Why should brands invest in an integrated social approach on LinkedIn?
Outside of recruiting, LinkedIn is a professional environment that can support marketing through the funnel, from brand awareness to demand generation via relevant thought leadership and lead-based advertising. With over 550M users and a curated feed tailored to specific business and career interests, this makes LinkedIn a highly viable platform to activate integrated organic and paid campaigns.
Organic social on LinkedIn allows brands to engage with core followers actively. By leveraging a content strategy and the Insights Tag, a brand can understand what content or hashtags are driving the most engagement, what is driving the most traffic to a dedicated website, and visitors’ professional attributes. While organic social has the focus of the follower, paid social guarantees with certainty that a brand can reach net-new audiences with a message or content piece that is gaining initial engagement from its core base. For example, a brand may have 500K followers, yet there are ~8M Business Decision Makers and ~700K IT Decision Makers in the United States that are viable targets to reach.
Additionally, paid provides control over how any one message is delivered and the impact that it has on a brand’s business goals. Campaign objectives like video views, engagement, or brand awareness can shift brand perception and interest, while objectives like conversion focus on driving qualified traffic, site actions, and lead generation. Ultimately, the levers that can be pulled through an integrated social campaign can be measured and optimized against in real time to further drive scale of performance.
LinkedIn is both an awareness and demand platform
On LinkedIn, companies should take a two-pronged approach to their media: brand awareness and demand generation. Brand awareness media delivers on reaching broader audiences who have had minimal interactions with the brand, with the focus to drive interest. For example, a B2B brand campaign should target C-Suite audiences with contextually relevant ads to drive awareness and affinity. The targets can be expanded to reach users based on job seniority and company size, further honing in on the audience that will be most receptive to the message.
Engagements and traffic gained from the awareness campaign will then be used to fuel the demand pools to help in the acquisition of new customers. For example, the audiences that engaged with content can then be used to create re-marketing audiences, lookalikes, and targeted account lists to further capture leads.
Quantifying the value of LinkedIn
Brands who are new to demand generation should ensure there is proper tracking set up before launching campaigns, so that they can attribute leads down the funnel. Front-end CPL metrics can be higher on LinkedIn when compared to other acquisition channels, however the quality of leads can be much higher (50% to 100% more qualified).
For brands looking to diversify their media mix between awareness and demand on LinkedIn, our recommended best practice is to allocate up to 40% of the social budget to brand media, with the remainder of the dollars (60%) to support the lower funnel messaging. Historically, clients have been reluctant to launch brand campaigns on LinkedIn due to its higher CPMs. However, a recent test for a B2B client underscored the importance of awareness media on LinkedIn. Overall, the increase in awareness media resulted in a 35% cost per lead decrease.
Authors: Michelle Tanaka, Associate Media Director, Digitas North America & Melanie Bridges, Media Planner, Digitas North America