Feeling the struggle of generating leads through digital marketing? You're not alone and we're here to help! Because potential customers are constantly bombarded with digital ads, to stand out and get the results you're looking for, you're going to have to pay to play. Sites like Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Bing all make their money from exactly this – paid advertising. Although it used to be possible to get by without paying, times have changed. In today's blog, we will give you a few tips so that you can create a strategy that helps you and your company maximize digital marketing, with a particular focus on LinkedIn, to fill your B2B marketing funnel.
Creating a Strategy to Direct Your Efforts
A strategy gives stakeholders a way to understand your efforts and directs your processes through the creation of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). When considering how to create your strategy for paid advertising there are certain things you need to get started.
- A way to track your conversions: If you can't track your conversions, paid media shouldn't even be on your radar, yet. Get your tracking down first and understand what type of visitors convert.
- Top referrals to your website: This data can be found in your analytics suite. Understanding where visitors to your site are currently coming from is important to placing your money in the right place.
- Top social engagement: There are a couple different places you can find this information. Some of it can be found in your analytics, but even more can be found in the social sites themselves. All social media website now can give you analytic insights into the engagement of your posts. Using this data to rank your social sites can help increase the engagement of your advertising.
- Personas: Understanding who your customers are and what each audience looks likes will allow you to target your advertising.
- A customer relationship management tool: If you don't have a CRM tracking KPIs and life-time-value (all important data points) becomes a lot harder.
- An understanding of LTV: Life-time-value is an important metric in calculating the success of your paid advertising. You need this metric, along with customer acquisition costs, to help get your customer lifetime value ratio which will help you to properly distribute your budget. (More on this later!)
Finally we can get to the main subject of this post, LinkedIn advertising, with the understanding of what's required. As a social media platform, LinkedIn allows individuals the opportunity to create a profile around their career. In the profile, an individual can add their experience, skills, and plenty of other items that highlight their personal brand. With all of this information easily accessible, LinkedIn has become a great place for B2B businesses to generate leads through company pages and paid advertising.
Within LinkedIn there are two main types of advertising for companies: sponsored content and text ads. Of course if you're spending $25k or more per month on LinkedIn, even more advertising options become available but for the sake of this post, we'll stick to the aforementioned examples.
- Sponsored content advertising uses the posts from your company page and distributes them to a target audience. This is where having an understanding of what your customers' personas are will allow you to better optimize your advertising and get a better bang for your buck. These ads are also presented within the target's home feed and is an example of native advertising.
- Text ads have the same type of targeting available as sponsored but as with other paid advertising, text ads only allow you to have a limited amount of text and no major graphics to attract attention. Text ads are positioned outside the feed, often being found at the top of the page.
When creating a sponsored post, you should have a link, a paragraph of copy, and an image that attracts your target audience. Consider using a website that shortens longer URLs. Using one can help you keep the text count down and track the number of clicks the campaign has received.
Once you've created the ad and it's targeted to your personas, it's time to set your budget. LinkedIn will give you a range to set your cost per click budget. The range is based on the targeting that you've selected. It's important you set this amount based on your budget and making sure you're customer acquisition costs don't exceed your lifetime value. Now it's time to start your campaign.
Filling Your Funnel
Once you've started you will now receive people to the landing page on your site. On this landing page you should have all the information that you promised with your advertising campaign. As a B2B company we like to promote white papers, ebooks, case studies, and other gated content. Doing this allows us to collect information as payment to see the content we spend our resources creating. It also allows us to put these new visitors into our marketing funnel. Once in the funnel we can market to them, making sure we're personalizing their journey. In a B2B environment this requires patients, due to the long sales cycles that exist in this type of business. They pay off is creating leads that are warmer for your sales team, allowing them to close business more efficiently.
LTV: CAC Ratio
If there is one development with digital marketing that has made the marketing team, in general, more important is the opportunity to prove their worth through ROI. Having a number that allows executives and stake holders to understand your work is a good thing. This is where the lifetime value/customer acquisition cost ratio comes into play. So what is it? LTV:CAC is a ratio that takes the lifetime value of your customer for your business against the cost that you paid to acquire them. So with your LinkedIn lead you can use the campaign cost per click found in LinkedIn and see if the LTV:CAC ratio makes sense. As a benchmark you should try to hit a 3:1 ratio. Be warry - this ratio is hard to come by and it's best to have expectations set with your stakeholder team prior to sharing the ratio. Decisions should be made quickly when it falls out of the required ratio to either quit the campaign or fuel it.
Filling your sales and marketing funnel with LinkedIn is not easy. It requires work, optimization, and a sound strategy. Yet by targeting the right people at the right time, you can add a lot of qualified leads to your funnel and in turn grow your business. If you'd like to learn more about business funnels or marketing automation check out our webinars on demand:
- Why You Should Be Using Marketing Automation in Your Marketing Strategy
- Laying the Foundation for Using Dynamics CRM for Marketing Automation
- PowerNuture: A Marketing Automation Dream Come True
- How PowerObjects Uses Dymanics CRM for Lead Gen