article | August 21, 2013
A New Tool to Drive B2B Leads from LinkedIn
B2B Marketers have tested many forms of social advertising. Marketing leaders must challenge past assumptions of how to leverage social advertising opportunities. Facebook & Twitter ads deliver high volume but lack the high-level targeting options. The best B2B option until now has been LinkedIn ads. These ads show up on the top or right hand column on LinkedIn’s website. The biggest downfall was that mobile users were not getting these ads. In addition, there was no share-ability capability.
Now there is a new tool to satisfy this need. Introducing, LinkedIn Sponsored Updates. Marketing leaders can use this blog post as a blue print to guide your marketing team to success. At the end, I’ll provide a tool to help your team leverage LinkedIn sponsored updates.
What are LinkedIn Sponsored Updates?
Sponsored Updates are company page updates delivered to the newsfeeds of those not connected yet. In other words, company updates are delivered to LinkedIn members beyond company followers. These new ads are beneficial because the posts are integrated into member’s newsfeeds. They can be seen on user’s desktops, smartphones and tablet device newsfeeds. This gives marketers the ability to deliver highly targeted content to prospects beyond sidebar ads. Prospects are more likely interact with promoted posts than the traditional sidebar ad.
See below a B2B example of how LinkedIn is using a sponsored update to promote LinkedIn. The ad looks very similar to a traditional company update. It includes the update, link, and information about the target page. In addition, you can follow the company, like an update or comment.
Sponsored Update Targeting – Match Made in Heaven
With LinkedIn’s rich member data, you can leverage your buyer persona for enhanced targeting. For B2B marketing, LinkedIn’s self-maintained profile data is the most accurate data available in the industry. LinkedIn’s Sponsored Updates are a match made in heaven to distribute your content to personas. You can distribute content directly to any segment of LinkedIn’s audience. It is based on the profile data across their 225+ million members. Below is an example of targeting options:
Pricing for Sponsored Updates
Sponsored update ads are available through LinkedIn’s self-serve platform. It’s easy to start and user friendly for your team to get up and running. There is essentially no minimum spend required to begin testing. They are priced either by impressions or number of clicks (CPM or CPC). Online tools are available to guide your team through suggested bid ranges, including the minimum bid. Through my testing, I have seen the minimum bid will increase as you add more targeting filters. The end result for B2B Marketing leaders is higher quality leads for the sales force.
Hubspot, a marketing automation software company was seeking additional quality leads. They participated in LinkedIn’s Sponsored Updates beta to reach marketing professionals through relevant content. As a result, LinkedIn drove more qualified leads than any other paid lead generation platform during the campaign period.
Hubspot campaign screenshots:
Testimonial from Hubspot:
“LinkedIn’s Sponsored Updates are the perfect marriage between its professional audience and our promotional content. This tool doesn’t just deliver leads – it brings us quality prospects in our target business-to-business market, at a cost per lead that makes sense for our business.”
Mike Volpe, CMO at Hubspot (You can view the full case study here.)
The launch of Sponsored Updates on LinkedIn is a huge benefit to B2B Marketers. It’s perfect for those who want to drive higher quality leads through content marketing. It’s also a match for those who want to achieve a better cost-per-lead. The opportunities for reaching prospects via this platform continue to expand. Marketers should continue to adapt their strategies accordingly. Will your company take advantage of Sponsored Updates? Download the LinkedIn Sponsored Updates Guide.