The offers you choose to run on LinkedIn can either make or break your experience on the platform. So let’s talk about how to select or create the offers that are most likely to bring you success.
What is an Offer?
First, let’s talk about what an offer is. When we talk about an offer, we’re not directly talking about your products or services. Instead, we’re talking about what you’re offering your prospects through your ads in exchange for their attention. It could be anything from an eBook or Guide to a Free Trial or Demo. Your offer helps your audience get to know, like, and trust you.
In short, your offer is a combination of the thing you’re promoting and your CTA (what you’re asking your target audience to do).
An offer’s success (which is most often measured by the rate and cost at which it can generate conversions) is dependent on its perceived value and perceived friction. The more friction, the lower your conversion rate will be; the more value you provide, the higher your conversion rate.
This idea can be easily visualized with an equation. The conversion rate is a function of the difference between an offer’s perceived value and perceived friction. The more an offer’s perceived value outweighs its perceived friction, the greater chance you’ll have at generating conversions at an optimal rate and cost.
f(Conversion) = Perceived Value – Perceived Friction
Some sources of friction include excessive form fields on a contact or lead gen form, slow page load times, unclear description of value, fear of aggressive sales follow-up, or asking for payment.
Some sources of value include teaching your audience something new, bragging rights, solving a major pain point, or maybe your product/service is new, unique, or different from the competition.
Which Offers Perform?
Some offer formats naturally produce more friction than others. So which formats work on LinkedIn? Mid-funnel offers like checklists, cheat sheets, guides, eBooks, webinars, in-person events, and whitepapers tend to work well because they generally provide a lot of value, but require less friction.
Note that there’s also no cookie-cutter solution when it comes to selecting an offer. You could promote an eBook that has little to no perceived value to your audience. On the flipside, you could put together a 4-hour workshop that converts really well. The trick is putting together an offer that provides a lot of value for as little friction as possible. These are the formats that typically fit that description, but be aware of the content of your offer, as well. How much is the customer receiving compared to what they’re giving up?
How to Monetize an Offer
Some of you may be saying, “But I only want sales! I don’t have time to promote mid-funnel offers. I need customers.” Let’s be clear: there’s nothing wrong with promoting a lower-funnel offer, but it can come with a lot of risk.
Pushing cold traffic to something like a demo or going straight for the throat by promoting a purchase of your product or software usually results in low clickthrough rates and high costs per click. The natural friction produced from a low-funnel offer can also lead to low conversion rates, typically falling between 1.5 – 3%. The end result is low volume and costs ranging from $200 – $500 per lead. And that’s typically a best-case scenario. Oftentimes, costs can be much higher (think double or triple this amount).
All this said, if you’ve got a low-funnel offer in which its perceived value far outweighs its perceived friction, then you may have a greater chance at success. 95% of the time, though, it’s more strategic to promote a mid-funnel offer to your cold audience.
The reason why you’d want to start with a mid-funnel offer is because promoting them generally results in high engagement at much lower costs. You can also expect significantly higher conversion rates (ranging between 10 – 15%), resulting in lower costs per opt-in. These costs can range from $85 – $100 per lead, or even lower in a lot of cases. As you collect contact information by gating mid-funnel offers, this quickly builds up your pool of prospects for your sales team to further nurture. This also creates a list of prospects you can retarget later, if you want to continue warming up your target audience with another mid-funnel offer or test promoting a lower-funnel offer.
How to Come Up with a Good Offer
If there’s one thing to take away from this post, it’s this: When creating or selecting an offer, you want the perceived value to outweigh the perceived friction. Both the offer format you choose and the content you promote can affect the perceived value and friction of your offer.
When considering the subject of your offer, here are a few things you can do:
First, talk to your sales team about what keeps your prospects up at night. If your content addresses a pain point that your intended audience regularly faces, your offer will be that much more valuable.
Second, if you’ve discovered something new that relates to your industry or to your customers specifically, this is also something you can leverage for creating your offer.
Promoting original research both positions you as a thought leader on the topic and adds value because your prospects are learning something new, and it’s your brand that’s sharing it with them, opening up potential for them to remember your brand later and making them much more likely to do business with you in the future.
Lastly, put yourself in your audience’s shoes. What are they interested in? What challenges do they face on a regular basis? What’s happening right now in their industry that’s had an affect on them? The better you know your audience, the better you’ll understand what kind of content adds value.
When selecting an offer format, here are some options for types that work well. They can range anywhere from low friction to high friction. Feel free to use this list to generate ideas for your offer, especially when weighing the amount of friction to the amount of value perceived.
- Checklist (Low Friction)
- Cheatsheet (Low Friction)
- Guide (Low Friction)
- Whitepaper (Low Friction)
- eBook (Low Friction)
- Report (Low Friction)
- Webinar (Medium Friction)
- In-Person Event (Medium Friction)
- Case Studies (Medium Friction)
- Demo Request (High Friction)
- Free Trial (High Friction)
- Purchase (High Friction)
Now It’s Your Turn!
If you already have offers on hand that are high value and low friction–great! You’re good to go. If not, take the time to put together something exciting.
If you’re looking to amp up your LinkedIn Ads efforts, reach out to us here at B2Linked. We’d love to partner up with you to make your LinkedIn Ads rock.
Written by Eric Jones