By Sue Brady
This is the final installment to help you use social media as a part of your advertising plan. If you missed the posts Advertising on Twitter or Advertising on Facebook, be sure to visit those articles as you consider your advertising strategy.
LinkedIn differs from most other social media platforms because it is more business focused and definitely viewed and used as a professional site. LinkedIn has over 300 million members, and it’s under-utilized by advertisers, making it a great opportunity to get your message seen by the right group of people! So, if your advertising goals include targeting business people, LinkedIn could be a great source for you. As a side note, LinkedIn is often thought of as only a business to business tool, but it can also work for business to consumer, depending on your target.
With LinkedIn advertising, your targeting options are specific to business related factors:
- Job title
- Job function
- Company name/size
- LinkedIn group.
Plus, you have the usual demographic targeting that’s offered on other platforms too: age, gender, geography.
Let’s first talk about using LinkedIn groups. There are over 2 million of them and they are established so that people who share interests can connect and discuss that interest. There are 200 conversations happening per minute. On average, a LinkedIn user will join 7 groups. You’ll find tons of cool LinkedIn stats here.
Here’s a list of some of the groups I’ve joined: B2B Technology Marketing, Business Marketing Association, Digital Marketing, Direct and Database Marketing, Chief Marketing Officer Network, Mobile Marketing Association. If you are selling a product for a marketer’s use, you can find us! Birds of a feather do flock together.
Groups take more work to target because you really should visit the group to make sure there’s activity there and that the topics are relevant to what your target audience would be discussing. You can also target the people within your chosen group by other factors (mentioned above), making your ad placement very refined and hopefully making your ROI even better. Doing this level of targeting will definitely restrict your audience size and the key is to test to see how broadly you can go and still reach your specific target. Make every click count! LinkedIn groups have been described by many as the most under-utilized opportunity to have your message reach the right people.
You should keep the same advertising 101 principals in mind when you create your ads for LinkedIn: write compelling headlines and copy, have a clear call to action, use a photo, have your URL lead to a landing page specific to LinkedIn and related to the ad and folks that you’ve targeted.
Regarding budget, while this platform is more expensive than some of the others, you can still set your spend to a specific amount. The minimum daily spend allowed is $10 with a minimum cost per click of $2. You can choose to pay per click, or you can choose to pay per thousand impressions. Choosing pay per click means you only pay when someone clicks on your ad, and it’s the more popular way to set up an account.
You can test different ads against each other by including variations in your campaigns. LinkedIn recommends you have no fewer than 3 ads per campaign, but you can create as many as 15 variations. As your campaign progresses, LinkedIn will start to serve the ad with the highest click-thru rate more, thus making your overall campaign more effective. This can actually help you identify and roll-out a winner faster. But you have to be comfortable with a potential lack of statistical significance driving the ad that shows. Alternatively, you can set the ads to be run evenly until you yourself decide which is best.
Your ads can be shown in 5 different places with two different ‘looks,’ depending on where your ad is showing:
- Home Page – The page you see when you first log on
- Profile Page – Seen when a user views the profile of someone else
- Inbox – This is where you see messages and invitations to connect
- Search Results Page – The page that comes up when you search for a person or group
- Group Page
This is the basic ad and it appears on the right had side of whichever page above the user is on.
This pseudo-banner ad is the other format that can be selected and looks like this. This will appear along the top of the pages listed above, with the exception of the user’s home page.
You definitely should test the multiple social platforms and ad types available so that you can determine which placements return the highest ROI (assuming that’s your goal) across all of your social campaigns.
LinkedIn has a comprehensive page to answer almost any questions you might have. Good luck!