With well over 500 million users, LinkedIn is one of the most underappreciated platforms online. If you aren’t advertising your company on LinkedIn, you’re missing out on millions of people that are geared toward business.
Many professionals that can’t be bothered to have a Facebook or Instagram profile, have accounts on LinkedIn. Not only are these professionals on LinkedIn, many times they are active there on a daily basis.
Learning how to advertise on LinkedIn will give your company the ability to get in front of markets that were once out of reach. So, building a marketing strategy around this untapped social media platform is something you should be looking into moving forward.
Pump up that Advertising Budget – Those Are Rookie Numbers
You’ve likely seen a few industry experts talking about the missed opportunity of LinkedIn. It’s been growing slowly over the past ten years, but now with over 500 million business professionals, the platform isn’t one to scoff at.
When you have a LinkedIn membership, you have access to over 9 million companies, and access to over 10 million active jobs. You also have the ability to network and connect with almost anyone in the world if you use LinkedIn wisely.
LinkedIn is arguably the most expensive social media platform to advertise on today. With video views costing $0.08, vs the $0.02 they cost on Facebook, why are advertisers shifting more of their budget to LinkedIn?
Are LinkedIn marketing solutions that good, or are budgets increasing because of the high cost to run a campaign?
What Makes LinkedIn Unique from Facebook & Other Platforms
One of the things that make LinkedIn unique from platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media sites with the same general goal, is the culture. LinkedIn is a place for business professionals, while the other platforms are more geared toward pleasure, and a place for personal interactions.
As of right now, you don’t get any requests from your LinkedIn friends asking you to send them a log for their Farmville or a life in Candy Crush. While we are the last to say that will never happen, it is unlikely that the platform will ever move in that direction.
People come to LinkedIn to network and create business relationships that are mutually beneficial. You are likely to interact with people that are reading the same success books you are. You will find people that are interested in personal development and growing their knowledge base.
When you look at other social media platforms, you are more likely to see people seeking entertainment. What does that mean for businesses?
Since people are on LinkedIn with the thought of doing business, it is more likely you will find people that are open to doing business. LinkedIn users often come to the platform looking for solutions to their challenges. If your company positions itself as a thought leader and a top resource, LinkedIn can be a great source of leads.
Is Advertising on LinkedIn Worth the Money?
Now that you have more of an idea about why LinkedIn is different than other platforms, does different equal better? Should you advertise on LinkedIn, or leave the higher cost per click to someone else?
As you look at the trends for 2019 PPC and see LinkedIn rising to the top, it might be tempting to jump on board because it’s the cool thing to do. Unless it truly makes sense for your business, don’t throw money into LinkedIn.
When is LinkedIn a good choice for your business? One of the best reasons the platform is so inviting is because of its ability to target people by their job title and other job-related attributes.
How to Advertise on LinkedIn the Smart Way
If you don’t understand the types of advertising on LinkedIn, and what the cost is, you might end up spending your budget before you know what’s going on. If you get involved in LinkedIn PPC, you’ll find their cost-per-click is often higher than other networks.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Advertising on LinkedIn
When you advertise on LinkedIn, there are some things you need to keep in mind if you want to get the best results. If you make rookie mistakes, you’re marketing to a very knowledgeable and unforgiving audience.
The LinkedIn audience expects you to know what you’re doing. They don’t want to see typos, broken links, or other easy fixes that you’ve missed. The following tips will help you avoid rookie mistakes.
Optimize & Fill Out Your Profile Fully
When you advertise on LinkedIn, people can find out who you are and view your profile. The InMail will be coming from you, the sponsored content will be from your profile updates. Even if you’re sharing a company update, they can see that you’re the company page admin.
When they go to visit your LinkedIn profile, if it isn’t set up properly, they will instantly think less of you and your company. You want people to respect you and give a good first impression. The firm handshake of yesterday is your great profile in today’s digital world.
Important Optimization Points
Part of optimizing your profile is having a strong profile picture. If your profile picture is out of focus, or looks like it was snapped at random with your kid’s iPhone, you won’t get the results you want. Even if you have to put some money into getting a good headshot, it’s worth it.
Another way to optimize your profile is through keyword optimization. You want people to be able to find you with relevant keywords. One thing you do not want to do is keyword stuffing. When people come to view your profile through one of your ads, your profile shouldn’t have a mishmash of confusing key terms put there for the search engines.
When you’re putting your page together, it isn’t a time to be humble. Okay, if you want to be humble you can, but you need to humble brag.
Your profile should list any accomplishments you’re proud of, as well as relevant continuing education. If you’re investing in continuing your education, then you should list those things on your profile. People like to know the people they are working with are up-to-date on the latest education in the industry.
Don’t Overlook This Important Conversion Booster
One of the most overlooked parts of optimizing LinkedIn profiles is the recommendations part of a profile. You might be thinking you have no control over who recommends you, but that isn’t necessarily true. There are a few ways to get more recommendations on LinkedIn.
One of the best ways to get a recommendation is to pick someone you’ve had a good working relationship with. Leave them a glowing recommendation that has depth and value. Often these people will return the favor when they see you’ve left them a nice and well thought-out recommendation.
Another way to get recommendations is to ask clients to leave one if they enjoyed your service. When you do a good job, many of these people are more than happy to recommend you on LinkedIn.
Spruce Up Your Company Page
If you simply slapped a company page up on LinkedIn so you can use some of its features, it likely looks a little bare. Instead of leaving the page there to rot, realize the value of this page and start working on it. Share blog posts from your website to get attention to your site, and post relevant articles from other sites that aren’t your competition.
Improving your company page will boost your brand image and get more people’s attention. When you have a company page, you’re able to engage with the people there, which is a very wise thing to do since most of these people are your prospects.
There are many ways to optimize your company page, and you should work on each of them as time and resources allow.
Before we get into specific strategies for advertising on the LinkedIn platform, let’s get into B2B and B2C. Why is it smart for each of these business models to be on LinkedIn?
Why LinkedIn Makes Sense for B2B Companies
The B2B sales process usually takes longer than the B2C sales process because the decision is rarely made by one person. Even if there is one decision maker, there may be other people it has to go through first before it reaches their desk.
When you’re on LinkedIn, you have easier access to people that can help you get your foot in the door. While a big part of getting attention on LinkedIn is through 1 on 1 connections, many of LinkedIn’s paid features can help you achieve your goals.
If you want to straight pitch a decision maker on a product or service you want to sell them, you can use InMail. You can now even create campaigns that InMail people outside of your normal network.
B2B companies need to be on LinkedIn because everyone is there. If someone is looking for your company and you don’t show up, they will look for someone else in your industry that can help them.
Why LinkedIn Makes Sense to B2C Companies
Just because LinkedIn is an ideal place for B2B companies doesn’t mean it isn’t a smart move for B2C companies as well. Any business that wants to market to people in the higher income brackets should not pass up LinkedIn.
45% of adults that make over $75,000 use LinkedIn. If you want to get in front of those customers, LinkedIn is a perfect opportunity. Your potential customers will expect to do business there.
Unlike Facebook and Instagram, people are not taken aback when they see ads on the platform. LinkedIn users are not shocked when they see business content, or articles in their feed, like when they are double tapping their IG feed.
Customers often turn to LinkedIn, and the various groups on the platform, to find expert advice and information on a given topic. If your company positions itself in a way that shows potential customers that you’re a thought leader and innovator in the space, you can gain a lot of customers with this digital marketing strategy.
Best Practices & LinkedIn Etiquette
As LinkedIn begins to open up, the ability to contact more people on their network, and your ability to reach people, will increase. On the flip side, the ability for other people to reach you will also increase.
In some cases, the ease of reach will be positive, but not in all cases. As people’s inboxes begin to clog, you need to stand out in the crowd. Never send the impersonal copy and paste messages to your new connections.
You always hear that you should add value to your LinkedIn connections. Value adding practices of the past don’t work as well as they used to work. While it might have been helpful to offer your freemium in your LinkedIn signature in the past, no one is clicking it now.
There is entirely too much information available online for people to click away to your gated freemium. They don’t want to enter their email address. They’ve just connected with you and they aren’t sure how they feel about you yet.
When you want to build value, think about insightful articles you can write on your LinkedIn post page, great content you can share to your network. These things will build your image as an influencer and thought leader.
Advertising Options on LinkedIn
Now that you understand a few of the important basics about LinkedIn, and you know that it is a smart place to invest your time and money, how do you go about it? How do you market your services and products on LinkedIn rather than contacting people one on one?
Use LinkedIn’s Self Service System
If you’re tech-savvy, the good news is that LinkedIn’s system is self-service. You don’t have to wait for an account manager to start your campaign. If you don’t understand how to set up an ad campaign it can be frustrating.
Instead of floundering in the waters of ad campaigns, you can contact an expert that will help you set up a campaign successfully. Often, the time spent trying to figure out a system costs more money than speaking with an expert and getting the help you need.
Learn to Navigate the Campaign Manager
Before you can do any advertising, you have to set up your account. The campaign manager is where your campaigns will live. You can access anything you need from this space.
Determine the Type of Ads You Want to Run
Now that you’ve got your campaign manager set up, and your account is good to go, you have to determine what type of ads you want to run. Your choices are as follows:
– Sponsored Content
– Sponsored InMail
– Text Ads
When we say sponsored content, we mean ads that live on the LinkedIn feed. These ads show up in user’s feeds within the updates of other LinkedIn users. Sponsored content is like a promoted post you might have seen on Facebook.
Sponsored content is good to use when you want to raise awareness about an event, generate leads, generate additional qualified traffic, or get additional engagement.
Sponsored InMail is best when you use it to send specific messages to very targeted people. Your message won’t go to spam or an abandoned email box. Instead, your message goes directly to their LinkedIn inbox, and your CTA is always visible no matter what device they’re using.
Sponsored InMail is good when you want to generate B2B leads, gain exposure to an event or a webinar, or promote a gated giveaway.
Text ads are like Google AdWords search network, but on LinkedIn instead of on Google’s search engine. Ads may display alongside content or inline. You only pay for the clicks that you get on your content.
Text ads are good for targeting very specific B2B audiences, searching for quality job candidates, as well as driving traffic to landing pages.
LinkedIn video is greatly underused at this point. It allows you to get very specific with the who you’re targeting with your ads.
Besides for great targeting, you’re also able to easily set your budget so you don’t overspend. Set your budget low enough that you can do consistent testing each day instead of just spending all of your money at once.
You can choose to create a campaign for lead generation, getting more video views, or sending people to your website.
Create Ad Content
No matter what type of ad you choose, the content of that ad is very important. Whether you’re using ad copy solely, or if you have photos, they need to be catchy. You’re advertising on a platform of very busy people, so a cute cat photo isn’t going to do it for most of who will see it.
When you create your ad, you need to have great content that will make people want to take action. Besides that, you need to decide where you will send these people. You might choose to send them to your LinkedIn company page, or to a specific page on your website.
You need to have a very specific strategy when you’re advertising on LinkedIn. Since the cost to advertise is considerably higher than advertising on Google for most people, your funnel should be a proven resource when you start using LinkedIn advertising.
Choose Who You Want to Target
LinkedIn targeting can get very granular. Take the time to set up every element of the targeting for your LinkedIn campaign. Even if it takes you a little longer to get everything together, you need to make sure to get as deep into targeting as possible.
When you target the right audience on LinkedIn, your ROI can be very impressive. If you fail to target the right audience, you may find your results are underwhelming, and you’ve put out a lot of money for very little return.
No matter if you choose a sponsored content, sponsored InMail, or text ad, your targeting options are all the same. You can target people by company, job title, job function, and more. With all of the options there are to target people, there is no reason to not find the exact group of professionals you want to talk to.
Input Your Budget
Now it is time to get down to the money. We’ve talked about how LinkedIn is more expensive than other advertising platforms. The good news is that you can start advertising on LinkedIn for as little as $10 per day. While this rate is 10x higher than Facebook’s $1 a day, it’s still not going to break the bank.
You need to choose whether you want to pay for your ads by the impression, or by the click. If you don’t care how many people click on your ad, and you just want to get as many views on it as possible, you might choose the pay per impression option.
If you do a Sponsored InMail campaign, then you’ll get the pay per send option and pay each time you send an InMail. Sponsored InMail allows you to have high control over your campaign, and your budget, while knowing exactly what you’re getting.
Check Your Analytics & Optimize
Once you get your ad campaign together, now comes the fun part. Your ad campaign is together, and it is running on LinkedIn. You’re in the campaign manager and have clicked over to the analytics section.
If you’ve been through proper social media training, you know that testing is key. Even if a campaign is performing well, it could do better. LinkedIn is a great place to test and analyze your campaign.
While you might be excited to see your analytics, remember to give your campaign some time. You want to have enough run time so you can see what is working, and what isn’t. If you kill your campaign too quickly because of less than exciting results, you might miss out on great results that are around the corner.
On the other hand, you might see that your campaign is doing very well on the first day or two. Since your campaign is going well, you decide to dump a bunch of money into it, even though it’s only been a couple of days. A few days later your campaign isn’t going so well, and you just lost thousands of dollars for a lack of patience.
After you’ve given your campaign enough time to run so you can see how it is going to perform, you can try A/B split testing to see which ads work best. Make sure to only change up one thing at a time when you’re doing these tests, or you won’t know what really caused the changes.
Whatever campaigns are giving you the most results, you can always go into the campaign manager and boost your budget. You can set your budget to a minimum of $10 per day, and increase it as you see which campaigns are giving you the best results.
Grow Your Marketing Knowledge
As your advertising budget grows, your marketing knowledge should grow it. The more money you have to spend, the more difficult it is to spend it. You might max out your ability to advertise to a specific audience on a platform and need to learn other ways to distribute your money.
While having too much money to spend might sound like a champagne problem, it can be very real. Read through our article about what digital marketing will look like in the next ten years to get ideas about how to spend your money marketing. You can also check out our guide to maximizing customer retention, and learn inbound marketing techniques that will help your business thrive.
Owner and Chief Marketing Officer, Jason Hall, and his team specialize in creating brand awareness / traffic and lead generation / marketing funnel and conversion optimization, while utilizing the appropriate marketing channels available within your industry. With diverse clients throughout the world, Jason's team is well connected within many industries to assist with your marketing strategies. With no long term contracts and various levels of service, Jason's team will increase the quality of your online traffic, leads, and sales.
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About the author...
Located in the heart of the Emerald Coast - Destin, FL, founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Jason Hall, and his team specialize in creating brand awareness / traffic and lead generation / marketing funnel and conversion optimization / and PR campaigns, while utilizing the appropriate marketing channels available within your industry.
With diverse clients throughout the world, Jason's team is well connected within many industries to assist with your marketing strategies. With no long term contracts and various levels of service, Jason's team will increase the quality of your online traffic, leads, and sales.