LinkedIn Digital Marketing: How to Scale Up to A Full Funnel Strategy

by Jacob Shibley | July 22, 2021

Sales organizations that thrive on a steady flow of inbound leads have an opportunity to leverage paid social for lead generation. LinkedIn digital marketing may be a viable option for some. Other companies may not fare so well. But if there’s a good fit, scaling up to a full-funnel digital marketing strategy on LinkedIn could be a reliable way to feed qualified inbound leads to your sales team.

What type of company benefits from digital marketing on LinkedIn?

Success with digital marketing on LinkedIn is really more about the audience than the product or service itself. If a business targets leads based on job titles, degrees, skills, or specific companies, LinkedIn is a viable ad platform. On the other hand, if a business wants to target a list of keywords or demographic profiles, Google or Facebook may be a better channel. That being said, here are two types of businesses that Silverback has seen success with LinkedIn ads:

B2B SaaS 

Software-as-a-service companies who target a niche market or specific accounts are positioned well for digital marketing on LinkedIn. These companies typically target users based on job titles or company firmographics like employee size and industry, which is a key feature of LinkedIn’s targeting capabilities.

Higher Education

Universities who want to generate more enrollments in a postgraduate program may consider targeting users with a specific degree. With LinkedIn’s position as a robust recruiting tool, many users have their degrees on their public profiles. This allows higher ed marketers to target individuals based on the bachelor’s degrees they’ve earned. LinkedIn even has a targeting option for those who are “open to education”. 

How does LinkedIn view campaign objectives?

Not all campaigns are equal. Organizations running ads on LinkedIn have different goals. According to LinkedIn, campaign objectives are grouped into 3 categories:

• Awareness campaigns maximize your brand’s share-of-voice through impressions.

• Consideration campaigns encourage your customers to take action to find out more about your business. The actions are usually clicks that take them to a landing page, or other engagement such as encouraging social actions and views.  

• Conversion campaigns are focused on lead generation and the ability to track actions on your website such as whitepaper downloads or lead generation capture.

What is a full-funnel LinkedIn digital marketing strategy?

LinkedIn has really grown in its abilities as an ad platform. Campaigns today can capture the attention of target buyers, and re-market to those individuals on the platform. For example, you can target users who have opened a lead form, filled one out, or watched a video. 

A full-funnel strategy on LinkedIn captures the attention of target users, engages them with value-rich content, and converts those users into demo requests or other sales opportunities. It leverages economies of scale to manage cost-per-lead, and accelerates brand visibility and growth. 

First, an awareness campaign would focus on grabbing users attention, then re-marketing to those users to build trust and familiarity.

Then, consideration campaigns re-market to engaged users with value-rich content like an original research study, ebook, or video course. Using LinkedIn lead gen forms captures users email address, valuable first-party data that can be used to add a new communication channel: email. 

Finally, conversion campaigns are where users take a significant action toward making a purchase, like booking a demo or requesting a consultation. 

How do you build a full-funnel digital strategy on LinkedIn?

Ideally, companies should launch awareness, consideration and conversion campaigns all at once to drive an optimal amount of leads and revenue. This approach requires an up-front investment to run each campaign on the platform. It also requires content needed to fuel each campaign. Companies able to launch all three at once may be in good position to take advantage of the platform.

However, some companies may face hurdles launching awareness or even consideration campaigns as part of a full-funnel approach. For instance, executive teams may question the importance of awareness campaigns, unable to draw a clear path to return on that investment.

In these less-than-ideal scenarios, it may be worth building from the bottom-up by launching a conversion campaign as a test to prove whether LinkedIn is a viable revenue generator. Over time, however, these campaigns can be costly to scale up and manage cost-per-lead thresholds, especially if the target customer has never heard from you, or won’t hear from you again (hence the importance of awareness and consideration campaigns).

Once a conversion-focused campaign starts generating revenue, companies can find success by developing a softer offer for a campaign with a consideration objective. For example, a B2B SaaS company may run a lead gen form campaign, offering a PDF benchmark report in exchange for a user’s email address. While not a hot sales opportunity, this action adds value through their thought leadership and allows the company to nurture the lead through email communications. It builds trust and brand familiarity with the prospect, creating more opportunity for sales conversations.

Finally, when consideration campaigns prove to fuel conversions and revenue, companies may consider scaling up awareness and visibility to capture the attention of a larger market. This can be useful for brands who wish to stay top-of-mind for prospects who are satisfied with their status quo. And if something were to change, they are familiar with the brand that captured their attention with a LinkedIn advertisement.

What impact will data privacy have on LinkedIn campaigns?

LinkedIn is a lot less affected by data privacy changes than other social platforms. For example, a lot of the information that you’re using to target folks on Facebook is gathered based on third-party cookies, but with LinkedIn it’s a lot more straightforward. 

Targeting users on LinkedIn is mostly based on a user’s profile: job titles, skills, their company’s industry, the groups they’ve joined. If an organization wanted to focus on LinkedIn as a primary lead-generation channel, a full-funnel strategy completely contained within the LinkedIn platform would make sense and would be shielded from many of the privacy-related changes affecting other platforms like Facebook or Google

If companies contain as many of their marketing activities and conversion points on LinkedIn’s platform as possible, they don’t have to worry about the third-party cookie issues many of the other platforms face when directing users to a company website.

How should companies get started with LinkedIn digital marketing?

Companies have two main options when it comes to scaling up a full-funnel LinkedIn digital marketing strategy: 1) do it in-house, or 2) outsource to an agency. There are pros and cons to both approaches. Read more about insourcing -vs- outsourcing paid media.

Or, if you’re ready to have a conversation with an expert from Silverback Strategies, contact us to schedule a call today.

Jacob Shibley

Jacob is an Associate Director, Client Services focused on driving measurable results for his team's B2B, Professional Services, Nonprofit, Education, & other lead gen-focused clients.

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