LinkedIn Ads for B2B Advertising: The Smart Choice

By Scott Garrett | Sep 24, 2013
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LinkedIn is becoming the ideal pay-per-click platform (PPC) for business to business (B2B) advertising. The targeting options currently offered by LinkedIn truly help set it apart from other platforms such as Google, Bing, and Facebook. Google and Bing currently offer no way of concretely targeting users in niche business fields and industries like LinkedIn does. And while Facebook does have extensive targeting features based on users’ profiles and social interactions, it is still lacking the strong job-related targeting features in which LinkedIn excels. Therefore, it is no surprise that the platform that was built for career networking and resume building would be the clear choice in B2B advertising. Now that you have chosen LinkedIn for you PPC B2B advertising, how will you reach the right audience and convey the correct message to them?

Christopher Walken LinkedIn

Reaching your ideal audience is made easy with LinkedIn’s targeting options. You can select to target people based on some basic options such as location, school, age, and gender. However, for targeting in the B2B realm, I would recommend focusing on more specialized targeting options like company (or industry), company size, job title, job function, seniority, and skills. These targeting categories can be combined together to make some truly specialized audiences. LinkedIn seems to have targeting options for all types of industries and jobs from “Nanotechnology” to “Food Production,” and “Animal Technicians” to “Nuclear Engineers.”

linkedin targeting

Another robust targeting category is Groups. LinkedIn allows you to target your ads to users who are members of specific groups. Targeting to these group members often will overlap with your other targeting options, but targeting Groups must not be underutilized. Members of groups on LinkedIn are often more active and spend more time on the site networking and sharing ideas with other users. Targeting to users who are actively trying to improve their professional skills and opportunities may help you yield a higher click-through-rate (CTR) and conversion rate; that is if your ads are relevant and your offering is appealing to users. While I cannot improve your product or service, per se, I can give you some tips to increase the likelihood that users will at least reach your landing page (I can also point you in the right direction of some landing page design tips too). Knowing the finer points of creating stellar B2B ads on LinkedIn will help you increase your CTR, allowing your product or service to gain more exposure to your target market.

First, the basics of LinkedIn text ads are the following: 25 character headline, 75 character description line, and a thumbnail image. Here are some tips to make the most of these parameters:

  • Make sure your headline and description line are clear, so users fully understand what exactly you are advertising to them. If you are marketing a webinar registration or a whitepaper download then make sure you have “register for the webinar” or “download the whitepaper” somewhere in your ad.
  • In addition, your ad copy needs to have a strong call-to-action to give users a good reason to click. This may be difficult with only 100 total characters, but that is why ad copy testing and rotating is critical to running a successful LinkedIn advertising campaign.
  • Lastly, for the ad’s thumbnail image, I would recommend using an image of someone’s face. It will be tempting to use your brand logo or an impressive data chart as the image, but our data has found that ads that use a human face have a noticeably higher CTR when compared to ads that do not. This may be due to users (who are in fact people) being drawn to the human face, making them more inclined to click on it than a pie chart or a logo.

Are you currently advertising on LinkedIn? Comment below and follow me on Twitter @scottgarrett89.

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