This is the transcript from our new video so it may not read as well as a normal blog post would.
Hi. What’s the number one business to business social network out there? It’s LinkedIn of course. You may be on LinkedIn already. You may be using it to network with other businesses or even do deals, which is great. But did you know that LinkedIn has its own ad platform where you can target more people than you might possibly do through just doing it manually or through the mail system?
So today I thought I’d give a quick overview of getting started with LinkedIn ads. First thing to note though, before we do that, is that LinkedIn ads platform is quite basic. So if you’re used to platforms like Google AdWords, then you’re not going to have as many options on LinkedIn ads. But it does the job, and you’ll get the reporting that you need to make it worthwhile.
So first thing to look at is targeting. Obviously, you choose your country. You can choose by city in the UK, and you can choose by state and city in the USA as well. So just check as many options as you need in there. If you’re targeting internationally, then obviously those countries will be in there in the list for you to target. So that’s required, the country.
Optional targeting is company and people. You can actually search specifically for the name of the company that you want to target. So if you know of somebody in your industry that you want to target them through the ads on LinkedIn, then that’s great. You can do that. Likewise for people as well. If there’s somebody who you know who works at a specific target company, you can search for their name and add them to the list.
If you’re not sure of those specific companies or people, then you’ve got the option to search by industry, by company size, how many employees it’s got, and in terms of people you can search by their job profession and other data, such as their age group and their job title.
There’s an advanced options dropdown where you’ll find more targeting options, such as where that person has studied at university, what they studied, and I think quite a good one is people who are subscribed to different LinkedIn groups as well. So if you’ve seen people in a LinkedIn group that you’re subscribed to, you can target those LinkedIn groups, and all those people in the group will see your advert. So that’s great.
Under the advanced options, there’s something worth noting that LinkedIn has enabled by default, which is targeting similar audiences to what you set up in your basic targeting here. So if you’re on a limited budget, it might be worth you deselecting this similar audiences option because it may not target the areas that you set out. But if you’re kind of looking to expand your targeting, this could be a good option to have enabled. So just be aware that that’s on by default. So uncheck that or leave it on depending on your circumstances.
Second area to look at is budget. Minimum daily spend of £8 or $10 is what LinkedIn specifies. So you need to have your budget set aside for at least spending that much per day. But you’re probably going to spend that quite quickly, because the minimum cost per click bid, so somebody clicking through to your website or somebody clicking through to your LinkedIn page, is £1.50 or $2. The same for minimum per 1,000 impressions. So if you’re just concerned about building your brand and not necessarily people clicking through to your page or website, then you can use cost per 1,000 impressions, and again you’re going to be paying £1.50 or $2 minimum. So you can quickly spend the daily budget, but just something to be aware of that there is a minimum spend with the LinkedIn ads platform.
Ad format. So you’ve got a variety of targeting options. You can either target through text ads with an image, or you can target sponsored updates. So we’ll go through those.
Text ads will show on the homepage in the sidebar. They’ll show on the search results page, and they’ll show on people’s individual profiles as well. They also show on the masthead sometimes, which is between the main navigation and the body of the content of the LinkedIn website. So your ad may show there as well.
Then the specifics of the advert, the title, which is a clickable part, needs to be maximum 25 characters, and the description part can be a maximum of 75 characters. Description part is unlike things like Google AdWords, if you’re used to that. You can’t split up your description on two lines. It’s just a body of text, and you can put as many sentences as you want in there, but it must not be more than that character limit.
The other thing to note is the optional image. That’s going to be 50 pixels by 50 pixels, which is quite small really. But it can be used effectively to grab people’s attention. LinkedIn claims you can get up to 20% more click-through rate with this or up to 20% more traffic. So it’s worth trying that. You can have texts in your image as well, but again make sure that’s readable because that’s quite a small image.
Best practice with texts ads is create as many variations as possible. Make sure you include your USPs, your benefits, prices, call to actions in the title tag as much as you can. Then you can see which one works best for your audience, because nobody knows which is going to be the best advert until you test it.
The other option, as I mentioned, is sponsored updates. This is a great way to advertise people in the main stream of LinkedIn if you’ve got a press release or a newsworthy story that you want to promote. You have to have published that update on your company page on LinkedIn, and then in the sponsored update section of the ads you get to choose which of those updates you want to share, and they’ll appear at the top of the newsfeed as I mentioned. So it’s a good way for that sort of content.
Then if you want to kind of focus on more rich media advertising, even video, you can use the Google AdWords platform separately by creating a display targeting campaign and setting a placement as LinkedIn.com only, so you’re only going to be targeting LinkedIn.com. But you can have a variety of banner styles. You can have several different horizontal banners, and then you’ve got the standard square 250 by 300 pixels banner, which will probably show on a lot of LinkedIn pages and also the skyscraper style. You can have text adverts as well as those image ads and as I mentioned, video ads. So really powerful way to kind of build your targeting on LinkedIn and try different adverts.
So this will give you a quick overview. I recommend just having a go really and trying different ads text, like I mentioned, see what works best, and then, yeah, just analyse the results through the built-in system. It should be enough reporting that you need. Let me know how you get on, and if you’ve got any questions, then just leave a comment below. Thanks.