No brand wants to waste time or budget on uninterested consumers, which is why today’s digital marketing landscape is becoming increasingly defined by precision and personalization. With more demand on these two components, many B2B companies are turning to account based marketing; and even more specifically — LinkedIn account based marketing.
With LinkedIn’s network of over 500 million professionals and nearly 12 million Company Pages, LinkedIn account based marketing is ripe for supercharging your advertising strategy.
What is LinkedIn account based marketing?
This strategy uses highly-targeted content to attract a very particular audience on the platform. Instead of focusing on a wide audience and hoping to lure in new customers like traditional lead generation methods, ABM focuses on engaging a distinct committee of buyers or influencers within target business accounts.
When engaging hyper-targeted accounts, learning their most critical pain points is a key part of the process. With this information, your ads and landing pages can better address their issues and offer a solution.
Marketo does just that with the following ad and landing page, targeting businesses struggling to justify or increase their marketing budget:
Although the ad only provides the solution, the landing page addresses the issue, the solution, and the means to the solution — the analytics guide:
To create an account based advertising plan, start by identifying high-value companies that would be ideal clients. Prioritize this list, and then create a custom approach to engage each business, focusing on each one’s individual needs.
Account based marketing involves creating an account-based advertising plan and integrating it with your sales plan — combining the two teams with a similar mindset to collaborate around a common goal: targeting and landing high-value accounts.
(For an in-depth look at the ins and outs, and how precise targeting can increase your ROI, register for our webinar with RollWorks):
So why Linkedin account targeting?
Social media, provides unparalleled access to real-time feedback, which allows you to:
- Form connections and build meaningful relationships with key accounts
- Develop a comprehensive view of prospects through social listening
- Tailor your content to engage your best buyers
LinkedIn can play a substantial role in your overall ABM approach because of the unique nature of the platform. Hundreds of millions of professionals and companies make LinkedIn the top social platform for B2B marketing and selling, and one of your best options for deploying an ABM strategy.
According to Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing Inc.:
There’s no fresher source of lists than LinkedIn. If you go to a typical list vendor, they’ve built those lists x days, x months, x years ago. Your best prospects are updating their LinkedIn profiles in real time... They’re telling you what their job is. They’re describing their job in their profile. If you’re saying ‘I want to go after these companies’ and ‘I want people with these roles and these levels’, there’s no better source than LinkedIn.
A common way to get your content in front of key accounts is by running micro-targeted ads, and then directing prospects to relevant landing pages, personalized for those target accounts. To demonstrate, here’s a highly-targeted LinkedIn ad and landing page from Act-On for marketers preparing for the impact of The GDPR that went into effect May 25, 2018:
With a coordinating, personalized landing page:
Although both Facebook and LinkedIn enable you to show ads only to people employed by specific companies, LinkedIn takes it one step further with LinkedIn Account Targeting.
LinkedIn Account Targeting and InMail set LinkedIn apart
LinkedIn Account Targeting allows you to micro-target ABM campaigns to specific companies, roles, and even people. By securely uploading a CSV list of company names, matching that against the nearly 12 million LinkedIn Company Pages, and then further layering additional targeting information (job function, seniority, etc.), you can effectively reach the most appropriate decision makers. This can be particularly useful if you are unsure who your stakeholders are, since it means getting your content in front of multiple sets of eyes at the targeted company.
Sponsored InMail, aka the “silver bullet” for LinkedIn account based marketing, also allows you to reach audiences that are very difficult to reach via other email platforms or channels. That’s because LinkedIn works hard to ensure that InMail is high-quality and low-frequency, which places more value on Sponsored InMail messages compared to other types of messaging.
By capitalizing on these two features with your LinkedIn account based advertising strategy, you can reach a higher caliber of prospects with more accurate targeting.
4 Tips for LinkedIn account based marketing
1. Gain intimate knowledge of your customer
Some marketers provide such a massive list of prospects that ABM may not be beneficial, and just use LinkedIn’s standard industry targeting options instead. Other marketers provide a list that’s far too narrow to scale at all. As to not waste advertising dollars, you must balance your targeting strategy and learn intimate details about your prospects — including where they are in their buyer journey — because these details are especially important for enterprise sales where multiple stakeholders may be involved in a sale.
2. Exclude your competitors
Leaving your competitors off of your targeting list is a critical part of ABM since you don’t want competitors to see your content/ads. Therefore, you must create audiences for both: companies you want to target while excluding those you don’t want to target.
3. Test your approach
A/B test your ABM approach to see what’s generating positive results and what’s not. Be sure to test only one targeting option at a time, so you know what actually works and what doesn’t, and then try swapping out that option if you find it doesn’t perform effectively.
4. Combine account based marketing strategies
Although LinkedIn ABM is a must-have in your overall advertising strategy, it’s certainly not the only tactic to implement. Combining it with other proven account-based strategies, like people-based marketing, can provide you with even better results.
According to SalesLoft’s Marketing Programs Director, Eric Martin, SalesLoft began using LinkedIn ABM as an approach to eliminate waste from marketing. “It’s where our customers are,” explained Martin about LinkedIn, and by integrating their target audience lists with LinkedIn, SalesLoft now runs ABM campaigns designed to engage decision makers at the highest-prioritized accounts.
By using LinkedIn ABM to connect with prospects on a deeper level, SalesLoft has seen a substantial increase in LinkedIn landing page conversion rates — 5x more than their typical Google Ads campaigns — and a decrease in cost-per-conversion. SalesLoft Demand Generation Manager, David Ahn, elaborates:
Compared to our previous conversion cost before we started on LinkedIn, we’ve almost cut that cost in half using an account-based approach.
Spigit, an idea management software platform, was looking for a digital marketing solution that could meet their data-driven expectations. Lin Ling, Spigit Growth Marketer, explained why the company chose LinkedIn, specifically:
Various marketing channels have produced a lot of leads for us, but our data analyses show that a very low percentage of them actually convert to revenue, and that’s because these channels lack the ability to target on a granular level. With LinkedIn, we can get specific with whom we’re targeting – by account, title, industry, level, geography – all in one platform. I haven’t seen any other platform that granular.
Spigit began to run a series of LinkedIn account based advertising campaigns, promoting case studies, ebooks, and webinars tailored to audiences in verticals like financial and healthcare services:
Their results exceeded LinkedIn’s benchmarks for Sponsored Content and text ads, with an overall lifetime CTR of 0.517% and an engagement rate of 0.567 (Sponsored Content average range is only 0.35%-0.45% CTR, and the average range for text ads is .012%-.030% CTR). Even more impressive, according to Ling, is that Spigit’s ABM campaign achieved 7X ROI.
Bhavisha Oza, Director of Digital Marketing at Genesys, says that LinkedIn was the obvious choice for their ABM strategy:
The typical third-party online publishers and social platforms we’ve worked with did not offer ABM demand gen. LinkedIn, with its massive professional network, was unique, as it offered an ABM program targeting IT and support functions, our core buyer personas.
In addition to using LinkedIn Account Targeting, Genesys also layered on demographic targeting (by job function) to further focus their Sponsored Content campaigns:
Genesys achieved an average CTR of 0.43% for IT professionals and 0.47% for support personnel in just one quarter – both well above LinkedIn’s minimum benchmarks of .30% for Sponsored Content and .010% for text ads. Also, 60% of all leads generated were marketing captured leads or net new leads.
Supercharge your advertising strategy with LinkedIn
With such a large professional network, LinkedIn is uniquely qualified to be your ABM assistant. And with features like LinkedIn Account Targeting, Sponsored Content, and Sponsored InMail, LinkedIn account based marketing is sure to effectively revamp your overall advertising strategy.
Keep in mind, though, that establishing a great post-click experience is just as important as the ads themselves. Use our comprehensive reference guide to optimize your LinkedIn ads, and combine that with 100% customizable landing pages made with Instapage. Together, you’ll find yourself with a high-converting account-based advertising strategy.