LinkedIn Lead Accelerator – Is It Worth the Plunge?

March 6, 2015 | 5 min read
By Heidi Smith

Icons flows to the modern digital tablet device withIt has finally happened. LinkedIn is making moves in the advertising space after months (and what feels like years) of letting its advertising take care of itself.  I could once again explain the shortcomings showcased by the LinkedIn Ads interface, but what I really want to talk about is how LinkedIn is finally shooting for the stars – or at the very least, is catching up to other social media giants in terms of advertising offerings.

Specifically, I want to discuss the recent announcement regarding LinkedIn’s new Lead Accelerator program.

Should you consider it for your company? Let’s take a deeper look.

The Definition

According to LinkedIn, the Lead Accelerator program “allows you to deliver high-quality leads to your sales teams by engaging prospects anywhere online with relevant ads and content.” That’s a fancy way of saying they are no longer only offering ad impressions on www.linkedin.com and the LinkedIn mobile app, but across the web as well. Their main focus, hence the “high-quality” reference, is retargeting users online who are part of your target audience and have expressed interest in a product or service you have to offer.

The Details

This new update means not only advertising on other websites besides LinkedIn (the rep we spoke with mentioned CNN.com and NYTimes.com partnerships), but it seems like they are incorporating a lot of strengths LinkedIn advertising already has going for it, as well as introducing new, more advanced features.

Nurture Stream

LinkedIn has very granular targeting, which you should be taking advantage of if you consider yourself a B2B business. The “Nurture Stream,” a feature of the Lead Accelerator program, lets you target users based not only on what they are doing on your website but also on information provided in their LinkedIn profile

Example: You want to target users who have visited your web page for rhinestone dog collars and who work at pet stores on the East Coast. With Lead Accelerator, you can reach Roberta Reginald, who fits into both of these categories, and retarget her as she browses the web. Hopefully she ends up buying a full shipment in all colors for her store and an extra-large for her 130 pound bullmastiff, Mr. Moose E. Reginald.

  • Note: Technically you can already do this by combining your LinkedIn campaign efforts with AdWords Remarketing, but it’s a slightly more complicated process because of using the two separate platforms (not that it should stop you from trying it out).

A|B Testing

A|B testing is an interesting feature to include within an ads interface. A|B testing supported within the platform seems like a positive, as long as the tracking is accurate and they provide enough data to adequately understand and conclude the test’s performance metrics. I would have to assume this also means conversion tracking (!!!) will be available in the new system, something much needed from LinkedIn.

Example: You run two separate ad creatives to the same target audience, testing a Golden Retriever puppy against a Border Collie puppy for your new line of tasty treats, to see which appeals more to pet store owners who have visited your site before.

Seriously, which one is cuter? I call it a draw. But your A|B test won't.

Seriously, which one is cuter? I call it a draw. But your A|B test won’t.

Conversion Funnel & Advanced Reporting

Every marketer wants to move consumers through the conversion funnel and get them to complete a conversion action; gathering insightful data along the way on how to make the funnel progression more successful over time is an added bonus. LinkedIn is touting that the Lead Accelerator can nurture consumers through the funnel by using other available advertising (from LinkedIn of course), which can drive more leads for your business.

If the advanced analytics reporting (and finally having conversion tracking) is done right, they could have something here – especially if it provides marketers with valuable information to bring users through the conversion funnel “blazingly fast.”

The Catch

There is a $25,000 minimum media spend over a three month period, from what we are told. That isn’t a huge ask for some businesses, but it definitely is for others – especially for unproven new advertising. On the flip side, this is a low ask compared to Twitter and Pinterest advertising, who both require much higher spend commitments from their advertisers.

The Whole Enchilada

LinkedIn wants you to do it all. Use Lead Accelerator, but nurture the leads in your conversion funnel with display and social ads, sponsored updates, etc. all of which are available through them. There’s a reason they are asking for a large minimum spend requirement: they want to be able to nurture those leads through a custom program designed for your business – and they want to prove it will work. The creation of your very own custom-designed advertising program, co-developed with a LinkedIn rep, will likely incorporate all advertising available through LinkedIn, including retargeting (see what they did there?).

The Conclusion

main image from LIIt seems like LinkedIn is moving in the right direction when it comes to advancing their advertising capabilities, but the new Lead Accelerator is a very new process with a big possible risk right out of the gate. A lot of the new offerings can be done through other means and the nurture targeting they’re suggesting isn’t a brand new strategy – they just explain it in a way that sounds new and exciting. However, when you factor in the granular targeting available through the LinkedIn interface coupled with display and social retargeting and advanced analytics reporting, it holds grander appeal.

What do you think about LinkedIn’s new advertising offerings? Think they’ll keep shooting for the stars with new updates or will they fail to meet marketers high expectations? Is your business going to take the plunge and see what the Lead Accelerator can do for your B2B? Tweet me or find me on Google+ to continue the discussion.


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LinkedIn Lead Accelerator – Is It Worth the Plunge?

March 6, 2015 | 5 min read
By Heidi Smith

Icons flows to the modern digital tablet device withIt has finally happened. LinkedIn is making moves in the advertising space after months (and what feels like years) of letting its advertising take care of itself.  I could once again explain the shortcomings showcased by the LinkedIn Ads interface, but what I really want to talk about is how LinkedIn is finally shooting for the stars – or at the very least, is catching up to other social media giants in terms of advertising offerings.

Specifically, I want to discuss the recent announcement regarding LinkedIn’s new Lead Accelerator program.

Should you consider it for your company? Let’s take a deeper look.

The Definition

According to LinkedIn, the Lead Accelerator program “allows you to deliver high-quality leads to your sales teams by engaging prospects anywhere online with relevant ads and content.” That’s a fancy way of saying they are no longer only offering ad impressions on www.linkedin.com and the LinkedIn mobile app, but across the web as well. Their main focus, hence the “high-quality” reference, is retargeting users online who are part of your target audience and have expressed interest in a product or service you have to offer.

The Details

This new update means not only advertising on other websites besides LinkedIn (the rep we spoke with mentioned CNN.com and NYTimes.com partnerships), but it seems like they are incorporating a lot of strengths LinkedIn advertising already has going for it, as well as introducing new, more advanced features.

Nurture Stream

LinkedIn has very granular targeting, which you should be taking advantage of if you consider yourself a B2B business. The “Nurture Stream,” a feature of the Lead Accelerator program, lets you target users based not only on what they are doing on your website but also on information provided in their LinkedIn profile

Example: You want to target users who have visited your web page for rhinestone dog collars and who work at pet stores on the East Coast. With Lead Accelerator, you can reach Roberta Reginald, who fits into both of these categories, and retarget her as she browses the web. Hopefully she ends up buying a full shipment in all colors for her store and an extra-large for her 130 pound bullmastiff, Mr. Moose E. Reginald.

  • Note: Technically you can already do this by combining your LinkedIn campaign efforts with AdWords Remarketing, but it’s a slightly more complicated process because of using the two separate platforms (not that it should stop you from trying it out).

A|B Testing

A|B testing is an interesting feature to include within an ads interface. A|B testing supported within the platform seems like a positive, as long as the tracking is accurate and they provide enough data to adequately understand and conclude the test’s performance metrics. I would have to assume this also means conversion tracking (!!!) will be available in the new system, something much needed from LinkedIn.

Example: You run two separate ad creatives to the same target audience, testing a Golden Retriever puppy against a Border Collie puppy for your new line of tasty treats, to see which appeals more to pet store owners who have visited your site before.

Seriously, which one is cuter? I call it a draw. But your A|B test won't.

Seriously, which one is cuter? I call it a draw. But your A|B test won’t.

Conversion Funnel & Advanced Reporting

Every marketer wants to move consumers through the conversion funnel and get them to complete a conversion action; gathering insightful data along the way on how to make the funnel progression more successful over time is an added bonus. LinkedIn is touting that the Lead Accelerator can nurture consumers through the funnel by using other available advertising (from LinkedIn of course), which can drive more leads for your business.

If the advanced analytics reporting (and finally having conversion tracking) is done right, they could have something here – especially if it provides marketers with valuable information to bring users through the conversion funnel “blazingly fast.”

The Catch

There is a $25,000 minimum media spend over a three month period, from what we are told. That isn’t a huge ask for some businesses, but it definitely is for others – especially for unproven new advertising. On the flip side, this is a low ask compared to Twitter and Pinterest advertising, who both require much higher spend commitments from their advertisers.

The Whole Enchilada

LinkedIn wants you to do it all. Use Lead Accelerator, but nurture the leads in your conversion funnel with display and social ads, sponsored updates, etc. all of which are available through them. There’s a reason they are asking for a large minimum spend requirement: they want to be able to nurture those leads through a custom program designed for your business – and they want to prove it will work. The creation of your very own custom-designed advertising program, co-developed with a LinkedIn rep, will likely incorporate all advertising available through LinkedIn, including retargeting (see what they did there?).

The Conclusion

main image from LIIt seems like LinkedIn is moving in the right direction when it comes to advancing their advertising capabilities, but the new Lead Accelerator is a very new process with a big possible risk right out of the gate. A lot of the new offerings can be done through other means and the nurture targeting they’re suggesting isn’t a brand new strategy – they just explain it in a way that sounds new and exciting. However, when you factor in the granular targeting available through the LinkedIn interface coupled with display and social retargeting and advanced analytics reporting, it holds grander appeal.

What do you think about LinkedIn’s new advertising offerings? Think they’ll keep shooting for the stars with new updates or will they fail to meet marketers high expectations? Is your business going to take the plunge and see what the Lead Accelerator can do for your B2B? Tweet me or find me on Google+ to continue the discussion.

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