With 900 million active users, LinkedIn is the largest professional network in the world. But are marketers making the most of the rich data that LinkedIn Ads has to offer?
In episode four of The Undiscovered Metric, we’re joined by Dayo Fordah, Product Marketing Manager at Adverity, to find out which overlooked metrics marketers can use to make their LinkedIn video ads a success.
Check out the latest episode of The Undiscovered Metric below to find out how to make good LinkedIn video ads.
Find out how to make good LinkedIn video ads.
Hi Dayo, could you tell us a bit about how you got into the world of marketing and data?
I've always been interested in advertising, but more from a creative perspective. So when I graduated university back in 2011, I tried to get into that space. I got into web development to open up some opportunities and earn some money, and from there that's when I found the wonderful world of digital marketing.
I started off in a media agency called MEC (now Wavemaker), where I was creating and setting up campaigns for digital and display ads. I ended up running that team and went on to get involved in the strategy behind the tracking tags that get placed on advertisers' sites.
Off the back of that, I came to Adverity where I worked as a Solutions Consultant, walking prospects through demos and trials, explaining where functions could resolve issues and alleviate all the different pain points. Now I’ve transitioned into a Product Marketing Manager.
Could you give us a bit of background on how LinkedIn Ads has become so vital to marketers?
For anyone that doesn't know, LinkedIn is the largest professional network on the planet. It's a place where you can find new jobs, cultivate your career by networking, and learn the skills required for the profession that you want to go into. There’s a wealth of knowledge on LinkedIn to help you become an expert in your field. It’s similar to a social network because it has a newsfeed with tons of content on a myriad of subjects, but those subjects tend to lean towards the professional and corporate.
From an advertiser perspective, if you're a B2B enterprise, then this is the network that you really want to be advertising on. And while comparatively, LinkedIn is quite an expensive ad platform, this is for good reason. The audience that you can reach is full of high-quality, high-intent, people with significant resources to purchase the products and services that you want to sell to them.
What are the data points that advertisers should focus on to improve their LinkedIn Ads campaigns?
There are several key data points that are essential to succeeding on LinkedIn and achieving your KPIs, but I’d say these are the top two.
Total engagement is an important metric to determine whether your campaign content is resonating with your audience. This metric aggregates and measures likes, comments, and shares on your ads or posts. It’s a valuable metric for assessing campaign performance in reaching your target audience because it indicates how many individuals are being exposed to your ads. Higher reach means effective targeting, more prospects, and more sales.
Cost per mille, or CPM, refers to the cost per thousand impressions. Impressions represent how many times your ad material has been viewed by users on LinkedIn. A high impression rate indicates high-quality content that aligns with the needs of your visitors. Achieving a high number of impressions for your ads or video ads on LinkedIn means your content is interesting, and people are interested in returning to it because it's relevant to their professional career.
Is LinkedIn advertising all about balancing numbers versus cost?
Yes, it's important to understand that LinkedIn advertising can be expensive, but you get what you pay for. If you use LinkedIn effectively and configure the right targetting settings to zero in on your audience, you'll reach high-quality members who are more likely to convert. And in turn, you’ll reach your campaign goals. However, if you don't use the correct settings and attributes for your audience, campaigns can be costly, and results can be unfavorable.
What would you say are the undiscovered metrics that people may be overlooking in LinkedIn Ads?
LinkedIn video ad completion is an underutilized metric that tends to go overlooked, especially by agencies. Agencies often gravitate towards metrics that are easier to achieve, such as video impressions. However, LinkedIn video ad completion is a more important metric because it tells you how well your audience is engaging with your content. If your audience is watching the entire video, it means your video content is high quality, concise, and holding their attention.
Additionally, video increments, such as video first quartile LinkedIn video ad completion and video mid-point completion, are important metrics to assess the quality of your content. By analyzing where viewers are dropping off in your video ads, you can determine how well your content is resonating with your audience and make adjustments to improve engagement.
These metrics are also useful for funneling users into different audiences based on how far they've progressed in the video. For example, if a user drops off at 75% of the video, you can retarget them with content that addresses the final 25% of the video and better communicate your product or service offerings. You can make all sorts of other creative decisions that will better communicate what pain points your services can actually address for that user. These metrics are essential for guiding the quality of your ad content.
Are people not using the video increments metric because of a lack of awareness, or is it just that we're still focusing on those traditional vanity metrics?
Yeah, I would say that. So people are definitely aware that these metrics exist, but a lot of the time they're prioritizing going after metrics that are a lot easier to accomplish to present a better picture. Because of that, they are not aware of the value that you get from utilizing these particular metrics. The fact that you can use the video increment metrics, for example, to really tweak your content and suit your needs, and also become a lot better at targeting different personas and users at different stages of the purchase funnel.
I think people are put off by the high threshold and difficulty that comes when you want to get high numbers for those metrics, and they're unaware of the value of these metrics.
Are there any other common mistakes people make when running ads on LinkedIn?
So I would say that is probably the biggest mistake that advertisers are making. There are some other basic mistakes that some people are still making, things like ensuring that the LinkedIn pixel is placed on the advertiser's site. The pixel tracks information and data from visitors to the site, and marketers aren't taking full advantage of all the valuable information on their users. That data can be used to make the targeting more specific to the users, and marketers can learn more about their users by putting the pixel down on the site, gathering that information, and then using it to further tweak their targeting parameters within the platform.
Other mistakes include getting the timing right when it comes to running campaigns. People forget that selectively choosing when a campaign is live or paused makes all the difference. Marketers need to get into the minds of their audience members and determine when they are most likely to be looking at the platform, such as during their morning commute, lunchtime, or evening commute. Also, people tend to disregard the fact that users look at LinkedIn during the weekend as well. Marketers need to pay attention to the different times of day in which users are active on the platform to expose their ads to these users.
Another mistake that people make is deleting an audience within the platform when it's not accomplishing what they're after. When people don't get the results they want, they often discard the entire audience, which is a big mistake. Sometimes, it may just take one or two tweaks for marketers to see massive gains in what they're trying to accomplish. It's essential to invest time in building audiences and not lose heart when results aren't what you want. It's important to keep tweaking and learning.
I really can't undersell the wealth of information that you get from users within LinkedIn because things like a job title interests or what companies they follow, what pages they follow, which influencers they follow — that data is so, so invaluable when it comes to building a really rich consumer profile for your different audiences.
Are there any things that you really think are going to catch fire over the next 12 to 18 months in the world of data and marketing?
I just want to preface this by saying a lot of things. All of these things I mentioned should have caught fire a while ago. You could have asked me the same question a year or two ago, and I would have said the same thing. But there's been a lot of delays with regard to these things actually capturing the advertising world by storm.
1. Augmented analytics
Firstly, I think augmented analytics is going to be big. It's an approach to data analytics that is powered by AI, machine learning, natural language processing, and statistical modeling. It combines the client's historical data to automate processes that would be done by a specialist or a data scientist.
Although this technology has existed for a long time, advertisers have been slow to see its value due to their data immaturity. However, with the recent rise of AI and machine learning like ChatGPT in creating content and making decisions I think the advertising world is finally ready to get on board with augmented analytics.
2. Cookiless tracking
Secondly, cookieless tracking is going to be important. We've been aware of the cookie-pocalypse for a considerable number of years now, but because Google's Chrome browser, which has by far the highest share in the browser markets and hasn't yet deprecated third-party cookies. Because of this, many companies have been dragging their heels when it comes to understanding and utilizing all the different cookieless tracking technology available to them.
Companies need to get a better understanding of how all the different walled gardens work, and leverage first-party data, zero-party data, through approaches like cohort analysis.
3. Zero-party data
Lastly, zero-party data is going to be big. Think of it as a subset of first-party data. This is the quantitative data that your users voluntarily give to you. And that data has a lot more detail into who they are as people — data about their sentiments, their behaviors, their attitudes towards your advertising. Marketers need to be collecting that data to build richer consumer profiles and get a more detailed understanding of the customer journey, the customer journey in the sense of all the different interactions that customer has with your business.
I think companies need to get more into the habit of recognizing and harnessing paradigm-shifting technologies instead of waiting for their hands to be forced.
What advice would you give to someone who's about to head into the world of data and analytics?
I would definitely say shadowing is very underutilized. It's very important for any person to have a full understanding of how all the different roles within their business work. People tend to get fixated on what they're doing, and they lack a proper understanding of how different teams and other departments link into the company ecosystem. I would say that if you’re just starting out and you’re in an open-plan office, then really take advantage of that, and take the opportunity to reach out to other people. If you want to understand their jobs better, don't be afraid to ask questions. You can really broaden your skill set by understanding how all the different channels and mediums in your company work together.
Reach out to people, be curious, ask questions, and advocate for yourself. Build your exposure to different departments, because it will really take you far when it comes to your progression through your career and upward mobility.
If you enjoyed the Undiscovered Metric, you can check out the previous episode here.
Kim Whittaker, Senior Director of Professional Services at Adverity explains what the key metrics are for Google Ads, and how they can help you optimize your marketing campaigns.