How to Succeed with LinkedIn Advertising

Aug 06, 2014
Jason Baumann

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LinkedIn Advertising

…is a very powerful tool, if you are selling to professional people or businesses and know how to use it. If you are selling to the right people, we will teach you in the next 952 words how to do it correctly. If you ever thought about advertising on LinkedIn, you must read on.

If you have thought about advertising but aren’t convinced of its value, listen to Matt Johnston from uTest. According to their website,  uTest is the world’s largest open community dedicated to professional testers and software testing. Matt is a big advocate for LinkedIn Marketing Services because of his company’s success with their advertising campaign. In fact, according to Johnston, “50% of our paid inbound leads come from LinkedIn.” And even more convincing is when he says that, “LinkedIn is our most cost-effective online marketing channel.”  At Boxless Media, we have had similar success for us and our clients. Simply put, if you want to reach professionals, login to LinkedIn.

We are going to assume that you have already set up a LinkedIn account and LinkedIn Company Page. If you need help setting up a company page, see our blog from earlier in the week.  The steps below take you through the steps you need to follow to create an effective advertising campaign on LinkedIn.

Start With a Compelling Post

In our experience, sponsored posts do better than sidebar advertisements on LinkedIn and same targeting opportunities exist. With this in mind, the best place to start is with a compelling post. Be sure that this post exists on your company page. The post should have a great, captivating graphic. When that graphic is put on a page with 20 other graphics, it needs to be captivating enough to draw the user’s attention away from the others. If the graphic imported from the link is not good enough, create something else. The visual is what will draw the user’s eye to your ad, the text will motivate them to click. So once the graphic is right, carefully craft the text to convince the user that they want to know more.

Once the post is created, start the advertising process and preview the post on all platforms (computer, smart phone and tablet). This is a built-in feature of the advertising platform. Don’t skip over it. Make sure you look good from all angles.

Think Before You Target

Before you target anyone, you really have to think about it. The first targeting question addresses location.  If you market a product, you may think you want everyone to see it. But unless you have an incredible budget, this is not feasible. If you have that budget, please call Boxless Media at (773) 313-3530. Otherwise, be wise. Think about the areas that have the greatest potential for business or profit. Think about the areas that would be operationally most efficient to serve and market to them first. This way you spend your advertising dollars most efficiently and will see the greatest return.

The same goes for all of the other targeting demographics. If your target is small to medium sized businesses, it may be more effective to market to companies with 11-50 employees instead of 1-10. When you are presented with all of these questions, it is too easy to pass through them and neglect something important. Don’t fall victim to this common mistake. Think first. Think thoroughly. Then act.

Be creative in targeting as well. Think about targeting different groups and skills. You can find people in the most unique places. Your target audience can be found by title, but also by skills they possess, schools they went to, or their groups or interests. You can reach people in so many different ways.

There is one exception to this rule. LinkedIn will only allow you to market to audiences bigger than 1,000. So watch the number on the right side of the screen. If it gets too low, loosen the targeting because it won’t let you proceed.

When to Use CPC and CPM

After you target, you have another choice to make, “How would you like to pay for this campaign.” At this point, LinkedIn isn’t asking for cash, check or charge. It is important to understand the different between these two cost models.

Cost-Per-Click (CPC) is exactly what it says. You set a maximum price and then you pay every time some clicks on your link. LinkedIn will show your ad as often as it takes to get enough people to click on your ad to fulfill your budget. If your maximum bid is too far below the suggested bid range, you may never reach your daily budget.   Cost-Per-Thousand (CPM) is a little different. With this model, you pay every time LinkedIn shows your ad 1,000 times. I don’t think there is one good rule for which model to use. I think you have to evaluate the advertising goals, and then make that decision. We are going to dedicate a blog to these models in the near future.

Never Set It and Forget It

Keep you campaigns timed for short periods of time – we recommend weekly. That let’s you see the results and react accordingly. Try testing different copy or graphics. Run two ads and see which converts better and then use that copy or imagery the next week. Unlike a lot of traditional advertising, digital advertising is a very active process. You should be checking results daily and adapting. If something is not doing well, cut it off. These are awesome opportunities that weren’t possible (or were much more difficult) before digital advertising.

LinkedIn advertising can be a game changer in a digital strategy if executed correctly. If this blog, excites you but overwhelms you, let us know and we can help you execute a campaign. Just don’t dismiss it. You don’t have to be a huge company to afford it. Our recommendation is to give it a try. Let us know how you do… @BoxlessMedia or on LinkedIn.

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