| Social media
Tips to get started with LinkedIn advertising for B2B companies
Social media advertising is now used by anyone and everyone looking to reach a wider audience on their chosen network and target specific groups of people with whom to share their content.
What helps set LinkedIn advertising apart from its counterparts is their targeting options -specifically for B2B marketing. If you’re a B2B company or responsible for marketing one – then LinkedIn is where you want to be. Afterall, it’s where the professionals hang out.
With that in mind, LinkedIn has really excelled when it comes to its targeting options and criteria, allowing business owners and marketers to really hone in, connect and target those professions they’re looking to focus on.
Our resident social media expert, Ben, has put together this guide to getting started with LinkedIn advertising for B2B companies. Read on for his top tips and advice on getting the best from the platform.
Who should use LinkedIn advertising?
LinkedIn adverts are for everyone. There are countless tutorials and how-to documents from LinkedIn themselves and third parties to help you get to grips with each advert type and its uses.
For instance, if you’re looking to target owners of manufacturing companies in Sheffield, you can do it with LinkedIn ads. If you’re wanting to get a video seen by purchasers in the beauty sector; you can do it with LinkedIn ads. If you’re hiring and want your job ad to be seen by graduates from local universities with degrees in business science; you can do that too!
What are the pros and cons of advertising on LinkedIn?
Like any form of advertising, you need to weigh up the pros and cons of LinkedIn advertising before diving in with big budgets.
LinkedIn Advertising Pros
Largely a B2B user base: LinkedIn is a professional network where people go to talk shop, apply for jobs and conduct business. Therefore, they are far more receptive to adverts than your average social media user.
Good level of audience targeting: LinkedIn’s targeting criteria enables you to really hone in on key decision-makers in specific sectors, roles and companies – no matter how niche. This means that you really can choose who sees your content.
Valuable prospects: This is the only platform that allows you to target specific high-value B2B buyers. The cost per click (CPC) might be higher, but the rewards can be incredibly fruitful.
LinkedIn Advertising Cons
Cost and high CPC: With anything there is a trial-and-error period and therefore that can mean a higher initial cost than you expected. LinkedIn advertising does traditionally have a higher CPC than Google Ads, Facebook, etc. However, the leads are much higher quality and you are more likely to reach people genuinely interested in your products and services.
Data: There are some tools and data (e.g. Lead Gen Forms) that could be easier to access and export to external tools. However, LinkedIn are receptive to feedback and constantly make improvements.
Interface: The interface is clunky and the user experience isn’t the best. Reports and features aren’t always easy to find and if you aren’t used to it, it can feel overwhelming and confusing to use at first.
Configuring your account
- Simply sign in to your personal LinkedIn.com account.
- Next, click Work at the top of your homepage and then select Advertise.
- Add an account name, select the billing currency, and associate a LinkedIn Page on the welcome screen.
- Next click Create Account.
Website insight pixel
The pixel or ‘insight tag’ is a bit of code that you add to your website which helps you to monitor and track your campaigns. This helps with conversion tracking, website audiences, and website demographics for your LinkedIn ads. Adding this to your site is relatively simple, and there are instructions here. You can even send instructions to a colleague or web developer!
Choosing your objective
Choosing your objective is key to any campaign or advertising strategy. Is it brand awareness? Is it lead gen? Are you looking to reach a wider audience and get your content seen by as many people as possible? Or are you looking to get a handful of clicks from very specific individuals? All of these things need to be taken into account when deciding how to proceed.
Saved audiences is a great way of saving time and repeatedly targeting your chosen audience. Once you have filtered down your audience using the campaign tool you can choose to save this audience for later use. This will also remember your filters and add any new users who fit your criteria into that audience.
Bidding and budget
It can be difficult to set a budget when you start advertising as it’s difficult to predict how your campaign will perform. But settling on a budget that you are willing to use to test the ads is a good place to start.
Since space for advertising on LinkedIn is limited, adverts compete in auctions through a bidding system. The wider net you cast the cheaper the bids are, the more niche, the more expensive – usually. It all depends on how many people are trying to target the same people.
A bid is how much you are willing to pay for a specific action, like a click or 1,000 impressions. If you bid for impressions, you will get seen by a lot of people, but it might not drive as many clicks. If you target clicks, it could end up being more expensive – and this is when the quality of your content counts the most.
Test and measure everything
The success of your advertising will come down to test and measure. Constantly try different approaches to find what works for your business and more importantly, your audience. If results show that sponsored content works, then create more content. If video works, focus your efforts on making more videos. If you have good relationships with contacts in your target sectors, ask them what they like to see!
Sponsor your best performing content
If you are posting organically and you have seen a good response to a piece of content its certainly worth adding a budget to that piece to get it seen by a wider audience. If you’ve created a useful blog on a topic that you’ve seen people are wanting more information on, make sure they see it!
Be direct – use InMail
Sometimes the best approach is simply to say hello and ask if someone fancies a coffee! InMail is easy to use and comes with a premium account or sales navigator. With InMail you can send a direct message to someone you see as a prospect, whether or not you are connected to them or have contacts in common. This is a great way to get in front of a high-value target and ensure your message is read.
We hope you’ve found these tips useful. LinkedIn advertising can seem like a lot of effort initially, but once you get used to the interface and start seeing what works, you’ll reap the rewards. It’s simply one of the best ways of reaching B2B audiences.
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