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LinkedIn is the only way to reach your ideal target audience, and your event is less a week away. What do you do? This is high urgency strategies on LinkedIn Ads.
Welcome to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Here’s your host, AJ Wilcox.
Hey there LinkedIn Ads fanatics. So LinkedIn Ads is a great ad network. When you’re targeting just evergreen audiences on a consistent pace. You put interesting offers in front of the ideal audience, and then you wait for them to come to you. Every once in a while though, we run into situations where we need to spend budget quickly. Maybe you have a webinar in three days and signups are low. Maybe you have an in person event coming up soon, or an offer that’s expiring. Whatever the reason, it can be really difficult to spend both quickly and efficiently on LinkedIn. So today, we’re specifically going through the strategies for accelerated delivery. So you can hit your goals without wasting your hard earned budget. So in the news this week, LinkedIn did a poll of its members, and found some pretty interesting statistics. And I’m just gonna read these off, it was in a private deck or something that I can’t link to. So you’ll just have to listen really closely to get these these benefits out of it. So 43% of respondents are now working remotely. That seems small compared to maybe the knowledge workers that I know. But maybe the vast majority of these are not knowledge workers. 36% of respondents say they’re actually more productive when working from home than when they were working in their office. Now, to me that feels low because I am very productive working at home. And I get so much less done when I could hear conversation around me in an office environment. 54% of senior leaders reported that their companies are implementing virtual events as a result of the outbreak. That even feel low to me. But hey, this is interesting. It’s a poll 52% are doing more calls on phone or video that feels extremely low, especially when you look at Zoom’s stock price. 26% of respondents report feeling no impact to their productivity at all. When you add those who report feeling no impacts their productivity, the 26% to the 36% of people who feel more productive, that makes 62%. So what that means is the 38% that are left are the people who feel like they’re less productive working from home, which totally based off of your style, your preference, but that’s pretty wild to understand as well. 45% say that this is somewhat or very likely going to become a more permanent shift. I’ve been thinking recently about those in commercial real estate and I’m thinking, wow, all these companies are figuring out how to get more and more of their people working from home, so they don’t need larger spaces. And what are they going do with all of that space. So it will be interesting to see what that industry does. I won’t be surprised if every company has some kind of a work from home policy. Okay, let’s jump in and highlight a few reviews that you guys as listeners have left on the podcast pages. RyanRhoten says “Pure value. AJ is such a wealth of information on LinkedIn ads. This podcast is like using the Hogwarts pensive to glimpse into his brain and extract the exact information you need to grow your business through LinkedIn Ads. Thanks for sharing AJ, you are as generous as you are wise.” Thanks so much, Ryan. So Ryan runs The BRAND New You Podcast and anyone who is into branding should definitely check that one out, The BRAND New You Podcast by Ryan Rhoten. Thanks so much for leaving such an awesome review. Okay, Cinthia M. P. calls it “Not your average marketing podcast. I just started listening to this podcast based on the recommendation from a friend and I’m incredibly impressed. Sometimes marketing podcasts can be pretty general with information that is somewhat actionable, or information you’ve heard 1,000 times already, but I found this podcast to be full of useful, very detailed and specific information. I had to stop the podcast a few times to take notes. I highly recommend listening. I’m excited to keep learning from the best in the world of LinkedIn advertising.” Cinthia, I don’t know if we’ve met before, but thank you so much. That means the world to me that you would say that. That’s exactly how I create this podcast. I actually created in mind for my employees to help train them. And so it’s really nice to hear someone saying that they’re listening along, ready to take notes. So thanks, you’re doing it right. The username Steve467774, totally machine generated, it says, “Informative and actionable. One of my favorite podcasts. AJ gets into the details of how to be successful with LinkedIn Ads, while keeping things easy to understand. And the best part, you can take immediate action on what you learn in nearly every episode. Keep it coming.” Steve, I absolutely think that that’s the case and I at least hope it is that every episode, you can take something away and go and make changes to your account right then to become more successful or more efficient. Everyone else listening, I want to feature you so go and leave a review on whatever podcast player you listen, and I’d love to feature you there. Okay, with that being said, let’s hit it.
If you listened to Episode 14, that was all about low budget strategies, how to be as incredibly efficient as you can possibly be on the network. And I want you to understand, this is nearly exactly the opposite. This is all about how to get accelerated delivery. And we know that we’re going to pay more for this accelerated delivery. But here all of the triggers, all of the levers, all of the knobs that you can pull in turn in order to get accelerated delivery. These are in no particular order, I really mixed them around because I didn’t want this podcast to be totally lopsided where you only needed to listen to the first half. Because the last half, it got increasingly less relevant or less valuable. So we’ll jump into one that I think is maybe a little bit obvious, but it’s more valuable in this situation to target large audiences. Because remember, only a small percentage of visitors on LinkedIn will end up clicking on an ad. It’s about 1% if you have really good ad copy, or if you’re extremely lucky. So that means the larger the audience you have, the more opportunities you will have for impressions. And the more impressions you have, the more clicks that you’ll get totally dependent on your click through rate. So you’ll want to target these large audiences. Now consider either expanding your existing audience into new audiences, or maybe even try to reach your existing audience with new targeting. For instance, here If you are only targeting your audience with job title targeting, be aware that LinkedIn only understands about 30% of job titles out there. And so if you can go and reach that same audience through either job function and seniority, or skills and seniority, or groups and seniority, you now have access to significantly more people in your audience who should already still be a great fit for your product or service. And of course, it makes sense to target new audiences. If you know that, wow, only directors and above are a good fit for what we do, maybe consider adding managers in there as well. Considering that LinkedIn considers those who are managers as being people managers. So not just you have the job title of manager, they want to see that you have people underneath you that report to you. My next recommendation is called LAN, L-A-N, and it applies to sponsored content campaigns. And you’ll see as you’re going Down in the build process, the very first checkbox that you come across will say LinkedIn audience expansion. Don’t worry, we’ll get to that one in a minute. But the second checkbox will be LinkedIn Audience Network, which is like LinkedIn Display Network. If you’ve used the Google Display Network or Facebook’s audience network. The difference here is that LinkedIn’s LAN, their audience network is extremely high quality. Every one of these sites were handpicked by someone who was way way overpaid for doing this kind of job. But it’s super important because so many advertisers on LinkedIn, super, super care about the sites that they’re being associated with and how that reflects on their brand. LinkedIn hasn’t announced before, which sites that LAAN actually has access to, and it’s been really difficult. I’ve had conversations with those who are overland and so I know a few of these sites, but I’ve been under a nondisclosure agreement. So I couldn’t share. So I was super excited when last week when LinkedIn made their announcement about engagement retargeting. They also mentioned an update to LAN. And they mentioned three places where these ads can show up. So Microsoft New, MSN.com, and the app Flipboard. Obviously, this is just a very small amount, I’m sure there are at least 1,000 of these sites who have all been hand picked to be high quality. What’s so cool about being able to just enable LAN is one checkbox later, and you now have the opportunity to get maybe 25% more traffic from your same audience. You’re not diluting the targeting, you’re going after the same people you’ve been going after anyway. So lead quality is going to stay extremely high. The reason why you can capture 25% or maybe even more than that traffic is because LinkedIn is not really the site that people go and spend a whole lot of time on. So if LinkedIn understood who these people are when they’re on other sites around the web, that is so good for us to be able to reach the exact audience in more places than just LinkedIn. And as a bonus here, when you turn on LAN, you will notice your overall cost per click goes down. And that’s because your clicks on the audience network actually cost significantly less than they do on LinkedIn.com. So you’ll get more traffic, it will cost less per, and your targeting stays the same. It’s the same high quality, which is more than I can say for audience expansion. Still, we’ll get to it.
So next we have your bidding strategy. Now first off, you need to understand the difference between your bid and your budget. Your bid is how aggressively you’re telling LinkedIn I want traffic when people show up. Your budget, on the other hand, is a safety net that says once you’ve hit this, we remove you entirely from the auction from bidding. So first, what you want to do is get your budgets out of the way, because what you don’t want to do is bid super aggressively on LinkedIn to get traffic, and then hit your budget halfway through the day, and then realize that man, I blew all of my budget on super expensive clicks. If I would have just bid less, I could have gotten clicks for cheaper and had it go all day long, maybe even gotten twice the traffic. If you’ve listened to me for long enough, you know that I’m not a fan of paying too much for clicks. So I always recommend bidding low. Under a high urgency circumstance, though you can’t cheap out on your bids, you want to bid aggressively, giving you the maximum amount of impression share, which then turns into clicks at the rate of whatever your click through rate is. Now if you have time, I recommend first starting by bidding by cost per click, just because the risk is lower to you as an advertiser doing this because you’re only going to pay whenever someone actually clicks to go to your landing page or clicks on your offer. And you can still bid aggressively on cost per click, but it’s just that you’re going to pay only for what you get. And I say if you have time, because a lot of times in high urgency circumstances, you don’t really have time to go through and test different ad formats or test different bidding strategies. Because LinkedIn doesn’t have hourly reporting, you have to go and really take a stab at something and hope that it’s going to work as well as possible for you. So if you start bidding by cost per click, and you don’t do well in the auction, you’re not getting enough traffic. That’s really unfortunate and you’ve lost some time. So that’s a natural segue into the next one, which is all about CPM bidding. So as opposed to CPC or cost per click bidding when you’re only paying because someone took action on your ads. The opposite end of the spectrum is CPM or cost per thousand impression bidding. And the way this works is it takes the risk and puts it all on you as an advertiser. Because if you have a bad ad that no one wants to click on, LinkedIn is gonna get paid no matter what, just for showing it. And you could get zero traffic to your website and still be paying and paying handsomely. The reason why it’s attractive here, though, is CPM bidding, basically bypasses the whole auction. You don’t need to worry too much about your relevancy score, how good your ads are, and LinkedIn size. Because since LinkedIn makes money every time they show your ad, it’s low risk for them. So they don’t really care to take that into account. They’re just going to look and see what you’re bidding and say, yeah, okay, we think that that would be more worthwhile to bank that cash rather than take a chance on serving against other advertisers who may only pay when their ads get clicked on. So this is riskier for you. But when you are bidding by CPM, LinkedIn will want to show your ad at every possible juncture. Every time that they get a chance they’re going to show it, which is great for you if you’re trying to get as many of these impressions in as possible in time for your event or the end of your budget.
Now, I’ve talked about CPM bidding. But it’s really helpful to understand there’s another option called auto bidding, that really is very much the same thing. All auto bidding is, is CPM bidding that you don’t have to babysit as much. You don’t choose a bid. It’s kind of like handing LinkedIn, your wallet and saying here, take as much out as you think you need. But whatever objective you’ve told LinkedIn that you’re trying to optimize towards, when you’re doing auto bidding, it’s going to optimize towards that paying CPM at the same time, CPM auto bidding, they are great if your ads are performing extremely high to the click through rate.
So this gives us a nice natural segue then into another lever you have which is just simply increasing your click through rate. I’ll use sponsored content ads as an example here because they’re really the standard. The average sponsored content ad gets clicked on about .4% of the time. So a little bit less than half a percent. What that means is there are a lot of people seeing your ads without actually clicking. So if you can increase your click through rates, even a small amount, it means you can get significantly more traffic. You don’t need to make your audience bigger, you don’t need to change your bidding at all. You can really just change your ad to something that people want to click on more often, and you can start enjoying getting significantly more traffic. On the other hand, when you’re in a rush, launching new ad creatives is a significant risk. You’ll have to launch and potentially see a four to eight to even 12 hour review period for your ads to go through review. And if you don’t have something else running at that same time, that’s scary because you’re trying to accelerate delivery and at the same time your ads are offline for several hours. To mitigate this risk, I would consider going back through old successful, creative and trying to find something that used to work. And maybe it’s even from different channels, maybe you’re running the same kind of thing on Facebook, or Google and you can go and try to borrow whatever has been successful over there. And here’s a neat little hack. If you’re running sponsored content ads, there is going to be a frequency cap that is actually pretty stringent to you as an advertiser. The natural frequency cap, at least used to be members can see your ad once per day, per account. And the only way that we could actually get more delivery, we could show more often than that once per day once per 24 hours, was to put additional creatives in the same campaign. And thanks to a wonderful rep named Natalie Gubman, I recently got informed about how the frequency cap is working currently. And she says a member can see one unique creative from an advertiser determined at the company page level, so not account every 12 hours, they cannot see this one unique creative again, within that 12 hour period. However, a member can see five unique creatives from that advertiser, again determined at the company page level within the same 48 hour period. So what that means is, if you can put five unique creatives, five different ads into your campaign, you can essentially accelerate delivery to your most active LinkedIn users who are part of your audience. Now, you may not actually want to test five separate creative, maybe you’re running an AB test, and you only want two different creative running. Well, what I would do LinkedIn doesn’t know the difference between ads even if they look exactly the same. So if you’re trying to run two ads against each other, just duplicate those two ads. LinkedIn thinks that these are two separate ads even though they say exactly the same thing. And then if you’re trying to do this AB test where you’re trying to split the traffic evenly, it’ll be really easy to roll all of those results up and combine the metrics for the ads that were exactly the same. So you still get great split test data. And you got to take advantage of LinkedIn’s increased frequency cap and getting the word out quicker. Okay, here’s a quick sponsor break, and then we’ll dive into the ad formats that we’re going to use for accelerated delivery.
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All right, let’s see jump into the other ad types that will help you accelerate your spend. So the first ad type you’ll want to concentrate on here is sponsored messaging. Now this is because most of the ad formats on LinkedIn are what I consider inbound. They’re essentially putting a message out there and waiting for someone to come around from your audience to log in, see something and then click on it when they’re interested. But with sponsored messaging that includes both message ads that used to be called sponsored in mail, and conversation ads, these are what I consider push marketing. They push directly into a member’s messaging box while they’re online. And they’re a little bit exclusive, because each member can only receive one of these every 45 days. So while sponsored content, it’s sitting in their newsfeed and if you’re lucky, maybe 1% of people will end up clicking on it. These end up getting about a 50% open rate, which is definitely a minimal kind of reaction, but it is a reaction nonetheless. If you’re trying to get the word out as fast as possible, having someone see an offer and then click to open it is definitely more than just watching it scroll by in their newsfeed. So again, if you’re trying to get the word out fast, this is really the only ad format where you can kind of force someone to see something. I really love sponsored content as well, I don’t think you should ignore that. But the next thing I want you to consider doing is stacking your ad formats. And that means using all of the different ad formats, all concurrently, because if your goal is to get in front of these people, no matter where they are, each ad format depending on where someone is on LinkedIn, and what device they’re using, it means using a different ad format is much more likely to still engage one of these users, even if they were on their way to do something or we’re going to be like a ship in the night passing by. The more ad formats someone sees you in, the more likely they are to click one of them. We’ve seen this when we do quarterly business reviews with our larger clients and LinkedIn comes to present. One of the things that they’ll give us is a report, like a contribution report, of those members who saw more than one ad format, what the difference in their click through rate was versus someone who hadn’t seen another ad. And we routinely see this number between about 13% and 30%. So someone is 13% to 30% more likely to click on your ads, if they’ve seen you in a different ad format before. So certainly, my recommendation is to use sponsored messaging first, then sponsored content, then text ads, and then dynamic ads. And I would do this all concurrently, all mimicking the same targeting. And this will envelop your ideal target audience in just a nice warm embrace a nice warm display ad hug.
The next tip I have for you is essentially a change in motivation. So there’s this concept called FOMO, that many of you know, and it stands for the fear of missing out. This is such a strong motivation, a strong emotion that we as humans feel. We hate missing out. We hate knowing that there was a big party that happened last night that we could have gone to that all your friends were there, and you totally missed it. And you can use this motivation in your ad copy. Try ad copy, like don’t miss it, put it on your calendar, only a few days left, limited seats remaining. Now, a note here on morals. So I’m not a fan of putting limited seats remaining. If there really are unlimited seats, you’re just manufacturing fake urgency here. But if you do actually have a limited number of seats, then yes, say it. Let people know. You might miss this if you don’t take action now.
Okay, this next recommendation I’ve been debating internally whether or not to share it with you. If you’ve been listening to me for long enough, you know how I feel about the audience expansion option. I hate it. I loathe it. I shudder every time I think about using audience expansion. I will say, though, as a very last resort, after you’ve done everything else, all my other advice here, and if you’re still spending short of trajectory, it is one checkbox that you can check that will instantly give you access to a larger audience. So let’s say LinkedIn, when you click that box inserts about 20% more people into your audience. LinkedIn is going to try to make sure that those are close to your ideal audience. And I think this is the only situation where I can see audience expansion making sense. Although I will say conclusively, I have never once seen a situation where I couldn’t significantly speed up my spend using all of the other strategies here before I checked the audience expansion box. So I’d say maybe this is one in 100 chance that you’d even have to do this, but I have to say it. Okay, so now I’m gonna go take a shower after making that recommendation, because I feel real dirty.
The next one I’ve got for you is really just in case, you should ask yourself, Is this a brand new account? Is this an account that’s been opened in the last few weeks that really hasn’t had a significant amount of spend go through it? You should know that there is a glass ceiling on every new account to keep people from making giant mistakes. And what it does is it artificially limits your spend in that account to $100 per day. LinkedIn doesn’t tell anyone about this. It’s not written really anywhere, at least not that I’ve seen. And so what happens is, you’ll be in this high urgency situation where you’re trying to spend and the account will just stop at $100 for the day, and you’ll be scratching your head going, I don’t get it. My ads are active, my campaigns active I have plenty of budget. Why? Well, it’s because of this invisible cap and your LinkedIn rep might not even know about it. So what you want to do is either file a ticket beforehand with LinkedIn help, or if you happen to have a LinkedIn rep, make sure you let them know to remove it significantly beforehand. So don’t do this they have because sometimes it can take some time for them to respond. Ask several days in advance, hey, we want to spend a lot of money please remove this cap. Because nothing is more of a buzzkill than when you have $1,000 a day to spend and the account gets stuck at $100 and two cents. While everything’s active. please learn from my mistakes. I’ve done this many a time and forgotten about this glass ceiling. There’s also a setting that is actually kind of hidden and it’s for good reason, we’ve talked about it before. And this is where you can rotate your creative evenly or optimize for click through rate. Now I want you to go and look and make sure if you have the option check to rotate evenly, change it. Get over to optimize for click through rate. The reason here is if you are rotating evenly, I call this the charge me more and show me less button. When you’re in a high urgency situation, you do not want to be shown less. And my guess is you probably don’t want to get charged more. So avoid that option, even if someone looked at it and thought, oh, this will help me do AB testing. It won’t, it’ll just charge you more and show you less. So in conclusion here, you’re going to pay more for this accelerated delivery. So set that in your expectations, expect your efficiency metrics to take a hit, you are sacrificing your efficiency for speed of delivery here. Ayou won’t have as much time to test things, so you’ll really have to accept whatever performance your ads and offers get. So give yourself the best stab. Do as much testing as you think you can do without disrupting, but certainly put your best stuff on and keep it going. I’ll also mention that it’s much better to front load your ads. That means take all of these strategies into account and potentially spend more rapidly up front than you want. The reason is, if you have something like a webinar coming up, it’s actually better the sooner people can get it on their calendar, just so they don’t end up having something else like a conflict happen before they see your ads. So you’ll want to front load there. But it’s also just as important to understand that it’s easier to slam on the brakes than it is to slam on the accelerator with ads. It takes much longer to find new ways, new audiences to spend more than it is to just simply bid something down, set a daily budget or pause the campaigns or ads entirely. When you are in high urgency, there is value in just being everywhere. Make sure you use all of the ad formats, make sure you expand your targeting where it makes sense. Okay, with that being said, I’ve got the episode resources coming up right after this so stick around.
Thank you for listening to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Hungry for more? AJ Wilcox, take it away.
Okay, hope you enjoyed that episode. I had a lot of fun recording it. I get a little bit passionate about this stuff as I’m sure you can tell. I’d love to share with you the resources we talked about earlier. But because one was a link to a protected deck, I can’t share the stats with you here. So maybe just write them down or keep them in in memory. But check in the show notes. If you are new to LinkedIn ads if this is something that you are doing for your job, and you need to get up to speed quickly. The course that I built with LinkedIn Learning. The link is right there and you will love this course. It takes you from absolutely nothing all the way to yes, you can build and run your own campaigns and get started. It contains the same information that I teach in about my first hour and a half In person training, and I charge $500 an hour for that consultation and training. And the course itself is only $25. And it’s even free if you have like a premium subscription to LinkedIn. So definitely take me up on that course it is well worth the investment. Both time and money.
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