50 Essential Social Media Advertising Stats

Posted by on May 19, 2017 in Advertising, Social
50 Essential Social Media Advertising Stats

There are a lot of things people say about social media advertising. Some say it works only for B2C businesses, others that they work only for small ones. Some even dare to say social media advertising isn’t effective at all.

None of that is true. Social media advertising works.

How do I know that? Because there’s a long list of stats that prove my point.

Don’t let yourself be guided by what other people say. Read the rest of this article and see how social media advertising really works.

Facebook

1. In 2016, Facebook made $26.2 billion dollars in revenue from their ads system, 95% of their total revenue. It also boasts a massive $19.81 average revenue per user in the U.S. and Canada. – Techcrunch

2. Facebook dominates the social network ad spending market worldwide by accounting for more than 65% of the total. – eMarketer

3. In Q4 2015, the company had 50 million active business pages on its platform while only 6% of them actively advertise. – Facebook

4. Facebook has 4 million active advertisers. – Facebook

5. 70% of Facebook’s advertisers are outside the U.S., while a vast majority are small businesses. – CNBC

6. Facebook is the fourth most effective social media platform to deliver content (both paid and organic), with a 41% effectiveness rate. – Linkedin

7. 78% of marketers are satisfied with their Facebook ads. – Contently

8. 52% of B2C marketers consider Facebook marketing to be more effective, while only 38% B2B marketers do so. – Social Media Examiner

9. 56% of B2C marketers have indicated that Facebook ads have helped them generate revenue for their business.  – MarketingProfs

B2C marketers generating revenue from Pinterest via blog.adstage.io

Source: MarketingProfs

10. 57% of the advertising budget of companies is dedicated to mobile. – Kinetic Social

11. Images are responsible for 75 to 90% of an ad’s performance on Facebook. – Source

12. A Facebook video receives, on average, 135% more organic reach than a Facebook photo. – Socialbakers

13. Over 70% percent of marketers plan to increase their use of video ads next year. – Mixpo

14. 44% of SMB owners and marketers plan to put money behind video content on Facebook in 2017. – Animoto

15. According to one study, the average click-through rate of a Facebook ad is 0.9% and the average cost-per-click is $0.64. – Adweek

16. Compared to regular web advertising, Facebook desktop ads have 8.1x higher click-through rates while mobile ads have 9.1x higher click-through rates. – MarketingLand

17. Link Ads are most popular kind of Facebook ad. – SmartInsights

18. The most effective length for an ad title on Facebook is 4 words, and 15 words for a link description. – SmartInsights

Takeaway

Facebook ads’ popularity and usage among businesses is growing fast. Still, 94% of Facebook pages don’t use them, so there’s a lot of room for growth.

Add images or videos to your ads as they have higher reach and effectiveness. Also, target your ads to mobile, as it takes a big part of most advertisers’ budget. That’s likely caused by the fact most people use Facebook with their mobile as well as the costs are lower.

Last but not least, use ad titles with 4 words and link description with 15 words. If possible, use link ads.

Instagram

19. Instagram has 600 million users, 400 of which use it daily. This surpasses Twitter and Snapchat’s daily usage. – Statista

20. By 2017, Instagram’s global mobile ad revenues will reach $2.81 billion, accounting for over 10% of parent company Facebook’s global ad revenues. – eMarketer

instagram mobile ad revenus worldwide via blog.adstage.io

Source: eMarketer

21. 48.8% of brands are on Instagram. By 2017, this is predicted to rise to 70.7%. If we only look at the top 100 brands in the world, 90% have an Instagram account. – eMarketer and SimplyMeasured

22. Nearly three quarters of American companies with 100 employees or more will turn to Instagram for marketing purposes in 2017.– eMarketer

23. 29% of B2B marketers use Instagram.  – Content Marketing Institute

24. 63% of B2C marketers are more likely to increase their investment in Instagram ads than 48% of B2B marketers. – Social Media Examiner

25. Only 36% of marketers use Instagram, leaving you plenty of space to reach out and engage with the audience. – Selfstartr

36% of marketers use Instagram via blog.adstage.io

Source: Selfstartr

26. 52% of marketers plan to increase their use of Instagram in 2015. – Social Media Examiner

27. Over a third of Instagram users have used their mobile to purchase a product online– making them 70% more likely to do so than non-users. – Global Web Index

28. Instagram users spend on average $65 per referred sale. In comparison, Facebook users spend $55, and the average referred sale from Twitter is just $46.26. – Shopify

average order value by social network via blog.adstage.io

Source: Shopify

29. 75% of Instagram users take action, such as visiting a website, after looking at an Instagram advertising post. – Shopify

30. 50% of Instagram users follow at least one business while 60% say that they learn about a product or service on the platform after looking at an Instagram advertising post. – Instagram

31. Ad recall from sponsored posts on Instagram is 2.9x higher than Nielsen’s norms for online advertising. – Instagram

Takeaway

Instagram isn’t used as much by B2B businesses, but it’s still an effective paid channel that’s growing in popularity, especially among big brands.

Instagram is a perfect channel if you run an e-commerce store, as most Instagram users tend to act after looking at an advertisement. Also, the average spend per user and the intent of purchase are higher than other social media channels.

If you don’t run an e-commerce business, Instagram can still be highly effective to increase ad recall.

LinkedIn

32. LinkedIn is used by 94% of B2B marketers. – Content Marketing Institute

33. LinkedIn is the most effective social media platform to deliver content (both paid and organic), with an 82% effectiveness rate. – LinkedIn

effectiveness of social media channels via blog.adstage.io

Source: LinkedIn

34. Even though Facebook is the most important social network to marketers overall, LinkedIn is the top choice for B2B marketers—41% say it’s the most important network they use. – V3 Broadsuite Blog

35. Just 18% of B2B SMB marketers are using LinkedIn ads. These same marketers are using Facebook ads at a rate of 75%. – Social Media Examiner

36. LinkedIn generates more leads for B2B companies than Facebook, Twitter or blogs individually. – Inside View

Takeaway

As expected, LinkedIn is used mostly by B2B marketers. For some reason, however, most of these marketers work for larger businesses, while most small business B2B marketers focus on Facebook. Still, if you work for a B2B business, LinkedIn would be one of your safest bets.

LinkedIn works best for lead generation and its effectiveness rate is the highest of all social networks.

Twitter

37. Twitter has an active user base of 130,000 advertisers. – VentureBeat

38. Twitter is used by 84% of B2B marketers. – Content Marketing Institute

39. 88% of B2B marketers in North America use Twitter for content distribution. – DMR

40. Twitter is the second most effective social media platform to deliver content (both paid and organic), with a 66% effectiveness rate. – LinkedIn

41. 25% of Twitter advertising budgets are dedicated to mobile, and 89% of Twitter’s Q1 revenue in 2015 came from mobile. – Infini Datum

42. Promoted tweets have been attributed to a 29% increase of offline sales. – Twitter

43. In 2014, 80% of U.S. marketers use promoted Tweets. eMarketer

44. People who see video ads on Twitter are 50% more likely to be aware of the advertiser’s brand, feel 14% more favorable about the brand, and had 18% higher purchase intent (versus those not exposed to video ads). – Twitter

video ads of Twitter improve brand metrics via blog.adstage.io

Source: Twitter

Takeaway

Despite what some may think, Twitter is used by a great majority of B2B marketers. This has to do with its effectiveness to deliver content, which is the second highest among all social networks.

Twitter video ad campaigns drive positive shifts in key brand metrics for advertisers.

YouTube

45. YouTube is used by 74% of B2B marketers. – Content Marketing Institute

B2B social media platforms usage via blog.adstage.io

Source: Content Marketing Institute

46. YouTube is the third most effective social media platform to deliver content (both paid and organic), with an 64% effectiveness rate. – LinkedIn

47. When it comes to deciding what to buy, 6 in 10 YouTube subscribers prefer to follow the advice of their favorite creator over their favorite TV or movie personality. This paid relationship would work like an ad, but not a direct one. – ThinkWithGoogle

48. 71% of businesses with more than 100 employees use YouTube. – Social Media Examiner

49. 48% of marketers plan to add YouTube to their content strategy in 2017. – Hubspot

50. YouTube’s net U.S. video ad revenues account for 18.9% of the U.S. digital video ad market. – eMarketer

Takeaway

YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. If you have video ads, use them on YouTube, even if you work in a B2B industry.

Using YouTube with the Display Network to promote your video ads isn’t the only way you can foster its power. You should look to partner with influencers to promote your business. Also, instead of trying to make a sale right away, focus on teaching people, which will increase your engagement and relevancy.

Conclusion

In this article you have learned the real power of social media advertising. As you have seen, all of the 5 social media networks shown here are highly effective for any kind of business. It’s still true, however, that some work best for certain kinds of businesses than others. That’s why you need to choose the one that are most relevant to your needs.

Now it’s your turn. Which of the 5 social media channels shown here have you used to promote your business? Which have been the most effective of all?

[The PPC Show] Episode 45: Irina Skripnik, Senior Product Marketing Manager at LinkedIn

Posted by on May 16, 2017 in The PPC Show [Podcast]
[The PPC Show] Episode 45: Irina Skripnik, Senior Product Marketing Manager at LinkedIn

Are you wondering how to get started with LinkedIn’s new Match Audiences? Or if LinkedIn is a good platform to reach your target audience?

>>Don’t Miss Our Webinar with LinkedIn on May 17th!<<

On this episode Irina Skripnik, Senior Product Marketing Manager at LinkedIn, joins The PPC Show to discuss the latest announcement from LinkedIn, Matched Audiences.

Listen to the full episode of The PPC Show as she shares how companies are using Matched Audiences, how to get the best performance from your LinkedIn ads, and advise on running LinkedIn ad testing.

 

 

Webinar: The Sweet Spot of True Measurement with LinkedIn

Posted by on May 5, 2017 in PPC News, Social
Webinar: The Sweet Spot of True Measurement with LinkedIn

Live Video Webinar featuring LinkedIn and AdStage: The Sweet Spot of True Measurement

It’s not just about measuring your marketing programs, it’s about the conclusions you can draw.

An increasing number of marketers are embracing full-funnel marketing. Changes in the buyer’s journey – particularly the fact that prospects may be as much as 90 percent complete with the purchase process before reaching out to a salesperson – mean that marketers must be delivering relevant messages throughout the path to purchase. And that requires a deeper understanding of full-funnel marketing.

Tune into on the demand The Sweet Spot of True Measurement, a recorded video broadcast hosted at LinkedIn HQ, to learn:

  • The difference between metrics and analytics and how to take advantage of both
  • What full-funnel marketing is and how your company can leverage it
  • Goals, tactics, and metrics for reaching prospects in the upper funnel vs. the lower funnel
  • LinkedIn’s unique approach to full-funnel marketing
  • How to effectively use the full range of LinkedIn Marketing Solutions in the upper and lower funnel

LinkedIn & AdStage Webinar The Sweet Spot of True Measurement

 

 

How to Expand Your Reach and Drive More Conversions on LinkedIn

Posted by on May 3, 2017 in Advertising, Social
How to Expand Your Reach and Drive More Conversions on LinkedIn

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.

Account Based Marketing Search Trends

*examining US search query volume for “Account Based Marketing” over the last 2 years in Google Trends

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.

Company Name Targeting in LinkedIn Ads Manager

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.

Account Targeting in LinkedIn Ads Manager

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.

Function Targeting in LinkedIn Ads Manager

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.

Contact Match in LinkedIn Ads Manager

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

Top Line Text Ads in LinkedIn Update Feed

Right Rail LinkedIn Text Ads

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.

AJ Wilcox Quote - LinkedIn Advertising Group

*Insights from AJ Wilcox, CEO of B2Linked within the LinkedIn Advertising Group.

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.

Lead Gen Forms in LinkedIn Ads Manager

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.

Web Audiences in LinkedIn Ads

Getting started with LinkedIn’s Website Audiences is easy:

  1. Ensure you have the LinkedIn Insights Tag placed across your entire website.
  2. Navigate to the tools drop down, and select “Matched Audiences”.
  3. Then select the, “Create an audience to retarget”, button.
  4. Create segments of visitor audiences by which web page(s) they viewed.
  5. 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.

Wrapping Up

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!

Quick Guide to LinkedIn Matched Audiences

Posted by on Apr 25, 2017 in PPC News, Social
Quick Guide to LinkedIn Matched Audiences

LinkedIn announced a powerful new feature called Matched Audiences, which includes three new targeting tools that let you combine LinkedIn’s professional data with your own first-party data. Now you can target website visitors, contacts, and specific accounts on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Matched Audiences positively impacts ROI by focusing efforts on the people and accounts that are most likely to drive revenue for you. Here’s a look at the targeting tools and how to use each one.

Website Retargeting

This feature helps you market to LinkedIn members who have visited your website. Not only will you be able to tailor your ad content with more relevant messaging, but you can also better guide potential customers through the funnel.

Get started by adding a LinkedIn Insight Tag, a lightweight JavaScript tag that manages conversion tracking, retargeting, and web analytics for LinkedIn ad campaigns, and watch your audience list grow as more LinkedIn members visit your site.

Contact Targeting

Use this tool to build a custom audience by uploading your email lists or connecting to your CRM. From there, you can create messaging specific to this audience, and re-engage with churned customers.

Account Targeting

Get your message in front of decision makers at your target accounts with this feature. Upload a list of your target companies, then use LinkedIn’s data to run an account-based marketing campaign. You can target by professional demographics to make sure you’re reaching the people with buying power in the accounts with the most prospects.

LinkedIn says during its six-month Matched Audiences pilot program, on average, customers saw a 30% or more increase in CTR when Website Retargeting, Contact Targeting, or Account Targeting were used. Ready to try it out for yourself?

Steps To Get Started with LinkedIn Matched Audiences

To match LinkedIn’s robust professional data, you’ll need to provide your own third-party data. In this example, we’ve chosen to create an accounts-based list based off our This Week in Ad Tech audience information.

Quick Guide to LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences via blog.adstage.io

Step #1 

Within Campaign Manager in LinkedIn, navigate to “Tools” in the upper right hand corner and select Matched Audiences.

 

Quick Guide to LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences via blog.adstage.io

 

Step #2

Navigate to the “Uploaded list audiences tab.”

Quick Guide to LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences via blog.adstage.io

Then click on “Upload a list.”

Step #3

Once the audience list is exported as a CSV file, navigate back to LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager where you’ll be asked to name your audience and verify if the list contains accounts or contacts. In this example, we compiled an contact-based list from our newsletter audience.

Quick Guide to LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences via blog.adstage.io

Step #4

Again, our example here is contact-based. From there, you’ll click “Upload file” to upload your list as you prepare to run your campaign.

Quick Guide to LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences via blog.adstage.io

 

Step #5

You’ll have to be patient once your list is uploaded. LinkedIn says currently, your list may take up to 48 hours to match and become available for targeting.

 

Quick Guide to LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences via blog.adstage.io

LinkedIn Matched Audience Email Match Rates

 

You can follow the progress of matching to anticipate and prepare for the start of your campaign.

As a LinkedIn Certified Marketing Partner, it’s no secret AdStage loves the advertising capabilities this platform provides. Check out the 10 Stats You Need To Know About B2B Marketing on LinkedIn we shared a few months ago. Like the fact that 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn!

LinkedIn Matched Audiences is rolling out, so keep checking your Campaign Monitor for access. Be sure to check out our LinkedIn Advertising Suite if you’e looking to drive more leads.

LinkedIn Ad Tests: It’s Time to Actually Run One

Posted by on Mar 2, 2017 in Automation, Reporting, Social
LinkedIn Ad Tests: It’s Time to Actually Run One

Does this scenario sound familiar?
You read LinkedIn’s post about testing your Sponsored Content.
You thought you’d give it a try and wrote a few ads which have been running ever since…
…and you never got around to testing them.

If this is you – don’t worry – you’re not alone. Taking time to create, run, and revisit test ads is one of the things marketers love to forget to do. Or, if you are at an agency and you’re juggling dozens of clients, you simply may not have the time to give LinkedIn the attention it deserves. I get it, believe me.
So, let me show you how I set up my latest LinkedIn Ad tests in the hopes of giving you another bump to give it a try. Obviously, having AdStage would make all of this a lot easier, but I’ll give you step by step instructions in case you do not. (Sales Pitch: At least start the AdStage trial to use it for this test…it’s free and does not require a credit card.)

Step 1 – Creative Strategy

If you already have creative running and you just want to try some new images or copy, it’s easy. Pick your best performers and write some ads with new images or updated text.
In this example, I was starting from scratch and needed to spend a little time thinking about my audience and what my ads were trying to achieve. So, I took the time to jot down answers to these questions:

  • Who is the audience?
  • What is their goal and how can I help them achieve it?
  • What emotion do I want to appeal to?
  • What tactics will I use to convince them?

LinkedIn says, “Consider running at least four [ads] for any major campaign” and “two weeks is the minimum amount of time recommended [to run a test].” Since my goal was to set up this test and walk away for more than a month I wanted to run at least 12 ads. That way, I could run 4 ads every two weeks. I’m also assuming you have a “control” ad that will always be running (just in case your test ads are terrible) so that leaves 9 new ads to be created.

After 6 weeks, that’s a lot to review.

Step 2 – Mad Men Time, Write Those Ads

I chose three images, and wrote three updates. 3 Images x 3 Updates = 9 ads. Math! Here’s a few of those ads:

LinkedIn Ad Tests: It’s Time to Actually Run One via blog.adstage.io

Note: There are three ways to build these ads:

  1. LinkedIn (free) – Just go to an existing campaign and build some Direct Sponsored Content (DSC). I would keep all my creative in a spreadsheet to start and do a lot of copy and paste. Submit one by one. This will take you maybe 15 minutes.
  2. AdStage (paid subscription) – We offer an ad combination builder. Drop in a bunch of images and text, and then choose from all the possible combinations.
  3. B2Linked Bulk Editor (freemium with AdStage subscription) – If you want to upload multiple ads to many different campaigns, then use this tool from B2Linked to avoid having to spend hours creating ads one by one. B2Linked themselves use it to upload 3,000 ads each month. You fill out a spreadsheet then upload it and poof: Ads!

Step 3 – Wait for Creative Approval 😴

Be sure your ads are in an Active campaign so they get reviewed. Once they make it through approval they will go live, so don’t be surprised if all your ads start getting impressions all of a sudden.

I used AdStage to set up a Rule that ran every 6 hours and checked to see if my ads were approved and active. Once my ads were active, the Rule paused them. This way I limited the time my test ads ran before the official LinkedIn Ad tests started.  Once I got the email that my ads were paused, I knew I was ready to fire up my test. If you’re working directly in LinkedIn be sure to set yourself a reminder. “Siri remind me to check my LinkedIn ad approvals!”

LinkedIn Ad Tests: It’s Time to Actually Run One via blog.adstage.io

Step 4 – Test Setup

Ok, now we’re on to setting up the LinkedIn Ad tests themselves. The goal here is to keep running your control ad (assuming you have at least one ad that’s been live for awhile) alongside 3 test ads. I always run the test ads for two weeks, or until they’ve run long enough that I know they are stinkers. If they qualify as stinkers, then I want to pull them out early.

So how exactly do we set it up? I’ll walk through one of many ways to run LinkedIn ad tests. If you want to get all scientific about it, you can run your results through a statistical significance calculator as well.  But – let’s be real – you don’t have enough budget to run every ad to stat sig. The good news is if you’ve been running LinkedIn ads for a while, you’ll have a reasonable sense of what good and bad ad performance looks like, so the plan with this test is to get to that point with the least amount of spend possible.

The goal is to rotate an ad out of circulation once it drops below your lower threshold but has had enough impressions to get an honest shot at it. Marketers use many different metrics to measure how “good’ an ad is and it depends heavily on your business and goals. Here are some typical metrics marketers use:

  • CTR
  • Cost per Click
  • LinkedIn Conversion Rate*
  • LinkedIn Cost Per Conversion*
  • LinkedIn Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)*

*Note: You can use these three metrics if you have LinkedIn Conversion Tracking setup…and you should. If you’re using your own conversion data you can send those conversions to AdStage as custom conversions or just review all your data manually in a spreadsheet.

If you’re not sure what to use. Start simple and use these test parameters:

  • One Control Ad: Already Active
  • Test Ads: Test 3 Ads until 2 weeks has elapsed or the ad has 10,000 Impressions and CTR<0.5%

Step 5 – Run the Test

Now you have a plan. Congrats! You just need to execute.

There are two ways to do this:

  1. Schedule some time every few days to check in on your ad performance. If I go this route I drop invites into my Google Calendar or use a project management tool like Asana or Do.com to nag me more efficiently. Also check in at the two-week marks to make sure ads are cycling through as needed.
  2. Use AdStage Rotations. Set everything up in advance like this and then hit Done.

LinkedIn Ad Tests: It’s Time to Actually Run One via blog.adstage.io

Regardless of which route you go, ensure you have your ads set to “Rotate Variations Evenly” in your LinkedIn campaign settings. This is one of the best hidden features in LinkedIn! Find it yet? Didn’t think so… it’s in the gear next to your campaign name.

LinkedIn Ad Tests: It’s Time to Actually Run One via blog.adstage.io

Step 6 – Monitor

Remember, we always have our control ad running so if any weirdness happens (Superbowl, your website goes down, etc.), you have a comparison ad in place. After all your ads have reached their target or 6 weeks has passed, it’s time to review your LinkedIn Ad tests.

There are two ways to do this:

LinkedIn Ads View: Check out your overall performance trend and each ads metrics. It’s a little hard to see trends but you can see overall who did well and who sucked.

AdStage Report: Build a table and an Ad Line Widget to see the performance over time of your ads.

LinkedIn Ad Tests: It’s Time to Actually Run One via blog.adstage.io

Step 7 – Pick Your Winners

After every ad gets a shot (either by earning enough impressions or by using their two weeks), make sure you set aside some time (even just 10 minutes) to go through the results of your LinkedIn Ad tests. Based on the metrics and goals you set, which ads performed well? What patterns and trends do you see in those ads?

Side Note: I would say I’d share my results so you can learn what works but let’s be honest…my ads work for me and your ads work for you. Pretending that ads created for my audience, product, and landing page will behave in exactly the same way as your ads is just plain click-baity. And, there are plenty of ideas to try from LinkedIn themselves. Pick a few tricks and test them…it’s the only way to know.

Then, most importantly of all, run more LinkedIn Ad tests based on these results. One test is never going to magically teach you everything you need to know. Keep refining, iterating, and perfecting your ads. Good luck!

LinkedIn Ad Tests: It’s Time to Actually Run One via blog.adstage.io

10 Stats You Need to Know About B2B Marketing on LinkedIn

Posted by on Feb 28, 2017 in Social
10 Stats You Need to Know About B2B Marketing on LinkedIn

As a LinkedIn Certified Marketing Partner, we could not have been more excited when LinkedIn released the 10 stats below. We are strong believers in the power of marketing on LinkedIn (especially for a B2B platform like ours), and now we have the stats to prove it!

10 Stats You Need to Know About B2B Marketing on LinkedIn via blog.adstage.io

Making the Most of Marketing on LinkedIn

Impressed by these stats? If so, perhaps your next question would be: How do I make sure I am getting the most out of this platform? Read on to learn about how AdStage can take your LinkedIn advertising even further:

79% of B2B Marketers believe social media is an effective marketing channel.

…and you probably want to be able to compare your social media efforts across channels. AdStage has deep integrations with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn (as well as Google and Bing), so you can see how you’re doing ACROSS NETWORKS and IN ONE REPORT.

80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn and 43% of marketers say that they have sourced a customer from LinkedIn. 46% of social media traffic coming to your company site comes from LinkedIn.

With AdStage, you can track these conversions across your search and social ads to see how you stack up to this stat!

92% of B2B Marketers leverage LinkedIn over all other social platforms.

If you’re doing most of your marketing on LinkedIn, you probably have a lot of ads to create and update! Check out our Bulk Update Creation and Editing!

79% of B2B Marketers view LinkedIn as an effective source for generating B2B leads.

How do you measure effectiveness? CTR? Cost per click? Conversion rate? Cost per conversion? ROAS? No matter which metrics you prefer, get beautiful reports on the data you need AND have them automatically sent to yourself (or your clients) at your desired cadence.

10 Stats You Need to Know About B2B Marketing on LinkedIn via blog.adstage.io

57% of all those who visit LinkedIn do so on a mobile device.

Make sure your ad creative will resonate with mobile users and link to a mobile-friendly landing page. With our ad combination builder, you can drop in different images and text options and then choose from all the possible combinations.

10 pieces of content are consumed before a purchasing decision is made. 94% of B2B Marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content and LinkedIn SlideShare reaches 70M unique visitors a month.

With the AdStage Sponsored Content app, you can have the tools to build multivariate tests with your Sponsored Content, duplicate Sponsored Content across multiple campaigns, and even add unique tracking URLs. This way, you’re making sure that those 10 decision-making pieces of content – whether they’re white papers, SlideShares, or blog posts – are falling into the hands of the most qualified traffic possible!

10 Stats You Need to Know About B2B Marketing on LinkedIn via blog.adstage.io

Ready to try using AdStage to enhance your marketing on LinkedIn? Try a 14-day, free trial (no credit card required).

Everything You Need To Know About LinkedIn Ads

Posted by on Feb 16, 2017 in Social
Everything You Need To Know About LinkedIn Ads

As LinkedIn Advertising partners, we work with several sophisticated marketers who are truly making the most of advertising on LinkedIn. On the flip side, however, we get a lot of questions about some of the subtler challenges of running LinkedIn Ads.

People want to know: What is the secret to LinkedIn Ads? Is there a minimum time frame or test budget that must be allocated for success? How do you optimize your targeting? Why is it so “expensive?”

Over the years, we’ve hosted virtual events to educate advertisers about LinkedIn, spoken with hundreds of cross-network PPC advertisers, and worked closely with LinkedIn employees themselves to make sure we know all the ins and outs of their platform. Today, I’m sharing real questions from these experiences and real LinkedIn advertiser answers. Special shoutout to B2Linked, a LinkedIn advertising agency with whom we always love collaborating!

Targeting

 Q: Have you seen a correlation between audience size and duration of campaign that drives success?

A: When you have a large audience size and a large budget, you’re likely going to saturate that audience over the course of two to four weeks. On the other hand, if you have a very small budget, like around $50 per day, the chances of you fully saturating an audience of 30,000 to 100,000 users are very low.

Audience size and how fast you’re reaching them through your budget will dictate campaign success. If you want to roll into that backwards, I would run the same ad content over one to two months (longer for smaller budgets) and watch the performance over time.

View your click-through rate (CTR) view to gain insight into what’s happening to your CTR over time. You’ll know you’ve reached the point of saturation when you see the graph take a sharp turn downward. At that point, you’ll know that you need to freshen up your campaigns.

Q: What is the minimum audience size that’s recommended?

A: LinkedIn’s minimum audience size is 1,000, and we’ve run quite a few campaigns right around the 1,000-person size for very small niche groups. But, you’ll need to think about if this is worth your time. It’s going to take the same amount of time to target 30,000 users as it is to target 5,000 users.

And, let’s say with a good CTR, your 5,000 audience size may turn around six clicks per month. Is it worth your time having to create that campaign separately? If you look at it that way, those clicks must be worth a lot of money to be worth your time.

Q: What are recommendations for B2C targeting? How do you use the options available for targeting when you’ve got a clear demographic but it’s not tied to an occupation?

A: LinkedIn obviously lends itself well to targeting occupations, but if you know your audience well enough and that persona is very developed, you can use the business targeting for a B2C play. For example, Nissan is an active B2C brand advertiser on LinkedIn. Here’s an example of  Sponsored Content that was shown in my news feed.

Everything You Need To Know About LinkedIn Ads via blog.adstage.io

A slightly different B2C use-case is when other channels cost more than a click on LinkedIn. For example, some clicks on AdWords can be > $125 so paying $7 per click on LinkedIn, while not as targeted, could be seen as getting a huge discount.

Conversion rates can be lower with LinkedIn as you pay less for that traffic. If you can make the targeting work for you, I highly recommend it.

Q: Does overlap targeting lead to competing on your own campaigns?

A: With LinkedIn Ads, if you have any campaigns with overlapping targeting, the platform will not allow you to compete against yourself. It will take your relevancy score in a pre-auction phase from both campaigns and both ads that are competing for the impression, and will choose to serve one of them based on the auction at hand.

If you are running two separate accounts, you may be competing against yourself, but if your ads are within the same ad account, you will not compete against yourself.

Q: If I am targeting two different regions, how do I ensure my ads are running evenly in both places?

A: You can split this into two separate campaigns and then manage the budget between the two. Let’s say you’re targeting the U.S. and the U.K., but the U.S. is spending faster because there are more people using LinkedIn in the U.S. You can limit your budget separately by bidding $5 per click in the U.S. and $7 per click in the U.K.

There isn’t a true automated way of doing this to make sure impressions are split evenly, but some tools (like AdStage) allow you to set Automated Rules. For example, when the U.S. campaign has spent > $1,000, the software can automatically pause it, and wait for the U.K. campaign to catch up in delivering impressions.

Everything You Need To Know About LinkedIn Ads via blog.adstage.io

Creative

Q: Which ads are more successful for conversions: Sponsored Content or Text Ads?

A: We haven’t seen a huge difference in conversion rates between the two, but we have seen that there are certain offers that work better than others for these ad formats.

For instance, promoting content through, well, Sponsored Content performs tremendously for lead generation, but for Text Ads, we’ve seen CTRs actually decline when promoting content.

In looking at advertisers in various verticals, we’ve seen that these two products end up costing around the same amount on a cost-per-click basis for any given advertiser. So if you have a limited budget and are deciding which creative to run, I’d recommend Sponsored Content because we typically see a 10x higher CTR over Text Ads, and these units take up a lot more real estate on LinkedIn. You undeniably get more fields and a bigger image with Sponsored Content — for a similar cost per click.

Q: Do you know how LinkedIn decides when to serve Sponsored Content images as “full screen?” Is there a secret sauce for getting the ad to take up more real estate?

A: With Sponsored Content, you can either run a content update or an image update, and the only real difference is whether you’re bringing in a piece of content or the URL of an image. With the latter, you will get the larger image size and take up more real estate. However, because you’re choosing an image, you’re losing some elements that would come with a content update, such as a headline and description.

With the image update, you are only allowed an intro. We’ve heard from several marketers who are really making this work in their favor. You can optimize this by bringing in a larger image and including a link to your landing page in the intro. This can be very effective for things like infographics.

If you’re just bringing in normal content, the way the user views the content will make all the difference. If it’s viewed from the desktop, your image will be 180 pixels wide, which isn’t a whole lot of real estate. If the same ad is viewed on a tablet, however, it may be 1200 pixels wide.

So the image size will vary by device and by type of Sponsored Content. We highly encourage you to test all of the above, as different audiences will react differently to your creative.

Q: Which text field is more important for CTR and conversion rate, the intro text or the description text?

A: We recommend that you continue to perform tests using variations of these to see which is most impactful, but based on our experience, we’ve seen the most variance when testing the intro field.

With a simple A/B test of one or the other field, you can see the impact your ad text has on conversion rate. If, in your testing of the description text, you see the most variance in performance between test versions, you can conclude that description is the most important for your situation. Alternatively, if varying the intro text has the most profound impact, you can put more emphasis on that field. AdStage has a great Ad Scrambler that allows you to create ad variations at scale and compare the results.

It’s important to note that the description text is actually only displayed on the desktop. If 60% of your LinkedIn Sponsored Content impressions are served on desktop computers, that means a full 40% of impressions served (those that appear on mobile devices) won’t include the description.

The only two fields that will consistently be shown on all devices are your intro and headline, so adding a call to action in the description may not be necessary.

Q: When you change your creative, do you need to make a brand-new ad, or can you edit the content in an existing ad?

A: For Sponsored Content, you won’t be able to edit launched Sponsored Content, so you’ll just have to recreate it. For text ads, on the other hand, you can change change anything about the ad and it will reset the relevancy score.

If you change title, description or image, it will reset the relevancy score, and it should give you a fresh shot.

Bidding

Q: When starting with CPC bidding, we received a high CTR. This led us to believe that switching to CPM bidding would yield a lower effective CPC. However, switching to CPM bidding resulted in significantly lower CTR. Does this lower CTR have a negative impact on relevance score? And, if so, how do you work around this?

A: When switching to CPM bidding, if you’re not bidding high enough, your ad may not be in the first Sponsored Content slot in LinkedIn’s feed. This means your ad could have been pushed down so far as to be the tenth item in the feed.

LinkedIn’s algorithm does normalize your CTRs for this, so your relevance score won’t be negatively affected just because your CTR dropped. LinkedIn’s algorithm does take into consideration the fact that the ad was dropped down to the second position. However, a decline in CTR can make you feel like a crappy marketer so, to get it back up, try bidding higher.


Have any other questions about LinkedIn Ads? Drop them into the comments section. We love talking about all things LinkedIn!

9 Easy Ways to Automate Your LinkedIn Ads for Better Results via blog.adstage.io

Editor’s Note: This LinkedIn Ads content was originally posted on MarketingLand in June, 2015.

How to Construct Successful LinkedIn Sponsored InMails

Posted by on Dec 1, 2016 in Social
How to Construct Successful LinkedIn Sponsored InMails

LinkedIn’s network of over 450M professionals globally now offers Sponsored InMail to all marketers through its self-serve Campaign Manager. This unique ad format is designed to help B2B companies reach target audiences directly and efficiently. There are no other engagement solutions similar to LinkedIn Sponsored InMail, which, by delivering your message directly to your audience’s inbox, eliminates the uncertainty that comes with manually sending outbound messages.

Given the opportunity available for advertisers who take advantage of this new tool, we wanted to be sure that those of you who are ready to hit the ground running know what it takes to create a successful Sponsored InMail campaign.  If you already know your target audience on LinkedIn, and are looking to drive the most engagement and responses from your creatives from LinkedIn Sponsored InMails, this post is for you!

Mobile Matters

LinkedIn campaigns are served on both desktop and mobile, and there is not an option for desktop-only or mobile-only Linkedin Sponsored InMails. Because of this, it’s important to make sure your mobile experience is sound. Ensure your landing page is mobile optimized with a responsive design, and limit your message to 1,000 characters so it reads well on mobile devices.

LinkedIn Sponosored InMails Mobile Users via adstage.blog.io

Choose a Relevant Sender

Pick a sender your audience would find relevant, given your message. For example, if you’re sending a technical message, the sender can be a Director of IT or Chief Technology Officer, rather than a Sales Director or VP of Marketing.

Unlike regular InMail messages, users will not be able to reply to the sender, so it is not necessary to use a sender who is a sales rep for your organization. Once you’ve chosen your sender, be sure to do the following:

  • Ensure the sender has a profile photo. This is a LinkedIn requirement for all senders.
  • Add the sender as a first-degree connection on LinkedIn.
  • Manage the senders from your Campaign Manager and they will receive a notification to approve or deny the request as shown below.

LinkedIn Sponsored InMail Relevant Sender via adstage.blog.io

The Optional Must-Have Option

If the reader is using LinkedIn on a desktop environment, the right rail will show a 300×250 banner ad above the fold, like the image below. This Sponsored InMail feature offers an option to take advantage of more visual real estate in your ad campaign, a unique opportunity to increase brand exposure.

It’s important to know that in the event you choose not to use the banner option, the ad slot will be filled by another 300×250 banner ad and…what if that ad happened to be from a competitor? Because of this, we recommend that you treat this optional feature as a required one.

Don’t have the time or resources to get that new banner ad content prepped? While it’s best practice to have the CTA in the banner match the CTA in your Sponsored InMail, it’s definitely better to have some content of yours in this space, rather than putting your message alongside a competitor’s ad. If you don’t have a 300×250 banner ad on hand with a matching CTA, consider using a stock photo or a screenshot of your product to fill the ad unit. This will ensure that any engagement with the banner will still direct your audience to your desired landing page.

LinkedIn Sponsored InMail Banner Ads via adstage.blog.io

Personalization For the Win

It’s no secret that the more relevant the message, the higher the likelihood of conversion. LinkedIn makes it easy for you to personalize your Sponsored InMail message in a variety of ways. Here are a few pro-tips:

Customize the greeting with the person’s name (These are the shortcuts to use in your message in the LinkedIn Campaign Manager: %FIRSTNAME% %LASTNAME%)
Refer to the skills or job titles that you’re targeting (Note: I used “content marketing” in the example below)
Try using the word “you” in the message so it sounds like you’re talking to the prospect

Here is an example of a message using these best practices:

Hi Hannah,

I am hosting a webinar on copywriting to capture awareness with your target audience this Wednesday. As you’re ramping up your content marketing efforts, I thought you might find this topic interesting. Let me know if you’re able to join with an RSVP here.

Best,

Michael McEuen
Head of Marketing at AdStage

With these tips, we hope you can being to construct LinkedIn Sponsored InMails that are on target to drive maximum engagement. Next week, we’ll cover some tips on the actual content of those campaigns. In the meantime, though, if you tried Sponsored InMail campaigns and have any pro-tips to share, please comment below!