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LinkedIn advertising 101: a guide to the different ad types
LinkedIn is a very valuable tool when it comes to networking with like-minded professionals, but did you know it is also incredibly useful for inbound marketing, thanks to its powerful ads platform?
Well known to have the world’s largest audience of active, influential professionals, LinkedIn is the ultimate stage for business-related social interactions. Whether you are targeting c-suite professionals, providing educational material to marketers, actively recruiting or just spreading brand awareness, LinkedIn advertising is the perfect platform.
Campaign Manager is LinkedIn’s all-in-one advertising platform. Here you can set your budget, select goals (clicks, impressions, video views etc.) and have control over your campaign’s timeline. To help you reach your advertising goals, the platform has various reporting features.
With a variety of ad types and formats at your fingertips, LinkedIn advertising is a great platform to leverage if you want to spread brand awareness and drive lead generation. If you’re thinking about dipping your toes into the world of LinkedIn advertising, read on to learn more about the different ad types and how they can help your business.
Choose your objective
To begin, you need to determine what your objective is. That is, what do you want people to do when they are served your ad? There are a number of objectives to choose from and your selection here will determine the rest of your campaign creation experience:
- Awareness: Brand awareness
- Consideration: Website visits, Engagement, Video views
- Conversion: Lead generation, Website conversions, Job applicants
Who do you want to target?
LinkedIn’s targeting tools make it easy for you to reach the right audience, with a ton of different audience attribute categories like company size, skills, job title, job seniority and more. LinkedIn’s targeting capabilities are better than most platforms because people on this social networking site keep their info up to date. You see, LinkedIn is all about the humble brag, which means you can be pretty sure if you get your targeting right, your ad is going to be seen by the right people.
You can retarget visitors from your website on LinkedIn by setting up an ‘Insight Tag’ and just like on Facebook, you can create lookalike audiences. As with other advertising platforms, you can upload or integrate email lists too.
We recommend layering multiple targeting options to help you reach your ideal customer, as this will mean you are wasting less money on impressions and clicks from users who present no value to your business. On the flip side, there is such a thing as too much layering and if you go too far here, your audience will be extremely narrow and you could miss out on some golden opportunities. It’s all about trial and error until you find the right balance.
Types of LinkedIn ads
LinkedIn offers a variety of ad types and formats for you to choose from. Your ad format selection should be based on the action you want people to take.
Sponsored content ads appear to be ‘boosted’ posts from a company’s feed and they show up in your audience’s news feed amongst organic content. You can choose from three different formats: single image ads, carousel ads and video ads. If you’re going for a video ad, keep it short and sweet, keeping in mind most viewers drop off after 10 seconds. If brand consideration is your goal, sharing blog posts, repurposed website content or industry insights works well. If you’re looking to generate leads and convert customers, promoting product demos, tutorials or upcoming events is a good strategy.
They might be called ‘text ads’ but don’t be fooled. While images are optional, they are likely to land you better results. Text ads operate on a pay-per-click or impression basis and are featured in the side bar. These simple ads can be super effective for boosting awareness and reaching your audience.
You’ve no doubt been served this type of ad before. Marketers can send direct messages to prospects with the goal of sparking immediate action through Sponsored InMail ads. According to LinkedIn, one in two prospects open these messages, so if you’re looking to drive strong engagement or generate leads, ‘Message Ads’ are a good option. The bonus with this type of ad is that you aren’t restricted by character limits and you can add a Lead Gen Form to your message to collect leads directly on LinkedIn. A word of warning though, using this type of ad as the first touchpoint with a prospect is a little invasive and pushy. These ads are a great way to re-engage someone who has already interacted with your business and is therefore a little further down the funnel, making them more likely to be receptive to your message.
Dynamic ads are probably the easiest way to capture your audience’s attention. Automatically personalised to the individual, you can tailor your Dynamic Ads depending on your marketing objectives. Want to build brand awareness? Follower Ads will help you expand your audience and grow your influence. If driving traffic and conversions is your goal, you can feature your product, service, event, newsletter and more with a clear call to action (CTA) for your target audience through Spotlight Ads.
Crafting copy that converts
If you are advertising across multiple platforms, like Facebook and Google, it’s always a good idea to give your audience a cohesive experience across every touchpoint. While every digital advertising platform is unique, there is no rule against repurposing your ad copy from Facebook to LinkedIn if it’s getting you results.
When crafting your copy, make sure you are very clear about what action you want the audience to take. Your CTA will often be in the form of a text button, but it’s important to ensure the copy relates to that action. For example, if you want people to register for an event, don’t have a blurb about the company in general before the ‘Register Now’ button. Instead, your copy needs to relate to the event and what people can expect if they attend the event i.e. What will they get out of it?
Now that you understand the basics and what LinkedIn advertising can do for your business, it’s time to get started creating your first ad. LinkedIn has a step by step guide to help you create your first ad campaign here. It’s super handy if you’re just dipping your toes in and going for a test drive.
If you want to see serious results from your LinkedIn campaign, our social media team are experts on the platform, with experience delivering cleverly designed, targeted and tested adverts. Get in touch with us today to learn more about creating a social plan that improves your bottom line.