How to Get Quality Leads with LinkedIn Marketing Solutions
Learn the difference between ad types, how to set up a campaign and what you get with a Premium Business account on Linkedin.
Table of Contents
Learn all about digital marketing on LinkedIn and how to get to the best targeted audience on this professional network.
When it comes to social media marketing, businesses usually advertise on huge platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and lately TikTok. However, a gold mine that is often overlooked is LinkedIn, where businesses can work on their brand awareness, employer branding, as well as reach their potential customers and future employees in a very targeted and straightforward way.
In this article, we’ll show you in which cases LinkedIn marketing excels and is worth investing in, as well as go through the pricing and types of ads on the professional social media network.
Why advertise on Linkedin?
First of all, it’s important to know that LinkedIn advertising is not fitting for any business or industry, since the target audience is a lot different and more narrow than, let’s say, Instagram. If you’re running a small business that offers products and services that have nothing to do with information technologies, marketing, human resources… The LinkedIn audience isn’t fitting for you.
LinkedIn is perfect for companies and professionals in the information technology industry, SaaS businesses, human resources, real estate, marketing and advertising, Internet, business and counseling, financial services, and more. The LinkedIn industry list is long and detailed, but to be frank, it’s not worth spending money on advertising there if you’re running a beauty salon or another strictly brick-and-mortar business.
Here’s a pie chart of the top industries on LinkedIn in 2016, according to their internal data and research.
There are a few steps when creating a dynamic ad campaign:
Preview of a Follower Ad. Source: business.linkedin.com
You can choose a PPC (pay per click) or CPM (cost per impression) pricing plan.
With this in mind, if your business does fall in one of these top industries, there are plenty of things you can do to get noticed on LinkedIn.
First and foremost, LinkedIn is the best place to advertise for B2B marketing (business to business). The extensive search filters and the general demographic consisting of company owners, managers and decision makers make it the perfect social network to build relationships. B2B marketers realize the possibility of narrowing down the audiences for lead generation on this platform, by the optimization of factors such as location, number of employees, industry and connections. Furthermore, the LinkedIn KPIs or metrics make it easy for tracking and retargeting the goals of campaigns to fit the corporate objectives and purpose of each campaign. We’ll talk more about relevant metrics further in this article.
Secondly, it’s great even for B2C marketing. Plenty of people use LinkedIn as a means to better informal education, but also to research high quality companies and professionals that can be hired for a certain job. The platform allows companies to showcase their teams, projects, company culture and plenty of other factors that help us decide as customers if a business deserves our trust and investment. You can also put the search filters such as location, job title, connections and education to good use once again, and reach your desired audience. Let's assume you want to promote a webinar for marketers. Selecting your crowd will be so much easier when you target only marketers.
Thirdly, the messaging on LinkedIn is a lot more straightforward, sincere and direct than any other marketing platform. People are there to do business, and you don’t need to be creative, experimental and catch their attention in unique ways. Either they need what you sell or don’t. The message you place is clear and much closer to an elevator pitch than to creative marketing.
Types of LinkedIn Ads
Now that we’ve mentioned the powerful targeting possibilities and filters on LinkedIn, let’s go through the four different types of ads you can place on the platform.
In a later chapter in this text, we’ll also talk about Premium Accounts and what you get from using a free company page on LinkedIn, but for now, let’s focus on paid social media marketing.
As LinkedIn defines them, sponsored content ads are “native ads that appear in the LinkedIn feed”. Basically, you post either a single image ad, video ad, or carousel ad, and sponsor and target it to the best of your ability. All three kinds of ads show up in the news feed, not in the margins or messages.
You can generate quality leads with native ads too: through using the Lead Gen Forms, you can pull LinkedIn profile data and contact details into a form that people who see the ad can submit with one click, if interested.
You can also team up with LinkedIn Marketing Partners to exceed marketing goals. Companies such as Microsoft, Hubspot, Buffer and Salesforce are in the LinkedIn Marketing Partner Directory, so if you can afford such a partnership, it can be of great value and benefit to your brand.
To be able to run Sponsored content on LinkedIn, you need to have a company page and create and sign in to the LinkedIn Campaign Manager. If you already have a Company Page, it’s a pretty straightforward signup. You just need to choose a currency in which you’ll pay your ad expenses, and add an account name that will be visible to you. Audiences won’t see the account name, but the name of the company page which you use to promote the ad.
Sponsored Messaging is basically direct text ads that will ensure a certain profile will see your ad since it ends up in their inbox. You might think that it’s somewhat annoying, but it’s extremely effective. People check their Inbox on LinkedIn because that is where they are reached out to for business prospects. Also, these messages can be interactive and engaging, contrary to boring cold emails or repetitive ads. You can also apply the Lead Gen forms and automated calls-to-action to accelerate your pipeline.
There are two kinds of sponsored messages: Message Ads and Conversation Ads. The difference is that the first type supports just one call-to-action that can be paired to just one Lead Gen form. The second gives the receiver of the message a choose-your-own-path experience, i.e. it offers multiple calls-to-action, with the flexibility to drive prospects to a Lead Gen Form or to various landing pages. In the picture below you can see a Message Ad on the right, and a Conversation Ad on the left side.
You can optimize and retarget the audience through Campaign Manager, and use Insight Tag to view the metrics on your website too.
LinkedIn Text Ads are a very practical, short and intuitive type of advertisement. The best way to describe them would be to compare them to Google Ads, which show up only on LinkedIn. They are a bit more limiting compared to other marketing solutions since they only appear on desktop, so mobile users of LinkedIn won’t be able to see them.
Text Ads show up in two formats: either as a single phrase on the top of the feed or on the right panel in the Promoted section.
Text Ads are catchy and straightforward, but you need skill and precision to convey the message you want in such a short format. Otherwise, you still can acquire data through Lead Gen forms and using Insight Tag.
LinkedIn Dynamic Ads are pretty much all of the previous kinds of ads, but hyper-personalized and can show up in the feed, in a message, or the sidebar. Practically, they pull the user’s name from their LinkedIn profile, and they apply it to the template you create. It’s possible to also pull and apply the user’s photo, job title and other information.
The creation, targeting and use of these ads are entirely different from the other three types.
There are four different kinds of Dynamic Ads:
- Follower Ads: Use these to build more following among LinkedIn users and gain brand awareness. Especially useful when you are up and coming and need bigger numbers on your Company Page.
- Spotlight Ads: Use this kind of ad to drive traffic to your website or landing page by featuring your product, service, event, newsletter, and more with a clear call-to-action for your target audience.
- Content Ads: Used to generate leads when members download the sponsored content, and to either download the leads directly in Campaign Manager or send them to a marketing automation tool or CRM. This kind of Dynamic Ad is currently only available through a LinkedIn representative. Reach out to their team here.
- Job Ads: Allows personalization for the ad to reach top talent. You can promote one or more job opportunities to qualified LinkedIn members and drive traffic to active job openings based on members’ skills and experience.
- Sign in and create a campaign and campaign group.
- Choose your advertising objective and target audience.
- Create a budget, schedule, and bid.
- Add creatives and choose your ad rotation.
- Review & launch your campaign.
Optimization and customization are better with Dynamic Ads, since you can test different creatives, feature your logo, swap relevant icons, or include a custom background image.
You can track and iterate your ads with Conversion Tracking.
Cost of advertising on LinkedIn
There is no one answer to the question how much does an ad on LinkedIn cost. The price changes according to location, goal, clicks, objectives and other key variables.
However, the amount of money you end up paying is defined through these three factors.
- Placing a bid: By starting your campaign, you place a bid for your ad to be shown to the audience of choice in the desired place.
- Ad auction: LinkedIn automatically runs an auction in which your bid competes with other advertisers who want to reach the same audience.
- The target audience is defined by you and made up of LinkedIn members that fit your preference. The cost of reaching differs on their desirability.
The price of the ads is also decided by the type of activity you want to pay for, ad formats and ad sizes, bidding strategy and different optimization goals. Check out this detailed chart by LinkedIn to see which campaign strategies and optimization goals correspond to the chargeable event.
What can you get with a free LinkedIn page for your company?
Most related to this article, you need to have a LinkedIn page for your company to be able to roll ads and register to Campaign Manager. But there are plenty of other benefits by running a Company Page.
LinkedIn Company Pages are free to set up and are your company’s portfolio on the platform. You can showcase your team members, the number of employees, connect your website, share your mission, vision, locations, year of founding, and other important insights about your business.
You’ll also be able to post job openings and share links and updates about the company news. Another way you can use LinkedIn is to write native articles and use the network as a blog platform. Plenty of industry influencers share opinion pieces and news directly on LinkedIn. It doesn’t help with SEO as regular content marketing does, but you can use hashtags and reach a bigger audience through public blog posts.
Furthermore, LinkedIn can reroute people who click on your company name or logo on the LinkedIn platform to the attached Company Page. It will also allow your company to become “discoverable” inside of LinkedIn’s Search box and on Google and other search engines.
Your employees can also link back to your Company Page and help drive traffic to it through their individual profiles.
What can you get with a Premium LinkedIn account?
By purchasing a Premium Business LinkedIn account, you get four key benefits:
- Sponsored InMail messages: Enables you to grow your network and reach new followers through an automated personalized message.
- See who has viewed your Company Page: Learn which peers, potential employees and industry leaders are checking out your business.
- Company Insights: Access to competitor data, industry news and analytics from your Company Page.
- LinkedIn Learning courses: Access to over 15.000 courses, from Adobe Illustrator to programming in Python.
The price of a Premium Business account is $59.99 per month, or $575.88 when billed annually.
If your business is in one of the top industries on LinkedIn, you can easily get a great return of investment and improve your brand, company culture and sales by using LinkedIn Marketing Solutions or even just investing in a Business Premium account.
However, if you are in an industry where not many people can be interested in this professional network, better stick to social media platforms with a wider audience. If you're looking for advertising tips on these platforms, be sure to check out our articles on creating quality Instagram content and Facebook ad ideas.
Journalist turned content writer. Based in North Macedonia, aiming to be a digital nomad. Always loved to write, and found my perfect job writing about graphic design, art and creativity. A self-proclaimed film connoisseur, cook and nerd in disguise.