In his book Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business, search engine optimization and online marketing expert consultant Ted Prodromou explains how you can use LinkedIn to quickly engage with ideal customers, partners, and employees, showcase your company and attract new opportunities. In this edited excerpt, the author describes the nine different ways you can advertise on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn provides an affordable way to get your message out to a targeted audience using many easy-to-use options. Each of LinkedIn’s advertising options allows you the flexibility and affordability to reach your target audience, whether you’re generating leads, growing your network, recruiting new employees, or growing your company page membership.
Let’s learn about the nine different advertising options available to you on LinkedIn.
1. Self-Service PPC Advertising
This self-service advertising solution allows you to create and place ads on prominent pages and page locations on the LinkedIn.com website. You specify which LinkedIn members view your ads by selecting a target audience: by job title, job function, industry, geography, age, gender, company name, company size, or LinkedIn Group. Your Self-Service ads will be displayed prominently at the top of the LinkedIn page as a text ad, and your full ad with an image will appear in the right sidebar.
2. Content Ads
Content ads are essentially mini-websites that let you display multiple ad messages in one sidebar widget. They’re similar to those rotating billboards you see on freeways that display three different advertisements as the panels turn. You can display up to four advertising messages in different media formats, so you have more than one chance to catch the reader’s eye. For example, you can display your live Twitter feed in one tab, YouTube videos in another, and custom content in the last one. You can mix and match content to make highly interactive ads by offering white papers, podcasts, flash or image banners, or custom videos. Content ads are a great way to reach many different audiences with just one ad.
3. SlideShare Content Ads
Presentations are an excellent way to engage LinkedIn members. With LinkedIn’s SlideShare, a social media website where you can post PowerPoint presentations, infographics, documents, and articles, you can post content on the SlideShare site and post the same content within your LinkedIn profile under your Summary or within each job posted in the Experience section. With SlideShare Content Ads, you can now promote your content in sponsored updates so you can share your best content with a target audience that’s looking for professional insights.
4. Sponsored InMail
Sponsored InMail lets you use LinkedIn InMail to deliver highly relevant messages to targeted audience segments. Sponsored InMail messages are different from the standard InMail message: The sole purpose of an InMail message is to establish contact with a person, so you don’t want to include a marketing message when you send them an InMail message
But Sponsored InMail messages are personalized messages with space for extensive marketing copy on a co-branded landing page, one ad unit, and a call to action. Sponsored InMail messages are always delivered to the top of the member’s LinkedIn inbox, increasing visibility and improving the open rate.
When you send a Sponsored InMail Message, you have the ability to create messages personalized to very specific audiences because you can target any facet of the member profile. For this reason, Sponsored InMail Messages have an average open rate of 20 percent and a 20 percent clickthrough rate on the call to action. These open and clickthrough rates are well above the industry standard.
5. Social Ads
LinkedIn Social Ads are a very effective way to encourage LinkedIn members to share messages and recommend your products. Social Ads use the same targeting other LinkedIn advertising options offers but they let you leverage social proof throughout the LinkedIn community. The endorsements of trusted contacts are a highly effective way to add credibility and impact to your company messages.
LinkedIn’s extensive range of social ads is designed to leverage the way members use the LinkedIn network to share ideas and information. Social Ads make it easy for members to endorse your company and share insights and updates. And they ensure that engagement with one member is quickly spread across his network.
6. Follow Company Ads
LinkedIn Follow Company Ads are a unique set of display ads that leverage a member’s profile data to deliver a customized, personalized message to drive engagement with your Company Page. They give companies the ability to target professionals, generate awareness for their Company Page, and convert them to engaged followers.
7. Featured Company Ads
Featured Company ads are very similar to Follow Company ads. The difference is the Featured Company ad is associated with your Company page and lets you display links to the Product Showcase and Jobs pages on your Company page. It’s an organic-looking tool to generate awareness and interaction for Company Pages. It invites engagement directly from the ad unit and leverages member network connections to drive interest while the Follow Company ad only lets the viewer click on the Follow Company link.
8. LinkedIn Group Ads
LinkedIn Group Ads are targeted, personalized, and relevant group-specific ads created to help promote and drive membership to custom group communities. They feature viewer-specific social graph information within the ad unit to build a personalized message, deliver Group recommendations, and build trust through a co-branded template that implies LinkedIn endorsement.
9. Spotlight Ads
A Spotlight Ad is a fully customizable ad that leverages the member profile image but can link to the advertiser’s landing page. These ads look like content on the page and don’t use the traditional ad formats. Because these ads blend in with the content, people often click on them not realizing they’re ads.
Spotlight Ads are designed to help someone find a job by associating their profile picture with a company logo. These ads are very effective because they show a member’s image in the ad under the headline, “Picture Yourself at Company” and their new job title under their name. This lets them visualize themselves in this position at your company.