How to Get Started With LinkedIn Ads

Presented live on Tuesday, May 18, 2021

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We recently tried our hand at LinkedIn ads…

Annnnd let’s just say that we didn’t exactly knock it outta the park.

But there was this one ad…

…that out-performed our Facebook ad in a BIG way.

Join us here for a behind-the-scenes look at our spring launch LinkedIn ads.

And maybe we can save you a li’l frustration…

Or maybe even spark a few ideas.

‘Cos we’re sharing everything we learned…

Including the good, the bad and the not-so-pretty.


Introduction [00:00]

Joanna Wiebe: We’re going to hop in right away with Erin and Ange, both from team Copyhackers. They are talking about LinkedIn ads. How they went for us when we tried them for the first time ever, with our Copy School launch, about a month ago.

We are ready, Ange and Erin, for you to share your wisdom after Erin gets through the world’s biggest glass of water.

Erin Steele: I think it’s gonna become my trademark now.

Angela Stojanov: Awesome. So, welcome everybody. Thanks for coming in here. We’re doing a behind-the-scenes look at the LinkedIn ads. So we’ll show you what we did. What worked, what didn’t. So hopefully you can apply that if you’re thinking of tackling LinkedIn ads.

Okay, so let’s play which one, do you think one eight or beat can you chat your answer in the chat, please.

Joanna Wiebe: A whole bunch of Bs. Oh, a lot of Bs. A few As.

Angela Stojanov: Awesome. Well, guess what? You’re gonna have to wait a bit.

Joanna Wiebe: Oh, open loop.

Angela Stojanov: Open loop. We’re going to come back to this later in the tutorial and we’ll dive deeper to let you know why.

What to Expect in This Tutorial [01:34]

Angela Stojanov: Awesome. So in this tutorial, we’re going to cover one: what was most successful on LinkedIn and what our LinkedIn rep told us that blew our minds. Our jaws were on the floor after that conversation. I’m sure yours will be too.

And then we’re going to cover three overall takeaways that we took from this. Because, as we know, when we try something it’s a learning experience.

Question Time. What have you heard about LinkedIn ads? And again, please chat your answer and chat. A: they’re amazing. B reasonably priced. C. super expensive. D way too complicated.

Joanna Wiebe: Cs are out of control here. A couple of Ds and an A. Not a single B yet.

Hansa says not worth it.

Angela Stojanov: Okay, so we had heard a ton of those things too. That they were super expensive, they were complicated and they don’t work. But then we were also hearing, through research and everything too, that once you find that groove, they’re amazing.

Why LinkedIn? [02:52]

Angela Stojanov: The reason why we decided to go forward with it is one: LinkedIn is the most trusted social platform. In fact, Insider Intelligence does an annual survey where they search out the most trusted social platforms. And LinkedIn wins year, over year, over year.

And this is based on privacy and security, which we all know, is just becoming a growing concern as time goes on. And if you’re delivering your message on a platform that’s already very trusted, that obviously works to your advantage.

Another reason that we wanted was because LinkedIn likes information-based content. So we all know, there are those platforms out there that are there for sheer entertainment. Those mindless scrolls, when you just want to kill a few minutes give your brain a break.

Or to interact with pictures and videos. But LinkedIn is specifically people looking for information, looking to connect with people in their industry. And network with people in their industry, which really suits our audience.

And three: granular targeting. Oh my gosh, Erin and I nerded out on this so many times. It was like a Russian nesting doll. You’d click one click, and then more options would come up. And then you’re like oh my gosh, well let’s click that and more options.

It was insane, they’re targeting is bar none. it’s so amazing, so that was another reason why we wanted to try it.

And lastly, copywriters are all over LinkedIn. As you can see from the screenshot, we were just clicking some of the copywriting options, and you can see, the target audience size is 1.7 million. Like, they are on LinkedIn. So those are the four reasons, that despite the grumblings that we had heard, we really wanted to give it a try.

LinkedIn Ads Campaigns [04:29]

Angela Stojanov: Alright, so we ran two campaigns. We ran a lead gen campaign for mini Copy School. And then we ran a conversion campaign for a Copy School launch. Erin’s going to dive into those a little bit deeper.

LinkedIn Lead Gen Ads [04:50]

Erin Steele: Okay, so I’ll start a little bit by just sort of talking about high level what we did. So for our lead gen campaign, you’re not seeing the whole thing. Basically, it went from the ad to this native lead gen form which auto-populates the user’s email.

And then they end up on our Mini Copy School page. So our offer was Mini Copy School, which basically gives people a taste of Copy School and The Practice and we asked for their email and that’s it. So that was that.

I’m going to talk a little bit about the ads that we see but that’s it started on ads and I should note as well. Using these native lead gen forms, they were very limited on the copy that you can actually use. I think it’s maybe 70 characters, what you would see above the image.

So, not a lot of space to convey messages in that traditional way. Getting into this a little bit. When planning a campaign, I really like to think about these three different things. What are we saying, who are we saying it to and where are we saying it? It’s really messaging, targeting, and then congruency with the platform.

As Ange mentioned, LinkedIn is a professional platform. People are generally on there to find valuable information that’s related to what they do for a living. Really, we wanted to come in with something similar to that so we don’t want you to know there are Mercedes ads on LinkedIn.

Test Your LinkedIn Ad [06:25]

Erin Steele: You know, might not be the best place. I don’t know how they’re doing it but we really wanted to give people the value that they’re on the platform to see and align with that. Okay, this slide hopefully is sort of a preaching to the choir slide. But a big takeaway, if you take away anything from this presentation, absolutely test.

Obviously, you go into any campaign or project with information-based hypotheses, but really until you know, so you might have an idea of what messages you want to convey. You might have an idea of the best way to convey it.

But until you actually put that to the test, you don’t know. And we saw a stark difference in our performance, so our best performer was 4x cheaper than our worst performer. Had we just said, oh, we think this is going to work best.

You know, our experience on the platform could have been very different. The slide is just here, if you take away one thing, write it on your hand: test always test. Go in with a good basis of information and then test how to convey that information.

Angela Stojanov: Okay, so we asked you a or B. Well, it turns out, the answer was A was the top-performing ad for us.

Joanna Wiebe: Just a few people said A.

Angela Stojanov: And that just proves the point of testing, right?

Erin Steele: The ads that you saw are part of a bigger carousel ad. We took a message that we hear often from copywriters, people who enjoy, or use Copy School. Is it, they kind of feel like they’re guessing I copy that as a message we hear all across the board.

This was our offer-focused ad. We kind of take this message that they will relate to. Drive this curiosity, keeping it very, very simple. Very straightforward and then driving into this offer. Which really is an easy offer to take us up on. It is pretty cool. You do get a lot of value from it. That was our test.

As well keeping it very, very simple. These two things: a strategic approach and practice, practice, practice. But these things align perfectly with what the offer is. I should also note that our goal with ads not to just collect as many email addresses as we possibly can. It is to get that qualified click.

It is really important to make sure that what you’re getting people to click on is aligned with the actual offer. Because there’s a bigger endgame than just trying to get people into free Mini Copy School.

That’s our winner. That’s why we think it won. This one, we could call our wordy variation. But the idea behind this is basically understanding that people on LinkedIn really want value. What we were trying with this is, we were offering two mini techniques. Which aligns with the offer and then teasing what that third one is.

And then saying here, you can find this in Copy School. I think what we learned from this is this one takes a lot more than the previous one, to absorb. Basically, you have to be committed to reading that.

Our video ad, so I just want to bring this up. You can’t see it, but it follows a very simple problem agitation solution structure. But really more focused on the solution, because what we do understand is that people do want to have more outcome-focused content on LinkedIn.

We’re not we weren’t super focused on the problem, although that’s what grabs the attention, the problem, I’m guessing at what I need to do. Which is something we hear a lot. But the thing I wanted to know about video is if you had a longer strategy, you can re-target people who watched part of your video.

Whereas you can’t do that with a carousel. If somebody sees your carousel they’re kind of just gone. If somebody watches your video, you can take that audience and retarget. Depending on what your long-term strategy is, it might be worth you know paying for maybe a bit more expensive of a lead in order to be able to target them later.

Again, we this one small thing on LinkedIn, but there are a lot of opportunities. Those were the results of our creative.

Angela Stojanov: Okay, let’s go over the results of the lead gen campaign. As you can see here, our worst performer was five times cheaper than what leads normally cost on LinkedIn and I’ll get more into that in a second.

But our worst performer was still five times more expensive than what leads cost on Facebook. so this is a short story on perspective. As soon as we finished our lead gen campaign, we were contacted by a LinkedIn ad rep who wanted to meet with us to go over our ads and see how they could help.

She started the conversation by asking, how do you feel about the campaign you just ran? And Erin and I said they turned out pretty expensive and she was like what, this is like five times cheaper than what they normally cost per lead on LinkedIn.

So Erin and I were like, heads exploding, but we do recognize LinkedIn claims that the quality of leads that you get on LinkedIn or bar none better than any other so it’s still out there. We’re still monitoring the leads that we captured during that campaign to see what happens from here on out.

There’s nothing screaming so far. But we recognize that we targeted a cold audience and then we went immediately from our lead gen into our conversion campaigns. So it may not have been enough time for these leads, to get a cold lead comfortable with us before purchasing. So it’s something that we’re going to continue monitoring.

Joanna Wiebe: I would just kind of chime in there just quickly before we move on, Tanner mentioned, the best new best source of new names for lead gen. And then Nikki asked, is there any difference in quality between LinkedIn and Facebook leads. and so anybody who has used LinkedIn ads to share as we go.

LinkedIn Conversion Ad [13:23]

Angela Stojanov: Awesome, thanks. Next up, we did a conversion campaign on LinkedIn, despite them saying that lead gen performs best on LinkedIn. We wanted to give it a whirl because, on Facebook, cold audiences convert well for us. So we were like, let’s try it and see what happens.

Erin’s going to dive into that.

Erin Steele: I’m not going to get too deep into this, but I want to share the decisions that we made and what creatives worked, what we did, and why. Very quickly, this is actually for a campaign. We had three different segments. This might look like a lot but it’s really just like a very simple depiction.

I just want to go over the fact that we split between our small business owner our in-houser, and our freelance copywriter. These had three separate funnels so we did have to be really careful in making sure that we weren’t overlapping our audiences. That we were sending them down the most appropriate funnel, and hitting them back with some retargeting.

And then we had our warm-up audience. We did a website visitors audience and an audience based on our LinkedIn followers as well as an audience of our email list. We’re just going to give you a little sample of the creative.

Our click-through rates were really good on LinkedIn, compared to what is expected. And so this did resonate on a level, obviously. And so we’ll see for each segment, just a little bit different messaging. These are the first images in the carousels for the three segments.

“I was just writing whatever was thrown my way, in whatever way made sense to me.” We do hear that a lot from people who write copy, who don’t necessarily describe themselves as a copywriter, but they’re still writing copy.

Copy School obviously helps them with that quite a bit. Really just empathizing with their problem there. And then we’ll see this guessing message again because again very, very common message for our copywriter.

And then, as far as our small business owner, and not talking about small freelance businesses, but other businesses. Normally they’ll have some point in their journey where they’ll realize that they need marketing help, and so this was kind of speaking to that.

It’s about making those informed decisions on what you’re going to test really comes from the process that you go through research to understand what messages might resonate and then taking it from there.

And however.

Angela Stojanov: Yes, the results, so I love this gif because that’s pretty much how it felt. We were so pumped to use LinkedIn and we really wanted this to blow up. Blow it out of the water.

And it didn’t. So our rule is to let it run 24 hours – untouched. That way we can let the algorithm do its thing and see what other results that we can look at.

For example, click-through rate. If we’re getting a good click-through rate, that’s showing a lot of interest so even though they’re not converting at this point, that higher click-through rate is showing interest and intent.

We shut everything down minus one that had a high click-through rate of 8% so we wanted to leave it to see what it would do. It was amazing. It was a retargeting campaign. And it ran for six days. On the first day, we didn’t have any conversions but like I said it had that 8% conversion click-through rates so we wanted to keep it on there.

Day two, we got two conversions and then it progressively grew. And then on day six, we actually had 67% of our conversions happen on day six. And the cost per conversion was actually almost 10 times less than what it was on Facebook. It was definitely a diamond in the rough.

3 Key Takeaways For LinkedIn Ads [17:20]

Erin Steele: Okay, and this is here for you to feast your eyes on for the sole purpose of using this gif. Anytime I can use, you know nothing, Jon Snow, I’m pretty happy. There you are okay, so our real takeaways.

Takeaway #1 [17:31]

Erin Steele: Takeaway number one. When we think about what we’re going to do next with LinkedIn, I think we’re going to move away from those shorter bursts of five to six days of higher spend, smaller window. And do more long-term, slower lead gen.

Really work on finding those sweet spots in the audiences that we really are capable of targeting. Which is yet quite distinct from Facebook.

Takeaway #2 [18:03]

Erin Steele: Takeaway number two. That said, warm audiences performed really, really well with an offer. So another thing that we’re thinking is potentially just warming up our organic audience and then hitting them when we do have a really good offer.

Hitting them on LinkedIn with this really good offer because they already know us, already warmed up to us, and we did see that that worked well. Probably not going to be doing many conversion campaigns with cold audiences. Although lead gen obviously would be good for finding new leads on LinkedIn, for sure.

Takeaway #3 [18:39]

Erin Steele: and take it taking takeaway number three. Analyze everything. I mean the difference in our performance, even just on those two carousel creatives with basically the same theme.

Really it just takes time to get proficient on a new platform. You know this was our first go around, so there’s a lot of different things to try. Really analyze everything. Analyze the things that worked. Try to figure out why. Build hypotheses on why you think things worked.

And then also why didn’t things work. If there was something that you thought would work really well, build hypotheses on that and then use that to kind of move forward so that is about that.

Joanna Wiebe: Y’all, thank you so much for coming in and sharing this with us today. Super awesome and it’ll be interesting to see where we go with LinkedIn. that’s.

Angela Stojanov: I know, like Erin and I aren’t done with it.

Joanna Wiebe: I might be! If retargeting is awesome like we’re just learning and then we can branch out as we learn. Thank you to everybody who’s still here. That was our last Tutorial Tuesday for the next little while. We are on summer break. I’m going on a sabbatical to hopefully get some bigger shit done, that I have to get done and I’ve been putting off. So we will see you again in September.

If you’re in Copy School, of course, we still have Copy Talk every Thursday, you can always connect on Word Workers. And maybe we’ll have a pop-up Tutorial Tuesday, at some point during the summer. But in the meantime, happy summer. Stay safe. Do what it takes to get us out of this flippin pandemic shut down. And hopefully, see you guys soon. Have a good one. Thanks, Erin. Thanks, Ange. Thanks, everyone.

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