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LinkedIn is a social network that, thanks to its focus on the professional-business side of life, is characterized by detailed targeting for precisely the professional sphere. It is possible and worthwhile to conduct advertising activities on it, if it is a particular branch of employment or position that is expected of our target audience.
LinkedInline Ads under lead generation is just one type of campaign, but it is particularly relevant for businesses looking to acquire sales leads with specific business targeting, and it is to this that I will devote the following article.
For whom and when
The most obvious use of LinkedIn is for B2B activities – with the right campaign setup, we can easily target decision-makers or high-level positions, putting us in touch with the right employees of the companies we are interested in.
This does not mean, however, that only offers aimed at businesses have a raison d’être on LinkedIn Ads. If we offer training for people in specific industries, expansion of professional competencies, or even just a product that is dedicated to a specific market, but created for individuals – here, too, LinkedIn’s capabilities will definitely come in handy.
The following is a good example of this.
How to create a LinkedIn Ads campaign acquiring contacts
To create a new LinkedIn Ads campaign collecting sales contacts, at the setup stage we should select the Generate leads goal. It can be found in the right column covering the Conversions section.
Next we go through defining our audience. The basic criterion is, of course, the location in which our potential customers appear. However, if we want to reach only people who work or live permanently in the region, it is worth switching the setting above the list of locations from “Recent or permanent location” to “Permanent location”.
The selection of the location itself is done thanks to an accessible search engine, in which we can type in places of interest – with the accuracy of the city and its surroundings, the province, or the entire country.
The next step in determining our audience is to select the language – but as the hint under the setting indicates, if we want to reach all audiences in our location, we should leave the default, English language.
We now come to the most interesting part, which is determining who belongs to our audience. The basic division is Recipients and Recipient Attributes. The first of these categories includes custom groups, such as profile watchers, or people similar to converts, remarketing. Audience Attributes, on the other hand, are based on data provided to LinkedIn and user activity.
There are 5 categories:
- Company – i.e. targeting people for specific companies or industries, optionally meeting conditions on, for example, company size
- Demographics – here we define the age and gender of the target group
- Education – with this category we can target based on the user’s major, degree or specific university
- Work experience – here we have 5 subcategories, we can direct on:
- Functions, i.e. what type of specialist we are dealing with, such as whether it is an administrative or HR person;
- years of experience (with an accuracy of one year and an upper limit of 12+ years);
- levels in the hierarchy, i.e. whether we are dealing with an apprentice, manager or owner;
- specific job names entered in the profile – using the search engine;
- declared skills of the recipient – here, too, targeting is selected with the help of a criteria search engine;
- Interests and Features – this is the most “private” category, meaning it focuses more on what users do on the portal, rather than their profile data:
- In traits you will find behavioral profiles, such as frequent travelers, active authors, or open to education;
- Member groups allow us to indicate specific groups to which our audience may belong;
- Interests allow you to indicate objects of interest in your audience, among industries/topics or B2B product categories, such as business strategy management software;
The categories listed above can be freely combined with each other on an or basis (that is, you only need one condition met from the pool) or additional narrowing. I must also admit that LinkedIn quite cleverly blocks categories of a similar nature, so that the risk of getting caught in a corner is minimal – if in the first group of conditions we selected Levels in the hierarchy as a criterion, in the second group we will no longer be able to select job names.
Examples of such targeting can be multiplied, but to stimulate the imagination I will give some suggestions:
- Targeting to managers of employees in an industry will be achieved by selecting the levels in the hierarchy from Manager upwards as the first group of criteria and this industry as the second group of criteria – without combining them by narrowing them down, the potential recipient of the campaign will be able to be a manager from a company of a different industry, or an employee lower in rank in the industry of our choice – it is worth watching out for this!
- Targeting experienced employees and higher in terms of interest in a particular category of business software will be achieved by selecting the level in the hierarchy in one group, and indicating the category of interest in the product in the narrowing
- On the other hand, open to training employees in the financial services industry will be obtained by combining this user characteristic with additional narrowing to the company’s industry
If at first we do not know where to look for a particular topic, even before selecting a category, we can use the criteria search engine and get hints.
On the right side of the panel, as we change our target audience, we get current estimates about our campaign – such as the size of our audience, how their positions, levels in the hierarchy, years of experience and other characteristic LinkedIn segments are distributed. This will check the extent to which our chosen targeting matches our vision of potential customers. And just below the group size estimation and segments, we will find the predicted results of the campaign. This part is based on the budget and campaign duration settings, which we will get to in a moment.
The next step in the configuration is the selection of the ad format, and here one of the drawbacks of LinkedIn is already bowing. Once selected, the ad format cannot be changed after publication and limits us to only one type of ad within a single campaign. If we want ads with a single graphic, we will no longer promote video in the same campaign. And if it’s video ads that we want to focus on, we will only be able to show carousel ads by creating a second campaign with this setting.
In the case of the form for generating leads, LinkedIn no longer allows targeting the audience network – only by remaining in the LinkedIn system can we use this solution.
Next we set the budget and schedule. The budget can be daily or total, or a combination of both. Setting a daily budget and a total budget at the same time allows a little more freedom of broadcasting. The campaign will then be emitted continuously, with daily expenses according to our setting, until it exhausts the total budget. At the same time, this is an option that does not allow you to indicate an end date.
The last step in the configuration is the optimization target and rate. By default, the optimization goal is the one we have chosen, which in this case is Potential Customers. The strategy for setting rates at the beginning of the activities is best left in the Maximum rate setting, then possibly modified already under a specific cost per result. Conversion tracking does not need to be used here at all, as LinkedIn automatically counts form fills.
After moving on, we can deal with the ads themselves. Since we are dealing with forms, the new ads have two configuration sections – the first for the content of our ad itself and the graphic material, and the second for the creation of the form. We can select the form from within the ad or create a new one, but if we already have historically some forms in the account that we want to build on, it’s a good idea to duplicate and modify them in the account assets before setting up the campaign.
In order to retrieve forms at a later date, it is necessary to be given the role of Manager of prospect generation forms on the one hand, and at the same time to have access to the advertising account where they collect.
Linked LinkedIn lead generation form
After a campaign has started airing, it’s a good idea to regularly check the statistics. When we have a number of ads in rotation (which I strongly encourage), we can exclude underperforming ads from the broadcast. If we haven’t switched the rotation from default to even, LinkedIn’s algorithms will also automatically allocate more resources to creatives with higher effectiveness.
A campaign that has already ended can be reactivated by making a modification to the budget and/or end date of the campaign. If we already know the cost-per-conversion we would like to achieve, we can also change the rate-setting strategy to Cost Limit after the campaign’s first broadcast.
Campaigns that have already been completed can be reactivated by modifying the budget and/or the end date.
Also, practices that work well in other channels will also work here – such as testing ad texts, modifying the audience, and in the case of a campaign with a form – whether it is viewer-friendly in terms of content and number of questions asked. The 160 characters available for information about an offer in a form is quite small, with more resources you can consider testing several versions of forms. To do this, simply create additional ads within the campaign with another form plugged in, preferably still setting them in even rotation. This will help us gain knowledge of whether this space is being used effectively.
If we want to reach people with a very specific professional profile in our sales contact acquisition process, LinkedIn is a channel worth testing. The cost of the result can often be more expensive than compared to, say, Facebook, but these are usually much more quality contacts and more likely to close the sale.
Certified specialist with many years of experience, with Up&More since 2016. Her campaigns have been awarded many times in prestigious industry plebiscites. He has experience with clients from the development, automotive and mobile application industries.