LinkedIn is a valuable platform for connecting with professionals, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and organizations from all over the globe. As one of the largest business networks, this platform ranks as one of the best for B2B marketing. LinkedIn offers you an opportunity to get your brand known by targeted professionals and businesses.
If you want to get more leads through LinkedIn, consider its advertising feature. LinkedIn advertising is offered through LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, the platform that develops tools to help you reach your target audience on the platform.
Get Started With LinkedIn Advertising
This article rounds up all you need to know about advertising on LinkedIn. You will learn what LinkedIn ads are, how they work, and their different categories. We will also take you through the steps to create a LinkedIn ad campaign and finish with a few tips and insights for running successful marketing campaigns.
What Are LinkedIn Ads Campaigns, and How Do They Work?
LinkedIn ads are paid campaigns created and run on the said platform. These ads mainly benefit B2B companies and advertisers targeting working professionals and organizations.
Like Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads utilize cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) payment models. In CPC, the advertiser pays when a user clicks your ad. In CPM, they get charged once the ad achieves 1,000 impressions, which is the number of times an ad gets displayed, regardless of whether a user clicks on it.
LinkedIn ads offer advertisers more control over how they want to run their campaigns. As an advertiser, you can set your budget and schedule when you’d like the ad to go live. You can also target users based on their locations, demographics, and other factors.
Types of LinkedIn Campaigns
There are four ad formats that you can run on LinkedIn. Each is designed to assist you with accomplishing different objectives. Choose the type that aligns with your business needs.
Sponsored Content gets displayed in the news feed section of LinkedIn, whether on mobile or desktop. This ad type looks more or less the same as organic content but has a “Promoted” label attached to it. Sponsored Content comes in the following formats:
- Single Image Ads
This ad format has a single photo and a caption. Image ads are suitable for increasing brand awareness.
- Video Ads
Video ads have a single video and a caption. These ads are great for giving instructions and explaining your brand’s story.
- Carousel Ads
Carousel ads have multiple videos or images and a caption. Use this ad type to promote many product and service categories.
- Event Ads
Use this ad type for marketing a LinkedIn event.
Sponsored Messaging ads appear in a user’s inbox. These ads are great for starting a conversation with your target audience, generating leads, and encouraging website clicks. Sponsored Messaging ads are available in two formats:
- Conversation Ads
Use this format to start a conversation with your target customers
- Message Ads
This format allows you to send direct messages to your leads.
Lead Gen Forms
Leads Gen Forms are available as both sponsored content and message ads. They come with a pre-filled form that you can use to collect information about your audience. For example, customers can fill in their contact or profile information, which you can then use when conducting a survey or getting them to sign up for an event.
Dynamic Ads change according to a user’s interests and behaviors. They assess a user’s previous interactions to gauge what would be most interesting to them. Dynamic Ads then adapt and display the products or services most relevant to that person.
LinkedIn offers Dynamic Ads in three formats:
- Text Ads
This format appears at the top right side of the LinkedIn desktop news feed. These ads have no photos or videos attached to them.
- Spotlight Ads
Use this ad format to drive traffic straight to your website.
- Follower Ads
Choose such ads to acquire more followers for your LinkedIn page.
Steps to Create an Ad Campaign
Here are the steps to create a LinkedIn ad campaign.
1. Create Your Linked Campaign Manager Account
As mentioned earlier, LinkedIn offers its advertising solution through a different platform called LinkedIn Marketing Solutions. Your first step should be to create a LinkedIn Campaign Manager account on this platform.
Once you create your account, link it to your LinkedIn company page. You’ll also need to add your billing information and go to your Campaign Manager dashboard. Click the “Create Campaign” button to start your campaign.
2. Choose Your Campaign Objective
Begin your ad campaign by selecting your marketing objective. Your objective refers to the action you want users to take once they see your ad. LinkedIn offers three campaign objectives, which then get divided into smaller goals:
- Awareness (brand awareness)
- Consideration (website visits, engagements, and video views)
- Conversation (lead generation, website conversions, talent leads, and job applicants)
3. Select Targeting Options
Your next step will be to choose your targeting options to reach the audience most likely to take action on your ad. LinkedIn offers more than 20 different attributes that you can use to filter users. Some of them are:
- Job Title
- Job Seniority
- Company Name
- Industry Type
4. Select Your Ad Campaign Format
Now that you’ve chosen your campaign objective and targeting criteria, it’s time to select your ad type. Most ad types will require you to have a LinkedIn company page. Some also call for a higher budget than others. As mentioned above, the four ad formats offered by LinkedIn include Sponsored Content, Sponsored Messaging, Lead Gen Forms, and Dynamic Ads.
5. Pick Your Schedule and Set Your Budget
Next up, set your bidding and budget for the ad campaign. There are three bid types that you can select, and some depend on the ad type you’ve chosen. The three include:
- Cost per Click (CPC)
With CPC, you pay each time someone clicks your ad. This type is ideal when you want your target audience to perform an action after viewing your ad, for example, visiting your website.
- Cost per Send (CPS)
This type is available on message ads. You pay for each message successfully sent.
- Cost per Thousand Impressions (CPM)
On CPM, you pay when your ad gets displayed to users. This type works best when you want your ad seen by as many people as possible.
After choosing your bid type, you’ll need to enter your daily budget and bid. LinkedIn will suggest the best bid for you and highlight a range of other bids selected by other advertisers. The minimum bid amount you can set is $2.00. As for the daily budget, the minimum is $10.00.
Your final step will be to choose a start date. You can either decide to start immediately or schedule a future date. Regardless of when you begin, you can cancel your ad campaign at any time.
6. Launch and Track Your Ad Campaign
Once you’re satisfied with your ad, click the “Launch Campaign” button. LinkedIn will keep your ad under review for 24 hours to assess whether it meets the network’s advertising guidelines. Your ad will go live once approved.
Best Practices for Running ad Campaigns
Now that you know the steps to advertise on LinkedIn, here are some tips and insights to help you get the most out of your campaigns.
Understand Your Target Audience
It wouldn’t be wise to run ad campaigns without knowing your target audience. You may end up marketing your products and services to customers who don’t need them. Strive to study all you can about your target audience, from their location to demographics to their interests and behaviors. By doing so, you are better able to find them on LinkedIn. Knowing your target audience will help ensure your advertising efforts don’t go to waste. For more see, How To Understand Your Target Market.
Use High-Quality Visuals
Most users will notice your ad’s visuals before they read any text. Your visuals will compel them to check the ad’s caption, among other text details. Use visuals that are not only high quality, but also stir curiosity and command attention.
Choose Ad Format Wisely
Use an ad format that fits with your marketing goals. Different types serve different purposes. Video ads, for instance, are great for telling your brand’s story or explaining a phenomenon. Images are ideal for creating initial brand awareness. Carousel ads work best when you are marketing multiple products and services.
Test Your Ads Through A/B Testing
One notable benefit of advertising on LinkedIn and many other social networks is you get instant feedback. You can know within days to identify which ad is working better. This knowledge allows you to test your ads until you find the one that works best. One way to experiment with your ads is by conducting a split test, also known as an A/B test.
Split testing refers to creating two or more versions of your ad and then sending them to the same or two different audience categories. Afterward, track the performance of each version to assess which one arouses the most engagement.
Add a Call to Action (CTA)
Having a call to action is vital if you want your audience to perform the desired action. It lets customers know what step to take next. Without a CTA, users might struggle to find your contact information or website. They may want to keep engaging with your business. However, since you don’t have a CTA, they will move on to what they were doing before seeing your LinkedIn ad. Always add a call to action to your ads to encourage customers to engage with you.
Write a High-Quality Ad
You must have an ad that speaks to your customer and focuses on the benefits your target audience will get by using your product or service. If your ad is weak then it doesn’t matter how many people you reach. You won’t be able to make sales. Focus on creating a message your target audience will react to. See, how to write a classified ad for more.
Frequently Asked Questions
Have a look at these frequently asked questions about LinkedIn advertising.
1. How long should I run my LinkedIn ad campaigns?
There is no ideal duration for how long to run LinkedIn ads. It depends on your marketing objective and financial capability. As a good rule of thumb, try running your ads until they become less successful or when you see a drop in engagement.
It’s also advisable to test your ads to assess the duration that provides the highest engagement. Compare your return on investment against your total budget.
2. Do I need a membership subscription to run a LinkedIn ad?
You don’t need a LinkedIn membership subscription to run LinkedIn ads. You only need your LinkedIn profile and LinkedIn Ads account in the Campaign Manager.
3. Can I run LinkedIn ads with my personal account?
It depends on the type of LinkedIn campaign. The only LinkedIn ads you can run with a personal account are text ads. In the case of Sponsored Content and Sponsored Messaging, you’ll need a LinkedIn page.
4. Do I need a LinkedIn Campaign Manager account to run LinkedIn ads?
Yes, you need to open a LinkedIn Campaign Manager account to run LinkedIn campaigns. With this account, you can create and manage campaigns, track performance reports and control your ad budget.
5. Is LinkedIn advertising worth it?
Yes, LinkedIn is a highly effective platform for reaching your target customers and promoting your goods and services, preferably in the B2B sector. This social network offers you an opportunity to target professionals, entrepreneurs, and organizations and thus is the ideal advertising platform for B2B companies.
6. How will I know when my LinkedIn ad gets approved?
Once you create a LinkedIn ad, the company reviews it to see if it meets advertising guidelines. The review process usually takes less than 24 hours but may take longer depending on the volume of campaigns under review. LinkedIn’s support team will notify you once your ad gets approved and is ready to go live.
7. What are the ideal specifications for a LinkedIn ad?
The specifications for a LinkedIn ad vary per section. It also depends on the type of ad campaign. For example, for a single image ad, your text headline should be 70 characters of text or less. The introductory text should be up to 150 characters, and the ad name, 255 characters. The recommended image specifications are 1,200 x 1,200 pixels for a square image.
8. How will I pay for my LinkedIn ad campaigns?
LinkedIn offers advertisers two payment methods: credit card payments and invoicing. The credit card payment method is for customers using Campaign Manager to create and manage their ads. Invoicing is only available to qualified customers. To qualify for invoicing, you need to spend at least $3,000 per month on LinkedIn ads for at least two consecutive months in the previous year.
With over 700 million users, LinkedIn ranks as one of the most valuable platforms for targeting professionals, entrepreneurs, and organizations. There are many ad types and formats that you can run with this social network. Choose the ones that align with your marketing goals.
You need to have a LinkedIn Campaign Manager account in LinkedIn Marketing Solution to advertise on LinkedIn. Once you log in, click the “Create Campaign” button and select your campaign objective. LinkedIn will then prompt you to choose your target audience and ad format for your campaign. Your last step will be to set a budget and schedule when you want your ad to air.
This section will go over some resources to help you learn more about LinkedIn advertising.
The resources below will take you to search results, ensuring that you always have the most popular and up-to-date information whenever you visit this page.
Once you have an active ad, you can optimize it to make it even better. The first step is to establish a baseline, and then you can test your ad by making one change at a time. Then, you track whether your results have improved or declined as you make changes.
Creating an effective advertisement is one of the most difficult parts. One of the best ways to do this is to look at LinkedIn ad examples to create your first ad and optimize.
Below is a link to some of the most popular LinkedIn ads. I recommend that you study them to spark your creativity.
You now have a basic understanding of LinkedIn advertising and its possibilities and benefits. However, you might not have the desire or time to do everything yourself. That’s fine. You can hire a professional or an agency specializing in LinkedIn advertising. Many will create your campaign, monitor the results, and optimize your advertising.
Why not take a few minutes to go over the options available to you and decide whether or not you want to do the advertising yourself?
Books are yet another excellent source of information. Reading a book on the subject will provide you with a solid understanding of how to advertise on LinkedIn.
Even though online platforms change frequently, you can lay the groundwork by reading a book and keeping up with changes via LinkedIn or other online sources.
Taking a LinkedIn advertising course is another great way to broaden your knowledge and expand your expertise. Many online courses provide lifetime access, allowing you to review the information whenever you need to.
Another common feature of many online courses is that they are automatically updated when changes are made. So why not spend a few minutes looking into what courses are available to assist you with your LinkedIn advertising campaigns?
I like to keep up with current events by reading the news. For instance, I’ll go to Google’s News site and search for LinkedIn advertising. I’ll get a list of the most recent and archived stories covered by the media. From my perspective, anything covered by the media usually has merit, and I’ll spend a few minutes going over the information.
YouTube videos are another great resource for tutorials, and there’s a lot about LinkedIn advertising there.
To broaden your knowledge and understanding, watch a few of the available videos, and you’re sure to pick up a few pointers for your LinkedIn advertising campaigns.
Also, keep an eye out for related videos that appear on the side or below your video; many of these are related topics you may not have considered, and they may be worth exploring.