Advertising on Linkedin
Linkedin Advertising Importance. Types & Process
For B2B marketers, LinkedIn is the social network of choice. In Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs 2016 survey, 94% percent of B2B respondents said they used LinkedIn to distribute content.
It’s not surprising that LinkedIn is popular for B2B. A 2014 study of 100,000 posts across social media platforms found that LinkedIn accounted for over 80% of B2B leads generated. Not only that, but leads generated via LinkedIn marketing products tend to be more relevant than those from other channels. In a trial of LinkedIn Sponsored Content and Native Ads versus Google Adwords, NewsCred found that LinkedIn generated twice as many high-quality leads.
So if you are a B2B marketer, there is massive potential for reaching and engaging your audience on LinkedIn. But it takes strategy to get the best results. In the first part of the LinkedIn Advertising 101 series, we covered best practices for targeting the right audience. In the second part, we talked about bidding strategies to get the most out of your budget.
For the final installment, let’s get down to the most crucial element to master for successful LinkedIn advertising: measurement and optimization.
Start with Clear Goals and Meaningful Metrics
Sponsored Content, Text Ads, Sponsored InMail and Dynamic Ads can all be useful for a variety of goals from brand awareness in the upper funnel to lead generation in the lower funnell. So there’s no one set of metrics that will fit every campaign, instead each campaign strategy is unique. It’s important to identify the goals for your campaign and the metrics you will use to measure them before anything else. Goals and metrics will drive your creative, calls to action and bid strategy.
Depending on your objectives, here are some critical questions you should be asking about measuring the results of your marketing programs. What your measure will differ based on, for example, whether your goals are boosting brand awareness and other upper funnel objectives or whether your goals are generating leads and other lower funnel objectives.
- Branded search. In the days and weeks after launching your advertising program on Linkedin designed to boost brand awareness, have you seen an increase in Google or Bing searches featuring your brand? Such an increase would indicate raised awareness of your brand.
- Website and referral traffic lift. Use your website analytics tools to determine if you are getting an increasing amount of traffic to your website from LinkedIn.
- Increase in engagement. Look at page views for targeted pages, but also pages per visit and time on site. Is your content inspiring people to dig deeper into your website?
- Subscriber lift. Are more people opting-in to your email newsletter or subscribing to your blog?
- Website conversions. Are your LinkedIn ads drawing relevant prospects who are not only visiting your website but filling out forms, sharing their email addresses, and becoming leads?
- Growth in qualified leads. Are your ads attracting people who have influence, budget authority, or both in the purchase of your solution?
- Cost per lead. Are the ads attracting sufficient numbers of quality leads to bring down your overall CPL?
These are just a few examples of metrics you might use, depending on each LinkedIn campaign’s goal. For a comprehensive look at measurement, read The Sophisticated Marketer’s Crash Course in Metrics & Analytics.
With clear goals documented and metrics in place, you can launch your campaigns and begin monitoring performance. We recommend running multiple variations of an ad at the same time, to test which version performs best and optimize. To gauge how well your ads are doing, it’s important to track them both on LinkedIn and on your site.
Keep an eye on the LinkedIn Campaign Manager. You will have access to your LinkedIn ads’ total impressions and clicks. For Sponsored Content, you will also see your engagement rate, which tracks clicks, shares, and comments.
For off-site performance, make the URLs in your ads unique. That way, it’s easy to attribute the source of traffic to your target pages. Make the tracking codes different for each variation on your campaign to see which campaign best achieves your goals.
For example, you may find one ad may get fewer clicks from LinkedIn, but a high percentage of those who click complete your offer and have a shorter cycle to purchase. With trackable URLs, you will have a more complete picture of each ad variation’s performance.
Optimize and Improve
The way LinkedIn members engage with your ads is part of the algorithm that determines which ad wins an auction. If your ads historically have a higher CTR, you get a boost; that means you can potentially win an auction without being the highest bidder.
So it’s important to keep optimizing. Here’s what to do:
1. Run multiple variations of each ad, with one variable changed (A/B testing).
2. Focus your budget on your top performers, and cut spend on low performers.
3. Use the data generated to improve each round of ads.
4. For Sponsored Content, use Direct Sponsored Content to test variations without oversaturating your LinkedIn Company Page.
There’s one reason that B2B marketers use LinkedIn more than any other social platform: It’s where their customers are. LinkedIn advertising can bring your content to your target audience. And because ads on LinkedIn are shareable, it can also help you discover a larger audience than you expected. To get the best results from your investment, align your ads to measurable goals, closely monitor performance, and aim for continued improvement over time.
Step #1. Choose From Self-Service Ads or Managed Campaigns
There are two ways to advertise on LinkedIn: self-service ads and managed campaigns.
Self-Service Advertising on LinkedIn
LinkedIn’s self-service solutions lets you launch a targeted campaign in minutes. You can set your own budget, choose clicks or impressions, and stop your ads at any time using Campaign Manager, LinkedIn's all-in-one advertising platform. Ad formats supported in Campaign Manager are Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail and Text Ads.
Managed Campaigns on LinkedIn
LinkedIn’s account-managed advertising allows you to partner with a dedicated LinkedIn team to create exclusively placed, highly visible ads for premium audiences. Our team will help you fine tune your targeting and create personalized content that converts. Account-managed ad formats include Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail, Dynamic Ads, and Display Ads, along with the account-based marketing (ABM) using LinkedIn Account Targeting.
Which level of service is right for you?
Step #2. Get Started with Campaign Manager
Campaign Manager is where you will manage and optimize your advertising on LinkedIn. It includes several features designed to help you meet your advertising goals:
- Dynamic visual reporting that recalculates and displays only the data that matches your search and filter settings.
- A detailed breakout of the actions your Sponsored Content campaigns generate, including Clicks, Likes, Shares, Comments, and Follows.
- A detailed view of the demographic categories of LinkedIn members who click on your ads, available at the account, campaign, and creative level.
Step #3. Choose Your LinkedIn Ad Format
Now that you are logged in to Campaign Manager, it’s time to create and manage your ad campaigns. You can use Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail, Text Ads, or a mix of all three. Before we get into actions, here’s a quick breakdown of each option:
Sponsored Content is native advertising that appears directly in the LinkedIn feeds of professionals you want to reach. Using Sponsored Content, you can:
- Get your message out on every device: desktop, tablet, and mobile
- Use rich media to stand out in the feed
- Easily test your messaging and optimize campaigns in real time
Sponsored InMail is a unique ad format that lets you deliver personalized, relevant content through LinkedIn Messenger. Using Sponsored InMail, you can:
- Drive conversions with personalized messages
- Reach targeted audiences on desktop and mobile
- A/B test messaging to resonate with your target audience
Text Ads are simple but compelling pay-per-click (PPC) or cost-per-impression (CPM) ads. Using Text Ads, you can:
- Easily create your own ads and launch a campaign in minutes
- Tailor messaging to the professionals you need to reach
- Pay for only the ads that work – per click or per impression
In Campaign Manager, select the account you’d like to use, then click the Create Campaign button.
Then choose from Text Ads or Sponsored Content.
Step #4. Create Your Ads
If you want to edit an existing update to customize it for a target audience, choose to create new Sponsored Content. It’s a good idea to create multiple variations of Sponsored Content so that you can see which messages get the best results. You can use a variety of messages, links, photos, and images to see what works best.
To add rich media, click the paperclip icon in the upper right corner of the text box.
Once you’ve created your ad, you can view a preview before saving. If everything looks good, select the content you want to promote within your campaign and click the Sponsor selected button.
Create Sponsored InMail
Once you’ve selected Sponsored InMail, enter a campaign name and choose a language for your ads. You will have several options:
- Choose the sender. The sender’s first name, last name and profile image will appear in the recipient’s inbox along with the subject line of the message.
- Add message subject line and summary. The summary will give your recipients a sneak preview of your message on desktop.
- Craft your message. You can add easy personalization (like the recipient's first name) right in the tool.
When crafting your Sponsored InMail message content consider the messaging context of the LinkedIn Platform.
Keep your subject lines concise, relevant and conversational. Short and impactful subject lines with a clear value exchange work best. Consider utilizing some of the following keywords:
- Exclusive invitation
- Join us/me
Humanize your message with conversational language and aim to keep your copy under 1,000 characters.
Click Next, and add your landing page URL and optional hero banner image.
Create a Text Ad
Once you’ve selected the Text Ads option and named your campaign, you can start creating your ad.
First, decide where members should go when they click your ad, whether it’s your page on LinkedIn or a specific page on your website. Next, add your image, a headline (up to 25 characters), and a description (up to 75 characters). As you create your ad, you will see a preview on the right side of the page.
You can create up to 15 Text Ads to see which headlines, descriptions, and images get the best results.
Step #5. Target Your Ads
Selecting your audience works the same way regardless of whether you choose Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail or Text Ads. After you’ve created your ad, you will be taken to the following screen:
As you can see, there is a wide variety of criteria you can use to select your ideal audience. As you select additional criteria, you will see how each additional filtering option affects your estimated target audience size in the right sidebar.
You will notice additional options below the targeting criteria.
- Audience Expansion automatically includes audiences similar to those you’ve selected. This helps to ensure you’re not missing out on relevant engagement opportunities, especially early in your campaign.
- You can also choose to deliver your campaign to your target audience beyond the LinkedIn feed, using LinkedIn's network of partner audiences.
Related: LinkedIn Advertising 101: Targeting
Step #6. Set Your Budget
Now that you’ve selected your audience, it’s time to set the budget for your campaign. There are two options: cost per click (CPC) or cost per impression (CPM).
CPC is often used for action-oriented campaigns like lead generation or event registration, whereas the CPM model is typically a better fit when brand awareness is the goal.
Along with choosing between CPC and CPM, you will also enter your suggested bid, daily budget, start date, end date, and total budget. Regardless of the end date you choose, you can cancel your campaign at any time. It’s also important to note that LinkedIn uses an auction system for bidding that rewards engagement, meaning you can win an auction without being the highest bidder.
Related: LinkedIn Advertising 101: Bidding
Step #7. Measure and Optimize Your Campaign
Congratulations, your LinkedIn advertising campaign is live! Now it’s time to see how your ads are performing. You can access your analytics by visiting Campaign Manager and selecting the campaigns you want to evaluate.
In addition to overall performance, you can also see how your campaigns are performing as it relates to social actions and budget. Social actions are initiated by LinkedIn members who interact with your content – it’s organic, free engagement.
Click through to each campaign to see how each ad within the campaign is performing. Using this data, you can edit your ads, refine your targeting, adjust your budget, and toggle ad variations on and off based on performance.