LinkedIn, with its professional user base and powerful targeting options, offers a valuable platform for businesses to reach their target audience effectively. In this ultimate guide, we will walk you through the process of launching successful LinkedIn ads. From understanding the platform to crafting compelling ad content and optimising your campaigns, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and strategies to achieve your advertising goals.
Get Started with LinkedIn Ads Manager
Follow the steps below to start build out your first LinkedIn ad:
Step 1: Create a LinkedIn Ads Account
If you don’t already have one, go to the LinkedIn Ads website and sign up for an account. You’ll need a LinkedIn profile to get started.
Step 2: Access Campaign Manager
Once you’re logged in, click on “Campaign Manager” at the top of the page. This will take you to the main dashboard where you can manage your ad campaigns.
Step 3: Set Up a Campaign
Click on the “+ Create Campaign” button to start setting up your ad campaign. Choose the objective of your campaign, such as brand awareness, lead generation, website visits, or engagement.
Step 4: Define the Target Audience
Specify the audience you want to target with your ads. LinkedIn offers various targeting options based on criteria like job title, industry, company size, location, and more. This allows you to reach a specific professional audience that aligns with your campaign goals.
Step 5: Choose Ad Format
Select the ad format that best suits your campaign objective. LinkedIn provides options such as Sponsored Content (native ads in the LinkedIn feed), Sponsored InMail (personalised messages to LinkedIn users), Text Ads (text-based ads), and Dynamic Ads (personalised ads with user information).
Step 6: Set Budget and Schedule
Determine your campaign budget and schedule. You can choose to set a daily or total budget and define the start and end dates of your campaign.
Step 7: Create Ad Content
Develop compelling ad content that will attract your target audience. This includes headlines, ad copy, images or videos, and a call-to-action. Ensure that your content is professional, relevant, and aligned with your campaign objective.
Step 8: Track and Optimise
Once your campaign is live, monitor its performance through the Campaign Manager dashboard. LinkedIn provides analytics and insights to help you track key metrics like impressions, clicks, conversions, and engagement. Use this data to optimise your campaign by adjusting targeting, ad content, or budget as needed.
Step 9: Experiment and Refine
LinkedIn Ads Campaign Manager allows you to run A/B tests to compare different ad variations and measure their effectiveness. Experiment with different elements of your campaign, analyse the results, and refine your strategy to improve performance.
Choosing the Right LinkedIn Ad Types for Your Campaign
Here are the different LinkedIn ad types and their unique features, so that you can make informed decisions and maximise the impact of your campaigns.
Sponsored Content is one of the most common ad types on LinkedIn. These native ads appear directly in the LinkedIn feed, seamlessly integrating with the user experience. You can use text, images, videos, or carousel formats to capture attention and engage your target audience. Sponsored Content is an excellent choice for brand awareness, driving website traffic, and promoting thought leadership content.
Sponsored InMail enables you to send personalised messages directly to LinkedIn users’ inboxes. These messages are delivered when the recipients are actively using LinkedIn, ensuring higher visibility and engagement. With Sponsored InMail, you can deliver targeted messages, such as event invitations, product announcements, or offers, to nurture leads and drive conversions.
Text Ads are simple, text-based ads that appear on the right-hand side of the LinkedIn desktop interface. They are a cost-effective option for reaching a wide audience. With concise headlines, descriptions, and a small image, Text Ads can effectively generate leads, drive traffic to your website, or promote job openings.
Dynamic Ads are personalised ads that dynamically populate with the LinkedIn profile pictures and information of the viewers. They create a highly personalised experience and are especially useful for driving engagement, promoting job opportunities, or increasing event registrations. Dynamic Ads can be placed in prominent positions, such as the right-hand rail or the top banner on the LinkedIn homepage.
LinkedIn Video Ads
Video Ads allow you to leverage the power of video storytelling to engage your audience. With video content becoming increasingly popular, LinkedIn Video Ads provide an opportunity to showcase your brand, products, or services in a visually appealing and captivating format. These ads autoplay in the LinkedIn feed, capturing attention and fostering higher engagement rates.
Lead Gen Forms
LinkedIn’s Lead Gen Forms simplify the lead generation process by enabling users to submit their information directly within the LinkedIn platform. When users click on your ad, a pre-filled form appears, auto-populating with their LinkedIn profile information. This eliminates the need for manual form filling and streamlines the conversion process, making it easier to collect high-quality leads.
LinkedIn Ads Bidding Types
Understanding the different bid types and how they work is crucial for maximising the performance of your LinkedIn advertising campaigns. Let’s explore the various bid types offered by LinkedIn and provide insights on when and how to use them strategically.
Cost Per Click (CPC)
Cost Per Click bidding is a popular bid type on LinkedIn. With CPC, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. This bid type is ideal for driving traffic to your website, promoting content, or generating leads. When using CPC, it’s important to monitor the performance of your ads and optimise for click-through rates (CTRs) to ensure you’re getting the most value from your budget.
Cost Per Impression (CPM)
Cost Per Impression bidding allows you to pay for the number of times your ad is shown to LinkedIn users, regardless of whether they click on it. CPM bidding is useful for increasing brand visibility, driving awareness, or reaching a broader audience. It can be particularly effective when paired with eye-catching visuals and engaging ad content. CPM bids are set based on the cost per 1,000 impressions, making it essential to monitor your campaign’s reach and frequency to control costs and achieve the desired exposure.
LinkedIn also offers automated bidding options to simplify campaign management and optimize performance. With automated bidding, LinkedIn’s algorithm automatically adjusts your bids based on your campaign goals, targeting, and historical performance data. Two popular automated bidding strategies on LinkedIn are:
Enhanced Cost Per Click (eCPC)
eCPC bidding combines the benefits of CPC and automated bidding. LinkedIn automatically adjusts your bids to increase the likelihood of clicks from users who are more likely to engage with your ad. This bid type is suitable for maximising clicks and conversions while maintaining control over your ad spend.
Maximum Bid is an automated bidding option that allows LinkedIn to set the highest bid on your behalf to achieve your campaign objectives. LinkedIn’s algorithm optimises your bids to increase your chances of winning the ad auction while staying within your specified budget. Maximum Bid is recommended when you want to focus on your campaign goals while allowing LinkedIn’s system to optimise bidding.
Target Cost bidding is a bid type designed for advertisers who want to maintain a specific average cost per conversion. By setting a target cost, LinkedIn’s algorithm optimises your bids to deliver conversions at or below the desired cost. This bidding strategy is effective for campaigns focused on lead generation, registrations, or other specific conversion-based goals.
LinkedIn provides bid adjustment options to fine-tune your bids based on specific targeting criteria. You can adjust your bids based on factors like location, job function, industry, company size, and more. Bid adjustments allow you to prioritise certain segments of your target audience, ensuring your ads reach the most relevant users.
Best Practices for LinkedIn Advertising
1. Observing LinkedIn Ad Specs
LinkedIn offers various ad formats, each with specific dimensions and specifications. Here are the key ad formats and their corresponding dimensions:
- Image Ads: Recommended image size is 1200 x 627 pixels (1.91:1 aspect ratio).
- Video Ads: Recommended video file formats are MP4 or MOV with a 1:1 to 2:4 aspect ratio, and a maximum file size of 200 MB.
- Carousel Ads: Minimum of two cards with a maximum of ten cards. Recommended image size is 1080 x 1080 pixels (1:1 aspect ratio).
- Header Image: Recommended image size is 300 x 250 pixels (4:3 aspect ratio).
- Body Image: Recommended image size is 300 x 250 pixels (4:3 aspect ratio).
- Subject Line: Maximum of 60 characters.
- Message Body: Maximum of 1,000 characters.
- Headline: Maximum of 25 characters.
- Description: Maximum of 75 characters.
- Image: Recommended image size is 100 x 100 pixels.
- Follower Ads: Image size is 100 x 100 pixels.
- Spotlight Ads: Image size is 100 x 100 pixels.
Ad File Size and Formats
LinkedIn has specific requirements for file sizes and formats to ensure smooth delivery and optimal performance. Here are some important considerations:
- Image Ads: Recommended file formats are JPEG, PNG, or GIF. The maximum file size is 5 MB.
- Video Ads: Recommended file formats are MP4 or MOV. The maximum file size is 200 MB.
- Animated GIFs: The maximum file size for GIFs is 5 MB.
2. Define Clear Campaign Objective
Start by clearly defining your campaign objectives. Whether it’s brand awareness, lead generation, website traffic, or engagement, a well-defined objective sets the foundation for your advertising strategy. Be specific about what you want to achieve, as it will shape your ad content, targeting, and measurement.
3. Target The Right Audience
LinkedIn offers robust targeting options to reach your desired audience. Define your target audience based on demographics, job titles, industries, company size, and more. The more specific and relevant your targeting, the better your ads will resonate with the audience. Avoid plagiarism by creating original targeting criteria based on your own research and understanding of your ideal customer.
4. Craft Compelling Ad Content
Create unique and compelling ad content that grabs attention and communicates your message effectively. Craft engaging headlines, clear and concise copy, and strong calls-to-action. Focus on highlighting the unique value proposition of your products or services.
5. Utilise Eye-Catching Visuals
Visuals play a crucial role in capturing users’ attention and conveying your message. Use high-quality images, videos, or graphics that are relevant to your ad content. Ensure your visuals are original and not copied from other sources. If you use stock images, select unique and authentic visuals that haven’t been widely used before.
6. Optimise Landing Pages
Create landing pages that align with your ad content and provide a seamless user experience. Optimise your landing pages for mobile devices, as a significant portion of LinkedIn users accesses the platform via mobile. Keep your landing pages clean, user-friendly, and focused on driving conversions.
7. Test and Iterate
To continuously improve your LinkedIn ad campaigns, test different variations of your ads. Experiment with various headlines, ad copy, visuals, and calls-to-action to identify what resonates best with your target audience. Ultimately, you need to analyse the performance of your ads and make data-driven optimisations.
8. Monitor and Measure Performance
Regularly monitor the performance of your LinkedIn ad campaigns using the platform’s analytics and tracking tools. Measure key metrics such as impressions, clicks, click-through rates, conversions, and engagement. Use this data to assess the effectiveness of your ads and make informed decisions to increase performance and maximise ROI.
9. Stay Compliant with LinkedIn Policies
LinkedIn has specific advertising policies that must be followed to ensure your ads are compliant. Familiarise yourself with LinkedIn’s guidelines and policies regarding ad content, targeting, and landing pages. Ensure your ads meet the platform’s standards to avoid disapprovals or penalties.
Launch Your First Effective LinkedIn Ads Now
LinkedIn stands as a formidable platform for businesses to market, reach, and engage their professional target audience. With its tailored ad formats, intricate targeting capabilities, and vast professional network, there’s unparalleled potential for those who understand its intricacies. This comprehensive guide has provided you with the steps, ad and bidding types, as well as best practices to make the most out of LinkedIn Ads.
However, like all marketing endeavours, success doesn’t come from just knowing the playbook but how well you adapt it to your brand’s unique voice and goals. Regular analysis, iterations, and a keen understanding of your audience are paramount. As with any craft, mastery comes with consistent practice and refinement.
So, are you ready to make your mark on LinkedIn? Dive in, experiment, measure, and refine. The professional audience you’ve been aiming to reach is just a compelling ad away. Your pathway to LinkedIn advertising success starts now.