LinkedIn Ads platform has significantly evolved since its launch back in 2005. Fifteen years later it is still a pillar in paid social advertising especially for advertisers who would like to leverage it for creating and nurturing B2B relationships. With 310 million MAU (Monthly Active Users) it provides a unique opportunity to reach out to audiences based on their job title, industry, company size and name, seniority, and more. This has given LinkedIn Ads a very unique value proposition that makes it a marketer’s first choice when it comes to influencing business decision-makers.
In terms of platform features though, LinkedIn always has looked at Facebook Ads as a role model. Features such as Objective-based campaigns, Lookalike Audiences and Custom (list-based) Audiences were introduced to Facebook Ads way ahead of LinkedIn Ads and eventually made their way to the platform as users expected LinkedIn to keep up!
This has remained true in the last few releases of features to LinkedIn Ads. A bundle of improved audience building features, new ad types, and enhanced reporting made many avid users of the platform really happy about in the last few months. In this post, we’re going to take a look at some of these features and explore ideas and use cases.
I clearly remember how excited I got when I heard about the introduction of Video Views objective to the platform about a year ago. My excitement didn’t last long though, there was no way to retarget the engagements with the view based on the watch time/percentage and this meant running these campaigns only would make sense if we wanted to influence brand awareness. Yes, it was listed under the “consideration” column but what should we do after someone watches the video? There was no way to target those engagements. Well, that’s not the case anymore!
With the most recent changes to the Matched Audiences, we are able to create video engagement audiences based on percentage watched. Options are 25%, 50%, 75%, and 97% watch percentages of the videos going back all the way to 365 days. Now we get to plug in those warmed-up valuable engagement audiences in a conversion campaign for one last nudge.
In a similar move, LinkedIn has introduced engagement audiences to Lead Gen forms too. At the moment, it allows advertisers to create audiences based on form opens and form completions, and, similar to video views, there is a maximum lookback window of 365 days. In both cases, the audiences need to populate at least 300 LinkedIn members before they can be used in a campaign.
In addition to targeting these audiences with follow-up messaging, another great idea is creating lookalike audiences from them. For example, an advertiser would make a lookalike audience based on video engagements in a Video View campaign or a lookalike based on Lead Gen Form submissions. This option allows you to target users similar to those that have engaged with your content previously.
Similar to Facebook Ads’ Messaging Ads and built on InMail ads, Conversational Ads will help us to engage in an interaction more sophisticated than showing an image or a video ad and hoping to get a click. Instead, we can engage in a conversation, provide some context, and tell a story by sending a personalized series of messages.
This new format is available under Lead Generation and Website Visits campaign objectives and can be combined with features such as conversion tracking or lead gen forms. You get to design a flow for the conversation either from a great selection of templates or from scratch and tie each path to a certain CTA depending on the user responses. This ad type is currently in beta so you may have to wait a little longer for it in case your account is not already part of the beta rollout.
And last but definitely not least in the list of recent improvements to the LinkedIn Ads platform, we need to talk about all the improvements with the reporting and UI. LinkedIn Ads now reports metrics such as Reach and Avg Frequency so we all have a better sense of ad fatigue and controlling it. They have even allocated a whole new view for delivery level metrics called, wait for it, Delivery View. I’m sure this is going to save many advertisers time and sanity as the only other way to get a feel about Reach and Frequency prior to this was having access to a dedicated LinkedIn rep and hoping for the best.
Even better, we get to have our own Custom Views by mixing and matching a personalized combination of metrics that we find relevant to our analysis and optimization process.
LinkedIn Ads has come a long way with completing its toolbox of campaign objectives, audience building features, ad types, and reporting. I’m pretty sure each LinkedIn Ads advertiser has their own wishlist of other features that the platform is still lacking, things such as placement customization, dynamic ads, multiple ad types in the same campaign, bulk editing tools and on top of it all, a more robust and user-friendly interface. Looking forward to seeing some of these implemented when we update this post!
Unveiling our first MarTech Intelligence Report on email marketing platforms
Email has always held a special place in my heart, perhaps because it seems so taken for granted in the digital marketing world. It’s been around too long to benefit from “shiny new object” syndrome, yet its true believers are fully appreciative of its power. What else delivers an ROI of $36 for every $1 spent, after all?
We hope you’ll take this opportunity to download this free buyers’ guide that looks at today’s email marketing technology and walks you through what you should consider before adopting a new platform or making the switch from your current provider.
Email marketing platforms and financial activity
The big marketing cloud providers, Adobe, Oracle, Salesforce as well as Acoustic and Zeta made investments in email by acquiring standalone players – some more recently than others.
Though the email category is well established, there are still plenty of investors who believe marketers are looking for innovations. In the last few years, many players in the space have attracted venture funding, while mergers and acquisition activity shows how email increasingly works together with other marketing technologies.
In May of 2021, Klayvio closed $320 million in Series D financing at a $9.5 billion valuation, just six months after its Series C of $200 million, according to Techcrunch, which says the next-gen email provider has taken in $675 million in all.
ActiveCampaign has received $360 million in VC funding through three rounds, Techcrunch says, with the most recent round of $240 million (at an over $3 billion valuation) coming in April 2021.
Iterable’s latest funding round occurred in June of 2021, which was reported to be $200 million. In total, Techcrunch reports the company has attracted $342.2 million in financing.
Meanwhile, Sendinblue’s latest funding round, a reported $160 million, occurred in September 2020.
Prior to that, the latest period of significant activity in the email space was 2018, when Braze brought in $80 million in October and Cordial took in $15 million in June.
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Mergers and acquisitions
Consolidation activity has been even higher in the past few years. The biggest blockbuster deal was Intuit’s acquisition of Mailchimp for $12 billion, announced in September of 2021, though Mailchimp is more focused on small and medium-sized businesses than enterprise customers.
In the same space, and also that month, Constant Contact finalized a deal to acquire email automation provider SharpSpring, following that up in January of 2022 with an agreement to acquire Australian SMS and email platform Vision6, a deal expected to close later in 2022.
Other recent big news involves the CM Group’s merger with Cheetah Digital, announced in October of 2021 and finalized in February of 2022. CM Group is also the parent of Campaign Monitor and Emma, among other related marketing technology brands like Sailthru. CM Group is majority-owned by Insight Partners.
For its part, Zeta Global acquired surveying tool Appness in October 2021. In 2019, the company purchased AI and content classification company Temnos in January, data management platform (DMP) and demand-side platform (DSP) Sizmek in April. It snapped up location data company PlaceIQ in July.
Validity acquired email analytics and deliverability provider 250ok in February 2020, cementing its deliverability and data quality capabilities. The company has previously acquired Return Path (2019), BriteVerify (2018), CRMfusion (2019) and AppBuddy (2019).
In our new MarTech Intelligence Report, you’ll learn more about these companies and their technologies, so you can determine which solution best meets your business’ needs. Download it today!
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