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5 Ways To Get Better ROI On Your LinkedIn Ads When Targeting CRE

LinkedIn has emerged as an incredibly powerful tool for B2B. It reaches over 950 million professionals1 and has a set of ad tools that is expanding constantly. If you’re not using LinkedIn to drive your CRE-related business, you’re missing out. That being said, targeting niche industries such as commercial real estate can quickly become challenging. We put together 5 proven ways to improve your targeting and therefore ROI with your LinkedIn advertisements.


How LinkedIn Advertising Works, in a Nutshell


What are LinkedIn Ads?


If you’ve used the professional networking platform LinkedIn before, you’ve likely come across a few advertisements. Sometimes, these aren’t even recognizable as ads, as they resemble the content that users regularly come across as they browse the platform. However, next time you’re on LinkedIn, look for the Sponsored tag next to content. This denotes a piece of content as something that a company has paid to get in front of you. 


LinkedIn ads functions on a pay-per-click (PPC) basis. If you’ve advertised through Google, Facebook, or other digital platforms before, this term is probably familiar to you. If not, it means that you pay for your advertisement to be passively visible to any user that organically uses the platform. In other words, if someone makes a web search for a term that’s relevant to your brand, an advertisement for your brand will appear near the top of their search results. You, the advertiser, then pay that website when a person clicks on your advertisement. Ergo, pay-per-click.


Doing some quick napkin math, you may think that paying for every click could quickly add up in cost for your brand. But generating more leads can be ultimately profitable to a company. Furthermore, advertising influences 81% of millennials and 57% of Baby Boomers2 to make a purchase. According to HubSpot’s State of Marketing Report (2021)3, 50% of marketers say that keyword rankings and organic traffic are the top ways they measure the success of their SEO strategies. 


Circling back to LinkedIn, you may by now be more familiar with the types of Ads visible on the platform. They fit into four broad categories:


1 - Sponsored Content

Sponsored content appears in a user’s LinkedIn feed in a similar format to any other post they may organically come across. This content engages an audience in the place that they generally spend the most time in. Your brand’s sponsored content could come in the form of an image, a video, document, and many other formats that best fit your tone and message. Sponsored content can generate leads for your B2B business or even just promote a special event. It’s best used if you want to share specific thought leadership points to your audience, promote a special product or service, or build up a special upcoming event.


2 - Sponsored Messages

Sponsored messages appear in a LinkedIn user’s messages feed similar to a direct message from another LinkedIn user. Sponsored messages are far more personal, encouraging users to engage with your brand directly. These advertisements are far more targeted to a user’s interests in order to accelerate your lead pipeline. Sponsored messages are most effective when you have a specific CTA for your campaign that you want to push, such as inviting LinkedIn members to an event or when there’s a special offer relevant to them. They’re also useful when you need to generate leads quickly and have a high ROI on converted leads.



3 - Dynamic Ads

LinkedIn’s dynamic ads appear on the side of the website’s feed as advertisements. They’re generally more personalized and multimedia than traditional website advertisements and designed around the objectives of your brand. When building a dynamic ad, LinkedIn ads will assist your brand by choosing objectives that align with your marketing campaign and goals. The LinkedIn ads platform will even allow you to measure the results of your advertisements and fine tune them for further success. Dynamic ads are great for building brand awareness and driving traffic to your business’ LinkedIn page and website. Dynamic ads have a broader reach than the previous two categories but also may not generate as many leads.



4 - Text Ads

Text ads are the simplest form of advertising, appearing as a few lines of text in a user’s homepage that encourages them to click and learn more. These ads behave similarly to a Google search result page as they’re targeted toward a user’s search history and industry. Text PPC ads are generally the least expensive of the advertisements while still providing above-average quality leads. LinkedIn text ads are more effective than average PPC advertising but are best when a brand wants to try out LinkedIn marketing without committing a lot of resources. They’re also effective when you’re starting out optimizing and perfecting your campaign.



How To Get Started With LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn ads are managed through LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager. The Campaign Manager assists a business in setting up an advertising campaign around that campaign’s specific objectives. The tool will also help your brand with identifying your audience and how you can best reach them. You can target an audience based on very specific criteria and attributes. 



From there, the platform will allow you to customize the format and placement of your advertisements. This is where you’ll choose one of the four categories we listed above to display your advertisements. You can also work around your brand’s advertising budget to construct a realistic and effective campaign. 



Once you’ve launched your campaign, the Campaign Manager will have information about tracking how many conversions that you’ve made. You can further measure and optimize your campaign once it’s launched to ensure it stays effective. 


To this end, we’ve compiled a list of five tips that your brand can use to improve your ROI and success of your LinkedIn campaign.


5 Tips to Improve ROI on LinkedIn 


1 - Curate a company list specifically for commercial real estate

When constructing a campaign as a B2B brand, it’s vital to understand your audience and what their goals are. With LinkedIn ads being targeted toward specific companies and users, it’s even more important for your brand to build a list of companies that are relevant to your criteria. Biscred’s CRE database lets you search for companies based on any criteria necessary. For example, you can sort by:

  • Industry

  • Asset experiences

  • Regions and states

  • Cities

  • Lists

  • Contact count

  • Property count



This information will then inform the architecture of your campaign as you begin to craft advertising material for LinkedIn’s campaign manager. You’ll also be able to search the companies and people as you filter down your results based on the criteria you specify. 


An example of this tool being used in conjunction with LinkedIn ads would be first starting with the industry you want to advertise to, such as a Private Equity Firm. You’ll then receive a list of all Private Equity Firms matching your search criteria, such as the west coast region of the United States. With this powerful data, you could then create sponsored messages and content that advertises directly to these businesses that you know are relevant to your brand. This will save the money and time spent pursuing irrelevant leads. 


2 - Use smart data to identify prospects

To filter your audience even further, Biscred allows your brand to search for specific individuals within a brand. What are the advantages of this? 


Identifying the key decision makers in a business is key to the success of B2B operations. You can’t always rely on advertising broadly to people within the commercial real estate field. Property managers, executives, and senior level employees are far more relevant to CRE. 


Biscred’s CRE database lets you search for individual people within a company based on these job titles. In the Quick Search tab, you can select People Criteria and sort by: 

  • Names

  • Job titles

  • Seniority

  • Asset experiences

  • States and regions 

  • Cities



In our previous example of searching Private Equity firms, you could narrow your search even further to those with the job title of “executive” within Private Equity firms. Your brand will then have access to an extensive list of executive level people within these organizations. A series of sponsored messages could then be created and tailored specifically for these leads. Consider creating multiple sponsored messages as well for different regions or industries to personalize your brand’s message even further. 


3 - Identify prospects by job function vs. job classification

Before targeting specific individuals in an organization, it’s necessary to understand who within a business has stakes in CRE purchasing. First, understand what your business is targeting? Are you a developer? A sales and management company? Who do you commonly work with? Who would you like to work with?


Biscred outlines the different roles within an organization that directly affect CRE. B2B CRE businesses may interface with real estate sales, management, or CRE developers, depending on their business goals. We’ve compiled a list of job classifications within businesses whose function (the job they do) can affect whether or not they do business with you.


For CRE Developers

These businesses that commonly work with CRE developers: 

  • Subcontractors

  • Material suppliers and vendors

  • Service providers


Some of the common important job titles within CRE development businesses are: 

  • Facilities managers and coordinators: Responsible for caring and maintaining properties. Managers are more likely to be able to make decisions but don’t underestimate the influence that facilities coordinators can have on a manager’s decisions. They can also be referred to as building superintendents. 

  • Engineers: An engineer, sometimes several, can be involved with commercial properties. These engineers may have several different titles, such as building engineer, HVAC engineer, mechanical engineer, design engineer, or engineering technician. 

  • Project managers: Project managers may not make the direct purchasing decisions but they still have influence on a project’s budget and timing. 

  • Finance managers: Those who oversee CRE purchases and sales of properties are always concerned about the value of the property and market values. 

  • Procurement: Procurement analysts, managers, sourcing managers, and procurement coordinators are all linked to the buying decisions of a development company. These folks can be incredibly influential roles to target. 


For CRE Sales and Management

These businesses commonly interface with CRE sales and management: 

  • Materials suppliers and vendors

  • Service providers


Some of the common important job titles within CRE sales and management: 

  • Real estate manager: Responsible for maintaining a premises and its buildings. 

  • Commercial real estate associate: Associate role for managing real estate - still has influence with sales.

  • Licensed real estate agent: Real estate agent or broker for the purchase of a property. Assists businesses in buying, selling, and renting real estate.

  • Acquisitions manager, director, VP: Responsible for a company’s purchasing activity 

  • Property manager, general manager, business manager, and community manager: The person (or team) in charge of operating a property, finding tenants, collecting rent, and performing maintenance

  • Leasing agent, commercial sales and leasing director or coordinator: Individuals responsible for the sales end of a business, leasing agents assist businesses in renting out a property. 

  • Tenant coordinator, tenant account analyst: Supports the management company of a property and maintains the property. Responsible for tenant service requests. 

  • Asset manager: Responsible for high level decisions within a CRE business. Monitors profitability and market value so the owner is profiting. Ensure the real estate is profitable. 


Remember the functions of these positions when crafting targeted advertisements, as their individual goals and priorities can be drastically different! 


4 - Use LinkedIn’s hidden settings

LinkedIn ads is an incredibly powerful platform, and we’ve only scratched the surface of some of the broader ways that your CRE business can utilize it. We encourage you to keep testing as you continue your marketing campaign to yield the most optimal results possible. 


Here are some of the “hidden” settings that your brand can experiment with as it continues to utilize LinkedIn Ads. 


  • Website Retargeting: Add the LinkedIn insight tag to your website’s homepage or career page to target audiences that visit these pages. You can create audiences based on this tag and advertise specifically to the individuals visiting your pages. 

  • Account Targeting: Similar to website retargeting, target business accounts and run account-based marketing (ABM) campaigns that target CRE companies relevant to your brand. 

  • Contact Targeting: Already have a list of audiences in your business database? Import these contacts and create a customized audience for your marketing campaign by uploading their email address. LinkedIn ads allows you to upload datasheets in the form of a CSV file for easier contact importing. 

  • A/B Testing: Not sure which audience to advertise to? Want to test different campaigns on different demographics, consider creating multiple campaigns with small variations to test the success and refine your search criteria. 

  • Analyze Your Existing Campaigns: Although there’s a lot of setup for LinkedIn marketing campaigns, there’s also a lot of valuable data about clicks, conversions, and more stats on your existing campaigns. If you adjust your marketing campaigns in the future, always consider the existing data at your disposal in LinkedIn.



5 - Try manual bidding

We talked about cost-per-click advertising before and how you pay the host service, like LinkedIn, a fee for every lead that clicks your advertisement. But how is this fee calculated? 

When creating ads, you enter a bidding process where the host service, in this case LinkedIn, lets you bid on your ad placements. Every time an ad can be placed, the highest bidder’s ad will be located there.


However, this system is automated because it happens so frequently. Therefore, the bid will use an automated system to calculate who currently has the highest bid. If you’re also using an automated system, this system will try to bid the highest based on the criteria you set. However, if you’re not familiar with CPC advertising, this can be dangerous. You’ll end up bidding a lot of money for a lot of different advertising places if you’re not careful. Therefore, when you’re starting out, it’s better to utilize manual bidding. 


Manual bidding lets you, the advertiser, designate the amount that you’re willing to pay for an ad. This way you know exactly how much you’ll spend based on how many leads you want to generate. Once you feel more comfortable with these types of campaigns, you can then move toward automated bidding and smart bidding, where you purchase advertisements automatically. 


 

Sources

1 LinkedIn, About LinkedIn (accessed 2023 October 28)


2 Small Business Trends, Advertising Influences 90 Percent of Consumers to Buy, Study Says, 2017 Dec. 21 (accessed 2023 October 28)


3 HubSpot, The Ultimate list of Marketing Statistics for 2022 (accessed 2023 October 28)

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