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LinkedIn Ads – Why they matter and how to make the most of your ads

LinkedIn Ads Social Media Advertising

In our last article, we talked about the importance of Social Media and how advertising on the various different platforms can help your business. Social Media advertising is a great for building your brand, sharing your message/mission with the public, engaging with your target market and it can even help you bring in new leads.

With so many platforms available, it can be hard to figure out which service fits your overall business needs while also making the most out of your ads. Each platform takes a unique approach to how they approach advertising so success can manifest differently based on your desired outcome.

One of the social media platforms that is often overlooked for advertising is LinkedIn. Let’s take a look at LinkedIn: how it’s used, who it is for and how you can use it for your business objectives.

What is LinkedIn?

Founded in 2002, LinkedIn has grown to become the premiere social platform for employment-oriented content and professional networking. Geared heavily towards professionals, the great advantage of LinkedIn is that it is a uniquely focused social network—it’s all business, all the time.

This makes it the ideal network for B2B organizations in particular. And with LinkedIn ads, businesses can choose from a variety of different ad strategies to reach key decision makers in a highly targeted space.

What does LinkedIn mean for your business?

Advertising on LinkedIn is powerful for many reasons. First, you want to make sure your business is present and actively sharing content that professionals can engage with in the form of posts and articles. Second, LinkedIn is a network of professionals – meaning you have the ability to search for key decision makers in your target market. You can perform searches for specific industries, business sizes, locations, job functions and more. This allows you to microtarget who you send your message to in a space designed for B2B connection

According to LinkedIn’s stats, top users include 61 million influencers, 40 million decision-makers, and 10 million opinion leaders—in other words “the world’s professionals.”

LinkedIn is also a great source of data related to your target market’s behaviors. In an AdWeek article charting LinkedIn’s growth, Jessie Liu, senior analyst at Forrester Research, said: “More than most social networks, LinkedIn has very robust and deep user data. It’s collecting your location, educational history, professional history and interests. That makes it far more valuable than, say, Twitter.”

So the platform is a gold mine for business professionals trying to work their B2B marketing chops.

How To Make The Most Of Your LinkedIn Ads

 

Figure out which LinkedIn ad platform works best for your business

The first step for making sure you get the most of your LinkedIn ad campaign is to figure out which kind of ad campaign best fits your desired outcome. LinkedIn has 4 types of advertising it currently offers –each with their own unique features and benefits. These ad types include:

Sponsored Content and Direct Sponsored Content:

Through Sponsored/Direct Sponsored Content, you are able to promote your company updates, share pieces of content, drive users to a landing page, and more. You can either use a cost per click model or a cost per thousand impressions model.

Sponsored content promotes a piece of content that you already have on your LinkedIn company page; while Direct Sponsored Content is generally used to personalize and test content in the news feed without creating posts on your LinkedIn company page.

These types of ads naturally lead to more to an engagement focus as they are placed directly in a user’s news feed. You are able to use more text and larger images in order to entice users to click through to your landing page or to bring in more brand awareness.

Sponsored InMail:

These types of LinkedIn ads allows a user to send a message directly to another user without ‘connecting’ first. This means that your sales team can send messages directly to the CEOs or other decision makers.

Sponsored InMail messages consist of a custom greeting, call-to-action button, body text, and ability to add a link to the message body. These messages are purchased on a “cost per send” basis. That means you will pay per unit for each message delivered.

This ad format appears in your message center just like the messages from your connections. This form of personalization and direct targeting can help your lead generation immensely. There is a 100% deliverability- and only sends to users when they are logged in – guaranteeing that messages are sent right when the user can see them.

Certain paid subscriptions to LinkedIn also give you Sponsored InMail messages included with your subscription. For example, the sales focused subscription Sales Navigator comes with a standard 10 InMail messages a month to send to prospects.

Text Ads:

Displayed and setup similarly to Google/Bing search ads, LinkedIn Text Ads are standard text advertisements that display in the desktop right side of the social networking platform.

The main draw of these ad types is their ability to allow you to create multiple ad variations per campaign. This makes it easy to A/B test the best performing images and copy. If you are looking to run a quick campaign that is easy to setup and manage, Text Ads are the right ad format for you. These ads are also great for Brand Awareness. Like Sponsored Content, you can choose between a cost per click model or a cost per thousand impressions model.

Dynamic Ads:

Dynamic ads are dynamically generated, personalized ads that are meant to be highly engaging and highly effective at driving traffic to a landing page/company page. These types of ads are great for advertising job openings or getting users to follow your LinkedIn company page. Members can also send you their full name and email address directly in the dynamic ad, without ever having to type their info by hand. Once someone submits their information through the ad unit, your content will automatically start downloading to their desktop. A big advantage with using Dynamic ads is that LinkedIn only serves two visual ads on a page at one given time. The downfall is that it is only displayed when users are logged in on their computer as opposed to their smartphone or tablet.Once you figure out the type of campaign you want to use within LinkedIn, choosing the right type of advertisement can help push your strategy and engagement in the right direction. In fact, Sponsored Content and Sponsored InMail ads are also capable of using lead generation forms that make follow up and ongoing marketing easier for you.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box

While LinkedIn ads might be a bit more costly than other platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. LinkedIn offers specific value to the B2B market with its network of professionals and networking opportunities. And while using the right advertising type and targeting to your specific audience is a major step towards having a successful advertising campaign, there are some additional tricks that could assist your campaign and give it a little bit of extra juice.

  • Use the Weekend: Ultimately, you should test different ads at different times and on different days, but don’t forget to include the weekend. While you might think – “who checks their LinkedIn on a Saturday?!” – those that do often have much more time to engage with content and there’s usually less competition for your audience, meaning lower cost-per-clicks. The same logic can be applied for commuting times, and evenings, as professionals are 62% more likely to engage in work related content when they are home, rather than the office.
  • Free Ad Credits: If you have a business LinkedIn account, you can often find reminders for credits from LinkedIn – usually these come as $50 ‘vouchers’ for you to use through their paid platform. Testing content with these credits could give you a better idea of where to start and which strategy path to follow. You can then use the LinkedIn analytics and data to improve the next round of ads. It’s a great way to do testing without having to spend your own money to do so.
  • The Power of the Sponsored InMail Ad: While Sponsored Content and Text Ads are very similar to advertisement types that are found on other popular platforms, the Sponsored InMail Ad LinkedIn offer is special. It is the only platform that allows you to directly private message an ad to your target audience. This method also has a much higher open rate (41.2%), averaging at two times more than traditional email open rates. The average click thru rate (CTR) is also impressive at 4.8%. Personalize these messages, like you would with any other marketing email, and create copy that is short, sharp, friendly. And even if you don’t get a click/sale/download from this, your company name will still be in their inbox for viewing next time they visit their messages.

Utilizing LinkedIn Ads as part of your overall digital marketing strategy is a great strategy – particularly if you are in the B2B space. Once you get yourself familiar with the platform, there is no limit to the marketing potential you can achieve! Still not sure if LinkedIn Ads are right for you, or new to running social media campaigns? No problem! Andromeda’s Web Dev department is here to assist and guide your social media marketing so that you are getting the engagement and traction you deserve! Reach us today at 815-836-0030 or Contact@WeNetwork.com.