Generally, LinkedIn is seen as a social channel restricted to working professionals. While that is true, often its other key advantages are simply ignored or not so publicized. That is- its great ability to generate qualified leads that help in promoting businesses. Most importantly, you can get those crucial leads using your LinkedIn advertising. In this workshop transcript, we have shared the complete discussion on how to get qualified leads for your business using LinkedIn. Have a look!
There are more than 690M professionals on LinkedIn. This means that there is a massive pool of professionals specific to your field of business on this channel. For this reason, LinkedIn is the go-to social media platform when you think of targeting a specific audience. So, instead of randomly putting an advertisement for all the people, like any other social media platforms, you can choose a target audience. You pay to make your ads see only to the audience that matters to your business.
Know that LinkedIn generates over 80% of all the leads generated on social media. This impressive stat shows that it is surely one of the biggest platforms for lead generation.
However, you should use advertisements on LinkedIn carefully and with a plan. You need to consider a lot of aspects of LinkedIn advertisements to make it as your potent lead generation tool.
Designhill, the leading creative marketplace, organized a workshop on the topic LinkedIn Advertising – How To Get Qualified Leads For Your Business. The guest speaker was AJ Wilcox, who shared his thoughts on how to benefit from LinkedIn advertising.
During the workshop, Wilcox shared how to get the most from your spending on LinkedIn advertising to generate leads. He shared how to avoid paying more to get your ideal traffic and which calls to action works the best on LinkedIn. He also delivered on the ways to create LinkedIn Ads that are ideal for your business.
- Targeting business professionals using LinkedIn
- How to close most prominent deals using LinkedIn?
- Different Ad formats
- How to target the audience?
- Tips to create the perfect LinkedIn Ad
About AJ Wilcox
AJ Willcox is a digital marketing expert who has been active in this field for over 13 years. He specializes in LinkedIn Ads and since 2014 he runs B21Linked.com that deals with LinkedIn Ads for high performance.
His Social Handles:
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/wilcoxaj/
- Website: https://b2linked.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/people/AJ-Wilcox/100009257516499
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi8d6hEiYU6n-VY17RCP_iQ
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/B2Linked
Here Is The Video Of The Online Workshop With AJ Wilcox
Here Are The Key Suggestions AJ Wilcox Offered To Generate Leads Using LinkedIn Advertising
AJ Wilcox: I have been doing digital marketing for the last 13 plus years. And, I really fell in love with LinkedIn ads when it became the channel that was producing the very best quality leads for our sales team. So, I kept investing until I grew that account to become LinkedIn’s largest spending ads account worldwide. And after that, I went, there has got to be more to LinkedIn ads than just for this one company. That is why I started at LinkedIn.
LinkedIn Ads is not the first channel you think of when you think about marketing. You are likely to think of Facebook ads, or running Google ads, or maybe even SEO. And so, I want to teach you about triggers that prompt you to say maybe LinkedIn ads could be a good fit for us.
So, the first is if your sales team is talking about poor lead quality, and you are running Google or Facebook, chances are that something like LinkedIn, where the targeting can be a lot more specific around who your ideal target audience is, could really improve that.
And then, let’s say you’ve been running a significant program on Facebook and Google for a long time. There is not too much more that you can do with them. You have hit now diminishing returns when you try to force them to send you new traffic. LinkedIn Ads is another great channel you may not have been able to access before.
Target Business Professionals
LinkedIn has some fantastic things going for it. Number one is it has the most amazing targeting for business professionals. And it’s at an amazing scale, especially here in North America, it’s like 95% of white-collar professionals are using LinkedIn, they’re on there. It means that if I have a budget large enough, I can really reach near 100% of my ideal target audience. And then also, we as LinkedIn users, go and update our profile, quite often. It is the reflection of our personal selves or our professional selves.
When you switch jobs or gain new skills, you are in a hurry to go to LinkedIn and update your profile. That means as advertisers we are targeting someone who fits your job title criteria or your company size, or your industry. It is going to be really accurate. Many of you may have done a list anywhere, you go back and you buy a list and then 30% of the emails bounced. The same thing doesn’t happen on LinkedIn, but the data is quite up to date. Targeting your niche business customers and the market is a key strategy to drive traffic from LinkedIn alternatives as well.
Best Channel To Close Most Prominent Deals
The most important is LinkedIn is the best channel for closing those mammoth deals. Sometimes we refer to it as spearfishing versus fishing with a net. It is going after the biggest, most prominent deals that you want to LinkedIn is great for that. We can even target by individual company names if you have specific companies you’re going after.
But, one thing you should know is LinkedIn ads are incredibly expensive when you compare them to the other channels, especially Facebook. So, because of the cost, it means that LinkedIn has priced themselves out of the market for many companies. So, here’s my quick walkthrough on this is how you know whether your company is a good fit.
All of these figures I’m going to share are in US dollars. And so if you are dealing in a different currency your costs are going to come down substantially. If you know the difference between your currency and the US dollar, you can just reduce these numbers to see if it is a good fit for you.
Great For Lead Generation
So, if you are doing any kind of lead generation where your lifetime value of a customer when you close them is $15,000 or more. That’s a great fit, whether you’re business to business, or business to the consumer with just this long consideration period. LinkedIn is great because you are going to earn a lot of money over the long term of having that client. But, and that makes up for the fact that you’re going to pay high costs per click.
And just so you know, on LinkedIn, in North America, and to English speaking audiences, we pay an average of eight to $11 per click. You might pay one to $3 per click for similar audiences on Facebook.
The next one that you want to look at is possibly white color recruiting. When you’re just trying to hire someone else new on your team, LinkedIn is the perfect fit for that. This is because you can target just the people who already have your skillset. Such people are already in your area.
The third and final one here is higher education, let’s say you are in an MBA program or higher education of some kind, you can use LinkedIn, awesome educational targeting, to make sure you’re getting in front of people who would make a good possible student for you.
Anytime we talk about social advertising, I think of this acronym AMO. And I think about it like bringing your AMO to social advertising. It’s the three things that every social ad campaign needs in order to start.
The first one is it is your audience, who we are targeting. This is what LinkedIn really excels at. The second is your message. This is what your customer sees. It is the image, video, and ad text you use. It is even the ad format you choose and what the customer sees. Finally, the most important is your offer.
And this is what you are essentially asking your customer to do. It’s their lead magnet, it’s your offer, your call to action. So we’ll go deeper into that. But we’ll go into each piece of these so that you can understand how they play and how you should prepare for your own campaigns.
Different Ad Formats
As we start in this kind of message realm, we’re going to walk through the different ad formats. And I’m pretty much going to cover them from what you should use to start all the way down to the least helpful ad formats for you.
01. Sponsored Content
So the first ad format is what LinkedIn calls single image sponsored content. All other sponsored content and a whole bunch of different flavors are included in it. These ads all appear right in your newsfeed, which is the default, homepage experience for LinkedIn users on both desktops, and mobile.
These are a great ad format if you want to get in front of people. I recommend this ad format to about 95% of marketers, maybe even more. It is the best place to start. Keep in mind your benchmark you want to go, when you launch something. If it’s below about point 4%, click-through rate, it’s a little bit less than half a percent, then you probably haven’t nailed your message. If you probably need to try again this is the ad format.
The average cost per click is eight to $11. In the US, it’s really based around this ad format. There are a couple of ad formats that are less expensive, but they have significant drawbacks. And there are ad formats that cost more. So, this is a really good middle ground, a really good happy medium.
02. Text Ads
Text ads appear only on the right rail when you are on a desktop. Because the majority of LinkedIn users are on their mobile devices, not many people see these ads. They also look like ads. We are kind of banner blind to them. Because of that, what I want to point out here is these are LinkedIn’s cheapest ad formats.
You can bid all the way down to $2 per click, but take a look at this point 2.0 to 5% click-through rate. Remember when I told you that the last one sponsored content was point four, this is point zero to five, that’s like a 12 or a 13th as much.
To put this into perspective, that’s two and a half people clicking out of every 10,000 times this ad is shown. So, these are fantastic ads. I love how cheap they are. But you really do need to have a large audience size for these really to even spend any money. So they’re a great supporting ad format to your sponsored content.
03. Dynamic Ads
Dynamic ads are similar and they are over in the right rail. But a little bit more expensive. You will probably pay six to $8 per click. They take the place of the text ads on the page. So you won’t see them often. The cool part about this is it actually takes your prospect’s face and inserts it into the ad itself. These ads, like text ads, have a very low click-through rate.
They make sense if you have a large audience size. They are similarly priced to sponsored content and sponsored content gets a lot more clicks. So, a lot more people see it, and therefore, I generally make this my third choice.
04. Message Ads
Then there is also something called message ads. With message ads, as opposed to the other few ad formats that I’ve shown you, you can say, hey, LinkedIn, I’m only willing to pay x for a click. For example, I’m only willing to pay $7 when someone clicks.
But with message ads, it’s charged on a cost percent basis. So you are going to pay it in the US, which is usually like 35 cents to 65 cents to send it to someone. It will go in their inbox, but you have no guarantee that they’re going to see or open it or read and then click on your call to action.
So, if you do the math based on averages here, it’s like an average of $23 to $58 per click, which is insane. Because of that, I only recommend this to about 5% of advertisers. You have a special kind of offer something that feels like a personal invitation in order for this to work. If it’s just a here, download my guide or white paper, or join our webinar, chances are it’s going to be the most expensive clicks that you’ve ever paid for.
05. Conversation Ads
And then there are conversation ads. This is very much the same as a message ad where it goes into your inbox. But the difference is here that a conversation ad is like a chatbot experience. You define questions that you can ask your prospect. Based on what they click and choose, then you can take them and show them more things. So we found these to be about 30% more efficient than message ads.
With a message ad, you give them a call to action. And if they are not interested in it, they just close it and they are gone. But with conversation ads, if they’re not interested in the very first offer you show them, you could still say, hey, how about this or come join us here. And these are new, and they tend to work quite well. But again, you need that VIP kind of offer. Something that if you got it as a cold email from someone that you have never heard of before. You would be excited about the opportunity, and you wouldn’t just mark it as spam and move on.
06. Video Ads
They also have video ads, where just this year they rolled out retargeting. We can create video funnels like sequences as we have always been able to do on Facebook and YouTube. But, the same rules apply that as Facebook video, for instance, they’re going to play muted. You want to make sure that your subtitles are burned into the video. Or, you are bringing them in with a dot SRT file because 80% of people are going to watch these without the sound on. So make sure that people can still get the gist of your message without their sound.
07. Carousel Ads
Carousel ads are very similar to Facebook’s carousel, where you can just put multiple images and links within an ad format. I don’t find a considerable boost on anything when I use these ads. It just seems like a lot more work to put together. So I don’t love carousel ads. But if you ever needed to have multiple tiles for something, then this is the right ad format.
People can scroll through with their thumb on their mobile device or click through the carousel on desktop. And then with any kind of sponsored messaging, ad formats like message ads or conversation ads, or any of the sponsored content that appears in the feed, you can attach them to a type of variant.
08. Lead Gen Form Ads
Lead gen form ads are where you can stick a native lead generation form right within the ad itself. Because of that, someone doesn’t have to leave the LinkedIn experience that they already trust to convert. You tend to have much higher conversion rates. No wonder, it’s consider as the biggest platform for lead generation. But be aware that when someone converts from a legion format, they didn’t go visit your landing page or your website. They didn’t go see you’re about us. So they’re going to be like Less invested in your company. You will have made a less powerful impression on them than if they would have come to your website.
So, plan on your conversion rates significantly higher, like 10 to 50%, on average. But you should also count on your lead quality being a little bit lower. Your goal is to get as many people into your funnel as possible for the cheapest amount. Then, lead gen forms work amazingly well for that. And of course, you need to get your leads out of LinkedIn. If you have HubSpot, Eloqua, Marketo, Salesforce, live ramp, a whole bunch of these platforms will pull them out. But, if you don’t have one of those platforms, the $20 a month Zapier plan will do that as well.
Targeting The Audience
So, now we get to the A part of AMO, the audience. This is the reason why we pay LinkedIn prices. This is the exciting part. All the targeting that we can do on LinkedIn, we can target by someone’s job title, their level of seniority, the groups that their members have by name. I am sure there are a lot of Facebook advertisers who wish they could do that on Facebook.
We can target by skills and what department someone is the company name. Also, we can target account-based marketing advertisers, company size, company industry, and the normal demographics that you’d expect as well as gender location.
But, what I really want to pull your attention to here are the combinations and exclusions. When you combine the different elements, you get a tighter, more exact target audience. And you can get really ninja with who you’re showing your ads to.
If I am targeting an audience, where my competitors might be part of it, I can go in and add all of my major competitors’ company names as exclusions. And now my competitors won’t see my ads, it’s pretty cool. Keep in mind, everything you see here on the screen is all of these great targeting options, this is probably only about a fourth of all of the targeting options we have available. So that’s why we pay LinkedIn premium prices for this level of targeting.
This is because there are so many different ways to target someone. We like to experiment by using different areas of LinkedIn data to target people. So, for instance, if I am targeting someone, let’s say a chief technical officer, I can use multiple different styles of targeting to reach that same person.
Target by Job Titles
Job title makes a lot of sense, like Chief Technical Officer, but I could also do the job function of IT. This is like their department with a C level seniority CXO. And that will also give me CIOs, CTOs. I can also target in-depth, types of skills, and layer on sea-level seniority. I can also target maybe CTO or CIO groups, or maybe even just IT groups with the C level seniority. And now what we have are four different ways of targeting the same person. And over time, I can find little insights like, oh, wow, job function targeting gets me a lot more volume.
But skills targeting, the lead quality tends to be a little bit lower, maybe I should turn it off or lower my bids there. And I guarantee when setting up for campaigns instead of one, your competitors are not doing this. You can find insights that get you discounts, lower, easier access, more scale, and lower costs to access the same types of people.
Offer To The Audience
So, now we get into O of the AMO, which is about the offer. And what you need to pay attention to is that we can ask anyone to do anything from an ad of any kind. But, it doesn’t mean that they are going to be willing to. So, I put together this funnel here of all types of different calls to action. You can give someone ordered from things that are low friction, meaning most people will be willing to do. Then high friction, which means you’re probably going to have low conversion rates.
For instance, we have the lowest types of friction offers might be like come and read this blog post or look at this infographic we did. And the highest kinds of friction might be saying like come take a trial of our software. Talk to someone like a sales rep to do a demo by something now. What you should understand is both of these extremes really should be avoided with LinkedIn.
Strike The Balance In Your Offer
Because if you ask too much, then no one will click on the ad and you just won’t spend any money. And anything that does spend, you’ll have a really low conversion rate. And on the opposite end here, you’re going to pay LinkedIn, very high prices, like eight to $11 per click, to get someone to read your blog post.
And eventually, if you’re tracking, you’ll find we’re paying $500 or $1,000 per lead, which is crazy. So really, where you want to be is the sweet spot in between. That is like I am going to give you a lead magnet, offer something of value, something that you are going to appreciate and it is going to help you. In exchange, we are going to ask for your contact information. And you’re kind of like cheating, it’s like jumping from the top of the funnel right to the middle of the funnel.
But this works especially well on LinkedIn to get a lot of scale of leads. And then a good sales team is going to get between 10 to 20% of these people on calls for demos. So, track your metrics and see if you could make this work.
Use Retargeting Strategically
You may have heard of retargeting. You might be using retargeting on other networks. LinkedIn does have to retarget like, where you can say if someone visited my landing page, but didn’t convert. Now, I want to keep showing them ads until they come back and convert or show them a different kind of offer. LinkedIn has this retargeting, but it’s really weak. It’s based entirely on cookies. And many of you may already know that half of the browsers don’t even keep a cookie.
Google announced within two years, Google Chrome is going to stop carrying a cookie. So the cookie, the death of the cookie is coming. And Lincoln’s retargeting relies on that cookie. So it’s not that great.
But, what I want you to picture is if you’re already running Google ads, and or Facebook ads, those two platforms have by far the best retargeting of any channel, any platform out there. So you use LinkedIn to get exactly the right people to your website. And then you use your Facebook and Google retargeting to reach them and stay in front of them across the whole web. That’s really the Dream Team.
Tips To Create The Perfect Ad
I want to talk to you guys about the perfect ad when you go to create your ads. I’m going to give you a structure for here’s exactly what you can do to launch ads that are probably going to perform significantly better than the average. As you’re writing your ad copy, keep in mind that someone on LinkedIn is in a hurry, they’re on a mission. They are on their way to go and do something, and you’re going to be interrupting them.
So, you want to be short, and to the point, you want to lead with the value, get your value out as fast as possible, so that they see that there’s value. And don’t just keep scrolling. And don’t be afraid to have a strong call to action. If you are going to ask them to download a PDF, use a call to action like downloading the free guide today. And then when you choose imagery, realize that LinkedIn is very blues, greys, and whites in its design and its color palette.
01. Stand Out With Colors
To stand out, you want to look at a color wheel, and use heavily used colors that are opposite of blue on the color wheel. That’s going to be like oranges, reds, greens, purples, all of these types of colors will help you stand out. And the job of your image is just to get people to stop scrolling. So don’t try to put a whole bunch of words in your image trying to convert them. Let the ad copy do that. When you are creating images for LinkedIn make sure that the image is in perfect LinkedIn image size to catch the audience’s attention.
02. High Performing Ad Example
So, here’s an example of a high performing ad. And this is one that actually we broke a lot of the rules, but I wanted to show you the difference here. So here’s an ad that we launched for one of our clients that did exceptionally well. I’m going to tell you this intro text right here, you want to keep it under about 130 characters.
You can add a link there if you want. So call it 130 to 150 characters. If you do that. It won’t say like dot dot dot sees more and make someone have to click on the ad in order to show the rest of your message. So you keep it short. This ad actually broke this rule of about 170 characters.
03. Break The Rules If You Have To
But again, it broke the rule but it performed really well. So, I wanted to show you how to follow rules and then see where you can break them. You can see we included why you should pay attention, this is the first thing you should include. So this is them saying we analyzed 18 million emails and found six best practices.
You can increase your sales, open rates today, that gets their attention, and then the call to action, click to download the new infographic. This does follow the rules, it’s just a little bit longer. And then the image that I told you about, you want to use things that are bright and get people’s attention. This image our client just took of someone in there on their team and their sales department.
It is not a great quality photo, but it worked great. Generally, try to follow the rules, but realize that you can depart from them. If you have something that maybe looks really organic. In the headline down here, I love to put in square brackets, the kind of action we’re asking them to do.
You might put something like a free download guide, something like that in square brackets, just so they know what you’re asking them to do. Then, the title of the asset here, you guys have probably worked really hard to come up with a good title for your asset. So, just put that right here, it’s a great place for it.
Designhill: What kind of ads work best on LinkedIn, are these images or videos?
AJ Wilcox: The image tends to be better to start with. This is because video ads have inherently two calls to action. You are asking someone first to watch the video. Then, you ask them to click or take some kind of action, probably in the video or in the ad copy. Therefore, when it doesn’t perform well, it’s really hard to troubleshoot. You don’t know if it was my video bad or my ad copy was bad or the combination was bad.
So, if you start with just image ads, to begin with, there’s very little to troubleshoot, and you can figure it out. Then, I would say test into a video. It is a less risky way to see which one is going to give you the lowest cost per qualified lead.
I just want to show you from LinkedIn, where you actually go to start advertising. What you can do is go to the LinkedIn homepage in the upper right-hand corner. You may have an advertised button. If you don’t, there will probably be an advertising button under the work section.
When you click on the marketing solutions and go to this web page, there will be a button that says Create add. And then it takes you to a list of your accounts. So if I go to my own account here, you can create campaign groups, which are like groupings of your campaigns, they don’t do too much.
Chose How To Pay
You can also create a targeting campaign. And, you choose all of how you are going to segment people. You can choose how you are going to pay. Whether you will pay by the impression, or by the click. Then, within the campaign, you can create ads. That is how you access it. And be aware that it’s because it took several clicks to get in here.
One thing I like to do is I’m on PC. So I hit Ctrl D, and it adds it to my bookmarks, and that way and I can even move it here to my bookmark bar, which you can see I’ve done, I have the LinkedIn campaign manager here, just as a quick, a quick way to get back into the platform. So you’re not always going through the LinkedIn homepage. The last couple of things I want to show you here.
And if any of you want to get started with LinkedIn advertising, go and download our free checklist of the eight things that you need in order to get started. And this isn’t a traditional lead generation. You don’t check that box that says I want someone to contact me, you’ll never hear from us ever again. This is purely we want you to have the value so that you can save all of that ramp-up time of trying to learn a new platform.
And then if any of you want to go really deep, I have a podcast called the LinkedIn ads to show. Episode 40 is about to be released next week. So check that out. We have interviews with the product folks at LinkedIn, as well as solo episodes by me basically teaching you a masterclass about LinkedIn.
Designhill: Is it possible to sort of adjust our targeting once the ad is live in LinkedIn as well?
AJ Wilcox: Yes, the same way, if you launch a campaign. You see that some of the leads coming in are from competitors, or from people who wouldn’t make great clients. You can go in anytime and start adding exclusions or change the targeting on the fly.
Designhill: Facebook takes two days to understand an audience’s behavior. How much duration does LinkedIn take?
AJ Wilcox: LinkedIn is very far behind Facebook as its technology is not nearly as advanced. But one great thing about it is that LinkedIn algorithms are so simple. It doesn’t take that long for LinkedIn to understand ads. It’s usually within about one day of running ads, I can tell whether or not they’re going to be very successful, or terrible, and I need to try something else.
If I launch new ads into a campaign, there is not this giant relearning process, like there is with Facebook, where performance goes into the toilet for a little while, and then comes back out. On LinkedIn, you can pretty much just take however your ads are performing, when you launch new ones, they should just continue performing.
Designhill: Is there a cap that this is the minimum that you have to spend on Indian or it’s a fee for?
AJ Wilcox: Yeah, the absolute minimum is any campaign has to have a budget of at least $10 per day. But you can pause that campaign at any time. If you only wanted to spend $5, for instance, now, this is for an account that was set up in USD. It is possible that if you set up an account in a different currency, you might find that the minimum campaign threshold is significantly lower. So that’s the absolute minimum.
Then here in North America, I tell people to make sure that you budget around $5,000 for the first month. This is because that is about how much money it takes to get enough clicks. Usually, you have enough leads to have your conversion rates and your costs per conversion on an ad test to be 95%. statistically significant. That is a great place to be if you’re working with an agency like ours, it sure makes sense. Learn whether or not it is going to be a good investment in the first month. If it is not, you can hire us in the second.
Designhill: Can you also throw some light on CPC and CPM, and how to go about deciding which method to use?
AJ Wilcox: With LinkedIn, if you just take all of the defaults, they will put you in a kind of bidding, called automated bidding. Automated bidding is actually the most expensive way to pay about 90% of the time. So, immediately, when I create a new campaign, I go and switch to a manual bid. And I choose max or enhanced cost per click. I set a low max cost per click. This is because I want to see if I’m not incentivizing LinkedIn very much to show my ads.
Also, I bid aggressively and see if they are going to still show my ad enough for me to spend my whole budget. That would be the most effective way to do it, or I might find that I need to increase my bids. So, that’s the way I approach bidding. Now automated, all it is is just a version of cost per impression or CPM bidding that you don’t have to give a max bid. They just choose it for you.
And so as soon as we are running sponsored content and click-through rates go over 1%, it is usually between about one to 1.2%. That’s when we know it would actually be cheaper to bid by cost per impression than it is the cost per click.
So, I say start out the cost per click bidding low. Then when you see that your click-through rates go over 1%. After that you should switch to either high bidding CPM or even better would be automated.
Designhill: Is there a way to add a company email?
AJ Wilcox: Yes, and no, but mostly no. When you are building a lead gen form, the default email is just going to pull in their profile email. And usually, when you sign up for a social media account, you are using your personal email. So, if you are collecting personal emails, which I personally love because they are going to match at a really high rate. That is when I target them with custom audiences on Facebook, and LinkedIn, and Twitter.
If your sales team does not want those. What you can do is specify the work email field in that form, instead of just email. And there is no validation to tell that they won’t just put in a Gmail address. So, you are basically just forcing your customer to type in an email, rather than just sucking in their profile email address.
This will result in more emails that are work than personal, but it won’t solve a problem. You absolutely need work emails. You’ll have to send them to a landing page where you can qualify them.
Combine Different Elements
But what I really want to pull your attention to here are the combinations and exclusions. When you combine these different elements, you get a tighter, more exact target audience. You can get ninja with who you are showing your ads to. And then with exclusions, I can target an audience, where my competitors might be part of it. I can go in and add all of my major competitors’ company names as exclusions.
And now my competitors won’t see my ads, it’s pretty cool. You have plenty of the targeting options we have available. So that’s why we pay LinkedIn premium prices for this level of targeting.
Designhill: Are the targeting options based on a Boolean search algorithm?
AJ Wilcox: Oh, yes, we actually just this year got a full boolean. But it used to be that anytime you selected a new targeting option, it acted like an and. So, you would say, I want them to have this job title, and be at a company that is at least this large, or be in this industry. They just recently released the ability to do or targeting. You can say, if they have this title, or are a member of one of these groups, then show them the ad.
We do have that now, but I don’t recommend it usually. And the reason why is that is if you use and target and end up with two or three campaigns that are really specific. By the ad performance that you see, you have learned something about that audience.
Suppose I had an audience that had two different people, a job title here and members of groups here. If it performed well or poorly, I wouldn’t know what was causing that. I wouldn’t have any levers to do additional testing. So, I would much rather break that into two separate campaigns, and learn how each reacts.
Designhill: What are the design mistakes that you have seen people making when it comes to LinkedIn advertising?
AJ Wilcox: Yeah, I think I touched on them. But don’t go in with an offer. I mean, you can always test this but don’t expect to go in with an offer like buy now, or talk to my sales rep. Then, you should have it worked because you’re talking only to people who are at the very bottom of your funnel already. You are ignoring everyone above that.
First, Provide Value
Because they don’t know like and trust you yet, they’re not going to be a very high-quality lead. So, think of where you can provide value first before you ask for anything.
When you create your first LinkedIn ads campaign, and actually any campaign, you’ll notice that LinkedIn automatically puts a checkmark in a box. This box is called enable audience expansion and you’ll want to immediately under Check that anytime you see it. This is because this option is like the COVID-19 of advertising. You want to avoid it at all costs.
If you tell LinkedIn, here’s the audience I want to go after. And they say, great. I know people who look like that. Let me stick them in. And I would suggest that if you’re paying LinkedIn premium prices, you might as well be very specific about who it is that you’re showing your ads to.
Designhill: For white-collar prospects, which are healthcare specialists, does the same targeting strategy work as well as the other service industry?
AJ Wilcox: Yes, we do not see very many differences between industries, we get we have people ask all the time, like, what are the best healthcare practices, or what are the best practices. And what we find is, regardless of what industry, you’re always going to be interested in what brings you value. If you are looking to hire someone, there’s an inherent value, they’re like, we can advance your career or put you in a better place, or let you make more money.
If you are offering a product or a service, your value can become and join this webinar where we’re going to teach you X, Y, and Z first, and then you can follow up and see if you can solve their other business problems. So yeah, it works equally as well across products and services, as well as all industries. As long as your lifetime value is high enough to pay Lincoln’s quite high premium prices for the clicks, then it’ll probably work quite well.
Designhill: Do you recommend list upload ad targeting or creating your own audience with LinkedIn audience targeting options?
AJ Wilcox: LinkedIn has audience uploads that you can do, similar to how Facebook does, where you can upload lists of email addresses, and target them.
Target Your Contact List
LinkedIn has one extra ace up its sleeve. You can upload email addresses as well and do a contact list target. But you can also upload company names. So, for instance, if you wanted to target the Inc 5000, you could go find a list of the Inc 5000 companies, upload it into LinkedIn, and then use that as an audience facet.
What I love about this is, when you bring your own data to LinkedIn, they end up not charging you as much because you weren’t relying on their features to do it. And so if I have a list that I got from somewhere else, I’m probably going to pay a lower amount than if I stacked my targeting to target exactly the same person with the native targeting. So I really do love doing this.
If I have a list of companies or people that I would like to target First, I would make that my primary target. And I would try to spend as much of my budget as on that very exact audience. But if I know that my budget is $5,000 for the month, and I’m on a trajectory to only spend, let’s say, 1000, on my list uploads, then I would say it is great.
Let’s expand our targeting and start going after more of Lincoln’s native targeting options to round that out. But certainly, target your most valuable people first, and only expand from there when you’re seeing the success.
So, these are the key things you should pay heed to while posting your advertisements on LinkedIn. If planned well and every aspect taken care of, you can surely get the desired qualified leads for your business. You also need to learn from your mistakes to get the best out of this social media.
Designhill is another platform that can help your business drive your audience’s attention. This leading platform for creative people will let you access impressive visuals such as logos, business cards, websites, brochures, etc.
Such well-designed visuals are your way to make an impact on your target customers. So, just launch your design contest and get a winning design that suits your brand personality.
LinkedIn advertising is a great way to generate qualified leads that help in effectively driving traffic and promoting a business. Willcox advises using different ad formats such as text ads, dynamic ads, messaging ads, video ads, etc. to see what works best for lead generation.