LinkedIn Ads: How to Set Up a Campaign That Converts

LinkedIn Ads: How to Set Up a Campaign That Converts

While in 2022, Facebook and Instagram remain the most popular social media platforms, generating the highest ROI, in this hierarchy, third place is occupied by Linkedin.

Although LinkedIn is, foremost, a social media platform of high importance for B2B companies, it is not exclusively the case.

Digging deeper into more data, LinkedIn seems to be a top-performing platform in terms of ads’ effectiveness, as a LinkedIn ad has the potential of reaching 13% of the world’s population.

This is huge! Could you think of other marketing initiatives that could even equal the awareness potential LinkedIn ads could offer a brand interested in trying LinkedIn advertising? I bet there aren’t so many.

By offering remarkable targeting granularity, LinkedIn ads can help a brand get to the very core of its audience.

In this complete guide about LinkedIn ads, we’ll cover Insights on this matter along with LinkedIn ads types, objectives, formats, and best practices.

Let’s dive in!

Guide to LinkedIn ads

  1. How to run ads on LinkedIn?
  2. Types of LinkedIn ads
  3. LinkedIn ad objectives
  4. LinkedIn ad formats
  5. LinkedIn advertising costs
  6. Metrics to oversee for measuring your LinkedIn ads performance
  7. LinkedIn ads best practices

1. How to run ads on LinkedIn?

Creating ads on LinkedIn is similar – up to a certain point, of course – to creating Facebook ads.

So, if you’ve ever tried out this latest form of online advertising, running ads on LinkedIn and the whole LinkedIn ads dashboard may seem pretty familiar.

But just it’s your first time experimenting with paid ads, no worries – the LinkedIn ads library is, and the whole process of running LinkedIn ads is quite explicit.

Step 1

To start creating LinkedIn ads, you’ll first have to sign in to Campaign Manager.

After having built your account there, you can jump to the next step.

Linkedin ads objectives

Step 2

Before setting up your LinkedIn paid ads, you must clearly know what you want to achieve through these paid LinkedIn ads.

Choosing an objective for your LinkedIn ads campaign is a mandatory step when scheduling ads on LinkedIn.

Remember that you should choose the goal depending on which stage of the marketing funnel your targeted audience for the set LinkedIn ad campaign is.

That is why it is indicated to have multiple ads campaigns running for different audiences.

Step 3

What makes LinkedIn ads so great and effective it’s the possibility of establishing very targeted audiences.

Here you can see how you can set the audiences for your LinkedIn ad campaigns.

When setting a LinkedIn ads campaign, you can select your target’s job title, industry, or target by professional or personal interests.

Moreover, when setting the audiences for your LinkedIn ads, the “Matched Audience” option can simplify your work when you’re interested in retargeting campaigns – oriented towards people who visited your website.

Step 4

When it comes to the types of LinkedIn ads the platform puts at your disposal, you’ll be glad to hear you’ll have plenty and creative options.

Here you can see what formats LinkedIn offers for its paid ads.

Step 5

Like on any other ads campaign dashboard, you’ll have to set a budget and a schedule for your LinkedIn ads.

When setting your budget for your LinkedIn ads, take into consideration that the average cost per click for LinkedIn ads is $5.26, being the most expensive social media platform in terms of online paid advertising.

This high cost for LinkedIn ads is justified by the fact that LinkedIn drives more than 50% of all social traffic directed to B2B company blogs, as data has indicated.

This is a demonstration of how you can set your ad bugets on LinkedIn.

Step 6

After selecting your budget and schedule, it’s time to jump to the next step of your LinkedIn ads creation process – working on your ad creatives.

For this part, LinkedIn offers several ad options – Sponsored Content, Message Ads, and Text ads.

While Sponsored Content ads refer to in-feed LinkedIn ads in more popular terms, the Text Ads category is Facebook’s equivalent for right-column ads. As for the Message Ads type – well, its name is pretty self-explanatory.

Depending on the LinkedIn ad type you’ll choose to run – you’ll have to fill out some specific fields to each ad type – like thumbnail insertion, call to action, and so on.

Step 7

Once all the more technical aspects of your LinkedIn ads campaign are all set up, the last part you’ll have to cover will be the insertion of your billing information. With this final step completed, your work is done.

Afterward, your ad’s journey will continue with a short review process that, once completed, will allow it to be launched into the world.

2. Types of LinkedIn ads

Having mentioned them briefly earlier, now we’ll make a more in-depth breakdown of all the different types of LinkedIn ads available in the platform.

Here you can see some of the ad formats on supported by Linkedin as well as the the ad's specs.

The Sponsored Content ad is the one that blends within a user’s LinkedIn feed posts, having a distinguished “Sponsored” tag attached to it to differentiate it from organic content.

When opting to create a Sponsored Content LinkedIn ad, marketers have four types of LinkedIn ads available for choosing inside this category:

  • LinkedIn singe image ads
  • LinkedIn carousel ads
  • LinkedIn video ads
  • LinkedIn event ads

Here you can see more information about The Linkedin carousel ad type.

LinkedIn Messaging ads are a great way of getting your targeted audience’s attention as a brand’s message will be delivered directly into the user’s inbox.

The LinkedIn Sponsored Message ad type differentiates itself from the regular messages in a user’s inbox by displaying a “Sponsored” tag and having a CTA button.

To be marked as read, the messages need to be opened, remaining in the user’s inbox even after that.

Here you can see more info about the Linkedin sponsored messagea ad.

The LinkedIn Text Ads are one of the most simplified ad types, consisting of only three elements: the logo of the brand, a short advertising copy, and a clickable CTA.

They are located in the right-hand sidebar that’s kept visible while users are scrolling down into their newsfeed.

Here you can see spcs and more detailed information about LinkedIn text ads.

Dynamic ads are some of LinkedIn’s wonders, as with this type of LinkedIn ad has taken social media advertising to a place no other social media platform did before.

LinkedIn’s dynamic ads are the platform’s way of creating a deeper connection between the targeted audiences and the brand realizing the ad.

It is a type of social media ad that shows personalized content based on the personal information of the member that is viewing it.

Here are available specs and more info about LinkedIn dynamic ads.

3. LinkedIn ad objectives

Your LinkedIn ads strategy must be aligned with whatever goal you want to achieve through LinkedIn paid advertising.

Because different customers can find themselves at different stages of the marketing funnel, you should create various LinkedIn ad campaigns.

This is exactly the reason why LinkedIn offers three different ad objectives for your LinkedIn ads: awareness, consideration, and conversion.

Suppose you’ve made up your mind and decided to create some consideration ads on LinkedIn, for example.

In that case, you’ll have to choose once again, on a more granular level, which KPI you want to boost through your LinkedIn paid advertising efforts: website visits, engagement, or video views.

On the other hand, for a conversion ad, you’ll have to decide if you’re more interested in gaining leads, website conversions, or job applicants.

Here you can see al the objectives availables for Linkedin Ads.

4. LinkedIn ad formats

Being a pro in helping businesses present and promote themselves is in LinkedIn’s nature, and its advertising options also fall into the same standard.

Just like Facebook, LinkedIn offers a variety of ad types and places. Furthermore, every ad category has numerous variations to better help marketers achieve their goals through LinkedIn advertising.

LinkedIn Sponsored ads, which are some of the most popular ads thanks to their high performance, have the most varied formats.

The Sponsored Content section offers four ad types available, which are the followings:

  • LinkedIn single image ads
  • LinkedIn video ads:
  • LinkedIn carousel ads
  • LinkedIn events ads

For marketers that would like to try out the Sponsored Message type of ad, LinkedIn offers two variations: Conversation Ads & Message Ads.

To highlight the difference between them, just as the name suggests, instead of delivering a single message, the Conversation Ad will offer a choose-your-own-path experience by offering multiple answers, depending on which the conversation will flow.

Moving forward, to LinkedIn conversion ads, a must important recommendation would be to pay particular attention to Lead Gen Forms, which can be created as both Sponsored Content or Message Ads.

As LinkedIn has revealed, Lead Gen Forms drive 2-3X more conversions compared to standard campaigns.

Undoubtedly, the Lead Gen Forms ad types were created with the thought of simplifying the user’s process of getting gated content in order to avoid as many possible dropping points.

How is that possible?

” When a member clicks on the call-to-action button on a LinkedIn ad with an attached Lead Gen Form, the form is automatically filled with their contact and profile information. They can then submit their information to companies through the form without having to manually type it in.” – LinkedIn

The LinkedIn generation ads are among most common ads campaigns that marketers run on LinkedIn, probably as a result of the fact that LinkedIn is responsible for 80% of all B2B leads coming from social media.

The last remaining LinkedIn ad formats to cover are the ones displayed in the platform’s right rail – Text Ads and Dynamic Ads.

Since we covered the elements of a LinkedIn text ad when mentioning what types of ads are available in the platform, we’ll focus on the second category – LinkedIn Dynamic ads, which also have two formats available: Spotlight ads and Follower ads.

Discover what Linkedin spotlight ads are and their main characteristics.

These both types of LinkedIn Dynamic ads allow the personalization of your message by integrating the contact info of the viewer, but their main differentiation is in the purpose they serve.

While the Spotlight ad was created for the promotion of a service, product, or event, the Follower ad has a sole goal – that of helping you acquire page followers.

More info about Linkedin follower ads here.

5. LinkedIn advertising costs

Before starting experimenting with LinkedIn paid advertising, you’re probably wondering, how much do Linkedin ads cost right?

As mentioned earlier, LinkedIn ads are one of the most expensive forms of online advertising, having higher costs than Facebook or Instagram.

However, the high LinkedIn ads pricing seems to be justified by amazing results.

If you’re to set your LinkedIn ads budget, you have to think about the type of ad that you’ll be running in your LinkedIn ads campaigns.

Of course, LinkedIn ad sets with different objectives may imply different costs.

Based on what marketers that have tried out LinkedIn advertising have reported, the average cost of LinkedIn ads is as follows:

  • CPC: $5.26
  • CPM: $6.59
  • Cost per send (for message ads): $0.80.

In terms of click-through rate, in 2022, the global average CTR for sponsored content is between 0.44% – 0.65%.

A more detailed breakdown of LinkedIn ads’ CTR for each ad type indicated the following percentages:

  • Sponsored Content (Single Image): 0.56%
  • Sponsored Content (Carousel): 0.40%
  • Sponsored Content (Video): 0.44%
  • Message Ads: 3% with open rates at 30%
  • Dynamic Ads Standard: 0.06%
  • Dynamic Ads Dynamic: 0.08%
  • Text Ads: 0.02%

6. Metrics to oversee for measuring your LinkedIn ads performance

Since LinkedIn provides multiples objectives that can be achieved through LinkedIn ads, given that you’ll have campaigns with different goals, it’s only natural to measure them differently.

Overseeing your LinkedIn ad’s performance will give you precious insights that will help you optimize your costs and create better ad campaigns in the future.

When you’re preparing to start working on your LinkedIn ads report, you should know the primary metrics available to you in the Campaign Manager will be:

  • Sends – number of times your ad was sent (impressions);
  • Opens – number of times your ad was opened (unique opens);
  • Clicks – total clicks on CTA buttons and link clicks;
  • Button Clicks – total clicks on CTA buttons;
  • Banner Clicks – total clicks on banner ads;
  • Link Clicks – clicks in the message body;
  • Open Rate – expresses in what percentage your audience has opened your ad (it is calculated by dividing your total number of opens to your total of sends);
  • Click to Open Rate – % of clicks divided by opens;
  • Cost Per Send – spend divided by sends;
  • Cost Per Open – spend divided by opens;
  • Average CPC – spend divided by clicks.

7. LinkedIn ads best practices

Having a LinkedIn ads strategy means more than having a couple of visuals and two or three lines of text to accompany it.

Creating a researched strategy for your LinkedIn business ads instead of sending some sporadic ones from now and then will help you better optimize your costs.

You will thus succeed in building more effective ads that will ultimately generate higher results – either you aim for engagement, leads, conversions, or whatever.

Therefore, when elaborating your strategy for your LinkedIn ad campaigns, there are some LinkedIn paid ads best practices that would be great for you to be acquainted with to adjust and optimize your strategy faster.

Finding that sweet spot – when you match the ad type with the creatives, the right audience and their location on the customer journey map is undeniably the receipt for a successful ad campaign, but to reach that point, a lot of testing is necessary.

Some good news is that, unlike on the other social networks, on LinkedIn, people are more willing to engage with longer content. Did you know that?

That’s actually a result of the fact that 91% of marketers consider LinkedIn one of the web’s most reliable resources of quality content.

Going back to the customer journey for a sec, the match between this strategical step and the right ad type is crucial.

For example, choosing the Sponsored Message as the first touchpoint with new prospects may prove a non-effective tactic.

But if you instead try out this LinkedIn ad type with people that already know your brand and moved beyond the awareness stage, you may get amazing results, as it is known to have a high open-rate.

In the end, effective marketing is impossible without lead nurturing!

  • A/B test your LinkedIn ads

Remember when we said testing is the key to all great successes in social media?

This is the very reason A/B testing was invented in the first place.

By trying out different versions of your ad – from different visuals, texts, bids, or interests targeted, you’ll be able to understand what makes your audience thick and create more content in that direction.

You can rest assure the best LinkedIn ads have behind them a lot of A/B testing.

This tactic is pure golf for marketing professionals since its role is to spare them a lot of time figuring out what could be improved with their LinkedIn ads and optimizing budgets – indicating in which LinkedIn ad type they should invest more.

TIP: when doing A/B testing, tweak only one variable at a time otherwise you’ll not be able to get a clear picture of what specific elements combined make your successful ad receipt.

This is one of those LinkedIn ads best practices where you get two for the price of one – among out top LinkedIn ads tips is to know your audience.

This is a vital step for every campaign and marketing initiative you’ll ever realize.

Having spoken earlier about LinkedIn’s in-depth targeting options, once you have identified what your ideal buyer persona looks like, it will be most easy to shape your ad with that in mind.

After the strategical part is done, and you know exactly who you’re trying to reach through your LinkedIn ads, either in case of first contact ads, or for LinkedIn retargeting ads, the more technical part – filling in the information in the “Audience” section is the easy peesy part.

Final thoughts

Although they are not quite so popular yet, compared to Facebook and Instagram ads, LinkedIn ads seem to deliver great results.

Since testing is the best way to discover what works for your business and what doesn’t, a quick try may indicate to you if, in the future, your brand should consider creating a LinkedIn ad strategy or not. If you’re a B2B business, the more reasons to do so.

Hopefully this guide to LinkedIn ads offered you the information you needed to start playing with some LinkedIn ads and create a strategy! Are you ready to give it a go?

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