Beginner’s Guide To Advertising on Instagram Effectively

How To Advertise On Instagram

Instagram provides an active, visually striking social media community ideal for building your brand awareness. With the help of its parent company, Facebook, you can take advantage of incredible reach to talk directly to your target demographic with minimal networking efforts. Plus, take advantage of a powerful advertising engine to build single image, video and slideshow campaigns within minutes.

During this guide, we’ll walk you through the basic steps of creating an effective Instagram ad campaign to impress, engage, and expand your target audience. Enjoy!

Why Instagram

Instagram is, at its core, a mobile photo-sharing app. The initial goal of the service was to let users snap pictures on their smartphones and share them with others either privately or publicly. Today, it also supports videos up to one minute in length. If you decide to advertise on Instagram, you can choose either medium – photo or video – to spread your message.

As a social networking site, Instagram thrives on word of mouth – friends sharing content with friends, colleagues with colleagues, and so on. That makes the service perfect for spreading your message, since you can accrue a sort snow-ball effect directly contained to your target audience.

Despite being launched in 2010, Instagram has also already amassed over 600 million active users. That ranks Instagram as the seventh most popular social networking site in the world, making it a vibrant ecosystem within which to spread brand awareness.

At the top of the list, meanwhile, is Facebook, with nearly 1.9 billion active users, who acquired Instagram in 2012. The combined user data of both services makes it easier to target individuals more likely to react positively to your ad campaign.

Facebook capitalizes on this advantage by tightly integrating the advertising capabilities of both services into a single advertising platform.

The goal for most advertisers is to create a viral advertising campaign, and Instagram is the perfect vehicle to get that done.

How to Get Started Advertising on Instagram

To advertise on Instagram, you don’t necessarily need to set up an Instagram account. However, we’d recommend you do so, since by immersing yourself in the Instagram ecosystem, you’ll obtain a better idea of what works and what doesn’t, and how people interact. That knowledge, in turn, will help you create more effective Instagram ads.

For example, Instagram is a “mobile-first” ad platform. Ads need to have a certain feel to work well. Additionally, even though Instagram has been evolving in everyday use, people still expect certain types of content on Instagram over traditional direct response ads.

While you don’t need an Instagram account, though, you must set up a Facebook page for your business. Doing so shouldn’t cause any headaches, since Facebook has streamlined the process to only take a few minutes.

You first need to visit Facebook’s business site and click the “create a page” button.

Afterwards, you’ll be asked to select the type of page you want to create. Options include:

  • Local Business or Place
  • Company, Organization or Institution
  • Brand or Product
  • Artist, Band or Public Figure
  • Entertainment
  • Cause or Community

Selecting one option will lead to several more, like picking a business category (i.e., apparel, bar, tour agency) or product category (i.e., app, furniture, jewelry). You’ll also need to input your business, brand or product name.

After that you page appears online and active, although to attract an audience and effectively advertise you’ll need to spruce things up. These include adding a cover image, profile picture, and short page description. Plus, you’ll need to set a username to appear in your page’s URL, which will help customers remember how to get to your page.

We won’t touch on all the tips for creating an attractive Facebook business page here, since this article focuses on Instagram advertising.

Ads Manager vs Power Editor

Before you get started, it’s also helpful to have a general understanding of Facebook’s two advertising tools, Ads Manager and Power Editor.

Ads Manager stands as Facebook’s basic advertising campaign tool. It’s much simpler than Power Editor, which provides capabilities to create multiple campaigns, ad sets and ads. Power Editor also offers more advanced campaign tracking features than Ads Manager.

A good general rule of thumb is that if you’re new to advertising, or have relatively simply advertising needs and are working with small budget, go with Ads Manager. If you’re an experienced advertiser working with multiple brands or campaigns, pick Power Editor.

For the purposes of this article, we’ll focus mainly on Ads Manager. In part, that’s because if you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance you’re new to advertising. Also, you need to set up your payment method through Ads Manager before rolling out a campaign via Power Editor, anyway.

Define Your Advertising Objective

With your Facebook page created, you can turn your attention towards your Instagram ad campaign.

First, you need to define your objective. Facebook categorizes advertising objectives as follows: awareness, consideration, and conversion.

The best way to think about these three objectives is as the path a potential customer follows. First, a potential customer must be aware of your brand. Only then can they seriously consider it. And, only after considering it will they decide to make a purchase, becoming an actual customer (conversion).

For each principal objective, Facebook defines several sub-objectives:

Objective Sub-Objective Description
Awareness Brand Awareness Increase general awareness of your brand
Local Awareness Promote your business to people geographically close
Reach Show your ad to as many people as possible
Consideration Traffic Send more people to another destination (like your ecommerce platform)
Engagement Promote engagement with your business (comments, shares, likes, etc.)
App Installs Send people to the app store
Video Views Promote videos to improve brand awareness
Lead Generation Collective contact information for people interested in your brand, services, product, etc.
Conversion Conversions Get people to take actions like making purchases
Product Catalog Sales Create adds that automatically display products from your product catalog
Store Visits Promote visits to nearby physical store locations

Since you’ll be using Facebook/Instagram to drive your campaign, its useful to think about advertising in their terms. During the ad creation flow that Ads Manager uses, you’ll be asked to select the objective that best applies to you.

Also, these terms that are used generally in online advertising. Knowing the lingo and the theory will help you generate more effective Instagram ad campaigns and improve them over time.

Define Your Target Audience

As mentioned, a huge advantage of using Instagram – or any social media service for that matter – to boost your business, brand or product reach lies in the user data accrued by the platform. Instagram and Facebook knows the sex, age and geographic location of their user base.

They also have extensive knowledge of their interests based on shares, likes, and page views.

Having a clear understanding of who it is that you want to sell to will help you leverage that knowledge. During the ad creation process, based on the objective you define, you’ll also have a chance to select attributes of your target audience.

Doing so improves reach by maximizing your advertising budget to only target those most likely to pay attention to your advertisement and take meaningful action, whether that means liking or sharing your ad, clicking through to visit your website, or initiating a conversion.

So, spend some time thinking about your target demographic, and spend some time researching them online. Take plenty of notes, which, ideally, will lead to a dossier that you can evolve alongside your business.

Create Your Campaign in Ads Manager

Armed with an understanding of your campaign objective and target demographic, you’re ready to create an actual ad.

Facebook Ads Manager segments the process into four stages, each with their own page, or stage:

  • Campaign: set ad objective
  • Ad Account: set currency and time zone
  • Ad Sets: define basic elements, like target audience, placements and budget
  • Ads: create your ad

Note that if you start the ad creation process from Instagram’s business advertising page, you’ll be redirected to Ads Manager on the Facebook site as soon as you click “Create.”

Next, we’ll digest each of the four Ads Manager stages so you can effectively use the process to your advantage.

Ads Manager Campaign Stage

At the top of the Campaign page, input the name of your campaign. Your customer base won’t see this name, as its purely for your management needs. However, it helps to make the title as descriptive as possible so you that if you wind up creating multiple campaigns, you won’t lose sight of what they are.

Next, pick your primary campaign objective. These are the same objectives we discussed earlier. You can only pick one, and each choice has consequences on the third stage of the process, Ad Sets.

Facebook Ads Manager

Don’t worry about getting stuck on this part. You’ll have the chance to change your objective at any time during the ad creation process, by clicking on the “Objective” link found in the Ad Manager’s left margin, under the “Campaign” header.

Once you’ve made your pick, scroll down and click the button that reads, “Create Ad Account.”

Ads Manager Ad Account Stage

The Ad Account page doesn’t require much thought. There are a few basic location fields you’ll need to set, and you’ll be asked to select a currency type.

Don’t rush through it though. Location information will be important if you’re trying to market based on geographic location. Currency impacts the type of payment options available to you, and you can only change your preferred currency once every 60 days, and if your campaign balance is zero.

Make your selections and click “Continue.”

Ad Manager Ad Set Stage

The Ad Set page lets you set elements related to your ad campaign. Elements in this page are broadly called “ad sets.” Which elements are available in the set depends on the objective you’ve defined for your campaign.

Here’s a general look at the ad sets for each objective.

Objective Ad Set
Brand Awareness Audience
Placements
Budget & Schedule
Local Awareness Page
Audience
Placements
Budget & Schedule
Reach Page
Audience
Placements
Budget & Schedule
Traffic Traffic
Offer
Audience
Placements
Budget & Schedule
Engagement Audience
Placements
Budget & Schedule
App Installs App
Audience
Placements
Budget & Schedule
Video Views Audience
Placements
Budget & Schedules
Lead Generation Page
Audience
Placements
Budget & Schedule
Conversions Conversions
Offer
Audience
Placements
Budget & Schedule
Product Catalog Sales Products
Audience
Placements
Budget & Schedule
Store Visits Audience
Placements
Budget & Schedule

One of the key elements that each ad set includes is “Placements.” Placements is where you tell Facebook on what platforms you want to advertise. For this article, that at least includes Instagram.

Facebook Ad Placements

To make sure Instagram makes it into your ad campaign, scroll down to the Placements header on the Ad Set Page and selected “Edit Placements.” By default, Instagram should be selected.

If not, click the radio box associated with Instagram and make sure Instagram Feed is selected.

There’s also an option for Instagram Stories. Stories let users post photo/video slideshows that expire after 24 hours. If you advertise a lot, stories are a good way to make sure your content doesn’t overwhelm the feeds of Instagram users.

No matter what objective you’ve defined for your campaign, you should be able to advertise on the Instagram feed. Not all objectives let you choose Instagram Stories, though.

The Ad Set page happens to be where you’ll define your target demographic, too. All ad sets include the “Audience” element to perform this function.

Facebook Custom Audience

Spend some time playing around with the Ad Sets page before moving on by changing objectives and returning to it. Familiarizing yourself with settings based on objective will help you maximize the effectiveness of your Instagram campaign.

You’ll need to give each ad set a name at the top of the page, too. As with the ad campaign name, make sure that its specific and means something to you. The ad set name shows up in various reports later, and a descriptive name can help you analyze advertising data more quickly.

Ads Manager Ad Stage

With your objective and ad sets defined, it’s time to build your ad. This step is completed on the final Ads Manager page, the Ads page.

At the top of the page, you’ll select the type of ad you want.

AdsManager Ads SelectFormat

The types of ad campaigns are straightforward in their descriptions, although there are a few things you’ll want to be aware of:

  • Single Image Instagram Ad: lets you display up to six single image ads at no extra cost
  • Single Video Instagram Ad: lets you create a single video ad campaign
  • Carousel: lets you create an ad with two or more scrollable images/videos
  • Slideshow: lets you create a looping ad with up to ten images
  • Canvas: combine images and videos to create an immersive story about your brand. This ad format isn’t supported on Instagram feeds, so we won’t discuss it further here.

Since its key to creating an effective Instagram campaign, we’ll cover both required and ideal specifications for images and videos next, before returning to look more closely at creating ads of each type.

Image Requirements for an Instagram Campaign

The Ad Manager tool indicates that the recommended image size for ads is 1200 x 628 pixels. However, this applies only to Facebook. Instagram ad campaigns have different requirements that aren’t always fully detailed on the Ads page.

In general, you should go with a 1:1 images for Instagram ad campaigns, with a recommended image size of 1080 x 1080 pixels.

Instagram was popularized in part thanks to its distinctive square-image format. While landscape images are now supported, square images remain vogue because show up better on mobile devices than landscape images.

You can find exact specifications to design and optimize your ad campaign for Instagram in Facebook’s Ad Guide. These specifications are even listed by objective and platform.

Spend some time reviewing this guide to get an idea of what kind of image requirements your campaign will be restricted by. Having this information in hand will help you substantially if you plan on designing your own images or hiring a freelancer.

That said, here are the recommended specifications for effective photos in Instagram ads:

  • Recommended Image Ratio: 1:1
  • Recommend Image Size: 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Recommended Caption Length: 125 characters (text only)

Another key restriction you need to be concerned with is that both Instagram restricts how much text an image used in advertisements can contain. Typically, the requirement is that no more than 20% of your image should be composed of text. Ads with too much text may result in decreased distribution, or even no distribution at all.

To help you determine if your image may result in decreased distribution, Facebook provides a tool with which to gauge text content in your images.

Video Requirements for an Instagram Campaign

There’s also a significant length difference for videos used in Instagram ads versus those used in Facebook ads. While Facebook video ads can range up to 120 minutes, Instagram videos can only be 60 seconds long.

Here are the recommended specifications for videos used in Instagram ads, as detailed in the Ad Guide:

  • Recommended Aspect Ratio: 1:1
  • Maximum Length: 60 seconds
  • Recommended Format: .mp4 (full list of supported formats)
  • Audio: Stereo ACC audio compression, 128kbps+ preferred
  • Recommended Caption Length: 125 characters (2,200 max)

Again, familiarize yourself with the requirements outlined in the Ad Guide before logging long hours developing video ad content or paying somebody else to do so.

Single Image and Single Video Ads

The process for creating single image and single video ads is similar on the Ad page, so we’ll examine the process in tandem.

Load Content

Content for single image and single video campaigns is loaded immediately following the campaign-type selection. When selecting images or video for an ad campaign, you’re given the option of picking content already associated with your Facebook page or loading content from your hard drive.

*Make sure you understand the law & licensing rules of commercial photo use.

For images, Facebook also supplies free stock photos courtesy of Shutterstock. You can search the Shutterstock library by keyword to find images most suited to your ad campaign.

AdsManager Stock Image Library

Most images in the Shutterstock library are landscape photographs. The Ads Management tool lets you automatically crop images to a 1:1 ratio to create the more visually effective Instagram ads. Auto-cropping can be performed by clicking on the “crop” icon found on the lower-right side of any loaded image.

Ads Manager Crop Image

There are no stock videos available, so you’ll need to create your own, hire a freelancer, or purchase a stock video directly through Shutterstock Footage or another website.

After you load your video, you can select a video thumbnail automatically generated by Ads Management. Be sure and choose an impactful thumbnail image like an action shot. This will increase the chance people watch.

You can also let Facebook automatically add captions to your video. In addition to using their speech-to-text capabilities to create captions, Facebook will review them for accuracy. Captions are a great way to enhance your video ad by letting people watch it without sound, including deaf people.

Alternatively, you can load you own captions using an SRT file.

Personalize and Preview Content

With your content loaded, it’s time to personalize your ad. Personalization options for single photo and single video ads are found at the bottom of the Ads page, and are identical for either type of campaign.

The first thing you need to do is make your Facebook page and Instagram account settings. You don’t need an Instagram account, though, since you can select your Facebook page to represented your business on Instagram.

Once make these two selections, you can preview your Instagram ad on the right side of the page by selecting “Instagram Feed” from the drop-down menu.

Ads Manager Personalize Ad

For single image ads, you can scroll through previews for however many photographs you selected for the ad (up to six). Single video ads only let you upload one video, so there’s only one preview – although the preview pane will show your video being played.

Above the Instagram ad, your Facebook page name and the words, “sponsored by” are displayed. Users will be able to click on that name to visit your Facebook page, which is why it important to make sure you’ve got a page optimized for your desired customer base and full of useful content.

Back on the left side of the Ad page are a few personalization options you won’t want to overlook. These include a text box to add a caption about your brand, business, or product, and a place to a URL link for your website (if you have one).

*Be sure to set your URL with UTM parameters so that you can track traffic effectively in Google Analytics.

Additionally, you can define a headline and website description, although these don’t appear in Instagram feed ads, just Facebook.

The final crucial personalization element is a call-to-action button. Facebook features a range of buttons to choose from. Be sure and pick one that fits your brand and matches the action you want people to take. For example, if you run a tour company, a “Book Now” call-to-action button makes sense. If you’re marketing an app, go with “Download.”

Carousel Ads

Carousel ads feature multiple images or videos, and let viewers manually scroll through them. They’re ideal for creating interactive ads that tell a visual story about your brand or product.

Load Content

Unlike with single image and single video campaigns, Carousel content is loaded near the bottom of the Ads page.

To load content, find the “Cards” header. Choose either the “Image” or “Video/Slideshow” button, and then click the “Select Image” or “Select Video” button.

You’ll need to load content for however many cards (or slides) your carousel includes. By default, that’s three, but you can have up to eight, or as few as two.

Ads Manager Carousel Cards

Content can come from either your Facebook page’s image library, or your hard drive. Unlike with single video ads, there’s not option to add a Shutterstock photo.

Personalize and Preview Content

Each card enhanced with a separate headline, description, URL, and call-to-action button.

Another useful option to maximize your Instagram campaign’s effectiveness lets you automatically show the best performing cards first.

As with single image and video campaigns, you’ll also need to set Instagram account before you can preview what it looks like on an Instagram Feed. Again though, you can pick your Facebook page as a proxy for an Instagram account.

These settings are made just above the “Cards” section. You’ll know your Instagram account settings are configured correctly because the preview pane for “Instagram Feed” on the right will display a preview of your Instagram Carousel ad.

Slideshow Ad Campaign

Slideshows are a bit like Carousel ads, except that they’re automated and can only use images. They’re ideal for telling an engaging story about your brand through photographs. As such, done properly, slideshow ads are perhaps the most effective Instagram advertising campaign.

Load Content

Slideshows can include up to ten images, which are loaded by clicking the “+” sign below the “Slideshow” header. Doing so opens a work pane.

Ads Manager Slide Show Create

Each image will display for one second during the slideshow by default. You can change the display time if you’d like by using the “Image Duration” drop down. The max delay available is five seconds, so the maximum length a slideshow can run for is 50 seconds.

If you can, go with shorter durations, though. The average person has an eight-second attention span, so there’s a good chance most viewers won’t make through a 50-second slideshow.

You can also a select an aspect ratio to apply to the entire slideshow. Remember that Instagram ad campaigns work best with 1:1 images, so we’d recommend you choose that as your aspect ratio.

A third option lets you add a fade effect to image transitions. This can help catch the eye of your audience, but some find it disruptive and off-putting if you’re using more than two or three images.

The slideshow work panel also has a “Music” tab. Use this to spruce your slideshow ad campaign with a prerecord track supplied by Facebook, or upload your own file. Be sure and only use music you have rights to use, or Facebook might penalize you for a DMCA violation.

Personalize and Preview Content

Once your slideshow has been created, you can personalize the ad further down the Ad page. Options available are identical to those for single image and video campaigns. Definite inclusions for an effective ad are the text box, website URL, and call-to-action button.

Once again, other options, like headline and news feed description, don’t display on Instagram ads. Use them only if you’re also launching a Facebook ad campaign.

To preview your slideshow, as with other ad types you first need to make sure you’ve connected your Instagram account, or assigned your Facebook page as a proxy. Once done, your slideshow will display on the right side of the page.

Launch and Monitor Your Campaign

Once your content has been loaded and personalized, you’re ready to launch your ad.

You can click the “Review Order” button first if you want to go over things one more time. When you’re ready to proceed, click the green “Place Order” button.

Launched, you can monitor the performance of your ad campaign through Ads Manager. Doing so will help you gauge its effectiveness, which in turn will help you create better campaigns later. Ads Manager also lets you compare the performances of multiple campaigns against one another.

With Ads reporting, you can customize the way data displays. That will let you focus on the data you deem most vital to your business’s success, such as shares or conversion rates.

Ads Manager even generates a “relevancy score” for ads once your ad has reached at least 500 impressions. The relevancy score is a measure of how well your target audience perceives your ad. The score is rated 1-10 (10 being good) and is based on activity like positive feedback.

A full accounting of the reporting options available via Ads Manger (and Power Editor, for that matter), would require an article of its own. We encourage you to become an expert in the reports and metrics that are tracked, since they’re key to improving your advertising performance on Instagram.

Facebook covers all the basics, here.

Next Steps & Additional Resources

Launching an Instagram ad campaign will help you grow your brand by letting you take advantage of one of the most popular, dynamic social network ecosystems available today. Instagram receives its fair share of active online consumers, covering a broad range of vital demographics.

However, approaching the task without proper planning and knowledge of the options and tools available will most likely result in your campaign falling flat.

Don’t let yourself get too intimidated, though. As we’ve shown, at its core, Facebook’s primary ad campaign tool, Ads Manager, benefits from a beautifully streamlined design. That design lets you focus on selecting relevant images and videos best designed to market your product or services.

Here are additional resources that have been highlighted in the weekly ShivarWeb newsletter –

  • Getting Started with Instagram Ads
  • 20 Instagram Ads Best Practices That Will Make You an Outstanding Marketer
  • I Spent Two Years Botting on Instagram — Here’s What I Learned

Here are additional resources on PPC advertising –

  • How To Advertise Your Website Online Effectively in 5 Steps
  • How To Improve Your Online Advertising Campaigns
  • Alternative PPC Ad Networks To Find New Audiences for Advertisers

Good luck!

 

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LinkedIn Company / Business Page Best Practices w/ Examples

A LinkedIn Company (or business) page is an excellent way to keep people informed about your company, brands, products and services and job opportunities. Creating a page for your business is fairly straightforward. But, like any platform, you’ll be much more effective if you dig into the manual, apply best practices, add your own creative touches, analyze then improve.

Why You Need a Company Page

LinkedIn is the premier social network for business professionals. The platform has over 460 million users throughout the world. Depending on the business your company is in, LinkedIn offers access to a key demographic.

In some ways, LinkedIn is nowhere near as sexy as other social networks. Day to day, it can feel like a haunt for recruiters and weird spammers.

However, it appears that LinkedIn users are more interested in your company, compared to other networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. A study of referral sources found that LinkedIn was responsible for 64% of all homepage referrals from social channels.

And if you are a B2B business, in the market for talent, or simply looking for new partnerships – these visits can be very lucrative. In fact, LinkedIn’s ad rates certainly confirm this idea. If you can generate free, organic traffic – then all the better.

Requirements to Create A Company Page

Creating a LinkedIn page for your company is straightforward. First, you’ll want to make sure that you meet the following criteria.

  • A personal LinkedIn account with your actual first and last name.
  • Your personal LinkedIn account must be at least seven days old.
  • Your profile has several connections on it.
  • You’re a current employee at the company you wish to create a page for.
  • You list the company in the experience section of your profile.
  • You have a company email address listed on your LinkedIn profile.
  • Your company email address is linked to a domain unique to your company (no Gmail, Yahoo, etc. email addresses.)

Unless you are the CEO setting up your page, you will need to set internal policy guidelines for access.

How to Create A Page

Assuming you meet all the requirements above, you can create your page in a few simple steps.

First, log in to your LinkedIn account. Click the link for Work at the top of your page, and then select Create a Company Page.

Create a LinkedIn Company Page

Next, add the name of your company and your company email address. Check the box to verify that you’re an official representative of your company with the right to act on its behalf by creating this page.

Add LinkedIn Company

Once you’ve entered that information, LinkedIn will allow you to begin editing your company page. Fill out every field as accurately and in as much detail as possible. Our goal is to create a dynamic, engaging place for followers of the company to come and interact with the company. The first step in achieving that goal is going to be a solid foundation of information about the company. Keep that in mind as you fill in each field.

LinkedIn Company Page Setup

Optimizing Your Business Page

So, you’ve created an engaging page for your company. Now, let’s look at some LinkedIn company page best practices. These tips will help you develop a rich, full featured LinkedIn page for your company, which will be more likely to generate organic traffic,

Add Images

The first thing you’ll want to do is add some strong imagery to your page, starting with your company logo and banner photo. LinkedIn accepts JPEG, PNG or GIF image files. For the logo, you’ll want a square image. The minimum size for a logo is 300 x 300px, but the image can be much larger than that if you wish. The logo can be up to 4mb in size.

The minimum size for a banner image is 646 x 200 pixels. It can be larger as well, with a maximum size of 2mb.

Take time to make sure that these aspects of your page look great, and that the images you’ve chosen are optimized for display on LinkedIn. Consider recruiting a member of your staff that’s familiar with programs like Photoshop or Illustrator for help creating professional looking imagery for your page. You can also look at online tools like Canva, Stencil or Pixlr.

Add A Keyword Rich Description

When adding your company description, you’ll want to focus on adding relevant keywords to your copy. LinkedIn pages are SEO friendly with permalinks, and Google and other search engines will preview up to 156 characters of your description copy. You’ll want to lead with some relevant keywords, if possible.

Optimizing your LinkedIn page is a great way to grab additional real estate in your brand search results.

You won’t be able to rank #1 for brand term w/ modifiers, but you will be able to consistently appear in the mid-section of search results for most brand + modifier searches. Since you control the content – doing this can be a solid, easy win.

LinkedIn members can search for your company by name, or they can use keywords. So, be sure to include keywords that describe your business, industry and specialties.

Create Showcases Pages Where Appropriate

One useful feature of company pages is the ability to create showcase pages. Showcase pages allow you to highlight individual brands or initiatives that fall under the larger banner of your company. Creating showcase pages for your company is one of the LinkedIn company page best practices.

Let’s use “Company X” as an example. Company X manufactures a wide range of consumer electronics products. So, within the LinkedIn company page for the company, there may be several showcase pages for the individual brands that fall under the larger umbrella of Company X.

Not only do these pages make it easy to shine a light onto the different brands your company offers, but it creates a better experience for LinkedIn users as well. Let’s go back to the Company X example again. Let’s say I’m a LinkedIn user interested in following Company X on LinkedIn. I’m interested in some of the brands Company X manufactures, but I’m not interested in all their brands. With showcase pages, I’m able to select the portions of the company I want to receive updates from. So, I could receive updates about the brands I like, without having to see updates for the brands I don’t.

Creating a Showcase Page is simple. From your company page dashboard, click the Edit icon on the right side of the page. Next, select “Create A Showcase Page” from the drop-down menu. Now, you can begin adding content to your showcase page. Be sure to add a banner image, company logo and as much relevant information as possible about the brand.

Keep in mind that your showcase pages function just like your company page. To keep followers of your company page engaged, you’ll want to share meaningful content with them. The same holds true for your showcase pages. To truly leverage the LinkedIn platform to engage with your followers, you’re going to need to make sure you’re sharing lots of meaningful content.

Go Global

LinkedIn allows you to set up your company and showcase pages in more than 20 different languages. If your business has a global audience, take advantage of this feature so that your page is easily accessible for people in other countries.

If you are testing a new market, this can be a simple way to test responsiveness, especially if you are looking for new employees and/or partners.

Set Goals

Set reasonable goals for the growth of your following on LinkedIn so you can create a plan to achieve those goals. The analytics data LinkedIn provides will make it easier for you to set goals and put your plans into action.

If you want to refer traffic to your website, then define that goal. If you want conversions on LinkedIn (ie, recruit contacts) then define that. If you want engagement from companies in your industry (ie, potential clients or vendors) – then define how you will measure that.

Delegate

If possible, identify the members of your team that are best suited to help with your company page and recruit them to help with the development of your page. Growing your team is probably going to be necessary as you begin producing more content for your page (more on that later).

Again, here is where defined goals are useful. If you can delegate management with explicit goals, then that will naturally define the type of content. You can also quickly judge return on time invested.

Create A Content Calendar

Creating a calendar for your LinkedIn updates is a great way to organize your efforts. It’s another one of the LinkedIn company page best practices. Stick to the timeline as much as possible, but feel free to deviate from it, depending on current events.

A calendar or simple editorial process allows you to have items in the “pipeline” so that they can be improved, revised and approved before a deadline arrives.

Analyze

LinkedIn provides a range of different analytical tools for you to learn more about your audience and the way they engage with your business page. These tools are invaluable when used correctly and will be very helpful to you, especially as your following grows. We’ll discuss these features in greater depth a bit later in this post.

Growing Your Business Page

Now that you’ve created your company page, you’ll want to start connecting with members of the LinkedIn community. The goal is to create a page that encourages people throughout LinkedIn to engage with your company. But, we’re going to be taking baby steps to get there. These tips should help you get your page off the ground as you begin to grow your audience.

Remember that you are more likely to to get engagement with people who use LinkedIn rather than getting your audience to engage with you on LinkedIn. That said, you do need initial traction. To get that – you can of course, pay for ads – or you can use the following groups to find people who are already on LinkedIn and are interested in your company.

Recruit Your Employees

Getting your employees on board is an easy way to get your following started. Encourage them to connect to your business page and interact with it. Beyond interacting with your page, they can also add the link to the page to their email signatures.

Tell Your Customers

Use your other marketing channels to let your customers know you’re on LinkedIn. Create a blog, include the update in a newsletter, even go the old-fashioned route and tell them over the phone that you’d like to connect with them on LinkedIn.

This tactic is not to pull customers to your LinkedIn channel, but instead to find customers in your existing audience who already use LinkedIn.

Add A Follow Button

LinkedIn makes it easy to add a follow button to your website. That way, when LinkedIn members visit your company’s site, they’ll be able to follow you with a single click.

Join LinkedIn Groups

These days, there’s a group on LinkedIn for almost anything. Identify the groups that are relevant to your business and join them. You can search for groups by keywords, which makes it easy to find the ones most important to your business.

Contribute your insight in these groups. Aim to be helpful and supportive of the community. If you’re only using groups on LinkedIn to promote your company page, it will appear transparent, and the members of the group are not likely to engage with you. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to use these groups to promote your page if the members of the group see you as a helpful member of the community.

Like Facebook Groups, these usually have either the most attention or the most spam. Find groups that truly make sense, and add to the conversation rather than viewing it as a promotion opportunity.

Content

Content is going to be the key to growing your audience on LinkedIn beyond the initial connections you make. The more useful and engaging the content on your LinkedIn page is, the easier it will be for you to expand your page far beyond the initial connections you’re able to make.

What Is Content

Content is anything you post on your company’s page. Company updates, infographics, articles and think pieces and even cute cat videos are all examples of content. On LinkedIn, the content that you share will appear on your company page as well as in the timeline of all of your followers.

Sometimes, someone within your company creates the content you’ll be sharing. Other times, you’ll be sharing content that was created by someone else but has value to your company and your followers.

What to Share

When it comes to sharing, you’ll want to make sure that the things you’re sharing make sense for your company as well as your audience. The most successful company pages on LinkedIn share content which seamlessly marries the interests of the company with the interests of their followers.

Of course, you’ll want to add any relevant updates about your company. Beyond that, you’ll want to share things that are useful to your audience. Things that are useful for your audience can include things like articles about your industry, think pieces and current events.

Your ultimate goal is to share content that engages your audience and gets them involved in the conversation. Empower your followers to weigh in on the things you share by asking open-ended questions that encourage a dialogue. When your audience engages with your company in the comments section, be sure to get in on the action!

Share “Top [X]” Lists

If you’ve spent any time on the internet in the last five-plus years, you’ve undoubtedly noticed the huge amount of top 3, top 5, top 10, etc. lists. Believe it or not, there’s calculated reasoning behind these types of posts. Simply put, people love them.

LinkedIn studied company page updated that received 1,000 impressions or more and found that top content lists received 40% more amplification than other posts. So, creating or sharing top content lists is going to be a great way for you to reach new people, and expand your audience.

Share Videos

LinkedIn and Youtube are seamlessly integrated, which means that if you share a video from YouTube, it will play directly in your follower’s feeds when they click the video. LinkedIn found that not only do posts with videos result in more likes, comments, and shares, but they’re also more shareable than other types of content. Posts with videos receive a 75% higher share rate than posts without them. So, sharing videos can be another great way to up your engagement and expand your audience.

Ask Questions

Within your updates, ask your audience open-ended questions. These questions encourage your audience to engage with you. According to LinkedIn, updates that include questions are 50% more likely to receive comments from your followers.

When your posts receive comments, engage with your following. Getting into the comments is an excellent way to develop relationships with your audience, and it’s one of the LinkedIn business page best practices.

When to Share

LinkedIn’s users are on the site primarily in the morning. LinkedIn also says they experience a bump in traffic in the early evening, around the time most people are leaving their offices for the day. LinkedIn users also primarily use the site during the week and less on the weekends.

To give your updates the best chance for success, you’ll want to do most of your posting on weekdays, in the morning or the late afternoon. If you can, avoid posting at other times, especially on the weekend.

Sharing content often will encourage your followers to engage with your content while also fostering familiarity with your company. If you can, share content more often.

Some of the most engaging and well followed LinkedIn business pages post as many as five times each day. Just make sure that what you’re sharing is relevant to both your company and your audience.

Creating Original Content

Creating your own content is one of the best ways to engage with your audience. Often, when you share content from other sources, it’s already been optimized with a lovely image or video, and a clever headline. When you create your own content, you’ll need to do that legwork on your own.

You’ll want to start by creating a clever headline and intro for your content. Be as concise as you can be while still making sure that your headline is informative. Ask thoughtful, open-ended questions that encourage your audience to engage with your post.

Next, add some rich media to your posts, like a photo or video. Posts that include rich media are far more likely to engage your audience. According to LinkedIn, updates that include rich content are 98% more likely to receive comments. Updates that include video are 75% more likely to receive shares from your followers.

Lastly, double check the language you’re using in your post. You want to come off as a friendly company that came to LinkedIn to engage with people who are interested in your business. Sales-y language or promotional messages typically don’t do very well from an engagement perspective.

A final note on creating your own content: More so than any other type of content on the site, LinkedIn users want to see updates that provide industry insight.

Take pride in the content you’re creating. Not only is it useful to your LinkedIn following and essential for your growth on the platform, but it’s also highly useful for your other marketing channels as well.

Repurpose What You Already Have

Chances are, your business has been producing useful content already as part of your other marketing efforts. Don’t be afraid to optimize this content for LinkedIn and use it there as well. You’ll provide the LinkedIn community with valuable industry insights, while also getting the most use out of your existing content.

Use The 4-1-1 Rule

The 4-1-1 rule is an excellent way to make sure that your page is striking a balance between the needs of your company and the needs of your audience. It’s also one of the LinkedIn business page best practices.

For every one piece of content you share which directly relates to your company, you’ll want to share a piece of content from another source and four pieces of content written by others that your audience is likely to be interested in. If you follow the 4-1-1 rule, your page will feature a nice mix of important updates about your company as well as compelling content focused on the needs of your audience.

Again – this is an example of a best practice to start with and revise as you gather your own data.

Tailoring Your Content to Specific Audiences

One useful aspect of LinkedIn company pages is the ability to tailor posts to specific segments of your audience. Sometimes, you’ll find that a particular update only resonates with a portion of your audience as opposed to your entire audience.

By tailoring your posts to specific segments of your audience, you’re able to ensure you’re serving your audience with only the most relevant content. Content that they’re sure to find interesting and engaging.

Pin Your Most Important Content

LinkedIn allows you to pin your most important updates to the top of your page. That way, the most important content on your page receives the spotlight. It will be the first thing people see when they visit your page.

Keep It Short

There’s tons of content vying for your audience’s attention in their LinkedIn feed. You’ll want to keep your intros short and sweet. Pretend you’re working under the same limitations as Twitter; craft an intro that’s packed with value in under 160 characters.

For your intro, try pointing out a key benefit of the content you’re sharing or ask a thought provoking question designed to engage your audience and elicit a response.

Include A Call to Action

Last but certainly not least is your call to action. You could spend time crafting the most thoughtful and engaging piece of content of all time, but it’s all for naught if you don’t include a call to action.

Make sure you’re sharing content with a purpose and that your audience has clear instructions on what to do. Should they click a link? Watch a video? Answer a question in the comments section?

Whatever the purpose may be, make sure you’re communicating that clearly to the audience – and meeting your goals.

Analyze

You’ve created your page, developed an audience and added tons of great content to your page. Next, we’re going to use LinkedIn’s semi-robust set of tracking tools to analyze and refine our posts.

These tools can provide valuable insight into what your audience likes and doesn’t like, as well as what they’re most likely to respond to in the future.

Acting on the data you receive may prove vital to the success of your business page, so careful analysis is one of the LinkedIn business page best practices.

Updates

The first analytics tool LinkedIn provides is the updates section. In the updates section, you’ll see some valuable analytic information related to each of your updates.

LinkedIn Page AnalyticsPreview

This section shows a short preview of each of your posts.

Date

When each of your updates was posted.

Audience

This section shows which segments of your audience saw each update.

Sponsored

LinkedIn offers you the ability to advertise your posts to reach a larger, highly targeted audience. If any of your updates were sponsored, it would display in this section.

Impressions

This is the number of times your post showed up in your follower’s feeds.

Clicks

This metric indicates the number of times your update, company logo or company name was clicked on.

Interactions

LinkedIn defines interactions as likes, comments or shares. Interactions are a vital statistic as they show the amount of people that engaged directly with the content you’ve posted. The interactions metric provides valuable insight into how engaging your content is.

Followers Acquired

This metric shows the number of new followers you’ve acquired as a direct result of updates you’ve posted.

Engagement

LinkedIn displays this metric as a percentage. LinkedIn calculates that number by dividing the number of impressions your post received by the number of interactions your post received. The higher that percentage, the more engagement your post received per impression.

Followers

This section provides valuable analytics data that’s related to the people following your page.

LinkedIn Page Follower Demographics

Type

  • Total – This number displays the total number of followers of your LinkedIn company page.
  • Organic – These are your followers who were acquired organically. Your organic followers are the followers you gained naturally, without advertising.
  • Acquired – These are followers that you’ve gained through LinkedIn advertising campaigns.

And note that like StumbleUpon, Pinterest, Reddit and other social networks – you can often generate organic traffic with engaged acquired traffic. So if you pay to acquire an influential reader, that can lead to organic shares which lead to organic traffic.

Follower Demographics

You’ll find some of the most valuable analytics data LinkedIn collects in the follower demographics section. This area breaks down your total followers based on five types of demographic data.

  • Seniority
  • Industry
  • Job Function
  • Company Size
  • And More

Follower Trends

This graph shows how your number of followers has changed over time. There’s a drop-down menu that allows you to tailor the date range.

How You Compare

This section shows how your page stacks up against similar pages in your industry. This feature is one of the more unique features on LinkedIn.

Visitors Section

The final section of analytics information is the visitors section. In this section, you can garner valuable insight into what the people who are visiting your LinkedIn page are doing once they arrive there.

LinkedIn Company Page Analytics Visitors

Page Views

This graph displays the number of times your page was viewed over the given date range. The drop-down menu at the right allows you to adjust the date range of the graph.

Unique Visitors

Similar to page views, the unique visitors graph shows the number of unique visitors your page has received. This graph targets visitors by IP address and removes visitors who have visited your page before.

Career Page Clicks

Chances are, you won’t see any reporting for this section. LinkedIn gives you the option of creating a career page which can be a valuable recruiting tool for your business. However, the career page is a paid feature, and it’s far from cheap. But, it may be something to consider if a specific goal of your company page is to drive hiring efforts.

If you do have a paid career page, this section will show how many times visitors clicked the different elements of your career page.

Visitor Demographics

Similar to the demographic information provided in the followers section, this graph provides demographic data about all of the visitors of your page, not just the ones that follow you. Be sure to use this data to improve your general personas and marketing strategy.

Using the Data

LinkedIn provides all this valuable insight so that you can analyze, interpret and take action on it. Based on the data your page is returning, you’ll be able to learn more about your audience and their likes, dislikes, and interests. This data will allow you to tailor your posts further to make sure you’re serving your audience with the most engaging content possible.

Consider Advertising

LinkedIn advertising could be a great way to drive even more engagement with your most popular content. Based on the data you receive, your updates that are already receiving lots of engagement organically within the LinkedIn community make great candidates for promotion.

LinkedIn provides several advertising options for company pages. These options include traditional display advertising, sponsored inMail, and sponsored content updates. While display ads and sponsored inMail provide additional opportunities for you to grow your audience, you’ll be focusing on sponsored content updates in this case. If you do decide LinkedIn advertising is a smart option for you, you’ll find other tracking and conversion data at your fingertips to help refine your campaigns.

Tracking Conversions

The development team at LinkedIn makes it easy to integrate code into your website or landing pages. This code will allow you to receive more actionable data about the things that visitors referred by LinkedIn are doing on your site.

Refine and React

Let the data you’ve received from your LinkedIn dashboard, as well as your other tracking efforts, inform the decisions you make moving forward. As networks like LinkedIn continue to grow and evolve, companies wishing to keep up with that growth and continue to reach their audience must evolve as well. Tweak your content, your messaging and your goals as needed to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your presence on LinkedIn, and providing value to the members of LinkedIn who follow your page.

Next Steps

Go to LinkedIn and setup and/or revise your own LinkedIn page!

You might also be interested in –

Every week, I curate the best marketing guides from around the Internet into a single email with no more than 4 links. You can sign up here.

“”

E-newsletter #219 – The Oops I Missed An Edition, Edition

Why hey all! Prior to getting for this week’s studying, there’s a little bit of housekeeping. In March, I altered a couple of website settings and all messed up my email e-newsletter send triggers. That’s the reason a lot of you didn’t really receive editions #216 and #217.

Well, individuals editions are available. And they’ve some excellent studying. You’ll find E-newsletter #216 here. You’ll find E-newsletter #217 here.

Listed here are this week’s reads…

Do Links Matter in certain Verticals Greater Than Others?

Interesting idea from SiegeMedia. See clearly here…

Takeaway: Some search engine results do not have easily discernible winners from your engagement perspective since the answer requires a lengthy time for you to resolve, or might be balanced between multiple options and user intents. Because of this, links can be a bigger lever. Otherwise, links may matter pretty much with respect to the kind of query and just how brand, CTR Along with other signals enter into plat.

Facebook Ads CTR: 25 Recommendations For Skyrocketing Results

About 50 % of those are “meh” – however the partner are creative. Worth a scan. See clearly here…

Takeaway: Supplying more details in advance in your ads can help increase the right type of CTR (ie, the one which results in conversions).

15+ Suggestions for Using Search Analytics Better

I authored this a week ago as a result of several readers questions about exactly how I personally use Search Console’s tools. See clearly here…

Takeaway: Search Analytics is Search Console’s most in-depth tool. Utilize it like a first pause and identify issues, revise content and discover new ideas.

Calculating Content Success with GTM

Very advanced presentation on the internet Tag Manager. But – super-helpful if you’re interested in the upsides to switching to Google Tag Manager. See clearly here…

Takeaway: Google Tag Manager does not only consolidate your site tags. It makes a completely separate data layer where one can insert and track information – even when it isn’t really in your website.

This Week’s Sponsor

This week’s feature may be the book Smarter Faster Better: The Strategies of Being Productive in Existence and Business by Charles Duhigg. I finished studying it earlier this week – and recommend it. It is definitely probably the most practical books that I’ve read inside a a long time. It leans heavily around the science of performance & expertise, but is well-written with engaging anecdotes which make the concepts stick. Purchase it at Amazon . com.

Peace! You will find E-newsletter #216 here. You’ll find E-newsletter #217 here.

“”

E-newsletter #218 – 10x Backlink Building Analytics Edition

I am Nate Shivar – an advertising and marketing educator, consultant, and formerly Senior Search engine optimization Specialist in a marketing agency in Atlanta, GA. I attempt to help individuals that run their very own websites…run them just a little better. I love to geek on Marketing, Search engine optimization, Analytics, and Websites.

“”

E-newsletter #217 – What We Should Learned Analyzing Website Design Edition

I am Nate Shivar – an advertising and marketing educator, consultant, and formerly Senior Search engine optimization Specialist in a marketing agency in Atlanta, GA. I attempt to help individuals that run their very own websites…run them just a little better. I love to geek on Marketing, Search engine optimization, Analytics, and Websites.

“”

E-newsletter #216 – Hacking Awesome Things Edition

Hello, hello! Listed here are this week’s helpful reads…

10 cold email tips I did previously get 60,000 signups

The outreach publish that If only I’d written. See clearly here…

Takeaway: Email outreach works but you need to accept required *work* to get it done effectively, even when it isn’t efficient.

Hacking Custom Audiences: The proper way to Utilize Facebook’s Ultimate Goal

Yes – I’ve associated with Custom Audience guides for three of the last 4 days. You will find – it’s that essential for internet marketing. See clearly here…

Takeaway: AdWords is among the best converting channels (ever) because each searcher has such high intent. Facebook does not have that. Nobody else does. But Facebook comes with custom audiences (and achieve nobody else has), which provide you with the capability to eventually whittle lower large audiences into highly targeted lists of folks that do, actually, have high intent. Utilize it.

New Whitehat Backlink Building Tactic: The Grapevine Protocol

This plan isn’t new, however i loved how this publish presented & described the strategies. Very fresh & helpful. See clearly here…

Takeaway: Search for methods to mention companies / organizations which are searching for press (ie, media pages). Inform them you’ve pointed out them.

10 awesome steps you can take with Google Tag Manager

This informative guide has dated screenshots, but continues to be very relevant & very helpful. I required around the learning curve and switched to Google Tag Manager a week ago. It’s been well-worthwhile. See clearly here…

Takeaway: Google Tag Manager includes a steep learning curve, but it’s worthwhile for just about any lengthy-term web project that should track lots of data.

This Week’s Sponsor

RescueTime is productivity and personal time management software that auto-magically tracks, measures and categorizes your projects to be able to manage your time and effort better.

RescueTime is a mainstay of my work existence for a long time. What will get measured will get managed – and absolutely nothing is much more important than managing your time and effort. RescueTime is really a true purchase of yourself. Take a look at RescueTime Pro here.

Peace!

“”

How to Advertise On LinkedIn Effectively

LinkedIn has always been the odd-duck out among big social networks. Unlike Facebook, Twitter and others – it is a primarily paid platform. But it does have an advertising product. I listed it within my alternative PPC networks post, and have run a few campaigns on it myself. I’ve never had huge success, but have had clients with sustainable success. Here’s the what, why & how of advertising on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn has over over 450 million business professionals, LinkedIn provides a very interesting platform for advertisers. But, it’s myriad of different targeting options, tools, and ad types can make getting started to seem like a daunting task. We’re going to take a look at each facet of their advertising program so we can better understand how to create and target effective campaigns.

Why LinkedIn

In its most simple terms, LinkedIn is a social network for business professionals. LinkedIn has users across the globe ranging from small business owners and employees to CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. Many of these users hold high-ranking, influential positions within their company. According to LinkedIn, 80% of its users drive business decisions within the company. 39% of members are senior-level executives or higher, and 28% of members manage company budgets.

So, LinkedIn offers access to a coveted demographic. Depending on the type of product or service you offer, LinkedIn may provide a very effective advertising platform.

While the audience represents the best reason to advertise on LinkedIn, there are other reasons to advertise, too. LinkedIn offers the ability to target advertising campaigns with precision. They provide a variety of specialized ad products to maximize engagement. Also, they provide support in other languages. The multi-language support can be a huge benefit for international companies.

Before You Get Started

Before taking a look at how to advertise on LinkedIn, we’re going to take a look at some of the technical aspects of the platform. Understanding these aspects is going to be of paramount importance for a successful campaign.

Company Pages

The first thing you’ll want to do if you haven’t already, is create a company page. Company pages allow you to provide company updates, interact with your customers and prospects and post valuable content. They’re also the page from which you’ll be advertising.

The company updates posted by your company will be distributed to the people who follow your company on LinkedIn. These updates are also available on your company page or showcase pages.

From your company page, you can create individual showcase pages to highlight different products or services that you offer. To create a company page, you must be a current employee with an active company email address.

Another important feature of company pages is the ability to share administrative access for the page across multiple team members at your company. This feature comes particularly in handy when you’re sending Sponsored InMail. We’ll get to that later.

If you’re new to company pages, or looking for some inspiration, Hubspot has some great examples.

Goals

Before beginning your advertising, you’ll want to define your goals for each campaign. Your goals are going to define which advertising solution is best for your business. Your goal may be to build brand awareness, drive traffic to a website, or generate sales or leads.

Depending on that goal, the way you’ll use LinkedIn advertising will be different.

For example, if you are simply trying to get specific people on your remarketing list, then you’ll aim for a high click through. If you are trying to drive sales, downloads, etc – then your offer will have to drive the campaign.

The clearer your goal, the easier it will be for you to develop a budget, create compelling ad creative and run a successful campaign.

Budgets and Bidding

You’ll manage your ad spend on LinkedIn by creating daily maximum and total budgets for your campaigns. Based on your total budget, you can decide how many individual campaigns you’d like to run and what your daily maximum budget will be.

Keep in mind that there may be some variance between your daily maximum budget and the actual amount you spend each day. LinkedIn claims they lack the ability to shut your ads off immediately after meeting your daily budget. As a result, you can exceed your daily maximum budget by as much as 20%. Keep that variance in mind when you’re thinking about your daily maximum and total budgets.

Bid Types

LinkedIn provides you the option to bid on a cost per click or cost per mil (ie, 1000 impressions) or CPM basis. You may want to experiment with both kinds of bid types, so you have a clearer picture of which bid type is most useful for your business.

For each campaign, you’ll input your maximum bid. The maximum bid is the maximum amount you’re willing to pay to win an auction. Depending on the number of other bidders in the auction and the size of their bids, you may pay less than your maximum bid to win each auction.

LinkedIn recommends aggressive bidding to drive impressions and ensure that your ads are competitive. You’ll have to decide for yourself how much of that is true, and how much of it LinkedIn suggests for the sake of their bottom line.

Cost Per Click

With cost per click bidding, you’ll pay each time a user clicks your ad. Your ad will show across the LinkedIn platform for as many times as necessary for you to gain enough clicks to fill your daily budget.

The minimum CPC bid is $2.00. LinkedIn also provides you with a suggested bid range so you have a better idea of what you can expect to pay to win the auction. If you are used to minimal Facebook bids – then you might be in for a shock.

LinkedIn Ad Minimums

This type of bidding is often most useful if your campaign goal is to drive engagement or generate leads.

CPM

Under a CPM bidding format, you’ll pay each time your ad shows 1,000 times across LinkedIn, regardless of how much engagement the ad generates. This type of bidding is most useful in campaigns where the goal is brand awareness. Much like CPC bidding, the minimum CPM bid is $2.00, and LinkedIn provides a suggested bid range.

Creative

It’s not enough to simply provide your audience with quality content. Each day, your audience is viewing thousands of advertisements across many different platforms. To stand out and get the recognition and results you deserve, you need to convey value throughout your advertisement.

LinkedIn Ad Creative

Copy

The copy of your ad is arguably the most important factor to the success of your advertisement. It’s important to create strong, compelling copy with a clear message to drive engagement.

Headline

LinkedIn allows you to create a headline for your ad. LinkedIn limits that headline to 25 characters.

Body

Your body copy has a maximum length of 75 characters. It’s important to pack this section of your ad in a way that provides clear value to your audience. You’ll also want to include a strong call to action to drive engagement.

When writing your copy, you’ll want to speak the language of your audience. Be as clear and concise as possible while using industry vocabulary. Speaking the language of your audience will help establish your company as a credible source within the industry that’s ready to offer value and build trust with your audience.

Call to Action

A strong call to action is how you’ll drive engagement with your ad. Strong calls to action include words and phrases like download, get more information, contact us, connect now, get a quote, sign up, apply, join, start, etc.

Without a strong call to action, it can be unclear what you’re trying to accomplish with your advertisement. A poor call to action will lead to dismal click through rates and poor ad performance. If you’re unsure what should go into a strong call to action, take a look at this useful guide from Georgetown University.

Image

Including an image with your LinkedIn ad isn’t required. But, considering the lift in engagement that a powerful image can provide, you ought to include one in your ad. LinkedIn limits image sizes to 50×50 pixels. You’ll want to choose a bright, exciting image with some relevance to the rest of your ad creative.

Targeting

To run a successful campaign, you’ll need to ensure you’re serving your ads to the most relevant audience possible. LinkedIn offers a robust range of different targeting criteria. You’re able to segment your audience by job title, job function, industry, location, age, gender, school, skills, company name and company size.

You can even target members of specific groups on LinkedIn. Each time you refine your targeting, LinkedIn provides you with an estimated audience size. Targeting will make it easier to ensure that your ads are serving to the people who are most likely to benefit from your product or service.

Personas

Personas can be a helpful way for you to refine your ad targeting. Before you target your ad, you’ll want to ask some questions about your audience. What specific functions do they serve at their job? What kind of skills do they have? Where are they located? What industry do they work in? Once you’ve answered these questions, you can develop a persona.

A persona is a hypothetical member of your target audience. Creating a persona will make it easier for you to picture who your target customer is and provide you with more insight when targeting your ads.

Location

The first bit of targeting you’ll dial in is location. LinkedIn allows for very broad location targeting, i.e., North America. You can also target a much smaller geographic area, i.e., New York City. You can also target your ad copy specifically to the location your ads will be displaying. You’re able to target as many as ten different geographic areas with each campaign. This is the only piece of targeting data you need to provide LinkedIn. But, you’ll certainly want to get more granular with your targeting to create a successful campaign.

Company

Much like location targeting, LinkedIn allows you to target broadly by industries, i.e., finance, non-profit, banking, etc. This type of targeting can be especially helpful if you produce a product or service that a particular sector of the business world can benefit from.

LinkedIn also allows you to target users at specific companies. Targeting your ads in this way will produce a very narrow audience. It may be best to leave this style of targeting to the side for now while you get your feet wet with the rest of the targeting options.

Job Title

The ability to target by job title is one of the most compelling features of advertising on LinkedIn. Targeting by job title is an excellent way to dial in the audience that’s most likely to engage with your ads, depending on the product or service you’re selling. For example, if your business provides bookkeeping software to small and medium-sized businesses, you may want to target CFO’s or accountants. LinkedIn also allows you to further refine this even further by targeting users with a particular level of seniority or experience at a company.

This feature can be crucial, and it’s an excellent way of increasing the CTR of your campaign and ultimately your conversion rate for new customers as well.

Job Function

Perhaps your product or service appeals to many different industries. You may want to target your advertising by targeting job functions. LinkedIn allows you to select up to ten job functions for each campaign.

Schools

You’re also able to target your ads using criteria such as school, degree type or level of education. Let’s say you’d like to target your ad to a specific alumni group within your alma mater. You’ll be able to deliver ads to those specific people, thanks to this targeting criteria.

Skills

Target your audience based on specific skills or experience they possess, such as business management, B2B marketing or eCommerce. You’ll want to focus on skills that your key demographic either possesses or aspires to possess.

Groups

Over 80% of LinkedIn members belong to at least one group. You can search these groups out on LinkedIn and target your ads specifically to them, without being a member of the group yourself.

Age and Gender

Unlike most other advertising platforms, LinkedIn doesn’t offer the ability to target by gender or age. Due to the professional nature of the site, many users don’t provide this information. If you’re looking to target people of a particular age, seniority is a good place to start.

Audience Expansion

As you target your audience, you’ll notice that LinkedIn gives you the option for “audience expansion.” This feature allows LinkedIn to broaden your target audience to include people who have very similar attributes to the audience you’re targeting, even though your targeting parameters don’t include them.

This tool can be helpful for new advertisers. But, more experienced advertisers are likely to find that they’d like to keep their targeting as precise as possible, without the audience expansion feature.

Variations and Testing

While not required, it’s incredibly important that you create multiple versions of each ad.

Ad variations can become critical when you’re targeting your campaign to specific industries, job titles, or skills. You may want to employ different copy for each of these audience segments to ensure your messaging is consistent and highly tailored to each audience segment.

You may also want to play around with different images, headlines, and body copy, even if you’re using all your ad variations to target the same audience. These variations allow you to show variety to your audience. More importantly, it will allow you to A/B test your ads to see which variation is performing the best.

Once your campaign is returning actionable data, you’ll want to turn off ads which are performing poorly and have a low CTR. Poor performing ad variations can affect the number of impressions LinkedIn is serving to your audience.

LinkedIn will do this work for you if you’d like. By selecting the “optimize click thru rate,” LinkedIn will show the ad variation that’s most effective. If you’d like tighter control of your campaign, turn this setting off. That way, you can manually manage your ad variations and make changes based on the data LinkedIn returns for your campaign.

Approval Process

Once you’ve finished your creative, you’ll be able to submit your ad. At this point, it goes into the approval process and ensures each aspect of the ad meets LinkedIn’s guidelines. Advertising is how LinkedIn makes their money, so they want to see that ad up just as quickly as you do. Within 12-24 hours, LinkedIn will either approve your ad, or reject it for further editing.

Performance Dashboard

Once your ad is up and running on LinkedIn, it will start to return actionable data. You can use this data to refine and tailor your ad campaigns.

Within the performance dashboard, you’re able to track the number of impressions and clicks your ads have received, monitor your spending and click through rate.

Monitoring Conversion Rates

The performance dashboard is great for learning more about which members of your audience have engaged with your advertising on LinkedIn. But, once a LinkedIn user takes the jump and clicks your ad, that’s as far as LinkedIn can take you, tracking wise.

This is where software such as Google Analytics comes in and provides you with more relevant, actionable information about each user once they take the jump from LinkedIn and engage with your site.

A conversion is going to occur whenever a member of your audience takes the next step with your company, either by becoming a sale or a lead for your business. Your conversion rate is critical for evaluating the success of your campaign and determining your return on investment.

As an example, let’s say that your advertising from LinkedIn drives 50 people to your website or landing page. Of those 50 people, 5 of them convert into sales or leads. Your conversion rate would be 10%

Having that information allows you to make better decisions about the different marketing channels that are delivering the most business for your company.

LinkedIn’s Services

Now that we’ve discussed all the ins and outs of the LinkedIn ad platform we’re going to take a look at the different products LinkedIn offers for advertisers. LinkedIn offers two ways to advertise on the platform, self-service and managed.

Self Service

Their self-service option allows you to quickly set up a campaign and begin advertising with as small a budget as $10 per day. Self-service advertising offers a choice of three different ad types: sponsored content, sponsored InMail or text ads. It also provides you the option of PPC or CPM bidding.

Managed Services

LinkedIn’s managed services provide the same opportunities as their self-serve offering as well as an account management team and a fourth ad type, dynamic ads. Those additional features come at a hefty price and LinkedIn typically reserves them for larger companies with massive budgets.

Types Of Advertising Available On LinkedIn

Through its self-service advertising program, LinkedIn offers the opportunity to create text ads, sponsor content and most recently, the chance to send sponsored InMail. Each of these ad types can be quite useful, depending on the goals of your campaign.

Next, we’ll take a look at how to advertise on LinkedIn with text ads. These ads often serve the same purpose as sponsored content and their differences are primarily visual. You’ll be able to link your text ad to either some compelling content or a landing page you’ve designed to drive engagement from your audience. Another reason for the popularity of LinkedIn’s text ads is cost. While these ads might not be as visually engaging as sponsored content, you’re able to run a campaign effectively with a smaller budget this way.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored content allows you to connect your brand, product or service to useful editorial content that your audience should find appealing. It has become a popular and effective form of advertising in the digital age. Unlike other ad types, sponsored content appears directly in your audience’s newsfeed and looks very similar to organic content.

A good piece of sponsored content provides the audience with relevant and valuable information. That information typically will come in the form of whitepapers, eBooks, slide shares or other highly visual formats. Since you’re providing the user with interesting and valuable content, they’re more likely to engage with your content, your LinkedIn page and your company in general.

Quality content is also an effective way to drive leads to your business. Since your content is so excellent, those interested in it are more likely to “pay” for that content with their contact information to see more details.

Why Sponsored Content?

Sponsored content is popular and effective in part because the advertising closely resembles organic content. According to a study conducted by IPG and ShareThrough, sponsored content is 52% more likely to be viewed than traditional display advertising.

LinkedIn Sponsored Content

Types Of Sponsored Content

There are two different types options for sponsored content on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Sponsored Content Ad Types

Sponsored Content – allows you to distribute your company updates to a larger audience based on your targeting parameters. The key here is that your audience stays on LinkedIn rather than coming to your website.

Direct Sponsored Content – allows you the same functionality as sponsored content, but without the update associating with your company page. Direct Sponsored Content be a good way to test and refine your advertising without cluttering your company page with tons of updates.

Creating Your Content

Before you can have sponsored content, you need regular ol’ content. The adage “you catch more bees with honey” is particularly applicable when it comes to creating content. You want to make sure you’re providing the user with value first before asking for anything in return. High-value content includes things like eBooks, webinars, infographics and whitepapers.

When creating your content, you want it to be as visually appealing and easily consumable as possible. The more engaging the experience is, the more likely your user is to engage with your content and generate a lead for your business moving forward.

From there, you’ll be able to advertise the content you’ve created on LinkedIn. More information on that process is covered below.

Sponsored InMail

Sponsored InMail is LinkedIn’s newest and perhaps most intriguing advertising product. Sponsored InMail allows you to connect with your audience through their LinkedIn inbox as opposed to on their news feed or in the sidebar of the site.

Unlike text ads or sponsored content which have restrictive character counts for your copy, sponsored InMail allows you the flexibility to tell your story in as much detail as is necessary.

Sponsored InMail has a variety of different applications. It can be used to distribute valuable content, offer “exclusive” invitations to events, or recruit potential candidates, to name a few.

Just like with sponsored content and text ads, you’re going to want to keep your messaging as consistent and relevant as possible for your audience. One interesting feature of sponsored InMail is the ability to select who the message appears to be originating from within your company. It’s a good idea to make sure that the message is originating with the member of your team who is most relevant to your audience. In other words, if your message is targeting IT professionals, have your InMail sent from your IT Director. This level of personalization will ensure that your audience is receiving InMail from a relevant and credible source. They’ll be more likely to engage with your InMail than if they received it from say, your Digital Marketing Director, who is going to be far less relevant to your target audience.

Creating Your Ads

Creating ads on LinkedIn is a straightforward process. You’re already likely familiar with the interface from other advertising you’ve done on platforms like Google or Facebook. Each ad type will vary slightly in the way that you put it together, but by taking a look at how to create a text ad below, you’ll have a strong idea of how to sponsor content or send sponsored InMail as well.

First, you’ll need to open a LinkedIn ad account that is associated with your Company page.

LinkedIn Open Ad Account

After that, you can go to your Dashboard to create a campaign.

LinkedIn Ad Dashboard Settings

Open your campaign dashboard. This is where you’ll create new campaigns, and also track the data from your existing campaigns. Select “create campaign” from the top right.

LinkedIn Ad Settings

Next, you’ll select whether you’d like to create a text ad, sponsored content or sponsored InMail campaign. Let’s take a look at creating a text ad. The other two ad types are very similar, setup wise.

LinkedIn Text Ad Settings

Name your campaign and choose your language. You’ll want to create a campaign name that’s simple and easily identifiable for tracking purposes. Don’t worry about being too fancy or creative, the campaign name is for internal use only.

LinkedIn Ad Type

Next, you’ll input the creative for your ad. In this step you’ll choose where your ad will link to, your headline, body copy, image, and the style you’d like your ad to be displayed in.

LinkedIn Ad Settings Target Audience

Now for the fun part! Here, you’ll target your advertising to your specific audience. You’ll be able to save this audience to reuse it for future campaigns if you wish. As you target your audience, LinkedIn will give you an estimate of the amount of people that will be in your audience.

LinkedIn Ad Settings

In the next step, you’ll handle your bidding parameters. First, you’ll chose between cost per click or cost per impression bidding styles. LinkedIn will autofill the suggested bid in the bid box. They’ll also show you what other advertisers are bidding in the auction. Keep in mind this value is just a suggestion and you may want to adjust it based on your needs and budget. Next, you’ll input your daily budget for the campaign and when you’d like the campaign to begin running.

LinkedIn Ad Checkout

Now that all the details of your campaign are squared away, you’ll enter your payment details. Once you’ve reviewed and confirmed your order, your ad will be submitted to LinkedIn’s operations team for review. Within about 24 hours, your ad will begin running on LinkedIn!

My LinkedIn Advertising Experience

I’ve done several low-level campaigns on LinkedIn for this website and others. I’ve never been able to scale it due to the high minimums and unique audience, though I’ve had clients who basically run their business off LinkedIn ads & organic reach.

I did another small campaign as part of the research. Here’s my results so you can get a sense of spend.

I advertised my newsletter signup to mainly marketers & freelancers. I got plenty of impressions, few clicks but plenty of spend.

And interesting takeaway for me was that unlike ad platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Amazon or StumbleUpon – there was little “flywheel effect” where paid visibility also boosts organic visibility.

Now – that might be because my post was not organically interesting or a host of other variables. But – I do think it’s something to consider.

Either way, my & my client’s experiences highlight the need to have a specific, LinkedIn-unique offer. You’ll also need to really layer your audience to get a group broad enough for impressions, but specific enough to properly target.

Lastly, remember default behavior for LinkedIn visitors. It’s not nearly as a”sticky” as Facebook or Twitter. If you are trying to reach a group that is not visiting the site regularly – then you’ll need to budget your campaign over a long time period.

Best Practices For LinkedIn Promotion & Next Steps

Your goals for each campaign will dictate the way you create, manage and refine your advertising. But, there are some best practices to follow when getting the hang of the advertising platform.

  • Make sure that the content you intend to share provides clear value to your audience.
  • Address your audience directly in your headline. Is your product or service targeting digital marketing managers? Call them out by name in your headline!
  • Create compelling and informative body copy so that you’re able to clearly convey why your sponsored content, text ad or sponsored InMail is worth clicking.
  • Use images which are bright, readable and relevant.
  • Target your campaigns precisely. But, avoid getting overly granular with your targeting. If your audience is too limited, your ads won’t generate many impressions. LinkedIn says most successful campaigns have an audience between 100k-400k. Find a balance via “layering” – combining a couple broad targeting options.
  • A/B test the creative of your advertising regularly. It’s a good idea to have two, three or even four versions of the same ad, so you’re able to dial in the most effective ad for conversions and click thru rate.

LinkedIn offers a unique opportunity, but it’s not the only way to get in front of your audience. You might also be interested in these posts –

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E-newsletter #215 – Deconstructing Audience Ideas Edition

Hello, hello! Listed here are now&#8217s helpful reads&#8230

10 Ways You Aren’t Using Facebook Custom Audiences

I really like Facebook custom audiences &#8211 novel ideas. See clearly here&#8230 

Takeaway(s): Use custom audiences to&#8230

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This publish is disorganized and lengthy. *But* if you wish to see advanced Search engine optimization tactics for action on large sites, there are many nuggets within. See clearly here&#8230 

Takeaway: Personalize your Search engine optimization tactics according to your website, industry &amp competition.

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Snapchat Ads: The Entire Guide for Business

Concise, helpful for individuals who wish to experiment. See clearly here&#8230 

Takeaway: SnapChat doesn’t have a lot of ad products, and surely enough for early adopters.

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E-newsletter #214 – The Small Known Outreach Growth Tactics Edition

Hello, hello! Listed here are now&#8217s helpful reads&#8230

We Examined 1.3 Million YouTube Videos. Here’s What We Should Discovered YouTube Search engine optimization

Must-read if you’re doing anything online. See clearly here&#8230

Takeaway: Greater engagement beats traditional optimization each time.

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Very tactical &amp specific. See clearly here&#8230

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7 Little-Known (And Research-Backed) Prospecting Ideas

Over-hyped title, however, many interesting ideas within. See clearly here&#8230 

Takeaway(s):

  • Never Warn These Potential Customers You’ll Safeguard Them From “Spam”
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Growing to $300K/MRR by 50 percent Years – 7 New Training Learned

Usually these kinds of posts discuss fluffy, vague concepts like &#8220building culture&#8221 or &#8220defining mission&#8221 &#8211 that one will get specific on which they did to really earn more money on their own, clients &amp employees. See clearly here&#8230 

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