You might know LinkedIn as a popular professional networking tool (with more than 575 million members, it’s also the world’s largest professional networking platform). But do you know all that the platform is capable of? LinkedIn isn’t just for individuals, it’s also a powerful marketing tool that can be used for lead generation.
In this article, we’ll learn about one of LinkedIn’s newest features, Conversation Ads, and how you can use them to generate more leads and grow your business.
LinkedIn Conversation Ads allow LinkedIn users to start conversations with professionals and key decision makers via LinkedIn Messaging on both desktop and mobile devices. They differ from regular LinkedIn messages because they are a form of native advertising and get sent to users automatically based on the target audience created by the advertiser.
If you’re unfamiliar with native advertising, it’s essentially a type of advertising that matches the form and function of the platform on which it appears. In other words, it blends in so well with the functionality of the platform, you can hardly tell it’s an ad. This is why LinkedIn Conversation Ads work so well—they appear like a regular message, but they’re actually automated.
In addition to being able to target Conversation Ads to any audience you’d like, other capabilities available with Conversation Ads include the following:
- The ability to make ads appear to be sent from either a company or an individual
- Set up multiple customized call-to-action (CTA) buttons that can do one of three things:
- Detailed click reporting and conversion tracking shows how people engaged with your Conversation Ad, giving you deeper insights into your target audience’s behavior
While the goal of Conversation Ads is to better understand your audience’s intentions and drive more conversions, they’re also completely customizable. How you set up a Conversation ad is completely up to you and depends on your business’s goals.
If you’re ready to start using LinkedIn Conversation Ads, you’ll need to set up a campaign. Here are the steps for creating your own conversational ad on LinkedIn:
- Choose your campaign objective and target audience. You can use top-performing targets from other LinkedIn advertising campaigns as well as retargeted website visitors when setting up your campaign. You’ll also be required to choose your campaign objective, because different marketing goals require different types of conversations. Campaign objectives vary but are split into three categories: awareness, consideration, and conversions. LinkedIn will then help you customize your campaign to achieve your unique goals.
- Set up your budget and bid. During the initial setup phase for LinkedIn Conversation Ads, you’ll also have the option of daily or total budget for your campaign. Use a daily budget if you have an audience of 100k+ members, use total budget if you have a smaller, more niche audience that is less than 100k members.
- Add conversion tracking. When you’re finished defining your audience, you’ll be prompted to choose your ad format. Select “Conversation Ad” as the format. If you want to turn your conversations into conversions, you’ll also want to add conversion tracking during the campaign setup process. During this step, LinkedIn will use a series of questions that are asking you to define the action you want a user to take. You’ll also be asked to define how you’d like to track the conversions (either with a sitewide tag or an event-specific pixel such as a button click).
- Create conversations that speak to your objective. Now, it’s time to set up your conversation. You’ll be asked to create a name for the ad, to select a sender, and to add a banner and a custom footer (both are optional). Then, you’ll be asked to type out an introduction message (up to 500 characters) and to add at least two CTA buttons. For more engagement, add more CTA buttons (you can add up to five). Every CTA button either shows a new message or sends the user to a website. The campaign setup is very user-friendly and will walk you through steps depending on what options you choose for your campaign. You can direct prospects to a landing page, a webinar sign-up, a free demo sign-up, or you can ask them if they want to learn more with a CTA button. There’s also an option to create a lead gen form, which you’ll create in LinkedIn. Make sure the first line of your introduction is solid; it’ll appear as the subject for your target audience. Also, having plenty of buttons so users can select the action they want is extremely important. Make it easy for your target audience to engage with the ad.
- Gain valuable insights about your target customers. Once your ad is set up and launched, you’ll be able to gain valuable insights about your target audience. You can view campaign performance directly in Campaign Manager and use LinkedIn ads reporting to optimize targeting.
Learn how our team can help you generate leads with LinkedIn Conversation Ads.
Conversation Ads are native advertisements, not necessarily ‘real’ conversations; but they’re still an authentic alternative for your next ad campaign, and one that can help you generate a lot of leads for your business.
Here are four reasons why LinkedIn Conversations Ads are great B2B lead generation tools.
If there’s one thing that salespeople are realizing more and more, it’s that nothing beats a real conversation. Automation is great and can certainly help secure sales appointments, but a real conversation will generate high-quality leads that convert. While Conversation Ads aren’t actually real conversations (they’re a form of native advertising), they appear as if they are. Plus, when a user engages with your ad, you’ll end up talking to them eventually based on the actions they take (filling out a lead gen form, landing on your website, etc.)
Some would argue that Conversations Ads are the next best thing to a real conversation. Since the ads are completely customizable and encourage users to engage based on where they are in the buyer’s journey, they’re almost like having a real conversation with a salesperson. Unlike a landing page or a page on your website that is pre-built with content based on what you’re assuming the customer will want to see, Conversation Ads populate automatic responses based on the action a prospect takes. You can set them up to flow exactly like a real conversation between a sales development representative and a prospect. Then, when the lead actually gets into a salesperson’s hands, they have more information than they would’ve if they had just cold called the prospect.
Not only are Conversation Ads a type of ad that appears like a real conversation, they also result in higher quality conversions. Conversation Ads help you qualify leads before they get into a salesperson’s hands. By asking more questions, you can collect valuable information about your target customers and perform lead qualification retroactively, enabling your sales team to close deals more quickly and more easily.
We’ve already talked about how Conversation Ads provide you with valuable insights about your ideal customers’ business, but how does this help with lead generation? Well, when you know what actions your prospects are taking, you can better understand their needs. Then, you can optimize the original Conversation Ad that you set up and also better serve your customers using other lead generation solutions.
For example, if you sell a software and find that a lot of your software leads are clicking a CTA button to sign up for a product demo in your Conversation Ads, this can help you improve in other areas. Your sales reps can talk more about product demos on phone calls and in emails, while your website development team can add more CTA buttons to the website for product demo signups. The insight you’ll have access to with Conversation Ads can help you improve not only your LinkedIn strategy, but your entire B2B lead generation strategy.
So many key decision-makers are on LinkedIn, but it’s important to remember that meeting your customers where they are is just as important as how you engage with them. Since Conversation Ads are a messaging-based ad format, they help you engage with prospects in a more personal and engaging way that seems genuine. How could this help your business?