LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with more than 100 million members globally. It has the world’s largest audience of affluent and influential professionals. In April 2011 LinkedIn surpassed 2 million members in Australia.
LinkedIn allows you to advertise to these professionals, and it can work very well for some businesses and not at all for others. In this article you’ll learn whether LinkedIn advertising is right for your business or not, and how to make it profitable if it is.
Who should advertise on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn advertising is ideal for companies that operate in the B2B space, such as accountants, consultants and lawyers. LinkedIn advertising is also ideal for institutions that want to attract the attention of highly qualified business professionals, such as universities advertising MBA programs.
If your product or service is mostly sold to end consumers, LinkedIn is probably not the right platform for you.
DIY or Agency?
So you figured out that your target audience is on LinkedIn… the next question is, do you outsource the management of your advertising campaign or do it yourself?
Depending on the size of your target audience, your advertising campaign might only cost a few hundred dollars per month. In that case the management fee of a professional online marketing agency will be the same or higher than your ad budget. This might not be worthwhile for you.
If you have a larger audience and you are spending $500, $1000 or more every month on LinkedIn, you will benefit from an expert who manages and optimises your campaigns because they have the expertise required to get the maximum return from your advertising spend.
What else do you need to make LinkedIn campaigns profitable?
If you don’t have a high-converting web design and a strong offer, you shouldn’t be advertising on LinkedIn. Think about it… LinkedIn members aren’t actively searching for anything on LinkedIn, which means that your ad really needs to capture their attention and compel them to act… and the better your offer is, the better your results will be.
What kind of offer? In most cases, you won’t be able to go for the sale straight away. You’ll need to have a strong free offer that really talks to the main benefit your prospects are after, for example: a free report, analysis or consultation. Make sure that whatever you offer really delivers value to your prospects.
How do you evaluate the success of your campaign?
LinkedIn currently does not offer its own tracking solution. That means in order to evaluate the performance of your LinkedIn advertising campaign you need to setup tracking yourself.
You can use a free Google Analytics account to track your campaigns. Make sure that you setup dedicated tracking links using the Google URL builder. That way, you can monitor how many leads or sales your campaigns generate.
If you don’t have a ‘thank you’ page that people get redirected to after requesting your free offer, you won’t be able to track your campaign performance, so make sure to set one up.
The recipe for success in a nutshell…
Your target audience is on LinkedIn, your business sells B2B products or services, you have great free offer, you have a high-converting website, and your campaigns are being tracked using Google Analytics.
With all of those factors in place, LinkedIn advertising can be very profitable for your business.