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6 Tips for Creating LinkedIn Ads for B2B Lead Generation

by | Jul 9, 2019

LinkedIn is the best place on the internet for B2B lead generation. Eighty-percent of social media B2B lead generation and 64% of corporate website traffic originating on social media comes from LinkedIn. Most importantly, 50% of LinkedIn users say they are more likely to buy from a company they’ve engaged with on LinkedIn.

Because so much lead generation happens on LinkedIn, it is important for your B2B business to have an active LinkedIn presence and fully implement the power of LinkedIn ads. Here are 6 tips for creating LinkedIn ads that will increase your B2B lead generation.

Target Specific Individuals, Companies, and Roles

LinkedIn’s advertising platform has powerful tools for targeting specific companies, roles, or individuals. The professional social networking site saw a 32% increase in post-click conversion rates for businesses who used LinkedIn account targeting. That’s a huge conversion rate and speaks to just how accurate LinkedIn targeting is.

It’s an effective tool and easy to use.

For instance, if a company only wants to target marketing managers in New York City at manufacturing companies with more than 100 employees, they can do that with just a few clicks. Or, maybe they only want to target recent college graduates with a Bachelor’s degree from a local university. They can do that, too.

There are many ways to target your ads on LinkedIn, including by:

  • Location
  • Company name
  • Company size
  • Industry
  • Connections
  • Number of followers
  • Job title
  • Job function
  • Seniority
  • Field of study or degree type
  • LinkedIn groups
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Years of experience

If you aren’t sure where to start with LinkedIn ad targeting, try utilizing the audience templates LinkedIn provides. The templates can help target specific types of people without having to manually create and test each list individually.

Choose the Most Effective LinkedIn Ad Type for Your Goals

LinkedIn Sponsored Content

Sponsored content is a form of native advertising. Each ad appears exactly how every other post or piece of content looks on the site, much like a promoted post on Facebook or Twitter. The content can, and should, include video or graphic content to grab your targeted audience’s attention and make your company stand out.

Sponsored content is best for companies wanting to raise awareness, increase followers, or generate leads.

LinkedIn Text Ads

Text ads are the most basic form of LinkedIn advertising. Maxing out at 100 characters, text ads are, by far, the easiest type of ad to create and publish.

LinkedIn’s pay-per-click text ads are best for targeting specific B2B audiences or attracting high-quality job applicants.

LinkedIn Dynamic Ads

Dynamic ads change depending on your audience’s activity and come in three forms:

  • Follower ads that allow users to follow your LinkedIn page with a single click are good for building brand awareness. However, in June 2019, LinkedIn launched a functionality for admins to invite their connections to like a company LinkedIn page. We suggest building your page with this tool before investing in a follower ad campaign.
  • Spotlight ads that allow users to be taken to your own customized landing page, outside LinkedIn are helpful for lead generation and introducing audiences to your own website.
  • Content ads that allow users to download original content in exchange for sharing their email and information are useful for retargeting purposes later on.

LinkedIn Sponsored InMail

LinkedIn’s direct messaging system is called InMail. Sponsored InMail ads can be sent to a highly targeted group of recipients and include a call-to-action button that is always visible.

Sponsored InMail is best for when you need to directly engage with already-warm business leads or to drive downloads to specific gated content.

Create Compelling Ad Content with Powerful Words and Images

Before starting a LinkedIn ad campaign, make sure your brand identity is shaped. Know your core brand promise, and understand what differentiates your business or service from its competitors.

Keep in mind, no matter how great your business or service is, no advertisement will work without the right combination of words and images.

One way to ensure you’re putting your best ad forward is by repurposing an already successful LinkedIn Update. Select a post with high engagement, and then build out your ad. Holding on to the likes, shares, and comments your content has already received will help generate even more attention to your ad placement. Not to mention, you already know how your target audience and followers respond to the content.

Videos or infographics are an excellent way to grab attention. When selecting ad content, be sure to choose something that stands out and speaks to your core brand promise or messaging. Don’t limit yourself to one ad, either. Be sure to A/B test content so you can see what your audience is responding to. The results may surprise you!

Be Sure Your Ad Leads to Something Useful

Landing pages are website pages you own dedicated to convincing visitors to take a specific action, such as downloading an ebook, signing up for a newsletter, watching a video, or starting a free trial. No matter what, your landing page should have a clear call-to-action that doesn’t confuse potential customers and provides a genuinely useful resource to your prospects.

It is important that you know how many potential leads are clicking your ads, and what they are doing on your landing page once they get there. Be sure to add the LinkedIn Pixel or Insight Tag to track conversions. You may also want to add Google Tag Manager tags to all your content and buttons to maximize the data you are able to collect from the leads your ads generate.

Don’t Fear the Cost: Premium Leads Are Worth It

LinkedIn ads are, on average, more expensive than Facebook and Google ads. However, because of the excellent targeting and professionalism of the network, LinkedIn provides warmer leads than their digital competitors.

At 630+ million users, high bids have become necessary in order to remain competitive. Last year, LinkedIn advertisers saw an average CPC of $6.50 (compared to $2.32 for AdWords searches).

But those extra dollars are worth it. LinkedIn says through their “modern selling” platform, 45% more opportunities are created there than through traditional lead generation alone. Marketing experts agree. According to MarketingLand, “It’s much easier to justify higher costs when the leads are worth so much more.”

Continually Improve Your Ads, Retarget Audiences

LinkedIn provides a powerful analytics platform that shouldn’t be ignored. Whenever you can, run multiple ads side-by-side to the same audience to determine which messaging works best. Testing can seem overwhelming, but when done correctly, it’s easy and effective. By running the same creative with different messages, LinkedIn analytics will tell you what message creates the reactions and engagements you are hoping for. Once you’ve narrowed down your messaging, try a few different pieces of creative content using the same written copy.

It’s always exciting when your ad gets attention. But, if you don’t act on that engagement, it’s just another missed opportunity. That’s why adding your LinkedIn Insight Tag to your website header is important. When someone clicks through to your website, their information gets added to a very important audience⁠—the retargeting audience.

A retargeting audience is an audience that has already shown some sort of interest in your product. Maybe they downloaded your ebook or signed up to your email list. What you can be certain of is that anyone on your retargeting list has shown serious interest in your company or products. These leads should always be pursued.

Once your retargeting audience hits the required number of click-throughs to your website, you can launch your retargeting campaign. The retargeted ads should be designed specifically around the actions these warm leads have taken previously, and what you want their next steps to take.

Lauren Murphy - Social Media Strategist

  • Takes social media to the next level with smart strategies and analytics
  • First social media position in 2015, joined Nichols in 2018
  • Can talk analytics for days
  • Already knows about the next big thing on social media
  • Gets snippy without daily workout

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