LinkedIn isn’t just about recruiters or connecting with new business contacts. It’s also one of the best ways to market your content. If your business has stepped up its marketing in recent months, perhaps by producing your own blog or vlog for example, then you’re probably ready for the next step – LinkedIn advertising! (If you’re not quite ready for the next step, I would advise you read social media expert Bridget Greenwood’s excellent Linkedin tips first, before going any further.)

    Targeting on LinkedIn

    There are two major low-cost ways of advertising on LinkedIn, but first –  a word about targeting. LinkedIn has 400 million users globally, approximately 20 million of whom are Brits. Obviously, you’re not going to want to be sharing tips on how to maximise retirement income with all of them, just the people who are likely to want your services now or in the near future. Therefore, I highly recommend you take the time to think about the intended audience for your content. Then, to help you build up a picture of that audience, create a character profile. Let’s call her Sarah Linky – for now. Sarah is 56 and would like to know more about pension freedoms. She is going to need financial advice in the next few years. As with most of your clients, Sarah lives within five miles of your business. What else? Sarah is a HR director and she’s earning approximately £90,000 a year. You can go through this process for each set - or ‘segment’ –  of your target client base. A seasoned marketer like myself would urge you to back up these profiles with research conducted by a specialist company, but for simplicity’s sake, let’s assume you know exactly who your future clients are likely to be. Once you’ve got a few profiles drawn up (it might only be one, of course) navigate to your LinkedIn homepage to discover the advertising options available to you. Can’t find it? Navigate to the far right side of your LinkedIn page, click on the ‘Work’ icon and a menu containing ‘Advertising’ will drop down. I should say at this juncture that LinkedIn’s advertising staff are extremely helpful should you ever require free step by step advice on its use. But back to targeting – once you’ve created your ad and input all of the learnings from your profile building exercise, as well as your budget and duration of campaign, LinkedIn will very helpfully tell you how many people you can expect to reach. Too niche a segment and the ads won’t run, too wide and you run the risk of majorly diluting your campaign and spending your budget immediately on the wrong audience.

    So what type of advertising is available to you?

    1. Text ads

    Text ads are a little bit like the ads you’ll see on websites or on the far right panel of Facebook. You can only use a very limited amount of text for each of these (75 characters) but you do tend to be able to reach a far wider audience. Text ads are useful for promoting events or whitepapers. For more information, see LinkedIn’s guide.

    1. Sponsored content

    Much like sponsored content on Facebook, these adverts will appear in your targeted audience’s newsfeeds. Like text ads, they reach beyond the current followers of your Company Page. For more information about sponsored content, go to LinkedIn’s guide.

    How much will LinkedIn advertising cost?

    Cost differs for each campaign, depending on your targeting, as well as your content. LinkedIn advertising is a bit pricier than Facebook, but then you can’t necessarily compare the platforms like for like. Expect to pay anything from £0.30 per click to £2.00. If you’re going over £3.00 per ad, you’ll need to reassess the success of the campaign. LinkedIn’s advertising staff can help you with ideas to refine the campaign and bring down the cost.

    If you really are totally new to LinkedIn advertising, and you don’t have expert help – I’ve got one last crucial bit of advice for you…Start experimenting! The best way of learning about LinkedIn’s advertising is to simply dive in and have a go.

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