Today more than ever, we find ourselves in an individualistic society. Thinking independently reigns supreme. Retailers are responding to consumers thirst for uniqueness. Many have removed branding from clothing in favor of letting the fit speak for itself.
To this end, “sponsored”, paid, PPC, and Google AdWords ads exist in a sort of grey area. Internet-savvy consumers recognize these are paid ads. As such, they are likely to skip over them accordingly when they appear at the top and bottom of search engine results pages (SERPs). Whether or not search-engine-related traffic is paid for or not, it depends on target customers searching for a keyword. Such keywords are presumably relevant to the product.
This sponsored advertising versus organic content can get complicated. It gets especially dicey when goods or services offered are tailored to best be utilized in a B2B exchange.
When considering what to buy in bulk from another business, internal salespeople are far less likely to turn to Google than is the average individual consumer. For these kinds of goods and services, it is safe to assume they will ask for the recommendations of connections within their network. Said network includes social media, where LinkedIn reigns supreme for professional recommendations.
It is safe to say that LinkedIn trumps Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram when it comes to professional networking and connections. The opportunity to network with connections you already know personally is the first value LinkedIn provides. Secondly, LinkedIn allows for the equivalent of paid advertising: sponsored InMail. Such communication allows a user to directly reach out to someone they are not officially connected with on LinkedIn. So-called InMail message will be delivered into the same inbox where the recipient conducts all correspondence. The recipient will receive a specific email alerting him that he has received an InMail message received, and from whom.
Read on for encouraged considerations as you conduct InMail marketing campaigns:
LinkedIn InMail is the ultimate in targeted advertising. It is as if you posted an ad on Google relevant to only one, specific user when he or she searched for your desired keyword. Additionally, because it is a personal message through a social media platform, there is a reasonable expectation of response.
Still, it is possible for senders to target InMail recipients not previously identified. Much like Facebook Ads Manager, InMail allows senders to select from the following “specific targeting criteria to zero in on your ideal audience”:
- company name
- company industry
- company size
- job title
- job function
- job seniority
- member schools
- fields of study
- member skills
- member groups
- member gender
- member age
- years of experience
Advantageously, sponsored LinkedIn mail allows users to filter potential recipients. From here, users can pursue retargeting based on users who have previously visited a company’s website, but did not convert.
Remember that the value of sponsored InMail lies within its personalized touch. Utilize filtering to its full potential before hitting “send” on a message. Message specificity should be based on both industry and personality. Failing to take into account the way in which the service was intended to be used will no doubt result in subpar conversions and performance.
Persona doesn’t mean digging into the personality type of a recipient before sending. Rather, it is defined as taking his or her job title and career background into account. For example, your comments on a trending technology article will likely intrigue a CTO. You will receive bonus points if it is specific to his or her vertical. Managers value insight into the people-side of businesses. For example, an article on how to maximize productivity from their employees while making them feel valued and respected would be well-received.
Sponsored InMail simplifies the vertical and persona formula. LinkedIn has created channels to allow senders to target their search to employees that hold a specific position within a company or vertical. For example, you can search for Marketing VP’s in the publishing industry to broadcast a new book with potential press-appeal.
3. Call to action
On the plus side, sponsored InMail has many strengths. However, it does not offer recipients the ability to respond to the message. Knowing this, the call to action within the message must be obvious. Intriguing a recipient with a vague prospect will not be enough. Provide a clear and concise call to action.
Success metrics vary depending on the type of persona and industry of the user sending the InMail messages. Those receiving messages has an impact, as well. Notably, there is evidence that adding a button to call or schedule a meeting was effective. In any case, it elicited more follow up engagement than “get quote”. Sending a blog and tailored case studies page also perform worse than a “schedule meeting” button.
Divvy up your social media budget however you choose, but be sure to include LinkedIn InMail in some capacity. InMail presents unique advantages not found on other platforms.
Contact KitelyTech today to discuss the details of how we can add value to you and your online business.