How LinkedIn Advertising is Changing

With every new shift in consumer behaviour, the rules of advertising change as well. From newspaper pages and billboards to radio spots, TV commercials, and the infamous rise of the pop-up ad, staying informed of new trends – and visible in a sea of competitors – is crucial to success.

Over the last six months, we’ve watched one of these shifts happen before our eyes. One of the digital marketing world’s most well-known platforms, LinkedIn, has seen big changes in its traffic and cost-per-click (CPC) rates. Why is this happening? And more importantly, what does it mean for your company’s LinkedIn traffic and marketing success?

Working (and Browsing LinkedIn) from Home

As many workplaces went remote in the spring of 2020, something predictable happened: radio and TV ad spends became less important, and online advertising rose in prominence. People started spending more time online at home and growing their networks on platforms liked LinkedIn – engagement went up by 50%, with 26% more sessions overall. It’s no surprise, then, that a lot of B2B marketing occurs on LinkedIn, but now B2C companies are turning their attention there, too.

LinkedIn Advertising is Changing - B2B advertising platforms

LinkedIn leads the way in B2B advertising (from Omnicore Agency)

 

At first, that seems strange. Why those changes in Linkedin traffic and ads? But it’s important to note that many users on the site have a high “lifetime value” – that is, the things they purchase will not just be an impulse, but rather the start of a long consumer relationship. Industries like higher education, luxury goods, legal or financial services, recruitment, and automotive needs can all reach high-value lifetime customers, right there on LinkedIn.

The Impacts of Changing Online Activity

One of the biggest consequences of the shift to more online time is over-exposure to advertising. Many users are scrolling past ads on social media even more than usual, hardly even registering its presence. With that said, there are many more users than ever before – looking for new careers and opportunities, or building networks – and they’re ready to engage. They’re simply more picky about what to engage with, and a strong strategy is still a keystone to success.

This trend is combined with a surge in competition in some industries for online advertising space, as they try to make up for lost foot traffic and physical storefronts with increased online spends. For most industries, CPC rates went down – as some companies reduced their advertising budgets due to tighter finances – but for many large sectors, rates increased. Real estate and retail CPCs went up by roughly 15%, and construction and manufacturing went up by 5%. Others, such as home improvement, automotive, education, jobs, and legal services, all saw various increases, too. So if your boss has sent an unexpected email saying “Why does LinkedIn have high CPC?!” in all caps, know that you’re not alone in feeling the effects.

The Future of LinkedIn Advertising

While consumer habits have changed, their needs and wants are still there, waiting to be fulfilled. However, it is no longer good enough to simply make an offer and wait for sales and revenue to roll in, because those days are gone. Post-pandemic consumers want something more – something engaging, authentic, and valuable to their personalities.

LinkedIn Advertising is Changing - Customer Experience Mindset graphic

Keep the new customer experience in mind (from Forbes)

 

Here are some tips that will definitely come in handy for the future of advertising on LinkedIn:

  1. Be “cautiously creative” with new techniques, looks, audiences, and tools. People have moved from work computers to personal devices, throwing off all the carefully-calibrated algorithms of days past. But that’s okay! Experiment with different audiences, retargeting parameters, lifestyle demographics, and even creative tools like graphics and copy. Just make sure it’s not too off-the-wall or intrusive.

 

  1. Aim to help and educate rather than make a sale. Useful resources like blogs, e-books, webinars, and so on may take a while to pay off – but when they do, you’ve made a loyal, lifelong customer, who remembers the help you offered in a hard time.

 

  1. Use your full funnel and always get a way to follow up. With more eyes on your ads, you get more potential customers – but also a lot more dead ends. A properly-constructed sales funnel will guide the best ones to the end. Don’t forget to offer incentives that will help build an email list so you can follow up down the road.

 

  1. Be active when your audience is. The best results for boosted posts have changed to reflect the lack of commutes and office idle time. Wednesdays after 3, Thursdays between 9-10 AM, and Friday before lunch (11 AM–12 PM) are your best bet, while overall engagement trends have moved to roughly 8 AM to 4 PM.

 

  1. Stay upbeat and positive. There’s a lot going on, and people are often looking for an escape. Help them find it with positive messaging, optimistic offerings, and a way to forget their troubles for a moment or two.

 

If you need help defining your strategic LinkedIn advertising plan for the future, coming up with new branding, or creating a full eye-catching campaign, you’re in the right place! Let us know what you’re thinking, and together, we’ll come up with something tailored to your needs – after all, it’s what we’re best at!

Social Media Analytics: Finding Insights and Information

Over the last few months, we’ve been going over the basics of social media strategies, how to pick the best social media content and themes, and a guide for automatically scheduling posts. So if you’re here – congratulations, you’re well on your way to a strong social media presence! Now that you’ve got content going out regularly, it’s important to track its performance and find out what’s working and what is not. Welcome to the wonderful world of social media analytics. 

Analytics are the data metrics that allow you to get insights into how well your content is performing on social media platforms. This social data monitoring ranges from very specific actions to broad patterns in thousands of user interactions. Knowing how to read these numbers holds the key to refining and improving your posts over time. 

social media analytics - reporting
Keep track of your social media presence with analytics (from Sprout Social) 

 

Reading Social Media Reports 

With so many different metrics to track, you may find it overwhelming to figure out exactly which ones you should be looking at, or even what they mean in the first place. Not every number will apply to every social media strategy, so streamlining your data is important. Here are the basics for social media monitoring: 

Impressions and Reach: Impressions are the total number of potential views of your media, while Reach is the number of potential viewers. These can differ, as the same content displaying multiple times to the same person only increases Impressions. And remember, an impression or a reach doesn’t mean the person actually read your content! 

Engagement Rate: This tracks how actively involved your users/viewers are with your content. It can usually be further broken down into Clicks, Reactions, Comments, and Shares, and these are weighted differently (e.g. someone sharing your post is a better sign than just liking it, which is in turn better than just clicking on it). 

 

social media analytics - engagement rateThe engagement rate formula (from Hopper HQ) 

 

Demographics: Find out how your audience breaks down by age, gender, preferences, interests, education, industry, or many other factors. Knowing this, and how different demographics engage with your content, is helpful in improving your content as well as your ad strategy. 

Conversions: This monitors whether your audience is performing a desired outcome from your content – making a purchase, visiting your website, requesting a quoteetc. Ultimately this is one of the more important metrics to track, as it’s the more likely to lead to an actual customer than just a simple like or comment. 

There are far more advanced metrics to track (ever heard of bounce rates, cost-per-mille, or acquisitions?) but these are the big ones that can help guide you forward. But now, with so much information at your disposal, you’re probably wondering – where do I even begin? 

 

Social Media Analytics Tracking Platforms 

Tracking things like reach, engagement, brand mentions, and other metrics can be extremely time-consuming without the right tools. Even for the basics, rather than going through each of your social accounts individually, we recommend using a good reporting platform. Luckily, many of the same scheduling tools we talked about in our previous blog – like HootsuiteSEMRush, and Sprout Social – also have decent analytics functions for major social media apps, as well as the ability to monitor your competitors. And, to monitor social traffic heading to your website, you can’t go wrong with Google Analytics, which is tailored specifically for that purpose. 

social media analytics - reporting
A Google Analytics dashboard (from Neil Patel) 

If you’re also using a paid social media strategy, such as boosted posts or advertising, there are more robustools, like Google Data StudioZoho, or even the built-in Facebook Business Manager (which has its own mobile app, Facebook Ads Manager, for on-the-go access). These will let you break down your audience with ease, far beyond the usual demographics, with factors like video views or prior interactions on your website. Setting these up and linking all your various web presences together as one cohesive unit takes much longer, but if you’re committed to taking full advantage of every tool in the digital box, feel free to dive in. 

All in all, analytics are about knowing what information you need and deciding on a reliable way to get that social media data. Monitoring your social accounts may seem daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it, the payoff is worth the effort. And if you really don’t have the time or the patience to learn, that’s okay, too – because that’s what we’re here for! William Joseph’s social media management packages include monthly analytics reports for all your platforms. So whether you’re just starting out and need help getting set up, or you’re simply too busy and need to free up some time, let us know and we’ll figure out a winning social media strategy together!