Consistently generating qualified leads through LinkedIn can be tremendously rewarding for companies looking to reach, grow and eventually own their target audience, but this is a feat easier said than done.
When set up correctly, Sponsored LinkedIn campaigns can generate marketing qualified leads (MQLs) that are hot and ready for your sales team to pursue. In this blog, I hope to show you how to use HubSpot to generate leads on LinkedIn through strategic testing and optimization. You will need time, money, a keen eye and the right tools to conquer this content marketing beast—so listen up!
The most important reason businesses choose to connect and advertise on LinkedIn is because of its unique user base. As opposed to Facebook’s diverse and widespread audience, LinkedIn's user base is slightly more qualified than Facebook’s because most, if not all, users are business professionals. This, in turn, creates an IDEAL environment for B2B marketing to flourish. Simply put: Facebook’s purpose is to nurture causal relationships while LinkedIn drives a more professional agenda. The detail and information volunteered by a LinkedIn user while making a personal profile (Company, Industry, Age, Job Seniority, Job Title, Collegiate Experience, etc.) are the same targeting criteria used by prospective companies to boost their reach, promote Sponsored content and qualify Web conversions.
When selecting a platform for your campaigns, there isn’t much difference between LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager and HubSpot’s new Ads Tool. Both enable the creation of Sponsored LinkedIn Campaigns with the exact same steps using the exact same targeting criteria. The only difference, and this is a big one, is that with the HubSpot Ads Tool, users gain the true data behind Cost Per Lead, Cost Per Marketing Qualified Lead and Cost Per Customer as earned from your Linkedin Campaigns published through the tool itself. See the metric breakdown below:
The ability to show how many conversions (contacts) you’ve earned, and how many marketing qualified conversions you earned from your LinkedIn campaigns is a MAJOR advantage for this unique tool.
Before its release, HubSpot users would have to drill down and sift through contacts they earned using either (1) specified landing page data or (2) a custom attribution report. This was, and still is, extremely time-consuming because someone (either an ads manager or a higher executive) would have to individually determine whether the contacts were qualified based on high-level business/sales evaluation.
Now, users only need to go to the Ads Dashboard to see all relevant lead generation metrics (spend, submission rate, ROI) earned via Sponsored content, collectively or down to the individual campaign. It should be noted that the Ads tool costs $100 in addition to your HubSpot portal.
As with all social media strategies, you should always take the time to ask yourself why you (or your company) have decided to be on this platform. Is it to network and connect? Or to market and promote? Does your target buyer persona live on the platform and, if so, how large of a presence does he or she occupy within the network? Is LinkedIn even worth your time? Finding a true and honest answer to each of these questions is critical for success.
Your first priority is your content: What are you offering that your target audience will find useful? How will you word and design your offer to evoke a click? Make sure your Sponsored ad aligns with the language and imagery of the URL you choose to promote. If you just want views and engagement, images and blog posts work well. If your goal is earning new leads through conversion, DO NOT use a blog post; use a landing page for an easier conversion path.
Your next obstacle is to establish a budget for your Sponsored campaign or campaigns. Typically, here at Kuno, we like to start with at least $300 per campaign. This is a solid, safe number for “testing the waters.” We often adjust the budget according to performance and our client’s needs. As you start to manage a new LinkedIn campaign with HubSpot landing pages, you’ll want to monitor two major components: (1) LinkedIn ad performance, including targeting, creative imagery/text and clicks earned, and (2) HubSpot landing page performance, most notably Web visits, Web copy and conversion rate.
Below are a few tips on ad optimization best practices, applicable for LinkedIn or any other online paid media, social and beyond.
What you should aim for, always: High Click Through Rate (CTR), low Cost Per Click (CPC), high Web visits, and high conversion rate (visits/new contacts). This implies your creative Sponsored content (offer, download, Web form) speaks directly to your target audience, producing a harmonious, obstacle-free visitor experience and eventual conversion.
When things are NOT harmonious: Click Through Rate is low, Cost Per Click is high, Web visits are low, and conversion is low. This type of performance implies that something must be wrong with your conversion journey. You need to go back and reconsider (1) your targeting (2) your creative copy / offer / image or (3) your landing page design. Frequent, varied and consistent testing is the ONLY way to properly pursue an optimized LinkedIn campaign.
Keeping these key performance indicators (KPIs) in mind, another challenge soon arises: How can we merge both LinkedIn and HubSpot performance to show the true ROI of our efforts? The easiest way to do this is to employ HubSpot’s latest Ads add-on tool for a seamless reporting experience between the two platforms. Kuno has been testing the tool since its release in September and we’ve seen some truly revealing results.
The HubSpot Ads tool has the potential to make the management and reporting of Sponsored content incredibly easier and user-friendly. The tool, when used in tandem with HubSpot’s CRM, is remarkably smart, capable of qualifying new contacts earned through Sponsored LinkedIn content.
Have a question about LinkedIn Strategy or the HubSpot Ads Add On Tool? Shoot us a message!
Photo Credit: Romain Trystram
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