How to Master LinkedIn Ads
If you’re in B2B, you already know that digital is where you need to be. In 2020, B2B companies spent $8.14 billion on digital ads – that’s 22.6% than they did in 2019. One fifth of those dollars went to LinkedIn, a platform that has previously paled in comparison to others. Why?
When you advertise on LinkedIn, you know you’re speaking to an audience that’s already primed for professional, growth-oriented content. It’s what they’ve come for. At the same time, layering multiple targeting options helps you hone in on niche accounts mostly likely to be excited about your offer. Of course those perks come at a higher cost –$6-$9 per click – than other platforms. Let’s talk about how to capitalize on the opportunities LinkedIn offers B2B, SaaS and tech.
Ready to create your LinkedIn ad? Check these boxes first
#1 Get your analytics right
When it comes to creating high-performing ads, analytics are the closest thing you have to a crystal ball, or hindsight that’s 2020. To maximize benefits from analytics, the first step is making sure yours are set up correctly. Aside from the technical setup, that means ensuring you’re measuring the KPIs that give you the most essential information about your website or ad performance. The right data will inform question like:
- What does my audience care about most?
- What’s worked in my highest performing ads?
- What hasn’t worked in my lowest performing ads?
- Can I measure ROI on my ad campaigns & other marketing efforts?
#2 Optimize your funnel
If your user journey is bumpy, if your sales and marketing team measure success differently, or if your story falls unravels as users work through the funnel, you simply won’t convert as many opportunities as you should. One of the most effective ways to perfect your funnel is to make sure your lead gen/marketing team and sales team are on the same page.
Specifically, ensure everything from your first ad to your content to your sales rep tell the same story about what you can do for your clients. And now we go back to the data. If lead gen and salespeople align on the same goals and measure them with the same data. A cohesive strategy can’t have two targets.
Which LinkedIn Ad format is best?
To answer that question, review your goals, budget and where the ad appears in the funnel. Here’s a breakdown of the advantages of each.
In the newsfeed = high engagement, great for top-of-funnel, brand awareness, audience building and events
Direct Sponsored Content
Use to A/B test your sponsored content ads with a more targeted audience
Highly personalized; ideal for nurturing your existing leads
Ideal for simple offers and brand awareness; often works well for general rather than highly targeted audiences
Powerful targeting options and personalization; great for earning followers and growing your audience
Interactive visual storytelling you can leverage for brand awareness and getting users to your site
Best use: Use this highly engaging format once, then retarget prospects based on video views (length watched)
Lead Gen Forms
Make it easy for users to by quickly capturing their info without making them leave their newsfeed – and retarget users who started and abandoned the
Let’s talk targeting on LinkedIn
Mastering LinkedIn Ads starts with targeting, and there is no shortage of options on the platform. In short, LinkedIn makes up for relatively higher costs with robust targeting options and the ability to scale. Targeting is especially important for B2B, where long sales cycles full of multiple decision-makers is the norm.
Types of targeting
Define your target market, then use targeting options to zero in on high-quality leads. To get started, start with size. Typically, targeting audiences of 20 to 80K is ideal for small to medium businesses. Next, choose from a variety of demographics, company characteristics, position and interests. A few tips to remember in this stage:
- Job titles: Don’t put too much faith in job titles – users can type anything into that field, so LinkedIn essentially only understands 30% of job titles.
- Skills: Each LinkedIn member can list up to 50, so make skills highly detailed to attract the right members. Groups may be a better indicator of members’ primary interests or skills.
- Interests: This is all about the content that members engage with and share on their newsfeed. It’s a great way to narrow your audience once you’ve established it.
- It’s all about layering. Use a variety of targeting options to find the highest quality leads, but beware of over doing it. You don’t want to make your audience too small and miss out on getting your content in front of key decision-makers.
Remarketing: How to accelerate your pipeline
If you’re reading this thinking, this sounds great for ABM in general, you’re right. LinkedIn’s advanced remarketing techniques let you zero in on key decision-makers who double as your highest quality leads. The true pros will take full advantage of ABM by using content in a purposeful way. You can deploy content that increases in authority at various stages of the marketing and sales cycle and for specific audiences.
LinkedIn debuted more powerful retargeting options in 2020 with retargeting based on video views and lead gen forms, as well as Matched Audiences. Now you can retarget ads to people who already know you outside of LinkedIn. Upload your own data, take website visitors for example, to reach the same people on LinkedIn. Why? More touchpoints means more pipeline acceleration. Let’s talk about how you can retarget with LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences.
- #1 Website retargeting: Who doesn’t love personalized ads that scale? With website retargeting, you can advertise to users who have visited specific pages on your site (you’ll need an Insight Tag). Deliver hyper-personalized ads that are more likely to convert.
- #2 Account targeting: Target up to 300 of your dream clients. Account-Based Marketing (ABM) has become a darling of B2B marketers who need to get in front of more decision-makers, more often, for good reason. You can use account targeting by company and professional demographics – hello c-suite.
- #3 Contact targeting: Target your own list of email contacts and deliver valuable, timely content to prospects or leads you’d like to get back on board.
Best practices for LinkedIn Ad campaigns
Once your strategy is set up, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty – your actual ads, including the content that goes with them. Here are some key tips.
- #1 Create content for every stage of the user journeyThis is something that separates the highest performing B2B/SaaS campaigns from the rest. Too often, companies focus on top-of-funnel content only, leaving out key opportunities for nurtured leads and even loyal customers. Craft content like buying guides for primed audiences in the middle of the funnel and assessments or free demos for the bottom of the funnel. Pro tip: Keep loyal customers coming back with helpful content that brings value long after their initial conversion.
- #2 Appeal to pain points, don’t push your sales promo Research from the Content Marketing Institute found that a whopping 88% of the top performing B2B companies make this a priority. Your audience won’t care about your sales message until they realize they have a problem that you can solve. Speak to how they’ll benefit in content and ads.
- #3 Use copy & images that are easy on the eyes To grab some attention, choose a compelling image of something that’s top of mind for your audience. To make it easy on scrolling prospects, strive for efficient headlines. Aim for less than 70 characters. Make sure three things are very clear: your audience, what you’re offering (like peace of mind and a free guide) and what action you want people to take (download the guide). Bullet points can keep your content digestible, and a great stat can make users stop scrolling and pay attention.
Want to take the guesswork out of your Linkedin strategy?
T.A. Monroe’s highly specialized team of experts can share their full, results-backed strategy to create highly engaging LinkedIn campaigns. Talk to us about how we can help, from full-funnel & analytics optimization to campaign creation and monitoring.