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How To Create Your Dealership’s First LinkedIn Advertising Campaign

How To Create Your Dealership’s First LinkedIn Advertising Campaign

Getting Started with LinkedIn Advertising for Your Dealership

Most people working in management position at dealerships and dealer groups have figured out that LinkedIn is a remarkably effective tool for networking with business owners and auto industry professionals that may be a good fit for open positions at your dealership. But what about using LinkedIn for marketing your dealership’s new and used vehicles, service department, parts and accessories? More and more automotive marketers are turning to LinkedIn to promote their dealership’s products, services, and published content.

You and your car dealership have more power at your disposal with LinkedIn than you might realize. LinkedIn has a powerful advertising campaign creation and management platform. If you’re using Google Adwords or any PPC advertising to power your dealership’s presence on Facebook, Twitter and Google Search, consider adding LinkedIn to that list, too. If you’re new to the LinkedIn advertising app, you can reference thisADM blog post, which walks you through each of the app’s required steps to set up your dealership’s own user targeted LinkedIn advertising campaign.

I also want to thank the great social marketing professionals at Hubspot for the primary substance of this post which was originally published on the Hubspot Blog by Amanda Sibley. Hubspot also offers a highly informative eBook which provides a great resource for the how’s and why’s of advertising on LinkedIn. I recommend that all ADM Professionals download this eBook, print it out and keep as a useful reference document.

How To Set Up Your Dealership’s LinkedIn Ad Campaign

Step 1: Create a New Ad Campaign

To start creating a LinkedIn ad campaign, go to https://www.linkedin.com/ads/. Once in the ads platform, select New Ad Campaign and Start New.

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You will want to choose a name for your ad campaign that ‘s unique and relates to the campaign you’re running, for easier identification if you start running multiple ad campaigns. 

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These are only visible internally, so the more informative the name is, the better.  For example, if I was doing a test to determine what demographic targeting was the best for a particular vehicle model line, I may call one campaign:

“Ford Edge Ad Test-North America -24 to 48-female”

When I look at this name, I know exactly who I am targeting, without having to click into this campaign. A bad name for this campaign, however, would be:

“Ford Edge test 1”

By calling it “Test 1” I have no way of knowing who I am targeting by just looking at the name of the campaigns.

Step 2: Select Your Language

You can now choose what language you want your ad to be in. LinkedIn will not translate your ad into other languages, but it can be written in any of the languages LinkedIn supports, including Spanish, French, and German.

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Step 3: Choose Your Media Type

Next, choose between LinkedIn’s two media types, which include a basic text ad, and a video ad. Keep in mind videos must be 30 seconds or less.

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Step 4: Write Your Ad Copy

Now you’re ready to start writing the copy for your ad! First, decide where you want people to be directed after clicking on your ad. You can send people to a specific external web page, such as a landing page for an offer on your dealership’s website, or you can send them to a page on LinkedIn about your dealership, such as your business page or a group discussion about your dealership, specific models or events.

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Ad Headline: The headline of your ad cannot be more than 25 characters.

Ad Body: The body of a LinkedIn ad can be up to 75 characters long. The copy of your ad should be relevant both to the person viewing the ad, and the offer or page to which you’re sending them. For best results, create a different ad for each buyer persona you have, and tweak the copy accordingly. For example, when promoting a book to college professors, putting the words “College Professor’s Guide to …” may generate a higher clickthrough rate (CTR) than generic, untargeted copy. I mean, that copy certainly wouldn’t perform as well if it was viewed by elementary school teachers, right?

Call-to-Action (CTA): Having an actionable CTA within your ad copy will also help you improve your ad’s clickthrough rate. Tell people to “Download your ebook now!” or “Click now for free samples!” instead of writing compelling ad copy (great!) devoid of actionable copy that tells the reader what to do next (not so great).

Value: Incorporate your value proposition into your ad copy, making people more likely to click on your offer. If you tell them, “20% off your first purchase,” or “Clearance sale ends today, shop now!” you’re letting people know what specifically they can gain from clicking on your ad right now.

Don’t be afraid to test our your ad copy, either. You can create up to 15 variations of your ad in each campaign, and all variations of your ads within one campaign will be seen by the same people. These variations allow you to test different images and copy within your ads to find what works best for your audience.

Step 5: Target Your Ad

Targeting who sees your ad to a very specific and relevant group of LinkedIn users can help increase conversions — more relevant, more clicks. LinkedIn lets you target by location, company, job title, school, skills, group, gender, and age.

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Location: You must select as least one location for your ads. Depending on your dealership’s franchises, more specific targeting may be helpful. You can select a location as broad as North America, and as specific as the San Francisco Bay Area. So if you’re trying to grow used vehicle sales in Hartford Connecticut, showing your ad to people in Los Angeles, California would be a waste of money. You can also take advantage of this targeting option to conquest sales outside of your traditional markets close to the dealership. You can also tailor your ad copy to specific locations. For instance, Ford dealerships may do well advertising specialty vehicles such as a Shelby GT500 Cobra Mustang to the entire Northeastern part of the United States, but should create ads that seek to sell the more commonly available Fusion to LinkedIn users in their local metro market.

Company: If your target audience works at a specific company, you’re able to target them directly — even by name. You don’t need to have specific names in mind, though; LinkedIn allows you to also target companies based on categories, like Legal, Non-Profit, or Finance.

Job Title: If your model line being promoted or service department offers are best for Presidents, VP’s, General Managers and CFOs, targeting only people that have “CFO”, “President”, etc. in their title will increase your conversions, and ultimately save money for your advertising budget. You can choose specific job titles, or chose from job functions and seniority. From the CEO of manufacturing companies, to the entry level associates at an accounting firm, you can target a specific group of people for your LinkedIn ads.

School: If you are looking to target people who have a particular educational background, you can target your ads based on schools. If you know a lot of your prospects and customers come from a certain school, try reaching out to them through LinkedIn ads.

Skills: Your target audience may have a certain skill set — email marketing, financial planning, risk management — think about what your target audience is good at, and try targeting people on LinkedIn with similar skills.

Group: One of LinkedIn’s best attributes is the groups that like-minded professionals join to discuss industry trends and topics. If your audience is very vocal on a topic, or you’re trying to gain thought leadership in a certain area, this advertising type may be a good option for you.

Gender and Age: If your audience is heavily skewed toward one gender and/or age group, target your advertising toward them.

Step 6: Choose Your Payment Method

After selecting your targeting options, you can set up the payment method that works best for you. The two options you have for any pay-per-click advertising are 1) cost per click (CPC), or 2) pay per 1,000 impressions (CPM). If you pay per click, you will be charged each time someone clicks on your ad. LinkedIn will suggest a bid range depending on your budget and the competition for your ads; the more advertisers bidding on a similar campaign, the higher your bid will need to be. This bid is the maximum you will be charged. If the current rate is lower than your max bid, you will only be charged the current rate. If you choose to pay per thousand impressions, you will be charged a certain amount each time your ad is shown to one thousand people on LinkedIn.

Deciding what form of payment to use and the best maximum bid can be tricky. When deciding between CPC and CPM, think first about your end goal. Are you trying to get as many people as possible to see your ad to help with, say, a branding campaign? If so, CPM may be the way to go. If you’re trying to get more people to click on your ads to drive traffic to your website, or generate new leads, CPC may be better for you.

When thinking about an optimal maximum bid, some trial and error is needed. LinkedIn will give you a suggested bid, which is a good place to start. Then, think about when your audience is most likely online. You may want to bid higher during this time to be sure that your ads are the ones being seen. There are also certain times of day, and days of the week, that have a higher average bid based on usage and industry. Play around with your bids and see when you get the most return for your dollars spent.

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Step 7: Set a Daily Budget

Set a daily budget for what works best for your company’s marketing budget. Before putting a lot of money into one campaign, first test out the success of each campaign and ad variation — you don’t want to put $1,000 into an ad that ends up not resonating with your target audience.

Let’s say you’re the VP of Marketing at floral shop. You assume the majority of your target market is brides, so you direct your ads on LinkedIn to bridal groups. After spending thousands of dollars, you only generated 10% of the leads you were hoping for. After doing some research, you found that the people near your store and on LinkedIn are actually looking for flowers for corporate events. Wouldn’t it have been nice to know that before spending a large amount of your budget on LinkedIn ads?

LinkedIn ads can be really successful for targeting niche markets. Because of their extensive targeting opportunities, almost any industry can find success on LinkedIn. Don’t be afraird to test things out. If something is going well, put a larger budget toward it, and watch the leads come in!

Step 8: Decide on Lead Collection

LinkedIn now provides you with the option to collect leads on your behalf. This new feature allows people to ask for more information or to be contacted by your company via a checkbox at the end of your ad. You will be notified by email when someone has asked for more information, allowing you to promptly respond and hopefully turn those leads into customers. Keep in mind, however, that the only way you can contact them is via LinkedIn InMail; you will not receive an email address or phone number with which to contact this person.

linkedin ad

Finally, you can choose if you want your campaign to be shown continuously, or until a certain date.

LinkedIn Ad Reporting

Now you’re ready to start your first LinkedIn ad campaign! You can track your progress in the LinkedIn ads platform home screen. Here you will be able to see a graph mapping your clicks, spend, CTR, and more over set periods of time. You can also see statistics and average CPC for each campaign to make educated decisions as to how to optimize each campaign. For all PPC ads, the CTR will be a very small number. On LinkedIn, a good benchmark for a CTR is around .03% or higher.

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If you have campaigns that are under-performing, there are several things you can do to optimize them. First, click into the campaign you want to look at so you can drill down into data on only one campaign. All ad variations of this campaign will appear, with separate data. 

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Look at the CTR of each ad. Is one variation performing better than another? If so, you may want to pause the less successful campaign. LinkedIn will begin to show your less successful campaigns less frequently, so putting more resources into your most successful ad variations and campaigns will help you reach your marketing goals.

Post-Click Reporting

Now that you have LinkedIn ads running that people are clicking on, it’s time to determine whether they’re actually driving qualified traffic to your website. That isn’t something LinkedIn can tell you — you need to do some closed-loop reporting on these campaigns to see who this traffic really “is.” After someone clicks on your ad and lands on your site’s web page, put the content you are offering behind a form. On this form, ask people important questions that help you qualify them as a good lead or not. This lead capture form should be connected to your customer relationship management (CRM) software so that once the lead’s information is in your CRM, your sales team can act upon these leads, and hopefully turn them into customers!

After launching several ad campaigns on LinkedIn, look at the landing page form data in your CRM. Is the traffic to your website generated by LinkedIn ads qualified? Is it generating customers? If not, you may want to optimize your campaigns. For instance, if your LinkedIn ads are targeting people in companies sized 1-10, but you find that the majority of the closed deals in your company are from leads with company sized 100-200, stop targeting those smaller companies on LinkedIn! Because of awesome targeting capabilities on LinkedIn, you can target companies that have 100-200 employees, which may increase the number of closed sales from your LinkedIn ads campaign.

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by Ralph Paglia

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via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

LinkedIn Poll on 2013 Dealer Area Focus

LinkedIn Poll on 2013 Dealer Area Focus (Photo credit: DigitalRalph)

Will Car Dealers Leverage Social Media Advertising for Competitive Advantage in 2013?

Will Car Dealers Leverage Social Media Advertising for Competitive Advantage in 2013?

Car Dealers: Social Media Matters When Seeking Your Competitive Advantage in Local Markets

In 2012, more than 1.4 billion people around the world used social networks, up 19% from 2011. But although the worldwide social network audience is enormous, it is by no means unified. Within the North American automotive marketing landscape social media based advertising continues to mature and develop capabilities that are simply unavailable in other media channels. As social networking giants such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and others grow and develop increased business engagement models, their ability to attract marketing and advertising investments from the automotive industry grows.

The chart shown below shows five years of social media based advertising spend with fairly steady growth. I predict a faster rate of growth going into 2014 as the targeting, messaging and creative engagement models provided by social networks continue rapid development and increased effectiveness in achieving automotive marketing objectives.

 

US Online Social Network Advertising Spend from 2008 to 2013*:

  • $1.175 billion (2008)
  • $1.295 billion (2009)
  • $1.335 billion (2010)
  • $1.420 billion (2011)
  • $1.515 billion (2012)
  • $1.640 billion (2013)

Social Network Advertising Spend increases from another perspective*: 

*Data source: eMarketer

ADM Professional Community members have access to all the data and insights we publish about social media. You can learn more about social network usage around the world below, but you can learn a lot more by visiting the ADM Professional Community daily. Complete the “Sign Up” form on the upper right of every ADM page to submit a membership application and start the conversation with experienced automotive marketers and people selling more cars using strategies and their tactics within the social media universe.

Usage patterns are highly developed and predictable in some regions, and unstable and changing rapidly in others. And while many people use Facebook, not all social network users do. Facebook has shown many users how to get their most satisfying results from time spent online, this has driven an increased familiarity with online social media in general, and a cottage industry of social networks specializing in specific subject matters. Homegrown social networks, especially those seeking consumers, enthusiasts and influencers in automotive niches will play a larger role over time in most major markets in both the USA and Canada.

Countries such as India and Indonesia are rapidly becoming major usage centers for social networking, particularly via mobile phones, and will each see their user bases grow more than 50% in 2012. This phenomenon, combined with Facebook’s staggering growth in the region, mean that in 2012, the Asia-Pacific region will, for the first time, be home to more Facebook users than North America is. As North American automotive consumers have become more accustomed and skilled at using social networks via their introduction through Facebook, many of them have ventured outside of the social media behemoth to participate in User Generated Content (UGC) sites, specialized blogs and forums, as well as other networks.

In more mature markets like the USA and Canada, automotive marketers are looking to use the social media presences they have already established to deliver relevant content to fans. Social networks are making it easier for businesses, especially car dealers to broadcast changing incentives and promotional offers that create the deals which drive both sales and service recommendations across a wider network of users in real time with improved location and mobile targeting.

With Facebook’s New Ads Manager and the growing maturation of the platform comes an increasing effectiveness for their paid advertising models.  

This in turn enables car dealers to leverage user profile based targeting that delivers the right message to the right automotive consumer at the exact right time. More and more North American car dealers are using the growing platform maturity and advertiser responsiveness at Facebook for a competitive advantage over their neighboring dealership competition which has ignored Facebook’s emerging capabilities.

Data Sources: eMarketer, Facebook and MarketingCharts.com 

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

facebook

facebook (Photo credit: sitmonkeysupreme)

Twitter Cards Make Video Marketing Easy as 1-2-3 Tweet! – Automotive Social Media Professionals

Twitter Cards Make Video Marketing Easy as 1-2-3 Tweet!

Joe Schwartz

Joe Schwartz Describes How “Twitter Cards” Are Making Video Marketing Much Easier for Car Dealers

Twitter Video Cards

Twitter Video Cards

When marketers think of social media as a promotional channel, Facebook continues to be the network of choice. Of course, this trend may be the result of people sticking to a platform that feels safe. After all, Facebook remains the largest and most influential social platform on the web today, so much so that it claimed the most-searched term award for the fourth year in a row.

Twitter Users
Twitter Users

But other social networks shouldn’t be ignored, especially with sites like Twitter implementing new features regularly. According to eMarketer’s “US Digital Media Usage: A Snapshot of 2013,” Twitter user-ship grew significantly in 2012, but only 15 percent of the U.S. online population will engage on Twitter next year. Therefore, brands that want to drive traffic from a variety of social channels must learn how to engage users on whatever network they prefer. For many people, Twitter remains the most influential social hub, and brands may discover that video content thrives on this platform. 

According to the source, Twitter’s user base increased by 14.2 percent in 2012 to reach 36.3 million monthly active members. To reach those prospective and current customers, brands must develop social media marketing campaigns that make branded content enjoyable and simple. With Twitter Cards, video marketing may be the easy solution.

Online Video Viewers
Online Video Viewers

According to eMarketer, online view viewers reached 178.7 million people in 2012 to make up 56 percent of the nation’s population, and 73 percent of American internet users. As for mobile video viewers, 73.3 million people watched video content via their mobile devices in 2012, reaching 22.9 percent of the country’s population and 29.6 percent of mobile phone users. Thirty-one percent of the U.S. population and 40.4 percent of U.S. internet users viewed visual media from their tablet devices this year, making video content marketing a necessary practice for many brands.

With Americans using Twitter more often this year and video media becoming a prominent marketing material, businesses that want to build brand exposure and grab consumers’ attention must produce consistent visual content, and publish output on the microblogging site. Together, video marketing and social media marketing may drive higher conversions in the new year, and help marketers reach new audience segments online.

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Twitter Compliment Card

Twitter Compliment Card (Photo credit: 13stock)

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