LinkedIn is one of the top social media platforms today with over 750 million users worldwide. It is the go to advertising platforms for B2B and even B2C advertisers due to their unique first party data and targeting capabilities. Given the uniqueness of LinkedIn compared to other social media sites it is important to have deep knowledge on what successful advertising on the platform looks like. This knowledge is pivotal to generating brand growth and positive ROI.
To help advertisers gain that deeper understanding of the platform, and highlight their marketing prowess, LinkedIn launched a marketing certification program earlier this year. The program has launched with two certifications, a Fundamentals Certification and a Marketing Strategy Certification. Each certification has 3 training modules to help users study up before taking a certification test that is comprised of 60 multiple choice questions. Once passed LinkedIn will issue the certification which is valid for 2 years. The Fundamentals Certification is geared more towards advertisers specifically using the campaign manager to run paid ads. The Marketing Strategy Certification takes a wider view of advertising on the platform and creating full funnel strategies using both paid and organic content to reach users.
Following the Anvil Credo of being a growth minded individual and constantly improving the paid media team saw the LinkedIn certification as a great opportunity to brush up on our LinkedIn background as well as get certified for a platform we use nearly every day for our clients. In this article I want to highlight 5 things I learned, or thought were useful, while taking the certification training modules. At the bottom of the article there will also be a link to the certification if you want to learn more about the program.
Target Wider Than You Think
Something mentioned multiple times during the training courses was making sure advertisers were not getting too granular with their targeting. With LinkedIn’s first party data it is easy to want to drill down to specific decision makers in companies. However, there are usually multiple stake holders at play in many B2B decisions. One statistic from the training that stood out was that on average 6.8 people are involved in each B2B purchase decision.
Advertisers wanting to better understand who their target audience is can make good use of the LinkedIn Insight Tag. Not only does this tag help with conversion tracking and remarketing, it also provides valuable insights about the users that visit your site. Using this data can shine a light on who a business’s core customers are and who might be a valuable audience to target.
Use Multiple Ad Creatives
LinkedIn recommends having 4-5 creatives live at all times. Advertisers can then monitor for content fatigue and swap out underperforming ads with new content. It is recommended to swap underperforming creative once a month or once the ads have reached enough impressions to optimize against. LinkedIn also notes that up to 5 posts can be pushed into your target audience’s feed every 48 hours so having some variance can help improve KPIs.
Create a Full Funnel Marketing Approach
While it is the main goal of most businesses to generate more Leads it rarely happens the first time someone interacts with a brand. There are many touch points and research leading up to the moment someone is ready to purchase which is why LinkedIn suggests focusing on both long-term brand building and short term sales activation. They also state that members exposed to both brand and acquisition messaging are over 6x more likely to convert. LinkedIn recommends budget for both activities should be split 50:50 for B2B advertisers and 60:40 for B2C advertisers.
Thought Leadership is Key
One key piece of brand awareness that LinkedIn highlighted is thought leadership. Thought leadership leverages the knowledge and experience in your organization to answer your audience’s questions, especially those they haven’t even thought to ask yet. According to the course, 89% of decision makers say thought leadership has enhanced their perceptions of an organization and 49% say thought leadership is influencing their purchase decisions. Even more, 15% of decision makers rate the quality of thought leadership they see as excellent, meaning there’s room for opportunity to capitalize on this potential.
Go Deeper Than the Initial Lead
B2B advertisers know that typically the sales cycle is much longer, sometimes even months, before a user may decide to purchase. With this in mind it is important for sales and marketing teams to communicate what constitutes as a valuable lead and connect the information back to marketing activities. An example LinkedIn provided was 2 ad campaigns with one generating 4x more conversions than the other. Without sales data it would appear that the campaign with more leads was the better performing of the two. However, looking deeper the campaign with fewer leads had a higher close rate and order value meaning it actually generated higher ROI. This is a great example of why sales and marketing teams should be constantly communicating and providing a full picture to drive revenue.
These are just a few of the takeaways from taking the LinkedIn certification. My overall thoughts on the courses were that they were full of valuable information for advertisers and definitely shined a light on areas of opportunity when advertising on the platform. Anyone interested in taking the free certification course can follow this link to get started. Each of the 6 courses is estimated to take 45 minutes and the tests are 60 minutes so I recommend doing one per day until the certification is complete. If you or your business has any other questions about marketing on LinkedIn feel free to reach out to our team.