How Tech Marketers Can Get the Most Out of LinkedIn Sponsored Content
A Tech Byte from the Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to Content Marketing
May 26, 2016
Content marketing has changed the nature of modern tech marketing programs and savvy tech storytelling — humanizing today’s most complex, complicated solutions and enabling tech brands to share unique points-of-view across multiple channels.
(Related: How to Advertise on LinkedIn in 7 Simple Steps.)
To paint a picture of the current landscape, today, 95% of B2B tech marketers employ content marketing, with 75% creating more content than they did in 2015, according to Content Marketing Institute’s 2016 B2B Technology Content Marketing Report. This means that there is no time for idle dawdling. You must ensure your content is relevant, empowering, and in front of buyers at the perfect time and place throughout their path to purchase.
At LinkedIn, we have the best in B2B data, targeting, and content thought leadership to help guide your strategy towards success. Thus, this week’s Tech Byte — from “The Sophisticated Marketer's Guide to Content Marketing” — takes a closer look at actionable content insights for the tech buying process. We’ll show you how to drive your marketing process forward with the support of sponsored content and include tactics, tips, and best practices to make sure you win. Read on to get started!
Sponsored Content: Why is it Useful for Tech Marketing?
In a previous Tech Bytes post, we discussed the importance of creating content that educates and helps your tech customer. But when it comes to a tech marketer’s strategy specifically, producing “always on” content is the approach that wins. This is because content is the epicenter of the tech buyer’s journey and our everyday digital lives. While quality content is a key part of content marketing, native advertising or sponsored content offers a unique way to bolster your engagement and improve ROI with your digitally savvy prospects. By 2017, it’s predicted that nearly $11 billion will be spent on social media advertising—and native ads will account for 58% of that.
As the premier destination for where technology decision makers are gathering, LinkedIn offers an unmatched platform for sponsored content — with CMI research showing that technology marketers point to LinkedIn as their most effective social media platforms and 72% saying LinkedIn is highly effective. In fact, content gets 15 times more interaction on LinkedIn than job postings do in the feed, making LinkedIn is the #1 social media platform for content distribution.
What Tools Do You Need to Get Started?
When you are ready to activate your sponsored content plan, the first order of business is determining what content you will use. Think about content you have already completed. Are your existing eBooks, one-pagers, product summaries and the sort sufficient? Or do you need to invest in building an additional content library? Great content should include but not be limited to company news, blogs, industry news/research, case studies, webcasts and infographics. More insights on exactly what types of content are most coveted by various members of the tech buying committee are shared in LinkedIn’s eBook, "Beneath the Surface: Taking a Deeper Look at Today’s Empowered Tech Buying Process.”
3 Steps to Set up Your Campaign
Step 1: Consider who you want to target and set your budget. Target your audience by location, company, industry, title, skills, degree of study and more.
Step 2: Set goals for the campaign. Are you looking to grow lead generation, build brand awareness or expand your thought leadership? No matter what you choose, you want to measure outcomes that have the biggest impact on your business.
Step 3: Determine your key metrics. This can include engagement rate, impressions, inquiries/leads and company/showcase page followers. The number of clicks, likes, shares, comments, company follows, and downloads are also good indicators of audience engagement.
Here are some additional suggestions for setting-up LinkedIn sponsored content:
- Select a compelling visual (1200 x 627 pixel image).
- Keep your caption short and sweet, using fewer than 150 characters.
- Add URL tracking codes to measure post-click. Track actions like site visits or conversions.
- Set up campaigns by audience. Shift your budget to the audience with the highest engagement rate.
Launching your Sponsored Content Campaign
Now you are ready to set your campaign in motion. Start by running 2-4 sponsored content items per week and let them run them for 3 weeks. Be sure your sponsored content includes an interesting visual and shares links to lead forms. A good tip to remember is that 75% of engagement with sponsored content comes from mobile devices. Make sure your website or landing page design is responsive.
Campaign success is the result of ongoing testing, learning and improvement. Look for what’s working—or not working and make changes to your campaigns accordingly. Proactively optimize or retire the updates that aren’t delivering the results you hoped to achieve. And give serious consideration to your calls to action (CTAs). Clear CTAs—ones that tell people exactly what they’ll get and what they’ll learn when they click—will drive more clicks and conversions to gated content.
Tap Employees for Further Content Sharing
If the goal is to make sure your content goes far and wide, then it’s common sense to tap into your employees. By encouraging your employees to share your content, you can significantly increase content reach. And you’ll see how their sharing activity directly impacts your business, including traffic to your site, leads to your sales team, followers to your Company Page and engagement with your content.
Remember, your tech buyers are on a journey. They’re online and on their devices looking for insights. Meet them halfway with helpful content, and you might just spark a conversation that builds your brand’s reputation or brings in your next tech customer.
To learn more insights on promoting great content and getting a strong ROI, download The Sophisticated Marketer's Guide to Content Marketing.