Over the past month, the world has been buzzing about a business decision that will be highly impactful in the digital marketing world. Microsoft has announced that they will be buying the professional social networking site LinkedIn, and this is no small transaction. In a presentation about the deal, Microsoft announced that they will be acquiring LinkedIn for $196 per share in cash. In total, this will amount to approximately $26.2 billion. As a result, both companies will ultimately bring their best assets together in order to build a stronger and more useful professional tool.
According to LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, the deal feels like a natural one. In an email sent to the company about the topic, he mentioned a conversation with Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella: “It didn’t take long before the two of us realized we had virtually identical mission statements. For LinkedIn, it was to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful, and for Microsoft it was to empower every individual and organization in the world to achieve more.”
But how could this come to be an opportunity for online marketers?
5 Things for Marketers to Know About Microsoft Buying LinkedIn:
1. The deal will be a positive one for both companies.
– LinkedIn gets to retain their same brand and culture as before, and will act independently. This would seem to suggest it may take some time for LinkedIn’s pretty clunky and limited advertising service to gain in sophistication.– Through acquiring LinkedIn, Microsoft gains the opportunity to integrate in interesting ways with areas like Bing Search and Microsoft Office now that they have a professional network in their assets. This could change the kind of traffic coming through Bing and potentially drive more people B2B advertisers would be interested in..
2. Microsoft has never before had a strong footing in social media, so the deal will help them grow in this area. Should they put some of the development muscle into this area as far as monetization goes, we could see some big changes introduced.
3. LinkedIn recently acquired Lynda.com, a professional tool for creating informational videos in the workplace. Microsoft has cited this as an opportunity for growth in the future, as the site may be useful for informational videos on their own products. Videos could end up being ad-funded, which could make for a B2B version of Youtube, in a way.
4. The deal aims to bring together the professional cloud and the professional network. Microsoft’s products such as Outlook, Calendar, Office, and Bing can be woven into a professional social network of people to enable sharing of information about people and projects in the workplace. Even if LinkedIn stays “independent”, the user data could easily be used for targeting within BingAds.
5. Microsoft may give Cortana digital assistant access to data from LinkedIn, which might be useful for a number of things, including learning info about people you might be on your way to meet. This also throws up the possibility that BingAds could deliver ads in search results within LinkedIn.