Have you ever thought about using LinkedIn for advertising? LinkedIn is quite the treasure trove of opportunities when it comes to Online Marketing. From a marketing perspective, using LinkedIn for campaign ads has many advantages. The LinkedIn network consists of over 500 million business users with a median income exceeding $100k annually (quoted from LinkedIn.com). If that’s not impressive enough, its search engine ranking alone warrants a closer look. Articles placed within the LinkedIn directory and LinkedIn profiles are among the first search results Google returns. With that information in mind, let’s take a look at a few features LinkedIn provides that will enhance your advertising effectiveness.
Get Rolling with LinkedIn User-Friendly Business Branding
A great tool to get started with LinkedIn marketing is their free and easy way to set up Company Pages. This is where you can brand yourself on LinkedIn. All you need to get started is a LinkedIn account and a verified email address.
Having a Company Page is required to run Sponsored Content and Sponsored InMail ads. Plus, posting high quality content from your Company Page will improve your bid auction results (this LinkedIn relevance score rewards marketers who regularly post content that earns lots of clicks, likes, comments, and shares.)
Using LinkedIn Ads to Promote Your Business
There are a few different types of LinkedIn ads that you can use to promote your business. The three types are Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail, and Text Ads You can mix and match and use all three, if you so desire. There is a lot of flexibility in purchasing ads through LinkedIn, so any budget can be used. Here’s a brief description of each format:
Sponsored Content Ads
The first type of ads to look at are the Sponsored Content ads. Your ads will be viewed within the LinkedIn feed across desktops, mobile devices, and tablets. With this tool, you can drive leads, build your business brand awareness and also nurture client relationships. To use sponsored content, first run native ads in your newsfeed. Then you can build your audience by converting them into an active audience and generate quality leads that will convert to sales.
Sponsored InMail Ads
With LinkedIn Sponsored InMail ads, you can deliver personalized, targeted LinkedIn messages that drive more conversions than email alone. This tool is also great because you can personalize your message as well as scale up your advertising with frequency caps and audience targeting. Targeting options are endless, target by location, company, industry, title, skill, education etc. We’ve found this tool to be very effective because your ads are set up through LinkedIn Messenger and only show up to your audience if they are actively using LinkedIn. They are also very mobile-responsive so your entire message, including your “call-to-action” links are always visible, no matter if you are viewing from a desktop or smartphone device.
Quick Tip: You can send personalized messages about webinars or other events that you are using as lead magnets for your business. Send downloadable content like ebooks, white papers and infographics (to name a few other ideas) to get your ads going. There’s also no limitations on character count, so you can tell your story without getting cut off.
LinkedIn Text Ads are pay-per-click (PPC) or cost-per-impression (CPM) ads that appear across LinkedIn desktop. These ads feature a simple headline, description, and small image. A great feature for these text ads is that you can set your budget without a contract or commitment and only pay for the ads that work (per click or per impression). They also have a tool to track conversions for this type of advertisement on LinkedIn. This is a great option for businesses with a small budget yet still want effective advertising results.
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Another feature is the LinkedIn Audience Expansion, which allows you to increase the reach of your campaign by showing your ads to audiences with similar attributes to your target audience. For example, if your campaign targets members with the skill “Digital Marketing,” your campaign might also be shown to members who list the skill “Interactive Marketing” on their profile.
LinkedIn also has a feature called Audience Network that takes your marketing to another level, allowing you to reach outside of the LinkedIn platform. When you use the LinkedIn Audience Network, LinkedIn uses your Sponsored Content campaigns to third-party publisher apps and sites, making this a very valuable tool to boost viability of your ads.
Measure Your Success
It’s always highly recommended to test and track your marketing success and both of these can be accomplished within LinkedIn and their analytics tools. LinkedIn has very user-friendly performance tools to measure the engagement metrics for your campaign ads. This will allow you to better understand your audience and demographic that is responding to your ads.
For testing, run A/B tests to compare multiple versions of your ad. You can create an ad, then copy that ad and change out the photo, video and/or text, to see which performs better and go with that version. You can also use this testing on targeting criteria as well. Just change out a few of the targeting data that you use to learn which audiences respond best to your ads. The idea is to have multiple ads running at one time and as an ad engagement decreases, replace it with a new ad to keep your audience engaged. Use Direct Sponsored Content to test different ad creatives and targeting combinations without ever having the ad you are testing show up on your Company Page (this type of ad will only show up to the target audience you choose).
Another feature within LinkedIn that can help you analyze your ad effectiveness is LinkedIn Insight Tags. You can install these tags on your website to track your leads and conversions in real-time. There are so many opportunities with this tool that will allow you to engage your audience and accurately track and measure responsiveness, so that you will always know if you are on the right track to making monetary leads for your business.
Also available within Sponsored Inmail and Sponsored Content is LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms. Here you will use Lead Gen Forms to capture your leads within your news feed. These forms will auto-fill the data your potential clients have already placed on LinkedIn within their own profiles, including their contact information. With this tool, you can track your campaigns’ cost per lead, lead form fill rate, and the number of leads you’re getting from specific professional audience segments. Lead Gen Forms is also very user-friendly when downloading your leads from the Campaign Manager and integrating it with your preferred marketing automation or CRM tool. You can also incorporate your Call to Action within these forms and lead your client to a free ebook or webinar lead magnet.
Last Bit of Advice—Present Yourself as The Expert
To really go beyond the marketing tools available within LinkedIn, you can further your reach as a professional in your field with LinkedIn ProFinder. This is a more recently added tool to present yourself as an expert. The tool is also very helpful when looking for a professional in a field that you are less familiar. The database is very user-friendly and also very easy to get started. Categories within the ProFinder database include IT, writing and editing, software development, etc. There are nearly 20 categories to choose from and at least a dozen sub-categories to choose from within each category. Your profile will then pop up for anyone searching within those categories.
I hope this article empowers you to take another look at LinkedIn as a business marketing tool. If you need help using any of the above ideas, or just don’t have the time to dedicate, our team at Varsity 5 is ready to jump into action for you. Please reach out to our team by visiting our website or emailing us. With our over 30 years combined experience in digital marketing and social media, we are well equipped to assist you with any of your digital marketing needs.
Lacking a dedicated staffer to manage your social media? Varsity 5 is the solution. Reach out to learn how we can help. Visit us at http://v5a.com or email [email protected].
Vice President of Finance, Contributor
Tammy has worked in the accounting field for years with large companies like WholeFoods. Tammy has also worked for years in the Internet marketing industry. She previously managed an international educational platform, a fulfillment processes for an Internet marketing company as well as an international team of mentors for an online education facility.