At some point in their career, most business owners face the challenges of running a successful business and finding the best results for their company.
When that happens, it often comes to mind to invest in some sort of advertising. While traditional advertising has a lot to offer, it is quite expensive to do it right. So, many jump online to find the answer to their problems.
One place to advertise online is on Social Media. Which Social Media?
Primarily on LinkedIn.
What sets LinkedIn apart from the rest of Social Media networks is the B2B targeting options, designed specifically for business professionals. LinkedIn ads can help your business reach a tailored and powerful audience of professionals.
You can use the platform to target professionals from different industries or connect with important people from your industry.
Table of Contents
- How To Advertise On LinkedIn?
- How To Create Your First Ad?
- How To Create Your First LinkedIn Ad (step-by-step)
How To Advertise On LinkedIn?
Before you start your first campaign, it is important to spend some time researching your target audience and understanding your company goals. Try to focus on one or two company objectives at a time to properly optimize every step of your campaign experience.
When you are familiar with the type of goal you want to achieve and your ideal audience you want to reach, you will need to come up with a good strategy that you can use later on to compare what works best for your business.
How To Create Your First Ad?
Before we dive deep into the details of what it takes to create a successful LinkedIn ad campaign, make sure to optimize your LinkedIn page to get the most of your ad revenue back.
Optimizing your page will make your account more professional, credible, and trustworthy for newcomers.
Choose the Right Objective
The very first step of your campaign should focus on what you want to achieve with your ad – would you like to increase your reach, list of clients, or perhaps you are looking to drive quality traffic to your website.
Either way, knowing what you want to achieve is important if you want to reach the right audience. LinkedIn will optimize your ads to show them to the most relevant audience. So it is important to choose the most accurate objective that you want to achieve for your company.
LinkedIn allows users to choose from the following objects – Brand Awareness, Conversions and Consideration.
The first objective you can select for your ad campaign is Awareness. This objective does not focus on conversations, pay per click, or the number of downloads. Instead, Awareness is all about increasing your brands’ reach to as many people as possible.
Many ad campaigns start with focusing on building Brand Awareness before anything else. This objective is perfect for new brands that want people to notice them and get familiar with their range of products/services.
You can use Awareness to increase your visibility, warm the audience before reaching out or you can use it to form an engaging community on LinkedIn. Yes, Awareness can be also used to increase posts’ engagement and followers.
The next available objective on the list is Consideration. Consideration focuses more on the art of persuasion rather than hard cash and sales. It is more about encouraging people to take the next step of your sales funnel and learn more about your brand.
LinkedIn offers three options to choose from if you want to use this objective – Website Visits, Engagement, or Video Views.
Website Visits. Website Visits will bring more viewers to your website, marketing landing page, or LinkedIn event. There is no doubt, this objective will help you get more website traffic but this is not the only thing you can use it for. You can use this objective as a cheaper lead generator to encourage your audience to sign up for a free trial or sign up for your webinar.
Engagement. If you want to connect with quality prospects that are part of your industry but you have no idea where to meet them, this objective will help you. You can use Engagement to increase your social engagement and post interactions as well as bring more followers to your LinkedIn page.
Video Views. Video Marketing is a powerful tool for every advertiser today. Video content usually performs much better compared to static images and it is much more engaging and rewarding. It tells a story and showcases the value of your brand. Video content can be used to increase engagement rates, bring website traffic, drive quality of leads, increase your followers, and boost brand awareness. So, you can use LinkedIn ads to share a specific video to an audience that is much more likely to engage with it.
Conversion is the last objective you can choose for your campaign and it focuses on generating more leads, traffic, and sales. It offers three options that you can select based on the objective you want to achieve with your new campaign – collect leads (Lead Generation), encourage website visitors to take action (Website Conversions), or find the right applicant for your job position (Job Applicants).
Lead Generation. LinkedIn is the perfect platform to craft a strategy and gather quality leads. You can target a specific job title if you are interested in reaching a specific audience for your business and create an entire campaign specifically built for that audience. Then, you can add a freebie of some form to give information in exchange for the lead you want to get. The best thing about LinkedIn is that prospects will not have to leave the platform in order to give you their information and sign up for your offer.
Website Conversions. You can use Website Conversions to target people that are most likely to complete a conversion – whether it is product sale, service quote request, or a demo request to software sign up. Conversion optimization requires a lot of data and is usually considered more expensive compared to Consideration and Awareness objectives. But the more data LinkedIn collects, the better it will optimize your bids and ads.
Job Applicants. If you would like to broaden your reach and discover new professionals that you have not considered just yet for your job ad, this objective will help you reach new candidates that might not be on your radar.
Target the Right Audience
LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to choose a target audience based on job title, skills, interests, location, company (size & name), industry, job seniority, education, and much more.
But in order to use these target criteria to reach your ideal audience, you need to be familiar with who is your ideal client. Develop a marketing strategy that will help you target the right audience for your business and use this information to craft your targeting options.
If you have no idea what type of audience works best for your business, consider answering the following questions before you start advertising:
- Who is your demographic – age group, location, interests, gender?
- Are they lower management or upper management?
- What are their job positions?
Be specific with your targeting but keep in mind that the broader your targeting is, the more money you will spend and the less accurate results you will get. On the contrary, targeting a smaller group of people would lower the chances of connecting with all of your potential LinkedIn targets. So, it is best to find a middle ground for your campaign.
To simplify (or overcomplicate) the process, LinkedIn also offers targeting options such as “exclude”, “include” and “narrow by” that allows advertisers to further specify their ideal audience.
In addition, you can also use LinkedIn’s algorithm – Audience Expansion – to find similar audiences to the one you have targeted before. Similar to Facebook’s Lookalike Audience feature, you can use Audience Expansion to target people that have similar interests and attributes to your ideal audience.
Lastly, you can use matched audiences on LinkedIn for retargeting purposes. Matched audiences allow advertisers to target people who have taken an action from a previous campaign of yours. It might be that they have visited your website or signed up for your webinar.
Related: Discover everything you need to know about Social Media here.
Choose the Best Ad Format
Once you choose the right objective for your campaign and discover your target audience, it is time to choose the type of ad campaign. LinkedIn offers a bunch of options when it comes to the type of content you want to promote.
On LinkedIn, you can choose between different ad types based on the objective you have selected for your campaign – Awareness, Consideration or Conversion. Each objective offers a different ad format for you to choose from.
Awareness Ad Types
If you choose this objective, you will be able to choose between image, video, carousel, text, spotlight, follower, or conversation ad.
Single image ad is the most common and standard type of sponsored content. They focus on promoting any post to a broader audience, with a single image.
Video ad is exactly what it sounds like – the ad design features a creative video instead of a static image.
Carousel ad type allows advertisers to add multiple images within the ad post.
Text ads will appear in the right column and top of the page on LinkedIn and will feature a small heading, blurb, and a square image.
Spotlight ad is a dynamic ad that can target viewers in a unique way by personalizing the ad and addressing them by name. They also appear on the right rail on LinkedIn.
Follower ad is very similar to spotlight ad with one tiny difference: spotlight ads focus on promoting a specific offer/deal while follower ads focus on promoting your LinkedIn Company page in order to increase the number of your followers.
Conversation ad will appear in your target audience’s LinkedIn Messaging inbox.
Consideration Ad Types
Consideration ads include a single image, video, carousel, follower, spotlight, conversation, and message ad types.
Follower & spotlight ads are personalized based on each individual profile of your target audience and will appear in the right column of your LinkedIn feed.
Conversation and ad message ads will appear in your target audience’s LinkedIn Messaging inbox.
Conversion Ad Types
This objective includes all ad formats mentioned above – a single image, video, carousel image, message, conversation, text, spotlight – but it also includes single job and jobs ad.
Single job ad focuses on using a single LinkedIn job that will appear in the newsfeed of the targeted user.
Jobs ad focuses on personalizing the ad message to be as relevant as possible to the user.
Use LinkedIn ad types to discover the perfect solution for your ad campaign. If you are not sure which one to use, try testing a few different options in order to learn which one brings the best results.
If you want to reach a wider audience, consider enabling LinkedIn Audience Network. This option will allow you to reach an audience outside LinkedIn on thousands of partner apps websites. This will further promote your ad but it will also spend your budget faster.
Create a Compelling Ad Design
The design of your ad is crucial for the success of your campaign. Depending on the ad type you have selected, there are a few options to make your ad more appealing to the user. It is up to you to find the best combination that brings the most results.
If your ad campaign is heavily focused on visuals (a single image or carousel), ensure you create a high-quality piece of content that aligns with your brand and style. You can use static images to tell people about your business (Awareness), tell people where they can see more (Consideration) or convince them why they need your product (Conversions).
If your ad campaign is more about telling your story through a video ad, ensure you have all elements of successful video marketing. Use videos (Awareness) to introduce people to your business; use videos (Consideration) to get people excited about your product/service; use videos (Conversions) to drive leads and encourage engagement.
If you want to use text ads for your campaign, spend some time crafting creative text that stands out. Ensure to add a high-quality visual with an attention-grabbing title and a strong CTA (call to action).
If you want to use messaging to reach your audience, you can use sponsored messages to drive engagement and encourage people to consider your message. Or you can also use messaging ads to generate leads. Write an engaging but not long text, so it is easy for the user to scan. Also, make sure to add a personal touch to your message.
Personalize Your Ads
Advertising is personal and it should feel that way. Whether you do it online or offline, tailoring your ads to better connect with your target audience will help your LinkedIn campaign. How to personalize your ads?
Visual content. Write a captivating title and make sure to call out your target audience with direct language.
Text ads. Use text ads to talk directly to your audience.
Inbox ads. Personalize your messages with %FIRSTNAME% to add a personal greeting. Mention the industry you are targeting and perhaps the recipient’s job position.
Set Ad Budget
In order to win the bidding war between you and other LinkedIn pages, interested in targeting the same group of people like you, the platform allows users to choose between two different advertising bid options – automated bid and maximum cost bid.
Automated bids use previous campaign data to automatically set and adjust your bid towards the objective you have chosen. Maximum cost bids, on the other hand, allow advertisers to select the maximum amount of money they are willing to spend for that bid.
If you are looking to get more engagement, reach, clicks, setting up an automated campaign is perfectly fine. But if you want to have more control over your bid strategy, a maximum cost bid is the best solution.
However, if you are just starting with LinkedIn advertising, the algorithm might not be able to place your bid because it will not have enough campaign data to optimize your ads accordingly. For that reason, you might want to let LinkedIn gather data with an automated bid strategy before you can change to maximum cost bid.
Test Different Ad Designs
If you have ever read any of my posts about advertising, you probably would not be surprised to hear that split tests are my favorite. Testing different ad designs and text combinations will give you a lot of data to work with. You can use all insights to optimize your campaign and see which one is performing the best.
On LinkedIn, you can test different ad designs, select a different audience or change the call-to-actions below your ad so you can see which variation performs better. If your ad is not performing well in terms of engagement, do not be afraid to change it with a more creative design. Analyze your results and keep a track of your ads for future ad campaigns, especially if you are planning to target similar audiences.
Track Events (Insight Tag)
Similar to Facebook Pixel, the LinkedIn network offers its own way of tracking events and conversions – Insight Tag. People who plan to advertise on LinkedIn can add a piece of code to their website’s HTML code to learn more about each action viewers that coming from the ad campaign take on their websites. This information can be used to improve conversion tracking or lead generation as well as to set up retargeting ads.
Look at Your Competition
If you do not know where to start or what to do, you can have a look at what your competitors are up to. In fact, you can also preview the creatives they use for their advertising directly on LinkedIn.
To do that, simply go to the LinkedIn profile you want to examine (it has to be a company), click on “Posts” and select “Ads”. Use this information to take notes and create dope ad designs but do not copy. Nobody likes copy-cats.
Analyze & Optimize
Once your ad is up and running, spend some time analyzing how it is performing. Pay close attention to important campaign metrics such as clicks, CTR, conversations, impressions, and other relevant metrics that will help you understand where your ad budget is going.
Then, use this given data to optimize your ad campaign and make it better. Focus on creating ads with great engagement rates, so they can get pushed in front of more people by LinkedIn’s algorithm.
How To Create Your First LinkedIn Ad?
To create your first LinkedIn campaign:
- Click the “Advertise” button available in your right corner.
- Create an Account in the Campaign Manager.
- Set Up your ad details
- Campaign Objective
- Audience Interests
- Set Budget & Schedule.
- Preview & Review your ad
- Launch your campaign.
When you are ready, make sure to wait a while and check if your campaign is up and running.
Related: Read more about Social Media topics here.
If you have come so far, you must be either excited to set up your first ad campaign on LinkedIn or scared. Either way, the only way to find out what’s next for your business is to jump into the deep water of LinkedIn advertising.
Do your part by analyzing the best target audience and choosing the most accurate objective for your campaign. Create compelling visuals and remember to include a strong CTA.
Then, let LinkedIn optimize your bids and keep an eye on your active ad campaign. If you feel that your ad is not performing to your expectations, make sure to change it up a little bit by optimizing your ad design, description, CTA, and bidding strategy.