LinkedIn and brand awareness is essential. With over 750 million professionals on LinkedIn, there’s a good chance that some of your ideal customers are on this platform. Not only can you display your own credentials on your profile in case prospects look you up, but you can also directly reach out to other professionals to build your network and gain more leads.
Still, you can’t assume that merely establishing a presence on LinkedIn will cause leads to automatically come pouring in. And while LinkedIn’s business-forward emphasis often means that B2B sales and marketing activities fit naturally, you also can’t assume that every type of outreach will land well. If you’ve ever received a random LinkedIn request from someone saying they can 10X your growth, for example, you probably know that it’s possible to seem overly salesy on the platform.
However, with LinkedIn ads, you can directly target your ideal customers and measure your outreach effectiveness so you can improve over time. Sure, there’s a cost associated with that, but building up an organic audience can take a lot longer and be more difficult, so from a cost/benefit perspective, you might find that LinkedIn ads make sense for your insurance business.
In this article, we’ll explore how commercial insurance agents can utilize LinkedIn and brand awareness. Then create LinkedIn ads for a variety of benefits, ranging from brand awareness to lead generation.
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LinkedIn Ad Objectives
When creating ads on LinkedIn, you have a lot of flexibility. To get started, you can easily create a LinkedIn Page for your business (if you haven’t already) and a Campaign Manager account. That’s a foundational step for LinkedIn and brand awareness. From there, you can begin creating an ad campaign by choosing from one of three objectives:
LinkedIn and brand awareness can go hand-in-hand. Whether you want to run an ad that promotes one of your recent blog posts, spotlight a service that you offer, promote your LinkedIn Page to get more followers, etc., you can create a variety of ad types that ultimately help others become familiar with your brand. These campaigns might not directly lead to sales right away, but some companies want to first establish a presence for themselves so that potential customers have some familiarity before you make a more direct push.
Another objective that you can choose for your campaign is consideration. That can mean several things, such as driving website traffic, getting engagement on your LinkedIn posts, or getting prospects to watch a video of yours. With this somewhat middle-ground objective, potential customers might learn about your brand but also start to consider whether purchasing insurance from you aligns with what they’re looking for.
With LinkedIn ads, you can also set your campaign objective to be for conversion. For example, if you want to increase lead generation, you can create a campaign that gets leads to complete forms to share important info with you, using pre-filled info from their LinkedIn accounts to simplify this process.
LinkedIn Ad Types
In addition to setting your overall objective, you can also choose from a variety of ad types. Rather than just putting up a digital banner ad, for example, as you might on other websites, you can use different types of ad formats on LinkedIn to create awareness across the following four categories:
If you’ve scrolled through your LinkedIn news feed, you’ve probably already seen what LinkedIn calls “Sponsored Content”. These can look somewhat like the other posts in your feed but are sponsored, thus changing the reach. And within this category you can choose from several formats, such as if you want to run a video ad or a carousel ad where viewers can scroll through multiple images.
With Sponsored Messaging, you can land directly in a prospect’s LinkedIn inbox, known as InMail. Not only can that help expand your ability to directly reach out to potential customers (if you’ve exceeded your InMail credits or don’t want to pay as much for these direct messages), but you can also customize your CTA. You can even include more than one CTA button, such as with one encouraging the prospect to download your content and another encouraging them to get in touch with you.
LinkedIn and brand awareness will benefit from something called Dynamic Ads. “Get personal with your target audience by activating ads customized for each member based on LinkedIn profile data in order to boost conversion rates,” the platform explains.
For example, one of these formats encourages prospects to follow your LinkedIn page. Or, you might want to showcase a specific type of insurance offering to entice prospects to click through to a landing page about that coverage.
Another option is to use Text Ads, which are generally simpler promotions that include a headline, description and the option to include a small image. These can be used as either pay-per-click campaigns or the cost can be based on the number of impressions your ads get.
Finding the Right Audience
Creating a great ad only matters if you get that ad in front of the right audience. Fortunately, you can target your ads to specific audiences within LinkedIn. The platform lets you choose from over 20 attributes, ranging from company size to the schools that LinkedIn members attended.
Within the workflow of creating a LinkedIn and brand awareness campaign, you would choose your target audience before selecting your ad format. However, you might want to think about these different sections more holistically, rather than only going through them sequentially. For example, if you want to send sponsored messages to get into prospects’ InMail inboxes, then you might try to form a personal connection, which could mean targeting those who share your alma mater.
You’ll also take steps like choosing the campaign budget later, but also think about that when choosing your objective, audience, etc. For example, if you have a huge marketing budget, then you might be able to afford a LinkedIn brand awareness campaign that targets mid-size businesses where you want to get your foot in the door. But if you have a very small budget and are banking on that quickly turning into sales, you might use conversion campaigns that target small businesses, which might purchase smaller policies but have a shorter decision-making timeframe if there are fewer stakeholders involved.
Measure and Tweak
Hitting a home run on your first LinkedIn ad campaign isn’t easy, but you can easily measure the results within the platform and tweak from there so you can improve. For that matter, you might decide to split your budget among a few different campaigns at first to see what works well and what doesn’t. If you see that video ads lead to more website clicks than, say, sponsored messages, then you might put more budget toward creating video ads in the future. From there, you could further tweak your campaigns by running two different types of video ads to see what types of content resonate more with your target audience.
Overall, LinkedIn ads offer significant potential to find leads and gain more customers. Whether you want to generate more brand awareness, get more website traffic, gain followers, etc., you can do so with LinkedIn ads. And if you measure your results and adjust your campaigns accordingly, you can get more bang for your buck over time.