LinkedIn Ads have become synonymous with B2B marketing over the years due to the vast and ever-expanding targeting options that are available to digital marketers.
Through vast improvements to the ad platform, LinkedIn now provides many of the same custom targeting characteristics that Google and Facebook/Instagram have provided for years…but with the addition of detailed, employment specific targeting (experience, education, company, professional interests, etc.). The combination of custom audiences and highly defined employment data make LinkedIn the “holy grail” for many B2B Digital marketers that drives real, measurable conversions to your business.
Before diving into what ad format works best for your specific business, it is important to first define the following:
What are your goals for a LinkedIn Ads campaign?
Do you have a specific video that you want people to view, a website that you want them to visit, or a lead generation form that you would like them to fill out to gather contact information? Knowing the end goal is the first step in deciding what ad format works best. Think Big Picture.
*Pro Tip: Many times, multiple ads are used to accomplish one end goal and campaign data provides good feedback for campaign improvement. Don’t be afraid to test the waters but know your long-term end goal for LinkedIn as a marketing tool. It will help build your roadmap.
Who is your target audience?
Maybe you are wanting to reach people with a specific job title, who work for a specific company, or have a specific education or interests? Maybe you have a list of prospects or customers that you would like to engage with about a new product or service? Maybe you have a rockstar agency like Brand Ranch Media and have integrated your CRM to use your company database as a custom audience? Regardless of who you are targeting, it is important to clearly define who you specifically want to reach with your ads.
*Pro Tip: It is okay to reach different audiences (In fact, we encourage it!), but you want to make sure that each audience is clearly defined, and separate campaigns are used for each audience.
What is your budget?
Like most social media platforms, LinkedIn ads are sold on auction, where you are bidding with other companies to compete for that same audience. You must determine how much you are willing to spend as the platform will distribute the ads accordingly. Depending on the goal of the ad, your pricing structure may vary between CPM – Cost-per-thousand, CPC – Cost-per-click, or CPS – Cost-per-send.
What is the objective of your ad?
Now that you know the overall goal (If not, scroll back up and start over you slacker), you can begin to define your objective for each ad. Is the purpose of your ad brand awareness, consideration (website visits, engagement, video views, etc.), or conversions (lead generation form, website conversion, job applicant, etc.)? The answer to this question will help define what type of ad you will use.
LinkedIn Ads Formats
There are multiple LinkedIn ad formats to choose from, each with their own characteristics and specific functions based on the overall objective of your ad campaign.
Sponsored Content: (Single Image, Video, Carousel Ads) – These ads run directly in the News Feed and have an organic feel that can raise awareness, generate website traffic, or generate leads.
Sponsored Messaging: (Message, Conversation Ads) -These ads appear directly in the message center of a user’s inbox and tend to get high open rates.
Right-rail: (Text, Spotlight, Follower Ads) – These ads appear on the right-rail of the LinkedIn page and appear like what you would see with search engine results.
Lead Gen Forms – For message ads and sponsored content, you can utilize LinkedIn’s seamless, pre-filled forms to gather leads and improve campaign conversion rates.
What targeting characteristics should I use?
LinkedIn ad campaigns should include obvious targeting characteristics including audience location (based on profile or IP address) and language, then further broken down into more specific targeting characteristics based on your campaign goals.
Some more specific examples of LinkedIn targeting characteristics include:
Years of Experience
Fields of Study
Company Growth Rate
…Or maybe you’re just more confused than you were before this article? If so, we won’t begin to tell you how often the digital marketing landscape continually evolves.By now you should have a better understanding of what the best LinkedIn ads may be for your business-to-business (B2B) campaign. If not, at least you’ll have a better understanding of what the world of LinkedIn advertising may provide for your business.
No need to fret! Brand Ranch Media is here to help.
If you think your LinkedIn marketing campaigns could use expert care, let Brand Ranch Media’s digital marketing teams help! We would love to speak with you! Please feel free to give us a call at 713-309-6380 or reach out with our online contact form.