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7 Tips for optimizing your LinkedIn ads for engagement

There’s a reason we typically only recommend paid social media through LinkedIn to our B2B manufacturing and healthcare clients. Not only does LinkedIn have 500 million members and receive over 100 million unique visitors per month, but it’s also a professional social network focused on sharing thought leadership content. If that isn’t enough to persuade you to market on LinkedIn, these stats are pretty convincing:

  • 61 million LinkedIn users are senior level influencers and 40 million are in decision-making positions. (source)
  • 79% of B2B marketers view LinkedIn as an effective source for generating B2B leads. (source)
  • 90% of B2B marketers reduced cost per lead with LinkedIn lead gen forms. (source)
  • LinkedIn generates 3x more conversions than Twitter & Facebook. (source)

But we all know that simply having a company page isn’t going to generate leads. You need a good cadence of intentional posts, strategic paid amplification and strong CTAs in order to reach the right audiences at the right times and get them to take action. On top of that, users consume a ton of information every day and attention spans are low. Often an eye-catching headline or an image that sticks out in the newsfeed can inspire someone to engage instead of scroll on by.

We’ve adopted several best practices and tricks to motivate users to engage with LinkedIn sponsored content posts, some based on data LinkedIn has gathered and shared, and others we’ve tested and proven with our clients. The best practices fall into two categories: 1. The content – the stories and links you share on LinkedIn and 2. The ad – the promotional copy and visuals.

The content
LinkedIn recently surveyed more than 9,000 members across the globe to understand how people engage with content on LinkedIn – see our takeaways and examples from clients below.

Inspirational content that gets straight to the point
44% of respondents said the last piece of content they really enjoyed on LinkedIn was inspirational and got straight to the point. Share opinion pieces or content that offers a unique point of view. Be brief and concise, and make sure to highlight the overarching takeaway in your LinkedIn post.

Educational or informative content
62% of respondents engage with content on LinkedIn when it seems educational or informative. Selling doesn’t work until a prospect is ready to buy so avoid product-focused content and provide valuable information. Write about topics that will help your audience do their jobs better. Offer expertise to help the audience feel more informed and confident.

For example, our client 3M Vascular Access Solutions shared a series of articles educating nurses and infection preventionists on strategies for preventing bloodstream infections through LinkedIn sponsored content. The posts resulted in increased traffic to the 3M Vascular Access Solutions web page by 100% during the campaign period and the click-through rate was 2X the LinkedIn industry benchmark.

Industry trends/news topics
89% of respondents want to stay on top of industry trends and news. Not only share interesting news stories and articles relevant to your audience, but also share your brand’s earned media placements. Earned media content boosts brand credibility and creates meaningful relationships. Layer in LinkedIn sponsored content and you can amplify the reach and ensure your news and bylines reach the right audiences.

The ad

Write headlines between 40 – 49 characters
A study from OkDork showed that titles between 30 – 50 characters perform the best on LinkedIn in terms of clicks. Even if the actual article headline is longer, condense it to the recommended character count.

Change your headline to a how-to or list
OkDork also found that how-to- and list-style headlines get 2X the views than other style posts. Bonus tip: Use an odd number for your list such as 5, 7 (like this one!), or 9 for even more views. We’re not sure why, but the data shows users are drawn to odd numbers over even.

Place a shortened link in the description
LinkedIn recommends including a link to the article not only in the sponsored content ad itself, but also a shortened link in the description to increase engagement.

Use an image with large visuals vs. small details
LinkedIn says content with larger visuals tend to get up to 38% higher click-through rates.

Try out these tips and let us know how it goes: And if you’re a manufacturing marketer, check out this special article on LinkedIn best practices just for you: How manufacturing marketers should be using LinkedIn in the buying cycle.

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