What everyone should know about Measuring LinkedIn Campaigns and Demonstrating ROI
The secret to demonstrating the ROI of LinkedIn campaigns is the same as the secret to getting the best possible performance from your LinkedIn campaigns. It comes down to measuring what matters, identifying the metrics that get you closest to your campaign objectives, and then identifying the changes you can make to move those metrics in the right direction.
One of the great advantages of advertising on LinkedIn is the way that features like Campaign Demographics and Conversion Tracking enable you to focus in on numbers that will carry weight when reporting back to the Head of Marketing, the sales team, or the C-suite.
Two of the most important pieces of advice that we give to advertisers are to keep a close eye on the Campaign Demographics feature of Campaign Manager – and to make strong use of the LinkedIn Insight Tag. Campaign Demographics give you an invaluable look at the type of audiences that are engaging with your different campaigns; through the Insight Tag, you’ll see what this engagement leads to – and you’ll get a crucial breakdown of which audience profiles are most likely to take the actions you’re interested in. This takes what some people consider to be ‘vanity metrics’ like engagement and clicks, and helps turn them into actionable insights that relate directly to core business objectives.
The great strength of LinkedIn as an advertising and content marketing platform isn’t just the engagement that it generates – it’s the quality of the audience that engagement is with, the quality of leads that it generates, and the revenue that ultimately leads to. We often have conversations with marketers that come down to playing the long game on measuring ROI for their LinkedIn campaigns. It’s crucial to be able to show results to the business in the short term – and it’s essential to be able to optimise your campaign quickly on the basis of the engagement it’s generating. However, that engagement needs to be put into context. Keep a close eye on how those engaging with your marketing on LinkedIn convert into leads – and also on how those leads convert into revenue. Your cost per lead (CPL) will help to put your cost per click (CPC) and cost per impression (CPM) into context. The revenue you generate from your leads can be just as important for putting the CPL into perspective as well.
The more data you gather connected to these end-goals and business outcomes, the more power you’ll have to tweak and optimise your LinkedIn campaigns as you go, in order to move the needle on to those outcomes. If you find that a particular demographic is more likely to convert to a customer, or converts at a faster rate, then you can adjust your targeting and devote more budget to reaching that particular audience. For increasing the flow of leads from Sponsored Content and Sponsored InMail, don’t forget LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms – mobile-optimised forms that can capture data in just a click or two without the need for your prospects to enter any details manually. Their impact on lead generation and conversion rates make them one of the most important elements that you can add to any LinkedIn campaign.
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Measuring what matters and demonstrating ROI to the business
The little things can make a big difference to your experience of marketing on LinkedIn. Structure your campaign in the right way from the outset, and you’ll make life a lot easier for yourself going forward.
"If you're not investing in reaching people at scale, and you've defined your audience too narrowly, you're missing the real opportunity to drive ROI."
When people are struggling to demonstrate ROI and performance to the business, it’s often hyper-targeting that’s the cause of the problem; it’s just such a common mistake. Marketers will be targeting groups of a thousand to ten thousand people and then getting frustrated that they are only getting 10 to 100 clicks. The thing is: a 1% click-through rate is actually a strong performance, but if you’re only targeting a thousand people it doesn’t add up to much. If you’re not investing in reaching people at scale, and you’ve defined your audience too narrowly, you’re missing the real opportunity to drive ROI.”
"B2B sales cycles are long, so the focus for the marketer shouldn’t be on ROI to begin with. Start with effectiveness of LinkedIn traffic going to leads. Then pay attention to how many leads it takes to produce a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL), then how many SQLs it requires to close a deal. If the sales team is performing consistently, you can optimise for leads and simply trust that they will perform down the funnel and drive ROI.
Those calculations will add up strongly on LinkedIn because of the lead quality. Our clients are constantly surprised by the quality of leads from LinkedIn vs other channels. It’s not that the same qualified individuals aren’t on other platforms, but we can be so specific on LinkedIn and make sure we are ONLY talking to the most qualified people from the start.”
LinkedIn Ads pro
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading through these confessions as much as we’ve enjoyed putting them out in the open.
Between them, these tricks, tips and techniques can help even strongly performing campaigns get even better results on LinkedIn. I know from personal experience that they can make your life as a marketer a lot easier as well. Don’t just settle for knowing what we know - get out there and use that knowledge to make a difference for you. And remember, you’ll be able to find all of the instructions and detailed information that you need for using LinkedIn for advertising in our Read Me guides and Secret Sauce eBook.