Archive for the ‘Linked In’ Category


5 Ways to Make Your LinkedIn Ad Campaigns Rock You Like a Hurricane

By
 | Google+ via Unbounce.com

Of all the social networking sites that offer pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, LinkedIn is the most geared to reaching professionals, business owners, entrepreneurs and executives. With a little creativity in targeting, as well as ad and landing page design, you can improve your LinkedIn ad campaign conversions.

1. Targeting

Best practices suggest you target your ads at real people rather than shooting arrows at dogs.

What is it? LinkedIn is a community of millions of business owners, entrepreneurs, executives and other professionals, and through their profiles they have self-identified exactly who they are, where they work, what they do, and what interests them professionally.

And you can target them based on that, which is awesome! Here I am customer, let me rock you like a hurricane!

Through its paid ad service, LinkedIn lets marketers take advantage of this demographic information to create highly-targeted ad campaigns. Think about the many different demographic groups that might be interested in your product or service. (Go ahead, I can wait for you while you think).

Then, when you design your campaign, you get to specify who will see the ad, based on job title, job function, industry, geography, age, gender, seniority, company size, company name or even LinkedIn Group membership.

Do This Now!

Make a list of five potential demographics, job titles, or industries you’d like to target, trying to think a little outside the box. So, for instance, you might know your accounting software is useful for small business owners, but what about attorneys, doctors, or self-employed actors? For more information about gearing your ad to particular audiences, see the targeting section of LinkedIn’s “Best Practices for Advertising on LinkedIn.”

2. Click-worthy Ads – Who Really Gives a Click?

He only clicks *really* cool ads.

LinkedIn ads consist of a headline of up to 25 characters, a description of up to 75 characters, a company name, an image, and a URL. Each element must attract the audience you’re targeting and inspire people to click on the ad. Ensure your ad will get the attention it deserves by choosing your words carefully, offering something specific to people who click on it, and using enticing call-to-action phrases.

Don’t make people guess what your company has to offer — tell them.

Make them want to click on your ad in order to get a special discount, a price quote, a coupon or a free sample or consultation.

Ads with images tend to get more clicks than those with just text, so use an image with bright colors that relates specifically to your product or service.

Try creating an ad that would make you want to click.

Do This Now!

Write a list of call-to-action phrases that relate to your service or product, such as “Learn to speak French” or “Balance your books in five minutes.” These sentences give your audience a reason to click on your ad and find out how they can do these things. For more about how to create an ad that works, see LinkedIn’s guidelines for creating effective ads and “How to Write an Ad” on StartupInternetMarketing.com.

3. Multiple ads

Lots of ads!!!!!! They’re in Japanese, but there are still a lot of them. Metaphor thumbs up or down?

LinkedIn lets you create up to 15 ads per campaign, and multiple ads increase your chances of getting responses. Create a variety of ads — at least three — with different headlines, descriptions and images.

Multiple ads allow you to experiment with various copy and keywords to see which ones work best for your targeted demographics.

At first, all of your ads will be posted, and then as you begin to receive clicks, the best-performing ad will be shown more frequently. Or if you’d like, you can have your ads rotate regularly.

Do This Now!

Create 15 ads, experiment with using completely different words, calls-to-action, and images. You’ll be surprised how many different ways you can sell your product or service. Find out more on how and why to design multiple LinkedIn ads.

4. Landing pages (huzzah!)

This is what a landing page should look like. Theoretically and anatomically. Just make sure you use one. Okay? I’ll be checking…

Where people end up once they click your ad is just as important — if not more important — than the ad itself. You want to make sure that your landing page is relevant to the ad and targeted to the demographic groups you’ve specified for your ad.

In fact, you should create a special landing page just for LinkedIn users, which makes the experience of clicking on the ad and landing on your page more rewarding and also will likely increase the conversion rate — the percentage of people who fill out a form, order a product, or otherwise interact with your site and company.

You might want to offer a special incentive or discount for people who come to your page through LinkedIn, which will also tend to increase the conversion rate. Make sure your landing page is simple and uncluttered while giving a strong sense of your brand.

 

Remember: it’s the first impression people have of your business, and you want it to be good.

Do This Now!

Identify your key offer or central message, and create a landing page that focuses on it. For tips and advice on creating a strong landing page, see “The Perfect Landing Page” on SmartInsights.com.

5. Analytics

Analyzing who clicks on your ad, when they click, what they do once they’re there, and other facts about your audience is a valuable part of any online advertising campaign. It lets you evaluate the return-on-investment of a particular campaign, and it also helps you to revise a current campaign or create a new one. LinkedIn gives you basic information about how many clicks each ad gets, and you’ll want to pay attention to these reports to see which ad designs and keywords are more effective. Also use Google Analytics or other reporting services to track ad responses and the behavior of your audience in relation to a specific campaign.

Do This Now!

Create an analytics journal and analyze your site’s reports every day. For more information about using web analytics to improve your ad campaign, read Omar Tawakol’s article on Business Insider, “Using Analytics to Take Audience Targeting to a Whole New Level.”

Advertising on LinkedIn should be a vital part of your overall marketing strategy, simply because it’s the best way to target your campaigns to specific people.

Question: How do you find LinkedIn ads compare to Google AdWords? Let us know in the comments…



LinkedIn: More than a Numbers Game

By Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, on December 8th, 2011

After last week’s post, readers made some excellent comments regarding the value of large networks. A couple of people seemed to think that the focus of my post was entirely about numbers, and so I am back to clarify.

Building a large network of 30,000+ is part of the lifestyle I have chosen to ‘live out loud’ via social media. I accept people into my network on LinkedIn, always open to see how we may be able to work together, to see what value someone will share with me. It’s not about the numbers and it sure isn’t about me! It’s about allowing someone to reach out, shake my hand and say they want to be part of my network—part of my life—and then responding in a way that encourages them to continue the conversation.

I have met so many wonderful people with whom I have excellent relationships. Most of those I first connected with on LinkedIn, and most often by accepting their invitation to connect. Our networks intersected, we were interested in each other either professionally or personally, and the relationships took off from there.

I even met my business and life partner, Mike O’Neil, through a LinkedIn search of Denver, CO when I chose it as a place I wanted to visit. In this case, I did the search sorted by people with the most connections (because I believed they would be the most open to helping me), he came up at the top and responded positively when I reached out. That was circa April/May 2008. We met in person in September of that year and the rest is history.

Having a large network opens doors to meet people you may have never otherwise interacted with. You show up in searches and interact with people all over the world that you can reach with a large network. When my partner and I travel, we often post our travel plans on LinkedIn, keeping our connections updated. We search for people in the cities we are visiting and the airports we layover in, coordinating meetings when we can.

Having a large network has helped me cultivate amazing relationships; it is not a numbers game. It is a means of reaching out to people…people around the world…people I have the chance to call friend.



After LinkedIn’s IPO: What It Will Have To Do To Earn Its $4.3 Billion Valuation

BY E.B. Boyd
There is plenty of hoopla over the first major social network IPO. And also plenty of questions about LinkedIn’s ability to deliver.


LinkedIn logo down with people

LinkedIn’s IPO price is raising a lot of eyebrows in tech and investing circles today, and it’s setting the company up to have to work extremely hard to prove that it’s worth its lofty valuation.

At the $45 per share opening price, LinkedIn stock traded at 46 times its projected 2011 earnings. Anything above 25 and a company is expected to have unusually high growth projections. Either that, or they’re in bubble territory.

LinkedIn’s defenders argue that the company is worth every penny. And certainly, LinkedIn has established itself as the premier online professional networking site in the United States. And online networking–and the ancillary markets it creates for the recruiting and marketing industries–is a space that will only expand in the years to come.

The question, though, is whether LinkedIn can stay on top–and generate the revenues it needs to justify its valuation.

LinkedIn’s entire business model rests on amassing as many users as possible–particularly top-shelf professionals–and getting them to invest the time in keeping their profiles up-to-date. That’s because LinkedIn makes its nut from selling services to recruiters and advertisers who want to reach the company’s white collar members. The more professionals LinkedIn has in its fold, and the heavier hitters they are, the better it does financially.

According to the company’s S-1 filing, which was originally submitted in January and then amended on Tuesday, LinkedIn currently has 100 million registered users, up from the 90 million at the beginning of the year. The company says it adds a new user every second, and a million every 10 days. Half of those users, it says, are from outside of the United States.

But while LinkedIn gained its edge as the first significant mover in this space, other alternatives are emerging. There’s no guarantee then that new users will continue to flock to LinkedIn at the rates they do today. Nor is it certain that those already there will stick around in the long-term.

Challenges from Facebook and overseas competitors

Take Facebook, for example. It didn’t even exist when LinkedIn was first created back in 2003. Today, that social network has almost 700 million registered users–seven times as many as LinkedIn–and is on track to hit a billion in the not-too-distant future.

Some companies, like BranchOut, which we wrote about in February, think Facebook is much more fertile territory in which to grow a professional networking service than a standalone operation like LinkedIn. And as more people spend more time in Facebook, it’s reasonable to wonder whether they’re going to want to spend time maintaining and managing profiles on multiple sites.

Meanwhile, while LinkedIn is the clear leader in the United States, it’s not necessarily tops everywhere else. Xing is the leading professional networking site in Germany, and French company Viadeo, with 35 million members worldwide, has been making in-roads in China, Latin America, and India.

In previous conversations with Fast Company, Viadeo CEO Dan Serfaty has said his company has an advantage over LinkedIn because it doesn’t use a one-size-fits-all strategy. Networking practices vary in different parts of the world, and LinkedIn’s model, Serfaty says, a casual and egalitarian one in which anyone can reach out to anyone else, doesn’t necessarily go over well in more formal cultures. Viadeo’s strategy, then, has been to acquire leading professional networking companies in various markets around the world and let them develop culturally appropriate solutions.

LinkedIn’s response

LinkedIn is aware of these issues–so much so that when it updated its S-1 filing, it added language to specifically address them. In the section under risks to the company coming from increased competition, LinkedIn added a bullet that says:

[S]ocial networks may choose to use, or increase their use of, those networks for professional purposes, which may result in those users decreasing or eliminating their use of LinkedIn. Companies that currently focus on social networking could also expand their focus to professionals.

And in the section on risks and challenges to its international operations, LinkedIn now calls out its competitors by name:

Expanding internationally may subject us to risks that we have either not faced before or increase risks that we currently face, including risks associated with… increased competition from local websites and services, that provide online professional networking solutions, such as Germany-based Xing and France-based Viadeo, who may also expand their geographic footprint.

The company’s game plan

LinkedIn’s filing doesn’t spell out exactly how it plans to address these challenges. But it does include signs that LinkedIn is aware that it needs to focus on ways to become professionals’ preferred place for networking.

It notes how the world of work is changing. Few people will have one employer for life, it says. Because of that, “professionals need to be constantly preparing for, and aware of, new opportunities.”

Plus, the speed with which business moves today means professionals need to make better decisions faster. “To succeed, professionals need tools and applications that enable them to leverage their professional network and improve access to important information,” it says.

And it folds these objectives up into a single overarching mission statement: “Our vision is to create economic opportunity for every professional in the world.”

How to avoid fizzling out

To avoid having a spectacular IPO and then fizzling out, LinkedIn will have to deliver on that vision. It can’t simply be a place for people to post resumes and haphazardly accumulate connections. Nor can it be a tool that only a savvy few use to mine connections and sales leads.

LinkedIn has to transform itself into an indispensable tool for planning and managing careers. It must provide services so compelling that users willingly exert themselves to keep their profiles up-to-date.

The company is moving in that direction. It’s released clever tools like InMaps that let you see a visualization of your professional network. And it’s developed a platform strategy in the hopes that third-party developers will create powerful tools for workers and companies.

But as a whole, LinkedIn is a still a long way off from where it needs to be.

Don’t believe us? Go up to your five best friends–or favorite coworkers–and ask them: Do you have a LinkedIn profile, and how important, on a scale of 1-5, is it to you to keep it up-to-date? Until every one of them answers “Yes” and either “4” or “5,” the folks at LinkedIn won’t have the raw material they need to generate the revenues from recruiters and advertisers necessary to justify the $45/share and $4.3 billion valuation they claimed as rightfully theirs today.



Should You Advertise on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter?

By Peter Wylie

Are you wondering if it makes sense to advertise on your favorite social network? Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all have different demographic profiles and use cases that may provide good advertising opportunities.

All three platforms are also developing new and innovative ways to target advertising messages, based on the overwhelming amount of data they possess about their users. Marketers should explore the paid opportunities social networks offer with as much thought and effort as they experiment with the “earned” and “owned” aspects that these networks provide.

Depending on your business objective, one platform will likely prove more useful than others. In this article, I will explore the functionality each provides and how you can integrate the paid activity for maximum impact and return.

Facebook Ads

Facebook’s advertising platform is by far the most developed and widely used of the three major social networks. Offering a self-serve platform very similar to the early Google AdWords interface, Facebook advertising is available to even the smallest businesses with the most limited budgets.

facebook ads

Examples of Facebook ads.

Because the platform is still developing and underutilized, prices remain low for clicks and impressions when compared with more mature channels like Google AdWords and online display advertising.

Facebook allows users to target messages by a host of different criteria, which are determined from users’ profile information. Whether you want to reach 24- to 35-year-old women or 55- to 65-year-old men, people who like gardening or people who like jazz music, Facebook can deliver that demographic due to its scale and targeting capability.

Because much of the data Facebook has is of a demographic and interest level, Facebook advertising is very effective at B2C targeting. It also offers geographic targeting, which works well for metro areas and cities, but is somewhat lacking if you want to target rural areas specifically. Facebook advertising is relatively ineffective for B2B advertising, because the information it bases its targeting on is largely of a personal nature.

Facebook also allows users to run ads to attract “Likes” on their pages, which can help you grow your community on Facebook into a business asset. Paying for Likes can help your “owned” messages on Facebook reach a wider audience, and can be a prudent investment if managed closely. Before running Facebook ads to acquire Likes, however, it is very prudent to think through in rough terms the value you think you can obtain from having that line of contact with individuals.

facebook advertising

Connect with real people with a real interest in your products.

LinkedIn Ads

On the other hand, LinkedIn advertising is tremendously effective for B2B industries because of the professional information LinkedIn uses to target its advertisements, which are called “LinkedInAds

linkedin ads

Examples of LinkedIn advertising.

LinkedIn allows you to deliver advertising only to people with certain qualifications or titles, such as VP of operations or director of marketing. This makes the advertising spending very efficient, and fast movers can also take advantage of the current low prices on the platform.

When setting up your LinkedIn campaign, also make sure to see if there are any relevant groups that you could use for your targeting. LinkedIn Groups draw users back for longer sessions, and this can be a great way to reach targeted individuals while they are considering business issues and topics in the group setting.

LinkedIn Ads are quickly growing in popularity, so be wary of quick spikes in the cost of advertising if you choose to establish a campaign through this network.

linkedin targeted self-service ads

Reach your exact audience with LinkedIn Ads.

Twitter Ads

Currently the most underdeveloped advertising platform, Twitter only offers advertising to large brands at this time, in the form of “Sponsored Tweets” or “Promoted Trends.”

Advertisers pay per impression to have their tweet show up at the top of feeds when certain hashtags are used or for certain search terms on Twitter’s search engine.

twitter promoted tweets

Promoted Trends give users something new and exciting to discover

sponsored tweets

An advertising platform that connects advertisers with tweeters.

As a result, Twitter advertising is neither practical nor attainable for most marketers and businesses today. To warrant the valuations it has received, however, Twitter will almost certainly begin to offer an advertising product to smaller customers as it focuses on its monetization efforts.

Due to the real-time nature of much of the communication on Twitter, it holds tremendous promise for marketers, if the eventual mass-market advertising application can effectively harness this power to make ads more relevant and timely. Twitter’s value to smaller advertisers and marketers remains on the “earned” and “owned” side of the equation for the time being.

promoted tweet twitter advertising

Example of Twitter advertising.

Overall

Marketers should think about their target customer base and begin experimenting with social media advertising to reach them at a lower cost. Each platform offers specific features and benefits that will be more relevant to some businesses than others. I suggest a “test and invest” approach in these new channels to determine what works before spending large sums.

What has been your experience with social media advertising? Leave your questions and comments in the box below



LinkedIn Skills Launches, Brings Real Knowledge Search to LinkedIn

by Posted by Kipp Bodnar via blog.hubspot.com

LinkedIn, which is in the early stages of becoming a public company, is clearly working on improving their platform. LinkedIn Skills launched today, allowing users to search for a specific skill across the LinkedIn platform. If a user searches for a specific skill, LinkedIn returns key people within that community, top locations, related companies, relevant jobs, and relevant groups.

LinkedIn Skills resized 600

While only in beta, LinkedIn Skills marks an important step forward for LinkedIn. The results page for LinkedIn Skills offers some of the most interesting contextual information to come from the business-focused social networking company.

How to Add Skills To Your LinkedIn Profile

Adding skills to your LinkedIn Profile is a simple process. First, go to LinkedIn and sign into your account. Once you have signed in, go to the LinkedIn Skills page and search for a skill you have.

linkedin skill example  resized 600

On the skill results page click “Add Skill” to add the skill to your profile. You will then be taken to a new screen to add the skill.

Note: Users must first add a skill through this method and then other skill additions can be made directly from the profile page.

Add Skill resized 600

Type in the skill you wish to add to your profile, then select you proficiency and years of experience and click “Add Skills”.

If you are a regular reader of this blog then you might want to add “Inbound marketing” and “HubSpot Software” to your skills list. Your skills will now display in a new section of your profile.

skill profile resized 600

This feature is still very new and LinkedIn has only a limited number of recognized specialties to search for today. But the concept has value for marketers, recruiters and sales people.

Marketing Takeaway

Visit your LinkedIn profile today and add your core specialties. Encourage others within your industry to add specialties as well to help get industry skills recognized by LinkedIn.

Remember that if you have experience in “Inbound Marketing” and/or “HubSpot Software” please add them to your list of skills as well. Keep an eye on this feature as it evolves. It could be a useful free tool to identify industry influencers, community event locations and find new employees.

LinkedIn seems to be rolling out new features quickly right now, so keep your eyes open for other innovations in the coming months. What feature would you like to see LinkedIn launch next?




Articles

Categories

Connect

Web Hosting Specials

Partners