Facebook may still be the most widely known and used social platform, depending on the audience’s age, but it is most certainly not the only one to consider when reaching consumers. Believe it or not, Facebook wasn’t even the first. LinkedIn launched seven months prior to Facebook and, while known mainly for professional profiles and networking, has seen consistent annual growth.
eMarketer forecasts that LinkedIn will see a 26% lift in 2021 US ad revenue, reaching $2.2 billion. The platform covers nearly 70MM US users and, in a 2020 study, was ranked as the most trusted social platform available. The value of LinkedIn has truly grown for brands that are looking for a social platform to expand their reach and cultivate a B2B marketing strategy.
Lead Generation on LinkedIn
When used well, LinkedIn can function as a lead generation powerhouse. In fact, in a study of over 5,000 different business LinkedIn generated a lead conversion rate almost 3X that of Twitter and Facebook.
There are a few ways to generate conversions on LinkedIn through various ad creatives: sponsored ads, InMail, or text ads. You can also generate conversions through directing to a landing page or utilizing LinkedIn in platform lead forms. Lead forms allow you to capture information about your target audience with minimal effort thanks to auto population. Lead forms can create a seamless user experience without forcing your audience to leave the platform. These forms also often acquire the most leads for the lowest CPA and are considered best practice.
Sponsored ads can be found directly in your target audiences’ LinkedIn feeds in the form of single image, video, and carousel ads. This is the most popular ad variation used in the platform and is the quickest way to acquire conversions.
Text ads are the simplest ads in LinkedIn and can be found on the right side or top of your feed. These ads tend to produce the most impressions for the lowest cost and can be a great support for leads/conversion campaigns.
InMail campaigns are unique to LinkedIn and are best used with 1st party data and retargeting audiences. They send personalized messages directly to the inbox of your desired audience and allow more information than traditional ads. It is highly recommended to use a retargeting (1st party data) strategy for this campaign since it requires the most interest. InMail conversion rates tend to be the highest but will take more time to build since individuals are only allowed to receive one InMail ad every 45 days.
Finding Consumers on LinkedIn
Though still mainly a place for career-minded professionals, it is important that LinkedIn not be siloed as just communicating to people in high-level executive and corporate roles. The user base does skew more male, more educated and “higher” income ($75K and above). But as more and more people are looking for employment and changing careers, and as LinkedIn continues to roll out new features, the audience is expanding.
The platform offers unique targeting, allowing brands to zero in on decision-makers with purchasing power. B2C brands that are luxury and inspirational do well on the platform, but highlighting direct benefits to a busy professional can help paint almost any brand in a different light with a high-value audience.
Brands with a Broader LinkedIn Approach
- Away This high-end travel retailer offers an entire history of its brand while also providing engaging content around its collections and a partnership with Serena Williams.
- Mercedes-Benz Looking to reach the right potential buyer, Mercedes-Benz targeted consumers who recently updated their profile with a senior position. Using a mix of display ads to drive awareness and InMail to deliver a personalized congratulatory message with an invite to try the new model, this award-winning campaign converted at 3X the auto industry benchmark.
- Kate Spade As a global fashion house and lifestyle brand, you wouldn’t expect Kate Spade to use LinkedIn. The brand was able to generate interest in a non-business product, using LinkedIn to speak to a specific group of professional women. The campaign performed at double the standard LinkedIn engagement and click-through rate benchmarks. This one ad, featuring Busy Philipps, reached 143,000 unique views and held a 2.44% engagement rate.
LinkedIn is not only credible to many users; it also gives advertisers the ability to run campaigns that effectively reach professional audiences and generate qualified leads. When searching for viable social platforms, we’d highly encourage keeping LinkedIn in the consideration set.