Whether you’re completely new to LinkedIn advertising or you’ve previously dabbled, this article is here to shed light on the somewhat untapped LinkedIn advertising opportunities – and not just for B2B businesses. In this post we’ll introduce the audiences you can reach and business objectives you can fulfil on LinkedIn.
We’ll talk about how the platform’s recent additions and automated features can help you drive performance for your business goals – even for B2C businesses. Read on – the possibilities may surprise you!
LinkedIn has evolved, so take advantage
For professionals and business owners alike, LinkedIn has transformed over the years. Starting off as a digital CV for individuals, it’s now the business-skewed social media hub that many of us use every day.
However, despite its evolution, it’s often overlooked as a place to invest advertising budgets.
But for businesses, B2C and B2B alike, LinkedIn is a hotbed of opportunity. It’s home to over 875 million members who are actively consuming (as opposed to passively scrolling) business content, representing a unique opportunity to reach a highly receptive audience.
So whether you’re looking to introduce your brand to new audiences, increase your share of your market, drive leads, or even fill vacancies at your company, it’s worth considering advertising on LinkedIn as part of your media plan.
LinkedIn’s user statistics & its advantages for advertising
LinkedIn’s user base is what makes this social network such a great place to advertise. With over 875 million members across 200 countries, LinkedIn Ads have the potential to reach over 14% of the global population. The USA has 195 million in the US, 227 million in Europe and 35 million in the UK. (Figures from99Firms)
420 million of their users are active monthly, meaning that profiles are kept up to date giving advertisers access to engaged audiences along with high-quality, reliable data. Around 15% of its users are top-level decision-makers. This makes LinkedIn a prime opportunity for communicating key messages to the people in businesses who pull the levers.
Beyond decision-makers, LinkedIn’s users are also often educated and affluent individuals, giving you and your brand access to premium clients. This has made it popular with car and clothing brands looking to promote certain products to a more “well-to-do” audience. Think hybrid cars and tailored suits.
Audience targeting on LinkedIn is a compelling reason to use the platform. It’s also complete with accurate metric forecasts at the campaign build stage.
In fact, there’s an almost endless combination of audience targeting options available on LinkedIn. These can be segmented according to business and campaign goals.
The broad categories of audience attributes that can be targeted include, at a basic level:
Job experience, including job titles, function, seniority, skills, experience
Company, including company name, industry, revenue and size
Education, including fields of study and degrees
Geographical location – recent location option can be powerful for travel brands
Interests and member traits including groups and interests
As well as including audiences with the above attributes, you can also use these targeting options to exclude people who sit outside of your desired audience. Want to target owners of businesses, for example? Exclude those with job seniorities listed as Entry, Manager, etc.
Levelling up with LinkedIn’s audience data
In addition to LinkedIn’s intelligent audience targeting, there are also opportunities to use your own data to reach your desired audience.
Engaging users with remarketing on LinkedIn
Strategically targeting and establishing a lasting relationship with customers and clients is a cornerstone of any digital ad strategy. To this end, LinkedIn offers the ability to target users who have visited specific pages on your website. If you’re looking to re-engage past customers or clients or drive non-converters, these audiences can be built on LinkedIn and used as part of a wider remarketing strategy.
Remarketing on LinkedIn can also be used to target your current customer base with new, high-quality content as part of your content marketing strategy, ensuring you remain authoritative in your field of expertise.
Reaching new customers through lookalike audiences
Moving further up the funnel, LinkedIn presents a fantastic opportunity for reaching new customers and driving your pipeline. As on other digital media platforms, advertisers on LinkedIn can create “lookalike audiences”.
A lookalike audience is generated when you take a customer list – perhaps current or previous customers, or people who have signed up to your newsletter – and plug these into LinkedIn. LinkedIn will then match the characteristics of the users on the list with other users on the platform. This provides a quick and reliable method to scale your audiences and reach new prospects aligned with your typical customer.
And if you want to reach these professionals while they’re browsing elsewhere on the web, LinkedIn also has an audience network. This is available thanks to Microsoft’s acquisition of the platform. The LinkedIn audience network allows ads to be served across tried and tested third-party sites, where brand safety and quality are paramount to success.
Using LinkedIn Ads for Account Based Marketing
Advertisers looking for a more custom approach can even upload custom target lists of companies that have LinkedIn business pages. While this is a particularly powerful feature for B2B account targeting, it can also be used to target more specific contacts on the platform by layering with specific seniorities or skill sets.
Advertisers can also exclude companies they already work with – meaning that you’re not wasting spending on reaching existing customers.
Another powerful advantage of LinkedIn advertising is their thorough demographic reporting. You can see which company has high CTR or ad engagement. That information is useful for anyone pursuing leads with an outbound sales approach, making a potential “cold” call much less cold.
B2C marketing on LinkedIn – what ads can do for your campaigns
Behind every business is a collection of consumers where brands can easily stand out by publishing content that relates to their interests. However, many B2C advertisers instinctively stay away from LinkedIn, assuming that it’s prime B2B territory. LinkedIn has tremendous potential for B2C marketing, especially for higher-ticket offerings.
As only 4% of B2C brands believe LinkedIn is a useful place for marketing, there’s less competition than other saturated channels, allowing your brand to really make its mark.
With the introduction of interest and persona targeting, LinkedIn is an opportunity for advertisers to reach users according to:
the member groups they’re part of
their interests based on content that they post and engage with
If your offering is higher-ticket, or can even be loosely related to a professional or working environment, then LinkedIn shouldn’t be overlooked.
Objective-based advertising on LinkedIn
As well as choosing who to target, LinkedIn goes a step further to help you get the best results from your ads by offering objective-based advertising. This is a key USP of LinkedIn as a digital media platform. With numerous campaign objectives to choose from to optimise at every stage of the funnel, advertisers can ensure their LinkedIn campaigns are customised to align with their business goals.
The current list of campaign objectives available are:
These objectives are dynamic, and LinkedIn is continually investing in them to ensure they’re relevant to both B2B and B2C advertisers.
In the following sections, we’ll expand on these objectives and how we implement them in our clients’ LinkedIn campaigns.
LinkedIn advertising strategies
Now that we’ve looked at the benefits of LinkedIn ads for both B2B and B2C audiences, we’ll take a dive into the various strategies you can create and tips to ensure your campaigns are a success.
If you need to start building awareness for a new brand or product, LinkedIn’s first campaign objective, ‘Brand Awareness’, helps advertisers achieve these goals.
Based on a cost-per-mille (or cost per thousand impressions) model, the “Brand Awareness” objective can be paired with one of LinkedIn’s automated bidding strategies, ensuring the campaign is optimised to gain impressions from your target audience.
With two campaign objectives aligned with consideration goals, LinkedIn is a prime platform for your target audience to find out more about and engage with your business.
The ‘Website Visits’ objective will optimise to serve ads to users who are likely to visit your website. This option is well-suited to encourage users to consume content on your site or to learn more about your business.
Increasing consideration within the LinkedIn platform itself is also important for some advertisers, whether that’s driving social engagement, starting conversations or encouraging people to follow a company page. The ‘Engagement’ objective is aligned for just that, and will optimise for users likely to engage with your company posts on LinkedIn.
Finally, we have the “Video Views” objective. This is crucial amidst the rise of video content as part of ever more complex user journeys. Video content is a prime medium for grabbing attention and communicating brand values.
Once customers are primed and ready, ‘Conversion’ objectives on LinkedIn will drive them through the bottom of the funnel and encourage them to convert.
A particularly powerful option to leverage is the ‘Lead Generation’ objective. This allows you to serve your target audience with a lead gen form. This form is pre-populated with information from their profile, conveniently allowing them to submit their details without leaving the platform. Once submitted, the lead is stored within LinkedIn ready for you to download and follow up on.
Sending users to a landing page to complete a conversion is another bottom-of-the-funnel option on LinkedIn. With the Conversions campaign objective, ads are shown to users most likely to click through to your site to convert. Couple this with an optimised landing page containing a clear call-to-action and you’re on to a winner.
Lastly, we have the ‘Job Applicants’ objective, created for businesses looking to encourage relevant users to apply for advertised vacancies. This can prove to be a particularly cost-friendly option when compared to traditional recruitment platforms, without sacrificing the ‘at work’ mindset of the target audience.
As with all digital advertising, these campaign objectives will only work as well as the business goals behind them have been formulated, with target audience and creative being crucial points of consideration. At Loom, we always consider these factors, deciding on the best campaign objective to use for our clients.
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