Getting started with LinkedIn Ads
Explainers

Getting started with LinkedIn Ads

When building your social media ads strategy, picking the right platform is a must. LinkedIn is a platform that allows you to connect with other professionals in your industry. As such, running ads on LinkedIn is an excellent way for B2B companies to market themselves to very targeted audiences.

Benefits of LinkedIn ads

Professional Audience

LinkedIn is used by companies and individuals to network with other people in their industry; this makes it an excellent platform for B2B businesses to advertise to their ideal audience. If your target audience consists of educated professionals, LinkedIn is the best place for you to run your ads.

Targeting

With LinkedIn, you can target extremely specific demographics to ensure your ads reach your ideal audience, some of the key targeting options to consider are:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Company name
  • Degree
  • Field of Study
  • Job title
  • Job seniority
  • Industry
  • Company size
  • Member Groups

These are not all of the targeting options available; by using one or combining these options, targeting your perfect audience is easy. 

Range of Ad types

On LinkedIn, you can run campaigns around clearly defined goals, such as brand awareness, lead generation or engagement. To achieve these goals, the platform offers a broad range of ad formats, such as:

Carousel Ads

These allow marketers to showcase multiple images, messages, or products in a single ad. They appear in the news feed and contain multiple image cards, with each card accompanied by a headline and intro text. 

Message Ads

Formally known as sponsored InMessage, these are ads where you pay to send a message into your potential customers’ inbox. They are best used by writing a brief, engaging message, followed by a single, contact-driven CTA.

Conversation Ads

These are ads that appear in your audience’s inbox and allow them to “choose their own path” by selecting from some of the options you put in. The ads appear like a one-to-one conversation and are great at refining down your contact funnel to only the most engaged leads.

“Start quality conversations with professionals through a choose-your-own-path experience.”

Dynamic Ads

These are the small ads you see on the right-hand side of your LinkedIn feed; they are only available on desktop, so carefully consider if these are the right ads for you based on the time and type of engagement you need.

They are customised to a specific member using their personal information to attract and engage them. These ads are best used to gain followers, gain website traffic and to drive content downloads.

Lead Gen Forms

Lead generation is the lifeblood of B2B companies; because of this, platforms like LinkedIn have striven to make acquiring leads as simple as possible.

Lead gen forms allow advertisers to create lead capture forms to be filled in by potential consumers when they click the CTA on the ad. Think carefully about your contact funnel and the key messaging in the ad to keep your contact base as focussed as possible and reduce wasted fact-find time.

Single Image Ads

These are a sponsored content ad format; they include a single static image accompanying text, a headline and intro text. They appear in the news feed of the audience you are targeting and are great for brand awareness or simple product messaging.

Text Ads

Text ads were originally the only ads available on LinkedIn and consist of a headline and some brief text; you can also include a 100×100 pixel image. They appear on the right side of the LinkedIn desktop feed. While cost-effective to get impressions, the engagement rate might not be high unless the context of the ad is LinkedIn-related, e.g recruitment.

Video Ads

Another type of sponsored content ad, video ads appear in the newsfeed of your targeted audience and display your chosen video, along with text and a headline; you can also include a CTA. Video ads are gaining popularity and are highly engaging as well as great at driving brand awareness to potential customers.

Think Carefully about your audience

LinkedIn ads make it easy for you to target your ideal audience, so take time to consider who your target audience is; you can always use different campaign groups to target different audiences if you have more than one. 

There is no correct way to target your audience with such a variety of options, so test different approaches to find what targeting works best for you.

Know your goals

It is crucial for any ad campaign, whether on LinkedIn or another platform, to understand what you want your ads’ outcome to be. The type of ad you use and the audience you target will depend on your goal. Do you want to generate leads, build brand awareness, or are you looking to expand your following? Knowing your goals will help you when creating your ads.

Consider which ad format is best for you

With such a variety of ad formats, it is important to consider which is best for you. Message ads, for example, can be highly effective when used with the right text and CTA, but they can also be costly. Single image ads could be a better alternative to reach a wider audience for less cost.

Weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of each ad type before you decide which to use. For example, text ads and dynamic ads are only visible on desktops, so it might not be the best option if your audience is likely to view mobile.

As always, content is key

As with every aspect of marketing, the content of your LinkedIn ads really matters. Use exciting, eye-catching images and videos, as well as well-written concise text to capture and engage your audience.

Things to look out for

Audience Expansion

When defining your audience, LinkedIn gives you the option to “Enable Audience Expansion”. This means that if you’re not going reach your daily budget with your chosen audience; LinkedIn will show your ads to people outside of your specified audience.

This is good if you are trying to reach as many people as possible; however, you can save money by only reaching your targeted audience by deselecting this option.

LinkedIn Audience Network

“The LinkedIn Audience Network is a feature that allows you to extend the reach of your Sponsored Content campaigns by delivering your ads beyond the LinkedIn feed to members on third-party apps and sites. When the LinkedIn Audience Network is enabled in campaign set-up, the same targeting parameters, bid type, and budget created for your campaign applies.”

LinkedIn states that audience network enabled campaigns see up to 25% more reach and boost performance. If you are going to select this option, we suggest excluding categories of apps and sites where you don’t want your ads to appear.

Getting started with LinkedIn Ads

Bid Types

When trying to decide which bid type to use, think about your end goal.

Automated Bidding (Maximum Delivery)Target Cost BiddingMax Cost Bidding (Manual Bidding)Enhanced CPC Bid (Manual bidding with high-value clicks adjustment)
What is it“The LinkedIn system uses historical campaign data and member information to automatically set the bid for your ad.”“This is another automated bidding option that provides advertisers an opportunity to specify their target cost”“With LinkedIn’s manual bidding option, you are able to set the maximum bid amount you are willing to pay for, and the cost will not exceed that value”“Bid on a CPC basis and the LinkedIn system will optimise your bid to those more likely to click, engage, or convert.
Benefits– volume of results
-Delivers full budget
-Saves time
-No guesswork
– Cost predictability
– Saves time
-Minimise guesswork
– Maximum bid control– Optimise your bid for conversions and leads
Campaign ObjectivesAll-Brand awareness
-Website visits
-Engagement
-Video views
-CPC: all objectives (except brand awareness)
-CPM: all objectives
-CPV: video views
-Website visits
-Engagement
-Lead generation
-Website conversions
LinkedIn Bid types

Don’t forget to add conversion tracking!

Once you have finished setting up your campaign groups, you have the option to add conversion tracking to your campaigns. This allows you to track the actions people take after clicking on your ads.

Whilst conversion tracking is optional, we highly recommend it, as it will allow you to quickly understand how effective your ads have been within the LinkedIn Ads campaign tool.

Final Thoughts

LinkedIn ads are an excellent way of capturing the attention of a professional audience. If you are looking to target businesses or experts in your industry, LinkedIn is the place to start.

To see if we can help you get started with LinkedIn Ads, contact us today!