Today, no marketing plan is complete without a social media strategy — which should encompass both paid and organic (free) social.

Not only do social platforms offer your firm an opportunity to give your brand a voice and comment on industry topics and trends, but they also offer a channel for content distribution that can be tailored to your ideal clients.

As the most business-orientated social platform, LinkedIn is favoured by legal firms, which is why it has over 106 million users globally (Source: Statista 2017).

At Propero we tell our clients to think of LinkedIn as a gateway to the right kind of audiences.

However, organic posting on social platforms will only get your content so far. Paid social advertising will get your content in front of a much larger and more targeted audience – people you wouldn’t necessarily be able to reach by non paid-for means.

But you don’t need to spend loads to see a return. Even a small amount of consistent budget behind your social activity will achieve exponential return.

Therefore, to get you started, this blog will show you how to get up and running with LinkedIn sponsored content before exploring further channels. Next month I’ll run through LinkedIn Direct Mail to develop your social presence.

LinkedIn Sponsored Content: How It’s Done

Before you start creating ad campaigns, you will need to have a personal account that has been granted ‘Sponsored content poster’ access by the company profile you want to post LinkedIn ads on behalf of. This can be done by going onto the ‘Manage company page’ section of the company’s profile, clicking onto ‘Admin Tools’ followed by ‘Manage Admins’ on the drop-down list.

Once you have ‘Sponsored content poster access’ you will be able to access the ad platform’s campaign manager. From here you need to click ‘Create campaign’ and follow the steps LinkedIn presents to you to set up the parameters of the ad. For this campaign, make sure you select Sponsored Content as your campaign type.

1. Create your ad

When you’ve set parameters for the campaign, you can decide what content to sponsor. LinkedIn will offer you two options:

  • Create new sponsored content: Create bespoke posts, outside of those already on the company profile, specifically for the campaign.
  • Or, choose from available content: By using the check box on the left-hand side of the content you want to sponsor and clicking the ‘sponsor selected’ button, you can sponsor content you’ve already created.

2. Writing your ad copy

If you’re opting to create new sponsored content, when you write ad copy consider:

  • Copy Variations: Write a minimum of three versions of ad copy which have different ‘angles’ and speak to difference audiences. You can use each variation for separate LinkedIn ads within the same campaign.
  • Copy Length: Keep your ad copy to a maximum of 209 characters with spaces (approximately 33 words) so you avoid readers having to click ‘see more”.
  • CTA: Consider your ad’s call to action (CTA) – what action you want them to take – and how you’re going to position that offer.

Think about what messages will speak to the audience and not what you are trying to sell them.

3. Ad Image

Sponsored content LinkedIn ads with images usually result in 20% more clicks than those without (Source: LinkedIn) so it’s important to spend time selecting the RIGHT image.

Dimensions: The optimum size for a LinkedIn sponsored content image is 1200x 627px.
Picture-text overlay: LinkedIn allows images with text overlaid so use this to your advantage by adding text which will catch the browsers’ eye as they scroll past.
Image choices: Choose an image that ties with your message / resonates with the audience you’re targeting.

4. Ad Targeting

The more targeted your ad, the less likely you’ll pay for time-wasters and therefore the higher your ROI will be. However, you shouldn’t use ALL of LinkedIn’s targeting options for every campaign, some will be more relevant to your target audience than others.

Select which target criteria best represents your ideal audience. Think deeper than top level ‘senior executives or managers’ and consider the skills or background those type of people may have and what industry they might be in.

Accurate targeting is crucial to getting the most bang for your buck.

5. Budget

Cost per click (CPC) bid types are recommended for any LinkedIn ads where your goal is to convert clicks (e.g sign ups, registrations or form fills).

When setting a budget for your campaign, you have a choice between two spending options:

• Total (lifetime) budget: If you have a larger budget or don’t have the capacity to regularly check your ads, lifetime budgets allow you to set a maximum spend over a specified time-period.
Daily ad budget: Daily budgets give you more control, however they require a larger investment of time because, to avoid over-spending, you need to check the LinkedIn ads’ performance daily.

N.B. Your campaign’s actual daily spend can be up to 20% higher than the amount you input as your daily budget.

Once you’ve told LinkedIn your bid budget, your campaign is ready to launch.

6. Managing your campaign

To get the most out of your campaign, you need to monitor it a minimum of twice a day (this is especially important for the first few days). You should also have multiple adverts running within each campaign with different variations of ad copy and/or images.

During the first few days, look at which versions of your LinkedIn ads are performing the best e.g. highest impressions, click through, conversions. After three days, pause the underperforming ads and put more budget behind the ones that are performing best.

Not Seeing Results?

Social ads are one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your content or website. However, to make sure you don’t overspend, which can be especially easy with LinkedIn, you need to monitor your LinkedIn ads regularly and make tweaks to ensure the best performance.

This consistent optimisation does take time, resources and in-depth knowledge of how the social platforms work. If you’re struggling to see the results we’re talking about, send an email to cara.evans@www.properopartners.com to find out how we can improve your ad spend ROI.

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