When it comes to targeting strategies for LinkedIn, you need to know the various demographics, locations, and vocations of LinkedIn users. Once you’ve done that, you need to take this information and determine an advertising strategy that will be appropriate for this audience and generate an awesome ROI.
When you are developing an ad strategy for this network, you need to consider who is on LinkedIn and why they are there. LinkedIn draws a more professional crowd. When people visit LinkedIn they have a wide variety of objectives, but they tend to be business related.
Why do people use LinkedIn? These are the most popular reasons:
- Staying in touch with your colleagues from previous employers (or current employer).
- Keeping up with your college friends and their careers.
- Networking with individuals in your industry.
- Joining groups in order to get news and stay-up-to-date on your industry.
- Looking for a new position with a different company.
- Following other companies to get their updates.
What do all of these activities have in common? None of them are related to shopping or buying products and services. Isn't this mostly how you use LinkedIn?
Here’s a list of tactics that you can employ to get higher click-through rates and higher conversion rates on LinkedIn:
Target the Appropriate Audience
Make sure that you’re targeting the appropriate audience. You can create the best ads anyone has ever seen, but if the wrong people are seeing them, you’re doing yourself a disservice.
Don't Go For the Hard Sale
Most users on LinkedIn aren't in a purchase frame-of-mind. Focus on a softer conversion action that requires less commitment.
Whitepapers, eBooks, presentations, free trials, and other information-based lead generation tactics tend to work well on LinkedIn. Ecommerce conversion actions can work, but they're more challenging.
Be Direct and Specific
LinkedIn ads are quite a bit shorter than Facebook ads so you have less room to get funny, mysterious, or shocking. Ads should be appropriate to the target audience. They should specifically state how your product or service will make someone's life better.
In an effort to be direct, be sure to also include a strong call-to-action. Tell the user what you expect them to do, and what they should expect to receive.
Crop and Zoom Your Images
The images included within LinkedIn ads are basically thumbnails. They are 50x50 pixels, and that's pretty small. You need to crop and zoom your images as closely possibly so that they are easy to comprehend quickly.
If you use an image of a person standing in the rain, the image won't make any sense because it's too small, but if you crop and zoom in on that person's face, this will make the image easier to interpret.
Continuously Launch Test Ads
If your ads don't meet the LinkedIn network average click-through rate (CTR), they will drop you like a hot potato and your impressions and clicks will decline within a matter of hours. The network average CTR is 0.025 percent, and if your ads aren't hitting this mark, they will always have trouble gaining traction and traffic.
You have to monitor your ads. Pause underperforming ads and launch new test variations every day. LinkedIn suggests updating your ads at least one per month, but you really need to do this on a very regular basis.
Follow Editorial Guidelines
Be sure to adhere to LinkedIn's editorial guidelines; otherwise none of the tactics mentioned in this article will matter. Be sure to stay above-board and don't push the editorial edge too far. Here’s a quick list of high-level guidelines:
- Don’t deceive or lie in your ad.
- Don’t use non-standard spelling, grammar, capitalization, punctuation, or repetition in your ad.
- Don’t use inappropriate or unacceptable language in your ad.
- Don’t deceive, confuse, or otherwise degrade the experience of members who click on your ad.
- Don’t use trademarks that you aren't permitted to use.
- Don’t use LinkedIn in your ad.
- Don’t use an ad to facilitate collection of a member's data.
If you follow these tips and tactics, you'll be well on your way to creating a successful LinkedIn advertising campaign. Remember, the folks on LinkedIn are professional so your ads and landing pages should look professional too.
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!