LinkedIn’s base of not quite 350 million users may seem small when compared to social media giants like Facebook and Twitter. But what LinkedIn’s user base lacks in numbers, it makes up for in value.
LinkedIn users are often innovators and decision makers in the business and tech world, and are typically higher income. That makes LinkedIn users a highly profitable audience to target when building brand awareness for your business and marketing business-to-business products or services.
In previous articles, I’ve talked about the different types of advertising tools available on LinkedIn, including Sponsored Updates and Paid Ads. These and other B2B marketing can be incredibly useful and highly affective for targeting quality customers and pulling them towards your website.
But once you have drawn them towards your website—what then? In theory, you should be able to nurture your audience until they’re ready to buy. In practice, however, the task of nurturing and converting prospects is not so simple.
Research has found that a whopping 95 percent of visitors navigate away from most sites without leaving an email address. Of the five percent that do hand over their contact information, only 20 percent of them will open your marketing emails. That means that you are converting less than one percent of all your potential leads.
Enter the LinkedIn Ad Accelerator
Seeking to solve lead nurturing problems and free marketers from the confines of the email inbox, LinkedIn teamed up with advertising network firm Bizo to launch an innovative nurture platform—the LinkedIn Lead Accelerator.
This new product helps marketers increase conversions while gaining valuable insight into customers, making it easier to reach, nurture, and convert higher volumes of the right customers. As former Bizo CEO Russell Glass said in an article on the launch, the Lead Accelerator is a “new lead generation and nurturing product that connects companies to the right professionals with the right content as they make their way through the purchase decision process”.
How does it do this? Let’s take a look at some of the marketing solutions that LinkedIn Lead Accelerator offers – and some tips for putting them to use.
Features and Best Practices for LinkedIn Lead Accelerator
Web-wide reach. With the Lead Accelerator, LinkedIn ads are displayed on thousands of business-minded websites around the web rather than being limited to the LinkedIn site. The product presents relevant content and advertisements to both known and anonymous customers across the internet. Since you are not restricted to users who are logged in to LinkedIn, the Lead Accelerator allows you to reach a huge audience you never had access to before.
Best Practices: Businesses that are likely to benefit from this expanded audience are ones that target other businesses and high net worth customers. Samsung, Lenovo, and Groupon are a few of the hundreds of major companies that have found success using LinkedIn’s Lead Accelerator, reporting an impressive 60 percent drop in cost-per-lead.
But the Lead Accelerator is not for every business. If your average customer is not a high-income business professional, it may not be worth it to invest your energy and funds into this type of campaign. Similarly, in order to qualify for this type of campaign, your business typically has to have a monthly average of over 20,000 unique visitors.
Targeting capabilities. In addition to increasing your potential reach, the Accelerator allows you to define your audience more precisely than ever before, since LinkedIn offers a massive database of info on its users’ careers, internet habits, and online activity. When you use LinkedIn Accelerator, you are able to make use of this massive wealth of information.
Best Practices: You can customers by criteria such as location, age, job type, and company, and these individuals will see your advertisements on a network of thousands of other professional websites across the web. How is this unique from Facebook or other ad networks? It’s the business information – such as company and job type – that truly sets LinkedIn apart generally, and it’s no different for its new Lead Accelerator tool. If you know specific about the professionals you are targeting, this data can be invaluable.
What if you don’t know that type of information about your audience? Now is the time to do some research and find out. Performing a zip code analysis, running a simple marketing survey, as well as examination of your current social media followers are all effective ways to discover your target.
Customizing capabilities. The program also gives you the ability to customize your advertisements and content based on what part of your website a user has visited. When you sign up for the program, you will be given a pixel to place on your websites, which identifies LinkedIn users and gives you valuable insight into who is visiting your site, and what they do when they visit. With this information, you can customize your ads accordingly.
Best Practices: Take advantage of the pixel. First, determine and focus on your must valuable audiences, and you will be able to capture more effective leads.
For instance, you can create one type of advertisement to present to first-time visitors to your site, and another for frequent visitors who have been browsing your product offerings. If they visited a particular product or service, now’s the time to remind them about your unique selling points and convert. And if they reached your shopping cart but ultimately didn’t purchase, you can implement cart abandonment strategies with your campaign.
Performance measuring. LinkedIn’s Lead Accelerator program provides you with advanced analytics and data so you can track your performance. The analytics tool enables you to track, measure, and enhance impact across metrics that matter to your company.
Best Practices: The best way to improve your results is to A/B test strategies, but it doesn’t do much good if you’re not reviewing the results. Schedule a time on your calendar to regularly check on your analytics, and then call your LinkedIn representative to discuss making adjustments to your strategy.
How to Get Lead Accelerator for Your Company
As of today, LinkedIn Lead Accelerator is unfortunately not a self-service program. The campaign is managed by a LinkedIn marketing team, who will optimize and manage the campaign for your business. While you will have minimal administrative abilities with this type of campaign, you will have access to analytics on the types of users visiting your site, average customer acquisition cost, and overall performance.
To get started, you submit your contact information via this online form before a LinkedIn representative contacts you to discuss your unique needs. It’s in LinkedIn’s benefit for your campaign to produce results, so don’t be shy about grilling the rep for advice and tips specific to your needs. He or she will have a wide range of experience to draw from, so take advantage of it.
Also, remember—in order to qualify, you must have a minimum of 20,000 monthly visitors to your site or meet a minimum level for your budget. The program is available globally, but currently is only available in English.
Did you give the LinkedIn Lead Accelerator a try for your company? I would love to hear about your experience and results. Share with me in the comments.