So you wrote one or more books and want to leverage as many of your social media accounts as possible to reach a target audience. One of the commonly overlooked strategies is using LinkedIn because it is a professional networking site. But networking is what it takes to sell anything, including books. The difference is that you will advertise your books on LinkedIn as opposed to selling your books. It seems like a fine distinction, but as you will learn, there is a difference. In the following sections, we discuss various strategies for creating an ad campaign on LinkedIn.
As a note: Since LinkedIn is a professional networking site, it works best for advertising non-fiction books. There is nothing to prohibit you from advertising fiction books, but finding the right audience would be difficult.
You have to set up your Campaign Manager Account before you can do paid LinkedIn advertising. The first step is logging into your account and clicking the “Work” tab found in the header menu. A drop-down box appears, and at the bottom is the option “Create a Company Page.” This is where you establish your company by completing the form that appears with information like company name and details. You will notice you can add a link to your external website where you can sell the book you are advertising.
Under “Profile Details” is where you add a square logo. LinkedIn recommends 300 x 300px and supports JPGs, JPEGs and PNGs. Then add a header that represents your company for branding purposes. Different image sizes will work, so start with 1530 x 500 pixels. Canva has almost 4,000 LinkedIn banner templates that are free to personalize. VistaCreate is another free graphic design platform with 50,000+ design templates. The header is important because it makes the first impression when someone checks out your LinkedIn company page.
After you create your company, the next step is adding yourself as an employee. You do this by:
By indicating you currently work for your book company, the description will appear first in the experience listing.
Once these steps are completed, people can click on your logo to go directly to your company page to learn more about your company.
LinkedIn Campaign Manager is the social media site’s paid advertising platform. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad. LinkedIn ads enable you to get your brand information to the right audience. Also known as LinkedIn’s ad manager, this is the platform where you manage all of your advertising activities, so strategizing is crucial to getting the best results possible.
You can link your Campaign Manager Account to your LinkedIn Company Page. In fact, a LinkedIn Company Page is required if you choose to run Sponsored Content and Sponsored Messaging options described in the next section. A LinkedIn Company Page is different from a personal profile. The personal profile has connections, but your LinkedIn Page has followers.
If you are a sole proprietor and the author of your book, you can link the Campaign Manager Account to your Profile in order to promote yourself. That is because you are one and the same as the business and want to grow your personal network. At some point, you could shift from connecting to your Personal Page (profile) to a LinkedIn Company Page. As mentioned though, linking your Campaign Manager Account to your Profile Account means you cannot utilize two of the major ad messaging options.
It is highly recommended you set up a LinkedIn Company Page for your book so you do not limit yourself upfront concerning ad options. Once set up, you should start posting unpaid content to get your book branding started right away. This strategy is not necessarily to build the number of followers organically. It is to help you learn who is interested in your content. Post in the “Engagement” highlights section of your Company Page.
LinkedIn has several types of ad placement options.
Sponsored Content - These are paid native ads that are available in different formats. The ads show up in the audience’s LinkedIn feed on desktop and mobile devices. The ad formats include single image, video, carousel, single job and event ads.
Sponsored Messages (once called Sponsored InMail) -Send messages directly to the audience member’s inbox to generate leads. There are two ad formats. Message ads deliver a targeted message with a call-to-action button. You could use the CTA button to send the reader to your book website or Amazon listing.
The second ad is a conversation ad where you can send your prospects to multiple landing pages, like your book listing or an event you are presenting on book writing. It is easy to use and can boost a post by clicking “Sponsor Now.” From there you are taken to the Campaign Manager account where you can create a campaign.
Text -The text ads show up on the right-hand side and top of LinkedIn’s desktop feed. You pay for the ads on a pay per click or cost per impression basis. Text ads are used to reach specific audiences in specific industries, companies and job positions. These ads are popular with B2B users.
Dynamic -Dynamic ads show up in LinkedIn member’s feed with some of the member’s personal details, like the profile image, company name, job title, etc.
We recommend using Sponsored Messages (InMail) Ads for good reasons.
When you go to your Campaign Manager account, choose “Create Campaign” and then choose a campaign objective. We recommend “Website visits” because you are trying to get potential book buyers to the location where you can actually sell the book. Then you select the targeted audience you want to read your ad. You do this by selecting audience attributes, like demographics and job experience, or matched audiences which use data to retarget website visitors or reach known contacts and accounts.
One of the most powerful opportunities LinkedIn gives you for promoting your book is the ability to indicate the people you think will be most likely to show interest in your book. Most people choose North America if they are selling on Amazon. Then you begin to define the audience you want to attract.
Assuming you chose to use audience attributes as your funnel, the next step is choosing the particular attributes. For example, you wrote a book on growing a business. You select “Job Experience” which leads to “Member Skills,” to get the opportunity to search for particular skills. If you choose to enter “business growth” in the Job Experience-Member Skills search box, you get options from which you can select four skills. LinkedIn will give you target audience size and a business segment breakdown.
Assume you want to fine-tune your target audience further. LinkedIn lets you do that also. You can choose the company size by indicating the number of employees. If your book is about growing business revenues as a startup, for example, you would select a smaller company size, like 51-200 employees. This returns new metrics for target audience size and segment breakdown. You can narrow the selection even more by targeting people with particular job titles like Owner and VP and then by job function if the options fit your needs.
Now you are ready to select the LinkedIn Message Ad Format and set your budget. For LinkedIn Message ads, which we recommend for advertising your book, select “Message ad.” Then identify your daily budget, the campaign start date or start and end date, and the bid amount.
After all your work in setting up accounts and pages, you now get to create the ad for LinkedIn Message.
Every social media site where you can advertise has tactics you can use to maximize results. LinkedIn is no different. You need to develop an advertising strategy that takes full advantage of LinkedIn’s features.
Specificity -Do not get over-specific with ad targeting because that will limit who sees your ad more than you need to.
Test Campaigns -A/B testing means trying out different options for comparison. For example, you can run a campaign with targeting criteria using skills and a campaign using job titles. Comparing the results helps you refine your target audience.
Call-To-Action -Always include a clear call-to-action that your audience can click. The CTA should match the objective you chose when setting up your ad, otherwise, people may feel deceived. Effective CTA’s include statements like “Read Now!” or “Register Now”
Get Creative -Creativity means using the available tools and ideas known to work when attracting an audience. The idea is to keep the person engaged long enough to convince the person to click through to where you are selling your book. Following are a few suggestions by ad type.
Sponsored Content -As an author, you can develop an emotional connection by sharing your learning experience leading to the book you wrote or sharing insights that people find helpful. You can repurpose content to get started, especially anything on your website, blog, Facebook page, etc. that has already demonstrated its attraction to your targeted audience. Use a variety of audio, video and other rich media tools to liven up your ad.
Sponsored Messaging -To develop your author brand, you can share information about other books that complement yours; blog posts; describe how you developed thought leadership; promote your book; share success stories by people following your advice; promote webinars you are holding; describe book events you are attending, etc.
Text Ads -Though these are called text ads, you can add images and should do so. Images can include a logo, profile image, objects like a book cover or anything you want.
Carousel Ads -Carousel ads are a set of swipeable cards with images that can tell a story. The cards can tell a brand story or deliver insights to your audience about your book or book topic. They are a good way to drive website visits, expand on brand awareness and generate leads.
Video Ads -Video ads can run in the LinkedIn feed on desktop or mobile. The nice feature of videos is that they engage in a way a still image cannot. It gives you an opportunity to add excitement to your book, offer insights on the area of interest, share expertise that makes your book a valuable source of information, etc. LinkedIn says that videos that are 30 seconds or less in length saw a 200 percent increase in completion rates. People like information delivered quickly, and a short video packs a visual and audio wallop. Utilize features like sound-off viewing and subtitles, so the viewer can watch it anywhere. Also, make sure the video engages the reader in the first 10 seconds.
Dynamic Ads -Dynamic ads need a clear message of relevance to the audience member because you are personalizing it in some manner. You should describe as much as possible in the ad headline and the text without boring the reader or making it sound more like spam than an informative ad. However, the ad will only contain one message. Do not try to put multiple messages in the ad because it is too confusing, overwhelming and can void a clear CTA.
Use Keywords -You need keywords combined with keyword tags in your LinkedIn Profile and your advertising so people can find you. Keywords include words like industry lingo, professional terminology, and skills or expertise you possess. Good placement of keywords is in the Headline, Summary, Experience and Skills sections. You also use keywords on your Customer Account and in your advertising. Do not make them sound forced though. That is very unprofessional.
There are outreach programs like Cleverly that leverage data from successful LinkedIn B2B campaigns across industries. The bot builds targeted and qualified lists of ideal prospects and writes cold outreach messages that are sent each month. You get notification when the leads respond. There are numerous outreach programs similar to Cleverly, like Zopto, Alfred and Dux-Soup, to name a few. The one caution is that LinkedIn does track statistics like the number of actions in a day and spammy activity resulting from the use of automation. You do not want to get banned because people report you to LinkedIn since they do not know you. Only work with an outreach platform with a good reputation that follows LinkedIn's rules.
LinkedIn is a social media site for professional networking, so you really do not see the entertainment level you find on other sites like TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, etc. If you choose to advertise your book on LinkedIn, you want to present yourself as a professional. Make sure your profile is fully completed, including your experience, education, skills, recommendations and interests. You want visitors to your LinkedIn site to find a person of authority on the book’s topic which entices people to explore further.