From relatively humble beginnings, as a platform to look for work and upload your CV, LinkedIn is now the most extensive network of professionals in the world, with over 700 million active users globally.
One of the most powerful elements of LinkedIn advertising is that you can target users by many factors. For example, you can create an advert and show it specifically to users with specific demographic criteria, in certain locations, and with certain skills and job titles.
Unlike other social media networks, it is in the interest of each user to share their employment details. Because of this, if you wanted to, for example, target people who work in the banking or finance sector, you can target 6 million people in the United States alone.
On Facebook, you could also target people who work in finance, but only 1.7m people state that they work in that sector in their Facebook or Instagram profile. There is not the same incentive to report your job, your title, and your job history on Facebook as there is on LinkedIn.
Content is King
“Content is King” has been a mantra for quite a while in digital marketing, although mainly regarding Google and SEO.
Content is also king on social media, however. All social media platforms are striving to become content platforms. Any content that drives engagement and shares is likely to be rewarded by a given platform in terms of its organic reach.
Because LinkedIn users are likely to be scrolling through a newsfeed and are unlikely to be searching for your product or service, using an advert that offers some value or incentive to “learn more” can be key.
Hitting LinkedIn users with an advert that immediately prompts them to “buy now!” is unlikely to be effective.
However, suppose you can offer a free tool, an informative and valuable document, such as a cheat sheet, infographic, or a piece of research. In that case, you are likely to grab the attention of your target audience, as there is something valuable available to them for free.
It is often best to think of your LinkedIn campaigns in stages.
To begin with, you will usually want to “warm-up” your prospects with an offer or a helpful document or piece of content, such as a whitepaper report, an industry overview, or a helpful tool such as a Google Analytics or Data Studio template or tutorial.
You can then remarket to anyone who engaged with your first ad. Either to warm them up further or to push a sale directly.
Webinars and eBooks can also work well, but keep in mind that they take much more time and energy to consume than an infographic or a short video, with a great tip for Excel or Google sheets.
Click to Call Ads
If you sell high-end products such as real estate, or cars, then your prospects will often want to discuss the details over the phone.
Expensive items, including software and computer hardware, are not just impulse-buys, and people will take the time and effort to research you and your competitors.
Once they are ready to buy, they will often want to discuss details over the phone.
Whether you prompt a phone call via a conversation unit ad or your landing page, you will want to make sure that you capture all phone calls and not let any go to voicemail.
A phone answering service such as Moneypenny can provide 24/7 cover to ensure that people are greeted with a professional and polite voice if they decide to call your company.
You can also use a call scheduling tool to show people when you are available to discuss options and details over the phone.
Hubspot and Calendly are great apps and online tools for making appointments.
2021 Update – Conversation Ad Unit
New for 2021 is LinkedIn’s new advertising format – Conversation Ad Units. They appear within people’s inboxes or emails. When someone checks their messages, they will see a sponsored ad.
New for 2021 is the chatbot-style functionality. You could begin the ad/message with a question to hook people in. you can include a response button such as “tell me more.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4TQ8Q2UFuk
A case study, whitepaper, free tool, or a video that provides an insightful tip can help your LinkedIn ads dashboard stand out to your target audience
LinkedIn now has many of the retargeting features and abilities that you would find on Facebook.
For example, you can now create a video as your “warm-up” and target anyone who watches it with a follow-up advert or set of adverts.
You can target people who watched 25%, 50%, 75%, or 97% of your video.
Lead Generation Forms
A fantastic way to generate leads on LinkedIn is with the lead generation forms format. With LinkedIn’s native forms, users don’t even have to leave LinkedIn to fill in a form and become a lead. Within a few clicks, they can open and submit a form.
This significantly “reduces friction” and creates an Amazon experience, whereby people are done within a couple of clicks.
Tracking is Essential
As with all your digital marketing campaigns, you should be tracking everything. Ensure you know where all the traffic is coming from to your website and use Google Analytics and Tag Manager to track which conversions and actions occur on your website.
This YouTube tutorial provides a step-by-step guide to installing the insight tag yourself, or you can look to hire a freelancer on a website such as PeoplePerHour to do it for you.
Remember that if you are sending traffic to your website, make sure that you use a specific landing page, do NOT send traffic to your homepage. Install the LinkedIn insight tag on your landing page, and use a tool such as Google Optimize to split test different designs.
Be sure to make all of your branding and creative match in terms of their style. You will also want to make sure that your ad and your website landing page are consistent.
The design should have an element of consistency, but also the messaging.
If people click on an advertisement for a free offer, they don’t expect to be taken to a generic homepage; they should be taken to a webpage that promotes the free offer and tells them exactly what to do to claim the offer.
LinkedIn ads are compelling. The key to success is ensuring that you have a strategy and high-quality content to grab people’s attention. A cast study, whitepaper, free tool, or a video that provides an insightful tip can help your advert stand out to your target audience.
Use Facebook groups and Reddit forums to research the pain points and issues that your ideal customer has – and provide solutions where possible.
Use retargeting adverts to follow up and advertise to those LinkedIn users who engaged with your initial ad. Remember to track everything using the LinkedIn insight tag.