Let me start by saying we love LinkedIn. Seriously, it does it all! From website demographics to almost every breakdown of targeting you could ever want. But on the other hand, with all that great stuff comes a high ticket price – and the fear of wasting money when your campaign isn’t generating the results you’re looking for. So if you’re trying to maximize your impact, we have 5 simple tips for optimizing to make an effective B2B marketing campaign.
1. Check Your Targeting
When we audit a new client’s existing account, the first thing we do is check out the current demographics and look for red flags. We look at the businesses, business industries, job titles, and job seniority of the people visiting the website and interacting with remarketing ads via LinkedIn’s demographics. Then we look at the prospecting campaign.
Red flag # 1: Your company isn’t excluded from seeing your ads.
This one is so easy to forget, but so important to remember. We get it, it’s exciting to see your ad and click through it to get the whole experience, but it’s a massive waste of important ad spend that could be used to reach prospective customers. For example, we’ve had a few client accounts where employees from that company clicked on the ads so many times throughout the year it added up to an entire month of ad spend budget. In other words, 1/12 of the budget was completely wasted when it could have been spent on impactful leads.
Red flag # 2: Targeting entry-level employees (on accident)
We commonly see entry-level employees or irrelevant job titles eating up budget. If your goal is to be educational to everyone, then ignore this. If you’re in B2B marketing, then chances are your goal is LEADS, LEADS, LEADS. Entry-level employees are probably not going the decision markers that will help you reach your sales goals. Audit your existing client base, or put together a target profile to refine your targeting.
Red flag # 3: Your current prospecting job titles don’t align with the job titles interacting with your business.
We start with who we think the decision-makers are, but when you’re able to start deep-diving into the account, and leads start coming in, this is where you can see the type of people who are actually interested and become marketing qualified leads.
As mentioned above, a common practice is to export all the current leads and pull out common job titles. This is a simple way to discover who you should be targeting. For example, while you thought the Chief Innovative Officer was a great title target – it wasn’t, and you actually should have been targeting the Associate Director of Architecture.
In summary, take the time to understand your audience and do the research – don’t make assumptions (we all know the saying…).
2. Your Audience Size Matters
To find your ideal audience size, you have to consider a few variables like; budget, number of impressions and frequency. For example, let’s say your audience size is 100,000 people and your budget of $50/day is only going to reach about 40,000 people with an average frequency of 2 in 30 days, then that tells you two things, either double your budget or cut your audience size in half.
It seems like a good idea to reach a lot of people, which it is, but the likelihood of them seeing your ad and clicking on it (let alone converting) after only seeing it once is next to nothing. Aim for a frequency of about four, and you’ll hit the sweet spot.
Pro tip: Make sure you’re not forgetting about your remarketing audience! They know who you are, and have shown some intent, so use them! LinkedIn has lots of great ways to segment out your remarketing audience. If your audience is big enough, start breaking it apart by industry, target account list, lead form opens and people who watched one of your video ads.
The other great part about remarketing audiences is that you can ask more of them because they already know you. So, go ahead and offer that free demo and push them down your sales funnel! According to LinkedIn, remarketing campaigns have an average of 30% increase in click-through rate and a 16% decrease in cost-per-conversion. Build this audience!
3. Offer Educational Content
We understand the goal is for people to see your product, but asking someone who has never heard of your company to sign up for a free demo is too big of an ask (even if you have the best product ever). Instead, peak their interest by offering a thought leadership piece – and make sure it’s gated.
While one download of a case study isn’t going to lead to a sale the next day, it will start the conversation. According to LinkedIn, a case study is also a great way to combine brand awareness and lead generation. If you can offer something people will find helpful, with or without your product, then you will leave a positive lasting impression.
Other great offers trending on LinkedIn are webinars, white papers, and guides.
4. Utilize LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms
The average conversion rate when your ad clicks to a website is 2.35%. When using a LinkedIn lead form, that increases to 13%. Seriously, it’s that big of a difference. The great thing about lead forms is it’s streamlined, most of the information is pre-populated, and they don’t have to leave LinkedIn to give you their information. On the other hand, when you send someone to your website, you’re giving them an opportunity to get distracted. It takes time to look around the page, maybe click through your site a little, and by the time they remember the reason they clicked the ad, they’ve already decided they’re no longer interested and don’t feel like filling out the form.
Another great thing about lead forms is they, (basically) automatically connect to a CRM software like HubSpot. Gone are the days of manually downloading contacts – this integration makes it super simple to manage your lists.
Finally, lead form ad interaction is great for remarketing. You can compile all the people who clicked on your ad, but didn’t fill out a lead form, into a campaign and serve remarketing ads to them. Consistency and staying top of mind is key. You know they are interested, but maybe they’re just looking for something a little different or it’s not the right time.
5. Scroll Stopping Creative
Visuals are the new headline. The ad copy you spent your blood, sweat and tears writing is great and might be the deciding factor, but it will not stop the scroll.
When creating imagery for LinkedIn ads, you must remember to optimize for mobile users because 80% of ad clicks are coming from that medium. This means you need to lower your character count and don’t try to put too much in one spot, or it will be hard to see. Carousels are a great creative for mobile users, as it keeps them engaged and allows more space for storytelling on your part.
As far as the type of imagery you use, keep it simple and keep it on brand; if you can create a distinct, repeatable look, you’ll save yourself a lot of time. A great example of this is our Instagram feed (yes, this can apply to other socials). We keep our colors, font and blocks all aligned and reusable.
Things to avoid? Stock images and busy layouts, you want people to recognize your face, your brand, your product – not be confused about what you’re selling, and it’s 2022, people can sniff out a picture from Shutterstock a mile away.
But, here’s the thing, all audiences are different, some want to see words, others numbers and some just a picture; it’s up to you to test! See what resonates with your audience because chances are you’re not going to get it right the first go around. It takes time, but you got this!
There are many moving parts in the world of LinkedIn marketing, but the more time you invest on the platform, the better your ads will be. Use these tips to increase your ad engagement and generate more leads.
Shameless plug: If you don’t want to do it yourself, feel free to reach out to our team of digital marketing experts. We’re here to help!