Finding the right audience is essential to any B2B paid advertising campaign. To reach that audience, it comes as no surprise that companies are expanding their paid efforts beyond simply search advertising. LinkedIn is especially appealing because it offers advertisers something unique: direct access to over 500 million business-focused individuals.
In 2017, while the overall LinkedIn spend on ads grew about 10 percent, a recent survey found that 43 percent of companies still have not utilized the platform. As we start 2018, we expect more companies to take advantage of the LinkedIn ad platform.
As they do, this post will help highlight five of the best practices in order to find B2B success with LinkedIn Ads.
1. Set Up Goals
Before an advertiser rushes into advertising on LinkedIn, it is important to understand the goals they want to achieve. Ultimately, the choice of running ads on LinkedIn really depends on what needs be achieved with the program. Types of goals that are perfect for LinkedIn include:
- Building a Contact List – By offering a white paper or informational reports, companies can build out their contact list in order to further advertise to them in the future.
- Getting New Leads – Advertisers can also simply go right after the sale by offering a promotion or free demo of their product or service.
- Brand Awareness – If leads are not the goal, advertisers can simply gain exposure though LinkedIn ads. Promoting specific events or a company blog are ways to help generate awareness.
2. Monitor Bids
At 500 million users, LinkedIn’s ad space inventory has officially maxed out. What this means for companies is that high bids become necessary in order to remain competitive. Last year, LinkedIn advertisers saw an average CPC of $6.50 (compared to $2.32 for AdWords search).
This high cost per click will make it difficult for advertisers to see the same success they do on other platforms. With an average CPC that’s 180 percent higher than AdWords, conversion rate goals will also need to be increased that much in order to see the same cost per conversion.
That said, there are many successful strategies that an advertiser is able to implement in order to get their conversion rate as high as possible, which will be discussed in the next steps.
3. Target Audience
Like mentioned before, LinkedIn’s bread and butter is its ability to bring the business world together. That means if an advertiser’s audience is more consumer-focused, LinkedIn would not be a good fit.
For users who are targeting business professionals, as most B2B businesses are, LinkedIn offers a wide variety of targeting options in order to hit the right target audience. These options include:
- Company & Job – Advertisers can drill down to a user’s job and company information, including job title, company name, industry and company size.
- Demographics – Options such as location, age, and interest can be specified to make an audience list.
- Remarketing Lists – With remarketing, advertisers can show ads to users who have already interacted with their site.
- Email List – Companies can advertise to LinkedIn users that match up with their specific company email list.
4. Choose the Right Ad Type
LinkedIn offers a variety of ways for advertisers to reach specific goals through the use of different ad types. Advertisers have the choice of three types of ads when they go to create a campaign. These include:
- Sponsored Content – These are ads that resemble a piece of content that can be found on LinkedIn’s feed. They include multiple lines of text and an image. LinkedIn even offers the ability to put a form right in the ad, making this an ideal choice for advertisers looking to build a contact list.
- Text Ads – With text ads, advertisers are able to craft a small message with a company logo next to it. These ads are best for companies that are looking for more brand awareness on LinkedIn.
- Sponsored InMails – InMail ads allows advertisers to send personalized message to their target audience using LinkedIn’s internal messaging system. For advertisers who want to be a little more direct and detailed with their audience, this is the best way to achieve that.
5. Continually Test Ads
Just like all paid advertising, it is important to continually experiment with new ad copy in order to discover the images and text that resonates with the target audience. It can also help make sure ad copy remains fresh so users don’t see an ad more than a few times.
It is important to pay attention to how long an ad is running for. If a company is advertising to a small group of people, it is likely that a single user is seeing the ad multiple times. It’s best practice to have a consistent schedule for rotating ads. The specific time frame for this rotation depends on how big your audience is. If the group is small, look into rotating every week. If the group is big, every other week or once a month would be fine.
While the goal can remain the same, elements such as images and ad copy should be changed in order to keep the content fresh. In the end, this will help avoid ad fatigue and ultimately, improve an ad’s click through rate.
As B2B companies look to find new ways to reach their target audience, LinkedIn immediately comes to mind thanks to their unique and active business-focused audience. It should be recognized that the platform is different from other social media platforms, such as Facebook, and should be treated as such in order to drive results.
By following these best practices, advertising success in the B2B world of LinkedIn can be found.
For more guidance and information on LinkedIn Ads, check these other helpful KoMarketing posts: