Like many marketers, we used to think that Social was only effective as a top-of-the-funnel discovery channel.
When we started using a multi-touch attribution solution and model to measure all of our marketing, including Social, we learned that we were severely overvaluing the impact Social had on revenue. The data from a single-touch model was inaccurate by as much as 25%.
After seeing the new and more accurate data, we knew that we had to re-think how we used our paid social channels, primarily LinkedIn.
This post will walk through how we now use LinkedIn for full-funnel marketing.
Building Awareness With LinkedIn Ads
We used to only do top of the funnel ads on LinkedIn. Social was primarily recognized as an awareness and discovery channel. Today, we still use LinkedIn at the top of the funnel, but we’ve made our targeting more sophisticated.
As we’ve written about before, we’ve found success promoting both gated and ungated content. But the other side of the equation is targeting -- who do you want to see your ads? As we have shifted to an account-based marketing strategy, the ad targeting has become even more important. There are specific accounts that we want to engage with, and within those accounts there are specific personas.
By filtering by job title and skill, we’re able to execute persona-based targeting. By creating persona-specific campaigns, we can make sure that our top-of-the-funnel content that’s perfect for CMOs is only seen by CMOs and other high-level marketers, while content that’s perfect for paid media managers is only seen by paid media managers.
With these ad campaigns, the goal is still to build awareness and engage accounts for the first time, but now they are much more highly targeted.
After we make that initial contact with the key personas at our target accounts, we want to continue to educate our prospects. For us, this means nurturing prospects with content about how attribution solves problems like misalignment between marketing and sales, marketing reporting on engagement and activity rather than revenue, etc.
The content is more solution-focused than our awareness ads and have the goal of converting anonymous visitors into leads, and also to nurture existing leads.
In the middle of the funnel, we are also able to introduce ads through LinkedIn Lead Accelerator (LLA). So not only are we reaching prospects on their LinkedIn feed, we’re able to leverage LinkedIn’s display ad network to deliver relevant content outside of LinkedIn.
At this point, we know more about our visitors since they’ve engaged with us before. At the same time, we also know who our sales team has engaged with either over the phone or through email. With this data set, we can create more targeted lists with which to target our LinkedIn ads, both sponsored updates and LLA.
In the middle of the funnel, we’re able to hone in on good prospects as well as continue to provide educational content to prospects who may be a little farther away from being good fits. Both our content and our ad placements reflect this.
Once we’ve identified accounts at the bottom of the funnel, through demo requests or through our predictive account engagement score, we can create super-targeted lists and deliver highly relevant content depending on their specific scenario. Often, this means offering case studies or other bottom-of-the-funnel content -- content that we hope push people over the line.
The goal at this stage is to help our account executives have good conversations with prospects. We want them to be knowledgeable about the space, have identified their issues, and know a little bit about how our product solves it. Through content like case studies, we can show prospects how companies that are similar to theirs have benefited from using our product.
Normally, when you see that you’ve been overvaluing a channel’s contribution to revenue by 25%, the reaction is to do less of it.
With multi-touch marketing attribution that tracks every stage of the funnel, we were confident that if we changed our strategy but continued to invest in LinkedIn, it had the potential to succeed. Besides, if the full-funnel LinkedIn strategy didn’t pan out, we would quickly have trustworthy data and could change course.
So what were the results?
After switching to a full-funnel strategy, our lead volume went down 11% which may not seem ideal, but LinkedIn’s impact on revenue went up 3%. Our LinkedIn marketing is now much more efficient.
Today, we are spending less money on leads that are less likely to convert. At the same time we are helping our sales team make more efficient use of their time by only connecting them to higher quality leads. With full-funnel marketing, our LinkedIn marketing is now truly optimized for revenue, not leads.
For more information on how to get the most out of the LinkedIn ads, check out the guide below.