I used to think of LinkedIn as the "boring" social media platform. When I graduated from college my academic advisor suggested I sign up for it to network. Unimpressed by the platform and a full time waitress (which meant my networking was done in real life at my tables), I wasn't all that inspired to start using it.
A few years later, desperate to work my way out of the restaurant industry, I started to realize there was something to this LinkedIn thing.
Over the years, especially recently, the changes LinkedIn has been adapting have made the platform much more user friendly. They have capitalized on the aspects that make it THE platform for networking, finding jobs and even finding new business.
According to HubSpot's State of Inbound Marketing Report 2012, 65% of companies report that they have acquired a customer through LinkedIn.
While new business can be acquired organically, they also have developed quite the effective advertising platform. A few months back I ran a campaign for the ad agency I work at to try to generate some more leads. While it took me a while to get the hang of things (LinkedIn ads are a little different from advertising on Facebook,AdWords and Twitter) once I did, I REALLY got excited about the platform. The following are some key takeaways from my LinkedIn advertising experience:
Who Should Use LinkedIn Advertising?
- B2B companies. Especially companies that sell products or services for a niche group.
Key advantages to using LinkedIn vs. other ad platforms:
- LinkedIn is THE B2B social media platform. People are on LinkedIn to make business connections, find jobs, research companies, etc. It's the ideal community to sell your B2B product or service.
- You can specifically target the decision makers, aka chief marketing officer types. After selecting a job title, LinkedIn will suggest similar job titles you may want to also target.
Key tips for a successful LinkedIn ad campaign:
- Creative copy. Ad copy should have a call to action, clearly offer value and be relevant to what you're offering on the landing page. You have 25 characters for the title and 70 characters per 2 lines of ad copy.
- Captivating images. Images are 50 px by 50 px. Make sure you keep your image simple but attention grabbing.
- Promote a landing page. While you can promote a page on LinkedIn like your company profile page, you can also chose to market any content offers, i.e. a white paper or an eBook, via a landing page. I've found this to be more beneficial for our overall marketing and sales objectives. This way we have something extra unique and of value for the lead and we get their contact information in exchange. It's a win win.
- Advanced targeting. On top of the "job title" targeting option mentioned above, LinkedIn offers other valuable targeting options. Try to keep your targeting options to a niche market but try to at least target 10,000 people per campaign.
- Overbid. Unlike Facebook advertising I've seen my ads show more for over bidding the suggested bid range.
- Test and Test again. You can create up to 15 variations per campaign. From what I've seen, a good CTR for LinkedIn ads is %0.025 to %0.03.