Many B2B companies have leveraged the power of PPC ads on Google AdWords and Microsoft adCenter. The new-ish player to this platform is the business-centric social media outlet, LinkedIn.
LinkedIn ads are very similar to those you create on AdWords or AdCenter, but with the added bonus of specific targeting options not found in the other ad campaign media.
LinkedIn Ad Text is similar in that it contains a headline, two lines of description and a destination URL. It also contains a place to put your company name and a small image. The specifications for each element are as follows:
Headline: (up to 25 characters of text)
Description: (up to 75 characters of text – total of both lines)
From: (your name or any company)
Image: (50×50 pixel image)
URL: (website people visit once they click on your ad)
Your ads may appear in a variety of places on LinkedIn, including:
Profile Page – when users view the profile of other LinkedIn members
Home Page -the page that users see when they log in to LinkedIn
Inbox -the page where users see messages and invitations to connect
Search Results Page -the page that results when you search for a member by name
Groups -on pages in LinkedIn Groups
Additionally, a text-only version of the ad may be shown in locations such as the top of the LinkedIn.com home page.
The number of times your ad will be displayed depends on a variety of factors including your budget, bid, and your ad’s click-through rate (CTR).
Best practices for creating ads are also similar to other PPC campaigns, and image best practices are similar to those on Facebook.
What allows LinkedIn ads to stand above other media is the ability to target the right audience with very specific criteria. Targeting options include:
Choose one or more geographies for your campaign, especially if your products or services only appeal to users in certain countries or cities. This is similar to AdWords and adCenter, and can be broken down just as granular.
Target by categories of companies (also known as Industry) if you’re trying to reach people of various job function within an industry. There are even more specific categories within those broad industry categories. However, you can only select up to 10 industries. If you need to reach more industries, you will need to create separate campaigns. This approach also allows you to offer more relevant ads.
Target by job function if you want to limit your ads to people who are in one of 20 broad job functions. If your offering appeals to multiple job functions, consider creating a campaign for each function so that you can tailor your ads to each function. If job function is not specific enough, target by exact job titles and customize your ad text for those people.
Target by job title if your offerings are relevant to people with a specific job title. A nice feature in this targeting space is that when you enter a job title, LinkedIn Ads suggests similar titles. Your audience will consist of people whose current job title matches the titles you select.
People express their interests, skills, and expertise by joining LinkedIn Groups. Add members of groups to your target audience. When those people visit various pages on the Linkedin.com website (not just in LinkedIn Groups), they may see and click on your ads.
Finally, demographic targeting allows you to target by age and/or gender.
LinkedIn also offers the option to retarget your audience when they visit any site in the LinkedIn network, when you opt into the network yourself.
The only restriction to LinkedIn ads is its pay structure, which requires a minimum campaign ad budget of $10/day. Setting up an ad is very easy with a wizard interface.
LinkedIn provides an excellent alternative to search engine ad placement within its own network. This arena is a must have for any B2B company who want to reach a targeted audience with exposure of their brand and products or services.
Do you run ads on LinkedIn? Share your experience.