Editor’s Note on August 19, 2019: While this post was written in 2016, these basic LinkedIn advertising details still reign true today. Some additional details have been added – the updated notes appear in bold, italic text below.
Originally viewed as a tool for recruiters and job seekers, today LinkedIn is the primary network for a significant number of business professionals. As LinkedIn has expanded their platform beyond paid memberships and job listings, which appeal to recruiters, they have created opportunities for business owners to reach more than 400 million users. And now, in 2019, business owners can reach over 560 million users!
Although the average user doesn’t check this site as often as their Facebook profile, it’s still a sizable community worth targeting for B2B products. It’s important to note that 40% of monthly users access LinkedIn daily now, so LinkedIn is definitely gaining traction in today’s digital world. It is a great place to make these business connections, but this exposure isn’t always free. If you want to reach more people, you’ll want to invest in LinkedIn advertising. The LinkedIn advertising package allows companies to put their messages in front of the decision-makers with a relatively small investment.
These advertisements are especially helpful for products in industry-specific niches. The vast majority of your LinkedIn community won’t be interested in your product or service update. If, however, you can reach your very small, select audience they will be very interested.
LinkedIn delivers a well-targeted campaign to just those very interested individuals. Of course, the more precisely you can define your target, the more effective your ads will be. If you still think owners of “small to mid-size” businesses are your target, these ads won’t be productive. So if you’re thinking about running a LinkedIn advertising campaign, think about these key factors first.
This can be anything from the city to the continent. Is your business geographically constrained? If so, you can select a single city, a series of cities or an entire state. Select as few or as many geographic areas as needed. Just make sure they make sense for your business.
LinkedIn demographics can be incredibly specific. You can include or exclude companies from your audience by using parameters such as company name, a specific industry or the number of employees. For example, whenever I run a LinkedIn advertisement from Roundpeg, I will exclude other marketing firms. There’s no reason to spend money putting my message in front of my competitors.
Decision Maker Demographics
This is where LinkedIn really shines. You can pinpoint your messages so they bypass the gatekeepers. Using job title, function, and seniority, your messages can be presented directly to the decision-makers. You can specify business owners or department heads who are most likely to need your product or service.
Skills, degrees, fields of study, gender or age can also be specified if these factors are relevant to your product. Be careful not to define your audience too narrowly or you may miss out on reaching potential clients. As you select additional criteria, you will see how each additional filtering option affects your estimated target audience size in the right sidebar.
Dynamic Ads are also available through account-managed advertising. This allows you to partner with a dedicated LinkedIn team to create exclusively placed, highly visible ads for premium audiences.
LinkedIn used to be extremely limited with their advertising options, leaving hardly any room for advertisers to really accomplish their goals. That has since changed and will continue to change throughout 2019 and into 2020, adding more freedom for advertisers. Recently, Javed S. Khan was a guest on More Than a Few Words where he shared his own tips on how to improve your LinkedIn results. Be sure to check out the episode!
Ready to dive into LinkedIn advertising? If so, you’re in luck. We have just released a brand new white paper which will step you through the basics of running your first campaign.