Marketing your business: six things I’ve learnt about LinkedIn paid advertising

Over the last few years advertising on LinkedIn has improved dramatically from a standpoint of creative scope, functionality and targeting. However what LinkedIn, like other digital platforms, has become really good at is spending your businesses hard earned cash.
In this article I’ve put together six things to make your marketing on LinkedIn become more effective.


One: tell a story that’s of value to your audience

At Glued we focus on telling an interesting and relevant story, ideally based around something everyone one can relate to. So, when you are starting to think about a campaign for LinkedIn start from the standpoint of a story: what experience have you got which will be of value to someone else? How is that going to help your audience? Why is this REALLY of value to anyone who might see it? What impact will it have on your audience’s life? If you were sitting across a table from someone (a big 2-meter table outside these days), how would you tell your story? By default you would most likely talk about something that stressed you out, or that you enjoyed doing. It’s unlikely you’d start with features, it would be something human, an experience. So I’ve learnt over time that sticking to a story that captures emotion, fun or even something that was a bit painful at the time could work better as a theme for your campaign.


Two: get inside your customer’s mind: what do they want, need or desire?

Hopefully you’ll have an emotive story you want to tell. Next try to sit in your ideal customer’s shoes: What do they care about? Will they be interested in your story? Or will they just say, ‘so what’? Can they relate to your story? Less technical jargon is likely to be understood far easier – imagine if you were telling a child your story would they understand it? It’s very easy to make assumptions about what someone might already know. Something that you think is normal and everyday might well be amazing to the person you’re telling. I’m writing this saying to myself ‘this is obvious stuff’ but every time I look at my social media feeds I’m always confronted with posts that seem to use jargon I don’t fully understand: perhaps I’m just stupid… do you want your audience to feel stupid? How will they react to that… most likely, as I often do… I move on.


Three: pick your marketing tools with care

If you’re still reading this thank you, I’ve not made you feel a fool yet. You’ve got a story to tell and it’s not so complex that you’re audience have left. What next? Well think about how you want to tell your story. You could write an article, which I’ve decided to do today. Is that right though? Maybe you are more of a face-to-face sort of communicator then I’d recommend putting together a video blog and tell your story that way. Maybe you have some eye-catching photography that communicates a thousand words: great use that as a static advert or even a set of revolving images that you can get LinkedIn to display automatically.


Four: it’s almost pointless posting as a company if you are not prepared to pay

As a graphic designer I’m always keen to get every post and bit of creative spot on. The sad fact is if you post to a business page on LinkedIn or Facebook without paying, the number of people who will see it is going to be very limited. Your biggest fans may see it but new prospects are very unlikely to engage. So my advice is focus your ideas and budget on paid content which you can then target at those people who you think will find your story of interest.


Five: working out who you don’t want to target is almost as important

This brings me to targeting on LinkedIn: its improved massively in recent times and you really can target the people you want to with your advertising. This isn’t the place to talk about the finer details of the Campaign Manager, but it’s worth exploring – if you have a LinkedIn account you will have access to this - this is where you can setup any paid for advertising. It can be a bit complex at first glance but again you can find some good help online (or you can ask me!).

What I’ve learnt is that working out who you don’t want to target is almost as important as knowing who you do want to target. You can pick all sorts of metrics from location, interests, job title, size of business. However what I found is that the ‘exclude’ feature is really helpful. So let’s say you want to target businesses of 10-50 employees and the owners in those businesses, LinkedIn will target those but unless you expressly exclude sole trader you’ll find a lot of your clicks (and budget) are being spent on people you didn’t want to target. Another top hack for saving money is to exclude you competitors: you don’t want your competitors using up your budget if they click to see what you’re up to. In a recent campaign I did for Glued by excluding businesses that also did marketing I found our budget went further and we started to get to the audience we actually wanted.


Six: making your spend go further by reviewing

And finally, don’t expect to get your targeting or your story and creative right first time. I’ve also learnt that it’s much better to have ads with small budgets of £25-£50 test things out, make adjustments to see what works. By running an ad for a few days and then looking at the analytics you’ll see what type of person is looking at your ad and you can then try including different profiles: overtime you’ll find the results start to pay off.


If you would like to have a chat about targeted advertising on social media drop me a line by email or call 0777 900 3818.



Article by David Wilson

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