Leveraging LinkedIn Ads During CoVID-19

Don’t call off your B2B efforts during COVID-19! Yes, things are changing, and your approach should adapt (more on that to come) — but businesses still need what you have to offer. LinkedIn claims that over 80% of B2B leads come through their platform, and with over 30 million active companies, we’re inclined to believe it. If you want to get your ads in front of business leaders, running ads on LinkedIn is essential.  

In a Microsoft earnings report released on April 29th, LinkedIn is seeing “record levels of engagement across the platform” and a 26% rise in sessions for the quarter. However, while LinkedIn sessions rose by 26%, ad revenue rose by only 21%.

With record platform usage reported across the social media landscape and diminished ad spend at the same time, you can get your message in front of an abundance of eyes for a relatively small spend. 

 

Adjust Your Messaging

 

To maximize your return from LinkedIn ads during coronavirus, your messaging needs to be timely. The ways that your customers have historically related to your business may not be reasonable or wise right now. The feature that used to be your stand-out UVP might not matter in the COVID-19 climate. Your normal taglines or brand voice may read as insensitive in light of the current times. 

Be flexible with your messaging. Center your stance around alleviating a pain point for your target audience. If you can make them money or save them money, this is going to be easy for you. If you’re offering more of a luxury item than an essential one, maybe the UVP of what you offer now is a sense of normalcy. Dialing in your messaging during coronavirus is about finding creative ways to connect to a core need your customer is experiencing. 

 

Rework Your Targeting

 

Many businesses have shifted to operating remotely. That means their employees may be accessing platforms on different devices than they used to during their workday. Let’s use a friend who is a financial advisor as an example. Her large, international financial institution issued every worker in their company a new computer to use when working remotely to ensure that their systems remained secure. Why would that matter for targeting?

 

It means a couple of things for audiences based on cookies:

  • The audiences our friend was in from her work computer will no longer target her since she’s not using that machine. Your old audiences may not be effective right now. 

  • Any new audience she’s being added to may not be helpful once she goes back to the office and resumes work on her original machine. New audiences you’re building may stop being effective in the near future.

To mitigate this, we recommend creating audiences with a longer cookie window and incorporating gated-content tactics to gather email addresses that can be uploaded as custom audiences. If you already have a library of content that you’ve created, gating it with a simple lead form asking for a name and an email address is an easy way to gather qualified leads that will last past the end of the pandemic.

Don’t Ditch Your Best Practices

Some things never change, and there are a few timeless LinkedIn best practices.

 

1. Get Inspired From Your Other Platforms

Use the performance of your ads across other platforms to inform your LinkedIn ads. The targeting, creative, and copy that play well on Facebook can be tweaked and turned into LinkedIn ads that convert. Any themes, phrases, or imagery that your audience finds compelling are worth testing in this arena as well.

2. Keep Content Short

LinkedIn reports that shorter copy – read: 150 characters or less – had an 18% higher engagement rate on average for Sponsored Content Ads. Videos that were less than 30 seconds long had a 200% higher completion rate than videos that went longer. For Sponsored InMail messages, body copy that has less than 500 characters have a 46% higher click through rate on average. For LinkedIn, less really is more.

3. Facts Not Fluff

LinkedIn tested an update with a statistic and without a statistic to measure performance differences. The update with a statistic had a 37% higher click through rate and 162% more impressions. This is a platform full of professionals and using cold hard facts pulls greater results than a purely emotional appeal. 

 

4. Skip The Jargon 

You know the ins and outs of your business and the jargon of your industry is a natural part of your vocabulary…but nobody else knows what you’re talking about. When it comes to LinkedIn ads, be clear, say it simply, and say it directly. Don’t give your reader a weighty cognitive load to understand your ad, you’ll lose them in translation.

 

5. Personalize Your Ads

LinkedIn is unique in its ability to put you straight into someone’s inbox. You can personalize these messages by adding the recipient’s %FIRSTNAME%, %LASTNAME%, or mentioning their job title. Using direct language for Sponsored Content Ads to call out a specific audience (i.e. “Attention All Nurses”) leads to a 19% higher click through rate and a 53% higher conversion rate than ads with generic language.

 

6. Test Test Test

As with all platforms – test your ads! Find out exactly what phrasing, tone, and visual elements best connect with your target audience. Play with targeting till you’re getting leads that are the right fit for your products and services. Turn off ads that are underperforming. Run variations of ads that do well to see if you can highlight *exactly* ingredients should be in your LinkedIn ad secret sauce.   

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As you gather leads with LinkedIn ads, you need to nurture and warm them towards conversion. Don’t worry, we’re always here to help. 

Click here to send us a message and request a free copy of our Lead Conversion Guide. We’d love nothing more than to set you on track towards conversion success.

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