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The 5 big mistakes you’re making when targeting professionals on LinkedIn

LinkedIn advertising presents a unique opportunity for financial advisers and planners to reach potential clients in desirable job roles and industries; connections that would normally be out of reach.

Whether you’re looking to spark up a conversation with company directors in Manchester or ex-employees of British Airways in London, there are some key stumbling blocks you may be tripping over along the way.

1. You don’t have an engaging offering

As a financial adviser or planner, you’ll know how busy your professional clients are. It’s often a big part of the reason they come to you for advice.

For that reason, a quick InMail message asking them to click a call to action button to visit your website, get your phone number and ‘have a casual chat’ just isn’t going to cut it. No matter how glowing your accreditations, it’s far too cold an approach.

You need something to spark their interest; a blog post or guide that addresses the pain points they’re experiencing now. You need to create an ad and an offering that will encourage the individual to take five minutes out of their busy day to gain some valuable insight into how you specialise in working with people like them.

If it’s a lead generation ad, you’ll also be able to gather their details and contact them after they’ve read your guide.

It’s the perfect formula through which both you and the potential client gain enormous value from the process.

2. You’re not using seniority and experience-based targeting options

Most people automatically go to target their ads via an individual’s job title (and job title alone).

Unfortunately, job title targeting limits the effectiveness of your ads, as it doesn’t account for the individuality of an individual’s role. For example, if you only target people who call themselves ‘Financial Adviser’, you miss ‘Independent Financial Adviser’, ‘Senior Financial Adviser’, etc. The list goes on!

A better option is seniority, for multiple reasons:

  • You can layer seniority (Director, Manager, etc.) with industry (finance, business, marketing, etc.) to ensure you’re reaching senior people in your desired client industry
  • Seniority ensures you’re targeting the best possible potential clients
  • You can even layer this with ‘years of experience’ targeting to be really specific about the level of seniority you’re looking for.

3. You’re using audience expansion when you shouldn’t

Instead of just delivering your ads to people within the targeting bracket you’ve outlined, LinkedIn’s audience expansion function enables you to expand your reach.

It’s a lot like the Facebook Lookalike audience function; it helps you to fill unforeseen gaps in your targeting. Audience expansion will deliver your ads to people who perhaps don’t fit quite perfectly into your targeting bracket, but nevertheless have similar interests and demographics.

Sounds great, right? It is, but it’s best avoided if you’re looking to connect with a very specific type of individual.

For example, if you only want to reach people who work for specific companies, make sure to untick the box (yes, watch out – it’s automatically selected). Otherwise you risk wasting your time connecting with people who work for unrelated companies or in unrelated industries and are therefore not in your ideal client bank.

4. You’re not A/B testing your ads

Remember your ABTs: always be testing.

I wrote a blog post recently about the importance of testing your ads on Facebook.

The same rules apply for LinkedIn. Create your campaign, duplicate it, and make one change. Let the test run, analyse the results, and move forward with the best ad.

If you’re not testing your ads, you’ll quickly fall into a mindset of failure. Just because something doesn’t work the first time, that doesn’t mean LinkedIn ads will never work for you. You must keep testing and improving. It’s just part of the process.

5. Not approaching LinkedIn advertising with the right mindset

Figures vary, but the average cost per lead on LinkedIn is around the $75 mark (around £57). It differs per industry and who is doing the advertising for you, but the fact of the matter is: it’s not like Facebook advertising.

If you’re used to or expect £10 leads, think again!

LinkedIn’s targeting options present professional targeting opportunities that Facebook, Instagram, and Google Ads simply do not. You’re paying for the guaranteed seniority and professional nature of the individuals you reach.

In client terms, that’s worth a lot. Consider the lifetime value of a client for you as a financial planner or adviser. Then adjust your mindset.

Overwhelmed? I know, it’s a minefield. Get in touch

Running ads on LinkedIn is difficult. Even if you know your way around Campaign Manager, it’s easy to doubt whether you’ve set things up properly or if your targeting is spot on.

If you’ve got questions, we’d be happy to help. Get in touch by emailing [email protected] or calling 0115 8965 300.

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