LinkedIn advertising has grown significantly over the last couple of years. With unique access to professional data, it is the perfect advertising solution for B2B marketers. Here’s what you should know about LinkedIn advertising costs, options, procedures, and best practices in 2021.
LinkedIn Advertising Costs
The cost of advertising varies widely across all platforms depending on the type of campaign you are running and how fierce the competition is. Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn allows you to bid on audiences across the Microsoft network.
While costs vary across industries, you’re likely to spend more than $5 per click for regular ads and more than $6 for 1000 impressions on an ad.
LinkedIn has a $10 daily minimum for many ad campaigns. Practically speaking, this means you’ll only get 1-2 actual clicks per day if you spend the lowest amount. Make sure you have sufficient budget to allow for scaling.
LinkedIn Advertising Options
LinkedIn advertising options allow you to reach different groups more effectively as they offer you several targeting options. You can customise both ad formats and targeting options.
Ad format varies depending on the advertising objective you choose. Equally important is choosing the right ad format for your audience. B2B market typically focus on marketing objectives and the main ones are:
Image ads are designed to feel close to regular platform content. It appears directly in LinkedIn’s feed, complete with different options including carousels, images or videos, and links.
Image ads are especially useful for avoiding banner blindness and sharing content that offers value. While the best types of ads vary by company, you’ll generally get the best return on your LinkedIn advertising cost with feed ads. After all, they have the highest chance of being viewed.
In other words, image ads are ideal for softer advertising like blog posts and informational articles. It may not work as well with direct sales attempts.
These ads generally serve on the right side of the LinkedIn interface. They have a little text and often a logo for your company, but they’re not particularly exciting in most areas. While you can get these through an impressions format, it’s usually better to get them in a pay-per-click model instead.
Spotlight ads are personalised to the user profile and are dynamic in nature. On desktop devices, users may see these dynamic ads that are tailored to them based on their own LinkedIn profiles, such as profile photo, name of the company, or job title.
The Follower Ad encourages members to follow your Showcase Page or LinkedIn page on desktops and mobile devices. These ads are great for building LinkedIn followers but keep in mind that only a percentage of your followers will see your posts organically at any given time.
Sponsored InMail or Conversation Ads
LinkedIn is a little unusual among social networks in that it allows you to sponsor messages going to inboxes. This process differs from merely messaging people directly in that you have added visibility into the performance of your content and can get send multiple messages to a targeted audience.
This form of advertising is usually more expensive than other options. So, it’s best when someone is further along your sales funnel, and you want to nudge them through the rest of the way. This strategy can work really well with outbound sales teams or ABM marketing.
The My Company tab is a relatively new part of LinkedIn, but it has clear value for promoting your brand. This tab creates an area that links people from your business together, allowing them to share and engage with content. In turn, that helps build brand recognition and boosts your visibility in other areas.
This functions on two levels. First, employees can share your content. Second, they can also share each other’s content. People are significantly more likely to engage with material from their co-workers or known contacts.
LinkedIn is a particularly good platform for targeting professional audiences. There are many targeting options B2B marketers can leverage which aren’t available on any other platform. When you combine these targeting options with LinkedIn sales navigator for sales teams, LinkedIn truly presents a variety of options in revenue generation.
Fundamentally, you can target ads through audiences or audience attributes.
You can use your own data to retarget audiences or reach known contacts and accounts through audience targeting. The options include
List Upload – add your own CRM data to retarget them
Lookalike – create similar audiences from your list uploads
Other – you own created audiences
Retargeting – allows specific retargeting of all visitors
Third-Party – target audiences generated through third party websites.
You have a variety of targeting options with audience attributes. Leveraging the right combinations of attributes will certainly drive performance.
The “company” selection is especially useful if you want to target people at a specific business. If you have defined verticals in your business or want to reach out to people at particular companies, this is the way to go. This form of targeting is great for ABM strategies. It allows you to hone in on companies from similar industries, growth rates, competitors, connections or categories.
The most powerful feature of LinkedIn advertising is the ability to target by Job Experience. People usually keep their LinkedIn profiles up to date with work experience, so LinkedIn is easily the best social network to target people in this way
You can target by
- Job Functions
- Job Seniorities
- Job Titles
- Member Skills
- Years of experience.
The “interests” section is new for targeting LinkedIn advertisements. It focuses on things like people joining specific interest groups, and it’s useful when those people want to actively engage audiences on niche topics.
Other Audience Attributes
You can target audiences by gender and age through demographic targeting. Education is also a powerful method as it allows you to separate by degrees, fields of study and even schools.
Managing Targeted Ads
The critical thing to remember about LinkedIn advertisements is that it is an audience-based targeting strategy so you need to include both positive audiences and negative audiences. Positive audiences are audiences you want to target and this should make up your targeting criteria. Remember to use the “and” as well as the “or” functions to build out custom audiences.
Negative are audiences you want to avoid. It’s important to include negative audiences as it helps you conserve spend and improves efficiency. Common negative audiences include your competitor’s employees and wrong-fit audiences.
You also want to keep a close eye on the target audience size and your budget. LinkedIn advertising costs are likely to be higher for decision makers vs juniors. Make sure you have adequate levels of spending to accommodate the campaign activity.
To wrap up, here are the best practices to follow so you can get the most from your LinkedIn advertising costs.
#1: Remember The Customer’s Journey
Different ads are better for each stage of a customer’s journal. Sending messages straight to someone’s inbox before they’ve even met you is a sure-fire way to make them hesitant and suspicious. However, they’re far more likely to accept such messages after you’ve struck up a conversation with them.
#2: Balance Your Layers
Layering your targeting options is a great way to fine-tune your messages and maximize the chance that you hit the right target audience. However, you can miss out on some great opportunities if you focus too narrowly.
Think of this like using a telescope. If you increase the magnification, you can see things well in a smaller area. However, you might end up overlooking something fantastic that’s just out of view. Try to keep a good balance of highly targeted and broader-appealing ads.
#3: Evaluate Ads From Competitors
You can view what your competitors are doing by visiting their page and finding the post options. Click ads to view what you are up against. While LinkedIn does not share targeting information, you can generally get a sense by clicking on comments and viewing the commenters information. You can also gain content insights from viewing competitor ads. Cover topics your competitors haven’t addressed and you will see greater ROI from your ads.