LinkedIn Advertising Updated Options – Becomes a Better Tool

LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network with over 500 million members in over 200 countries and territories including over 138 million in the US. The company recently enhanced its LinkedIn Advertising options that make this platform even more compelling for connecting with commercial insurance buyers.

LinkedIn Ad Updates

A LinkedIn Lead Ad allows a user to automatically pre-fill a form. You can add up to 7 pieces of information that come directly from the user profile.

I am amazed at how few commercial insurance producers do not actively participate in building their LinkedIn profiles and connections. It is one of the best, and most underutilized, prospecting tools available today.

While I have felt for quite a while that LinkedIn advertising is an excellent way to target your sales message to exactly the right prospect, the tools provided on the platform have been elementary at best.

That has changed. LinkedIn has announced some significant enhancements to their advertising platform.

You owe it to yourself and your organization to begin experimenting with using the LinkedIn advertising platform and this new capability to connect with your ideal prospect.

In a previous TechTips, I talked about how to Generate Business Leads with LinkedIn Advertising. You can review that article for the basics of how to use LinkedIn’s advertising audience targeting capability. In this issue, I will highlight the new capabilities recently added to the platform. You also might want to listen to this podcast I did on how to how to maximize your use of LinkedIn.

These new capabilities provide much greater control over whom you can target, and where they are in the buying cycle. These new capabilities include:

Audience Targeting

The LinkedIn advertising platform provides some “targeting options” you can use for a LinkedIn ad campaign. As a reminder, these options include:

Location

  • Experience
  • Job Function
  • Job Title
  • Job Seniority
  • Years of Experience

Company

  • Company Name
  • Company Industry
  • Company Size

Education

  • Schools
  • Degrees
  • Fields of Study

Identity

  • Age
  • Gender

Professional Interests

  • Skills
  • Groups
Taking time to understand your ideal prospect and creating a targeting profile is key to making sure you get the right message, to the right person, at the right time. This critical step may take some time as you experiment with creating the ideal prospect profile.

LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms

LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms allow you to capture quality leads using forms that automatically pre-fill with the prospect’s LinkedIn profile data. Lead Gen Forms are a new and powerful opportunity for you to make the process of capturing prospect information quick and easy. LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms are also automatically mobile optimized, so your ads and contact information forms are friendly on a mobile device.

Because LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms pre-fill forms with information from the prospect’s LinkedIn member profile, your target audience can submit their information in just one click. Less friction means more requests for additional information. You can drive more leads for each ad dollar you spend on LinkedIn compared to the traditional process of typing in contact information.

Audience Expansion

Audience Expansion delivers your content to members who are similar to your target audience in their demographics and interests. Once you create the demographic and psychographic profile of your ideal prospect, you can elect to have the LinkedIn advertising platform “help my campaign reach new audiences similar to my targeting criteria with audience expansion.” It is a simple checkbox as part of the campaign-building process.

Selecting this option increases the scale and reach of your ad campaign by delivering your ad to additional members who may be interested in your content. Audience expansion will never expand any criteria you set using location, language, gender, or age.

Matched audiences

In addition to demographic targeting, matched audiences help you engage key accounts, prospects, and customers who matter most for your business with website retargeting, contact targeting, and account targeting.

Site Retargeting

Website Retargeting allows you to target your website visitors with a particular LinkedIn ad campaign by adding the LinkedIn Insights tag to your web pages. With website retargeting, you can create audiences based on the pages they visit on your website and recapture your visitors’ interest with content relevant to the pages they viewed when they are on the LinkedIn platform.

Account Targeting

With account targeting, you can run account-based marketing (ABM) campaigns by matching your target companies against the 8+ million company pages on LinkedIn. Combined with LinkedIn demographic targeting, account targeting allows you to have your ad displayed to potential decision-makers within industries that your organization has a focus in. When using account targeting, you can include filters for company, industry or company size to segment your account list.

Contact Targeting

Contact targeting allows you to build a customized audience by connecting your content management platform or securely uploading a list of email addresses. Currently, LinkedIn supports direct data integrations with Marketo, Eloqua, and LiveRamp. However, new partners will be added shortly.

For organizations that don’t currently have a marketing platform, you can upload a CSV file with a list of email addresses directly into the LinkedIn campaign manager. With contact targeting, you can deliver your ads to a list of leads based on their stage in your sales process. You can also exclude a list of current customers from your prospecting campaigns — a good way to save on your advertising expenses.

The updates LinkedIn has added to their advertising platforms now puts them more in sync with other advanced social platform advertising options, such as those available on Facebook.

I realize that this detailed LinkedIn advertising information may be overwhelming for many of you. I hope you will take the time to explore the options and how they might allow you to increase your referral business.

I cannot emphasize enough how strongly I feel that the LinkedIn advertising platform is an entirely underutilized resource for building organic growth in your organization. And, organic growth is more important than ever.

I cannot guarantee that LinkedIn advertising will increase your revenue, but I can guarantee that if you do not begin experimenting with using it as one part of your overall marketing process, you will miss out. And, your competitors who embrace this platform will be growing faster than you are.

Have you used LinkedIn advertising to increase sales? If so, please share your experience. If not, why not?

Steve Anderson provides information to insurance agents about how they can use technology to increase revenue and/or reduce expenses. He speaks professionally to hundreds of agents each year on the future of technology, the social web, and how insurance agencies can establish their Internet presence.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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