If your audience is just hearing about your business for the first time, it’s highly unlikely they’ll be willing to invest in your high-ticket product or services after seeing one or two ads from you.
It’s been debated how many marketing and sales touches it takes before a prospect is ready to buy (The Marketing Rule of 7 being a long-standing view, for example), but the logic behind this debate is clear: Several interactions with your brand are required before your audience feels like they trust you enough to buy from you.
Your marketing needs to help your audience come to know who you are, what problems you solve, who you service, and how you’re different from the competition; it needs to help them build affinity for your brand; and it needs to help them understand how your product or service is the only reasonable solution to their problems.
In short: you need a holistic marketing strategy.
This week, we’re pulling back the curtain on our approach to a holistic LinkedIn Ads strategy and sharing what it takes to create your own.
The B2Linked Methodology
If you’ve been following us for a while now, you may have seen this graphic before. This is the B2Linked methodology.
It’s a holistic marketing approach driven by LinkedIn Ads strategies that are custom-tailored to our clients’ unique needs and is executed in three stages: Build Awareness, Build Trust, and Build Advocacy.
Together, these stages represent the customer journey, and can be executed in any order (depending on where your prospects are in their journey) and can be executed in tandem with each other.
Here’s the strategy at each stage:
If your audience has never heard of you, this is a good place to start. This stage is all about education and brand positioning. It’s also where you’ll likely spend the most time and budget up front, but that doesn’t mean this stage is more important than the other two stages.
As mentioned earlier, you want to help your audience come to know who you are, what problems you solve, who you service, and how you’re different from the competition. When targeting your cold audience, use LinkedIn Ads to build awareness for your brand by educating them on these four things.
In addition, you can build brand affinity at this stage by promoting assets that add value to them. Leverage content offers like podcasts, newsletters, blogs, eBooks, checklists, live streams, your LinkedIn Company Page, and more to provide solutions to their challenges, teach them something new, or help them in their jobs somehow. This is how trust can be built between you and your audience early on.
See this post for more on how to select the right offer to promote on LinkedIn Ads.
This stage is all about promoting ads to those who already have some level of familiarity with you. Here, you can retarget those who are brand aware and help them build confidence in your company as the only reasonable solution to their problems.
You can retarget those from the Build Awareness stage who showed interest in what you have to offer—maybe they watched a certain portion of your video ads, liked an ad, submitted a form, or visited your website—or you can retarget a warm audience you might already have on hand—such as a list of webinar attendees, LinkedIn Company Page followers, subscribers to your newsletter, etc.
The content of your ads would then be anything that instills confidence in your audience. Maybe that’s customer testimonials, case studies, online reviews, boosted high-engagement posts, etc. That could also include continuing to educate and warm up your audience through the types of content offers listed in the Build Awareness stage.
Where the first two stages were about advertising to those who had never heard of your brand or who were still learning to trust your brand, this stage is about showing ads to those who are already affiliates of your brand.
The focus of this stage is to accelerate the momentum of the other two stages. This is done by engaging current customers, partners, employees, and other brand advocates and encouraging them to leave online reviews, educating them on new product features or services, helping them feel included in your company culture / community, etc.
It may require closely working with Customer Experience reps to continue delivering value through organic and paid LinkedIn efforts, exponentially increasing brand engagement, reach, and word of mouth online.
Be In It For The Long Haul
Running LinkedIn Ads (or any digital advertising platform, for that matter) is not a shortcut to generating sales. You still need to do real marketing if you want to see success on the channel.
The customer journey is long and complex, but tailoring your LinkedIn Ads strategy at every stage will help you generate revenue from the platform and can be supplemental to the rest of your marketing efforts, as well.
There are no shortcuts. Be in it for the long haul.
What LinkedIn Ads strategies have worked for you? How has the customer journey influenced your strategy? Comment below!
Also, if you want to get more sales opportunities with your ideal prospects but don’t have the time or motivation to manage LinkedIn Ads yourself, book a discovery call today. We’ll help you build, execute, and manage a LinkedIn Ads strategy custom-tailored to your unique needs.
Written by Eric Jones