A strong content distribution plan includes a variety of channels – organic, paid, and earned. How you use these in concert together can greatly impact the success of your marketing. With social media marketing in your mix, you can’t lean on organic content to do all the work for you. Increasingly, it is becoming a pay-to-play arena for brands, and LinkedIn is no different.
Before implementing an advertising strategy on LinkedIn, assess the performance of your organic content in reaching your current audiences by comparing the average reach per post to your total audience size over a given period of time. You will likely see a large gap and a lot of room for potential, not only to increase reach, but engagement from your audience. Work to close this gap, gain new followers (or customers) and drive more conversions by delivering sponsored content to existing and new targeted audiences.
After you complete the evaluation mentioned above, use the following considerations to help determine a robust and successful plan for LinkedIn advertising.
Audience is first
LinkedIn has an intentional audience. Think about the last time you logged in and checked your home feed or notifications. You weren’t there to see how your family or friends’ weekend went, look at funny memes or watch the latest viral video. You were checking in on what your company, colleagues and connections were up to. You were trying to learn or better understand your field.
With 630 million people on LinkedIn, and with capabilities to target job experience, education, demographics, company, and interests, users will engage with your paid content if it is tailored to what they are seeking. Another bonus with the platform is that users are inclined to keep their profiles up to date, so targeting accuracy and quality is strong.
Content (including video) is your cornerstone
Whether generating awareness, capturing leads or developing thought leadership, put forth your strongest content that likely has already seen success organically. Tailor your hooks and calls-to-action to your desired outcome.
If you have great video content or have plans to create it, LinkedIn is where you should show it. Starting this year, it is estimated that online video will account for 80% of all consumer internet traffic. If you want higher conversions and engagements, turn to video. It generates twelve times the shares than text and images combined.
Budget and timing should be flexible
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket (all your budget to one ad). Test, test, test!
You may see that your LinkedIn Ad’s cost-per-click, -engagement or -view is more expensive than Facebook or Twitter. It is widely understood that LinkedIn ads have a higher price tag due to many advertisers competing for a limited pool of users. CPC and the like should not be your only focus or measure of success. Make sure you are closing that reach gap you identified earlier and then look further. Did those ads increase time on site, conversions, form completions, or other priority actions? That is where the real success lies. Relevant and engaging content that is tailored to your audience will draw in the quality interactions, followers, traffic and leads that you want.
It’s always better to excel at a few tactics than to be mediocre at many. If your primary or even secondary audience is on LinkedIn, then invest your efforts in a proper targeting strategy using the considerations mentioned above. Just as you create content tailored to other media channels, follow LinkedIn best practices to ensure results.