Have you ever wondered how social media sites like Facebook and Twitter can afford to offer free accounts for millions of users around the world?
According to Forbes, founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg, is worth $4 billion – and the way he earned it is by selling advertising on his site.
LinkedIn is no different than any other social networking website. Their primary revenue stream comes from selling ads to businesses. Based on numbers provided by LinkedIn, their ads have the potential to reach 85 million users worldwide (32 million in the U.S.), 7.9 million decision makers, 5.5 million high-tech managers, 1.3 million small business owners, and 4.2 million corporate executives. Try accomplishing that with a print ad, radio spot, or direct mail piece.
Making LinkedIn ads even more attractive is the fact that social media advertising is both targeted and economical. The key is to integrate advertising into a larger multichannel marketing strategy that focuses on user conversions.
Benefits of LinkedIn Ads
The most significant advantage of advertising on LinkedIn is market segmentation. LinkedIn allows advertisers to target their ads to users whose profile information and use patterns meet specific marketing criteria. With a few mouse clicks, you can target your ads to users based on gender, age, geography, job function, seniority, industry, and company size. You can even target your ads to reach users who work for specific employers. And since the average household income of LinkedIn users is $109,000, you can also use LinkedIn to advertise high-end consumer products.
Cost is another benefit of LinkedIn advertising. Like Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads can be purchased on either a per-click or per-impression basis. In other words, you only pay for ads that are seen or acted upon so you don't have to be concerned about paying for ads that collect dust in a forgotten corner of the Internet.
Multichannel Conversion Strategy
LinkedIn ads are only as effective as the strategy that is in place to promote user conversions. The idea is to encourage the people who view your ads to take the next step in the selling process. Sometimes the next step will be to click on a link that takes them directly to a product page. Other times, the next step may be to click on the brand's primary website to gain a broader awareness of the company's product offerings.
Either way, paid ads need to be accompanied by first-rate response mechanisms. Make sure your landing pages or homepage are prepared to convert users before your LinkedIn ad goes live and prospects start streaming to your site.