February 19, 2014
As the PPC competition increases over time we should all be looking for new opportunities. Although optimization is great, there is going to be a limit to advertising returns on Google and Bing.
One of the easiest ways to circumvent this fact is by pushing into completely new territory. Not just tackling new ideas and strategies but new platforms. By this point we’ve all been inundated with the idea that social media is the future. A long running worry has been what the actual value is, can performance on these platforms be measured in a meaningful way?
Twitter and LinkedIn have both enhanced their services by adding PPC components. Rather than post messages, tweets, or purchase inventory in the hope that it leads to increasing leads, you can pay per click or other specific actions. Like other PPC channels, this makes it easier to optimize and frees you of commitments to poor quality ads. This all sounds great but how to you explain it to a client or stakeholder, and why they should be interested/invest in this?
LinkedIn is the largest social media hub for professionals. As such it can be a boon for B2B companies. Rather than focus on keywords in the search engines, advertisers can target users who are already qualified and meet the criteria for an ideal customer. Advertisers have a multitude of targeting options including, age, gender, skills, position, title, industry, company size, department, interest groups, and more. This allows fine-tuning of campaigns and a much higher relevancy compared to other forms of advertising.
Consider for instance you run a technical support service for web apps and cloud based storage. Rather than focus on all types of companies you can target decision makers in web-based businesses but not those that deal primarily with hardware or medical technology. The best part is that little guesswork is needed in targeting. Your client or company should already have an ideal customer profile in mind to work with. You are then free to refine or expand from those parameters as needed.
Decide what you want to advertise. This may sound simple but are you highlighting your client services, webinars, white papers, etc.? All are valid but you want to make sure you have a specific method for how you will acquire leads. How are you going to leverage your assets to add value to potential clients? Make sure you have an idea in place for creative as well, especially if you are moving directly from the search network. LinkedIn ads feature images so it is not as easy as typing your 70 characters and selecting a landing page. You’ll be challenged to find ads that both meet specifications as well as being visually appealing.
Twitter is a large, global, network of users from all walks of life. While it may not offer the massive user base of Google or Facebook, the nature of Twitter means that promoted tweets are not just something on the side of the page but injected into occurring conversations allowing other users to engage through sharing and discussion of the messaging. Accounts themselves can also be promoted to help enhance a follower base. This is a tactic that drives long-term value, allowing an account to gather followers who provide an ongoing audience for future non-paid advertising.
Targeting is different than the other platforms but allows advertisers to promote accounts and tweets based off of interests, current discussions, and similarity to other users. Although mobile usage is prominent on Twitter, conversion codes are capable of tracking across devices. If a user see’s a tweet and converts on another device, it will recognize this as a conversion, removing some of the fears of lower quality traffic that can plague mobile initiatives. Of course for promoted tweets and those used to drive discussion, mobile users are just as capable of sharing and responding to specific tweets or accounts.
Similar to LinkedIn, you should have a plan for what you are advertising. Are you going to promote specific offers such as intro level service packages? Or are you going to drive discussions through promoting new content to an interested audience? The fluid nature of Twitter will both force advertisers to be creative about messaging and relevancy as discussions ebb and flow. There is also an extra burden of coming up with a selection of material for tweets. Unlike ads on Google Search, users are more likely to become fatigued by the same ads over and over, similar to display ads.
As you are planning, be sure to check out the plethora of case studies. LinkedIn and Twitter both feature case studies across many industries and companies. Twitter even goes as far to break down case studies by company size. Look for clients that are somewhat similar to your company or client. Study what they did and what the results were. Beyond the planning aspect this helps highlight the potential value and results that advertisers can drive on these channels. It also serves as an idea aid, helping you find initial strategies and proven methods for getting started.
Thanks for reading! Have you ever had to pitch advertising on Twitter or LinkedIn? If so, feel free to leave a comment. What was your main selling point, how did you explain the value of each platform?