LinkedIn has long been a double-edged sword in the world of digital marketing.
On the one hand, its focused audiences are ideal for companies looking to attract and engage professional audiences in both B2B and B2C environments. On the other hand, its advertising opportunities are far more limited than other digital platforms, and especially Facebook.
On Facebook, marketers can target their advertisements using anything from interest-based audiences to lists they upload. The ads themselves range from links and videos all the way to lead ads and canvas ads. LinkedIn’s possibilities, on the other hand, have been limited to sidebar ads and sponsored content.
Fortunately, the network is beginning to make changes to these limitations.
Over the last few months, it has announced a number of updates to its advertising platform that could be an ideal solution for marketers whose target audience closely matches the demographic profile and preferences of LinkedIn users.
These updates, listed below, could play a crucial part in helping your business make sure it optimizes its digital market budget.LinkedIn has recently announced a number of updates to its advertising platform Click To Tweet
LinkedIn Matched Audiences
This April, LinkedIn announced what might be the most comprehensive of its advertising features yet. The new Matched Audiences targeting opportunity is similar to Facebook’s Custom Audiences, in that it allows marketers to go beyond interests, job title, or geographic locations to choose their audience.
More specifically, Matched Audiences allow brands to pick their target audience in one of three ways:
- Retargeting, which allows companies to show ads to users who have recently visited their website or a specific page on their website. Advertisers can customize the exact time frame of that recent visit, ensuring a balance between relevance and reminders.
- Email Targeting, which pulls in the audience based on an email list uploaded by the advertiser. LinkedIn matches users to contact information using both primary and secondary emails, increasing the chance that work emails are considered.
- Account Targeting, an option previously reserved for the network’s largest advertisers. It allows marketers to show ads to users based specifically on the company for which they work. This is especially beneficial for B2B advertisers looking to reach decision makers in large potential client companies.
All three targeting options could change the way your brand advertises on LinkedIn. Put simply, they significantly increase the focus with which you can match your intended target audience, serving more relevant ads in the process. Depending on your marketing goals, you can now ensure to a greater degree of certainty that your budget is actually spend on the right audience segments.
Of course, LinkedIn’s new targeting opportunities are available for current ad types, such as sponsored content. But they can also be leveraged by two new types of ads that the network is rolling out globally: Lead Ads and Sponsored InMail.LinkedIn's Matched Audiences allow brands to pick their target audience in one of 3 ways. Click To Tweet
LinkedIn Lead Ads
As lead generation is continually gaining in emphasis across industries, digital marketing platforms are making adjustments that help marketers reduce the friction their users tend to feel when submitting their contact information. Rather than simply offering a link ad to a landing page with a signup form on your website, they are offering so-called ‘native’ options through which users can sign up to become a lead without having to leave their favorite social media network.
Facebook was the first to introduce these so-called Lead Ads in 2015, and LinkedIn is beginning the roll out of a similar feature. Sign up forms can be attached directly to individual ads, with information available from a user’s profile (such as name and email address) pre-filled to make signing up as easy as possible. A pilot program with 50 advertisers is currently underway, with a global roll-out expected later this year.
LinkedIn Sponsored InMail
Lead ads are in the future, but another feature is already live. last November, marketers on LinkedIn got the opportunity to start testing a new feature, which had previously been available only to advertisers with a minimum $10,000 monthly spend: Sponsored InMail.
Put simply, Sponsored InMail allows any brand representative to set up a marketing campaign that sends a featured message to users in a given target audience. That message is sent through the platform’s internal messaging system, which is also delivered to users on the network through push and email notifications.
According to LinkedIn, the easiest way to think about Sponsored InMail is as a better version of email. Average open rates for Sponsored InMail have hovered around 45 percent, while click-through rates range between 4 percent and 7 percent.
Experienced digital marketers will know that both of these metrics are significantly higher than typical email marketing. The network accomplishes this feat in part by limiting the amount of sponsored messages for each user to one per 60 days, which helps to reduce spam and noise in a user’s LinkedIn inbox.
Sponsored InMail, of course, can be targeted in the same way as other ads on LinkedIn. Including the new opportunities and customized audiences mentioned above. The feature allows marketers to diversify the ways in which they reach out to potential customers. Thereby, increasing the potential marketing success on the network.
In short, LinkedIn is becoming increasingly sophisticated in the options it offers marketers looking to reach their audience in a focused and effective way. As such, it might just have entered relevancy for your business as a marketing tool.
Our courses help you to learn more about LinkedIn and digital marketing in general, helping to prepare you for the present and future of digital marketing. To learn more about the classes available to you, contact us.LinkedIn is becoming increasingly sophisticated in the options it offers marketers Click To Tweet