Successful startups are all about saving time and money and there's not many places more vital for both than in your ad spend. Waste a bunch of time and cash running ads in the wrong place to the wrong crowd and you might as well start getting your resume in order now.
And that's what is so intriguing and scary about LinkedIn Ads. As you know, LinkedIn is comprised of an extremely focused demographic so if you're not running a B2B or can't justify spending money to attract professionals who are only online during the day, stop reading right here - LinkedIn Ads aren't for you.
Your LinkedIn Ad Formula
Your startup's success is going to hinge on your ability to be brutally honest with yourself so ask:
- Is your overall ad budget going to suffer when you factor in the projected ROI from LinkedIn Ads?
- Is there a faster, more cost-effective way for you to generate traffic?
- Can you transmit your brand message to your demographic in an easier, cheaper manner?
If you answered yes to any of these, LinkedIn is probably not your best avenue. The bottom line is unless you are certain that your demographic is on this site, the margin for error is minimal.
LinkedIn Ads Work...For the Right Startups
So why risk it? The reward, of course. Just how rewarding has LinkedIn been? A study performed by HubSpot had LinkedIn Ads producing at a 2.74% Visit-to-Lead Conversion rate for over 5,000 B2B and B2C lead generation campaigns. Facebook converted 0.77% and Twitter at 0.69% by comparison. That's 277% more effective for you stat monsters out there, even with the likelihood that the B2C numbers brought LinkedIn down.
Brand recognition gains aren't anything to scoff at either, especially since LinkedIn Audience Network Partner Sites such as CNBC, Business Week and the New York Times see your ads as well. In addition, LinkedIn has begun testing with programmatic ad buying and data targeting that will allow you to reach other sites and users through LinkedIn's own networking and extensive data sharing.
10 Things You Need to Know About LinkedIn Ads
So other than making sure LinkedIn is the right place for your ads, what else do you need to know?
- Most startup-minded people have no issues with LinkedIn Ads but others might since the system is self-serve, so brush up on your CPC and CPM implementation.
- There are no monthly minimums and no set costs (i.e., you're bidding against other ads targeted towards your demographic) unless you set them with CPM.
- The minimum CPC is $2 but LinkedIn shows you a suggested CPC that might be helpful considering...
- ...you choose who sees your ads based on how you target your campaigns (e.g., geography, job title or function, industry, company size or name, seniority, gender, age, etc.).
- This makes knowing your audience even more important especially since LinkedIn leaves a bit to be desired in the metrics and data collection department (you'll want to create a landing page specifically for LinkedIn and run your own analytics through Google or your third-party metrics platform).
- Your ads show on the profile, home, group, inbox and search result pages, so basically, everywhere on LinkedIn.
- Your ad consists of a headline that's up to 25 characters of text, a description up to 75 characters of text and then you can use your company or product name along with a 50X50 pixel image and your URL.
- Start your bids high because CTR is everything here. If you don't get a high CTR, your ads stop showing up.
- Run campaign level ads (15 ads per campaign) so you can segment your audience for optimal message reach.
- LinkedIn Ads can run in any of the 23 languages the site supports, making it ideal for global reach.
When the right startup does this all right, your LinkedIn Ads can bring a phenomenal boost, especially in a short amount of time if you bid high to start off with. Let us know below how LinkedIn Ads have worked for you!