by Freya Carberry
Aug 31, 2023
If your business isn’t already leveraging the reach of the world’s largest professional networking platform, why not? Not only is LinkedIn a valuable tool for networking, but it’s also an effective way to boost your brand by getting your business in front of some of the most influential decision-makers in your target industry through paid LinkedIn ads.
While LinkedIn ads do have a higher average cost-per-click than other paid ad platforms (such as Facebook, Google and Bing), this is alongside a higher average conversion rate. What makes LinkedIn ads truly unique is the ability to target users based on their professional position and attributes, making it a fertile ground for B2B businesses.
What Are LinkedIn Ads?
If you’re familiar with other paid ad platforms such as Google Ads or Meta Campaign Manager, LinkedIn ads operate in much the same way. Advertisers are offered the opportunity to create ad campaigns with ads in a variety of formats: sponsored content, sponsored messaging, text ads and dynamic ads. Users can be targeted at all stages of the funnel, by setting your campaign objective to awareness, consideration or conversion.
LinkedIn operates an auction-based model to determine which ads are served, taking into consideration your bid, ad relevance and expected CTR. You can keep on top of your budget by setting a daily, lifetime or total budget for your campaigns, and set a bid strategy from a choice of three: either manual, cost capped or maximum delivery (a fully automated bid strategy).
The best bid strategy for your campaign will depend on several factors such as your campaign objective, your level of experience, and how long your campaign has been running and gathering data for. When starting out with LinkedIn ads, the simplest way to choose your bid strategy is to use automated bidding if your focus is on maximising ad delivery, and manual bidding if cost management is your primary concern.
Keep an eye on your campaign performance and cost as it settles, and make adjustments to your bid strategy if you aren’t seeing results in terms of spend or performance. If you do set a manual CPC, we advise setting this slightly above the bid that LinkedIn recommends, as bidding below this figure will result in poor reach.
If you’re an SME owner looking for an effective way to scale your business, LinkedIn ads can help in the following ways:
Reach Customers In A Business Mindset
Since LinkedIn is a professional networking platform, any user that you’re connecting with via the platform is in a business mindset. This means your leads are already warmer than they would be if you were reaching the population at large. This benefits B2B businesses in particular, as your ads are being shown in a relevant space.
Since LinkedIn targeting focuses on professional attributes such as industry, job title and years of experience (rather than personal attributes such as age and gender), you can ensure your ads are being seen by users with buying power. This avoids wasting budget on unlikely prospects.
Just bear in mind that LinkedIn advises against being overly specific with targeting options – initially adding no more than two or three targeting selections.
Segment Audiences For Improved Results
Once your campaigns are live and have generated data, you can view audience demographic breakdowns at a hyper-granular level, gaining insights into industry, company name and job title as well as engagement level.
You can use this information to narrow down your audience further, excluding irrelevant sectors and splitting your audience by engagement level. These focuses allow you to tailor your creatives to your audience, and create different ads for high- and low-engagers.
Connect With B2C And B2B Customers
If you thought LinkedIn’s benefits were exclusive to B2B advertisers, think again! While LinkedIn is primarily used for professional networking, users are turning to the platform as a social network more and more frequently. If your brand sells to other businesses as well as DTC, LinkedIn could be the perfect platform to speak to your audiences at large.
Once you’ve established a strong B2B campaign and started to see results, over time you can adjust your creative and messaging to appeal to your B2C audience as well.
Use Leadgen Forms To Capture Contacts
Rather than just clicking through from your CTA to a landing page or storefront, LinkedIn ads offer the option of delivering users to a lead-gen form. Lead-gen forms are prefilled with the user’s information, taken directly from their profile. This element (combined with keeping users on-platform) makes for a seamless exchange of information that increases the chances they’ll follow through with submission. From an advertiser’s perspective, this is an invaluable way to gather data from warm leads.
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