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7 Step Process To Advertise On Linkedin

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Overview

LinkedIn has been around for some years now, but there are still some businesses which haven’t tapped into this useful social networking website. For those who have a LinkedIn presence, they will be knowing that the site can be a gold mine if one is looking for a job opening, searching for a new job, and connecting with professionals in similar or different industries to yours, reconnecting with former co-workers & Classmates, and other activities. But did you know that it is possible to advertise on LinkedIn cheaply and easily?

For advertisers trying to reach the professional set, LinkedIn offers a cost-per-click (CPC) advertising platform that provides access to their 90-million-plus members worldwide. This professional social networking website sees over 14 million visits a month. The ad platform is text-only in nature, self-service, and recommended for all advertisers with less than a $10,000 budget. Therefore, LinkedIn can be an effective platform for small businesses to experiment without a great deal of investment of time and money.

Linkedin-Marketing

Until recently, advertising to LinkedIn users only offered general targeting, but new features have launched this year the allow advertisers to micro-target users which makes it a compelling opportunity to reach your target market. LinkedIn states that “good ads have a CTR greater than 0.025%,“ which is somewhat on the low side and something that requires performance optimisation.

A common challenge that many small business-to-business (B2B) companies face these days is a tight marketing budget. They must aim to achieve a positive return from investment from their paid ad campaigns because they can’t afford wasting any of their resources. One of the optimal ways to prevent wasting your advertising budget dollars is by making sure you’re engaging a specific group of audience or your target audience.

Before digging into the ad set-up interface, take time to think through your advertising strategy. Determine your campaign objectives and how they will be measured and how to improve them. You can construct campaigns for branding, driving in traffic, generating leads, and set many other advertising goals. Brainstorm different ways to reach your audience, keeping in mind that LinkedIn is primarily a professional social networking site. What job titles are your target audience likely to hold? What professional groups are they members of? Develop a profile and determine the number of campaigns and set up desired micro-targeting details for each of them.

Step 1: Define Buyer Personas

Buyers are the ones who will be involved in the purchase of your product or service. For B2C organisations, this person will most likely to be the end-user. On the other hand, for B2B companies, this person may be a composite of various decision-makers or influencers of the sale.” Creating buyer personas helps you to examine your target audience and identify their needs and wants.

The most critical component of creating a buyer persona or a customer profile is through the recognition of consumer challengers or pain points because it helps you to tailor your product’s unique value proposition. Create buyer personas for various types of audience that you want to target. The more specific you are, the easier it will be to develop an enticing advertisement copy.

Step 2: Creating The Ad

The creative approach for LinkedIn ads is kind off similar to other pay-per-click media platforms, with compelling ad text containing messages consistent with your other marketing initiatives and strategies. The ad must include a unique benefits and offer and call-to-action (CTA), such as “buy now” or “sign up today” etc. Though ensure that your ad copy supports your overall marketing and advertising strategy.

You can access the ad tool via www.linkedin.com/advertising. Since the last line of some LinkedIn ads displays the name of the ad creator (i.e., “from your username”), make sure to log in under the username that you want to appear or show on the ad. Create the ad from your company page if you want the company name to appear.

LinkedInCreateYourAdCampaign2Selection

After that, choose the Start Now button to reach the Create An Ad box page. If you already have delved into LinkedIn ads before, instead choose Manage Your Ads and click on New Ad Campaign to the right of the My Ad Campaigns box. This will provide you with options in order to create a new ad or copy/edit an existing one you already have.

Step 3: Create multiple groups of ads to target different stakeholders

Once you’ve created and identified buyer personas and also determined your target audience’s pain points, develop tailored ads to target each persona.

For example, if you’re selling an online sales tool to accounting firms, you should then develop different ads to attract different types of stakeholders such as the Sales Manager or Business Development Manager. For instance, to target the Business Development Manager, your ad may need to say “Discover New Client and Find New Business Opportunities Easily.” To Target the Sales Manager, your ad might say “Looking to Improve Sales and Achieve Target Goals?”

Step 4: Create multiple LinkedIn campaigns to target different stakeholders

Once you’ve created different buyer personas and customised your ads, you can then launch multiple LinkedIn campaigns to target the various personas you identified.

A campaign on LinkedIn is composed of one or more ads. You can create up to 15 different ad variations. Keep in mind that all of these ads will share the same budget and bids as put in campaign detials, so use this as a way to test creative approaches within the same campaign. When adding the second variation, the ad tool makes a copy of the first, making it a bit easier to enter changes that you want to test.

The ads are composed of a headline, description, destination URL, and image and have the following limitations:

  • headline of 25 characters.
  • description of  75 characters spanning 2 lines
  • destination URL can direct to a web page or a LinkedIn page
  • image/logo files in PNG, JPEG, or GIF format with a 2 MB maximum size. Images are resized to fit a 50 x 50 pixel square.

For example, you can launch a campaign called “Sales Tool – Sales Manager” and another campaign called “Sales Tool – Business Develop Managers” to advertiser your online sales tool to Sales Managers and Business Development Managers, respectively.

Unlike Google AdWords, editing the ad copy of a LinkedIn ad does not create a new ad. If you are looking to compare performance of before and after a change, then be sure to create a completely new ad.

Step 5: Targeting Your Audience

The total target audience selected in this step will help you determine the bid ranges for your campaign. By targeting, advertisers can select from many different options, including company size, job function, industry, seniority, gender, age, and geographic location. A welcome capability enhancement in January 2011 expanded targeting to include exact job titles (rather than job function), company name, and LinkedIn group members.When you type the job title into the form field, suggestions appear in a drop-down box along with similar job titles.

LinkedInJobTitle4Selection

While you are narrowing down your target audience, LinkedIn dynamically updates the number of members fitting into your criteria. LinkedIn also offers the ability to target members on other websites via their audience network. In this case ads are delivered to targeted LinkedIn members when they visit its partner sites. A simple checkbox gives you the option to opt in or out of this network. Test some campaigns with the audience network checked and some without in order to compare performance and decide which is the best choice to implement.

LinkedIn also give to option to exclude employees from certain companies/organisations from seeing your ads by using the Company Exclusion feature. For example, it is possible to prevent employees who work at competing companies from seeing your ads since you won’t convert sales or achieve any other business goals from them.

Step 6:  Setting Campaign Budgets

Budgets are set at the campaign level, with a minimum of $10 in daily budget. Allocate budget evenly to campaigns at first and then reallocate it depending on the performance, shifting more budget towards better performing campaigns.

First, select the payment method, which in this case means choosing between cost per click (CPC) or pay-per-thousand impressions (CPM). Your choice depends upon the size of your daily budget and the suggested bid range that LinkedIn provides. If you are just starting out, you may want to create two campaigns to test these two approaches to determine which works best for your business. Keep in mind that LinkedIn allows up to 20% overage on your daily budget. Finally, decide if you want your campaign to run until a certain date or continuously.

While running a local campaign to target search engine marketers, I found the following bid ranges and minimums:

PPC Suggested Bid Range at $2.41 – $2.99
Minimum Bid: $2.00

CPM Suggested Bid Range: $3.02 – $3.04
Minimum Bid: $3.00.

LinkedInCampaignBudget5Selection

The cost-per-click (CPC) varies depending on how you create your campaign. So use your own judgment on the amount you want to bid. The LinkedIn minimum is $2.00 per click. Bidding is like an auction, a higher bid will help you to gain impressions and clicks. LinkedIn provides a “Suggested bid range” and it’s best not to go below that range. Your daily budget needs to be high enough in order to support the number of clicks you hope to achieve. For example, a $25 per day budget can support five clicks per day at a CPC of $5. However, with the same budget, at $2.50 per click, your campaign can support ten clicks. Always continuously review your results and adjust your budget to get the most out of it. For example, you may find that you can lower your bid to $3 per click and still achieve your target of 5 clicks per day.

Step 7: Entering Billing Information

The billing process for LinkedIn is pretty standard and simple. Once billing information is entered and completed, the ad goes into review. The review process seems to take several hours, so prepare to do this during off-peak hours. Once the campaign is launched, allow it to run for a couple of days before making any big decisions about changing any of the settings. Gather data first, and then try other targeting and ad copy options that may help increase performance.

Conclusion

By following the seven steps above, you can create targeted buyer personas and address them with tailored LinkedIn campaigns and ads. This will help you attract new qualified traffic, achieve high click-through rate, and most importantly, get a bigger bang for the buck from your ad budget.

Checklist For Advertising On LinkedIn

  • Have you considered your objectives?
  • What is your target audience’s profile and how can you reach them on this site?
  • Is your ad copy compelling? Does it include benefits and a call-to-action?
  • Have you tested components such as ad variations, CPC vs. CPM, and the LinkedIn Audience Network?
  • Is your campaign budget allocation focused on the best-performing campaigns?

Image Credits: Google, LinkedIn

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