LinkedIn LeadGen Tips for Cyber Security Marketers
With 645 million members worldwide, LinkedIn is officially the best place on the planet to network in the professional space. The platform is experiencing more engagement than ever, which makes it the perfect time to start devoting some budget there to get your share of attention from the cyber security professionals on the network.
Using LinkedIn's lead generation tools smartly can set your company apart in a crowded cyber security ecosystem. Here are some of our best tips to get you started. If you are interested in how much you need to invest in your PPC budget and what kind of return you can expect, you should check out our shiny new Cyber Security Marketing Campaign Benchmarks Report.
Promotion Only Matters if Your Content is Valuable
The bargain you strike with prospects to get their attention and information is that you're providing them with valuable information in return. Information that's relevant to their concerns, communicates to them on their terms, and gives them something concrete to take away.
As always, content starts with the personas. The perspectives of a CISO and security analyst aren't the same. Quality content targets a specific persona with the messages and materials most pressing for that persona. You also need to intersect the persona with the stage of their buying journey. Identifying this nexus for every piece of content forces you to tighten focus on the needs of that persona in that moment. Committing to the persona plus buying stage nexus is essential for offering attractive content that will generate leads in your marketing campaign.
The last major building block for engaging content is putting it in the format prospects will engage with. From whitepapers to podcasts to interactive content, choose the content format best suited to deliver specific information. Remarketing with different content offers is an effective way to test out what content topics and formats will convert at different funnel stages.
Best Practices for Ads on LinkedIn
We've done years of banner ad A/B testing with our clients and discovered what works and what doesn't. Brand alignment comes first, both the visuals and message. Viewers understand the point of banner ads, so getting needlessly fancy only distracts. Keep text and images simple. Direct CTAs and color block backgrounds with a human face (turns out, people like people!) focuses the viewer's attention quickly.
Here's an ad we did for Vulcan Cyber. Readers know exactly who this whitepaper is for, what it's about, and how to get it.
In the first ad, you'll notice how we used color blocking without getting held to using a flat color background. Muted behind the grey-scale, we presented an engaged professional, so the viewer could identity themselves and get motivated to download the whitepaper. LinkedIn also makes it easy to run A/B tests, as we did here with two different calls-to-action: “Download” versus “Get.” and two different background designs.
LinkedIn offers a variety of ad types for your marketing campaigns:
- Text ads are the most visually simple ads and the most budget friendly. You can use content variations in the same campaign to find the most effective option.
- Display ads contain images or short video, which nearly always boost conversions above plain text. You can let your banner ad creative flag fly with premium display ads, which offer a variety of placement and size options.
- Dynamic ads put your prospect in your ad. Some may find that creepy, but it definitely grabs their attention. You can use these ads to drive traffic to your LinkedIn assets or to drive traffic to an external landing page or website.
- Sponsored content shows up on the homepage newsfeed, blending in with user posts. Because these aren't grouped in the known advertising space, they often have higher CTR rates than ads.
- Sponsored InMail gets a tailored message right in a prospect's LinkedIn inbox. Use InMail for more personalized messages, like inviting prospects to a webinar or offering a free trial. InMail works on a "cost per send" model.
With all its ad options, LinkedIn provides real time analytics you can use to A/B test and refine your message and target market to optimize your spend.
LinkedIn LeadGen Forms vs. Landing Pages
Leadgen forms provide the easiest experience for the lead and the leadgen marketer. Instead of building a custom landing page, users who click on your LinkedIn ads can open a LinkedIn leadgen form auto-populated with their information. Mobile users particularly appreciate this frictionless auto-complete form experience.
We've found these leadgen forms generate high quality leads with a lower CPL (cost per lead) than landing pages. However, their high conversion rate may result in a mixture of qualified and unqualified leads. In contrast, custom landing pages give you more control over how much and what kind of information you collect. They also get the prospect out of LinkedIn and onto your own territory, which improves brand recall of your company. LinkedIn does integrate its leadgen form data with some marketing automation platforms, like HubSpot.
However, if you can't get this data into the platform you use, remarketing to these leads isn't an option. If you want to target these leads with campaigns that push them further down the funnel, you'll have to get their data into your CRM.
Leveraging LinkedIn's Database for MQLs or ABM
Clearly not all 645 million LinkedIn users are potential MQLs. But you can bet that your target market and the specific people you want to reach are there, along with reams of data about them. That's why LinkedIn offers such high ROI potential, whether you use its marketing tools or use its data to execute laser-like account based marketing campaigns.
Running ABM campaigns on LinkedIn basically enables you to upload a list of companies and/or of contacts who you specifically want to market to. Your ad will only appear in their feed. The costs here are higher per MQL but each MQL will be very specific. Keep in mind that your Sales Reps need to call the leads within 2-3 hours.
You can also use LinkedIn to gather intel for broader marketing campaigns. One particular campaign that we ran exclusively on LinkedIn for a client used the best MQL profiles discovered during the LinkedIn-only phase as models, we then developed lookalike personas to target as we expanded the PPC campaign to other channels. The result was a 70% increase in lead to MQL ratio and a significant drop in cost per lead.
With targeted content, LinkedIn can be a goldmine of highly qualified leads. Luckily, we have a team of LinkedIn lead generation experts who are wizards at using the platform to increase your flow of MQLs. Give us a shout and let's talk!