Over the past couple of years we’ve seen more and more businesses adopt Linkedin as their primary prospecting tool. Linkedin is indispensable for B2B companies looking to get the attention of industry professionals and prospective clients.
After a/b testing and scaling what works, here are some of the key things we learnt while helping companies across various industries.
Bidding & Budgets
Establishing a good bidding strategy on Linkedin is key to maximizing your results within your budget. Over the years we have tried multiple strategies, some which gave us more control over our cost per click, while others were completely automated.
Here are some of the persistent trends we discovered:
- If conversions and click-through rate (CTR) are your focus, start with a higher bid and optimise down.
- To keep costs low, bid within the suggested bidding range. Even though this may take longer to win the auction, the return-on-investment (ROI) will be higher. This approach is best for a pacing campaign.
Utilize auto bidding to lower overall cost per acquisition (CPA). Your cost per click (CPC) will fluctuate.
- Utilize auto-optimization for conversions if you measure your campaign through CPA, cost per lead (CPL) Conv volume / bid on CPC basis – this will result in a higher CPC but lower CPA.
As with any advertising campaign, A/B tests are essential when looking to analyse your resources for maximum effect and efficiency. No matter the client, we always run a set of A/B tests which allows us to scale our campaign with better success.
Although this can differ based on the campaign, we typically look to test 3 key variants: Audience vs Creatives vs Copy.
Some of the tests we ran gave us insights on how best to maximize the quality of our ads and generate a more positive click through rate.
- An 18% boost in engagement with short captions
- Including stats in captions – x32% CTR increase
- An audience call out – x19% CTR increase & x23% conversion rate
- Person in image (vs graphical) – x160% CTR
- Quote (vs stat) – x30% increase ctr
Targeting & Creatives
Targeting is one of the most important elements to any campaign. You can have the best ad copy in the world paired with the most beautiful creative, but will totally flop if targeted at the wrong person.
We spend a lot of time defining, strategizing and creating our audiences online. Although we would have to write a separate blog on how best to create audiences on the appropriate platforms, here are some rules we tend to stick to when creating our campaign.
- Run tests for 2 weeks, utilize ad rotation for data to compare.
- Set up unique tracking parameters per creatives to understand the source of traffic through google analytics
- Shortened captions definitely work better – aim for short and sweet posts (sponsored posts)
- Ad fatigue is brutal on Linkedin – avoid to keep cost per thousand (CPM) down
- Segment campaign by region – this allows you to manage your ad spend per region more efficiently
- Make use of audience expansion when running brand awareness campaigns
The LinkedIn objectives and how to use them
For some, Linkedin inMail offers an effective way to generate leads, drive traffic and build brand awareness. For others, it’s nothing more than an expensive form of cold calling with limited results.
We’ve used In-Mail on countless campaigns, and we have experienced a rollercoaster of results. It would be silly to rule out the tool as ineffective as we have enjoyed some terrific results, but it would also be naive to solely focus on this tool as your main prospecting objective.
We found the sweet spot by strategically utalzing in Mail once our audience is aware of our brand.
But that will only help increase your open rate. We then increased our click through rate by embracing the following rules.
- Be conversational
- Keep your message concise < Under 1000 characters
- Put your audience at the core of your message
- Use sponsored in-mail for high volume audiences
Lead Generation Form
Lead gen forms are one of the most cost effective ways to generate leads. Ads that are simply offering a helpful lead magnet that acts to help the viewer and not trying to make a hard sale received exponentially more clicks. In-depth guides, reports, infographics, webinars or tutorials in exchange for your prospective clients email works wonders and gives you a warm audience to retarget at a later stage. You should also see your conversion rates drop as they are already aware of your brand.
This should help you get started on your first lead gen objective campaign.
- Use a max of 3 fields for best completion rate
- Bid competitively
- Always follow up with leads for best results (after lead campaign)
Text Ads and Dynamic Ads
Somewhat overlooked, Linkedin Text and dynamic ads are a fantastic way to maximize brand exposure whilst recording a healthy amount of clicks.
Use these tips to maximize results with this versatile ad format.
- Create focused targeting criteria (Example: Geography / Industry / Skill etc.)
- Set an aggressive maximum bid and use a strong call to action
- Run 3 variations for each campaign to understand which works, and which doesn’t
- Address your audience directly
- Move beyond company logo – utalize images of icons or people
- Keep ad copy concise
Optimization: Top of the funnel vs Bottom of the funnel
Different areas of your advertising funnel require different optimization strategies to help reach your goals.
The top of the funnel’s purpose is to attract new visitors and make them enter your advertising funnel. The majority of the campaigns we ran focused on generating clicks to the website or landing page, with the correct pixel strategy set up to track our visitors behaviour.
Typically we looked at the following metrics:
- Open rate
- Engagement rate
As most of the individuals being marketed to were new prospects, we didn’t optimize to get sales or leads.
Once our prospects entered our funnel, our focus automatically turns into converting them into leads.
Using the data tracked from our pixels, our remarketing campaigns aimed at serving ads to individuals who were familiar with our brands and had engaged in some way.
The metrics we looked at were:
- Conversion rate
- Cost or conversion
When it comes to optimizing, spreading yourself to thin and trying to optimize each associated metric is only going to cause your campaign to fluctature and not get the traction you are after. Focus on two clear metrics at most, and turn your optimization efforts in bettering the key performance.
There you have it!
Linkedin offers incredible value to advertisers. If you’re a B2B marketer, you already know that LinkedIn ads have become an indispensable tool both for prospecting new leads, nurturing those you already have, and converting who’s ready to take the next step.
If you’re new to Linkedin, good luck with setting up your first campaign. We know it can be overwhelming but hopefully this guide will help you think like a Linkedin specialist to help improve your performance and reach your targets.