LinkedIn recently launched their new messaging-based ad format, Conversation Ads, providing businesses with the opportunity to interact with prospects in a more engaging and personal way. Here at redpepper, we love exploring new tactics, so of course we jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the Conversation Ad beta test.
Conversation Ads feature a ‘choose your own path’ experience, allowing brands to create full-funnel campaigns that serve multiple customized calls to action, turning one-sided messages into two-sided conversations. This ad format aligns with the rise in LinkedIn’s messaging, where the number of messages sent has quadrupled in the last five years (source).
As we continue tailoring these ads to generate the highest quality conversions, we wanted to share key takeaways from our initial campaign test so that you can make the most out of this new ad type. Here are five insights that we’ll be incorporating into all future LinkedIn Conversation Ad campaigns:
- Lead with the big ask.
Make your audience aware of your big ask at the start of your Conversation Ad campaign. Don’t bury it at the bottom of the conversation/customer journey as users may not complete the whole journey to be served the desired call to action. For example, in our campaign, the big ask was for the user to complete the lead generation form to get in touch with redpepper. We made sure to include it as one of the button options accompanying our first message. This allowed users to bypass the subsequent messages and complete the conversion on their first click, if they wanted.
Aside from our big ask to drive conversions, we also included calls-to-action that directed users to relevant blog posts or case studies in order to drive awareness and consideration. Conversation Ads really can be one-stop-shopping for a full-funnel experience.
Bonus tip: There are no subject lines for Conversation Ads, so the first sentence of your message will appear as the subject (similar to any other LinkedIn message). Make sure to utilize this sentence to convey your main objective from the start.
- Re-engage with audiences that have interacted with your brand.
Although you can drive awareness and consideration with Conversation Ads, we still recommend targeting a primed audience. As we mentioned above, the goal of our Conversation Ad campaign was conversions, which is considered further down the funnel. Serving this messaging to audiences who have already expressed interest and engaged with previous content we’ve shared would lead to higher performance metrics. The audience would already be familiar with who we are and what we do, versus a brand new audience that might need a little more nurturing.
- Focus targeting parameters on job title vs. job function.
Focusing our targeting on job titles helped to ensure that we were reaching the job titles we were most interested in and most aligned with who we wanted to convert. When we initially launched our Conversation Ad campaign, we tested targeting based on job function—a targeting criteria we often use on sponsored content to reach a wider audience. Although this level of targeting did bring in leads, some were outside our target audience of marketing decision-makers. By targeting specific job titles and excluding those that were not of a priority for our campaign, we were then able to focus on reaching and engaging with our target audience.
- Budget Optimization.
We recommend starting strong with the budget, allowing the campaign to build momentum among the target audiences. This also allows the campaign to generate substantial performance metrics, allowing for insights to be discovered sooner rather than later.
From there, the campaign can continue to build off the momentum generated on launch to further reach and engage with the targeted prospects. And as always, we recommend assessing and analyzing along the way.
- Seek guidance during beta.
Just as any good pioneer, we learned as we went along—including acquiring knowledge about a few key features and best practices for this new ad format after launching our campaign. These included banner ad capabilities, utilizing LinkedIn conversions to generate additional data about specific user journeys, and most importantly, campaign performance flow charts—which are crucial to learning where users are dropping off within the conversation.
Since this is a new ad format, we recommend doing your research to see what has proven most successful and following LinkedIn’s best practices when crafting a Conversation Ad campaign. We also recommend working with a LinkedIn rep before launch to make the most of the new Conversation Ad format.
Personalized messaging is becoming increasingly popular among brands in the marketing world today. According to Twilio, “89% of consumers would like to use messaging with businesses but only 48% of businesses are using messaging tools to engage with their audience.” Communication preferences are shifting to be more interactive and conversational. What better time to be an early mover on LinkedIn’s Conversation Ads?
Have you tried LinkedIn Conversation Ads? If so, we would love to hear about your experience!