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Let’s be honest – LinkedIn has never stood a chance against Facebook when it comes to pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. The general perception has been that LinkedIn is a platform limited to white collar professionals, audience targeting cannot compare to Facebook’s tracking tendencies, and the ads cost more per click than alternative channels.

1. Seeking only internal advice on website structure and design – A third-party can give critical feedback that closely aligns with the general user experience.

2. Assuming everyone who comes to your website already knows you, and all that you do – Website visitors come from search engines, referring sites, and word of mouth. Your site needs to give an informative first impression to anyone who visits, no matter where they are on the buying journey. Don’t forget that media, potential investors, and job candidates are visiting too.

3. Launching an advertising campaign before you have strong content – Paying to drive traffic to your website won’t be worth it unless you can achieve an ROI from conversions to leads or sales.

LinkedIn has more than 774 million active users in over 200 countries. More than 57 million companies have a presence on LinkedIn and 4 out of 5 LinkedIn members drive business decisions for their companies. If you are looking to fill an open position, more than 40 million people used LinkedIn to search for jobs each week. Most importantly, according to Business Insider, LinkedIn is the most trusted social platform globally.

So, how can business owners leverage LinkedIn advertising to grow their business? Start with a realistic goal – it could be lead generation, event attendance, or sales, depending on your business. Then follow these tips. You will need a personal LinkedIn account and a business profile page in order to get started.

Creating a Target Audience

The target audience of your ad campaign should be the same target audience your marketing and sales teams are hunting. The LinkedIn advertising engine allows you to search by more than title and company to include job function, interests, education, and company attributes.

Gravity recommends setting up different campaigns for different audiences to see which persona engages most with your ads.

Don’t forget to set geographic targets and to narrow down large audiences by excluding LinkedIn users who don’t match the profile you built exactly.

Basic Campaign Setup

The LinkedIn Business Advertising web page has all of the guidance you need to run a successful advertising campaign. Once you know your objective and have identified your target audience, it is time to get started on building your ads. LinkedIn offers a variety of advertising options that fall into the categories of Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail, and Text Ads. If you are familiar with boosted posts on Facebook, LinkedIn recently added a Boost function for Sponsored Content ads.

Select the ad type that matches your objective and target audience. If you are looking to drive website traffic, we recommend sponsored content that appears in the LinkedIn feed. Experiment with different ads, ad types, images, and copy to analyze what works best. Start small – try a $10 per day budget for a minimum of 10 days, then review, tweak, and if you like the results, increase your budget to amplify your ads and up your results.

Advanced Tips for Driving ROI

Once you are comfortable with the LinkedIn advertising platform and have some successful ads running, you can add on some layers of complexity. The LinkedIn Insights Tag is a snippet of code for your website that tracks conversions from your LinkedIn ads. LinkedIn Retargeting can match audiences on the LinkedIn platform to retarget ads to those who clicked on ads, watched videos, or submitted Lead Gen Forms. The Insights Tag can be used to retarget ads to your website visitors.

PPC advertising is a cost-effective way to advertise directly to the audience of your choice. And it comes chock-full of data to help you improve ads, website conversions, and calculate an ROI.

Check out LinkedIn’s free downloads including Your Guide to LinkedIn’s Targeting Capabilities, the Brand and Demand Playbook, and the LinkedIn Ads Guide for more step-by-step information. As always, feel free to reach out to the Gravity Marketing Team with any questions.