Do you think that LinkedIn is too boring and ‘overly professional’ to be included in your marketing strategy? You wouldn’t be alone in thinking that, but you would also be making a mistake in ruling it out. If your business is B2B, LinkedIn advertising is your holy grail for lead generation.

The most important factor to consider when planning any B2B paid advertising is reaching the right audience. Fortunately, LinkedIn has over 500 million users whose sole focus for being there is professional development. It is, so far, the best platform to access B2B leads because that’s where the decision makers with whom you need to speak are hanging out. Anyone logging on the site is doing so for business development, networking, or some other type of professional development.

LinkedIn advertising is undoubtedly an essential tool for B2B marketers. Statistics have it that LinkedIn produces 80% of B2B marketing leads generated from social media and 92% of B2B marketers choose LinkedIn over all other social media platforms.

Possible Ads that can be run on LinkedIn

There are different ad types that you can run on Linkedin. Let’s run through them:

  • LinkedIn Sponsored Content Ad: Otherwise known as native advertising, it is a type of LinkedIn advertising that works to raise brand awareness and initiate engagement from filtered users.

Linkedin sponsored content ads include a header, a description, and an image along with a clear call to action that users can click on to get to your landing page.

Sponsored content ads are displayed directly on the relevant audience’s Linkedin newsfeed.

According to research from an AppNexus whitepaper, sponsored display ads’ click-through rate (CTR) is 8.8 times higher than that of typical display ads.

Image Credit: LinkedIn

Advantages of Sponsored Content Ad

  1. Sponsored content ads tend to get more engagement than the other types of Linkedin advertising.
  2. According to research from an AppNexus whitepaper, sponsored display ads’ click-through rate (CTR) is 8.8 times higher than that of typical display ads.
  3. Sponsored content ad is great for generating sales.

Disadvantages of Sponsored Content Ad

  1. Performance, impact, and functionality are very difficult to measure without standard systems.
  2. It is not easy to create sponsored content. The process is overwhelming and demanding.
  • LinkedIn Text Ads: Text Linkedin advertising desktop-friendly and are good alternatives to sponsored content ads in some cases. These ads appear on the right column of the user’s newsfeed.

Linkedin text ads are useful because the average cost per click (Linkedin average CPC) will likely be lower than sponsored content ads.

Image Credit: LinkedIn

linkedin text ads

Advantages of Text Ad

  1. The set-up process and implementation are easier.
  2. It presents a straight-forward message that is easy to digest quickly.
  3. It is cheaper than other types of ad.

Disadvantages of Text Ad

The amount of information you can include is sometimes too brief to have as much of an impact as sponsored content ads.

  • LinkedIn Sponsored Inmail Ad: Sponsored Inmail is a customized message sent specifically to the inbox of your target audience. It has a call-to-action button that connects to your landing page.

The major advantage of this is that you can send messages directly to aimed users. The chance of it catching user’s attention is certain because it pops up as a notification and stays on top of active user’s inbox.

Image Credit: LinkedIn

LinkedIn Sponsored Inmail Ad

Advantages of Sponsored Inmail Ad

  1. When you send messages, users receive notifications. Such messages also stay on the top of their inbox.
  2. Messages go directly to active users. The aim is well defined.
  3. There is no limit to how much you can write.

Disadvantages of Sponsored Inmail Ad

  1. It is costly to run.
  2. The process could be tedious if you are not very familiar with the system.
  • LinkedIn Dynamic Ads: Dynamic ads are types of Linkedin advertising that allow you to tailor them directly for the person reading it based on their profile.

Dynamic ads are great for driving traffic and leads to your Linkedin company profile or a landing page on your website.

It is helpful to provide value for your target audience through dynamic ads by offering things like ebooks and other useful content.

Image Credit: LinkedIn

linkedin dynamic ads

Advantages of Dynamic Ads

  1. It is easy to evaluate your return on investment.
  2. It helps you to keep tabs on returning and existing customers.
  3. It is a very targeted tool for creating brand awareness and driving customer loyalty.
  4. Dynamic ads function at every stage of your marketing funnel to help meet marketing goals.

Disadvantages of Dynamic Ads

  1. Dynamic ads are guided by rather tough rules which, when not strictly adhered to, may be queried. Because you can not control this action, you must ensure to strengthen your system enough to counter these queries when they arise.
  2. It is harder to control the messaging in your dynamic ads because the ad titles that are generated for each user is based on Linkedin algorithms.

What you should know about LinkedIn advertising

To get the best results from your choice of LinkedIn advertising, it is important to understand and practice the following things:

  • Set conversion goals and know what the industry averages are.
  • Make your message concise and direct.
  • Make your call to action (CTA) crystal clear! Your call to action should prompt the user to do one thing and one thing only.
  • Make your ad copy 3rd-grader proof. Your Linkedin advertising copy should be straightforward and presented in language that is easy to understand.
  • Use catchy and targeted headlines that speak to your audience’s pain points.
  • Monitor the analytics. Properly analyzed performance data will give you a clear picture of what’s working, what’s not working, and how you can improve.
  • Use the company representative’s face as the display picture, not the company logo.
  • Put images in your ad. It draws more attention than mere texts.

LinkedIn advertising cost

The cost of LinkedIn advertising is not fixed. Just as with every other social media platform, your business, goal, ad type, target audience, and budget will determine the total amount you will spend on running ads.

However, Linkedin does have minimum requirements for ad budgets:

  • $10 total budget for sponsored content campaign
  • $2 bid for CPM or CPC on text ad campaigns
  • $10 daily budget per campaign

Average Click Through Rate (CTR)

CTR shows the level of activity on your ad, from views to clicks. It can help you analyze the quality of images and keywords.

The average CTR is 1.91% and 0.35% for a search ad and a display ad respectively across all industries. Text ads have an average performance level of 0.025% to 0.08% CTR, while sponsored ads do better with an average of 3.0% CTR.

LinkedIn helps B2B advertisers leverage micro-segmentation to directly reach their exact target audience. This leads to much better results and lower Linkedin advertising costs.

How to maximize your pitch with each type of Linkedin advertising

When you are using your hard-earned dollars to run ads, don’t underestimate the importance of copywriting. It is important to pitch directly to your target leads and entice them to convert. Avoid overly complicated company descriptions and excessive information.

Below is an example of a good LinkedIn company pitch.

Image source: Business 2 Community

LinkedIn-company-pitch

For Sponsored Ads

Running sponsored ads on Linkedin isn’t the cheapest thing in the world. So, how can you make sure you get a return on your investment, you ask?

Great question! There’s a simple to understand, yet complicated to achieve, answer to this: staying laser-focused on one thing!

What makes this complicated to achieve is the extensive research it takes to properly do micro-segmentation and to find a way to conduct effective A/B tests.

Have one clear audience in mind, express one clear idea, and give your audience one clear action to take from the ads.

Image Credit: HueLixir

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Your message should be concise and persuasive. Be sure to have a quality landing page and well-written content to welcome visitors.

For Sidebar Ads

A sidebar ad is a vertically oriented advertisement situated at the right corner of your LinkedIn page. It is also called a skyscraper ad.

The major difference between a sidebar ad and a banner ad is the alignment – a banner ad is horizontally oriented.

Because the sidebar ad is much larger than the banner ad and cannot easily be taken off the screen, it is more effective than the banner ad. This gives the sidebar ad a higher Click-Through Rate.

Your core objective for Linkedin sidebar ads should be to capture your audience’s interest so effectively that they decide to click to go to your landing page.

The average click-through rate for sidebar ads on Linkedin is 1% (10 clicks per 1,000 impressions), and costs are between $1 to $1.50 per thousand impressions (CPM).

Image Credit: Contently

linkedin-sidebar-ads

When you advertise on LinkedIn, you must gain the trust of users if you want them to visit your company page.

Stating the clear benefits of your offer will prompt your audience to investigate your credibility. You must be sure to give them enough information about you and your track record, so they can follow their investigation with taking you up on your offer.

If you’re running Linkedin advertising and your audience can’t find enough proof of your claims, you’re wasting your money.

Why choose LinkedIn advertising?

LinkedIn advertising helps to drive traffic to your LinkedIn company page. It serves as a subsidiary landing page for your campaigns; your website being the main. Therefore, you should provide direct links to your company website and contact information for prospects.

With LinkedIn’s introduction of the Pull Marketing Strategy to support the existing Push Marketing Strategy, prospects will be able to find you just as you can find them. This innovation has made a significant improvement in the generation of B2B leads.

While push marketing pushes your products or services to the customer, pull marketing implements a strategy of loyalty that attracts the customers to your product/service.

In terms of traffic, push traffic costs about $0.5 per click, whereas pull traffic is much more expensive and can cost as much as $25 per click, depending on the competition present.

Studies show that pull traffic converts at 68% higher than push traffic. Even with the higher price tag, pull marketing may very well be worth it.

What to do to get B2B leads with LinkedIn Ads

A. Frame Your Objective

One of the worst mistakes you can make is to run ads without a specific goal or purpose. You need to decide very clearly what you intend to achieve. Once you know what you want to achieve, you’ll have a better picture of the tools you’ll need to make it happen.

Image Credit: HueLixir

linkedin-objective-based-ads-campaign-manager-interface-

Your objective could be to generate new leads, to build your email list for a campaign, or to create more brand awareness. Go a few steps beyond this and create SMART goals around your objective.

B. Know Your Target Audience

If you are selling consumer goods, don’t bother with Linkedin because you likely won’t find your audience there. But for B2B businesses whose targets are professionals and business owners, the best place to find them on the internet is Linkedin.

Image Credit: LinkedIn

LINKEDIN advertising target audience

Linkedin does a great job of allowing you to choose the right people to see your ads. You can target users based on demographics, company, job, and level of seniority.

C. Use the Accurate Type of Ad

When choosing which type of Linkedin advertising to use, be sure to pick the one that will best suit your specific needs rather than employing a one-size-fits-all strategy.

Image Credit: LinkedIn

Experiment Frequently

When users see the same type of ad continually, it bores them. The optimal way to do advertising on any platform, including Linkedin, is to do A/B testing and to be willing to try different things.

Finding the most effective content for an ad campaign is not something that can be fully planned out. You have to be agile enough to let it reveal itself based on the user feedback.

Test the ad copy and images, and allow analytics to be your best friend throughout this process.

Image Credit: LinkedIn

linked ads experiment frequently

Engage with your audience

In order to achieve a breakthrough in your Linkedin marketing campaign, you must be active in sharing valuable content on Linkedin throughout the life cycle of the ad campaign.

Here are some things  that you should keep in mind:

  • Post relevant content that testifies to the goodness of your product or service.
  • Be consistent with the cadence of your posts. Whatever schedule you choose to post (daily, weekly, or as the case may be), stay true to it.
  • Encourage your staff to interact with and share your posts.
  • Keep using the relevant keywords in your posts.
  • Interact with your audience and don’t be afraid to show them that you’re human.
  • Keep track of your posts and distinguish the ones that have the highest level of engagement. Use the topics that do well to further provide great content that your audience will find useful.

Another great tool to generate leads are:

Linkedin Groups

LinkedIn has millions of active groups. Searching for relevant groups is a great way to get the right leads.

Identify groups that meet your requirements, join them, and keep communication active. By doing so, you plant the seeds for a successful advertising campaign through more brand awareness.

Image Credit: HueLixir

linkedin ads linkedin groups

When you are looking for groups to engage with, search based on their level of activity, relevance, and size – you don’t want to be in a group too large where your engagement will barely be noticed, but you also don’t want to be in a group too small where your engagement won’t matter much.

For small businesses looking to get quick responses from their output, it will most likely be productive to join groups with a few thousand to less than 50, 000 members.

Conclusion

Linkedin advertising is an invaluable tool for generating quality B2B leads if you do it right. Without the right skills and knowledge of the operation, you might not get the desired results.

Familiarize yourself with how to use the platform and make sure you strategize how you use the different types of ad. The more mindful you are about how you run the ads and engage with your audience, the more successful your campaign will be. For best results, employ a holistic strategy and don’t forget to be agile and to use analytics.

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