Beginner’s Guide to LinkedIn Ads
LinkedIn is a social network that connects professionals and provides a great advertising hub for B2B and B2C brands.
Looking to invest in LinkedIn paid media, but aren’t sure where to start? LinkedIn ads are a great way to dip your toes in the water. They allow you to test out new forms of lead generation and audience building without breaking the bank.
There are a few things that you should know before you start setting up your ads.
Your objective is the point of your ad. What are you trying to accomplish with it? There are several pre-selected objectives you can choose from under three categories
- Brand awareness - to get impressions and help people find out who you are.
- Website visits - to drive traffic to your website
- Engagement - getting people to share, like comment on your ads.
- Video views - get people to watch a video.
- Lead generation - contains a prebuilt form allowing people to give you their information
- Website conversions - great for eCommerce and sales
- Job applications - allows people to submit their information for a position within the ad
This is where you indicate the audience you are trying to reach with your ad. There are several aspects of targeting you can control and adjust.
Zip code - To start, pick a general area you want to target. You can choose the entire U.S., one single zip code, or anything in between.
Company - You can opt to target the followers of a certain company on LinkedIn or its employees. You can also target by company industry (engineering, automotive, etc.) and company size.
Demographics - Basic identifying information about individual users, including gender and age.
Education - You can target by level of education as well as fields of study. You can also target users who went to a specific school. This is great for job application ads!
Job experience - There are several components of job experience. You can target by job function. For example, you can reach anyone with a certification in Google Analytics. You can also target by job seniority if you’re only trying to reach managers or entry level users, etc. Similarly, you can target by years of job experience.
This category also includes member skills, allowing you to target people with specific skills like Microsoft Office, Hootsuite, etc.
Interests - This includes member groups (i.e. targeting people in certain LinkedIn user groups) and general user interests, both those indicated specifically on profiles and those inferred by LinkedIn’s algorithm.
These are the six types of ad formats you can choose from, depending on the goal of your ad and its content.
The first four ingle image ads, carousel ads, video ads, and spotlight ads are generally sponsored content. They appear directly within a user’s LinkedIn feed alongside organic content.
Next, InMail ads are used for sending personalized messages to highly targeted inboxes. These ads are only delivered to active LinkedIn users. In a way, they outshine traditional email because they cannot bounce or reach abandoned inboxes. You can use them to promote gated assets, webinars, and engage new prospects.
Finally, you can use LinkedIn’s built-in pay per click software, delivering ads that appear on the sidebar of the user’s feed or in line with other paid and organic content directly in the feed. They're easy to create and as the name suggests, you only paid based on clicks or impressions. Use these ads when targeting highly specific B2B audiences or attracting quality job candidates.
Once you’ve chosen an ad, you can move into creation. Most sponsored content will require some sort of media and text while InMail and PPC ads will only require text. Remember to use a compelling visual and keep your text short and sweet.
Budget & Scheduling
With LinkedIn, you can set your budget as a daily, monthly, or a lifetime budget. You will decide on your cost per click and scheduling. You can have your ad run for less than one day or more than a year. We suggest starting with a 30-day-period and making adjustments based on its performance after this time.
LinkedIn provides helpful benchmarks so you can see how your ads are running. For example, sponsored content, on average, has a clickthrough rate of 0.35% and 0.45%. Sponsored mail has an open rate range of 25% to 45%, and a clickthrough rate of 2% to 5%.
The average cost per click on LinkedIn ads is between $2 and $7. In comparison, Google Ads averages 15 cents to $2 CPC and Facebook anywhere between $1 and $4. LinkedIn does cost a little bit more, but its value lies in the ability to directly target professionals in their element.
Ready, set, advertise!
LinkedIn may be an expensive platform, but if targeting is done correctly and the ad is compelling, the ROI can be excellent.
LinkedIn ads are best used when you need to reach people in a professional setting. They’re excellent for recruiters to use when looking to fill jobs in your company. LinkedIn ads are also exceptionally great for B2B companies looking to reach people while they’re in work mode.
Take these tips and tricks and go forth - don’t be afraid to invest in LinkedIn’s paid media options!
Check out the Lunch and Learn where we discussed this very topic here!