LinkedIn can do a lot for your brand. Even if you do not have funds for marketing and especially if you have funds set aside for marketing initiatives. We covered the freebies that LinkedIn has on offer in LinkedIn B2B lead generation – Some Free Tactics (Part I).
To conclude with Part II we will guide you through step by step LinkedIn paid advertising for those who are willing to spend and get more conversions.
Features & advantages of advertising on LinkedIn
- LinkedIn is a community of professionals which creates an environment that is conducive for business related interaction.
- The biggest advantage of advertising on LinkedIn is its captive target audience. Due to the inherent professional profile details available on LinkedIn, it is a lot easier to focus on individuals based on their job profile or industry of work. Demographics such as these are more exact and specific for B2B lead generation as opposed to advertising on Facebook which targets audiences based on their lifestyle, hobbies and interests.
- The format of a LinkedIn ad is predetermined. It includes a picture, 25-character headline and 75-character description.
- The ad appears either on the sidebar of the site (photo and text) or based on your ad’s performance, a text-only version can also appear on the top of the LinkedIn site.
- The payment option for a LinkedIn ad is either based on CPC (Cost Per Click) or CPM (Cost Per 1,000 Impressions).You get to choose.
- It also gives you the choice of various options for the same ad to determine what attracts the maximum leads and has a higher CTR (Click-Through Rate)
Forms of paid advertising on LinkedIn?
The marketing solutions offered by LinkedIn offer benefits of both – Branding & Lead Generation. Paid forms of these marketing solutions through advertising include –
1. Display Advertising – So what is on offer? LinkedIn offers most of its pages for showcasing your ads. These include the home page, profile page, group page, its inbox and the search results page. We are talking premium quality real estate on this niche social network, being tracked by millions of professionals seeking information and inputs. Value of a service such as this, priceless. It is an even sweeter deal when you add the fact that at any given point in time LinkedIn displays only two visual ads per page. Ads in a focused space such as LinkedIn are bound to grab the attention of your prospective leads. The absolute deal maker is its targeting abilities that decide which audience should be viewing your ads based on your chosen criteria. Truly Unparalleled.
2. PPC (Pay Per Click) Ads – This includes a self-service PPC or CPC LinkedIn Ads platform that lets you put your text ad out there in front of your audience in a matter of minutes. The text ad comprises a headline, description and also includes a 50×50 pixel image. You get to select your target audience based on various criteria, set your ad budget and select your payment options based on CPC (Cost Per Click) or CPM (Cost Per 1,000 Impressions).
3. Sponsored Updates – Company Updates help you reach your existing followers. Sponsored Updates connects you to other members (not your company followers) by delivering your company updates into their feeds. These updates include rich media format i.e. articles, whitepapers, images, presentations, videos and infographics. Sponsored Updates appear on various devices that include the desktop, tablet, and smartphone. This will especially help you widen your reach to LinkedIn’s mobile users. So build and nurture leads through well intentioned, targeted Sponsored Updates. Easier said than done. A Sponsored Update is a selective feature and its workings are rather speculative.
So how does a Sponsored Update work for a prospective advertiser?
Sponsored Updates are sold through a second-price auction. It is an auction in which the bidder with the highest bid is sold the object at a price equal to the second highest bid. LinkedIn decides the appropriate time for a Sponsored Update to appear in the professional feed. These member (target audience) slots are then auctioned. If you choose to advertise through a sponsored update, you need to enter a bid in the auction to qualify for your content to be shown to your selected target audience. Thus a Sponsored Update format is not guaranteed. But you can tweak your bid and your content till you get it right.
4. Sponsored InMails – An innovative form of Email Marketing. The Sponsored InMail is used to send customized, attractive content directly to members inboxes. You can target audiences based on their job profile, location, company size, groups and various other criteria. In addition to being delivered to the inbox, these notifications are also displayed on the LinkedIn homepage for greater visibility and recall. You can also add social media widgets such as tweet, like, share buttons that will help your audience in spreading your message to other interested professionals a lot easily. Your target audience is exclusively yours for 60 days since no other company is allowed to message your target audience for a period of 60 days. During this period you can also encourage members to respond through a Call To Action button. This form is especially useful to increase conversion for newly launched products and services.