LinkedIn has evolved from being just another social network to becoming the go-to advertisement platform for business to business (B2B) marketers. LinkedIn's powerful targeting capabilities, and its popularity among executives, make it the perfect platform to reach your target audience when they're on a business mindset.
This means you can reach directly the CEO, manager, or decision maker at any company, without an awkward cold call or knock at their door. Sounds amazing.
However, as more companies (ahem, your competitors) start spending more money on LinkedIn, your target audience will get more and more ads, making it harder for them to remember your product, and for you to stand out.
This is doesn't sound as good.
Like any other social network, LinkedIn has unique features that when used correctly, will allow you to get in front of your audience, regardless of your budget.
That's why we've compiled these 5 best practices, so you can make the most of your LinkedIn ads.
Implement a Full Funnel Marketing Strategy
The debate between top of funnel (brand awareness) and bottom of funnel (conversions) prioritization is endless.
While making brand awareness a priority will ensure that your target audience knows of your brand, it can be tricky to measure the ads' impact on the bottom line. On the other hand, making conversions a priority will ensure that you're showing the ads to the people who are most likely to buy, making it straight forward to evaluate the performance of your ads.
However, if people haven't heard about your brand before, they'll be less likely to convert, and you'll end up paying way more than you originally intended. That's why having the right balance between brand awareness and conversion ads is key to a successful advertisement campaign. According to LinkedIn a mix of 60% brand awareness content and 40% conversion content is ideal.
This way you can stay on top of your audience's minds, without repeatedly asking them to purchase, and provide them the conversion ads when they're ready to buy.
Brand awareness is a long term game and difficult to measure. So don't get discouraged if a lot of people see your ads but don't click on them. As long as you keep showing up in their news feeds, you'll see results over time.
Most marketers get so specific with their target audience, that they miss out on attracting other potential buyers that could also benefit from their products. Or worse, they end up targeting the wrong audience and wasting their money without getting results.
One of LinkedIn's strongest points as an advertisement platform is that it can learn over time what kind of people are most likely to help you achieve your goal. It tests different audiences and optimizes for the ones that provide you the best results. To provide LinkedIn with enough data to learn, you need to select a wide net of potential targets, and let LinkedIn narrow them down for you.
Make sure you clearly define all types of audiences that you'd like to target with your campaign, and use different combinations of LinkedIn targeting to reach them.
For example, if you want to target a marketing manager, you can use the following combinations of filters: Job Function and Seniority, Industry and Size, or Job function and Skills. You can then run 3 campaigns simultaneously (one for each group) and keep the ones who give you the best results over time.
For best results, make sure the filters you select have a potential to reach at least 50K people.
Pay attention to the bidding types and the budget you choose. Ideally, you should allocate enough budget for 10-20 clicks per day.
Over time, you'll learn which ads and campaigns are performing best, so you can pause the low performers, and allocate more budget to the high performers. That will help you lower your costs per result.
Analyze the demographics of the people who click on your ad, and brainstorm what other types of ads would resonate best with them.
Lower your costs with Lead Gen Forms
Lead Gen forms is a feature that allows you to easily generate leads on LinkedIn. After a person clicks on your ad, a form pops up in the app. They can fill the form directly, and take your offer, instead of being directed to a landing page.
Because they make it easier for your audience to take action, lead gen forms have a 5x higher conversion rate versus traditional landing pages. They can even autofill data from your audiences' LinkedIn profiles.
Targeting the right audience is super important for lead gen forms to work properly. And because they are a conversion optimized feature, you should also have other campaigns running for brand awareness, to maintain that full funnel strategy.
Create a full experience in the platform:
As a marketer, you know that it takes an average of 8-10 touchpoints for a buyer to turn into a lead, so most people won't click on your ads the first time they see them.
A good way to accelerate those touchpoints is with thought leadership. Utilizing thought leadership on LinkedIn will be very beneficial to your brand, since you can show your audience you're competent in your industry and provide value without asking for something in return.
However there's some misconceptions about thought leadership. According to LinkedIn:
75% of potential buyers say thought leadership helps them determine which vendors to consider.
79% of potential buyers want to learn more about thought leaders.
But only 20% of content creators think that thought leadership is important.
You can increase thought leadership by creating content that helps your audience through their buying process.
For example, if you're targeting an audience of future homeowners:
Initially, your prospect might be dreaming of buying a home, but isn't sure if it's the right time. You could have a "Should I buy or Rent a Home?" infographic.
Purely informational, promotes brand awareness, and establishes you as a thought leader.
Later on, your prospect might want to buy a home, but isn't sure of where to start. You could have a PDF comparing different types of mortgages, which is something they can save and reference when the timing is right.
Finally, your prospect might have a type of home in mind, or area, but isn't sure of the specific features they want. For this, you could offer online brochures, tours, and consultations they can sign up for, signalling they're ready to engage in a purchase.
Use LinkedIn Performance and Demographics:
The best way to make the most of your advertisement campaigns is to analyze what's working or not. That's the only way that you can make confident decisions that will help you grow your business.
By diving into the LinkedIn Performance and Demographics statistics, you can see what campaigns are bringing the most leads and who is clicking in your different types of ads.
This will allow you to target new audiences who share attributes with the people who clicked on your ads.
You will also be able to understand and create content that is relevant to your audience. Maybe the industries you initially targeted didn't give you good results, but people in other industries were interested in your offer.
You can also leverage the Content Suggestions tool. This is a feature that allows you to see what topics are trending in the industry you're trying to reach, and create content that speaks to that trend and establish thought leadership.
- LinkedIn recommends posting regularly on your company's page, because it will also help the performance of your ads.
LinkedIn is a powerful advertising platform for marketers who want to reach professional customers, especially in the B2B segment.
However, it's rapidly becoming a very crowded platform, making it difficult for you to stand out from the noise. To reach your audience effectively, you need to understand how the platform works and how to use its unique features to your advantage.
So next time you're setting up a campaign on LinkedIn, or optimizing the one you currently have, remember these 5 Best Practices:
- Implement a Full Funnel Strategy
- Avoid Hypertargeting your audience
- Lower your costs with Lead Gen Forms
- Create a Full Experience in the Platform
- Use LinkedIn Performance and Demographics
If you'd like to learn more about how to create a video strategy across multiple platforms to grow your business, check out our Ultimate Guide on Video Lead Generation, which walks you through a step-by-step process to create high-converting videos for your business.