LinkedIn has over 774 million users worldwide, with over 90% of Fortune 500 companies using the platform to connect with customers, employees, and other professionals. Like other social media platforms, LinkedIn has an advertising option. But is it effective?
Reports show that it’s 277% more effective for lead gen than Facebook or Twitter and offers three times the conversion rates of competitors.
With such good results, it’s possible that LinkedIn ads can benefit your company, but knowing a few best practices can help you get more out of every penny spent.
1. Do target highly-specific groups
LinkedIn allows for very narrow, niche targeting, so take advantage of this by drilling down for the audience you want to see your brand. It can take time to figure out what groups or keywords these audiences use, but when you find them, don’t be afraid to personalize your messaging to speak to them directly.
What kind of targeting can you look for? Over 39,000 skills are listed by users on LinkedIn, giving you some great insight into what words users prefer when referring to their careers. When you find your ideal customer, check out their skills. This can be a treasure trove of insight for future ad messaging. You can also go further by speaking with leads directly through their inbox.
“In Conversation and Message Ads, leverage macros to substitute in personalized variables like a user's name, job position, or employer,” says John Perkins, Growth Marketing Manager at Bamboo.
This will help your message stand out from the other message requests they get and may help you land the deal, since they’ll see a message that targets them specifically.
2. Don’t advertise items that aren’t relevant
LinkedIn is a unique ad platform that caters to business professionals, job seekers, and those with B2B offerings. It’s not ideal for certain brands, such as those in consumer health and lifestyle, unless you can tie in a business need.
Lipstick may not be a good fit, but a new vitamin blend that supports the needs of the busy C-level professional may be. Just be sure it really fits the tone of other posts being shared on LinkedIn. Advertising ill-fitting brands is a waste of money and can damage your brand.
3. Do start with conversation ads
As mentioned earlier, Conversation Ads, or those that land directly in a user's inbox, are hard to ignore.
“Conversation ads are a lesser known but very impactful ad format,” explains Perkins. “They also have a cool decision tree mechanism that functions like a chatbot or choose-your-own-adventure.“
For busy marketing professionals, this can help you save time in replying to messages while still delivering highly-personalized messages to those who are most likely to buy your products or services.
With the cost per lead being as much as 28% lower than Google AdWords, getting the hang of LinkedIn’s most effective ad options can help you do more with less.
4. Don’t be afraid of the price tag
LinkedIn has a daily minimum ad buy of $10 and a campaign minimum of $100, but the CPM may be higher than what companies have paid on other platforms. However, Perkins encourages advertisers to consider all the ways to put that money to good use.
“Some advertisers' eyes may pop out looking at CPM costs,” he shares. “LinkedIn is a more expensive platform, but the value lies in the targeting. While the impressions may be costly to deliver, keep a close eye on cost-per-conversion and conversion rate to ensure your campaigns perform up to benchmark.”
He also recommends taking a little extra time to figure out Lead Form Opens to Impressions to get a better idea of how your Conversation Ads are doing instead of the click-through rate (CTR) or the open rates provided by the LinkedIn reporting platform.
This is especially important for getting native lead forms out through the messaging option.
Bottom line: LinkedIn may not be the first place you think of spending your ad dollars, but this platform already attracts professionals willing to spend a significant amount of money for LinkedIn Premium Business, Sales Navigator Core, or Recruiter Lite features. Currently, 39% of users pay for LinkedIn Premium, and 37% of millionaires are LinkedIn members.
With so many customers willing to invest in their professional and personal growth, it makes sense for aligned brands to jump into this promising ad platform. Of course, if the high CPM has you scared to take the plunge, getting help from an ad partner can help you put your best foot forward on this business-focused social platform.