This article will provide you with a first introduction to paid advertising on LinkedIn. If you are not familiar with it, advertising on LinkedIn can be at first confusing. The purpose of this article is to provide you with some necessary background on how LinkedIn advertisements work, and what types of advertisements you can use. The first three articles listed in the sources below provide a more in-depth introduction.
Now, why would you, as a lawyer, want to advertise on LinkedIn? LinkedIn is a social media platform that is used by professionals, so it is an ideal way to reach businesses you want to offer your services to. LinkedIn allows you to target very specific groups of individuals. You could, e.g., do a campaign for business owners of small or medium sized businesses in your neighbourhood that specialize in certain products or services. Or you could target the heads of legal departments in bigger companies. LinkedIn also is a good place to advertise job offers. If you are looking for new clients, you can use the funnel approach and create specific ads for specific segments of your target audience based on where in the funnel they are. (More on that later). You can also do something like an email campaign by sending message ads, etc. Add to that, that LinkedIn provides you with the necessary metrics to see how your ads are performing. Given all of the above, it should not come as a surprise that LinkedIn is the preferred social media platform for lawyers to advertise on.
So, how do you get started? Before you can begin to advertise on LinkedIn, there are two prerequisites. First, you must have a company page for your law firm. You cannot advertise on LinkedIn if you only have a personal profile. You need a company page. Secondly, once you have a company page, you need to create at least one account in the Campaign Manager for your law firm. The campaign manager is where you organize your advertisement campaigns. It lets you define your objectives and goals and select your target audiences for each campaign. It lets you set a budget, choose from different types of ads, and set a timeline for your ads. The platform also includes several features designed to help you meet your advertising goals. It is also good to know that you can create more than one account in the campaign manager for your law firm.
Once you have your Campaign Manager account set up, you can start your ad campaign. Typically, this involves seven steps:
- Choosing your objective
- Defining your target audience
- Choosing an ad format
- Setting your budget and schedule
- Starting to build your ad
- If applicable, providing payment information
- Measuring and optimizing your campaign
Let us have a closer look at these seven steps.
Step 1: choose your objective. What is your ad for? Is it a job listing? Do you want to attract new clients, or do you want to find people to attend a webinar or seminar you are organizing? LinkedIn uses a funnel approach that is common in digital marketing that involves three stages: awareness, consideration, and conversion. To raise awareness, you typically want views, or impressions as LinkedIn calls them. For consideration and conversion, you typically want people to respond to a call to action, which is measured in clicks. To convince them to respond to your call to action, you may want them to view a video first, etc. The goal you choose will largely determine the rest of your campaign.
Step 2: define your target audience. Selecting the criteria to determine who should see your ad is the same across all objectives and ads that you choose. You have more than 20 different criteria that you can combine, which allows you to be very specific in who you target. These criteria include profession / job title, company size, company name, interests, skills (including languages), seniority, etc. Reaching the correct target audience is one of the most fundamental pillars of success for an ad campaign. In the sources, listed below, you will find an article to assist you in the process of targeting the audience that is right for your campaign.
Step 3: choose an ad format. LinkedIn uses different types and formats of ads that you can choose from. You can use Sponsored Content, Message Ads, Dynamic Ads, Text Ads, or a mix of all four. Sponsored Content appears directly in the LinkedIn feed of people you want to reach. They come in three formats: single image ads, video ads and carousel ads. As the name suggests, message ads send messages directly to LinkedIn Messaging. Dynamic ads are individualized ads that use data that are available in your target audience’s profile. They are available in three formats: follower ads, spotlight ads, and job ads. Text Ads are simple but compelling pay-per-click (PPC) or cost-per-impression (CPM) ads (see below, in step 4).
All in all, this means that at present, LinkedIn offers the following ad formats:
- Carousel Ads provide a slide show of ads that tell an interactive story that inspires prospects to take action. (https://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/native-advertising/carousel-ads)
- Conversation Ads allow you to start quality conversations with professionals through a choose-your-own path experience. (https://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/conversation-ads)
- Event Ads are meant specifically to advertise events and are designed to maximize attendance to your LinkedIn Events by highlighting key event details. (https://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/native-advertising/event-ads)
- Follower Ads are used to promote your LinkedIn Page to seamlessly acquire followers. (https://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/dynamic-ads#follower)
- Lead Gen Forms, short for lead generation forms, let you collect even more quality leads from your ads on LinkedIn with pre-filled forms. (https://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/native-advertising/lead-gen-ads)
- Message Ads send direct messages to your prospects to spark immediate attention. (https://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/message-ads)
- Single Image Ads are native ads that run in the LinkedIn feed with an engaging visual across desktop and mobile. (https://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/native-advertising)
- Single Job Ads are designed to fill job vacancies by driving quality candidates to your LinkedIn Job slots. (https://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/native-advertising/single-job-ads)
- Spotlight Ads are used to showcase your service, events and more, as well as to increase traffic to your landing page. (https://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/dynamic-ads#spotlight)
- Text Ads consist of plain text that is designed to drive new customers to your business – on a budget that works for you – with an easy, self-service pay per click (PPC) advertising platform. (https://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/ppc-advertising)
- Video Ads consist of videos that let you captivate a professional audience with native video at every stage of the consumer’s journey. (https://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/native-advertising/video-ads)
Step 4: set your budget and schedule. You determine the amount of money you want to spend. The cost of the campaign consists of three possible options:
- Cost per Impression (CPM) refers to the cost of advertising where you pay for each time an ad is displayed. These ads are typically used to raise awareness.
- Cost per Click (CPC) is where you pay for each time a person responds to a Call-To-Action by clicking on a link. These ads are typically used in lead generation or event registration.
- Cost per Send (CPS) is used when you do a campaign with message ads, where you pay for each message that is sent. You only pay for messages that are successfully delivered.
Along with your budget, you can also determine the schedule of the ads. Keep in mind that setting your budget and schedule is an interactive process, called bidding, where LinkedIn will, e.g., offer a bundle of ads in a schedule at a certain price, and you can then modify that offer to better suit your needs.
Step 5: start building your ad. LinkedIn provides you with some tools to build your ads. For some ad formats, previews are available. For message ads, it is possible to send yourself a test message. Typically, though, you will want to build your ad outside of LinkedIn first, with professional tools.
Step 6: if applicable, provide payment information. If you are organizing a seminar, webinar or other paying event, you will have to provide payment modalities and information.
Step 7: measure and optimize your campaign. The Campaign Manager offers you a dashboard where you can follow-up on each one of your campaigns. You can review performance metrics, access charts and demographics, etc. It is possible to export these data as a CSV report.
With this information, running an ad campaign on LinkedIn should be less overwhelming.
- https://www.linkedin.com/help/lms/answer/a426102 (On creating an ad account / campaign manager account).
- https://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/success/objective-based-advertising (Advertising made easier: Choose your objective and format to get started – includes an overview of the different types of ads)