LinkedIn has proven to be a fruitful lead source for thousands of companies. So fruitful in fact, its paid advertising program has helped grow the company’s revenue in 2011 at a faster rate than Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Google and Microsoft. Why are marketers flocking to LinkedIn paid advertising? They are using LinkedIn pay per click (PPC) because it simply works. As compared to Facebook and Google PPC, LinkedIn provides much better ad targeting for B2B companies. Click through rates also tend to be much greater for B2B companies. Below are nine steps to help craft the perfect targeted LinkedIn PPC campaign.
- Define target demographics and build buyer personas
Aside from the typical persona building process, it’s important to identify at least one of the following: ideal verticals, geography, function (title), company or what LinkedIn Groups the target may be a member of. These are the attributes chosen in order to target ads. The goal of the campaign will determine the combination of attributes used for targeting.
- Identify their problems
This is critical because people only go to the web to solve their problems and/or to be entertained. It’s the problems identified and the ad’s perceived solution to these problems that will motivate defined personas to click-through to the landing page.
- Create opt-in content that solves their problems
This is the product that powers the quid pro quo transaction on the landing page. The visitor’s email address and other form fields on the landing page are the currency for the transaction. Ad copy should market this piece of content.
- Develop a landing page for the problem solving content
This is where the quid pro quo transaction occurs via a form. Each landing page developed for the campaign should follow best practices for conversion and have a trackable URL that identifies traffic from the LinkedIn ad.
- Set up A/B or multivariate tests for the landing page
Small variations in a landing page, such as copy, layout, color or graphics, to name a few, can have a big impact on its ability to convert a visitor. Some tests show modest improvements while others double or even triple conversion rates. It is recommended to have an ongoing landing page testing program.
- Create a lead nurturing campaign
According to HubSpot, 96% of first time website visitors are not ready to buy yet. These people fit squarely into the top of the sales funnel or are simply not qualified at all. Lead nurturing is an automated process using email to gently encourage individuals who convert on a landing page to consume more content, get to know the brand better and qualify themselves while moving southward in the sales funnel.
- Write a minimum of three ad variations to execute testing
The purpose of creating three ads is to test their ability to convince someone to click on them. LinkedIn will randomly rotate between the ads while tracking their performance. Ad copy should contain a call-to-action and value proposition. The value proposition should focus on solutions to the above identified problems. When a clear winner is identified in the testing process, dump the losers and create two new ads that mirror some of the attributes of the winner and continue testing.
- Create at least one attention grabbing graphic (50x50 pixels)
LinkedIn allows for a small graphic to be included with each ad. Multiple images can be an additional testing attribute as described above. Try to use graphics that are simple yet attention-grabbing to the eye.
- Rinse and repeat...
If after deploying the above techniques the campaign produces mediocre results, go back through every step and reassess them. Not everyone will hit a home run their first at bat, but rest assured the above techniques are tried and true. For help with using LinkedIn for organic social media lead development, download our LinkedIn Marketing Cheat Sheet.
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