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How Economic Developers Can Get the Most Out of Paid Social Using LinkedIn

In today’s media-driven world, consumers are constantly inundated with marketing messages. In fact, digital marketing experts estimate that most Americans are exposed to between 4,000 and 10,000 advertisements every day.

The question is, how do economic developers rise above the noise and get their communities’ key messages in front of audiences such as the c-suite, site selectors and talent? For an economic development organization (EDO), LinkedIn is a great starting point, as users are naturally in a business mindset when using the platform.

LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 467 million members in over 200 countries and territories. With an average of 106 million unique viewers every month, and a 50 percent increase in year-over-year engagement, the world’s largest B2B social platform is a natural fit for advertising in the economic development world. Not to mention, 80 percent of B2B marketing leads sourced through social media comes from LinkedIn. With rich targeting options, and the ability to target granularly by job function, company, location, title, industry and more, advertising on LinkedIn is a no-brainer for EDOs.

Below are a just a few paid LinkedIn tactics and best practices we’ve seen work in our industry:

Drive Conversions with LinkedIn Sponsored ContentGeorgia Economic Development LinkedIn Sponsored Content

To maximize reach and drive conversions, sponsored content is a great option. These sponsored posts appear naturally within a user’s newsfeed and should drive users to an engaging, utilitarian piece of content on your site. For these ads, we recommend the following tactics:

  • Choose a goal and a target audience that closely match your business objectives.
  • Include rich media such as images, video or infographic-like content. Visual components take up more real estate on the news feed than text content alone,
    which is more likely to catch a user’s attention.
  • Write a short, compelling headline under 150 characters to hook your reader. Headlines with questions or quotes tend to perform well.
  • Drive users to helpful pieces of content hosted on your website. Good content could provide tips that help professionals advance in their career, industry trends and case studies.
  • Make sure your landing page is mobile-first and contains a call-to-action that meets your end goal.

Send Personalized Messages via LinkedIn Sponsored InMail

Another way to reach your targeted audience is through Sponsored In-Mail. This LinkedIn feature allows users to send email-type messages directly to a user’s LinkedIn inbox, alerting the target user with a personalized message the next time they log onto the platform. When sending Sponsored In-Mail, some best practices include:

LinkedIn InMail for economic developers

  • Create helpful, informative and entertaining content that is interesting to the user. Self-promotional content sees much lower engagement rates.
  • Keep subject lines short and impactful. According to LinkedIn, the best performing subject lines often use keywords such as “connect, “opportunity,” “join us,” “invitation” or “exclusive.”
  • Address your audience directly by customizing your message using their name, job title and including the word “you.”
  • Give your message a unique voice. Be personal, relevant and use visuals to enhance your message. Also, aim to keep your messages under 1,000 characters, and include a link.
  • Use clear calls-to-action (CTAs) such as “download,” “confirm,” “join,” “register” and “reserve” to encourage users to take action.
  • Select a sender who is credible and relevant to your audience. Receiving a message from an individual, rather than a company page, appears more personal.
  • A/B test to learn what resonates best with your target audience. Test single variables at a time, such as copy, headlines or images to continually optimize.


Diversify Your Paid LinkedIn Campaigns

When advertisers strategize to utilize both Sponsored InMail and Sponsored Content to reach key audiences, both InMail open rates and Sponsored Content click-through-rates see a significant lift in engagement. Pushing your brand in front of users at multiple touchpoints keeps your brand top-of-mind, allowing users to be more receptive to your messaging and more likely to engage with your content.

LinkedIn provides many more paid options that work in economic development, but these summarize just a few options for a solid foundation. As a LinkedIn advocate and partner, we’re even more excited about some of the cool products LinkedIn will be rolling out this year that will benefit economic developers.

For more in-depth information on LinkedIn for economic developers, download LinkedIn’s whitepaper on finding, engaging and converting your key prospects.


Has your EDO had success using LinkedIn Sponsored Content or InMail? Tell us about your experience in a comment below or tweet us at @AboutDCI!

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