Wednesday, November 18th, 2015 | 5 min read
Every social network has its forte. You go to Twitter for news updates, Pinterest for ideas, Facebook to connect with friends, and LinkedIn when you’re looking for opportunities. But as the old saying goes, you should never judge a book by its cover, and LinkedIn’s story is still unfolding.
It’s no longer simply a place where people search for jobs; LinkedIn is now a destination for original business thought leadership and a powerful advertising platform where companies can reach an audience of educated, young professionals with cash to burn. Moreover, with LinkedIn Sponsored Updates, which are the social platform’s core ad product, companies can tap into the robust targeting potential inherent to LinkedIn—nearly all users publicly indicate what they do, who they are, where they work, and what they’re interested in.
In this post, Jason Miller, Global Content Marketing Leader at LinkedIn, and Simon Mansell, Manager of Paid and Services at Sprinklr, share their advice for getting the most business value from LinkedIn Sponsored Updates.
LinkedIn’s platform offers one of the most granular and sophisticated targeting features in social media. Due to LinkedIn being a premiere tool for job seeking and networking, users self identify exactly what they do, who they are, where they work, even their personal interests. Take advantage of these unique features, so that you’re delivering your Sponsored Updates to the right audiences. And don’t forget to target groups where users opt in to join based on their professional interests.
When you know the audience group you want to target, you can use that information to tailor messages specifically for them. You can also use this information to set up your bids. For example, executives are likely of higher importance, so create a separate campaign with different bidding/budgets compared to manager and practitioner-level individuals that might be of lower importance.
Advertisers are able to create multiple variations of an ad within a single campaign, so there’s no excuse to be lazy about testing. Try different messages, creative, and bids to see what makes the most impact with your audience, then use your performance metrics and new insights to improve future campaigns.
With the availability of Direct Sponsored Content—a recent expansion of Sponsored Updates—brands have the ability to create and promote personalized messages to specific audiences without having to originate posts on their LinkedIn Company Page. This means you now have the ability to test and retest a variety of content in real time until you get it right.
It’s pretty obvious, but small, hard-to- see visuals hardly capture anyone’s attention. Using bright, easy-to-see images that correspond with the content in your ads can do wonders for performance. So don’t be afraid to pay a little extra for nice stock photos. Better yet, use your own authentic photos.
Bonus: this is another part of your ad that you can test.
Your LinkedIn ads shouldn’t exist in a silo. Consider unifying all of your paid social programs across LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and any other channels – and including your organic programs as well – within one social management platform. Centralizing your paid activities will also give you the ability to consolidate metrics from all your social campaigns into one report.
With a single source of data, you can easily compare performance across different channels and can easily route information to key stakeholders. In addition, you’ll be able to use the performance of your organic posts as a benchmark for your Sponsored Updates.
The audience’s ad experience shouldn’t end once they click on your ad. The end destination of your ad—i.e., your landing page—should match the quality of your ad. Make sure it’s clear, concise, and communicates exactly what you’re trying to promote.
Also make sure the full experience of your ad (including your end destination) is optimized for different screens. Your awesome desktop ad should look equally awesome on mobile and on tablet.
About the Author: Jason Miller leads global content and social initiatives for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, helping marketers understand how to use LinkedIn to achieve their marketing goals and deliver real ROI.