Fountain Partnership’s David Cooper explains how to make the most of advertising on the social network for business
Advertising on LinkedIn has become the holy grail for many B2B marketers, although it’s clear that some sectors are doing better than others when it comes to using it as part of their sales funnel.
The truth is, businesses need to employ an effective strategy in order to use LinkedIn and its tools to its fullest potential.
Positioning yourself in front of decision makers
For many businesses, right across industries, when it comes to prospecting, there is a very specific sector or market that they are looking to target. Historically the issue has always been about how to get in front of key decision makers who are notoriously difficult to reach such as heads of procurement, hedge fund managers and C-suite.
The LinkedIn Ad Platform provides an advanced filtering system allowing targeting through factors such as demographics, job title and industry sector. So if you want to create an advertising campaign targeting heads of procurement in fortune 500 companies then for the first time this is possible through the LinkedIn platform. In addition to this, there are real time insights, ideal for helping to build and nurture client relationships.
It is this pinpoint targeting which has been so beneficial for industries like the SaaS market who have been able to target not only specific organisations and businesses, but key figures within them, on a global basis. In conjunction with pay-per-click advertising, you can tailor your content specifically and ensure that you remain at the forefront of their minds through a structured digital marketing campaign.
Prove your authenticity as a thought leader
LinkedIn is essentially an educational platform. Those who use it do so with a certain level of intent – whether that be to look for a job, or to seek business advice or insight. This has led to LinkedIn becoming saturated with individuals promoting themselves as thought leaders – so how do you prove your authenticity?
Authenticity can be demonstrated by showing an understanding of your prospect’s pain points, and offering a solution to their problems. What better way to do this than through your advertising content?
Remember that LinkedIn is not a sales platform, therefore adverts should not be about the hard sell. The features and benefits of your service or product, combined with genuine thought leadership demonstrating you understand the challenges facing your target prospects is the most effective way of connecting with your audience.
Advertising content should be viewed as a channel of communication, the first step to building a level of trust and authority.
In the case of the SaaS market, where software is often created to solve very specific problems for niche industries, this method is particularly effective. But this approach works across many sectors, where the product or service is designed to suit a particular set of needs. It’s about proving you can offer businesses something of value through your expert knowledge and insight, as well as a solution to their problems, without overtly selling.
Consider your full advertising strategy
LinkedIn is often mistaken as being a visual platform meaning adverts can sometimes be creative-led which may capture your audience’s attention to achieve quick, positive, organic results.
But when it comes to your sales funnel you’re looking at the longer term goal, which can take 6-12 months before significant results are achieved. The focus of your advertising strategy is not just simply about how it connects with your audience, strong consideration needs to be given to where does the advert take them once they have clicked on it, and how does it connect to your landing pages and sales team.
So why is it that SaaS companies seem to be better at this than most? Well, let’s not forget that they are used to employing a test and measure approach due to the nature of their work.
As this same method is incorporated into their advertising, it’s natural that they tend to gain better results.
By monitoring the effectiveness of their adverts and their results, they are more aware of what is working and what needs to be changed, always keeping their funnel in mind.
What you can learn from SaaS companies
Ask yourself these questions:
- Am I reaching key decision makers? If you aren’t using LinkedIn Ad Platform, then it’s time to get started. If you’re already using it but the answer is ‘no’ then it’s time to reassess how well you’re using it.
- Am I being seen as a genuine thought leader? Fine tune your content so it speaks to your prospects. Demonstrate you understand their pain points, have genuine insight into how to solve their problems, and can add value.
- Am I engaging with my target market? By regularly engaging with them using carefully considered advertising content, you’ll soon be able to transition them into your sales funnel and ultimately welcome them as a client.