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Certified LinkedIn Marketing Experts program
NEW LinkedIn Learning course about LinkedIn Ads by AJ Wilcox
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Six LinkedIn Ads myths debunked on this week’s episode of the LinkedIn Ads Show.
Welcome to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Here’s your host, AJ Wilcox.
Hey there LinkedIn Ads fanatics! Over the year, we’ve heard a lot of myths about LinkedIn Ads. Today, we’re going to bust them like Jamie and Adam, if you get the MythBusters reference. First off, we’ve got some really cool stuff in the news. Matched and saved audiences are now under one page called audiences. And this is gradually being rolled out, so if you don’t see it already in your account, you may notice it soon. And I think this is a great change. Anytime that we can get more information on one page, more compactly, I’m usually a fan of it. And it does make sense to have all different kinds of audiences, all in one location. Document ads are also out and in full force. You can attach PDFs, PowerPoints, really any kind of media that has multiple pages, and then you can get them with a lead gen form. So for instance, you can say, for the first three pages of this ebook, I want someone to be able to scroll through it. But then once they reach page four, it displays the lead gen form and they need to fill it out in order to progress. It sounds really cool in theory, and it worked so well, during the initial beta that didn’t have lead gen forms, I thought this was going to be an amazing ad format. But we’ve tested it quite a bit and we haven’t yet found better performance than before, just with single image ads and a lead gen form. But I’d love to hear about any of your experience if you’re experiencing anything differently. There’s also a new feature called Media Library. And it allows you to upload multiple images at a time, and then use all those multiple images, up to five, to create multiple ads at a time. And this is just creating image tests, because all of these ads are going to have the same intro and the same headline, but just with a different image. So pretty cool, if you’re testing your images. If it’s rolled out to your account, you should be able to access it within campaign manager by clicking inside of a campaign that’s either for single image or video ads, and clicking on create ad, then when you click on upload for images, it’ll bring up the media library. The certified marketing experts program is live. You’ve heard me before talk about getting LinkedIn certified. And this is how you do it. There are quite a few different levels, and they take time to graduate through them. So if you haven’t already go get started now. The link is in the show notes. We’ve also noticed that the floor bids are gone in many of the accounts we have access to. The way it used to work is that you would enter a bid that was below the floor. And it used to pop up a message telling you what the minimum bid is for that audience. And it wouldn’t let you run unless you put in a number that was greater than that. But now on many of our accounts, I’d say at least half, it pops up a message that says your bid of x may be too low to reach your target audience, increase your bid for better results. Now, initially, I expected that this change was because the LinkedIn Audience Network clicks are significantly cheaper than the floor bid to reach a LinkedIn audience. So if someone bids below the floor, they would just be getting mostly traffic from the LinkedIn Audience Network. But I kind of proved myself wrong on this, because I went to go create a campaign, even with LAN turned off and the same message still appears. I do think this is good because I’ve always hated that there is a floor bid in order to advertise on LinkedIn. That’s never made sense to me. So I do like this. But I haven’t heard from LinkedIn why they did it. And it’s truthfully uncharacteristic of them. All right, without further ado, let’s hit it.
We’re gonna jump into six different myths that we’ve heard about LinkedIn Ads, and we’re going to debunk them give you the truth.
Myth Number One
Myth number one, LinkedIn Ads are too expensive. We have to start out by saying that the word expensive, it’s relative. If you look at just the costs on LinkedIn compared to other platforms, those front end costs, we see averages of $8 to $14 cost per click in North America. And certainly that’s going to be significantly higher than other platforms, you might be paying $3 to $5 per click on Facebook friends, but you do have to put this into perspective. Because with other media, you’re casting a really wide net in hopes that your ideal target audience may represent part of where that net lands. But with LinkedIn, we get to be so specific about our targeting, that we make sure only our ideal customers are getting hit with our ads. So you’re really just shifting the costs. Like on Facebook, you’re going to pay less per click, but reaching a lot more people who aren’t qualified as part of your ideal audience. On LinkedIn, we’re paying a higher rate for them to reach only the ones who matter. And we see this time and time again, when you start looking at the way that LinkedIn leads translate into your CRM. We see that even though the costs per click are three to five times higher on LinkedIn than they are on something like Facebook, when you start calculating your cost per sales qualified lead, on the back end, we regularly see that the cost per sales qualified lead from LinkedIn is half that of Facebook. So we pay a premium to have much less waste. Of course, the platform really is truly expensive compared to others. And it’s possible that your business may have been priced out of the market from using LinkedIn Ads, just because those front end costs are so high. So if you can’t show an ROI, then yes, I agree with this myth. But otherwise, especially compared to other platforms, LinkedIn is not too expensive. And we see evidence of this because costs have been rising. When I very first started the podcast, the average costs per click on LinkedIn were like $6 to $8 in North America. And they’ve kept rising more and more, not because LinkedIn is arbitrarily raising prices, but because more and more advertisers are finding value, and they flock to the platform and competition has those costs per click rising. I’ll also remind you that back in 2008, when the LinkedIn platform launched, the floor bid for LinkedIn ads was $2. And even at the time, I heard a lot of advertisers still saying that LinkedIn CPCs, were too high, even back when they were $2. And now we’re like $8 to $14, on average. So if you’re just getting started with LinkedIn Ads, I would recommend a starting budget of at least $5,000. And realize that those front end costs are going to be more expensive, but on the back end, because the lead quality is so much better, they tend to be cheaper. So watch your leads all the way through the funnel. Episode 71 was all about that so make sure you go back and listen to episode 71, on how to actually track those leads all the way through the sales funnel. And there are certainly ways of bringing costs down on LinkedIn. Some of the cool tricks that we’ve used are sending traffic to your website or landing page with LinkedIn so you know the traffic is amazing and then retarget them with both Facebook and Google, which are fantastic technologies for staying in front of those prospects at really low costs. And I’d also recommend potentially using the LinkedIn Audience Network, because then you’ll get reach all around the web and on certain apps for significantly lower costs than what you pay on just the LinkedIn network.
Myth Number Two
Alright, Myth number two, LinkedIn ads don’t work. Well, if they didn’t work, we wouldn’t see the same level of adoption that we do. If you’re listening to this podcast, you’re obviously taking the LinkedIn Ads channel very seriously. And likely, you’ve seen a lot of good results. So you may not be the ones who are saying this myth. But we’ve definitely seen that if it’s not working for you, you’re probably doing it wrong, or you just got priced out of the market. Okay, here’s a quick sponsor break. And then we’ll dive into Myth number three,
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Myth Number Three
Alright, let’s jump into Myth number three about audience sizes, you’ve likely heard that LinkedIn audience sizes need to be over 300,000. We hear this from LinkedIn reps all the time. And if you haven’t listened to it, I would invite you to listen to episode 20 of this podcast, all about audience sizes. But what we suggest is audience sizes between 20,000 to 80,000, we find under about 20,000 audiences are so small, it’s really hard to get them to spend at all. And so you really can’t run much of a test. But as soon as audiences get over about 80,000, there tends to be something about that audience that we could then split it in half to learn something about how those audiences react, we call this micro segmentation. So for instance, if you’re advertising to marketing decision makers, that could just be one campaign that is, let’s say, job function of marketing with seniority of VP and above. But instead, we would split that audience up into two separate campaigns, one of just Marketing VPs and the other one of just marketing C level, so CMOS. If your LinkedIn rep sees it, they’re probably going to tell you that your audience sizes are too small, and you need to combine audiences. When I’ve heard this argument in the past, it seems like they think that big because an audience size is smaller, that you’re not going to spend the whole budget. But realize that when you start micro segmenting, you’re still reaching your entire total addressable market, you’re just breaking them up into smaller buckets. Whether it’s one campaign or eight campaigns, you’re still reaching the same audience. You’re just segmenting them smaller so that you can learn from them. And learning more about your audiences and their behavior, that’s just getting better data. Plus, I’ve also found that by micro segmenting, it allows me to systematically approach targeting, so that I don’t leave anyone for my target audience out.
Myth Number Four
Okay, myth number four. If you aren’t bidding high in the range, the suggested bid range, you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel. I’ve heard this from LinkedIn reps who they look at the bid range. And let’s say we’re bidding $12, but the suggested bid ranges like $14 to $30, they’ll tell us that if you’re not bidding high enough, you’re not reaching the highest quality of people within that audience. Well, this is definitely a myth, because we’ve run several tests on lead quality based on bid price and every time we came to the same conclusion, that bidding higher did not result in leads of higher lead quality. All it did was just increase the cost per plus, if your targeting is on point, then whatever traffic you get will be qualified. So I think that just means that we should do a better job of targeting if our lead quality is low. So to reiterate, I have found no evidence to support the concept of higher bidding, bringing higher quality leads. And I’ve had a couple LinkedIn reps separately come and argue about this. And I’ve asked them to bring me proof that they’ve seen the higher bidding results in higher quality clicks, and neither have so please, if you have this evidence, bring it on. The way that we view manual bidding, your bids are essentially a control on the amount of volume that you want. If your ad performance is great, you can afford to bid lower and still get all the impressions and clicks that you need. But if your ad performance is poor, meaning you probably have lower click through rates, you might need to bid higher to get more volume. But you still may not have to bid as high as LinkedIn recommends. Remember, you just need to bid high enough to fill your budget during the day. So if you have a huge budget, you may have to bid significantly above the range that LinkedIn recommends.
Myth Number Five
Myth number five, audience expansion should be used always. On several occasions, I’ve had internal LinkedIn employees tell me that audience expansion should be used on all campaigns, and they just don’t understand why I make the recommendation to always shut it off. Their reasoning tends to be that we can’t always know whether we’re targeting everyone in the buying committee, or even everyone just in our target audience. They also argue that it creates awareness because you’re expanding your reach to those who aren’t currently in the market. And our response to that is it’s not about being in market or not. What audience expansion does is it expands your reach to those outside of your ideal customer persona period. And if you’re being thoughtful about targeting, and you use different targeting methods, and you can always expand into lower senorities or larger companies, or even those who might later graduate into your target audience. You can do that thoughtfully, you don’t need to leave it up to chance by clicking the audience expansion box. When you turn on audience expansion, you lose complete control over who your ads are shown to. It’s definitely not about generating awareness or expanding your reach to the buying committee. It’s about retaining control to expand your reach thoughtfully and strategically, that you’d want to show your ads to
Myth Number Six
Myth number six, you shouldn’t touch your campaigns for 30 days. We’ve heard this on several occasions that you really need to be hands off until campaigns accrue data. You need to understand that LinkedIn Ad learning period is usually about one to one and a half days. So if you’re running something for three to four days, and it’s spending at a pretty good clip, if performance is terrible, you really can shut it off or pivot right then. Chances are that trends are going to continue. So don’t feel like you have to spend thoughtlessly on something that doesn’t work for 30 days, just because you’ve been told you need to give it more time. Those front end metrics do generate pretty quickly. So even though advertising does take time to see results, you don’t need to wait that long to see general patterns or trends. All right, I’ve got the episode resources for you coming right up. So stick around
Thank you for listening to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Hungry for more? AJ Wilcox, take it away.
All right, we covered the new audiences feature, the document ads feature, the new media library, and the certified LinkedIn marketing experts program. Those links are all down in the show notes. Also, if you haven’t already listened to Episode 71 about how to ascertain your Your LinkedIn ads ROI, definitely listened to Episode 71. That’s also linked to in the show notes. If you or anyone that you know is looking to learn more about LinkedIn ads, I highly recommend the course that I did with LinkedIn Learning. It’s linked in the show notes below and it is by far the most detailed and the least expensive course out there. If this is your first time listening, welcome, and definitely hit that subscribe button if you found this to be useful. And if this is not your first time, please do rate and review the podcast. It’s a terrific no cost way of supporting us with any thoughts questions or feedback for the show, reach out to us at Podcast@B2Linked.com. And with that being said, we’ll see you back here next week. Cheering you on in your LinkedIn Ads initiative!