LinkedIn - Is it right for you?

Social Media Marketing

Of course you know of the business social platform LinkedIn. The social site is aimed at business and professionals and is a great tool for not only gaining, but sharing, content and industry news. It's used for networking purposes, recruitment purposes, advertising and, targeted news.

Sharing content on LinkedIn is also useful given the site's influencer platform, 'Pulse', which means all users can post content and links. Those users that post content or links which receive a high number of "likes", "views" and "shares" gain a greater reach and can influence other users.

But what about LinkedIn advertising for your business? The key to using LinkedIn ads is understanding your audience inside-out. LinkedIn ads work best when they are highly targeted, seeing as the social networking platform doesn't have the reach of a channel such as Facebook or Google +. So the more research that goes in to your target audience, the better your chances of engagement. Now LinkedIn also offers users the option of a standard account, or a Premium account, which is available at different levels, but the Premium version comes at a cost. The good news for advertisers on LinkedIn though is that Premium LinkedIn users are still exposed to the same number of advertisements as those with unpaid LinkedIn accounts.

LinkedIn - Is it right for you?

No social media platform is perfect though. Some of the negatives businesses experience with advertising on LinkedIn are that you can only target what areas people have chosen to complete in their profiles, for example, users may not have completed their "interests" section. There are many LinkedIn users who haven't completed certain sections their profiles; so essentially, you miss out on these users if you choose to target areas they haven't done. Another downfall is LinkedIn is largely aimed at white collar professionals, and is therefore missing out on an enormous proportion of the population. Ensure your target audience fits with LinkedIn's audience. If not, it might not be worth your while so do your homework!

If however LinkedIn advertising seems to fit the bill, then there are some key guidelines you must apply to your ads before you decide to publish them:

1) What are the job titles of the people you want to target? Are there too many to count? Then perhaps you need to tailor your ad to fit a specific group.

2) As you can also target your ads based on skills and interests, so it pays to know what areas of these categories will work for your ad. For example, if your company is a not-for-profit organisation looking for people to donate to a recent cause set-up by your charity, you can then target your ad at people who list "volunteering" and "charity work" as an interest.

3) You can also target your ads so that they are shown only to people who hold a certain role within the company they work for. For example, you could be a plumber, so you could set your ads to focus on "Facility Managers" of a company, as repairs would fall under their role as something they are responsible for.

The options you have for targeting your ads are quite specific and can include a user's job title, job function, industry, geography, company size, company name, seniority, age, gender and, LinkedIn Groups. It will also depend on your budget, bid and CTR (click-through-rate) as to how far your ads reach. While it may not be for everyone, LinkedIn advertising does serve a purpose for the B2B market. 

Lauren O'Connor

Social & Digital Content Marketer at SponsoredLinX

I possess a multidisciplinary set of skills and as such have experience in a vast array of Industries. After completing a Creative Writing degree, I have written for various glossy magazines and industry blogs, and am now the Digital & Content Writer at SponsoredLinX.

Comments (3)
Phil Sealy

Phil Sealy, CEO at Pro Leaders Academy

Great article Lauren, Was a good read and great tips. With Facebook the key is the catching headline, what is the key point to get people to look at your adds on LinkedIn? Have not used LinkedIn advertising to date, however have been thinking about it.

Lina Barfoot

Lina Barfoot, Editor at SavvySME

Interesting! I think LinkedIn is so often just seen as a 'given' it's great to read some discussion, and also some very good pointers on how to selectively advertise rather than just cast the net wide

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