Do you feel motivated to begin advertising on LinkedIn? Coincidently, motivated is also the most overused word on LinkedIn, in posts as well as in profiles!
According to an article published on LinkedIn in April 2017, by Meenakshi Chaudhary, Chief Evangelist in PicBackMan, there are over 450 million LinkedIn users, out of which around 40 percent use the social media platform daily.
As a B2B business considering using LinkedIn ads, you will find the following statistics quite interesting:
- More than 70 percent of businesses using LinkedIn for B2B advertising find the platform effective for getting leads;
- More than 90 percent of businesses using LinkedIn for B2B advertising feel that the social media platform has an edge over all other platforms;
- More than 90 percent of businesses using LinkedIn for B2B advertising use the platform for disseminating content;
- Businesses using LinkedIn for B2B advertising find that the social media platform is responsible for 80 percent of the leads.
With such encouraging statistics on your side, it is very important that you explore the LinkedIn advertising options. But before we talk about that, let us touch upon the basics of LinkedIn.
What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is a social media platform dedicated to professionals. It was found by Reid Hoffman, Konstantin Guericke, Jean-Luc Vaillant, Allen Blue and Eric Ly, in 2002. In 2016, it had more than 9,500 employees and Jeff Weiner is the current CEO of LinkedIn.
To understand the concept of LinkedIn, all you need to do is imagine that it is an opportunity to network and connect with professionals; but rather than doing it in person, you are doing it online. You get access to show yourself as a professional entity, either as a person or as a business, on a global level and also learn, connect, bond and create relationships with professionals on a global level.
You can use LinkedIn to network, find job opportunities, find business opportunities, advertise, share content, learn about the professional entities you have connected with, and showcase your talents and skills through your profile and activities. You can connect with your old colleagues as well as get connected with like-minded people or people who are in the same professional field as yours.
You can even participate in groups that are relevant to your business plus you can share industry specific content. You can advertise your products, services, and offers. What makes LinkedIn stand out is that it is a specialized platform for professionals, thus making it the perfect platform for B2B advertising.
What is LinkedIn Advertising?
Did you know that about 50 percent of customers use LinkedIn to carry out a search before making a B2B purchase decision?
For this reason, many marketers, especially B2B marketers are using LinkedIn ads for promoting their products, services, and offers. LinkedIn is increasingly being used by B2B businesses to find leads. This is because studies show that LinkedIn has great influence over B2B purchases. The main reason for this is that LinkedIn has established a reputation for itself as being a platform where professionals are authentic. Therefore, if you are a business advertising on LinkedIn, a certain amount of brand trust is a given. By advertising on LinkedIn, you can meet your business goals.
Types of Ads on LinkedIn
LinkedIn, like Facebook, has inbuilt tools for advertisers. These solutions are becoming increasingly popular with B2B businesses and have become a vital part of businesses’ digital marketing strategy.
Broadly, there are two types of LinkedIn ads formats that the LinkedIn ads manager can let you create: text ads and sponsored updates. Both of these ad types can be created in the form of LinkedIn display ads. Sponsored updates are shown in the newsfeed of users whereas text ads are shown in the sidebar. Both of these ads can be clicked on by interested customers, who will be directed to the advertising business’s website.
Self Service LinkedIn Display Ads
LinkedIn display ads can hold text, images as well as videos. Studies show that LinkedIn display ads with images are able to bring in better results by generating 20 percent more leads as compared to ads without images. Most B2B businesses use images of people, their business logo and/or their product range.
Premium LinkedIn Display Ads
Premium ads on LinkedIn differ from the above-discussed ad type in size as well as their location on LinkedIn. The medium rectangle LinkedIn display ads are normally sized at 300 x 250 and are located on the right sidebar, above the fold. This ad can appear on the company page, LinkedIn home page, in group pages and on LinkedIn Today.
The second is the wide skyscraper ad, sized at 160 x 600. This type of ad appears on message pages and in the inbox of users.
The third is the leaderboard display ad which is sized at 728 x 90. This ad is normally placed in a way that it is the last thing users come across before they leave the platform and thus appears at the bottom of different feeds.
InMail LinkedIn Ads
As the name suggests, such advertisements are sent as a mail to LinkedIn users. The benefit with such an ad is that user can normally give undivided attention to the message because it appears in the inbox instead of in newsfeed. Also, as a business, you get more space to give a detailed description about your business and business offer with InMail ad.
If you want to strengthen the repute of your offer, products, and services, you can create this type of an ad. Through this ad, you can show how many customers you already have, those that recommend your products/services and you as a business. Furthermore, you can provide a button in the ad to allow more users to recommend you.
How to Use LinkedIn Advertising
LinkedIn advertising options are constantly getting updated with time. Here is a quick guide to how you can create ads on LinkedIn and start getting leads from this unique social media platform:
- Create a Company Page on LinkedIn
As a B2B advertiser, it is highly important for you to have a Company page on LinkedIn. This allows the users to view important details about your company, such as its founders, CEO, location, product/service range, etc. Having a company page further authenticates the existence of your company. To create a company page you need to make a profile page, have a profile strength of All-Star or Intermediate, have sufficient connections, a company domain, and a company email address.
- Create an Ad
To run a campaign on LinkedIn, you must create an ad first, from the create ad platform available on LinkedIn. After being taken to your dashboard and asked for some billing information, the campaign manager will ask you to press the CTA button, clicking on which will allow you to create a campaign. According to your goal, you will be asked which type of ad you would want to create. You can create either of the following:
- Sponsored Update: the better option when you want to get new leads for your company and win engagement through content which is specific to your company.
- Text Ad: the better option when you want to run a highly targeted campaign on a budget.
According to studies, where sponsored ads can have a higher CTR because they appear in newsfeeds and get bigger design space, text ads are able to win more conversions since they provide extremely limited information and customers who are likely to convert click on the ad.
Next, you need to enter some basic information about the ad, such as a name for your campaign and the language that you want to use for your campaign. From there you will be asked to create the copy. The three basic elements you need to work on in this section are the Headline, the Body of the Ad and the CTA. The first two should reflect the value you are offering to your business partners and the CTA should be able to deliver on that promise.
Since you can create multiple copies of an ad, you can test each copy to see which one brings in better results.
Without targeting, you wouldn’t be able to get the best value out of your LinkedIn ads. The better you target, the better the leads and conversions you will be able to win. LinkedIn provides targeting tools that can help you reach your goals more effectively. You can target your ad based on location, company name (in case there are specific companies that you want to reach out to), job title, skills, and schools (in case you are targeting recruiting companies for example) and on gender and age.
- Setting the Budget
Cost per Click and Cost Per Impression are the two options available on LinkedIn. You must choose based on your goals. If the goal of your ad campaign is to win a maximum number of conversions then CPC would be a better choice. If view-ability and spreading awareness is your main goal then CPM is the better option. LinkedIn advertising costs can be controlled by setting a daily budget on LinkedIn. By setting a limit on the expenditure, you minimize your risk of investing too much into a dead campaign. If you find a particular campaign doing well you can increase the budget allotted for it.
- Monitoring & Reviewing
You can choose the start and end date for your campaign. The progress can be monitored through the LinkedIn Campaign Manager. The different analytical tools can measure and show the number of clicks, views, conversions etc., and you can review the return you get on your expenditure. If you feel that a certain campaign is under-performing then you can begin reviewing your ad design and/or targeting to see what can bring in better results.
- Optimizing the LinkedIn Campaign
In case your campaign isn’t performing as well as expected, you can use suggestions provided by LinkedIn for optimizing your ads. LinkedIn provides different metrics for optimizing a campaign such as brand awareness, the amount of referral traffic, engagement levels, number of subscribers, number of leads, cost per lead and number of conversions.
For B2B businesses, LinkedIn proves to be a better social media platform, as compared to others, for advertising and winning leads and customers. By getting a professional such as Smarketer.com to design and execute a LinkedIn advertising campaign, you too can utilize the marketing opportunities provided by LinkedIn.
So what are you waiting for? Get your own LinkedIn ads created and grow your B2B business the 2017 way!