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LinkedIn Conversation Ads Launching

LinkedIn's Chatty Ads Look To Capitalise On Messaging Growth

LinkedIn has announced the launch of a brand new ad format, Conversation Ads, looking to capitalise on the rising messaging tide.

Today, more than 2.5 billion people (35%) in the world use mobile messaging apps, and that number is expected to grow to nearly 40% by 2023.

Romina Bin Mac Donnell, LinkedIn Product Manager @ LinkedIn

“Conversation Ads, are the evolution in our new messaging-based ad format that helps you interact with your prospects in more personal and engaging ways.

Conversation Ads build on our current Message Ads offering (formerly Sponsored InMail), and feature a “choose your own path” experience that lets you create full-funnel campaigns with multiple customised calls-to-action, like product education, webinar sign-ups, and ebook downloads.”

LinkedIn Conversation Ads are similar in principle to Facebook’s automated lead generation ads for Messenger, which launched in late 2019.

Facebook’s version is typically tied with Click-to-Messenger ads whereby marketers push users from the News Feed into Messenger, before automating the lead qualification process in Messenger.

Which, in turn, makes them a little fiddly to set up. Not hard, just unintuitive.

LinkedIn’s are a tad simpler since Conversation Ads are just an ad format.

Conversation Ads include a variety of options to help you serve more personalised content based on where your prospect is in the customer’s journey. These ads are designed to help your prospects and customers access the content and offers most interesting to them instantly, driving higher-quality engagement for you.

Setting Up LinkedIn Conversation Campaigns 

For the launch, Conversation Ads are available on Website visits and Lead generation ad objectives.

Much like with Facebook’s equivalent, it is generally best to target campaigns of this nature at warm or at least familiar audiences.

Messaging feels quite similar to SMS; hence users are often thoroughly unimpressed with unsolicited communication.

Within LinkedIn, this comes to life best via Matched audiences, i.e. remarketing audiences or contacts in your email database.

Billing for these ads is set up by default to be charged on a Cost Per Send (CPS) basis.

It is also possible to set up conversion tracking from Conversation Ads, although this does require the LinkedIn Insight Tag to be installed first and for conversions to obviously be established within LinkedIn Campaign Manager.

Due to the business to business nature of the platform, LinkedIn allows up to 500 characters for the Intro message, with macros available for personalisation, as you’d expect.

According to LinkedIn, one case study showed that using a company name in a Sponsored Message campaign boosted CTR by 21%, while another case study showed using the Job Title macro boosted open rates by 48%.

Post personalisation you can a add variety of Call To Action buttons, eliciting a range of follow up responses from prospects, choose your own journey style, as per standard messaging activity.

No Time Like The Present

With a growing percentage of white-collar workers choosing/having to work from home during the COVID-19 crisis, LinkedIn usage must surely be surging.

Microsoft’s next quarterly results will make for interesting reading.

LinkedIn has announced that Conversation Ads will be rolling out globally in public beta over the next few weeks, so expect an avalanche of campaigns once they do.

Ahead of that, it would be wise for enterprise marketers and corporate communicators, in general, to make LinkedIn a priority channel.

With ad spend likely to tumble through 2020, LinkedIn offers good unpaid marketing exposure. Similarly, its ads, while still a little pricey, are beginning to fall in cost, according to Adstage, due to its growing popularity.

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