A Beginners Guide To LinkedIn Ad Campaigns

January 22, 2021

With 722 million members worldwide, LinkedIn is one of the widely used platforms by many businesses. Increasing numbers of businesses are investing on this platform to generate more leads and create brand awareness. LinkedIn ads are a powerful tool for businesses, especially in B2B scenarios, to reach a wide range of professionals with similar interests. These ads can enable you to target your audience based on different criteria like industry, job position, education, skills and more.

Reaching a wide range of audience and targeting them accurately are the main advantages of running a LinkedIn ad campaign. In addition, like any other PPC campaigns you can customize your ads budget. If you are thinking of getting started with LinkedIn advertising, this article will help you do just that. We will take a look at the types of ads, how you can set up a campaign and some useful tips to ensure best results.

Types of LinkedIn Ads

The first thing you will need to figure out is what type of LinkedIn ad format you want to utilize based on your objective, audience, budget, etc. Let’s understand the four types of ads that are available for you to leverage.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored content appears on the audience’s news feed just like any other organic content does. These ads look very similar to promoted posts that appear on any social media feed. You can choose between four options available in Sponsored content. They are as follows:

  • Single image ads: these ads include one image
  • Carousel ads: can include two or more images
  • Video ads: features a video
  • Single job ads: this ad promotes a job opportunity

While creating this type of ad you can choose from among these four types and then add a headline and link.

Message Ads

Message ads allow you to reach your audience in their LinkedIn inbox. You can send direct messages to your prospects to get their attention and encourage them to take action. These ads can also help you measure engagements through the actions taken by your audiences. This type of messaging can drive more interaction than traditional emails.  

Dynamic Ads

Dynamic ad format can enable you to personalize ads based on each member in your target list. This type of ad uses a member’s LinkedIn profile data like job title, photo, or company to customize ads.

There are three types of Dynamic Ads format:

  • Follower ad: these ads promote a company’s LinkedIn Page so that members can follow their page.
  • Spotlight ad: they let you drive traffic to your website by promoting an event or offer.
  • Job ad: these ads promote job opportunities.

Text Ads

Text ads appear on the right side or top of a LinkedIn page. These ads are based on a cost-per click (CPC) or cost-per impression (CPI) bids that you can manage as per your budget. This ad copy consists of a headline, description, link and an image which includes your company logo. There are various targeting options available for you to determine your target audience. These ads can help you to increase brand awareness.

How to Create a LinkedIn Ad Campaign?

Create a LinkedIn ad campaign

Ad campaigns are created on a separate platform called the Linked Marketing Solutions. Once you are on this page click on Create Ad. You will be directed to sign into or create a LinkedIn Campaign Manager account. You will need a LinkedIn Company Page to associate your account with, if you don’t have one then create it.  Billing details will be required to set up the account.

Next, you will come to your dashboard where you can click on Create Campaign. Select Create campaign group to get started. Campaign groups enable you to organize and group related ad campaigns. These campaigns can be grouped by various factors like objectives or audiences. After you choose your Campaign Group, you can start setting up your ads.

Choose your ad objective

The first step is to choose an ad objective. Just like any other marketing or advertising campaigns you need to determine your goals. Objectives determine what you expect to get out of your ad campaign.

The objectives fall under the Awareness, Consideration and Conversions stages. These are the four objectives you can choose from:

Website visits: this will help you drive more traffic to your website and increase brand awareness.

Engagement: it will increase engagement on your content.

Video views: this enables more people to see and interact with your video content.

Lead generation: the users who click on your ad are sent to a Lead Gen Form that is already filled with their profile information.

Set your target audience

LinkedIn offers a variety of parameters to help you show your ads to the right people. This ensures that your ads are more relevant to the audience you want to reach. You will first start off by selecting the location you would like to include or exclude and also the language. Then you can select audience attributes to further narrow your audience. These attributes include demographics, education, industry, job title, interests and more. You can also exclude certain audiences from seeing your ads.

There is also an option of Matched Audiences that includes an audience list you want to target. With this option you can upload a list of contacts or target your website visitors. Save your audience to move on to the next step.

Select ad format

This is where you select the type of ad format you want. Go through the types of ad formats discussed above to understand which works best for your objectives. The type of ad format you choose may also depend on your budget. Take a look at the Forecasted Results box on the right-hand side to see which ad format works best for your campaign.  

Choose your ad placement

In this step you will choose if you want your ads to be shown on the LinkedIn Audience Network. This enables you to reach a wide range of audiences on LinkedIn’s third-party platforms.

You can exclude categories of mobile apps or sites where you do not want your ads to be shown. Also, upload a block list to stop your ads from showing on selected apps or sites.

Set a budget

Next, set your daily budget that works best for your business. If it is your first time running these ads, don’t go overboard with the spend. Test your campaigns first to see what results you are getting. Based on these results you can further choose to invest more in these campaigns.

Schedule

Choose the start and end date of your campaigns.

Bid Type

Choose the bid type that works best for your campaign goals. There three bid types:

Automated bid: LinkedIn will automatically set the right bid for your ad. This option helps you get the maximum results for your budget.

Maximum cost-per-click (CPC) bid:  here you will be charged every time someone clicks on your ads. This bid is the maximum you will be charged for clicks. LinkedIn gives suggestions about the appropriate bid you can set based on your budget and competitors.

Maximum cost-per Impressions (CPM) bid: with this bid you will be charged per 1,000 impressions. This is the number of times your ad is viewed by LinkedIn members.

Choosing a bid type can be confusing. Analyze what best suits your ad campaigns. For example, if you want to drive more traffic to your website then CPC will be the best option for you. If you are indecisive about maximum bids, the best way to find out what works for you is to experiment with different bids.

Conversion Tracking

Setting up conversion practice is optional. Conversion tracking enables you to analyze the actions people take after they click on your ads. It is a good practice to set this up as it can give you valuable insights for your business.

Create your Ads

Last step is to build your ads. You can set up headlines, descriptions and images to make your ads more compelling. You will also be able to see previews of what your ad will look like.

Tips for Your Ad Campaigns

Run A/B Testing

A/B testing can help you ensure the optimum performance of your ads. This simply consists of creating two or more versions of the same ad. You can test various elements like headline, images, CTA button, audiences etc. to see which ad performs better. The ad that gains more impressions and clicks is clearly the one which you can continue using. Without A/B testing you miss out on a lot of opportunities.

Include Images

Although images are optional, they should be used in your ads. Images can grab a user’s attention and help the ad perform better.

Measure Results

Measuring your ad performance is easy. On your dashboard you will see Campaign Performance, which gives you a breakdown of your ad campaigns. You can see metrics like clicks, impressions and click through rates here. Keep monitoring your ad results as they help you improve your campaigns further. You can also look into the Demographics to get detailed information on different professionals who clicked on your ads. This report shows the member’s job title, industry, and more.

Leverage audience template

Audience targeting can sometimes be challenging, especially if you are new to LinkedIn advertising. In such scenarios you can utilize audience templates. These templates help you target the right audiences easily. They are created based on a similar mix of criteria you want to target like skills, field of study, groups etc.

Just like any other marketing or advertising strategy it will take some time before you master LinkedIn ads. The key is to keep experimenting and testing different elements that can show you what does and does not work for you. But once you figure out what is best for your business you will see profitable results.

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