Finding the right way to market your small business online can be a challenge. Advertising on LinkedIn may be one of the best ways to ensure that your message reaches high quality prospects – but where do you even begin?
Knowing the answers to these 8 essential questions will get you started on the right path to launch a new and effective LinkedIn Ad campaign:
1) Why LinkedIn?
LinkedIn reigns as the number one platform for sharing business content. It is also a leading platform in B2B advertising, making it an essential tool for building your brand in the competitive online business sphere.
Unlike other online advertising platforms such as Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, and Twitter Ads, LinkedIn stands out because of the LinkedIn Mentality. When potential customers log into the site, they are already focused on career and business related ideas. As a result, marketing efforts on LinkedIn can produce higher conversion rates than on other social media platforms. With LinkedIn’s professional categorization, you can effectively present your business to the right kinds of people.
2) Who is my Target Audience? (And Are They Active on LinkedIn?)
There are over 528 million professionals on LinkedIn, it is likely that some portion of your target audience is active on the site. On average, 71% of users regard LinkedIn as a trustworthy source of gaining connections and finding professional content. A good way to determine if your business’s audience is on LinkedIn is to create a buyer persona. Ask yourself what your average customer is like and build a profile based around these answers.
Consider qualifiers such as:
- Seniority within a company
- Degree(s) type/category
- Pain points or challenges
Compare this data with the demographics of the followers of your LinkedIn Company Page to determine how effective an online campaign would be. One of the best parts about marketing on LinkedIn is that targeted advertising is easily accessible on the site, and you don’t need to be a marketing or SEO expert to do it. Customizable features allow you to determine the demographics of who your ad will be presented to, allowing you to easily reach a qualified audience.
Here’s some of the advertising targeted options that LinkedIn allows you to choose when posting your Sponsored Content:
These qualifiers are especially unique to the information provided by professionals on LinkedIn, making sure your advertisements are shown to the right kinds of users during your campaign.
3) What Are My Goals?
What do you want to accomplish through your campaign? At first, the answer may seem simple: get more leads or land more sales. But how many? What kind? From whom? How often? What are your current marketing efforts lacking and how can you improve them? For small businesses, these are important questions.
Before starting your ad campaign, determine what you aim to accomplish and how using LinkedIn can help you reach this goal, for example:
- Does your business convert a high amount of leads, but they are lacking in quality? LinkedIn’s Ad Targeting is a great solution for this problem, placing your advertisements in front of the right audience.
- Do you struggle to craft an effective marketing message that appeals to potential customers? Scope LinkedIn and see what professionals in the field are talking about. Comments, articles and posts on LinkedIn all offer unique value because they give insight into industry related problems that your business could present a solution to.
- Does advertising your business online seem to have a low ROI? Track your results using LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager, then use resources like this helpful video to refine your LinkedIn Ad tactics to ensure you are profiting from your efforts.
The options and potential of LinkedIn provide the perfect platform to accomplish your advertising goals.
4) How Much Will it Cost?
The cost of a LinkedIn campaign depends on different factors. Updates and published content range from free to pay-per-click (PPC) charges. Creating a Company Page, posting updates and gaining connections on LinkedIn are all free unless you opt to upgrade your account to Premium or Sales Navigator to get even more features.
LinkedIn also offers three types of display advertising which do require payment:
- Sponsored Content: the large, image-heavy advertisement that appears on the user’s feed, allowing them to click through to your landing page, company account or other link
- Sponsored InMail: Personalized ads delivered to the inbox of your target audience
- Text Ads: these appear on the right track of the page, tote a smaller image and are primarily words and a 50×50 image
LinkedIn allows you to customize your bidding price, campaign length and target audience. In other words, the power is in your hands to determine cost – depending on desired result and marketing budget.
5) How Do I Get Started?
Start by drafting a marketing plan specific to the features of LinkedIn that identifies your lead goals. Include how frequently you intend to post (consider making a content calendar), topics to write about, advertisement drafts/images and ideas on how to increase your pages visibility using other platforms (integrating Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google for example).
Reach out to other online leaders to build a relationship, and begin sharing each other’s content and ads through a strategic partnership. Choosing a theme for the content and ad copies of your first campaign is also useful, because it provides guidelines for content creation.
An example of a campaign theme would be to share industry insights useful to your target audience through a series of infographics or giving commentary on a trending topic related to your business in the form of a LinkedIn article. Use these as a basis for creating your ads, showing that you are knowledgeable in your industry and giving those who explore your Company Page content to see when they arrive.
6) How Can I Tell If it’s Working?
LinkedIn provides ways for you to track the progress and results of your ad campaign. You can go beyond viewing just the basics how much traffic your post are gaining, seeing the PPC value as well as other forms of conversion tracking.
7) What Should I Avoid?
The internet is a fast-paced market – which means you need to be prepared, be creative and keep things updated. Publishing content regularly and promoting it consistently allows you to communicate more information to your network and gather greater interest from other businesses. A successful LinkedIn Marketing campaign should post fresh content at roughly once a week, and attract at least 50 new connections/followers a month depending on the size of your business.
Likewise, with LinkedIn advertisements, sponsored content and text ads be sure to update your ad copy frequently to avoid over-saturating your audience with repeated ideas. A great resource for learning how to create and maintain your LinkedIn Ad is B2Linked’s video about the Ultimate LinkedIn Ad Checklist.
Keeping things new brings diversity to your brand and reinforces the power of your presence on LinkedIn.
8) Am I Willing to Stick it Out?
Like any marketing strategy, a proper LinkedIn campaign can’t be rushed. Establishing brand awareness as well as building a relevant and connected network are all essential aspects of a LinkedIn campaign that take time. Estimate that your first campaign should last for at least 6 months, but may take longer depending on its successes (or weaknesses). LinkedIn brand marketing is more than creating an alluring Company Page – your business must take an active role on the site through deliberate interactions and effective advertising to start seeing the results that LinkedIn can provide.
Patience is also required with your LinkedIn Ad campaigns. The more you invest into your efforts, the better your chances of widening your reach and finding the right kind of leads and expanding your business on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for your business, follow the advice given in this article to ensure that you make the most out of your LinkedIn marketing campaign!
Do you need to expand the marketing reach of your business? Thinking about trying a LinkedIn Campaign? Looking for high quality leads and wondering how you can leverage your LinkedIn network to do so?
To answer these questions and more, my team and I are hosting a FREE Webinar: Earn More with LinkedIn. Even if you are not able to attend, register anyway and I will email you the recording which will be available for one week after the webinar.