Modern Marketing

PPC for LinkedIn, What’s the Difference?

By:

Recently a large Enterprise client of mine embarked on a PPC campaign for LinkedIn to promote one of their little known B2B Services Products. As is typical for its size, the company had found itself fully committed to a Global agency; however the local UK branch specialised in B2C and was still using traditional marketing tactics for ad copy.

And guess what? No click-throughs, no ROI…

It’s no wonder.

So what went wrong? The company had not yet embraced the fact that marketing is changing dramatically and the science is different depending on the medium you use. The company finally decided they needed a more targeted approach than Google or Bing.

So we went back to the drawing board and decided to try LinkedIn advertising. Let’s take a look at our results and insights.

1. Is LinkedIn the right audience? 

Remember that LinkedIn is a networking tool for Professionals. Don’t make the mistake of putting this community in the same bucket as Facebook or a broader PPC Campaign. 39% of all LinkedIn users pay for a Premium account, indicating that a large portion of users take this business portal seriously for what it offers.

Core LinkedIn activities incorporate:

  • Online Networking & Staying in Touch
  • Business Related Social Media Sharing
  • Recommendations & Endorsements
  • Job Application & Recruitment
  • Corporate Identity (Company Pages)
  • Sales/Business Development
  • Aggregated Content (Post and Read)
  • Specialist Groups

You will be targeting your customers based on job title/sector and regional criteria so remember – keep your ad copy focused on business!

2. Is your service right for LinkedIn?

In the LinkedIn ecosystem a person will generally only consider clicking further to:

  • Enhance their career prospects
  • Grow their business
  • Receive a message from a trusted brand which the viewer identifies with status.

And your offer must speak to that.

What offers are successful on LinkedIn?

  • Networking Opportunities
  • Business events (Online Webinars & Offline)
  • Whitepapers, stats & reports, infographics
  • Job offers
  • Further Education & Courses (MBAs are a large market)
  • Tools to make business savings & downloadable hero content
  • The exception – Luxury brands and high end corporate products can get away with certain messaging

3. Are you sending right messages?

The ad copy needs to speak to the desires of the users on this network.

How to help this person get a promotion? How to provide this person with a status enhancing item/experience? Try the following introductions to your ad:

  • Improve business results by…
  • Enhance your profile with…
  • Boost your performance with latest…

Of course the words you choose will need be optimised, and you might find the most successful ones are possibly not the most “attractive” sentences.

It is also important to keep in mind that this ad is just part of your overall acquisition/nurture/retention strategy. Consider where in the buying cycle it might be seen and also consider its part in your marketing strategy as a whole.

And remember don’t “sell” your product. Promote your company as a value provider to the industry. Offer content, tools or events that help LinkedIn members be more successful – product specific offers will be ignored.

4. Are you using the right measurements?

Define realistic goals! Think about what actually represents success – you may get a click through rate of 0.05% and feel disappointed, but remember this is not like advertising on Google. The same goals should not be used – run a pilot, get a baseline and then try and improve on it.

So while “back to the drawing board” may be a frustrating concept for many PPC campaigners you may well discover that LinkedIn is actually not in fact the audience for your PPC.

Be happy that you have saved a lot of time and focus more time and budget on casting a larger net.

What are your tried and true tips for LinkedIn advertising?