Generate Business Leads with LinkedIn Advertising

By on Dec 18, 2014

LinkedIn, the growing social network for professionals, has over 107 million members in the United States. It is an excellent way to build a strong network and connect with prospects as well as current clients.

In 2012, I wrote a five-part series on how insurance agents can maximize LinkedIn for building a strong network and identifying prospects. I continue to believe building a strong LinkedIn profile should be non-optional behavior for any commercial insurance producer.

During the last two years, LinkedIn has also been developing and enhancing its advertising platform. Experimenting with LinkedIn Advertising could be another source of business leads for any size agency.

“Any responsible insured of today’s generation will be looking to LI as they vet out potential new agents. I would rather write coverage for someone that looks to a creditable professional social network site like LI, than a lifestyle social network such as Facebook for their evaluation process.”
Comment on TechTips LinkedIn Survey

The LinkedIn advertising platform allows you to target ads to a specific targeted type of person based on business demographics such as Industry and Job Title. You can even deliver your ad only to members of a particular LinkedIn group. You can create an advertisement on LinkedIn in just minutes with a minimum spend of $10/day.

Following are the basic steps you need to follow to create a LinkedIn advertising campaign:

1. Define your target audience.

The first step is to understand and identify your ideal customer. This will help you understand the type of audience that should be the target of your ad. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at your current client list and see if they have a profile on LinkedIn. Review their job titles, skills, and other important details that might come in handy for your LinkedIn ad targeting.

2. Create your landing pages.

Once you’ve determined what you want to advertise and have defined your ideal customer, create landing pages that provide those ideal prospects with information about your product or service.

3. Research existing LinkedIn ads.

Finding and reviewing LinkedIn ads on your account is a great way to get some inspiration. These ads show up on the right-hand panel and as part of your news feed. They all have “Sponsored” in the top right corner and are shown to you based on information in your professional profile.

Example of LinkedIn ad

4. Create your LinkedIn ad.

Now that you have defined your customer and created your landing pages, you are ready to create a new ad. To get started, sign in with your LinkedIn account, go to LinkedIn Advertising, and start a new campaign. There you will choose your headline, image, description, and landing page destination.

5. Target the right audience.

After setting up your ad, your next step is to narrow your audience to your ideal customer. LinkedIn provides a broad range of demographics to choose from including location, industry, job title, seniority, company size, gender, age, school, skills, and LinkedIn groups. Each time you narrow down your audience, LinkedIn gives you the estimated size of the audience you will reach.

6. Set a budget that’s comfortable.

You can control the amount of money you spend on advertising by setting a daily budget. Once your advertising costs match your stated budget, your advertisement will stop being displayed. This allows you to control the amount of money spent as you are experimenting with the platform.

7. Track your results.

You can measure your LinkedIn ad campaign results in various ways. Clicking the My Ad Campaigns tab and Reporting tab in LinkedIn Ads will show the number of clicks you’ve received by date range and campaign against your total budget spent. If you use UTM parameters for Google Analytics, you can see the number of conversions and conversion rate from the ad to your website by looking under Traffic Sources > Sources > Campaigns. If you don’t use UTM parameters, you can look under Traffic Sources > Sources > Referrals to see traffic from the entire LinkedIn network.

Will LinkedIn advertising generate new business leads for your agency? I’m not sure. However, I do know that this social platform continues to grow and attract business owners. I do believe it is well worth experimenting with some of your 2015 marketing budget.

What do you think? Are LinkedIn ads a waste of money or a new source of business leads?

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