For years marketing directly to audiences on Linkedin required either very large budgets or you were left with the dreaded “InMail” marketing. Even those weren’t that cheap, yet they sure came across that way with the immediate direct sale and no personalization. It was received just as mass email list purchase emails were, most went in the discard pile, regardless of the targeting capabilities.
But Linkedin is still a coveted source of marketing opportunities, especially due to the ability to hyper target professionally and interests, and the platform use ensures that the focus of the user is business related. So you are already reaching the audience when they’re in that frame of mind, which is extremely helpful, especially for B2B marketers.
Linkedin has opened up their advertising to offer self-serve PPC advertising, keeping in line with standard PPC channels, including search and social media. They offer multiple opportunities for all budget ranges, so now everyone can gain access to the platform.
But should they? Clearly if you’re a B2B marketer that’s obvious, yes. But what about everyone else? That depends entirely on your audience, and on their frame of mind.
For other social channels we’ve often advised that you can break through the chatter on ads for professional or business offerings, but it’s a challenge because the audience is typically in a more non-professional frame of mind, so that needs to be overcome.
Does the same hold true for non-professional ads on a business networking site? That depends on your audience.
Linkedin offers the ability to select your audience by any number of options, including titles, companies, geographic locations, interest, even education. If you can define your audience by those criteria, then you’ve passed the first hurdle, that of finding your audience. The rest remains in the realm of SHOULD you. Are your products or messaging compatible with this particular social platform? In general, if it can be presented as a professional asset, then yes.
LinkedIn Strategy & Tactics
The Self-Serve Model within LinkedIn allows almost any organization to advertise even with small budgets. The trade off from the full supported program is that this option limits the ad type possibilities to Sponsored Content and Text ads, and we’ve made recommendations for how best to utilize each below.
For the purpose of this discussion, we’re focusing on an objective of conversion. That can mean anything from purchase to Enroll, Request Information, register for an Information Session, sign up, etc. Conversions is primarily the end goal for everyone, and while awareness is a driver of conversion marketing, there are other ways to promote that on other channels (and the discussion of the important of awareness marketing, including promoting content marketing is best saved for another article.)
You can select combined or individual targeting to determine your audience size, or to develop hyper targeted messaging and campaigns to any combination of them, and to determine the available audience size. Such as:
- Industry + Degree + Member Skills
- Job Function + Degree + Member Skills
- Degree + Member Skills
Any or all of these can be modified for language and location as well.
The different types of ads have different production and presentation values. They follow the same types of ads as other social media channels, either as sponsored content or text ads.
Sponsored Content (ad type recommendation will depend on available resources, creative, budget)
- Single Image Ads
- Video Ads
- Carousel Ads
- Single Image
- Single Line of Text
Linkedin allows for a wide option on budgets, and if you have an established PPC program already in place, we suggest you spend what you can afford, but obviously begin with your own strategy of expected outcomes, conversion rate estimates, and what you’re willing to pay for lead. Start with a test run and then adjust and optimize, including budget increases, accordingly.
You can set the total campaign or daily budget and based on performance, optimize and adjust the daily and Bid budgets. Note that this will apply to EACH ad/Campaign, so the total will be a portion of the overall client monthly total ad spend.
- CPC (recommended to capture engagement / conversions)
- CPM (not recommended but could be used for text ads as reinforcement of awareness)
Welcome to the world of B2B PPC and professional audience targeting. Linkedin offers a viable, self-serve advertising model that not only offers access to the audience in a way that is unique to the platform, but also offers full templates, guidance, and reporting to help optimize and manage the campaigns. Get Started with Linkedin Ads today: https://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/ads