Business-to-Business (B2B) marketers are constantly looking for the best ways to reach their audiences. Conventional methods such as direct mail, print advertising, tradeshow exhibits, and event sponsorships can sometimes be costly. However, digital advertising presents marketers with affordable alternatives to reach targets.
In this blog, we’ll discuss one such digital marketing solution: LinkedIn advertising. It can be a highly effective tool that won’t break the bank. Here are some reasons we suggest B2B marketers give it a try:
- Executive-level decision-makers are on LinkedIn.
- Your target audience is less likely to be looking for business solutions on more personal social platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
- Due to the recent Facebook algorithm changes, we anticipate the Facebook ad space will become more crowded, resulting in higher costs for advertisers competing for space in news feeds.
- Social Media Examiner predicts that LinkedIn is going to have huge growth in 2018 and will be improving ad options, including an expansion to allow video ads.
- You can target your ads to individuals based on their job title, industry, job function, degrees, groups they belong to, or even companies they work for. You can also target specific geographic locations.
- You can choose to expand your ad to LinkedIn’s Audience Network consisting of high-quality mobile apps and websites.
- You have full control of the timing, budget, bid amount, and how you pay.
- LinkedIn reporting provides helpful insights on the performance of your ad. You can combine this analysis with Google Analytics reporting to track conversions and return on investment. If it isn’t working, you can pause and adjust your campaign as needed or discontinue the campaign altogether.
So how do you go about creating a LinkedIn ad campaign? Well, LinkedIn has a very helpful article about advertising on LinkedIn in their Help Center that goes into great detail, but below are the high level steps.
- First, you’ll need to create a Campaign Manager account. It’s simple and free.
- Next, you’ll need to determine your objective and what type of ad you’d like to run. There are currently three options (specifications and formats explained in the graphic below):
- Text Ads: appear on several different pages within LinkedIn, usually in the sidebar or at the top of the page.
- Sponsored Content Ads: appear in users’ news feeds.
- Sponsored InMail: delivered to targets’ Messaging Inbox.
- Once you’ve determined your ad type, content and images, you can begin creating your ad using LinkedIn’s easy-to-navigate wizard. LinkedIn will show you previews of the ad as you build it, and will even give you the option of creating different ad variations to determine which combination performs best with your target audience.
- Next, you’ll target your ads by specifying criteria for your audience. As previously mentioned, there is a wide variety of criteria you can use to select your audience. As you make selections, LinkedIn will show you the estimated target audience size based on criteria given. You have to be careful not to narrow your audience too much. LinkedIn will let you know if that is the case.
- Finally, you’ll need to set your campaign budget and bid type. There are three bid types from which to choose: cost per click (CPC); cost per impression (CPM); and cost per send (CPS), which is specific to InMail campaigns. If your goal is to have the target take action, CPC is the best bid format to use. If brand awareness is the goal, you’re better off using the CPM format.
Once your ad is up and running, you should monitor results and adjust your ad, targeting, or budget as needed.
NOTE: We recommend you tie your B2B campaign to your LinkedIn Company page, rather than your profile. If you haven’t set up a Company Page, now is the time to do that. Using your company page vs. your personal profile increases brand awareness and recognition.
If you think LinkedIn ads are an optimal way to reach your audience, but need help with strategy and getting started, contact us to discuss your goals. We’d love to help you reach your targets.