Rolling in the Leads: How to Optimize your LinkedIn Social Ad for Success

Picture this, you’ve created a fantastic asset that you want to use to help your marketing team gain the leads it deserves. How can you put it in the hands of the right prospects, increase impact and ROI? We’ve compiled a set of best practices to easily reference when you’re running your next campaign! 

Organic is valuable 
There’s an incredible amount of value in organic social media content, especially when you want to begin your ad. At 10Fold, we are continuously testing post variations in our organic content to make sure ads are successful from the start. For maximum effect, we leverage two weeks of data before we plan to run an ad on a gated asset. It’s important to provide to analyze how a variation performs before you put a lot of money into the campaign – particularly on LinkedIn, where costs are more expensive than on other platforms. Testing different hashtags, copy strategies, emojis and taglines can save you a ton of time (and money) ahead of the launch date. Starting organically can also help you optimize your landing page and make any necessary changes prior to kicking off. 

Know your worth (and audience) 
What are you looking to gain from this campaign? How can you use your metrics from organic posts to help leverage what your paid ad may look like? How many leads are you looking to achieve? What is your goal engagement and click rates? Typically, industry averages are a great starting target and differ per platform. LinkedIn ads usually rest at a 0.6% CTR.  

Another metric to consider is cost. Leads can be expensive depending on what platform and type of ad you are using, and make sure to compare how much you are looking to spend against CPL and MQL costs from other channels. Targeted, highly qualified leads are always priceless, but knowing how to reach them is the most important component. Looking for decision-makers and buying influencers? LinkedIn should be your target ad market. It’s important to note that C-levels are not likely to engage anywhere. LinkedIn’s ads albeit expensive, can target those hard-to-reach decision-makers in the c-suite and leadership-  the trick is making sure your target audience is exactly what you want it to be. The golden rule of LinkedIn Ads – the larger the audience is, the less targeted your leads are going to be. Start small and try to rule out unnecessary job titles and industries. You’re going to play process of elimination here, but it’s important to be as thorough as possible.

Pro Tip: Make sure you are continuously posting organic content to help assist the ads and have at least two high-performing organic posts to put towards your ad so you can A/B test. 

Pivot, Pivot, Pivot 
While your ads are running (Remember you are still A/B testing copy!), it’s important to keep in mind that numbers don’t lie. Make sure to check the stats often, especially in the beginning of the ad or 24 hours after you’ve made targeting changes. A good marketer knows that your targeting (or ad copy) may not perform how you’d expect in the beginning. The data you’ve collected can help you determine whether it’s the copy you need to change, targeting, the type of ad or the asset you’re promoting. Remember, we are answering the age-old question: Why is this not resonating with my audience? 

Retargeting is one of the most important aspects of an ad campaign. On LinkedIn, if you’re targets are not sound, you will know right away. You are either not attracting high-quality leads, or your content is not resonating with the audience. Use the functions box to determine who is seeing your ad, and if you need to make any changes. Remember to utilize the “AND” and “OR” functions to narrow (or broaden) your targets and keep playing process of elimination. A small audience doesn’t necessarily mean your ad is not going to do well, compare targets and ad performance against your goals. If you want the meat and potatoes, you’re going to have to take out the fat first.  

Another Pro Tip, meet with your LinkedIn representative. 10Fold meets with a LinkedIn Ads rep quarterly, who recently alerted us to algorithm changes that support condensing your ad groups to optimize performance. LinkedIn’s algorithm ad frequency increases when you condense into one group (if it has the same targeting, of course). Otherwise, the ads are shown just once every 48 hours making speedy optimization a challenge. 

If your targeting strategies are still not up to snuff after making necessary changes, it may be time to switch your ad format. A recent campaign 10Fold ran saw an initial CPL of $200+, but with a strategy change to switch the format from an external landing page to a LinkedIn-native lead gen form, CPL costs dropped by 50%, and our lead goals were met within just a few days! 

Remember, LinkedIn ads can provide immense value to you, and your organization if understood correctly. From organic to paid, 10Fold can help amplify your asset and make your lead goals a reality. Learn more about our social media services here.

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