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Published February 22nd 2023
With time, LinkedIn has become the largest online community of business professionals. It’s the go-to place for working professionals to get educational content and the latest industry knowledge.
Given its size and purpose, LinkedIn has become increasingly popular for brands and advertisers – to not only promote their job offers, but also as a powerful advertising tool to reach specific audiences.
However, LinkedIn Ads aren’t suitable for all businesses. We talked with Katrina Aaslaid, Brandwatch’s own Paid Media Manager, to hear what she learnt from years of experience advertising on LinkedIn. Here’s what you need to know.
Let’s start with the obvious. As a brand, you need to identify which advertising platforms make sense for you. You need to figure out which can help you optimize your marketing efforts the most. This is even more vital when considering expensive advertising platforms like LinkedIn.
In order to understand if LinkedIn is the right platform for your brand, consider the price per unit of your products, and the type of audience you want to reach. Generally speaking, LinkedIn Ads are used mostly by B2B brands, as these companies usually sell expensive products and are willing to pay a high price for conversions.
“While working for a B2C company, I did try LinkedIn ads. But our product was too cheap and the ads were too expensive, so it made no economic sense.” - Katrina Aaslaid, Paid Media Manager at Brandwatch.
Another thing to consider is targeting options. LinkedIn offers specific segments – very focused on job-related sociodemographics – which makes advertising on the platform even more appealing to B2B brands. LinkedIn also offers several ads formats, from text and display ads to InMails and sponsored content. There is plenty of choice in the ways you can reach your target audience.
Professionals use LinkedIn to consume informative and quality content. Its reputation is sturdy, reliable, and knowledgeable. With this influence, you can create educational and insightful content as part of your marketing activities. Reports, webinars, and on-demand content all work brilliantly on LinkedIn. Plus, in the B2B world, it takes a while to convert users. So, feeding them with educational content can be an excellent way to push them further down your sales funnel.
LinkedIn is an excellent tool for awareness and consideration. Did you know, in the B2B world, it takes around 11 exposures of your brand before prospects to convert? So, while using LinkedIn ads to run awareness campaigns is a great strategy, LinkedIn retargeting campaigns are excellent for keeping prospects interested across your funnel.
Tip: LinkedIn retargeting campaigns are a powerful tool. Use them to retarget prospects with case studies, video testimonials and so on. Only when a potential client is familiar with your brand will they be ready for a free trial or a demo.
LinkedIn ads are expensive. On average, they cost more than ads on other social platforms, like Twitter and Instagram. In fact, LinkedIn’s cost per click is almost 50% higher than on Instagram.
To decide if it makes sense to invest in LinkedIn Ads or not, you need to have a clear understanding of your company’s Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV). This number considers how much revenue a customer brings on average, in a set time period.
CLTV = Spend x frequency / time.
For example, let’s assume we’re selling burgers. Let’s say that we know a customer usually stays loyal for five years, and that they visit our restaurant three times per year. This means, in five years she will visit us around 15 times total. If, on average, they spend $20 per meal, their CLTV will be $60. CLTV = $20 dollars x 15 times / 5 years.
Equally, you should also try to understand how much it costs your business to turn a prospect into a client. By calculating how many leads we receive for each ad, and how many then convert down the funnel, and by knowing the actual value of a customer, we’re then able to know how much we are willing to spend for an ad.
This type of reasoning is fundamental to understanding how much you can afford with your ads, because you’ll know the exact amount you are willing to spend to get a lead from an ad.
“Before deciding whether or not to run a campaign on LinkedIn, look and compare your other campaigns running on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn itself of course. Do your own math, and draw your own conclusions.” - Katrina Aaslaid, Paid Media Manager at Brandwatch.
One of the most useful things you can do for your advertising efforts is to keep your social media campaigns all in one place. This helps to easily spot budgets, results, and performance – then benchmark them to one another. Our Advertise tool provides an overview, tracking your different campaigns efforts across Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. This can help you save valuable time when making decisions about where to invest your social media budget.
The holy grail for any paid media manager is knowing which ads are the most effective. Below, we’ve pinpointed our top tips for running effective LinkedIn campaigns.
Paying attention to where prospects are in your funnel is important. For each stage of your funnel, you need to reach your audience with a different type of content and creatives. For example, start with videos at the top of your funnel, and LinkedIn InMails when your client is about to convert.
“You really don’t want to annoy your audience by showing them the same ad multiple times. Your funnel should guide your strategy”. - Katrina Aaslaid, Paid Media Manager at Brandwatch.
We’ve seen effective performance with 5-10 second videos and GIFs. Carousels are also extremely popular on LinkedIn Ads, mostly because this format does not exist as an organic post.
Captions are as effective as your graphics, so make sure to add useful, interesting, and eye-catching captions to your campaigns. Plus, stats are always a winner.
You might want to include a time estimate for signing up to your product: “Sign up in less than 5 minutes.” Or, use figures on how many people recommend your product or service: “89% of consumers recommend us.”
Tip: For B2B advertisers, we recommend using InMail Ads. These are ads which appear as a private direct message to LinkedIn users. We use these to send invites for our webinars or to download a customer case study. They convert really well, especially for retargeting campaigns.
There is no perfect length for a campaign. Always make sure you’re monitoring your active campaigns and ads, and compare them to one another. This way you can optimize your paid activity, re-run successful campaigns, and kill the ones that are not performing to save money.
LinkedIn’s targeting capabilities are worth exploring. From audience attributes – such as company, job experience, and education – to interests and traits, you can reach very specific audiences using LinkedIn.
Begin by understanding your target audience segments, and figure out which content they respond to best. An effective strategy to make sure your targeting is sharp, is to put in place a leads scoring system to better understand if your targeting efforts are paying off. Here, you will assign points to prospects depending on their job titles, whether they performed a specific task on your website after seeing your ad, and more. Gather this information into a dashboard, where you look at the persona you’re targeting, the lead scoring, the ads performance – and then optimize.
“We meet our business development representatives on a weekly basis. This is crucial. Sometimes, we might have campaigns performing really poorly, meaning that the leads they convert are of a low quality. It’s the sales team who are the first to be aware of this, and who can tell us if we need to stop running a campaign. They inform us in real time, because if we were to look at our numbers, we would probably only realize leads are not optimal 30 days later.” - Katrina Aaslaid, Paid Media Manager at Brandwatch.
When you see organic content performing well on your LinkedIn company page, amplify its reach beyond your followers by boosting it. You don’t need an in-depth understanding of advertising to boost posts, but can be an effective strategy to get more views and engagements.
With tools like Brandwatch Measure and Publish, you can compare your LinkedIn organic posts and boost your top performing content.
The power of LinkedIn Ads is unmatched. At Brandwatch, we recommend you use a social media management tool alongside LinkedIn Ads Manager to truly optimize your ads.
The more expensive the ads you’re running, the more you need to closely follow your results. Additionally, you need to compare campaigns and social networks one to the other to monitor effectiveness.
By using a social media management tool, you can easily monitor your LinkedIn ad performance, compare different campaigns, and benchmark these alongside other channels.
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