How To Use LinkedIn For Business To Business Advertising?
LinkedIn seems like the perfect platform for business-to-business advertising. You’ve got a captive market, you can target specific industries with specific offers, you can decide which level of executive will see your ad. It’s an ideal scenario for us search marketers. At least in theory.
Well, making LinkedIn work for your business to business marketing can be a challenging task. The design is still very much in-flux so you can expect a lot of things to change, perhaps even during a campaign (as happened with one of our own). But for now at least, if you want your LinkedIn advertising campaign to succeed you’ve got to work with it.
So what do you need to get started?
- Define the geographic location of your market. You can select by continent, country, state, all the way down to particular cities. Depending on what you’re selling you’ll need to be precise to maximize your LinkedIn campaign potential.
- Select the companies you want to target. You can target categories of company or specific companies and people within those companies.
- Select the job title or job category of people you want to target. LinkedIn can help you target that high-level executive.
- Write your ad content, make it snappy, and bring on the lead conversions!
By setting these requirements you could reach some proportion of LinkedIn’s 120 million users. That’s right 120 million users. But unless you have something 120 million people are all definitely going to like then reducing the number that you target is going to be important. Not least because there is one piece of critical information that will define how successful your business to business LinkedIn advertising campaign will be:
“Your click-through-rate is everything”
Now this seemingly innocuous phrase is loaded with every aspect of the success of your campaign. There are two critical factors you have to bear in mind when thinking about this and its application to your campaign.
- How many people do you want to see your campaign (impressions)
- How many people do you expect to click on your Ad (click-through-rate)
The number of people who see your ad (impressions) is defined by the audience you are trying to reach and the specifics of the first 3 items in the getting started list. By increasing the number of people in your audience you increase the number of impressions you get. Unfortunately, and here’s the rub with LinkedIn, you can’t define when that impression appears or under what circumstances.
The clearest difference between Google Adwords PPC campaigns and LinkedIn advertising is that with LinkedIn impressions are not content specific. They are end-user specific, but what good is it to you if your ideal user sees your Ad when they’re searching for a job online?
Another important factor is that once your ad has gathered a certain number of impressions (we’re not currently sure the threshold) LinkedIn begins to track it against an expected click-through-rate. Once your Ad drops below that level; then you’re in trouble. Best industry guesses put that figure at 0.025% CTR; although you can expect to see changes in this as LinkedIn becomes more of a platform for business-to-business sellers. Meaning that 2.5 people have to click your ad for every 1000 impressions.
So you’re ad is being seen by lots of people, but at a time when they might not be looking to buy. That places an incredible extra pressure on a LinkedIn campaign: exciting people out of their job-searching, social slumber and into a buying, business-to-business frame of mind. And that’s no easy task. You’ll need exciting copy, great images (50x50pixel optimized) and an offer that will blow their socks off.