SMX Overtime: Advanced LinkedIn Ads strategies and tactics for B2B advertisers
B2B media strategist Michelle Morgan shares tips for effective audience targeting and calls-to-action.
SMX Overtime is part of our SMX speaker series from conference presenters who answer questions from attendees on a variety of topics.
Q. For LinkedIn Lookalike audiences, if you upload a list, wear it out, and then upload another list for the same persona 6 months later, how much of the lookalike will change vs. overlap with the first created lookalike?
A. We’re not privy to the information of how much overlap there is between the Lookalike models, so this is hard to know. One way to try and prevent over-saturation would be to change up the offer or at least creative for the new Lookalike. Even if someone has been targeted before, they would have a different interaction with your brand.
As a tip here, I would suggest adding negative audiences for those users who have already converted from previous campaigns as well, so you’ll not show ads to users who have already taken the action you want them to take.
Q. What are good calls-to-action in LinkedIn ads?
A. It’s important to add value with whatever you’re asking the user to do. Odds are you’re asking them to fill out a form (generating a lead) in exchange for something. Think about the topics your target audience wants to hear about.
What are their concerns? What decisions are they trying to make for their business? How can you help them with that information, not just giving them a sales pitch to your company?
If you provide value, they’ll have a positive brand impression and are more likely to come back and purchase from you later down the line.
Potential examples: calculator or tool with customized results, whitepapers, infographics, industry reports, webinars, workbook/tool kit, etc.
Q. How do you create lookalike audiences on other platforms like Facebook or Google Ads?
A. The platforms themselves are where the Lookalike Audiences will be created. As the advertiser, you just need to upload or create your root audience and then direct LinkedIn or Facebook to create the Lookalike.
On Google Ads, there are Similar Audiences, but those are created automatically for you once a certain Retargeting audience you’ve created has an identifiable pattern.
Q. You mentioned that job title targeting in LinkedIn was expensive. Have you been able to test targeting with job title PLUS function? If so, are you seeing lower CPCs?
A. Adding these two together means you’ll be targeting Job Title AND Job Function. This can certainly increase reach and lower CPCs, but it could also dilute the audience and end up serving ads to lower quality users.
Personally, I prefer not to mix targeting like this in the same campaign. I would suggest creating a Job Titles campaign and a Job Function campaign and compare the CPCs and performance.
One might outperform the other or they both might do well running alongside each other.
Q. In your experience, what type of LinkedIn ad targeting has showed you the strongest and most consistent results, i.e. group targeting, industry, etc.?
A. This is a tough question to answer across the board. My high-level answer is the most relevant audience will be best and that depends on what you’re available to offer. If you’re offering a piece of content, what is the focus of that content? Is it based on the industry someone is in? Is it based on specific member skills? Is it general and anyone within a company of a specific size can use?
Think about the value you’re offering and who would benefit the most. Let that determine what types of targeting you use as Job Titles might be great for one account but terrible for another.
Q. How do you feel about organically trying to grow your LinkedIn company page followers and adding information to increase followers through posts versus creating a LinkedIn video strategy and turning to sponsored display ads and InMail messages?
A. Honestly, both strategies have their place. Organic campaigns are a great thing to always have running to drive brand awareness, but Paid can definitely support those efforts. You can use the Engagement campaign type to help drive users to engage with your posts or page and hopefully drive more interest in your business long term.
As far as formats, Video is great as you can get your message out without interference. That said, one of the drawbacks is not being able to target people by how they engaged with your video on LinkedIn like you can on Facebook. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do video. If you have something solid then by all means you should use it to promote your business. Just don’t expect to be able to reengage with users after they’ve seen the video.
As far as InMail, this format isn’t my favorite. Unless you have something very exclusive and enticing, its likely best to keep your page promotion to the newsfeed and other platforms.
Q. Is there any data that you can pull from Google or Facebook that you can leverage in LinkedIn?
A. Yes and no. There is a lot you can do to leverage insights from one platform to another, but it’s not a great idea to assume that targeting on LinkedIn matches exactly with Facebook and Google. Even something as simple as age range or gender could be different depending on which platform you’re using.
Instead, I would suggest you create audiences of users from one platform and then leverage the Audience Insights tools to see the segmentation within those users. For example, if I want to know how my Google audience matches to LinkedIn, I can leverage my standard URL tagging convention to create an audience of users with “source=google” and “medium=cpc” in LinkedIn to see how the users who came from your Google campaigns map to targeting options in Linkedin.
Editor’s addition: Since LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft, there are some audience targeting integrations there. On LinkedIn, you can target interests based on Bing search data. Advertisers can reach audiences based on the business-oriented content they’ve engaged with on Bing. Additionally, Microsoft Advertising campaigns (which serve Bing search ads and native ads on the Microsoft Audience Network) can target based on LinkedIn company, job function and industry categories.
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