour — Inclusion since inception.
Noirbnb — Create a safe space for POC to travel and discover new adventures.
Pur Home Clean — Change the way you think about cleaning.

What’s common across all these promises is that they never refer to a particular offering or numerical goal. Instead, they are statements that encompass the brand’s broader purpose.

Examples of Brand Promises for B2B

Business-to-business brand promises can be difficult to craft. This is because these relationships are often more about efficiency and ROI than meeting emotional needs.

Check out these B2B brand promise examples to spark your imagination.

HubSpot — Help millions of companies grow better.
Datadog — See inside any stack, any app, at any scale, anywhere.
MURAL — Change your how.
Recurly — Keep a good thing growing.
Calendly — Easy scheduling ahead.
Reachdesk — Unlock the power of gifting at scale.
LogicManager — Manage tomorrow’s surprises today.
Muck Rack — Smarter PR with powerful, easy-to-use software.
Gro Intelligence — See the big picture, act on the small details.

Build Your Brand Promise for Lasting Results

Some promises last for a lifetime. To make sure that you’re creating a brand promise for the long haul, give it some time.

Drafting a quick slogan can feel like the best choice when your team is running up against a deadline. But whether you draft your promise as part of larger branding efforts or as an add-on to your latest website redesign, it needs to be just right.

Take a look at the tips, templates, and examples above, and let your creativity run wild. Your brand may already have a strong identity, but how are you committing to your customers? Tell them today, with your brand promise.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in June 2021 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

How Benefit Segmentation Will Take Your Marketing Campaigns to the Next Level

If you’re a fan of HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing Methodology, you probably understand the importance of customer success. In fact, 70% of businesses with growing revenue prioritize customer success as “very important.” So, if you want your business to succeed you must make sure your customers do, too.

By doing so, you can stack the odds in your favor, ensuring the leads you’re passing to your sales team are a good fit for your business through benefit segmentation. In this post, we’ll go over what benefit segmentation is, why you should use it, and where it can be seen in the real world.

How does benefit segmentation work? 

Since different customers will seek different benefits from your product, marketers need to put them in designated categories. To start, marketers list all of the benefits a customer may receive from using the product. This could be something like specific features, product quality, price, or top-tier customer support. From there, they can categorize customers based on the values and benefits they seek, with customers able to be placed into multiple categories. 

Segmentation can also be based on other criteria, like customer behavior or demographics.. For example, you may put those who are brand loyal in one category, and who are more price-conscious in another.

Why should you do benefit segmentation?

Benefit segmentation will help you gain a better understanding of the different needs of your customer base in addition to the following:

1. Benefit segmentation makes it easier for sales reps to convert leads into customers.

That’s because your marketing campaigns will attract customers who are better suited for your product or service. Since the campaigns are targeted to the people who need your business the most, your sales team should have an easier time closing deals.

2. Marketers and salespeople can use benefit segmentation to engage customers.

By identifying the key value that your business provides, your team will create more compelling marketing campaigns and sales pitches. They’ll know exactly how to differentiate your product or service to make it attractive to your target audience.

3. Benefit segmentation improves customer retention.

Converting leads that are a good fit for your organization will decrease your churn rate over time. Customers will be happy your product or service is fulfilling their needs and will be less likely to shop with your competitors.

Now that we understand what benefit segmentation is and why you should use it, let’s take a look at some real examples where this marketing technique helped businesses attract and close leads.

4. Benefit Segmentation aids brand positioning.

With the data benefit segmentation provides, marketers can use this information to their advantage when it comes to brand positioning. Once each customer segment is identified with corresponding benefits, marketers can create a brand position that aligns with the data findings. Benefit segmentation can also help you identify gaps in what your product offers vs. what customers want, which can serve as an impetus for creating new products.

Benefit Segmentation Examples

1. Samsung

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The cell phone has become one of the most fundamental products of modern technology. Almost everyone has a cell phone to get them through their day-to-day tasks. But, depending on who you are, how old you are, and where you’re from, your cell phone needs may differ dramatically from the next customer. Most of us need a cell phone, but often for a different reason. So, how do phone companies manage to fulfill these customer needs?

Samsung uses benefit segmentation to personalize ads for different target audiences. In the cell phone industry, age is a major determining factor of customer needs. As customers get older, what they need from their cell phone changes. It goes from fun features like cameras and apps to more practical benefits like battery life and security.

We can see this play out in the two advertisements pictured. The first one is aimed at a youthful audience and inspires them to “Do bigger things.” The phone comes with two cameras and lets the user draw on images using the included stylist.

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Compare this to the next ad where Samsung focuses on the practicality of the phone. Its tagline, “Designed for humans,” lets the reader know the phone is user-friendly and easy to set up. The phone is designed for optimal performance so that it never slows down no matter how many apps are running at once. This is particularly useful for an audience that may have a busy professional schedule and is working on multiple tasks at once.


Samsung used its “Do bigger things” campaign to attract a younger audience by reeling them in with sleek new camera features.
Conversely, the company was able to attract older users who may not be as tech or gear savvy with the tagline “Designed for humans,” implying the phone is user-friendly for all.

2. Ford

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Car companies often use benefit segmentation to position different types of vehicles. For example, we can look at Ford to see the difference in advertisement between its Ford Fusion and F-150 models.

The Ford Fusion is a practical, four-door sedan that’s described as “sophisticated” and “cool.” Ford recognizes that people who are interested in this car will value its style in addition to its performance and price. The company highlights this by using vibrant colors in its advertisement to compliment the car’s eye-popping design.

Now, compare that image to the image of the Ford F-150 below. The F-150 is a work truck designed for people who need a powerful, durable vehicle. Customers who are interested in the F-150 would value the truck’s impressive towing capacity and ability to navigate difficult terrain. That’s why the image below shows the truck towing a large piece of equipment with a tagline of “Built Ford Tough.”

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Ford marketed the Fusion sedan to users who were more interested in having a practical, but stylish car to get around town.
For the F-150, Ford used it’s “Built Ford Tough” campaign featuring the rugged outdoors to attract buyers looking for a durable, all-terrain truck that could handle the toughest jobs.

3. Airbnb

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Airbnb’s market segmentation is interesting because it has to account for two main target audiences: hosts and guests. Not only does the company have to find customers to book the rooms, but they must also attract welcoming hosts with desirable living spaces. This forces Airbnb to perform benefit segmentation to create ads that appeal to both guests and hosts.

In the example above, we can see how Airbnb uses benefit segmentation to attract hosts in New York City. New Yorkers have a lot of pride for their city and value companies sharing that passion. So, Airbnb created these subway ads to educate New Yorkers on why Airbnb is good for local business owners as well as community development.

We can compare that educational message to the inspirational one below. This ad is aimed at potential guests who are planning a future trip but haven’t made concrete travel plans. Airbnb capitalizes on this opportunity by creating a message that embraces uncertainty. Rather than pointing to a specific location, Airbnb makes the destination irrelevant and instead focuses on how the company will help, no matter where you go. This makes Airbnb look more trustworthy to customers who may be nervous about making a major financial decision.

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To attract NYC hosts to use their service, Airbnb embarked on a campaign that tapped into the pride New Yorkers have for their city and local businesses.
For guests, Airbnb established itself as a trustworthy accommodation option – no matter where they decided to crash – by using the uncertainty of the audience’s destination to its advantage.

4. Nike

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Nike offers a wide range of products to a variety of target audiences. It needs to use benefit segmentation to develop different marketing campaigns that appeal to each group of customers. The most notable example we can pull from Nike is its ads featuring tennis superstar, Serena Williams.

These ads are aimed at Nike’s female target audience, particularly at its youthful demographic. Nike understands that these customers value the athletic confidence they experience when wearing Nike products. That’s because Nike’s apparel is not only stylish but designed for elite performance. The company uses the tennis phenom, Serena Williams, as an icon to demonstrate how this added confidence can improve your athletic ability.


Nike expertly leveraged it’s reputation for creating high-performance gear by using tennis star Serena Williams.
Additionally, the brand was able to tap into youthful nostalgia and appeal to female buyers by using images of Williams as a youth to inspire their audience to greatness.

5. Hulu

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Amidst the “cord-cutting” phenomenon, Hulu has been able to position itself as a viable alternative to cable TV. Hulu’s users value convenience and efficiency and don’t want to spend money paying for television channels they never watch. So, the company has created an ad campaign that explains how Hulu users can save money while maintaining access to their favorite content.

In the ad above, we see how benefit segmentation influenced Hulu’s marketing campaign. For example, the copy highlights how users can view “current episodes” and “hit movies.” Since many cord-cutters worry about losing access to new content, this lets users know that Hulu’s content is updated so they’ll never miss a recent episode. That’s incredibly important for people who follow series like Game of Thrones, where it’s vital to watch the episode as soon as it airs.


Hulu’s ad campaign assures potential cord-cutters they won’t miss current episodes of their favorite shows.
Hulu found what was most important to their customers (missing their favorite shows) and then tailored their messaging to address their needs.

The Advantage of Using Benefit Segmentation

With benefit segmentation, you can organize your customers and leads based on the value you provide them. This ensures you’re attracting customers who will develop a strong relationship with your business over time. By pursuing these customers, your organization will improve lead acquisition and ensure customer success.

This article was originally published June 3, 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.