If you check your LinkedIn inbox, you’ll probably notice a ton of Connection Requests and oddly similar “Hey, quick question” messages from people already in your network. While InMail is a premium feature that allows you to directly message another LinkedIn member outside your network, these correspondence attempts are easily ignorable considering the volume of messages users receive each week.
Wouldn’t it be great to somehow stand out in LinkedIn’s crowded inboxes? Luckily, with the Sponsored Messaging feature (now called Message Ads), marketers can do just that. This feature allows you to send timely and relevant private messages to the people who matter most to your business. You’ll interact with more potential customers, grow brand awareness, and generate more leads all at the same time.
Also, by using video as the centerpiece of your sponsored content, you’ll communicate your offers in a more engaging and streamlined fashion. LinkedIn videos are five times more likely than other content to start a conversation among LinkedIn members, so using this in conjunction with the various game-changing features of Message Ads can truly be an advertiser’s dream.
We’ll cover the main features you should be leveraging in more detail, but first let’s dig a little deeper into Message Ads and see how they differ from the standard InMail tool.
What are LinkedIn Sponsored Message Ads?
Think of it like sending an email to someone except you don’t have to know their email address in order for it to reach them. You can create a list of target keywords and then LinkedIn will match those keywords with potential customers who are searching for those terms. You can then send messages to those potential customers through the Message Ads feature.
Unlike regular InMail, Message Ads only target active users, which increases engagement and ensures that your media spend isn’t lost on inactive users who would never see your message. You’ll also only be charged for ads that are successfully sent.
Types of Sponsored Messaging Ads
LinkedIn Sponsored Messaging comes in two formats: Message Ads and Conversation Ads.
This format is best for sending targeted messages to prospects and encouraging immediate action. Message Ads feature a single call-to-action (CTA) button which allows marketers to be more direct. You can drive conversions using a Lead Gen Form or funnel traffic to a landing page with reporting that shows who is taking action on your ad to help optimize future campaigns.
Message Ads promote stronger engagement compared to traditional email campaigns, with LinkedIn reporting that open rates are 166% higher than email marketing benchmarks. This is largely due to LinkedIn strictly controlling the number of times a member can receive a Message Ad within a given time period. Such a hard cap makes it unlikely that the same member will receive your ad twice within a short timeframe. With an uncluttered inbox, your prospects can keep your brand top of mind and will be more inclined to make future purchasing decisions.
A Conversation Ad allows marketers to create an interactive experience that encourages users to choose their own path through a series of up to five CTA buttons. These buttons can lead to any number of landing pages or Lead Gen forms, allowing you to track conversions across multiple channels. Conversation Ads are great for showcasing products and services, driving engagement, and gaining new leads.
Using Video in Sponsored Messaging
By using video in your LinkedIn Sponsored Messaging campaigns, you can increase open rates and help your brand stand out from the competition. You demonstrate that you’re not just another sales rep trying to close a deal by way of spamming a prospect’s inbox.
An engaging video shows that you’re a person with a face, expertise, and enthusiasm. Success on LinkedIn is highly contingent upon a human-centered approach to the buyer’s journey, and with video, brands are able to lay the foundation for meaningful interaction with prospects.
Video InMails are eye-catching and engaging, and they give you an opportunity to introduce yourself in a way that’s difficult to do with text alone. In addition, videos are more likely to be shared than other types of InMail, which means your message could reach an even wider audience.
LinkedIn Video Best Practices
Get to the point quickly
Message Ads are designed for quick, back-and-forth communication, so your video should be focused and to the point. Keep it under 30 seconds if possible. Remember, the point is to engage your prospect toward a purchasing decision, not keep them so distracted with a lengthy video that they end up exiting the funnel.
Use persuasive language
You want your recipient to take action, so make sure your video includes a strong call to action. Persuasive language will also create a sense of urgency and encourage viewers to take action sooner rather than later.
Boring LinkedIn videos won’t get you much further than text-heavy InMail messages. To make your campaign more effective, create content that fits your target audience’s professional niche. But just because you’re dealing with professionals doesn’t mean your content needs to be overly serious. A little bit of humor can go a long way because it makes the content more relatable and enjoyable to watch.
Use industry-specific language
Given how Message Ads allow account managers to target specific industries, make sure your video is aligned with the interests of the people working in those spaces. Use industry-specific keywords and phrases that will resonate with your target audience.
Always test your campaigns before sending them out to a large audience. Try different messaging, video styles, and calls to action to see what works best for your target audience. Depending on your findings, it becomes easier to adjust accordingly and ensure you’re optimizing for future campaigns.
If your LinkedIn outreach relies heavily on standard InMail messages to correspond with potential customers, you’re missing out on a world of opportunity. LinkedIn’s Message Ads give you the chance to humanize your brand and tell your story in a way that will resonate with potential customers.
In today’s fast-paced world, people don’t have time to read long blocks of text. They want to be able to see and hear your message in a way that’s quick and easy to digest. That’s where video comes in. LinkedIn’s Message Ads let you include video, which is a game changer when it comes to engaging your target audience quickly and testing the best possible messaging for future campaigns.
So, if you’re looking for a better way to reach your target audience, consider LinkedIn’s Message Ads. You won’t be disappointed.
Featured Reading: Your All-in-One Video Advertising and Distribution Guide