There are some things that just go together.
Peanut Butter and Jelly, Han Solo and Chewie, Mulder and Scully, Snapchat and Millennials... and LinkedIn ads for B2B marketing.
If you are a B2B marketer and you have not used LinkedIn Ads, then this is your bread and butter. There are "61 million high-level influencers and 40 million decision-makers" who use LinkedIn. Half of all social traffic on B2B websites and blogs comes from LinkedIn, and 78% of B2B content marketers say that LinkedIn is an effective advertising platform.
LinkedIn Ads provides hyper-targeting based on professional demographic data, allowing you to reach more engaged and quality decision-makers. With more than 225 million users, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network and your best assistant.
Here is what you need to know to start advertising on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn Ad Formats: Sponsored Updates & Text Ads
The two basic LinkedIn ad formats to choose from are sponsorship updates and text ads.
Sponsor updates are native ads that perfectly match the look and style of the LinkedIn feed. They can also respond on all devices: desktops, mobile devices, and tablets.
Text ads are smaller, text-based ads with a 50 x 50-pixel image displayed on the right side of the feed.
They look like Google search ads on the user’s sidebar, but they contain less text and do not allow any extensions.
Text ads are great for testing different information and finding suitable verbs and adjectives to attract clicks back to your website.
You can also use these demographic data to create dynamic ads in the sidebar to create more attractive CTAs. For example, the FixDex forum below uses Justin's avatar and name to attract his attention and persuade him to join the community.
LinkedIn’s Rich Media Ad Options
For video ads, the video will be rendered instead of images and copies. The video can be up to two minutes long and will expand when clicked. You can import existing videos or upload new videos from your YouTube channel.
LinkedIn’s Sponsored InMail Campaigns
With LinkedIn’s sponsored InMail campaign, you can create personalized emails and send them to users who are suitable for your business' target demographics.
These events still allow you to use all of LinkedIn’s targeting features, such as job title, city, and industry. You can control your spending by setting cost-per-send bids.
InMail is very useful when your information is not suitable for standard text ads. For users who open InMail, it can also feel more personalized and one-to-one.
InMail’s best practices include providing offers and links to login pages in the email content. Instead, you can add LinkedIn forms to capture relevant lead data.
LinkedIn Ads: Audience & Targeting
B2B demographic data can be highly specific to LinkedIn advertising. Your campaign might look like this:
Position: Vice President of Marketing
Location: New York
Company size: 10,000+
Like most options for your paid social strategy, LinkedIn Ads operates in an auction structure: You can bid on a cost-per-impression (CPM) or cost-per-click (CPC) bid.
LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager does have very strict minimum requirements, with a minimum audience size of 1,000 and a minimum CPC and CPM cost of $2 per click. This is not a problem for large businesses that want to take advantage of LinkedIn audiences, but it can be a challenge for smaller advertisers.
If you do decide to make a jump, you will want to get the most benefit by testing whether the CPC or CPM model is the most effective in driving leads and/or conversions. But of course, testing shouldn’t stop here. Variables such as segmentation, content, and time of day can also affect the performance of your campaign.
The Social Quant is a technology company whose platform helps customers build a highly engaged Twitter audience. It uses LinkShorteners links to A/B test their social CTA.
“LinkShorteners gives you the opportunity to effectively test different copies to see which content gets more clicks and which content is completely invalid,” said CEO Mike Kawula.
Kawula and his team regularly test the copywriting and visual effects in different campaigns to understand which combination can maximize engagement in blog posts.
Programmatic Display Advertising
With LinkedIn’s programmatic display ads, you can now buy right-hand banner ads through public transactions and LinkedIn’s private auctions. You can also use first-party and third-party data to target ads instead of LinkedIn’s targeting capabilities.
To start using LinkedIn’s programmatic display advertising, you need to talk to popular demand-side advertisers, such as Google Campaign Manager, MediaMath, or Rocket Fuel.
Put On Your Lab Coat
Regardless of the number about LinkedIn becoming the platform of choice for B2B marketers, the only number you should really pay attention to is your own.
Keep testing your campaign to find the copy, creativity, time, and audience that best suits your budget and resources.
For further optimization, try adding a LinkShorteners link to your marketing activities to see how your LinkedIn ads compare to content from other channels.
You can even test the performance of one image against the other for A/B testing by using the same LinkShorteners link in two different ideas. Just add a link and you can see all clicks in one dashboard.
So put on your lab coat and start testing! Two new members join LinkedIn every second. Your audience is always evolving, and so should your content. In the right way, you can use LinkedIn advertising to build a prospecting machine to help you reach the most qualified business professionals.