Social media marketing is complex. Not only do you have to develop just the right messaging to attract your audience, but you also have to make sure that this message actually gets to the users who are most likely to engage with your business. While many businesses default to Facebook as their primary social marketing channel, that might not always be the best choice!
In fact, LinkedIn advertising has several unique advantages that put it in a class of its own. Depending on your business and marketing goals, it might be just the right channel to help your business attract customers and grow. Keep reading to learn about the five major advantages of this network over its alternatives and how to get started on your LinkedIn marketing strategy.
5 Benefits of LinkedIn Advertising
Every social media network is different. On its surface, LinkedIn may seem similar to Facebook in the setup of its advertising platform and opportunities. That said, it offers a number of unique advantages over other networks that are important to explore.
1) Reach a More Professional Audience
First things first: perhaps the most publicized difference between LinkedIn and other social network is its audience. Users on the network skew older, more educated, and have a higher income than those on almost all other platforms. Pool together all this demographic information, and you're looking at a businessman or businesswoman in their early 30s who has graduated from college and earns more than $75,000 per year.
That demographic is not relevant if you're looking to reach teenagers or low-income individuals. But if your core target audience consists of educated professionals with at least some work experience, LinkedIn tends to be your best bet.
2) Narrow Your Targeting Through Industry-Specific Variables
As mentioned in the introduction, advertising success on social media largely depends on how you can make sure your message reaches your most desirable audience. Targeting opportunities on the channel you choose are absolutely vital. Facebook, for instance, prides itself on its interest and behavior-based factors. However, it cannot hold pace with its more professional competitor when it comes to industry specific variables. In addition to standard demographic information, LinkedIn allows you to target your ads based on variables such as:
- Job title
- Job function
- Company name
- Company size
- Degree type and name
Thanks to these targeting opportunities, LinkedIn is an especially good fit for brands targeting business customers. However, even consumer-based products and services that focus on specific industries, degrees, and job titles can benefit from the opportunities provided by LinkedIn's narrow targeting.
3) Take Advantage of Unique Advertising Types
If you are already advertising on social media, you will likely be familiar with the most commonly available ad types. Like its competitors, LinkedIn offers marketers the opportunity to leverage sponsored posts and sidebar ads in order to generate exposure, clicks, and conversions. However, the possibilities don't end there.
For instance, the network also offers Sponsored InMail, which integrates into its internal messaging platform. These email-like messages have proven to be highly successful, with open and click-through rates above those of regular emails. Another relatively new opportunity is lead ads, which allow you to generate conversions without having to guide your audience to your website first.
4) Leverage Lead-Nurturing Possibilities
Most social media advertising tends to focus on generating awareness and leads. But what happens once your leads actually enter your database? Without thorough nurturing, you might not be able to convince them that becoming customers or clients is actually in their best interest. Traditionally, lead-nurturing tends to be limited to email messages. With LinkedIn, it can be more.
The key to success here is the network's Lead Accelerator feature. It allows you to track your most high-value prospects and offer more targeted ads directed specifically towards them. Through remarketing to recent web visitors and list-based advertising, it helps you better nurture your leads on their way to becoming customers.
5) Increase Your Conversion Rates
Finally, a straightforward benefit of LinkedIn advertising: use it the right way, and you can increase your conversion rates. Some of the advantages discussed above already hint at this benefit; lead ads, for instance, remove some of the steps your audience needs to take to become a customer.
The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. A year-long study by HubSpot found that on average, LinkedIn ads convert users to leads at a 6.1 per cent conversion rate. For reference, that compares to 2.58 per cent for Google search ads. Use LinkedIn the right way, and your advertising efforts have the potential for significant success.
How to Start Setting Up Your Marketing Strategy and Execution on LinkedIn
Of course, the above benefits only matter if you can actually build your LinkedIn marketing in a way that positions you for success. Above all, that means defining your strategy: what exactly do you want to get out of the ads? What is your budget, your audience, and your specific, measurable marketing goal?
With these basic answers in hand, it's time to get technical. A thorough LinkedIn setup is beyond the scope of this article, but consists of 6 basic steps:
- Create a company page on LinkedIn
- Create and sign into a Campaign Manager account that links to your company page.
- Choose your ad format, from sponsoring existing content to the above-mentioned sponsored InMail.
- Create individual ads, ideally visual and in multiple variations to test for success.
- Choose your preferred ad targeting, and set your budget.
- Launch your campaign.
After the launch, you can use your Campaign Manager account to measure the success of your ads and make adjustments as necessary. The network offers more detail on each of the above steps in this helpful guide for new LinkedIn marketers.
Social Media College and Your LinkedIn Marketing Strategy
Launching a marketing campaign on a network like LinkedIn is a complex endeavour. But if you do it right, you tap into the potential for immense success, especially if you're looking to reach a more professional audience through unique ad formats.
If you're new to LinkedIn or social media marketing in general, you might need help. We offer both a Diploma of Social Media Marketing and the Social Media Marketing individualised for any professional in need of new skills and knowledge.