LinkedIn is a social networking site used by individuals (professionals and employees), salespeople, and recruiters (businesses, employers and companies). A common link for all is the LinkedIn profile.
For individuals, the LinkedIn profile gives a sneak peek into professional experiences garnered over the years. It consists of sections such as experience, education, license and certificate, skills, recommendations, etc.
LinkedIn offers the opportunity for individuals and salespeople to advertise their profiles and posts, thus increasing reach. Also, recruiters can advertise job opportunities targeted at the right audience. Such advertisements are known as LinkedIn ads.
Benefits of LinkedIn Ads
Most certainly, running a LinkedIn ad costs money. However, the advantages and benefits make it a worthy investment. Here are some of the benefits:
- A wider reach of target audience: LinkedIn ads allow you to expand your tentacles, and reach new target audiences.
- Better engagement: Running advertisements on LinkedIn can help boost engagement on your profile or page.
- Generate better traffic and leads: For marketers, generating leads and traffic are important goals. LinkedIn ads make it possible to achieve this.
- Increase awareness for a promotion or event: For employers and companies, LinkedIn ads allow them to get words out faster about a particular event. It also allows a wider reach of the audience.
- Create and increase brand awareness: For individuals and businesses, running LinkedIn ads aids in boosting LinkedIn pages and profiles, which can help generate more buzz for your brand.
Getting Started: How to Set Up LinkedIn Ads
A Campaign Manager account is needed to run LinkedIn ads. Campaign Manager is the advertising platform for LinkedIn. With this tool, you can define your objectives, choose a target audience, and execute your ad campaign from start to finish.
Armed with your LinkedIn page and Campaign Manager account, follow the steps below to get started on running LinkedIn ads.
Step 1: Set up your campaign
1. Choose an Objective
After logging into your Campaign Manager account and selecting a campaign group, you have to select an objective. There is an array of objectives to select from, and it includes brand awareness, consideration and conversion. These three objectives target different campaign styles.
- Awareness: Selecting this objective allows you to reach new audiences that have never had an interaction with your brand, content, product or service.
- Consideration: This objective should be chosen when you want your target audience to take action. With this objective, you are not only telling target demographics what you do but also, how your brand can be of assistance to them.
- Conversion: This objective can be selected if you want the target audience to execute an action immediately. Crafted ads for this objective must reveal to the audience why they need your product or service.
2. Curate Your Target Audience
The LinkedIn platform has the highest number of professional networks (i.e. approximately 850 million members) to date. With the aid of a Campaign Manager, it is easy to select the audience for which you are creating content. Important characteristics to take into consideration when building a target audience include industry type, job title and company name.
3. Choose an Ad Format
Based on your objective, you can select an ad format from the following list: sponsored content, message ads, dynamic ads and text ads.
Sponsored Content delivers your content straight to the feed of your target audience. With sponsored content, you can:
- Target your most valuable audiences using accurate, profile-based first-party data.
- Reach a highly engaged audience with native ads in a professional feed across desktop and mobile devices.
- Drive leads, build brand awareness and nurture key relationships at every stage of your sales cycle.
The pointers provided below are useful in maximising results when using sponsored content ad format:
- Include 4-5 ads in each campaign. Campaigns with more ads usually reach more people in your target audience. For single image ad and video ad formats, you can create up to 5 ads at one time by uploading or selecting 5 images or videos in the media library during campaign creation.
- Write ad headlines that are under 150 characters for more engagement.
- Keep descriptive copy under 70 characters, anything over 100 characters could be truncated on a desktop.
- Feature a clear CTA (call to action), so your audience knows how to act on their interest.
- Be specific with ad targeting, but not so specific that you narrow your audience. Choose a location and two other targeting criteria to start.
- Add content curation to your plan. Share information that is useful and relevant to your audience, without creating it all yourself. Always credit your source.
- Repurpose your content. Remember to check your blog, website, and social media channels instead of creating new content every time.
- Use rich media (like video, audio or other element) by incorporating YouTube, Vimeo, and SlideShare videos. They play right in the LinkedIn feed, so your audience can engage organically.
- Include human interest stories that connect to your brand, and you will help your audience establish an emotional connection.
- Use the LinkedIn Audience Network to expand your reach beyond LinkedIn and engage your audience wherever they’re active online.
- Use A/B testing to optimise targeting too. Create a campaign, duplicate it and alter the targeting criteria slightly. Run both campaigns to learn which audiences are more receptive to your content.
- Every 1-2 weeks, pause the ad with the lowest engagement and replace it with a new ad creative. Over time, this will improve your ad relevance score (based on indicators that LinkedIn members find the ads interesting, such as clicks, comments and shares), which will help you win more bids.
- Install the LinkedIn Insight Tag on your website, so you can track conversions and enable demographic reporting on your website visitors.
Message Ad allows you to communicate directly with your target audience, i.e. you can send direct messages to the target audience which can in turn spark quick action from your prospect.
With Message ads, you can:
- Drive stronger engagement and response than traditional email marketing.
- Measure the value you’re getting by seeing which roles and companies are taking action on your message.
The following are best practices for creating Messaging campaigns:
- Choose someone ideally with the title of a director or higher; who is relevant to your message and credible to your audience.
- Be concise, personal and relevant. Use bullets rather than dense copy. Body text under 500 characters drives a 46% higher click-through rate (CTR) on average.
- Add hyperlinks. Make your Message Ads more interactive by adding hyperlinks. Hyperlinks have been proven to lift CTR by 21%.
- Use multiple messages and buttons. Like a conversation, to provide a more engaging experience, give your prospects the information they need in bits, not in bulk. Set up two to three messages with at least two CTAs that members can interact with.
Dynamic Ad uses LinkedIn profile data, like a photo, company name and job title, to personalise ads for each of your target audience. A minor downside to this is that only a little space is provided for text; therefore copy must be brief and straight to the point.
Text Ads only appear on the sidebar of your target audience. Since text ads are heavily reliant on text, your copy must be compelling enough to drive your target prospect to action.
Armed with the aforementioned information, you can proceed to choose the best format that suits your needs.
4. Set Budget and Schedule
You must set your budget to determine how long your campaign will run. There are three options to consider in this step:
- Cost per send (CPS) is used when you run Message Ads campaigns. You pay for each message that is successfully delivered.
- Cost per click (CPC) is often used for action-oriented campaigns like lead generation or event registration.
- The cost-per-impression (CPM) model is typically a better fit when brand awareness is the goal.
Step 2: Set Up Your Ads
Your chosen ad format will determine the type of creative (i.e. image, headline, URL) you might need. This resource provides more detailed information on the different LinkedIn Ad formats.
Step 3: Review Your Ad and Launch
You have finally created your ad and set a budget. Now is the time to launch it. After inputting a payment method on your Campaign Manager account, your ad will undergo a review process, and then get launched.
Now that you have launched your campaign, it is easy to forget that you have only gotten started. To get the most out of your ads, you must measure impact and tweak your ad where and when necessary. With the analytical information provided by LinkedIn on your Campaign Manager account, you can determine how efficient and impactful your ads are, and if further optimisation is needed.
Researched By: Olukotun Joan