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Everything About LinkedIn Ads

Hundreds of law firms are already using LinkedIn direct ads—but is it right for you?  Pay per click advertisements offer the ability to target key markets, and if you're looking for an alternative to Google, you may be interested in using LinkedIn advertising.  If you're debating whether or not to use LinkedIn direct ads, or just have questions about ad strategy, you need this guide.  Keep reading to find out why lawyers and LinkedIn ads are a great pair, and how you can get the most for your click budget.

What Are LinkedIn Direct Ads?

Much like Google AdWords pay per click (PPC) ads, LinkedIn advertising gives you the ability to have your advertisement read by a small, targeted audience.  Unlike Google AdWords, LinkedIn ads only appear for other users of LinkedIn.  This means that your audience is already restricted to a service that caters primarily to a more upscale, professional, business to business environment.

LinkedIn direct ads provide many of the same benefits that other pay per click advertising services do.  It is easy to start using LinkedIn ads, and you can start seeing results the same day that you start your ad campaign.  Because other types of marketing using LinkedIn can take a great deal more time, you might want to start with LinkedIn advertising campaigns and then move into other types of social media marketing as your web presence develops.

Advantages of LinkedIn Direct Ads

When you use Google AdWords, you may end up finding that lawyers pay more per click than nearly anybody.  Legally-oriented keywords are often quite competitive and expensive, leaving you with two options: pay a ton for clicks, or hope that someone's searching for your law firm with twenty word Google searches.

With LinkedIn advertising, each individual click will cost less—sometimes substantially less—than Google charges. You also are guaranteed to have a good business to business environment full of professional contacts to see your LinkedIn advertising, unlike Google searches, which are performed by a huge majority of internet users.  For this reason, practices that are more B2B may want to use LinkedIn ads as one of their primary modes for reaching other attorneys and other businesses.

Disadvantages of LinkedIn Direct Ads

Whether LinkedIn advertising can help you or not largely depends on the kind of law firm you have and what you're hoping to accomplish with your ads.  Keep in mind that LinkedIn is used by far fewer overall consumer users than Facebook, and you should plan your advertising strategy accordingly.  If you're selling inexpensive representation for DUI charges, LinkedIn ads may not be the best strategy for your firm.

You may see some web reports that say that LinkedIn advertising is not effective.  Before you decide against using LinkedIn direct ads for your law firm, make sure that you're checking out those reports.  In many cases, the reason LinkedIn ads fail is that businesses use them without considering who the LinkedIn audience is.  Because the website has become the gold standard for legal social media, LinkedIn advertising tends to be more effective for lawyers than for nearly any other kind of business.

How Can I Target LinkedIn Direct Ads?

Another advantage of Linkedin ads is that they aren't keyword based.  Instead of targeting using search keywords, you'll decide who sees your LinkedIn advertising based on demographic criteria.  Instead of basing who sees your ads on what they want, LinkedIn ads display ads based on who they are.

You can target people a great deal more specifically using LinkedIn advertising than you can with Google AdWords.  How would you like to make your LinkedIn ads visible only to CEOs?  That's possible, and it's also possible to list any other job titles you'd like included.  LinkedIn advertising also lets you target key decisionmakers, rather than people who won't be able to act on any information they see in your LinkedIn direct ads.

What Do Successful LinkedIn Direct Ads Look Like?

The rules for making great LinkedIn advertising are fairly similar to making great Google AdWords ads.  You'll want to make sure that your advertisement is targeted to the audience that you're going to show it to, and that you include a specific call to action in your ad.  You should also make sure that the graphic that will appear next to your ad—which can only be 50 by 50 pixels—is well designed and attractive.

Split Testing Your LinkedIn Direct Ads

In order to figure out what makes LinkedIn advertising work for your firm, you'll need to engage in some heavy split testing.  Try two different ad strategies, and then run them in front of the exact same audience.  Change only one small thing about the LinkedIn ads when you're doing a split test, so that you can identify the exact causal factor that made people click more on one than the other.

Don't make the mistake of just changing an ad's content.  You should also experiment with what times of day give you the best ROI for LinkedIn advertising, and whether particular days of the week seem more likely to generate conversions than others.  You can also try using the exact same ad, but doing it with different targets, to see which targeted demographics respond best.

LinkedIn Advertising Beyond LinkedIn Direct Ads

If your law firm has a higher budget, you may want to consider the other types of LinkedIn ads that are available.  In addition to LinkedIn direct ads on the sidebar, you can also purchase banner ads or media box ads.

Before you purchase one of these ad types, consider what you're trying to show and whether LinkedIn advertising is the best way to get your message out.  Because these ads are significantly more expensive than running LinkedIn direct ads, you can burn through your advertising budget very quickly without much to show for it unless you're careful.  You should only run this kind of campaign if you are already experienced with social media display advertising and have tested the ads you plan to run.

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