When LinkedIn released Sponsored Updates, later rebranded as Sponsored Content, B2B marketers took notice. Finally, there's a social network offering that displayed native content ads next to professional oriented content, opposed to baby pictures and fine restaurants plates.
With a reach of over 480 million professional members, LinkedIn is not only a great place to increase brand awareness and encourage engagement, but can also act as a powerful channel to drive conversions in the form of web traffic, form fills, and assist sales.
In this post, we’ll walk through the 5 must try tactics which can help reach your ideal audience, increase conversion rates, and boost your return on ad spend on LinkedIn.
Tactic #1: Reach and Influence Entire Teams with Account-Based Targeting
The B2B industry has been abuzz around the topic of Account-Based Marketing over recent years.
In essence, Account-Based Marketing (or ABM), is the process of Marketing and Sales teams aligning together to prospect, reach, engage, and influence ideal customer companies and contacts. In the hopes of driving more sales or revenue through focused and collaborative touch points.
This approach to marketing is complimented by the company and function targeting offered with LinkedIn Ads.
Targeting Specific Companies with LinkedIn Ads
LinkedIn advertising allows you to select up to 100 companies to target with any Sponsored Content, Text Ads, or InMail campaign using the Company Name targeting option.
However, each of these companies must be entered one-by-one, and you may want to target more than 100 companies in a given campaign to expand your reach. Thankfully, LinkedIn recently announced the release of their Account Targeting option.
What’s Account Targeting?
Account Targeting allows advertisers to upload a list of company names they’d like to reach with their ads. LinkedIn will match this list against nearly 12 million company pages, and create an audience targeting bucket which can be used in ad campaigns.
Learn all the steps to get setup in our, “Quick Guide to LinkedIn Matched Audiences”.
Reach Entire Teams with Function Targeting
A study by Harvard Business Review revealed that B2B purchase decisions typically involve 5 or more people within a company. With LinkedIn’s function targeting you can reach all the influencers and decision makers within a department.
Add it as a refined target to your Company Name or Account Targeting to reach the exact companies and teams that would make ideal customers.
Tactic #2: Pinpoint Exact Prospects to Target with Contact Matching
According to IDC Research, “nearly 50% of a tech company’s marketing program budget is spent on awareness”. In short, as digital marketers we’re too acquisition focused. Aligning the majority of our budgets to generate new contacts in our database.
However, some of the best opportunities for potential new customers are already sitting in your database - added from previous prospecting and marketing campaigns. While LinkedIn Ads can be great driver of new prospects, with their release of Contact Targeting, it now can be an excellent vehicle for lead nurturing.
What’s Contact Targeting?
This offering allows advertisers to upload a list of up to 30,000 email contacts, which will be matched with the associated LinkedIn user profile, revealing back a target that can be used in advertising campaigns.
Opposed to targeting broader audiences, Contact Targeting allows advertisers to pinpoint exact prospects which have a high likelihood to buy or are an ideal fit for your solution or service.
Pro-tip: Ensure you prepare your file before, only containing a single column of email addresses, and include a header title “email”. Uploading a raw list, without this formatting, will result in errors.
Learn more about this process in our, “Quick Guide to LinkedIn Matched Audiences”.
Tactic #3: Couple Your Sponsored Content Campaigns with Text Ads
While many direct response advertisers have taken advantage of Direct Sponsored Content – due to its ability to easily test ad creative, direct the click through to a web page, and track conversions back to the campaign and ad level – it’s counterpart, Text Ads, often are glossed over. Text Ads can be a powerful driver of new conversion opportunities.
What are the benefits of Text Ads?
- Lower average CPC and CPM costs than Sponsored Content & DSC ad units
- Only shown to LinkedIn users on Desktop devices
- You can test different variations of headlines, body copy, images, and destinations
- Supported by the LinkedIn Insights tag conversion tracking
- You can run Sponsored Content & Text ad campaigns together
Shameless plug: Within AdStage advertisers can easily duplicate the targeting of any Sponsored Content campaign over to a Text Ads campaign to expand your reach. Learn more.
Tactic #4: Optimize for Mobile Conversion Flows
There’s continued adoption of LinkedIn users to access the platform using a Mobile device - whether on their browser or using the app. This trend has been so prevalent that some advertisers are seeing the majority of their clickthroughs coming from mobile devices in Sponsored Content campaigns.
This is why it’s more important than ever to think through the mobile conversion experience. Mobile users are less likely to fill out long forms, read long form content, or have the patience for ill-fit images to load.
There are two main options to convert more mobile traffic:
1. Ensure your landing page is mobile responsive
- Render a version of your landing page that is mobile friendly
- Ensure the page loads quickly
- Slim your forms down for typing on mobile
- Be precise with your copy
- Test different calls-to-actions
Learn more tips on making your page mobile-responsive from this great checklist guide from Unbounce.
2. Use LinkedIn’s Lead Gen Forms
LinkedIn recently announced the launch of Lead Gen Forms. A frictionless mobile experience that allows prospects to enter their information, with one click, right within the ad in the post feed. Lead Gen ads skip the landing page experience and the form can be easily created without any needing creative or dev resources.
Learn how to get setup with Lead Gen cards in our walkthrough post, “How to Set Up LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms and Sync Your CRM”.
Tactic #5: Win-Back Lost Visitors with Retargeting Campaigns
Websites typically convert at single digit conversion rates. It’s gut wrenching to think of all the hard work and money it takes to get a qualified prospect to visit your site, only to have the vast majority leave without taking an action. Entice lost prospects to come back and convert by reaching them again with Text, Sponsored Content, or InMail retargeting campaigns.
Getting started with LinkedIn’s Website Audiences is easy:
- Ensure you have the LinkedIn Insights Tag placed across your entire website.
- Navigate to the tools drop down, and select “Matched Audiences”.
- Then select the, “Create an audience to retarget”, button.
- Create segments of visitor audiences by which web page(s) they viewed.
- Use the audiences as a custom target in your ad campaigns.
For more help you can reference the official step-by-step guide from LinkedIn.
With the additions of Matched Audiences (Web, Contact, and Audience Targeting) and Lead Gen Forms, LinkedIn has significantly strengthened their offering for acquisition marketers. It’s easier than ever to pinpoint your exact ideal audience, provide a better experience for mobile users, and reach lost web visitors all under the LinkedIn Ads Manager suite. Have you tried any of these tactics? Let us know how they performed for you by leaving a comment!