Expand B2B PPC Advertising With LinkedIn

by Stephen Claridge June 24, 2016
June 24, 2016

LinkedIn advertising can expand the reach of a business-to-business company’s PPC while maintaining, or even increasing ROI.

LinkedIn is the network of choice for business-minded individuals. Striking a far more professional chord than its larger, but less classy cousins, Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn has become the online resumé repository. With over 380 million of these resumés registered and steadily growing, it is also an incredible market for the business-inclined advertiser.

So, if you’ve got your AdWords account optimized, your Bing Ads burbling, and your Facebook Ads unfurling, then you may want to consider expanding your PPC further by dipping into the professional LinkedIn network.

Prior to setting up LinkedIn advertising, you should ask an important question:

Will professionals, in day-to-day working mindsets, want my products or services?

Business-to-business, or B2B, marketing is what thrives on LinkedIn. If your products or services benefit business owners or working professionals, then advertising on LinkedIn could improve website traffic and conversions; and the answer to the question above is likely yes.

If you are more on the consumer end of things, a LinkedIn marketing budget might be better spent elsewhere.

LinkedIn users are using the website to better their network, connect with business contacts, better their careers, explore new job opportunities, and to distract themselves from work for a few minutes. Your advertisements should address these users’ mindset by engaging with them in entertaining and intriguing ways.

How Do LinkedIn Ads Show Up

LinkedIn Advertisments represented by London(i think)
LinkedIn advertisements are served to users on linkedin.com as well as on partner sites, which are usually high-end media sites. Some of the partner sites involved in the LinkedIn Audience Network are:

  • The New York Times
  • BusinessWeek
  • CNBC

The advertisements that are served are not as much about the context of the website as they are about the context of the individual who is browsing these websites; namely that the individual meets targeting criteria that has been specified in LinkedIn.

The targeting options for LinkedIn, much like the respective options for Facebook, are impressively specific. The full list goes:

  • Location
  • Company Name
  • Company Industry
  • Company Size
  • Job Title
  • Job Function
  • Job Seniority
  • Member Skills
  • Member Schools
  • Degrees
  • Fields of Study
  • Member Groups
  • Member Gender
  • Member Age

The granular nature of LinkedIn targeting means that the layering of the multiple options above can create target filters that hone in on the ideal customers. Is the VP of a marketing firm with over 100 employees the ideal candidate for your scaling marketing management software?

LinkedIn will allow you to serve your ads only to the professional personas that match your criteria.

Beware though, because most businesses advertising on LinkedIn are trying to reach specific targets, bid prices are often substantially higher than other PPC networks such as AdWords or Bing Ads. The general justification for these higher prices is that high quality, professional leads are worth the spend.

What Do LinkedIn Ads Look Like?

Once you’ve got your refined targeting profiles, it’s time to create customized ads that will compel said profiles to click the ad. There are a variety of ways in which an advertisement can show up on LinkedIn:

  1. Self-Service Ads:

    These are text and display ads titled “self-serve” because of the control a business has in their creation. You specify which LinkedIn members will be served your advertisements by selecting a target audience that you’ve created out of the targeting options mentioned above.

    These ads will be displayed prominently at the top of the LinkedIn page as a text ad, and your full ad with an image will appear on the right sidebar of the website.

    These ads are comprised of 4 sections and a business is charged whenever a user clicks an ad:

    • Headline: A short, enticing message that grabs the user’s attention. Using the job title you’re targeting can be very effective. For example, “Are you a CEO who needs more time?”
    • Ad Copy: Brief statements of benefits and features that will compel the LinkedIn user to click.
    • Destination URL: A specific landing page tailored to LinkedIn members, if necessary.
    • Image: An image that draws the user’s attention. Images of people are generally better, as humans have a natural tendency to look for faces.

  2. Content Ads:

    These ads are essentially min-websites that let you display multiple ad messages in one sidebar widget.

    Up to four messages can be displayed, and all of these messages can occur in different media formats. The various nature of LinkedIn content ads capitalize on one of the messages resonating with a user, allowing a single ad to reach many different audiences.
    LinkedIn Content Ads

  3. SlideShare Content Ads:

    Ads which appear in the LinkedIn news feed as sponsored updates. The ads have your SlideShare built right into them, making them perfect for sharing your best content with the target audience that’s looking for professional insights.

  4. Sponsored InMail:

    Advertising messages sent directly to LinkedIn users that meet your targeted audience criteria. These messages are always delivered to the top of a member’s LinkedIn inbox, increasing visibility and improving the open rate.

  5. Social Ads:

    These are advertisements that make it easy for LinkedIn members to endorse your company and share insights and updates. These ads take advantage of engagement with your brand by sharing one member’s interaction with other members across the network, encouraging them to interact as well.
    Social Ads

  6. Follow Company Ads:

    Ads which leverage a member’s profile data to deliver a customized, personalized message that tries to drive engagement with your LinkedIn company page.
    Follow Company Ad LinkedIn PPC

  7. Featured Company Ads:

    Ads that are associated with your company page and allow you to display links to your product showcases and job postings.
    Featured comapny ad LinkedIn PPC

  8. LinkedIn Group Ads:

    Advertisements used to promote and drive membership in custom group communities.
    LinkedIn Group Ads PPC

  9. Spotlight Ads:

    Customized advertisements that use a member’s LinkedIn profile picture, but can also link to the landing page you wish to advertise. The profile picture helps make these ads look like content on the page and people often click on them without realizing that they are clicking an advertisement.

Link Your PPC With LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a solid addition to any B2B marketing arsenal. Knowing who to target, and being able to close in on anyone who fits that “who,” can improve lead quality and insure more profitable sales.

If you have any further questions about advertising on LinkedIn, or would like a fresh set of eyes on your own LinkedIn strategies, feel free to contact us for a free PPC consultation.

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