7 mins

At first glance, LinkedIn might not be the obvious choice for your advertising campaign. But with an impressive click-through rate of 0.68%, it’s one of the highest performing platforms, trumping Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Plus, as LinkedIn is fairly new to the advertising game, you’ll benefit from lower competition, allowing you to achieve your advertising goals quicker.

LinkedIn boasts 800 million users across 200 countries on the platform, so you can reach your target audience anywhere. OK, so LinkedIn has a major following just like most of the top social media platforms – nothing new there. But what makes it unique is how users behave on LinkedIn, their motivation for using the network and their level of trust. Did you know that LinkedIn has consistently been voted the most trusted social network in terms of data handling? That’s big considering people are becoming more cautious about where their data ends up. And we all know trust is key in the consideration phase, helping you to foster positive brand awareness. 

So how can you get started on LinkedIn? In our recent paid social bite-size session, our advertising experts walked you through the need-to-know ways of supercharging your advertising on LinkedIn. If you missed the session, you can catch up here. But if you want to skip forward to the insights, you’re in the right place. Let’s take a look at what we learned from the session. Onto the takeaways!

Inform your strategy with LinkedIn user behaviour

People primarily use LinkedIn to learn and connect. Although initially a platform for professional networking, the channel has now evolved and focuses on sharing ideas, industry news and connecting with people in a professional capacity. So in order to create successful ad campaigns that engage your audience, you need to be creating content that inspires and teaches. Cute cat videos won’t drive the conversions you want to see on this platform, so stick to TikTok and Instagram if that’s your angle.

Use what you know about your audience to inform your campaign objectives. From awareness to consideration and conversions, you need to empathise with your audience and create ads that engage them. 

Refine your targeting

LinkedIn offers precise and powerful targeting options that aren’t available on other platforms. In addition to the typical demographics like age and geographics like location, LinkedIn also allows you to target traits like job titles, company name, industry and professional interests. But it doesn’t stop there. LinkedIn’s “Matched Audiences” feature is unique and allows you to use customised targeting to reach people that you already know. It uses website, contact, and account targeting to do so. Let’s quickly take a look at each of them:

  • Company targeting. This allows you to match your target companies to other LinkedIn pages. Simply create a list of your target companies, upload it and LinkedIn will do the rest.
  • Contact targeting. This is similar to company targeting as you upload a list, but it allows you to target your existing customers or prospects instead.
  • Retargeting. This allows you to personalise content based on the actions that people have taken with your company already and it’s all done through the LinkedIn Insight Tag
Teach with stats

Like we said, LinkedIn is teeming with people looking to learn. So your creative needs to teach them something. Shout about stats, facts and figures in your advertising assets – shout about why someone would want or need to use your product or service. There are loads of ad types you can use to do just that.

And speaking of ad types… Choose carefully 

In addition to your typical image and video ads, LinkedIn has some unique ad types that can help you speak directly to your audience. Let’s take a look at them:

  • Carousel ads. These help to tell an interactive story across multiple devices.
  • Event ads. Promote a LinkedIn Event from your page to a defined audience.
  • Dynamic ads. These use user information to create personalised ads. Just remember, they only appear on desktop, so consider whether your audience will see them. In fact, 57% of LinkedIn’s traffic is mobile, but if you’re serving ads during office hours, then you stand a chance of converting those sneakily browsing LinkedIn at work. 
  • Sponsored InMail ads. These are personalised direct messages, helping to build a connection to your audience.
  • Sponsored content ads. These appear as native ads in the feed and help to promote existing content, driving highly qualified conversions and increasing the number of followers to your page.
  • Conversation ads. These allow you to start conversations with your audience through a choose-your-own-path experience, helping to increase the level of engagement.
  • Lead gen ads. These are great for getting your hands on first-party data quickly. Super important to have on-hand when the third-party cookie crumbles
  • Spotlight ads. These drive traffic to your website by featuring your product, service, event or newsletter with a clear CTA.
  • Follower ads. These allow you to expand your audience and acquire more followers for your company page or showcase page.
Avoid hyper targeting

While LinkedIn allows you to target people with a wide range of characteristics, we don’t recommend adding more than three targeting options. Instead, refine your audience to maximise ROI. You can do this by gradually narrowing down your audience size over time by testing and learning about who your audience really is. Give split testing or A/B testing a go, changing one variable at a time to see what makes a difference in your campaign results. You can also optimise your approach by using the campaign demographics in the campaign manager. This will give you detailed information about the type of users who are clicking on your ads. 

Know your buzzwords

Calls to action are super important when it comes to any ad. But when you’ve only got a few seconds before your audience loses interest, your messaging needs to be sharp and so does your content. There are certain buzzwords to use, and others to avoid. And like we mentioned, teach your audience something new with your content.

Don’t be fooled – although LinkedIn is a professional networking channel, you won’t get far by being uber corporate. People still want to see your personality shine through, so make sure to inject life into your adverts to boost that connection. There’s a whole host of research that says humans are drawn to faces and these tend to lead to better engagement on social media, so why not show the people behind your business? It might just boost your CTR. 

Goodbye China, hello live-stream: It’s never too early to prepare for the future 

2021 has been a big year for LinkedIn. In September, we saw LinkedIn scrap their stories feature ‘Fleets’, despite other social media jumping on the stories bandwagon. It just wasn’t as effective as LinkedIn had hoped, so they scrapped it. This goes to show how one approach definitely does not fit all when it comes to social media. And before the end of 2021, LinkedIn is set to leave China, so if you’re looking to serve ads to people there, you’ll need to rethink how and where you position your ads.

Is there any good news? Yes, LinkedIn is due to introduce a live-stream feature. This presents a major opportunity to brands looking to build brand awareness. Did you know, live stream videos receive seven times more reactions and 24 times more comments than on regular video. And, although live-streams aren’t paid media, it’s a great way to advertise your new products and we’re sure there’ll be sponsorship opportunities in the future, so watch this space!

Do you need help with your LinkedIn advertising strategy? Get in touch and our team of experts will help you smash your targets. 

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