LinkedIn has its own advertising system, LinkedIn Ads. LinkedIn Ads is an online platform that allows users to create and manage text based and video advertisements for selected professional audiences they have chosen to target. LinkedIn Ads is a self-service feature that focuses on CTR’s (click through rates) to monitor effectiveness and budget. Multiple ads can be set up through different campaigns so that the user is able to target different markets with different content.
Types of LinkedIn Ads
LinkedIn has expanded its Ad service by offering Poll Ads, Join Group Ads and Social Ads. Poll Ads are best for conducting market research while increasing brand awareness. Join Group Ads focuses on brand equity and enhancing B2C relationships through constant interaction with the target market. Social Ads use social networks such as Facebook to profile and identify potential buyers in order to target the ad effectively. LinkedIn Ads can also be differentiated by their media type. LinkedIn users can either choose to set up a basic text based ad or a more complicated video ad. Video Ads can be up to 30 seconds long with a 300x250 format. Video Ads will be placed in the same web spots as text based ads and can also derive from YouTube.
The specifications for the two different media types used can be found here.
Best Practise of LinkedIn Ads
LinkedIn provides a social platform full of engaged, business minded people who are interested in developing business to business relationships. This has increased LinkedIn’s success rate of business related ads by 300% more than other social networks. LinkedIn ads also have an extra feature that allows users to specifically target their campaigns at selected audiences and niche markets. LinkedIn lets you target by location, company, job title, school, skills, group, gender and age. This is what differentiates LinkedIn ads to other social networks and the type of ads they offer. LinkedIn ads also have the capability to site relevant users and show the number of contacts that recommended or follow the advertisement set up by the company. LinkedIn Ads is a self-service program that allows user to take control of the content and target market of the ad campaign. The amount of data users are able to input in order to set a specific target audience increases the likelihood of impressions in comparison with other social networks offering advertising space. Targeting can also become counter-intuitive because it can limit the size of the audience the ad will reach. An audience size of 150,000 to 400,000 is recommended because it has greater chances of receiving impressions while maintaining clicks. Creative targeting will allow you to target a broad audience that still meets your established criteria. The frequency of the ad being shown is also in the users control because it is determined by the effectiveness of the ad compared to those it is competing with.
Pricing Structure of each Ad
LinkedIn Ads has a CPC (Cost per Click) – auction based pricing structure. The cost is dependent on your competition and targeting criteria. Costs per click per ad vary from 2 to 4 dollars. Increasing the CPC of an ad will increase the frequency of the ad being shown. A suggested Bid Range is provided so that users can determine how much to bid in comparison with other users competing for the same target market. Unless you’re willing to pay more for ads that aren’t producing impressions, users should change ads at least monthly. New ads get a boost in terms of impressions and increasing CTRs compared to previous ads. Once the CPC has been established, a daily budget can be added to place a cap on how much is spent in the event that the Ads projected CTR’s are exceeded.
A successful LinkedIn Campaign
In 2012, the most successful LinkedIn Ad Campaigns (determined by ROI) used Poll Ads or Join Group Ads. Citibank aimed to use LinkedIn Ads as a tool for increasing brand equity with female workers. Their focus was on increasing the amount of members to join ‘Connect Professional Women’s Network’. Citi Bank used Poll Ads as support advertisement for the ‘Connect professional woman network’ group on LinkedIn. The Poll Ads directed questions at women that encouraged them to share their opinions on challenging issues. This generated discussion and excitement in the group and lead to the group successfully gaining 30,000 members in the first three months.
Stages of the Buyer’s Journey Where LinkedIn Ads are Most Effective
LinkedIn can initially be used during the first stage of the buyer’s journey because it is the largest professional online network. LinkedIn profiles include personal information such as job title and company, variables such as these can be used to identify new names. . Text-based ads and Social Ads should be used to initialise brand awareness and position the brand amongst other businesses who offer the same product/service. Social Ads can use market research obtained through other social networks to target buyers who are untroubled and unaware of a problem. LinkedIn Ads can specifically be used during the second and third stage of the buyer’s journey. Poll Ads assist to position a brand because surveys can be written in a style that generates discussion on topics related to the service or product you provide. Poll Ads can also create the gap in the intended audiences mind and force them to question their current position on whether or not a problem needs to be addressed. Ultimately, LinkedIn Ads are most effective during the ‘Interest Established’ stage of the buyer’s journey. LinkedIn is the largest professional network where users actively engage themselves with businesses. LinkedIn hosts an audience who are keen on interacting with other consumers and businesses that provide products or services they need. The targeting tool on LinkedIn Ads allows users to develop campaigns that focus on an audience who feel they have a need for their service. Implementing the LinkedIn Ads while the buyers are in the ‘Interest Established’ stage also ensures a ROI on the CTC pricing structure. Therefore, LinkedIn’s different types of interactive advertising should be used during the ‘Interest Established’ stage of the buyer’s journey.
For further information regarding LinkedIn ads please see the following blogs: