Looking to round out your digital presence ? Don’t overlook LinkedIn. The social media platform offers many options to meet your marketing goals and price points, but since it’s also a technical advertising buy, it is frequently misused. We know clients make better decisions when they have more information, so join me in a quick overview of LinkedIn ads.

LinkedIn Basics: Ad Targeting

What can LinkedIn do for your business? Build brand awareness. Generate leads. Drive website traffic. Overall, it reinforces other marketing efforts by engaging a community of professionals to drive meaningful actions.

The platform has more than 750 million members you can target professionally  by job title, function, industry, and more and pay by impression or click. When you target the right people, it leads to greater engagement and more conversions. That’s not a sales pitch – LinkedIn data indicates that four out of five members drive business decisions for their organization and average 3.5x higher conversions for B2B sales than other single channels. 

LinkedIn advertising costs are determined by bids and budgets you set; either daily or by campaign. This means that your overall ad spend will vary depending on spend strategy that you choose.

LinkedIn Ad Strategy

Without a plan, social media is like screaming into the wind: exhausting, and no one hears you. 

That’s why we advise our clients to develop a LinkedIn strategy by thinking about three things:

  1. Your Customer Journey: Different LinkedIn ad types are appropriate for different stages of the customer journey. You’ll want to be clear about how you develop prospects and what you hope to accomplish.

Depending on where your targets are in their journey will determine which ads will work best and how to structure your message. Consider this: When you meet someone for the first time at a networking event, you probably use an elevator speech. In subsequent conversations, you move past that formality and are more direct about their needs.

  1. Your Target Market: There’s no shortage of targeting options with LinkedIn advertisings, but you can’t just plug in your ideal customer profile and hit go. It’s a bit of a balancing game involving some trial and error. If you target an extremely narrow audience, you’ll likely miss some valuable marketing opportunities. But going too broad means you’ll waste money on impressions and clicks from users who present no value to your business. The beauty, as with any social advertising, it’s easy to make adjustments as the campaign develops.
  1. Insights from Other Ads: Although every digital advertising platform is unique, we recommend giving your prospects a coordinated and cohesive experience across all interactions with your business. From a tactical standpoint, that means repurposing content and targeting parameters that perform best on other platforms. Pay attention to click-through rates and conversion rates on other social platforms that you’ve used, and note which offers or calls to action have been your best performers in print ads or email marketing. 

LinkedIn Ad Options

I mentioned that LinkedIn offers different types of ads to achieve a variety of goals. Depending on your marketing mix and budget, you may choose to use LinkedIn in conjunction with other advertising efforts to make a big splash or for a specific campaign. 

LinkedIn helps you focus your efforts by grouping its ads into three categories:

  1. Awareness ads help get people talking about your products, services, and brand. These impression-based campaigns can help you gain more followers, increase views, and spark greater engagement.
  1. Consideration ads help qualify leads for those already familiar with your brand. These ads help with specific goals like driving traffic to your website; encouraging likes, comments, and shares; and video views.
  1. Conversion ads help generate leads or drive home a sale. This can be done by driving people to a form on your website or even by using forms pre-filled with LinkedIn profile data. This is a great option to drive webinar sign-ups, eBook downloads, product purchases, or job applicants.

Not only can you decide what kind of ads you want, but you can also choose where they appear on the platform.

Sponsored Content: Also known as native ads, these ads show up in your audiences’ LinkedIn feed, regardless of whether they’re scrolling on mobile or their desktop. LinkedIn labels these ads as “promoted” to distinguish them from regular content. 

Sponsored Messaging

Sponsored Messaging lets you directly advertise to LinkedIn members in their inboxes. LinkedIn caps how many members will receive Sponsored Message ads each – to keep things sane. They also determine the cost of these ads based on the audience you’re targeting.

Text Ads

Text Ads show up along the top and right-hand side of LinkedIn’s desktop feed and are a good option if you’re looking to build strong leads with a professional demographic. These tend to be less expensive so you can cast a wide net on a smaller budget.

Dynamic Ads

Dynamic Ads run in the right rail of LinkedIn and speak to audiences directly through personalization. When a Dynamic Ad pops up in a member’s feed, their own personal details, such as their photo, employer’s name, and job title, are reflected back to them. This feature is allowed to be blocked so it will only show if the specific user allows it.

Different types of ads also have different ad formats to choose from, again helping you to achieve your specific goals. The formats include:

  1. Carousel Ads
  2. Conversation Ads
  3. Spotlight Ads
  4. Job Ads
  5. Lead Generation
  6. Message Ads
  7. Single Image Ads
  8. Job Ads
  9. Text Ads
  10. Video Ads

When used properly, LinkedIn ads can be a great investment. We’ve found that clients who do best with LinkedIn use it to round out other marketing efforts and have a strong offer that justifies the goals, and costs, to be successful. Want to dig in more? Let’s chat! Email me at Hello@RedThinkingLLC.com