The Definitive Guide to Marketing Webinars on LinkedIn: Using Sponsored Updates to Get Registrants {Part 1 of 5}

Posted by Ben Kniffen in Uncategorized

This is first installment in our five part webinar marketing series:
The Definitive Guide to Marketing Webinars on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn gives advertisers a number of different options for advertising – banner ads, text ads, text link ads, company sponsored updates, direct sponsored content, and video ads.

But what method is the best for marketing your webinars?

In Part 1 of our webinar marketing series, The Definitive Guide to Marketing Webinars on LinkedIn, I’ll show you how to successfully use LinkedIn ads, and more specifically “Sponsored Updates,” as a platform to market your webinar on LinkedIn and share some of the PRO TIPS that we’ve learned from running these campaigns for our own company and our client campaigns.

Let's start with the type of ads you should be running…

We have spent tens of thousands of dollars learning this:

Sponsored Updates and Direct Sponsored Content is the way to go.

So what are Sponsored Updates?

Sponsored updates appear on the home page of your chosen audience as if they were just another status update. The audience will be alerted that the post is sponsored, similar to News Feed ads on Facebook.

If you're promoting a webinar or other resourceful content, you’ll have a far better chance of convincing your prospects to take action than with right-column or banner ads.

Again, we've spent A LOT of money to figure this out, and it has been far and away the proven choice to get results.

What is Direct Sponsored Content?

In the last half of 2014, LinkedIn introduced Direct Sponsored Content, an expansion of their Sponsored Update platform.

Here’s how it works…You will create an update – which will include a link to your landing page – and send it to the demographic you choose in the ad manager.

When your audience clicks on the update, it will take them directly to your webinar landing page – where you will get them to register for the event.

With Direct Sponsored Content you can create hidden posts that won’t show up on your company page and will only be shown to your chosen audience.

This allows you to test all sorts of variants (different ad copy and images) without cluttering your company LinkedIn page.

What should I keep in mind when promoting my webinar via Direct Sponsored Content?

The major key to focus on here is to highlight the biggest benefit attendees will get from watching your webinar.

And no, this isn’t that they get to hear your lovely voice for an hour. 🙂

What will attendees learn? What quantifiable results can they get from watching?

Help them justify spending an hour or more of their time with you by giving them the goods on how you will empower them.

Don’t go heavy on your sales pitch in your ads. Instead, sell them on attending because you are a resource, simply looking to help them succeed, not just sell them.

How do I set up Direct Sponsored Content?

1.) Log into you LinkedIn account.

Then hover over your profile picture in the upper-right hand corner and click on Manage under Advertising.

At this point LinkedIn will direct you to log into the ad manager section which is the same user name and password as your regular LinkedIn account.

2.) Click on ‘Create New Campaign’.

3.) Click ‘Sponsor Content’ on the right-hand side.

Now you’ll name the campaign, choose the company the update is for, then choose to either sponsor existing content or create Direct Sponsored Content.

We highly recommend using Direct Sponsored Content over the Sponsored Updates because this will eliminate an endless supply of posts from showing up on your company page every single time you test new copy or images.

4.) Find your audience.

After clicking ‘Next’ you’ll get to define your target audience.

Although B2B and B2C content can both get results on LinkedIn, we’ve found B2B ads to be particularly effective because of the large amount of data and targeting you can sort by job title/company/industry/professional industry networking groups/company size/etc. which trumps other social media platforms within those professional segments.

Don’t make the mistake of just assuming your service or product is for everyone under the sun.

Think of some ways to segment your audiences and pair that with the copy in the ad/sponsored content you are providing.

You can target by specific companies (or exclude others) or by job titles, and then refine each search using other mitigating factors (i.e. geography, company size, or groups).

Once you begin adding segments to your target audience, LinkedIn will provide suggestions. For example, if I am targeting employees of Coca-Cola, LinkedIn will suggest I add employees of PepsiCo.

The audience gauge on the right hand size will tell you how large your potential audience is, based on the criteria you have entered.pat 6

There is a new feature that LinkedIn is currently Beta testing (called “Audience Expansion” that will expand your audience to reach members similar to the audience you are defining.

This should give you a better chance at getting your ad in front of your ideal prospects.

For most webinar promotions, we would recommend serving an ad to an audience that is at a minimum 25,000 people.

Otherwise it may be too competitive in the budgeting to show your ad to enough potential registrants.

5.) Budgeting

On the next page you will set your bidding price. You will be entering the maximum amount you are willing to spend to get a prospect to click on your update (the minimum bid price is set by LinkedIn).

A great thing about LinkedIn’s budgeting process is that they only charge for legitimate clicks on your update…unlike most Facebook campaigns (which charge you for likes, comments, etc.).

This means you won’t be charged for social actions (likes, comments or shares) and all clicks will result in prospects being sent to your landing page.

After setting your maximum bid (we recommend setting it towards the middle of LinkedIn’s suggestion), you can set a daily budget for your campaign or an overall budget.

Don't be afraid to bid CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions).  We often find that our overall click costs end up costing significantly less when we bid CPM.

The daily budget you set is dependent on your realistic goals for conversions on the landing page and what a webinar registrant is worth to you.pat 5

Once you have your campaign budget and the dates scheduled, hit “launch campaign” at the bottom of the screen.

When launched, your advertisement will be reviewed by LinkedIn to make sure it meets all advertising guidelines.

It can take up to 24 hours for LinkedIn to approve or deny your submission. Once approved, you'll start seeing some results and will want to optimize your ad as needed to improve conversions!

Stay tuned for Part 2 of The Definitive Guide to Marketing Webinars on LinkedIn: How to Add Hundreds of Registrants from Your LinkedIn Groups (for Free!)

We have helped businesses of all sizes generate leads through effective LinkedIn marketing solutions.