Leveraging LinkedIn advertising as a marketing tool is key to reaching the decision makers at your target customers.
LinkedIn has transitioned from the place to post and find jobs to the top platform to reach decision makers. Nearly 700 million professionals in more than 200 countries are on LinkedIn. It’s where business leaders turn to evaluate the organizations they plan to work with and to post their own thought leadership.
Fast fact: LinkedIn has nine billion content impressions.
With that context, it’s easy to see why LinkedIn is the top social platform for lead generation and why it has become an essential tool in B2B marketing — 94 per cent of marketers distribute content on LinkedIn.
One of the greatest strengths of LinkedIn advertising is its targeting capabilities, which are crucial to running successful LinkedIn campaigns. The platform allows you to target by industry, company name and job function. You can target specific members by the LinkedIn groups they belong to and by their behaviours and personas. The ability to precisely target decision makers in the B2B space leads to higher engagement rates and ultimately higher conversion rates.
If LinkedIn isn’t part of your digital marketing and advertising strategy, you’re missing a key opportunity to engage with B2B decision makers. The question isn’t if you should use LinkedIn. It’s how you can best put LinkedIn’s advertising tools to work to build your brand with the people who matter most to your business.
Seven reasons why B2B companies need to market on LinkedIn
- LinkedIn gives you direct access to the people making buying decisions. Eighty per cent of LinkedIn users are decision makers.
- B2B marketing on LinkedIn drives leads. Eighty per cent of B2B marketing leads from social media come from LinkedIn.
- LinkedIn drives 46 per cent of the social media traffic to your company’s site.
- Brands that advertise on LinkedIn see a 33 per cent increase in purchase intent.
- Fortune 500 companies use LinkedIn more than any other social media platform.
- LinkedIn builds brand awareness with your ideal audience, drives revenue growth and reduces cost per lead.
- LinkedIn’s audience has twice the buying power of the average web audience.
LinkedIn advertising best practices
Create a strategy for LinkedIn
What do you want to achieve? Do you want to use LinkedIn to build your brand? Generate leads? Once you understand your goals, you can define your target markets and ideal customers. This will help you create an effective content strategy and the appropriate messaging for your ads.
Tip: Use LinkedIn’s Website Demographics to gain insights into your audience and how they are engaging with your LinkedIn page. This will help you better target the right audience with the right content.
Maximize your LinkedIn page
Start by making sure the page is complete. Add your logo and a cover image. Tell visitors what you’re about: your mission and purpose. This is your pitch, make it compelling and speak directly to your audience. Use relevant terms and phrases to make it easy for LinkedIn members to find you with keywords. Include your website URL, location, industry and company size. Invite viewers to learn more with a call-to-action button. Customize it to achieve your goals and keep track of members who have clicked.
Fast fact: LinkedIn pages that have complete information get 30 per cent more views than those that don’t.
Tip: Share updates on your business page that your community can immediately act on.
Promote unique business initiatives or products with Showcase pages
These pages offer an opportunity to segment your audience to better target them with relevant content. Showcase pages are listed as Affiliated Pages on your main LinkedIn page and offer similar functionality. If you have more than one brand, Showcase pages can help ensure each brand retains its own voice and personality.
Join and start groups
From industry to interests to hot topics, LinkedIn groups are a great way to engage with your audience, build relationships and establish your people as thought leaders. Joining an existing group allows you to strengthen your networks and creates opportunities for quality interactions with potential leads. The key is to be an active participant and take part in discussions. Forming your own group is another way to amplify your voice as a leader in your industry.
Post consistently and strategically
Create and regularly post quality content relevant to your targeted audiences. This will help drive organic reach, which will enhance your paid advertising. For increased impact, add images, videos, slides and other rich media, such as tweets, to the body of your article.
Fast facts: When companies post weekly the engagement with their content doubles. Content with images typically result in two times higher engagement than content without them.
Tip: Video continues to grow in popularity across all channels.
Videos on LinkedIn get five times the engagement written content gets, while live video gets 24 times the engagement.
Published articles are shared with your connections and followers in their news feeds, and sometimes through notifications. LinkedIn members that aren’t in your network can also follow you from your articles. To expand your reach further, set your public profile visibility to everyone and click the Share icon to share posts across LinkedIn, and on Facebook or Twitter.
Tip: Establish a posting schedule. Research from Sprout Social shows the best times to post on LinkedIn are during typical working hours. Specifically: Wednesdays between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., and at noon; Thursdays at 9 a.m., and between 1 p.m.; and 2 p.m. Friday mornings at 9 a.m.
Use LinkedIn advertising to gain a competitive advantage
LinkedIn’s all-in-one advertising platform takes you through each step of launching a campaign — from setting a budget and timeline to selecting goals to measuring and optimizing your campaign. You can choose from more than 20 different audience attribute categories to precisely target your high-potential customers, including location, job title and seniority, and interests.
There are four ad formats:
- Sponsored Content is native ads that run in the LinkedIn feed. They can take the form of single image ads, video ads and carousel ads.
- Message ads are native ads that are sent directly to your prospects through LinkedIn messaging.
- Dynamic ads use LinkedIn profile data, such as the photo, company name and job title, to personalize ads. They come in three formats — follower, spotlight and jobs ads — and are used to promote content, products, events and jobs.
- Text ads are simple pay-per-click or cost-per-impression ads. They appear to the right or on top of the LinkedIn desktop feed.
Measure your performance. As with any campaign, you must make sure it’s working. LinkedIn offers metrics and analytics dashboards to track your published content, followers and page visitors. For example, the Updates page will show you the click-through and engagement rates of your posts. LinkedIn’s advertising platform tracks overall impressions, clicks, social actions and conversions.
LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to build brand awareness and promote your products and services with the people making buying decisions at your ideal target companies. This precise targeting is why LinkedIn’s lead conversion rates are 3x higher three times those of other major ad platforms. If you’re a B2B company not marketing on LinkedIn, you risk missing out on sales.