LinkedIn offers a variety of paid advertising methods to target your audience in different ways. Options range from sponsored content and sponsored InMail, to display ads, dynamic ads, and text ads. Using a combination of these with accurate targeting will allow you to engage users, increase awareness, drive traffic, and position your brand as an industry expert.
An important feature of LinkedIn is its high-quality content originating from numerous news sites, thought leaders, and brands. Publishing on LinkedIn allows you to show users the depth of your knowledge and the relevancy of your company. By including sponsored content in the mix, you improve the chances that users see your content at the right time, therefore increasing your number of qualified leads.
You should reserve just your top articles, infographics, presentations, and videos for sponsored content. These pieces will help users develop a better idea of what your brand stands for, and the solutions you provide. LinkedIn will allow you to deliver your content to users accessing the platform on both mobile and desktop. You can create sponsored content in 20 languages and present it to any user in the 200 countries and territories where LinkedIn is available.
Publishing sponsored content
To post a piece of sponsored content, you first need to publish it as an organic company update from your company page. To turn it into sponsored content, you will need to go through a second-price auction. Whenever there is an opportunity to publish a new piece of sponsored content, you will need to bid against competing marketers looking to target the same audience. You can update your bid or content at any time to improve your chances in the auction.
When the piece changes status, it will be clear to users that the piece is not an organic piece due to the “Sponsored” label. You can use posts to send traffic wherever you choose, such as to a content portal, your YouTube or SlideShare channel, or an event registration form.
Targeting with sponsored content
Unlike with regular content, sponsored content is a type of native advertising. You can choose from various targeting options to make the content appear in the feeds of users other than followers of your company page by specifying location, industry, job title, company size, seniority, and other criteria. You should set parameters to target just users who will benefit from the content, but keep parameters wide enough to still reach a large audience.
Aim to have two to four campaigns live at all times. This will allow you to target users at various stages of the purchase cycle.
Tracking performance of sponsored content
After just one or two minutes of publishing sponsored content, you can begin to track metrics. These are divided into impression and engagement metrics with reporting in near real time.
Much like sponsored content, you can use sponsored InMail to target certain types of users. However, with sponsored InMail you can search for even more specific prospects, sending them messages that end up in their inboxes. This personalized approach leads to even greater visibility for your brand.
When to use sponsored InMail
Sponsored InMail is ideal for numerous purposes. It is especially useful for:
- Sending promotions for your products or services,
- To promote content that will likely appeal to a particular user, or
- To send personalized invitations for events, conferences, and webinars.
Benefits of sponsored InMail
Just the fact that sponsored InMail comes through the LinkedIn platform gives credibility to the messages. In addition, LinkedIn has designed sponsored InMail to maximize clicks by offering the following:
- Optimization for mobile: Call-to-action buttons stay at the top of the screen at all times, remaining visible while users scroll through messages.
- Delivery caps: Every user can only receive a limited number of sponsored InMail messages. This ensures they never feel inundated with messages and messages never seem like spam.
- The chance to personalize to each user: Unlike other ads, you can tailor each message to resonate with the user.
- Online delivery: Messages are only sent to users who are currently online.
Just like with other types of ads on LinkedIn, you can create targeted display ads to reach the right users. This kind of advertising is ideal for finding users who are seeking information about brands, products, or services on the LinkedIn platform. Unlike many other social media sites, LinkedIn allows only two display ads per page, which helps each ad stand out and prevents the screen from becoming cluttered.
Dynamic ads are another way to bring your audience customized content. They appear in native ad format and are targeted according to the elements of the page a user is viewing as well as the user’s skills, interests, and career history. LinkedIn can create dynamic ads for you, featuring your company logo alongside the profile image of the user viewing the ad.
Text ads on LinkedIn are much like pay-per-click ads on other sites. You select your budget to set a payment limit, but there are no contracts — campaigns can be ended at any time. You also have the chance to choose between pay-per-click or cost-per-impression pricing options, both of which will ensure you pay only for successful ads.
The right kinds of ads for you will depend on what you hope to achieve with your campaign. Experiment with different types and measure their performance until you achieve the perfect balance.