How To Create Sponsored Updates on LinkedIn

Posted by on Aug 2, 2013 in Advertising, Social | 4 Comments
How To Create Sponsored Updates on LinkedIn

LinkedIn recently opened up it’s sponsored updates feature to all advertisers via its self serve ads interface. Sponsored updates are how companies can promote posts on their LinkedIn company page to a wider audience. If you have an active LinkedIn company page and are looking for ways to expand the reach of your updates, sponsored updates are a great way to do it. In this post we’ll walk through exactly how it’s done.

Sponsored updates are a great way to expand the reach of your company’s LinkedIn posts.

There are two ways to sponsor an update: you can either do it from within the LinkedIn Ads interface, or by clicking the “Sponsor Update” button next to your existing update.

 sponsored-updates-button

Sponsored Updates Walkthrough

Here’s a walkthrough of how to sponsor an update from within the LinkedIn Ads interface:

1. Create a new campaign and select “Sponsor an update.”

sponsor an update2. Name your campaign and select the language.

name and language3. Select your company and the updates you want to sponsor.

Company and updatesThis will show you a preview of your sponsored update on different devices.

preview of sponsored update4. Next set your targeting as you would with traditional LinkedIn ads.

targeting settingsLocation is required but the rest of the targeting options are optional. Mix and match your targeting until you’re satisfied with the size and relevance. Targeting by company and job title categories are common, but you can also target by schools, groups, skills, and more.

6. Now that your targeting is set, you will need to set your bids.

set bidsThe minimum bids vary based on your targeted audience: in this example, CPC has a minimum bid of $2.50 and CPM has a minimum bid of $12.50. LinkedIn will also provide a recommended bid based on the audience you have targeted.

7. You must also set a daily budget for this campaign.

budgetThe minimum daily budget is $10.00.

8. The last step is to set a duration for the campaign.

You can either set a date in the future, or set it to run indefinitely.

9. Simply save changes your changes to launch the campaign.

That’s all it takes! Your update will now be presented to a much larger audience. You can follow the performance of your campaign in the LinkedIn Ads Campaign Manager.

To supercharge your LinkedIn Sponsored Updates campaigns and make management even easier, sign up for AdStage here:

Learn about AdStage for LinkedIn

Unbounce & AdStage: Rapid Landing Page Testing

Posted by on Jun 19, 2013 in Advertising | One Comment
Unbounce & AdStage: Rapid Landing Page Testing

So you just built custom landing pages in Unbounce along with variations to A/B test? You’re so close to finding the best performing page– don’t let weeks or months go by waiting for your statistically significant outcome! Get rapid A/B test results by driving targeted traffic to your landing pages.

What is a Landing Page?

sample landing page

A landing page is a single web page with focused sales copy that drives a customer towards a specific conversion goal.

But many businesses make the mistake of sending all of their traffic to their home page. The problem is your home page has way too much going on. Rather than focusing on a single message, your homepage pitches everything on your website: your products, your company, events, blog posts, even jobs. Instead of pointing potential customers to your home page, build a landing page with a single call to action.

Worse yet, many businesses fail to test changes to their pages. Is your headline as effective as it could be? Does that image help visitors understand the value of your offer? Does your button clearly guide people to the next step? Make sure to A/B test your landing pages to optimize for conversions. So how do you get started?

Create Your Landing Pages

Unbounce, an easy-to-use landing page builder, lets you build new, focused landing pages without having to go through your web developer. It offers landing page templates, a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) editor, 1-click publishing, and A/B testing so you can always improve.

With Unbounce, you can create new landing pages yourself. And you can do it quickly. Within minutes, you can create a new landing page along with variations to test. Once you deploy, you can track landing page performance within Unbounce to discover the best performing variations.

Promote Your Landing Pages

Once you’ve created your pages, you’ll need to drive traffic to them in order to collect performance data. The quickest and easiest way to do this is with AdStage Express which will open the floodgates of customer for immediate results. AdStage Express, currently a free beta, lets you build, deploy and manage online ad campaigns that run across Google, Bing, Facebook & LinkedIn. Don’t be intimidated by the idea of advertising; Express is designed to help first-time advertisers build effective campaigns.

Your AdStage Express campaign will help you reach targeted customers when they’re actively searching for your product on Google or Bing, or as they’re browsing social networks. AdStage Express will bring potential customers straight to your Unbounce landing pages so you can see how they react to your message. Once your campaigns are running, you can check back into Unbounce to track their performance. A clear winner will emerge among your landing pages quickly, allowing you to make changes and improve your conversion rate.

Ready to get started? Learn how to test new landing pages quickly with Unbounce & AdStage Express in these easy steps:

What you need

  • The URL of your landing page test (e.g., http://unbouncepages.com/unbounce/)
  • An AdStage Express account (Currently a free beta)

4 easy steps to success

  1. Locate the URL of the landing page in Unbounce you want to testunbounce-destination-url
  2. Create a new campaign in AdStage Expressadstage campaign creation
  3. On the ad creation screen, insert the URL into the URL/Target web address fieldadstage ad creation
  4. Finish building your campaign in AdStage Express and deploy.

That’s it! AdStage Express will start driving traffic to your Unbounce landing pages. Unbounce will automatically serve traffic to each of your variations and will segment your performance so you can quickly find the winner.

adstage express dashboard

You can follow your overall conversions within the AdStage Express dashboard.

unbounce landing page test results

And you can identify the winning variation in Unbounce by comparing the conversion rates. The higher the rate, the more likely your visitors will convert to customers.

Need help?

5 Tips For Creating Effective PPC Ads

Posted by on May 23, 2013 in Advertising | 27 Comments
5 Tips For Creating Effective PPC Ads

I admit it: I really get a kick out of writing online ads! It’s an opportunity to craft a message that will be seen by thousands, even hundreds of thousands of people. But the excitement doesn’t stop there– these ads generate near real-time statistics that let you evaluate their performance and make them even better! If you’re new to online advertising or are looking to be more purposeful in your copywriting strategy, check out these 5 high-impact tips for creating paid search ads.

1. Make Your Headline Count

An ad with an unclear headlineAn ad with a clear headlineDon’t waste this space with 7 purposeless characters! Your headline is the most prominent aspect of your ad so make sure it carries its weight. You have 25 characters of space to take advantage of; use it to make a statement. For ads targeting generic keywords, consider using descriptive headlines that explain your product or service. For ads targeting searches on your brand name, make sure to include your company name as well.

2. Include Keywords in Your Copy

Another helpful trick is to include your keyword in your ad copy whenever appropriate. This reinforces the relevance of your ad to the searcher and will help them see the value in your offer. Google will make keywords (and synonyms) present in your ads bold, which can really make your ad pop.

Ad copy with bolded keywords

Note: Try to avoid stuffing keywords into your ads. Keyword stuffing looks unnatural and confuses the message.

3. Create & Test Multiple Ads

Ads are social creatures… they don’t like to be alone. So never stop at only 1 ad in your campaigns and ad groups. Create 2-3 ad variations and let the networks find and serve the best performing version (you can set your ad rotation to optimize for clicks to let the networks serve the best ads). For example, duplicate your first ad and change the headline to see if that works better. You can also create an ad that highlights a different feature. Your ads are also competing with other companies for your customer so try out a few different messages and let them run. Test a wide variety of messages and you’ll likely learn that your personal favorite failed while another succeeded. Once you find a winner, you can test variations of that ad and pause all the others.

Two ad variations to test

4. Qualify Your Customers

Ad with clear pricingIt’s not hard to get a lot of clicks, but it is hard to get a lot of clicks from qualified people that are willing and able to become your customers. Make sure your ad text qualifies potential customers and prevents clicks from those that will leave your site without converting because your offer isn’t right for them. For example, if most of your competitors typically charge less than you, consider including your price in the ad copy. It may result in fewer clicks, but the clicks you do get will be from customers that are willing to pay that price.

5. Include a Call to Action

ppc ad with a clear call to actionIt’s amazing how many advertisers fail to include a “call to action” at the end of their ad text. This is your chance to tell customers what they should do once they arrive on your site, and it really works! What is your goal? Do you want to drive downloads, collect leads or increase sales? Tell your customers what the next step is and you will see an increase in the number of them that actually follow through.

Note: Make sure your website also echoes this call to action. You don’t want customers that land on your site to be confused about what to do next.

Expand Your Reach with AdStage

Check out our all-in-one online ad platform to create effective campaigns across Google, Facebook, Bing & LinkedIn. AdStage helps you amplify your reach across multiple networks from a single application to grow your business and reach new customers.

 Learn more about AdStage

Robert Scoble Interviews AdStage Co-founder & CEO, Sahil Jain

Posted by on May 13, 2013 in Advertising | No Comments

Robert Scoble of Rackspace and Scobleizer interviewed our co-founder and CEO Sahil Jain about AdStage and building online ad campaigns. Check out the full video here!

Sign Up For AdStage Beta

Targeting effectively on LinkedIn

Posted by on Apr 2, 2013 in Advertising, Social | One Comment

LinkedIn advertising is unique because it lets you target professionals. This is especially useful in two scenarios – you’re either looking to hire and want to reach certain folks, or you’re a B2B company that wants to sell to professionals that might find your product or service useful in their work.

The targeting options LinkedIn offers include skills, groups, seniority, job title, job function, and more. Each of these options let you narrow down your targeting to a highly relevant audience for your ads.

New to LinkedIn advertising and want a bit of a head start?

Try searching for groups related to your business. Within a group, select the “more” tab and you’ll find group statistics:

Linkedin advertising

Group statistics

Group statistics reveal a lot about the group’s members and will give you a base to effectively target your new campaign. You’ll learn the general make up of the group including: the distribution of seniority levels, location, and job function. Use this information, along with the activity level of the group (discussions, comments, job posts, etc.) to determine if your targeting a group that’s both active and relevant to your product or service. Also, use this information to test different targeting combinations. For instance: target location and job function for one week, and job title and industry in another.

Beyond the summary of overall group data, group statistics help you learn about the group’s demographics, the growth of the group, and whether the group has had much recent activity.

Hope this quick tip helps you target your LinkedIn advertising more effectively. If you know of any good tricks to help a new or experienced advertiser get more out of their LinkedIn campaigns, please share in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

Here are some related links worth checking out:

http://blog.linkedin.com/2011/11/10/groups-analytics/
http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/23454/The-Ultimate-Cheat-Sheet-for-Mastering-LinkedIn.aspx (There are lots of good tips in this post – scroll down near the bottom for the tips related to using LinkedIn for business/marketing)