There is no guarantee that LinkedIn is the right place to build awareness for your software company or sell your software directly. But if your target market is on the site in sufficient numbers, you could be leaving tens of thousands (or more) on the table, if you don't at least run a test. Here is how to tell if LinkedIn is the right place to market your software.
Is My Target Market on LinkedIn in Sufficient Numbers?
Is your market primarily B2B? If the answer is yes, then you should at least look into advertising on LinkedIn.
It's possible that the site won't end up being a good market for what you have to offer. Perhaps for some reason, people in your industry just don't use the site very much.
But if you're selling B2B software of any type, it's at least worth a try to look on LinkedIn. And if your target audience isn't there today, there is a good chance they'll be there next week, next month, or sometime next year.
Do My Ads Show Reasonable ROI?
Even if you know that your target audience is located on LinkedIn, you still won’t know if they will click through on your ads. The only way to know for sure is to run a short test campaign to see for sure if LinkedIn is right for you.
Depending on how your ads reach your ROI goals, LinkedIn may be the perfect place to advertise your software. It may also be the worst!
You may also end up with multiple answers. Perhaps your ads are a highly economical way to capture sales leads, but get almost no instant sales? Or perhaps the opposite is true: a profitable percentage of people on LinkedIn buy or download a trial of your software as soon as they hit the landing page, but no one wants to sign up for a consultation or email newsletter (rare, but it does happen).
You can and should run a small test campaign on LinkedIn to see whether or not your software will sell well. In fact, this is true of any website that includes a large-enough segment of your target audience.
Of course, the testing itself won't do much more than run through your budget, if you don't have someone with a broad and deep knowledge of PPC management to run the campaign for you.
Do I Know Someone Who is Qualified to Run a PPC Campaign?
Even if you have good content writers on-staff, they're not necessarily the best go-to people for advertisements. In fact, even ordinary ad writers aren't necessarily the best go-to people for writing pay per click ads!
Pay per click marketing, which is the model that is used on LinkedIn, represents a whole different type of fast-paced advertising—one where you can eat through your budget in a remarkably short period of time, and have nothing to show for it.
To run an effective PPC campaign that won't blow your budget and will give you a chance for success, you or someone on your team should be able to :
- Understand which types of buyers are buying which types of products (including who is buying immediately, who is signing up for more information, who wants a trial, etc.) so that you can get the right ads in front of the right people.
- Understand which ads work best for which type or types of customer.
- Understand which ads work best for which type of offer (full sale vs. trial download vs. consultation, for example).
- Know which ads work best for gathering leads/making sales, vs. which are best for general overall branding (these are not always the same ads).
- Determine how much each customer is worth, how much you can spend to acquire each customer.
- Determine the maximum amount you should spend on each click.
- Determine the minimum amount you should spend on each click (unless your competition is unusually weak, minimum cost per click can also be important).
As you can see, there are a multitude of different factors that are important to manage when it comes to advertising on LinkedIn.com. When it comes to pay per click advertising models like this, the “learn as you go” approach can cost serious time and money—and can even doom your product or brand, if done wrong.
It’s only with careful consideration and in depth planning that you should dive into LinkedIn advertising for your software company.
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