To find out if LinkedIn advertising is worth the investment, I spoke to one of the World’s best LinkedIn Advertising experts, AJ Wilcox.
In our call, he quickly smashed one of the biggest myths going around about LinkedIn advertising and told me what 3 sectors tend to get the best ROI.
The conversation started with me asking the question “Is it really true that you need to spend around $20K pm to get any traction with LinkedIn Advertising?” …..After all, this is what I had been told through 2016 when I did extensive research with some of the world’s best LinkedIn Experts – it seemed to be unanimous that $20K was the necessary budget – so I just believed it must be true.
No, was the quick response from AJ, who said that $3 – 5K per month would be adequate, if you know what you’re doing.
So $3K per month is all you’d need as a minimum to start getting traction – that ‘s great I thought, as it opens up opportunity to many businesses who’ve been curious about LinkedIn advertising but were getting told about the $20K budget.
And because AJ only focuses on LinkedIn Advertising, he said that he’d know within a month if LinkedIn advertising was a viable option. So that’s even better news, because people can try it for a short amount of time, and see if it gets a positive ROI.
So with that, I asked a few questions to find out:
What type of businesses and organisations tend to get the best results with LinkedIn Advertising?
Three types of businesses tend to excel using LinkedIn Ads:
- High-value B2B lead generation (High value being any deal or lifetime value >$15k
- White-collar recruiting (en masse or small scale)
- Tertiary education institutions
“You’ll have great success if you are able to know your numbers with average conversion rates at each stage of your pipeline.”
The cost per click is higher than other platforms (average of $4 – 9) but the quality per lead is usually stronger because the mindset of the person who goes onto LinkedIn is either focused on work or their career – not on escaping their current reality and watching cat videos.
What type of LinkedIn Ads do well?
Ads that are laser focused on a specific type of person or decision maker, and that offer useful, insightful content via a landing page tend to do better than the hard sell “contact us” approach.
LinkedIn Ads are like Google Display ads, they will keep appearing on the screen of your target audience repeatedly until you turn them off. So you will need to change the ads so you don’t saturate and bore the audience with showing them the same ad over and over.
There are three types of ads, text ads that appear on the right side of the screen; sponsored ads that appear in the LinkedIn feed and Sponsored InMail that appear in the Prospects InMail box.
What’s the Secret to Success in using LinkedIn Advertising?
1. Set Up Conversion Tracking
LinkedIn recently released their conversion tracking to give you insight into how your ads are performing. Effectively Manage the Ad Campaigns – Split testing and modifying your ads regularly so people don’t get bored of seeing the same display ad over and over is key to keeping your audience engaged.
2. Offer Helpful Content
The best way to use LinkedIn advertising is to offer a gated article or piece of content with a high perceived value. You’ll need a separate landing page so you can track the cost per form fill.
3. Use Unique Imagery
Avoid stock photos because they are over used and will not get the attention of your prospect. The imagery for sponsored content adverts needs to stand out in the newsfeed – so don’t use greys and corporate looking blues for example. Dimensions of images for sponsored ads are 1200 x 627 and text ads are 80 x 80.
What ‘Call to Action’ Should be on the LinkedIn Ads?
AJ recommends that the advertisement offers a piece of relevant content that will appeal to that exact target market. In order of priority, here is a list of the calls to action that AJ recommends:
- Cheat sheet
Split testing to see which one works best is an obvious course of action, as well as offering various types of content to each audience type, so you can see what best resonates with them.
How Much Does it Cost?
The cost per click is usually between $3.50 – 8.00
Since you can laser focus in on the job title, industry, company name etc, the quality of the lead is usually much higher than other forms of advertising, so the overall cost of acquiring a lead that turns into a deal will generally be less.
There are two ways to set bids – according to AJ, you can be super aggressive or just be dipping your toe in the water of LinkedIn advertising. If you’ve got a big budget, and want to be aggressive in your marketing activity, then AJ suggests bidding high for the first couple days and then progressively reducing the bid by 50 cents or so per day to find the sweet spot. He recommends spending around $800+ per day if you want to go ‘all in’ on the advertising. Alternatively, if you want to just try LinkedIn ads, then bid low ($3.50 – $5.50 per click), and be super specific on your targeting, so you can see what results you get.
What Do You Need to Track?
LinkedIn only provides the ‘cost per click’ and ‘cost per form fill’ information, but no other data further down your sales funnel. So you know how much you’re paying, and how much traffic you’re getting, but you don’t get a dashboard that tells you all the conversion data you’ll need to work out your ROI.
AJ suggests you use other platforms as well as your CRM to record the following metrics:
- CPL – Cost per initial lead – you’ll need to refer to your Google analytics to track your lead.– user CRM
- CPMQL – Cost per marketing qualified lead – use the data from CRM and make sure that the lead has not been duplicated in the system
- CPSAL – Cost per sales accepted lead – when they’ve been on a call that pre-qualifies them as a potential client.
- CPSAO – Cost per sales accepted opportunity – when the sales team reports they have a good chance of closing the deal.
- CPClose – Cost per close – this records the cost per deal once its acquired.
Interested to find out more?
AJ Wilcox is the founder of B2Linked and offers LinkedIn account management, training and consulting services.
If you feel that LinkedIn advertising might be worth considering, I recommend you get in touch with AJ, or at least check out his website b2linked.com