Want to reach warmer prospects on LinkedIn? Are you using LinkedIn retargeting to its fullest potential?
To explore LinkedIn ad retargeting, I interview AJ Wilcox on the Social Media Marketing Podcast.
AJ is the world’s leading expert on LinkedIn ads and founder of B2Linked, a LinkedIn ad agency that helps businesses drive high-quality leads at scale. He’s also author of the book, LinkedIn Ads Demystified, and host of the LinkedIn Ads Show podcast.
Discover the demographics you can reach with ads on LinkedIn and find five ways to reach prospects and leads with retargeting on LinkedIn.
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Why LinkedIn Ads vs. Facebook Ads?
It’s difficult for a B2B company to drive the right quantity and quality of leads with Facebook ads—especially if they offer a high-ticket item or high-ticket service. Sales teams continually report low-quality leads, meaning people who don’t have the right authority to purchase, and the same thing often happens with Google ads.
LinkedIn ads, on the other hand, let you micro-target ads down to someone’s role, seniority, company size, and industry, and the ads are highly scalable. With a global audience of 175 million people speaking 32 languages, whether you’re looking for CEOs of the Fortune 1000 companies or schoolteachers, basically anyone who works at a computer is likely going to be on LinkedIn.
Currently, people spend about 37 minutes per day on Facebook. People spend less time on LinkedIn (18 minutes per week), but that shorter time frame actually works in advertisers’ favor because there’s a smaller chance of saturation and ad fatigue. You don’t have to refresh your creative once a week like you might on Facebook.
One thing to note is that LinkedIn ads are expensive when compared to Facebook ads. AJ says he’s paying $8 to $12 per click on average so it’s important to have a high lifetime value; he says anything over $15K is a no-brainer.
A plus for advertisers is that LinkedIn allows you to avoid serving ads to up to 300,000 of your competitors by giving you the option to exclude them from your audiences. You can either manually enter the information or upload a CSV file with the company names in one column and their URLs in the next column.
LinkedIn Retargeting Audiences
Until recently, LinkedIn’s retargeting has been limited to website retargeting. In addition, LinkedIn retargeting relies on cookies, which is becoming problematic. AJ recommended using LinkedIn to send traffic to a website and then relying on Facebook (and Google) retargeting to nurture prospects because their retargeting game was stronger than LinkedIn’s.
Around the beginning of 2020, LinkedIn released event retargeting and that opened up a whole category of audiences that can be built based on the behaviors and actions of people on the platform. Once an audience has at least 300 people in it, you can begin running ads toward it.
The first two types of event retargeting LinkedIn rolled out were based on people who completed a lead gen form ad and people who watched a video.
Today, we can also target people who visited a company’s page and those who interact with a LinkedIn event.
LinkedIn Video Retargeting Audiences
LinkedIn video retargeting audiences are based on people who watched a specific portion of the video in your ad: 25%, 50%, 75%, etc.
AJ says the best use for video ad retargeting is to build high-level awareness by telling a story you wouldn’t be able to communicate with five downloads of a whitepaper.
For example, say you have a set of videos in a sequence. When someone watches at least 50% of the first LinkedIn video, you can add them to a retargeting audience of people who are shown the next video in the series, and so on.
Alternatively, if you have a 60-second LinkedIn video ad and the first half of the ad is all value and the second half is all pitch, you can build an audience to retarget the people who watched less than half of the ad so you can serve your pitch to them.
Lead Gen Form Ads Retargeting Audiences
LinkedIn lets you build two separate audiences from the people who engage with your lead gen form ads: Those who saw and opened the form but didn’t fill it out, and those who filled out the form.
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To retarget those who opened but didn’t fill out the form, AJ might serve them the same ad for about a month or try a similar ad with a different asset.
While it’s possible to ask for someone’s title, company name, company size, industry, and more, the number of questions you ask could affect your conversion rate. Rather than asking for as much information as possible, AJ recommends asking for the first name, last name, email, and LinkedIn profile URL. It’s quick, so it won’t slow down your conversions, and your sales rep can find out almost anything they need about that person from their profile.
LinkedIn Company Page Retargeting Audiences
Company page audiences are exactly what they sound like. They’re built from people who are logged into the platform and visit your LinkedIn company page for any reason within a number of set timeframes between 30 and 365 days. You can even create segments of people who visit your page based on whether they follow your page.
Unlike Facebook, which adds someone to an audience based on their past actions if they meet your audience criteria, LinkedIn builds your audience from people who visit your company page only after you create your audience. That means it’s important to set up all of the variations you might use now, whether you think you’ll use them in the future or not.
These audiences are valuable because someone who visited your company page is more likely to consider doing business with you or be interested in your content.
To take advantage of this, AJ says he would retarget them with something more bottom-of-funnel such as a demo or an invitation to talk to a sales agent. If the lead doesn’t convert, he might push them toward something like a free webinar, checklist, or cheat sheet. This would help him understand if the people who visit his page are in the top or bottom of the sales funnel.
LinkedIn Event Retargeting Audiences
LinkedIn event retargeting allows you to add to an audience anyone who clicks to indicate interest in your event. You can then retarget them with ads designed to improve attendance at your in-person or online event.
For example, if you schedule a LinkedIn event for a webinar, you can serve that audience with an ad to remind them of the date and time a week out, and then again 2 or 3 days out. You can also retarget them with ads to promote future events.
LinkedIn Conversation Ads
LinkedIn conversation ads show up in your target audience’s messaging box on LinkedIn, and the experience is similar to a Messenger bot. Your ad asks a question and depending on the recipient’s answer, the messaging continues based on the logic tree of responses you’ve created.
“… … Hey, are you coming to this event?”
If they click on the Yes button, your ad will show the dot dot dot animation that looks like someone’s typing, and then,
“… … Well, hey, come visit our booth. We’ve got some cool swag for you.”
If they click on the No button, then,
“… … Cool. Maybe you’d like to attend this webinar next week. We’re covering a lot of the stuff that’s going to be covered at the conference.”
Currently, these ads are built within LinkedIn’s platform so they don’t require any third-party tools, which is good news. The bad news is that the interface isn’t very intuitive. AJ says that his team can build a LinkedIn message ad in 5 minutes but a conversation ad takes them about 35 minutes.
Key Takeaways From This Episode:
- Connect with AJ on LinkedIn.
- Learn more about AJ on b2linked.com/SME.
- Listen to the LinkedIn Ads Show podcast; check out ep.28 featuring Michael Stelzner.
- Read AJ’s book, LinkedIn Ads Demystified.
- Get your ticket to the Social Media Marketing Workshops at marketingworkshops.live.
- Watch exclusive content and original videos from Social Media Examiner on YouTube.
- Tune into our weekly Social Media Marketing Talk Show. Watch live on Fridays at 12 PM Pacific on YouTube. Listen to the replay on Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.
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What do you think? What are your thoughts on LinkedIn’s retargeting features? Please share your comments below.