Gated content versus ungated content.
Gated content is any content that is behind a form field that a prospect must fill out in order to acquire the information.
LinkedIn reports 40% of tech buyers are less likely to consider a vendor that gates their first piece of content and 75% of Tech buyers are less likely to consider a vendor that gates all of their content. The reality is you need to be really strategic about the types of content that you are gating.
LinkedIn did an internal study looking at internal at gated content. They offer a piece of research that was internally commissioned it was highly valuable content. The LinkedIn marketing team released it behind a gate and they got pretty good results. They got a pretty big audience that was around 2,000 downloads but the following year when they released the same piece of research they ungated the content just to see kind of what the reaction the would get. The ungated content ended up getting over a million page views, so you can see that the huge discrepancy in terms of being gated or not.
From 2000 downloads to over a million views, you really have to ask yourselves around the value of the content and the value that it’s bringing to prospects and whether we want to get that value or not. Essentially do you want to build brand value or just create new leads?
Think of this example, the buyers are a newlywed couple they want to own a home, but they’re not sure if it’s the right time so they’re very much in the initiation phase they’re strangers to any potential mortgage company and the more mortgage company in this case in this example also has not identified them as potential customers, yet.
The couple dreams of owning a their own home and they’re looking for content to help them make some decisions. So content examples, that would resonate well with this audience are things like for instance “top 7 mistakes new way newlyweds make” or “should I rent an apartment or buy a house?” You need to create really high-level content around questions that those prospects might be asking themselves.
Once they have awareness of your company and your offering, you want to turn them into leads or subscribers and eventually customers when it makes sense. Let’s say the newlywed couple has read your content and now they know they want to buy a home, they’re just not sure what to look for in a mortgage. So what kind of question would they be asking themselves?
This is where you want to be more proactive and offer something like a free consultation. In the tech world, things like demo requests and free trials create interest and add value.
As a LinkedIn marketer, you need to consider every phase of the buyer’s journey. For any funnel why do you want to gate content and when don’t you want to be gating content. Throughout the funnel, you can get a little bit more gated but what you want to avoid is gating most or all especially at the top of the funnel, which is very educational.
LinkedIn Ads Lead Generation
According to LinkedIn, 82% of B2B marketers cite LinkedIn as their most effective platform for content marketing. This really speaks to the quality of the LinkedIn newsfeed and the legitimacy of the content on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn has retained the top spot as the most trusted social platform for the third straight year and is currently followed, respectively, by Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, according to nearly 2,000 respondents to a Business Insider poll. This is part of what makes LinkedIn Ad solutions so great for lead generation.
What makes LinkedIn Ads management so powerful is you can make sure you are targeting the right audience and that the audience is viable for your company. You can find prospects that should contribute to your sales pipeline with the opportunity to potentially close a deal.
Smart marketers love that you can leverage LinkedIn’s first-party data. Things like job title targeting company, industry company size and there’s a whole list of ways you can mix and match those to get to the most relevant LinkedIn members for your business. Beyond that, you can use LinkedIn’s matched audiences mechanism, which allows you to upload your own data and target those particular individuals on LinkedIn either in a retargeting capacity or by leveraging an account based marketing strategy.
So you have the targeting you know, who you want to reach? Now you will need to decide what kind of ad formats you’re going to leverage to get in front of these people at scale.
LinkedIn Ads Management – Sponsored Content
First, we have LinkedIn Sponsored Content. This is the native unit within the LinkedIn newsfeed. Not only can this be a static image but you also can be video or carousel.
LinkedIn Ads Management – Sponsored InMail (Sponsored InMail is now LinkedIn Message Ads)
Secondly, we have LinkedIn Message Ads formerly known as Sponsored InMail. This is a very personalized one-to-one message delivered straight to the LinkedIn member’s inbox.
For LinkedIn sponsored content and LinkedIn Message Ads, you are able to integrate a feature called LinkedIn lead Forms, which is a pop-up within the LinkedIn ecosystem with pre-filled form fields with the member’s first-party data. This allows a lower barrier to entry and can often times improve the efficiency of your LinkedIn lead generation campaigns.
LinkedInAds Management – LinkedIn Text Ads
Next, there are LinkedIn Texts Ads. These are LinkedIn ads that appear at the top of the LinkedIn newsfeed and on the right-hand rail with the logo element and LinkedIn dynamic ads that are also on the right-hand rail. LinkedIn Dynamic ads are the ads that pull in a member’s profile picture. You can use these LinkedIn Ads to drive followers for your company or also to distribute content.
Once you have your ideal target set and you’re reaching an audience that you want to reach and you have your ad formats picked out, what you want to do is make sure that you are reporting on these campaigns so that you can take data indicators to optimize them over time.
LinkedIn Insight Tag
The first thing we recommend is installing the LinkedIn Insight Tag on your website. This allows LinkedIn Ads to do things like conversion tracking which tracks post-click activity on your site as well as report on campaign and website demographics, so you can see who’s engaging with and who’s visiting your website.
The LinkedIn Insight Tag also allows you to see click and conversion demographics, which is really important to making future decisions around LinkedIn Ad campaigns. For example, let’s say there’s a demographic where clicks are really high but conversion rates are really low. There might be something getting lost in the value of the content that you might want to reconsider.
LinkedIn Ads Budget
A common question is what it the recommendation for setting budget when deciding what percentage of a LinkedIn Ads campaign budget is to be put against the top of funnel versus lower-funnel campaigns.
There is a lot of research and resources online that recommend something that’s called the 60/40 rule so that would mean that 60% of your LinkedIn Ads marketing budget should go to brand campaigns and 40% of your LinkedIn Ads budget should go to demand generation campaigns. The reason you do that is that you want to create a very viable funnel and have a larger top of funnel audience so that you have enough of pool in your lower funnel audience.
If you’re just getting your feet wet with LinkedIn advertising we highly recommend starting broad. We recommend using the company name if you are working on an ABM approach you can either enter the company name manually.
Many marketers come to LinkedIn super excited to target job titles. They want to target a specific job title based on the profile, however, you want to be careful because this can be very limiting. It requires you to add multiple variations of that title and related titles.
You want to ensure that you’re building out a decent enough audience size to ensure scale and efficiency. You also want to take into consideration job function, you can think of job function as sort of an umbrella that job titles fall under. And jobs seniority is pretty self-explanatory and you have your senior manager, owner or partner.
LinkedIn member skills is also a great targeting tool. These are self-selected by people and their profile and also keywords mentioned throughout their profile. We highly recommend that you align your targeting strategy with your lead scoring model in order to ensure that leads become MQLs or SQLs. Let’s say you require a certain company size or seniority, you’ll want to apply those dimensions to your LinkedIn Ads campaigns.
This will help improve your lead to qualified lead.
LinkedIn Ads Testing
Next, let’s talk about testing. We can’t say this enough – test everything and then test it again.
Not only can you use our demographic data when setting up an ad campaign on LinkedIn that you can also take your own first party data and match that against LinkedIn’s member base to engage people who are most likely to become qualified leads. For example you can retarget people who’ve recently visited your website import segments from your marketing automation platform.
You can target lists of millions of email addresses from your CRM system or engaged people who work at the thousands of companies and your sales teams target account list. Combining LinkedIn first-party data helps you target people who’ve already displayed an affinity for your brand.
According to LinkedIn, hundreds of LinkedIn advertisers found that leveraging both their first-party data and demographic data significantly improve cost per lead by up to 14%.
Once you’ve successfully installed the LinkedIn Insight Tag you can take advantage of LinkedIn matched audiences to implement a full funnel strategy and engage with the right audiences. Website retargeting involves placing the inside tag on your website to re-engage prospects who’ve already visited your site.
You only need one tag for website targeting and conversion tracking so that’s pretty easy. This is really valuable especially for lead generation to help drive those people who are lower in the funnel signaling direct interest through to conversion.
Next email targeting. You can can take your marketing automation lists and bring them into LinkedIn campaign manager.
You can either upload them or connect through a data integration system. This allows you to target contacts that you already know. Account targeting is the power to reach decision-makers at your target accounts, combining that with demographic targeting. Amazing stuff that can only be done with smart LinkedIn Ads management.
LinkedIn Ads Lookalike Audiences
Plus, there are lookalike audiences. Lookalike audiences help you find people with similar characteristics to your targeted audience. Lookalike audiences are identified using an existing matched audience segment, such as website audiences, account lists, or contact lists.
Another way to leverage audiences would be for customer marketing. If you have a land and expand business model where you’re hoping to grow with specific customers’ leveraging lead generation what you can do is create an audience.
You can take blog subscribers as well and run LinkedIn Ad campaigns against them. This can be a very powerful way to shorten sales cycles.
I also love the event registration list, so if you have you know, lists of folks who have entered who have attended a event that you have hosted and you’re hoping to convert them into clients we can reuse those lists. Excluding list of current customers from prospecting campaigns is also a fantastic topic tactic in order to kind of reduce waste in terms of you know, cost efficiency in an impression levels.
Glued members as well so that.
Great. Really great tactics and things for participating. Now I’d like to dive into a few scenarios of when you can use each of these smash audiences to convert prospects to leads for full funnel approach. So many of you mentioned. Website retargeting.
You’re pretty trial. They’re they’re already interested they’re about.
Or you can retarget visitors to your product page with a case study of a client who saw success so as LinkedIn marketers if we have someone visit our dynamic ads product page following up with a dynamic guide case study with that specific. Success story. Email contact targeting upload a list of CSV lists or through your marketing automation database for people who have engaged in 18 months.
A lot of people invest a ton of money finding net new prospects and customers but there’s also huge value in reaching people who have either just engaged in the past or have been customers.
So this is a great talk to to get back in front of them and re-engage them. And also as mentioned uploading a list of customers your current customers to a exclude from your campaigns. I’d say explosions. Are almost equally if not more and powerful as an inclusion targeting just to ensure that you’re cutting waste and not delivering to people who have no interest or not a good fit for your company.
And just to take a step back into the case of retargeting you also want to ensure that when you’re.
A company that. Visit your website as well as your competitors. So excluding your own companies a good idea. Moving into account targeting targeting specific companies that your sales team is time for focused on and personal using the messaging and the outreach for from a company executive let’s say someone with credibility who can share additional information.
Is one way you can do it and then another example would be to realistically. Whereas when it comes to. Getting ahead of that and making sure.
That they’re taking advantage of all you have to offer so that when.
Lastly look like audiences. Upload a list of your customers to find new prospects with similar qualities, you’re able to reach highly relevant audience that can generate more contacts and leads.
Great. So now moving into best practices. Each of these could have their own session, but we’ll try to dive in with a little detail in a few and So first, you know, make sure that your seat. S I visitors to fit the marketing funnel. I think Sarah explain this perfectly, um, for example, we find that you’re almost guaranteed to see poor campaign performance.
If you use just one campaign to target professionals and different countries from different industries and unrelated functions and you know with all the drastically different mindsets and content needs you don’t want to lump all of your buyer personas into one campaign. If you do that, you’ll have trouble personalize your content for each stakeholder group.
You also want to make sure that your buyer percenters are clear and well-defined break out key personas into separate campaigns and group together the criteria that makes sense, you know, including related industries geographies or job functions. This will help you deliver the right messaging to a subset of LinkedIn members.
And similarly don’t use the same content and targeting tactics regardless of product. For example, don’t send a CXO level message to a senior IC and vice versa rather taylor content to your audience.
And also has mentioned ensure that you’re optimizing your enterprise my leveraging demographic supporting dropdowns. That we?
Can invert. You know approach everything with an experimental mindset as mentioned it’s really important to test so highly recommend. A/B testing if you’re going after the same audience, you know, you can mix and match the the different dimensions we discussed to get at the best the right members.
And we also find that testing team already can be a bit more precise than years of experience or age so just want to be mindful of that when trying to get out of a certain age group.
And lastly if running global campaigns just ensure that your segment team by region to maximize daily pacing if you are targeting campaign globally. I’m by the time you know people in the US are logging on to see the campaigns you might have already ran through your daily budget cap, so I recommend testing spending those up into different campaigns.
So that’s pause for a Q&A you’ve got some great questions in the queue we have some really short and sweet ones, which I’ll run through really quickly and then we’ll kind of dive into some. Of them so one of the questions is is website demographics free of charge and the answer that is yes that’s completely free to you and that’s also something that you can install before we even launch a campaign on LinkedIn because it just uses pixel data and monitors your website traffic, you know, that’s something that you have 24/7 and that you’re you have despite, you know, any campaigns you’re running on LinkedIn so definitely recommend, you know, using that tool to help create some data-driven personas when you’re ready to launch the lead generation campaigns.
Another question is we’ve a few of these actually about how to actually create local like audiences so this is really simple when you’re in your campaign manager account and you go to account assets and you go to the drop-down for mashed audiences, once you’re there and that view when you check the box next to the audience that you’d like to create a look-alike from a little button will go from gray to blue and the top right-hand corner it has a little silhouette of a person and when you click that it will say create local leg audience and then we’ll push that segment automatically to your campaign manager account.
And you can do this with either an account list or a contact list, so. Keep that in mind as well. Another question is how to install the insight tag this is really easy as well when you are in that account assets area of your account go to where it says insight tag you can find the code there and then I’d pass that along to someone at your company who has web development expertise and they can just install it in the source code of your website, of course, if you have that expertise as well you can handle that too but it’s pretty simple and we recommend putting that in the global footer of your website so that it therefore fires on every single page within your website my version.
Is tracking every piece of traffic that you can. Then we have some questions here about minimums for uploading matched audiences, since we’ve been talking about the. The minimum. 300 members, so if you’re uploading a list of contacts, you would actually want to make sure that the list is well beyond 300 because you’re not trade may not be completely.
So I think the recommended is about 300,000 contact. S to start at least and then for companies we recommend at least 3,000 but of course you can go you know beyond that.