Marketing 2.0 is all about “word of mouth” and placing the power in the hands of the consumer. This is all good and well when you or your business already has an established brand and reputation and people are talking and referring. If you are really good at what you do, a lot of business may come to you without you having to look for it.
Individuals and small to medium companies that are not in this fortunate position may have to work a little bit harder to be “seen”. I love using the analogy of the donkey in the movie Shrek, jumping up and down in the background, shouting out frantically, “PICK ME, PICK ME”. A LinkedIn ad is a great way to become more visible to your target market without breaking the bank.
Based on my experience with LinkedIn ads, I have discovered a number of superb features that I have listed below:
1. The LinkedIn ad is really easy to use
You can literally have a LinkedIn ad up and running in a couple of hours. The only lag time is waiting for LinkedIn to approve the ad. LinkedIn takes you through a simple step-by-step process, providing guidance and instruction along the way. All you need is a suitable image, description and call to action and a link to where you want to take people, and you are set.
2. Variation and rotation of ads
Sometmes you want to test the effectiveness of an ad. LinkedIn provides a facility to create multiple ads and allows you to rotate them. This way, you can gauge the effectiveness of specific ads and focus on the one that works for you (ie generates conversions).
3. You can target your ads very precisely
This feature I LOVE. So you are a small to medium size business serving companies situated in Johannesburg, South Africa. The ad you have created is targeted at financial managers and/or directors in mining companies. You are only interested in females over the age of 40. LinkedIn enables you to target this specific demographic! This is the tip of the iceberg because there are even more options available.
4. Billing model and daily limit
LinkedIn presents you with a flexible billing model which is very easy to manage. For those that want to test the effectiveness of LinkedIn ads, you can do so without committing to huge expense. For starters, you can bid on your ad, which is great. You can start low, monitor progress, and increase your bid, until you start seeing favourable results. You can also specify a daily limit, so if you want to run the ad for one day and cap your spend at $10, then so be it! You can have options to pay per click (CPC) or Pay per 1000 impressions (CPM)
5. Great reporting and analytics on ad performance
If you want to gauge the effectiveness of an ad campaign, you need decent analytics. (It is also good to show to management if it is doing really well!) LinkedIn provides information such as Number of Impressions (ie how many times was the ad displayed), Amount Spent, Number of Clicks on your ad, Click Through Rate (CTR) and Average Cost Per Click CPC). You can specify the date range by which you want to report the criteria listed above. There are industry averages that are freely available that you can measure yourself against in order to see how well you are doing.
Have you used LinkedIn ads? What can you add or report on? I would love to hear from you!