If you’ve never looked into competitors’ research on Linkedin ads, now is the time to do so.
Staying one step ahead of your rivals’ marketing game is often the secret ingredient to your own advertising success, and LinkedIn is one of the most prominent and powerful tools a B2B marketer can bolster to do just this.
It’s no secret that “knowing your enemy” (we say this strictly in terms of being aware of rival businesses’ marketing movements!) has invaluable benefits, but LinkedIn is a particularly useful source.
Let’s look at why.
Why Should We Be Looking at Competitors’ LinkedIn Ads?
It is important to keep an eye on what our competitors are doing on LinkedIn for the following reasons:
Monitoring Their Strategy
Seeing how a rival company is performing on LinkedIn can allow you to witness their approach to this area of advertising, and how it is serving them.
Chances are, they’ll be doing one of two things: posting hot content daily, or posting sporadically (or not at all). This provides insight to several key pieces of information:
- Whether LinkedIn is beneficial for your particular industry.
- Whether carving out a strong LinkedIn advertising strategy will be beneficial for your brand or not.
- Which advertising format (this platform offers multiple types for multiple purposes) may draw in the most engagement for your own posts, and which are the most utilised by your competitor.
- What content they’re advertising (e.g.: eBooks, webinars, competitions, etc.).
- The topics they are focusing on.
If you’re at a loss at how to approach your LinkedIn marketing, looking at your competitors’ approaches (particularly what is performing well) can provide key insights into how to build your own strategy, being mindful, of course, not to plagiarise anything!
Pay attention to what ad formats they’re using, as well as their visuals, their tone, their topics, etc. This can help you build a winning strategy of your own. Again, being sure to make yours unique.
How to Get Started With Your Research
Naturally, to get started you will need to use LinkedIn’s search bar to look for your competitors. This will give you the option to click on their main page or posts. Click on “posts”, which will then give you the option to view their ads.
Please note: while this will allow you to see their adverts, you won’t be able to see the engagement. To be able to do that, you’ll need to locate the three dots (top-right corner) and click on them and select “copy link to post”.
You can then paste this link into your browser to see each ad’s engagement levels.
Boosting Your Strategy Through Competitive Research on LinkedIn
This part of the article shows you how to implement your research to elevate your strategy.
LinkedIn Ad Funnel
First and foremost, viewing your competitors’ content on LinkedIn can shed light on any gaps in your own LinkedIn ad funnel – or how to go about building your first paid funnel on LinkedIn.
This is where browsing your competitors’ ads can help. It allows you to identify how they’ve put together their funnel, which can inspire you with yours.
Here’s what to do:
- Focus on their awareness-focused ads first.
- Move onto the ads that are SEO/traffic-heavy, or that focus on drawing engagement to the specific ad.
- Lastly, have a look at their ads that are clearly focusing on lead generation and conversion.
Doing so in this order allows you to outline the company’s sales funnel and its three key stages.
Once you’ve done this, you can look at the bigger picture and see how all three fit into creating the overall funnel. If they have a structured, well-thought-out funnel strategy, you should now be able to identify it, see what works, and then compare it to your own. Is there a tactic that you’ve never used before? If so, why not? Will it work for you? Etc, etc.
Each stage of the funnel may hold a tactic you’ve not used, and this may well be the key to your own funnel success.
Also, because LinkedIn allows you to advertise via objective, you may find your competitors have used objectives you’ve yet to dabble in.
Whether or not you work with a Linkedin advertising agency, competitor research can hold the key to elevating your own strategy on LinkedIn.
Competitor research can inspire you to delve into new offers, which can be particularly useful if you’ve recycled the same offer/s over the course of your time on LinkedIn, and are finding the results are becoming rather stale.
Chances are, your competitors are doing something more fruitful, such as:
- Fresh deals/limited-time discounts/money-saving offers.
- Free demos/trials.
- Interactive events, such as webinars.
- Useful industry information, such as white papers.
- Consideration-stage-focused blogs that benefit the customer to click onto it.
Again, it’s important not to copy strategies, but to use this research to see any gaps in your own, or how you could be approaching your LinkedIn marketing differently.
Brush Up Your Copy
While things like imagery and formats are important to your strategy – it’s your words that sell.
If you’re finding your copy isn’t punching up the engagement numbers as much as you’d like, it could be wise to look at engagement-heavy competitors’ ads and see if the reason lies within their copy.
While this doesn’t necessarily mean your copy is bad, it could just mean they’re implementing certain useful copy hacks, including:
- “Hooks”, AKA, statements (usually questions) that grab the reader’s attention immediately.
- Specific, appealing CTAs (call-to-actions). Sometimes writing “Find Out More” or “Sign Me Up” is more appealing than a boring, uninventive “Click Here”.
- Clearly outlining challenge-focussed pain points, as opposed to just selling the benefits of something. Your audience needs to know you understand their problems/challenges.
- Now you can focus on the benefits!
- Certain features about your product/service that make it unique.
Not only can competitor research highlight what your rival is doing right, it can outline what they’re doing wrong; AKA, what to avoid.
Another note: when you’re constructing your ads on LinkedIn, it is important to check the ad preview before it goes live to ensure your copy is being displayed correctly and is visibly appealing and easy to understand.
It can also benefit you to have a second pair of eyes check for spelling or grammar errors!
The key to preventing your marketing from being dull and boring is to keep it creative – regardless of the subject.
Checking out what your competitors are doing with theirs may inspire you to look into upping your creative game in certain areas, including:
- Case study/testimonial videos
- Product photography
- Brand/service announcement/introduction videos
- Customer photography
- Team photographs/”meet the team” posts
- Text overlays
This can prompt you to delve into other types of ads too. For example, if you’ve only dabbled in single-image ads, perhaps a carousel ad may allow the meaning of your ad to shine better.
Playing Around With CTAs
As we mentioned earlier, a boring or unclear CTA may throw a spanner in the works of your ad success, so this could be an opportunity to have some fun with your call-to-action buttons.
Checking out how your competitors are approaching the call-to-action (CTA) side of things can provide some inspiration for your own.
While LinkedIn has pre-set CTAs (such as “Sign Up”, “Request Demo”, “Subscribe”, etc., you may find it useful to play around and be as topic-specific as possible).
You can also test how well certain CTAs perform the best with audiences before the ad goes live by creating identical ads and running them simultaneously for test audiences.
Don’t Forsake Your Landing Page
Oftentimes, we use LinkedIn to help direct traffic to our websites. So, once that aspect of the journey has been achieved, it is important that your landing page is up-to-scratch to encourage conversion.
And again – researching those of your competitors can be beneficial. Ask yourself questions like “does the tone in the advert correlate the one on the website?”.
Look at what works and what doesn’t, and implement and optimise accordingly.
We hope this article has provided valuable insight on why it’s important to regularly keep an eye on your competitors’ advertising on LinkedIn.
Not only can it help inspire you to elevate your marketing, it can show you what not to do too.
If you’d like to learn more about how we help B2B SaaS and Tech companies grow their MRR through LinkedIn advertising, contact us online or send us an email today at email@example.com to speak with someone on our team.