linkedin marketing strategies

7 Killer LinkedIn Advertising Strategies That Actually Work

With costs per click that can reach up to 10 and even 15 euros, it is no surprise that many companies are shying away from advertising on LinkedIn. However, if done right, your cost per lead can actually drop lower than traditionally cheaper channels like Google, Facebook and Twitter.

Today, we will see 7 LinkedIn Advertising Strategies that businesses can use to maximize their budget and generate more leads in 2022.

put prices on web

1. Use Lead Gen forms

Out of all LinkedIn advertising strategies, using Lead Gen forms is probably one of the most efficient when it comes to generating more leads for the same budget. If you are advertising on LinkedIn and you are not using Lead Gen yet, here is why you should.

Let’s stop for a second and think about a regular landing page. How many fields would you have to fill out manually? Depending on the page, at least 2 or 3 in the best case. But in many cases, especially when businesses require a lot of data, it can go up to 10!

That’s a lot of fields for users to type down manually. And let’s be honest, nobody has time for that. Even if you have a genuine interest in the product or resource, you might still end up leaving without converting.

Image source: drift.com. 

And this is where Lead Gen comes into play.

Lead Gen forms are LinkedIn’s native forms for collecting consensual data directly on the platform. They save the majority of manual work for users by pulling out data from their profile automatically, leaving the minimum amount of fields to be filled in manually.

In other words, companies can create a Lead Gen form to use instead of a landing page, personalizing it and adding the fields that make the most sense for them. When a user wants to solicit more information from the company, instead of being sent to a third-party platform, they can do that without leaving LinkedIn at all.

The majority of fields that companies require are already found on a user’s profile, which allows LinkedIn to pull out this data quickly and easily, saving the hassle for users. Needless to say, this can’t happen if the user hasn’t given their consent first.

linkedin lead gen ads

LinkedIn advertising strategies: Example of a Lead Gen form

LinkedIn Lead Gen ads can significantly reduce your Cost per Lead (CPL), and I have seen this a lot throughout my experience. In the article that I just shared, you will see that in some cases, it managed to reduce CPLs by more than 10 times.

Which is a significant improvement considering the high costs per click on this channel.

Why Lead Gen works

There are multiple reasons why these native forms are among the best LinkedIn advertising strategies:

It’s a win-win-win

Lead Gen forms reduce the majority of manual fields typically found on a regular landing page. This is a win-win-win for practically everyone. For users, because they save a lot of time by not having to fill out all the data manually, and they don’t have to leave LinkedIn either.

For advertisers, because more users inclined to submit their data (LinkedIn also provides security compared to leaving your data on an unknown third-party platform), which translates to more leads. It also benefits LinkedIn because they make users spend more time on LinkedIn, and it incentivizes companies to spend more on ads.

Smoother conversion process

While many landing pages are optimized with the best practices in mind, some of them can be really difficult to understand and navigate. On the contrary, native forms are very easy to fill out and process, which makes the lead conversion process significantly smoother.

Better user experience

As we already mentioned, it is important to keep in mind that LinkedIn members don’t actually want to leave LinkedIn when they click on an ad. Because Lead Gen forms are native and don’t take the user to a third-party landing page, they improve user experience on LinkedIn.

Additionally, companies can use Sponsored Content as an ad format which blends really well with the feed, leveraging even better user experience.

CRM integration

And last but not least, LinkedIn allows you to integrate the forms with your CRM or Marketing Automation system. This means that you can still have all of your data at one place.

Of course, it is not all roses – Lead Gen forms have some cons too. The product description only allows you to write about 2-3 sentences (approximately 160 characters). A lot of times, this means that you don’t have much space to include all the information that you normally would on a landing page.

The second con is that in some cases, it could be quite difficult to integrate Lead Gen forms with your CRM or Marketing Automation tool. And by this I don’t mean the integration itself, but making all of your fields pass all of the data to your CRM.

But LinkedIn has been working a lot on this so it’s going to get easier and easier.

2. Diversify your campaigns

Next on our list of LinkedIn advertising strategies is to diversify your campaigns. This strategy may require a little bit more budget than usual in order to make sense doing it, but it is extremely effective for most businesses when it comes to lead generation. Let me explain.

This year, LinkedIn introduced an update that allows you to target your audience using multiple criteria at the same time:

linkedin advertising strategies - target audience

LinkedIn advertising strategies: campaign diversification with a more refined target audience

If you take a look at this example, you will see that I am targeting Company Industries, Job Functions OR Job Titles at the same time. By using the attribute OR, I am telling LinkedIn that it can show my ads to people who:

  • Work in the industry of real estate or
  • Has a job within the real estate functions or 
  • Has the specific title of Director, Managing Director or Executive Director.

In this case, LinkedIn will show the ad if only one of these three cases appear, and not necessarily at the same time.

linkedin marketing strategies

This attribute allows you to target various audiences within the same campaign. But just a few months ago, we only had the attribute AND that was quite restricting sometimes.

However, although I am really taking advantage of the OR attribute because it saves time and optimizes your budget, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it.

Here is why

The reason why is very simple. When you have multiple criteria within the same campaign, it’s almost impossible to know which audience is actually generating leads (and which isn’t). Even LinkedIn Analytics isn’t helping as much as I would hope for.

Let’s go back to our previous audience. If I made 3 small campaigns:

  • One for Job Functions;
  • Another for Company Industries;
  • And a third one for Job Titles;

I can immediately see which specific targeting is the one generating leads. And, on another hand, which one is only spending the budget without converting.

So, my advice is to diversify your budget across multiple, smaller campaigns. Yes, it can be annoying to make so many campaigns instead of a single, bigger one. However, it is definitely worth it if you want to maximize the results for your budget. This way, you will avoid wasting money on audiences that are not converting.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that I am not using the OR attribute in my campaigns. If I have a smaller budget, it’s a life-saver! (or should I say, a campaign-saver?)

3. Start with a wider audience, then optimize

The next one of our LinkedIn advertising strategies is very intuitive. However, if you don’t have much experience in Digital Marketing, you might not know it well enough yet.

If you haven’t done enough campaigns on LinkedIn yet and you don’t have much data to work with, start with a wider audience, and then optimize. The exact size will depend on your product and industry, but I would never recommend an audience bigger than 300k users for a single campaign, no matter what your budget is.

The main reason why is because your budget is going to be so diluted across different industries or job functions that it’s going to take a long time for LinkedIn to gather enough meaningful data.

In the image below, you are going to see data from a campaign I did. It has been running for 2 months straight with an audience size of only 130k, and yet, the majority of the data in Analytics still shows “below reporting minimum“:

linkedin analytics

Even with a historical data of 2 months, it will still be difficult for me to draw meaningful conclusions about all job functions. Or all company industries…you get the point.

Hence the reason why you should avoid going with audiences that are on the extreme of wide.

However, you can start with a wide audience on the medium spectrum, maybe around 200-300k users, and work your way towards refining it as time passes and you continue collecting data. This way, you will get enough data to help you get valuable insights, but not too much to dilute your analytics.

4. Refresh your creatives

There are two main ways to improve and optimize your campaigns. The first one, as we just saw, is to make improvements within your segmentation.

The second one is to refresh your creatives conducted by Kantarregularly to avoid ad saturation (ad fatigue). According to a market analysis study , 70% of users say they see the same ads over and over again, which makes them feel apathetic to advertising content altogether.

linkedin ad examples

LinkedIn advertising strategies: avoid ad fatigue by regularly refreshing your creatives

You can either do both at the same time, or one after another. The thing is, if you don’t want to make a lot of changes to your segmentation, eventually your audience will burn out. Especially if it’s small.

What does that mean? Well, imagine that your audience consists of 30,000 users. At some point in time, the majority of them will have seen your ad about 2-3 times. If you see an ad 2 or 3 times, you already know that you are interested, or not interested, in learning more about the product.

This means that seeing the ad continuously will not only have zero impact on you, but you might even get annoyed and ignore it completely.

This is the point of burn out in which your audience is not reacting to your ad anymore.

This means that you need to make a change. And, if changing the segmentation is not an option for you, you will have to try with different creatives to see if they make a bigger impact. Or maybe you just want to do both at the same time, although it’s risky because you might not know which one of these big changes worked.

Of course, you should always be A/B testing your creatives to see which one works. But don’t forget to change them every once in a while to avoid audience burn out.

And, if you need inspiration, you can check my LinkedIn ad examples for more ideas.

5. Leverage the power of retargeting

The next one on our list of LinkedIn advertising strategies is to take full advantage of your retargeting options.

linkedin advertising strategies - retargeting

You can use the existing contacts in your CRM, or configure retargeting audiences directly in LinkedIn to make a second impact on users who have shown interest in your product.

Here are some ways in which you can re-impact your audience:

  • Upload a contact database from your CRM or Marketing Automation tool;
  • Configure audiences for people who visit your landing pages, but don’t convert;
  • Configure audiences for users who converted, so you can make a second impact;

To see the full list, click here to read my article LinkedIn Retargeting: The Complete Guide.

6. Create Lookalike audiences

lookalike audiences - linkedin marketing strategies

We continue our list of LinkedIn advertising strategies with another awesome way that companies can leverage in order to maximize lead generation: lookalike audiences.

They are usually built using your retargeting audiences (you can read more on how to do it here).

Here is one example of building a lookalike audience.

Let’s say that you’ve uploaded a list of 5,000 contacts from your CRM. They can be your current customers, or potential prospects that haven’t made a purchase yet, but have shown some interest in your product.

With just a couple of clicks, LinkedIn’s machine learning tools will begin creating an audience with similar features with the one that you’ve uploaded. This way, they can build a new audience of users who are more likely to purchase because they share similar traits with your current leads or customers.

Lookalike audiences are extremely easy to make. Just click on the article at the beginning of the paragraph for full instructions!

7. Use segment breakdown

Here is a little trick that can drive big results with a tool that LinkedIn introduced recently – Segment breakdown.

linkedin advertising strategies - segment breakdown

LinkedIn advertising strategies: using segment breakdown to get more insights

Basically, what it does is give you insights on the segmentation criteria that you are using.

For this example, I typed a few job titles in the Job title criteria, such as:

  • Head of Business Development
  • Sales Director
  • Key Account Manager
  • Sales Manager
  • Sales Executive

and so on.

job titles linkedin

So, what LinkedIn does is take all of the Job Titles, and tell me to which Job Function the majority of them belong. This way, if I want to launch an additional campaign on Job Functions, I can go straight to Sales, Business Development and Operations, without trying to guess them myself.

And although this example is more obvious, other job titles are not that obvious. For example, a Customer Success Manager will belong to the Support job function. Which is not what I would think of! I would think that Support is more for the IT industry, but we can see that this is not necessarily the case.

Conclusion

I hope that I managed to give you some ideas on my favourite LinkedIn  advertising strategies for lead generation. I definitely recommend you to try them all, or at least some of them! They are definitely worth it.

Now, it’s your turn! Are you using some of them already? Are you happy with the results? Let me know in the comments down below!

How do I advertise on LinkedIn?

You can advertise on LinkedIn by creating a Campaign Manager account and a Company Page for your brand. Once your billing information has been set up, you can start creating your campaign right away.

What are LinkedIn advertising strategies?

LinkedIn advertising strategies are actions that you can take in order to maximize the results for your budget. Some effective strategies include the use of Lead Gen forms, lookalike audiences, retargeting audiences and more.

How effective is LinkedIn advertising?

With the right strategy, LinkedIn advertising can be an extremely effective and powerful tool for generating high-quality leads, especially for B2B businesses. This is thanks to LinkedIn's unique targeting options that allow companies to reach users with a more professional background.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read my article, and I hope to see you in the next one!


Written by
animitevabg
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