LinkedIn Targeted Self-Service Ads
LinkedIn’s self-service ad platform often gets overlooked by today’s marketers, according to an article in Marketing Land, because there are a number of misconceptions or challenges associated with the platform, such as:
- LinkedIn is not a typical social network but it is not a true content platform either
- LinkedIn is focused on business connections so marketers tend to think of it as B2B only
- LinkedIn has a much, much smaller audience than Google or Facebook
- LinkedIn lacks the integration of professional bid-management platforms
LinkedIn ads are grouped into five categories:
- Sponsored Updates
- Display Advertising
- Sponsored InMail
- Lead Accelerator
- Text Ads
LinkedIn’s Sponsored Updates offer advertisers the opportunity to place content in view of the world’s professionals either on their desktops or on-the-go with their mobile devices.
Here is LinkedIn’s synopsis of the benefits to its Sponsored Updates:
- Get your company’s updates to more people and attract new followers
- Reach just the right audience with comprehensive targeting options
- Get your message out on every device: desktop, smartphone, and tablet
- Set your own budget and choose from pay-per-click (PPC) or cost-per-impression (CPM) options
- Use Direct Sponsored Content to easily test your messaging
An example of a Sponsored Update from LinkedIn.
According to LinkedIn, its Display Advertising lets you accurately reach members on LinkedIn and then engage them in a professional context with IAB-standard ads, plus formats unique to LinkedIn like Follow Company Ads, Spotlight Ads, and Join Group Ads.
Specifically, LinkedIn suggests that you can achieve the following by using its display advertising:
- Reach a high-value audience of business professionals on and off LinkedIn
- Connect with the audience that you are looking for to increase brand awareness
- Drive quality traffic to your site and measure the exact impact of your ads
An example of LinkedIn Display Advertising.
LinkedIn’s Sponsored InMail feature lets you “send highly targeted messages to the people that matter most to your business—right to their LinkedIn Inboxes.” LinkedIn will also only deliver your Sponsored InMail when members are active on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn says that its Sponsored InMail feature will help you to:
- Reach active members through tailored messages with 100-percent deliverability
- Keep your key audiences engaged across desktop and mobile
- Drive conversions with more personalized messages
- Boost conversations with pinpoint product and service promos, thought leadership content, and personalized invitations to events and conferences
An example of LinkedIn’s Sponsored InMail feature.
According to LinkedIn, its Lead Accelerator will nurture leads to help you drive more conversions. Specifically, it says its Lead Accelerator will:
- Nurture prospects across the Web with relevant content through targeted display and social ads, including Sponsored Updates
- Sequence ads and content based on who your prospects are and what they are doing on your website
- Reach known contacts beyond email by integrating your Marketo or Oracle Eloqua marketing automation systems
- Capture better leads by focusing only on your highest-value audiences
- Use A/B testing to optimize your ads, messaging, and nurture streams
- Measure how your ads are performing at any stage of the process
LinkedIn offers a self-service, pay-per-click (PPC) option in which to place text ads. Specifically, LinkedIn’s text ads offer you the ability to:
- Choose the professional audience you want to reach
- Easily create your own ads
- Set your own budget without contracts or long-term commitments
- Pay only for the ads that work—per click or per impression
An example of a LinkedIn Text Ad.
LinkedIn boasts more than 400 million members worldwide.
According to Marketing Land, LinkedIn can help you achieve a very precise reach. This is largely due to two factors:
- LinkedIn offers you the options to pinpoint audiences by job title, employer, role, skills, and interests
- LinkedIn profiles contain more detailed and up-to-date “professional” information compared to what people list on their personal profiles on Facebook, etc.
According to a report from iCrossing, placing ad campaigns on LinkedIn can become costly since most LinkedIn campaigns only generate a small volume of click-throughs despite high-impression levels. Translation: your conversion page needs to work hard.
Marketing Land suggests asking yourself four questions to decide if LinkedIn ads are an appropriate marketing channel for your business; if you answer “yes” to any of them, give it a go:
1. Do I know the job titles of the audience I want to reach?
Since LinkedIn offers targeting by job title, it can help you to pinpoint your audience. For example, if you are running the marketing department for a law school that helps legal assistants become attorneys, this targeting option would enable you to focus your efforts on the individuals who have “legal assistant” as their job title.
2. Do I know where my audience works?
Here, you can use this sorting feature to recruit competitors’ talent or leverage it to get your brand in front of decision-makers at a company that you would like to have as a client.
3. Does my audience have unique skills/interests?
Again, a recruiting-minded question if you are in search of new hires.
4. Do I know the type of role my intended audience holds at a company, or their level of seniority?
Knowing a person’s influence and/or salary level at a company can help you more precisely reach a company’s decision-makers.