Just How Useful is LinkedIn Advertising?

We’ve talked about the powers of social media marketing before, but let’s face it, though there are now tens of Social Media Platforms out there, helping us connect with family, friends and communities of interest, none besides LinkedIn really helps us engage at a professional level with other business professionals around the globe quite like Microsoft’s unique professional network. 

AdsRunner have asked some clients if they use LinkedIn for business development and the answer comes back mostly as “Yes, of course!”.  We are making it a mission to really recommend this platform to all our clients, because if there is one platform that sits head and shoulders above the rest for building industry leadership, as well as strong B2B leads, it is LinkedIn.  We have witnessed a significant level of head-hunting and proactive professional networking that goes on via this Microsoft-owned social networking site, which make it unlike any of the other networking platforms.

Sure, LinkedIn members still regularly see some cute, funny and personal stories, but they sometimes meet resistance with users who are sticklers for keeping content strictly formal here.  The reality, of course, is that we are all humans, and like seeing content that resonates with us, regardless of differences of culture or location in the world and comment threads on such posts can be great openers of dialogue which can lead to unexpected business connections. 

Advertising here, together with social network building, bring a level of intellectual or serious engagement, just plain lacking elsewhere.   Aside from the professional posts that abound here more than on any other social media platform, there are still lots of warm, authentic interactions and genuine mutual problem-solving that regularly goes beyond the superficial and even leads to unexpected collaborations or referrals ending in increased sales.

For those of you reading still slightly put off by some of the formality, considered appropriate by many users, colleagues and clients have forged some fantastically useful links here, simply by signing up to join professional groups, connecting with colleagues from the past, or even pro-actively connecting more purposefully, building links that align with business objectives.   

Aspiring To Better Customer Value and Best Practice

LinkedIn professionals will more often be sharing of content or engaging in conversations that deal with serious and even complex issues in their industry, sometimes by way of crowd-sourcing solutions or attracting new business partners and leads.  While the tone can be informal in dialogues generated by posts, there are also some thoughtful contributions to discussions about what can sometimes be difficult business issues, or may  push the boundaries in promoting best practice.  

LinkedIn allows companies to showcase their work, the expertise of their staff and demonstrate leadership, which can generate trust in companies.  Millions of professionals are tuning in weekly, according to Microsoft, each wanting to make more of their expertise, skills and knowledge.  Advertising job vacancies here can attract some of the best talent.  With stronger skills in your organisation, when you find the right person at the right time no LinkedIn, there is no telling just how much better overall performance can be, not only in terms of turnover.

Smart algorithms allow for users to find topics and people in sectors where powerful connections can be forged, simply by engaging with common professional interest areas.

From conglomerates, through to start-ups and all sizes between, here you can quickly build connections that can spark unexpected conversations, initiate innovations, build partnerships and drive more sales.  

Are LinkedIn Users Averse to Promotions

The simple truth about LinkedIn, is that promoting one’s projects, products and services is absolutely appropriate, unlike other social networking sites.  It is openly acknowledged that everyone is here for some professional purpose and trust levels for LinkedIn advertising and promotional content are enviable compared to other social networking sites.  

Business Insider has awarded LinkedIn the status of being the foremost trusted social media platform for three years running.  This is what makes this platform perfect for B2B company communications.  LinkedIn users understand the value of marketing and trust the site’s general professional ethos.    

Professional curiosity is the name of the game here.  LinkedIn offers some unique opportunities to speak directly to fellow professionals who may be receptive to buying into what you offer, because you are demonstrating leadership by having a presence on a professional networking site. Meaningful engagement via groups, or your thread can foster money making leads, the rule of thumb being that so long as your group input is informational, meaningful and potentially problem solving, frankly this kind of indirect brand advertising is invaluable! 

We Are All In It To Win It Here!

LinkedIn is where you can make connections with co-professionals in complementary business lines faster than waiting for that next industry event – valuable as live conferences can be.  On LinkedIn, however, your future managers are out there looking for opportunities to work with you.  Similarly, company directors who are constantly looking for solutions to take enhance their business will be scanning relevant industry profiles to find the right fit for their next development investment.  

Whether you offer time-management solutions, training software, are expanding your manufacturing plant, planning new product lines, or other business development project, those conversations you strike up around your key business plans and projects, your posts  which share important activities, or even trigger theoretical discussions, even off-topic input, will all generate highly engaged responses and open new business opportunities. 

Can LinkedIn Really Generate Tangible Returns?

What better place to advertise your services and target fellow receptive professionals directly, than where they too are seeking solutions to their own business challenges?  As someone looking to build sales particularly, we appreciate you want more than ideas about indirect advertising on LinkedIn, so let’s look at some of the numbers.

As you might imagine, being a Microsoft owned asset, LinkedIn is the “… world’s largest professional network with 810 million members in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.  The platform developers have achieved this in just under 20 years, being launched by entrepreneur, Ryan Roslansky. in 2003.  That is a massive talent and professional ideas pool, to say nothing of supply chain connections that make a real difference to business bottom lines.

Microsoft acquired the company in 2016, since when, LinkedIn’s offering has grown.  According to LinkedIn’s own statistics, there are currently 185 Million users in the USA, [and] 32 Million in the UK”.  There is a definite English Speaking bias, but it is worth knowing that the platform is currently available in 25 languages; inevitably, this will expand as markets in SE Asia and Africa expand and as economic power moves east in the longer term.

The platform’s revenues arise “…from membership subscriptions, advertising sales and recruitment solutions…” While your key question here might be around how to advertise on LinkedIn to generate sales leads, the fact that sales solutions are a big part of paid content, clearly businesses are leveraging the expertise of cross-discipline professionals who are helping drive more sales, be that through professional consultancy, or tech to automate business processes, or even sales professionals seeking new challenges and employers.

LinkedIn Is Increasingly Target Oriented

It may surprise advertisers new to LinkedIn to learn that according to one marketing analyst, LinkedIn made up the greatest share of B2B display ad spending in the U.S.A. in 2021. Let that percolate for a moment… This channel is highly valued by some of the biggest household names across a wide range of industries – especially in the West.

By LinkedIn’s own business reporting last August, their business has seen growth of over 500% during the previous five years.  This figure attests to trusted relationships being built by buyers because of professional communications made possible by this platform.  LinkedIn is viewed as a trusted place for business-related information.  They also claim to be “…a top-three player in B2B digital advertising, and growing 3x faster than our category.” We assume from this that they are claiming a huge slice of the social media advertising pie.  

Their impressive figures don’t end there, however.  If you are looking to build your LinkedIn marketing strategy, there has never been a better time. For instance, if you continue to wonder about the value of advertising here, then consider that this platform’s “…. advertising business surpassed $1 billion in revenue” for the second quarter in 2021; this was unprecedented and amounted to an increase of 97% year on year.  LinkedIn also report that 58 million companies they have built their brand communities on LinkedIn”.  By communities, this means communities of interest, who connect because of the good-will this platform generates among users.

It isn’t only smaller businesses seeking to build either.  A huge statistic that vouches for LinkedIn’s power in inter-connectivity here is that 97% of the Fortune 500 are LinkedIn users.  96% of these power-holders use more than one of LinkedIn’s business products.  

Each month, LinkedIn hosts over a billion interactions; the majority of these will be business development oriented, because, 55+ million companies here.  In terms of valuable links being made, it’s all in the interactions that can spark from LinkedIn ad campaigns.  The growth in communications here is showing  a 23% increase in messages sent year on year 

In case you are wondering, no, AdsRunner are not affiliates of this or any other of the social media platforms, but we cannot encourage advertisers enough to consider this channel to leverage high value connections with volume buyers.  It is just undeniable how important this platform is to business growth, particularly for reaching out to overseas markets.  

If you still want to build the business case for a LinkedIn advertising strategy and campaign, check out some more reasons to work this professionals’ platform from LinkedIn. For us, the figures more than stack up.  We think that this is still an under-explored advertising channel for too many businesses.  You can be sure, however, that your competitors are learning how to communicate with potential customers here and are building greater business sustainability as a result, because business to business sales are so much easier when you learn who is who in your supply chains.

How to Advertise on LinkedIn

Similar to other social media platforms, LinkedIn offers a comprehensive range of marketing based objective tools to raise brand awareness, drive website visits and generate more leads, sales, or even promote a job to attract some of the best talent around. However, LinkedIn are going beyond social media services into enterprise management capacity building offerings.   So, watch this space in terms of just how increasingly multi-functional this platform becomes, because efficiency is the watchword of any modern business and Microsoft are increasing their market share here. 

In terms of advertising growth seen on LinkedIn, that is of course achieved thanks to LinkedIn’s powerful audience targeting features.  These allow you to reach key companies and decision makers in every industry and field faster than traditional networking routes.  The research potential is enormous for understanding more about your markets in the here and now, because anyone who wants to build their business – and who doesn’t? – is talking here.  From this global pool of potential customers, you can target leads from specific demographics, business sector, skills and experience, educational background and work experience.  

Advertising Features LinkedIn Offers

Sponsored content is pretty much like any regular post which you share with your online network, capturing the attention of your target audience via their tailored feed. Content formats can cover a variety of campaign objectives.  Choose from single or carousel image ads, simple text ads, (similar to Google or Bing Ads), or video ads, to share your offerings and presentations with your pre-selected audience, or simply build your brand awareness. You also get to add a call to action button to prompt your user to take the next step towards learning more from your website, registering for news updates, sign-ups for subscription products, connecting with your LinkedIn company page and more.

Your ads will appear in your target audience’s feed and placed in the side menu of specific LinkedIn pages.  You have up to 25 characters for your headline text and 75 for your service or product description.  What is interesting, however, is that right now, ads are constructed for viewing on a desktop, as opposed to mobile.  This does have the benefit of involving less technical preparation for LinkedIn ad campaign launch.  It is worth running split ad campaigns to test results of different content and formats, as with other channels.

One of the most powerful marketing features LinkedIn offers is Sponsored Messaging, previously known as Sponsored InMail. This feature allows you to directly advertise to your defined target audience, by sending a message directly to their inbox.  This type of ad is currently available in two formats: Message Ad and Conversation. 

LinkedIn Message Ads are great for sparking immediate action from your audience, by containing a single call to action, such as registering for receiving information, by filling in your lead generation form. 

Conversation Ads mean you can start a conversation, but also recipients get to choose differentiated paths with multiple call to action offers (CTAs) for your reader.  Once they read your message, they can, for instance, click through to visit your website, share their contact details, or contact you to learn more about you, your products and services. 

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements appear on the right-hand side of a user’s screen. These can include a combination of text and image.  While perhaps less prominent than sponsored content, when planned effectively, the growing number of LinkedIn Advertising agencies attest to the growing success of this medium for driving highly targeted traffic.

Dynamic Ad campaigns allow you to segment your audiences and personalise messages to their particular demonstrable interests.   Your message addresses the recipient by their name and even includes their profile photo.  There are a number of Dynamic Ads to choose from: 

  • Company spotlight
  • Follower ads
  • Content
  • Job ads
  • A.I. driven remarketing (also known as retargeting)

While the digitally savvy understand this is an automated process, the very fact that you have taken the trouble to set these details up, demonstrates your professionalism and industry leadership.  First impressions matter, as they say.  Click through rates tend to be higher for personalised marketing content.  Advertisers can also input their name and email address into their ads, offering more ways to contact you and making connections simpler.

Use LinkedIn Dynamic Ads for various objectives, such as:

  • Lead generation
  • Reach job candidates quickly
  • Share relevant content to your segmented target audiences
  • Monitor which downloadable content is most popular to inform future campaigns

Lead generation forms are an essential B2B marketing tool.  LinkedIn offer a template, including, thankfully, a mobile optimised technology.  This in-site facility minimises the need for unnecessary clicks to your website. 

When a LinkedIn user clicks your Ads, an automatically, pre-filled form with information taken from their profile is presented to them. The recipient need only confirm their information is correct, then submit it.  Next a record of the user, with their name, email, company name, job title, location, plus any other information you specified in setting up your LinkedIn Lead Gen Form is sent to you; this in turn can be easily uploaded into your business management software.  Your lead then sees a Thank You page, with your message and a link back to your website, or wherever your target landing is set up for.

By using this fantastic LinkedIn lead generation tool, you are simplifying the process of prospects being converted into leads semi-automatically.  Use this alongside your sponsored content and sponsored InMail for more powerful results. Since there’s minimal effort required from your target audience and you offer multiple channels to connect, customers can move along the funnel and convert into qualified leads quickly.

ADSRUNNER LinkedIn Ads Management Services

Every business is different, so LinkedIn does not necessarily suit direct to customer advertising, unless your business offers supply chain products for larger manufacturing companies, or you offer business development services, such as legal, accountancy, IT, or similar.  Sometimes, a powerful way to reach customers is via the business partnerships you build with others with direct to customer sales channels.  Making connections with businesses with whom you share complementary interests can mean your company can leverage their resources to reach wider audiences.  We believe that who you know in your sector and finding easier ways to reach key decision makers through LinkedIn tools can make this channel the best social media platform for generating B2B and B2C leads.

LinkedIn offers an extensive range of advertising opportunities for all businesses and AdsRunner would love an opportunity to talk about how we can connect you to a larger customer pool through your LinkedIn networks.  We understand that making the most of LinkedIn can be confusing.  So, talk to us today about making this powerful professional networking platform work for your business lead generation today.  Book an appointment for a no-obligation consultation session, or drop us a line and let’s get you powered up!



OUR SERVICES