date: December 8 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected several aspects of our daily life. Travel bans, social distancing, wearing masks, and remote working are just a few of the significant adjustments we’ve had to make. One other notable change is how it’s vastly increased our social media use.
Some of the biggest recipients of our increased time online are social media giants like Facebook and LinkedIn. Recently, Facebook hit the incredible milestone of 3 billion users across all its platforms. LinkedIn (owned by Microsoft) isn’t quite in that league, but it also hit record numbers of engagement and growth during the pandemic.
But what does this all mean for advertising on each platform? In recent years, Facebook’s ad service has become relatively inefficient. Instead of the tightly targeted ads of previous years, users are complaining that their screens are flooded with non-pertinent ads and services.
In contrast, LinkedIn ads are winning. They’re producing higher volume and better quality leads, which will do wonders for ROI on your marketing spend.
One of the most significant factors that account for the difference in numbers between Facebook and LinkedIn is that they cater to different crowds. Facebook is very general and appeals to a wide range of people, both young and old.
On the other hand, LinkedIn is far more focused on business. In fact, LinkedIn’s primary purpose is business networking and job searches. And with all the talk that the Great Resignation upon us, it makes perfect sense that people are turning to LinkedIn as they explore new career options.
Over the last few years, LinkedIn has placed more emphasis on advertising. The social media company has almost 750 million worldwide users, predominantly professionals. LinkedIn collects a vast amount of data on these users, such as job title, company, location, skillset, industry and more.
While LinkedIn doesn’t share this information with potential advertisers directly, it splits users up into various segments that you can target. For B2B products and services, LinkedIn’s user base represents an incredible resource of prospects that matter.
According to data from LinkedIn, about 180 million (or 25%) of users are “senior-level influencers.” That alone is an excellent concentration of the type of users you want to get your marketing and advertising in front of. Add in the fact that LinkedIn allows you to target users based on their roles, and you can see why the social media platform is producing an extraordinary amount of warm leads.
LinkedIn offers several different ad types. Each one has its own pros and cons depending on what stage of your marketing funnel each user exists in.
Sponsored content is a type of native advertising. In effect, they are ads that blend into the existing news feed. These ads are great for content marketing, growing a user base, and nurturing leads.
Text ads are simple ads that appear in a box on the right-hand side of LinkedIn. These are good places to include a simple CTA or link to a landing page.
Dynamic ads are similar to text ads, but they have a few more options. Namely, you can choose them for different goals, like increasing followers, driving conversions, or promoting lead generators like whitepapers or e-books.
Message ads are a great bottom of the funnel option. These ads are messages that appear in a user’s inbox with a subject, text, and a CTA. They’re not a great cold email option because of their cost, but they’re perfect for warm prospects.
Conversation ads are interactive messages that appear in prospects messages that provide information, CTAs, or links to other marketing materials.
LinkedIn has been running a self-serve ad platform since 2013. However, in recent years it has made some tremendous improvements. For instance, in 2018, LinkedIn introduced its tracking pixel.
LinkedIn’s tracking pixel makes it simple to track conversions using their built-in lead forms or your own website. Before this, companies relied on Google Analytics or UTM tracking codes. Now, you can understand why ads and audience attributes are generating leads and conversions.
Additionally, LinkedIn also has remarketing and lookalike lists. Remarketing allows you to advertise to people who have already engaged with or shown interest in your brand. At the same time, lookalike lists target an audience similar to your current customers. Both features produce warmer leads and great conversions.
Whatsmore, user profile targeting offers a laser-focused way to advertise to the people or businesses that make up your ideal buyer persona. You can select by job title, company size, education, industry, location, interests, demographics and a whole lot more.
When compared to Facebook, LinkedIn targeting is much more efficient. Where LinkedIn tracking relies on user profile info, Facebook uses 3rd party tracking data.
One of the best aspects of LinkedIn is that it allows you to engage with prospects at every stage of the customer journey. As mentioned above, there are many different ad types that you can choose from to raise your brand awareness. For example, you can use content marketing to reach and identify prospects and target them when the time is right.
Lead generation used to be a bit patchy on LinkedIn. There were several reasons for this:
However, LinkedIn has vastly improved this with its improved post-feed design. Additionally, as mentioned above, the pandemic has increased social media audiences considerably.
Aside from that, where LinkedIn really excels is in lead quality. Because targeting is more precise, LinkedIn offers better options for advertisers. For example, you can exclude prospects who fall outside certain boundaries with LinkedIn. That could be contacts below decision-maker positions or even staff in small companies. These scenarios represent a significant upgrade on both Google and Facebook ads.
Facebook ads are losing their effectiveness due to many factors including flooded advertising markets. At the same time, LinkedIn is generating more and better quality leads due to its effective utilization of customer data. For companies with B2B offerings, LinkedIn is a superior option, not least because 25% of its user base is made up of C-level executives and decision-makers.
That is why you need to run them for your company.
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