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Online advertising and PPC (pay-per-click) is a sensitive topic. Ads have a very clear cost involved – and therefore, in order to be considered “worth it,” they need to earn back what they’ve spent.
So in the midst of B2B marketers who all swear by LinkedIn, what are you supposed to do when your LinkedIn ads don’t deliver?
As it turns out, that’s a question Danny has been asked before.
“WHY DIDN’T MY LINKEDIN AD WORK?”
Oftentimes, companies will hang up LinkedIna ads after one round, because “They just don’t work for us.” But Danny had a few questions for a connection who came to him with this same dilemma:
- What was your call to action? “Buy.”
- Were these ads going to people who already followed your company’s LinkedIn page? “No, these are new people. We’re trying to get new business.”
- How many ads did you send out to them before you asked them to make a purchase? “We didn’t have any. Just that one.”
- And does your product cost about five bucks? What’s your average deal size? “No, no– our products run around $30k or $40k on average.”
Demographics and impressions and all else aside, if this sounds like your ads then we’ve got good news for you. There’s a clear (and addressable) reason why your LinkedIn ads failed.
Your LinkedIn ad didn’t bring in new customers because it was an instant marriage proposal before the first date.
Instant “buy now” ads might work on cold leads if your product is an easy impulse buy, like an adorable narwhal-shaped tea infuser. But that tactic probably wouldn’t work for selling a multi-thousand-dollar steel-cutting machine.
1. YOUR FIRST LINKEDIN ADS SHOULD BUILD BRAND AWARENESS AT THE TOP OF THE SALES FUNNEL.
If you’re not aiming your ads at individuals who already follow your company, then your first few promotions that they see should be a polite introduction.
Target your ideal personas with LinkedIn ads that will familiarize them with your company– it’s just the first date.
We often like to call these top-of-funnel promotions “bacon-wrapped.” If you want a dog to eat a pill, you wrap it in bacon or peanut butter. If you want today’s skeptical buyers to take an interest in you, you need to make your ad worth swallowing.
Modern-day internet users, especially generations that have been online from a young age, are highly adept at spotting sales pitches and moneymaking schemes from miles away. That’s not to say your business or your LinkedIn ads aren’t legitimate– but enjoyable brand awareness content is going to endear you to new buyers far more than a “buy now” button.
2. YOUR SECOND WAVE OF LINKEDIN ADS SHOULD PROMOTE FREE, MIDDLE-OF-FUNNEL OFFERS.
Once you’ve familiarized these new prospects with your company, they’ll be a little more receptive– but don’t jump the gun yet. You still need them more than they need you, so now you have to answer their question, “What’s in it for me?”
This second wave of ads is not meant for new recipients, but more anyone who was already responsive to your brand awareness ads.
Your goal here is to build a relationship– and now that these prospects know who you are, it’s time to provide value. Time to bring in the content offers!
Ebooks, whitepapers, webinars, and beyond– offer anything that is useful to people in your industry, regardless of whether they ever end up buying from you. So, not a product catalog or discount on their first purchase.
If your company creates the vats or tanks used by vineyards and breweries, maybe you could create an infographic on how size or make affects different fermentation processes. Since we focus on industrial marketing, we promote a 50-page report about rising trends in the industrial marketing field.
The trade-off is simple: you provide that valuable resource, and they might be willing to give you their email address. Now you can tell who might be legitimately interested in more of your creations.
3. YOUR THIRD WAVE OF LINKEDIN ADS CAN TARGET YOUR QUALIFIED LEADS WITH BOTTOM-OF-FUNNEL OFFERS.
Now comes the moment you’ve been waiting for. You’ve seen a loyal handful of people respond to your previous LinkedIn ads and sign up to learn more. You’ve given them value. They’ve given you their contact information. There’s a relationship established now.
Anyone who has submitted information or converted through your first two ads is definitely interested– so now you can offer them an insta-quote or other pre-sale service.
It’s important to remember that even if all the rest of the stars have aligned, these leads may not be ready to buy simply because it’s not quite the right time. Industrial buying cycles can take months, or even years. That individual might have every intention of buying their next forklift from you, but their old one still works for now.
Your top and middle-of-funnel LinkedIn ads keep you top of mind with your leads until they’re ready to buy. Then, when the time comes, they’ll come to you. After all, you’ve proven yourself to be both reliable, and easy to find.
The bigger of a commitment your sales are, the more LinkedIn ads you need to promote beforehand to kindle a genuine relationship.
If you’re struggling with mediocre return on investment from Linkedin advertising, take another look at the promotions you’re pushing. It could be that you’re just jumping the gun with complete strangers.
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