If you’ve scrolled through LinkedIn recently — or really any social media feed — you were probably inundated with ads in your feed, the right rail, and your inbox. Most people have learned to scroll right past these ads, no matter how beautiful, shocking, or perfectly tailored to their needs and interests. Because of this growing ability to glaze over ads, sites like LinkedIn have come up with new ways to grab their users’ attention. One of these new ways that has quickly grown in popularity are LinkedIn's Conversation Ads, a personalized and interactive addition to traditional popups or in-feed ads.
LinkedIn Conversation Ads use the message function to deliver personalized, actionable ads to a target user’s inbox. They look almost like any other message from a LinkedIn user, but they include call-to-action (CTA) buttons that lead the user through a choose-your-own-adventure style interaction.
LinkedIn Conversation Ads allow for a personalized, interactive user experience. There are many benefits to this approach, but here are our top five.
One of the main benefits of the Conversation Ad is right in the name: they feel like a conversation. Users that aren’t ready to commit can click through a series of conversational programmed responses to gather more information and get comfortable.
The choose-your-own adventure style format gives users more control over their interaction while still sticking to your programmed responses and paths. Instead of clicking a big flashing link to a landing page, users can opt to gather more info, try a demo, or any other programmed stepping stone action. By handing over the reins to the users – within reason of course– you are helping them to feel more ownership of their decision.
Conversation Ads can be highly personalized using Linkedin’s masters fields. By including a first and last name, job title, and industry you can add to the conversational tone of the interaction.
LinkedIn boasts a wealth of self-reported user information such as job titles, industries, and interests. By carefully selecting your target audience using this data, you can ensure that your message gets to the people who are most likely to be interested.
In addition to the immense bank of user data, LinkedIn is a useful arena for ads because users are generally on LinkedIn with a higher purchase intent than on other sites. In other words, when they log in to LinkedIn, people are in a frame of mind to interact with ads and are more likely to buy.
Interested in learning how to set up a Conversation Ad? We’ve got you covered. Follow these steps to set up your campaign, design your conversation pathway, and monitor your results.
Start your campaign as usual by identifying your objectives and target audience. Your objective will be either lead generation or website visits, since Conversation Ads don’t lend themselves to other objectives. Your target audience is up to you, but take a moment to explore the data that LinkedIn provides about its users to ensure you are precisely targeting the people most likely to help you achieve your goals. Think about demographics, location, job title, etc. Conversely, you could use an existing contact list of users who have visited your site or interacted with your content. They’ve already expressed interest, and are a good choice for further interaction.
After deciding the campaign goals and target audience, you can begin to create your ad. Start by choosing the “face” of your campaign— this can be a person from the company or the company itself. Then add a custom ad banner and footer to promote your company further. Finally, if your objective is lead generation, add LinkedIn’s lead gen form so users don’t have to leave the site to share their information.
After you’ve nailed down the basics of your goals, target audience, and the bones of your ad, you can choose a format and customize the messages. There are a lot of options to choose from as well as a blank option if you have a great idea that Linkedin hasn’t yet thought of.
Once you have chosen a format – or created your own – take some time to customize your messages to best represent your company and goals. The first and most obvious step is to fill in any bracketed words with the details of your company and offer. Then take advantage of all that Linkedin data at your fingertips, and personalize your message using the % sign and dynamic macros. Most messages will start with a greeting and the target user’s first and last name. Then you can include their job title and field in the opening of the message. For example: “Hi there %FIRSTNAME% %LASTNAME%! As a %JOBTITLE% at %COMPANY%, you know how important marketing is for growing your business…”
Finally, and maybe most importantly fiddle with the tone of the message to make sure you are communicating effectively with the target audience. Remember that the chat function will maintain your CTAs as the users progress through the conversation, so there is no need to be pushy. Keep the tone light and make sure your target user understands the value of what you are offering.
The first message is the most important, since it will determine whether your target user will continue to click through the rest of the chat, so make sure that message is to your liking before continuing to build out your pathway.
After the first message is complete, tailor your second message, then your third, and so on. With every click, the user makes a choice that affects which message they are shown next. Some users may skip ahead to the desired outcome immediately, while others may end up clicking through your entire pathway. Make sure the tone of each message is light and the options continue to lead the user toward your desired outcome with stepping stone options such as “tell me more” or “watch a demo”. You don’t need to include a no button, since most users will indicate they aren’t interested simply by closing the window. Use the “view flowchart” function to see the whole conversation so you can check for the flow and tone of the chat.
Once you’ve set up your ad, all you need to do is sit back and wait for reports to come in. LinkedIn provides detailed reporting data, so make sure to take a look to see how your ad is functioning and how it could be improved. If you are struggling to convert Linkedin ads to outcomes, check out our guide on how to make sure the components of your ad don’t get in the way of its success.
Conversation ads are all about making the ad feel like a genuine and intentional interaction. Make sure to use all the personalization tools built into the format to maximize that chatty, conversational feeling.
Conversation ads have a character limit, so make sure your message is short and to the point while still maintaining that conversational tone.
Seed CTAs so users can take as much or as little time to interact with the conversation as they want. You don’t want customers to feel rushed to make a decision before they’ve gathered the information they want, but you also don’t want to hold customers back from jumping ahead. Diversify your CTA buttons so customers have many options for engagement. This has the added benefit of strengthening their feeling of ownership and choice.
Read through the conversation using “flowchart view” to make sure the pathway flows like a natural conversation. Nothing gives away a bot more than a repetitive or disconnected conversational flow.
When setting up your sender, opt for a real person instead of your company page. This will improve the personal, conversational feel of your message. Since the profile picture is the first thing users see, take a look at the profile picture of your sender to ensure it is professional and friendly. Finally, consider using an appeal to authority by sending from a profile of someone who is relevant in the field or who holds a high ranking title like CEO or founder.
When setting up your ad, make sure to include a banner and footer. The banner will only pop up on desktop view, but if you don’t add one, your customer may see a banner from a different company!
LinkedIn Conversation Ads can be a powerful tool for B2B businesses to reach out to their target market with an interactive, personalized experience. They can be a great way to drive website clicks and generate leads. To get through the noise though you need a thought plan, and engaging content. Most importantly you need to make sure you're targeting the right audience with a message that resonate with them. They have a problem and you provide the best solution. Getting there fast and concisely takes expertise. With the right partner you get through the noise and impress your prospects making them even more likely to engage.
Thaynes Marketing experts can help you do just that. If you're ready to build a content marketing engine, contact us and let’s chat!