12 Apr 7 Best Practices for Advertising on LinkedIn
You may run successful ad campaigns on Facebook. You may be a master at using AdWords. However, this will do little to help you on LinkedIn. The best practices for digital advertising are different on every platform; meaning what works well on other sites may fail on LinkedIn.
For one thing, unlike on Google and Facebook, before you decide to expand to advertising on LinkedIn you need to determine whether it would be a worthwhile investment for your business. Likely candidates for this are B2B brands and companies selling products or services to business owners and other professionals.
Once you decide that expanding your ad presence to LinkedIn will be a good move, the next step is to make the most of what this platform has to offer.
1. Target the Right Audience
LinkedIn has a wealth of valuable information about its users. You can take advantage of this data by targeting your ads. You can define your audience according to company size, industry, title, and location. LinkedIn will tell you how many users are in a target audience as you add filters.
Avoid focusing on too narrow or too wide an audience. Limiting your audience too much will fail to take advantage of the full potential of your ads, whereas too large an audience will lead you to present ads to users who are never going to convert. Strive to target an audience between 50,000 and 500,000. If your audience consists of less than 300,000 users, you should change your ads every week.
2. Pay Attention to All the Elements of Your Ad
LinkedIn ads consist of a headline, the copy, a destination URL, and an image:
The headline needs to catch your audience’s attention in as few words as possible.
The ad copy should reflect the type of information users are already seeking on LinkedIn. For example, offer a promise of the latest industry news, a chance to learn something new from the experts, or even a free trial of one of your services.
Instead of using one of your usual landing pages or sending users to the home page on your website, create a landing page just for your LinkedIn ads. Make this landing page relevant to both the ad and the users clicking the link, and be sure to include a form that requires minimal information from the user but provides you with enough to capture the lead.
Bear in mind, there is also a second way to capture leads with LinkedIn ads — and it’s not trying to make a direct sale through your ads (while this is possible, the success rate is usually too low to make it worth trying). Rather, LinkedIn offers a built-in lead collection feature.
LinkedIn offers users the chance to request contact with your brand, and they can even provide you with their email address in the same step. This is convenient for users, as it allows them to contact you without leaving the site.
In the case that a user does request to contact you, it is critical you respond as soon as possible. As LinkedIn only allows contact requests to be sent to a single recipient, you will need to ensure you choose someone at your business who is reliable to be in charge of replying.
Finally, unlike AdWords, with LinkedIn ads you can include a photo. The LinkedIn optimization team recommends using a picture of a woman, as this tends to lead to the highest click-through rates. Only use your logo if you are looking to drive brand awareness.
Whatever image you choose, keep it simple. It needs to be obvious to users what the picture is at first glance — ads appear as a small thumbnail picture, making it difficult for users to decipher detail. An exception to this rule is with sponsored content, where pictures are larger.
3. Budget for Your Ads
LinkedIn ads cost more than most other digital ads, with costs per click ranging from $2 to $5. However, the conversion rate for sponsored content is 6.1 percent — much higher than the average for B2B ads of just 2.58 percent, according to HubSpot. This means you will still pay less per lead with sponsored content on LinkedIn compared to ads on other places.
4. Maintain a High Click-Through Rate
LinkedIn considers 0.025 percent as a good click-through rate, but you should aim for at least 0.08 percent or even 0.1 percent. This is key for more than just increasing conversions, as LinkedIn penalizes marketers with low-performing ads.
Whereas on other platforms you may be able to run ads for several months, on LinkedIn you should change them often — at least once per month. This is because new ads receive greater impressions.
5. Test Your Ads
In addition to changing your ads, you will gain a higher click-through rate by testing your ads. The highest conversions come from running several ads in every campaign. This gives you the chance to test different combinations to see what works best. Create different headlines, images, and copy but keep the landing page the same. Once you find your top-performing ad, eliminate the others.
6. Track Your Ads
Tracking is an essential aspect of any digital marketing strategy, as it ensures that your efforts are leading to a positive ROI. LinkedIn is no exception. However, as the site offers no internal tracking features, you will need to rely on an external analytics service such as Google Analytics.
To track the performance of your ads in Google Analytics, head to Goals under Profiles in the Settings section. Choose the URL Destination goal to trigger a goal every time a user reaches a particular page — this is another reason why you should use a landing page specific to your LinkedIn ads. You can also add a UTM parameter to the URL to distinguish between different ads.
In addition to goals, you should monitor engagement metrics, including time on site, bounce rate, and page views. This will tell you how LinkedIn users are interacting with your site. More important than a click on your ads is what the user does next.
Another way to track your ads is to import all your campaigns into HubSpot Ads for access to ROI tracking and automatic conversion. This may be a good option if you are already a HubSpot client.
7. Utilize Your Company Page
Your company page plays a central role in your LinkedIn ad campaigns. If you first build a strong organic presence on the site, you will show your brand as a source of authority. Aim to gain a few hundred followers before running any ads.
Use the opportunity to share some of your best pieces of content, which you can always turn into ads later if they prove to be successful on the site. Develop your organic presence further by encouraging employees to create personal profiles, linking to your company page and sharing your content within their own networks.
LinkedIn is one of the more expensive channels for digital ads. It is only worth the expense and effort if you are sure you can be successful. If a significant amount of your target audience is active on LinkedIn, it is an option worth exploring. Keep testing individual ads to push for more conversions, and monitor your ads to ensure you only continue with a strategy appropriate for your business.