LinkedIn Advertising

If you’re a B2B business looking to get marketing results from social media, LinkedIn undoubtedly needs to be part of your strategy.

With millions of senior-level executives and decision-makers using LinkedIn, it’s vital that you’re able to stand out from the crowd and get your content in front of the right people. But while an effective organic social media strategy is a vital part of this, you should also be thinking about utilising paid advertising to improve your results.

There are some clear advantages to advertising on LinkedIn, including the opportunity to drive brand awareness among a professional demographic, refine your audience targeting with industry-specific variables and generate new leads.

How to make LinkedIn advertising a success

If this is an approach you’re interested in pursuing, there are a few key steps you’ll need to follow in order to enjoy the best return on investment. These include: 

  • Identifying the objectives you want to achieve, which will help you plan your ad campaigns and measure outcomes
  • Establishing audience targeting criteria, which could include company size or individual skills, job title and level of seniority
  • Choosing between LinkedIn’s ad formats: sponsored content, message ads, dynamic ads or text ads
  • Setting a budget and schedule
  • Deciding how to optimise and measure the performance of your campaign

Answering these questions early enables you to be sure you’re tailoring your advertising content to the right people and how you’ll define success.

Making the right connections

Alongside the strategic components, there is a clear creative side to successful LinkedIn advertising. Engaging content, whether this is in the form of written copy or visuals, is vital in ensuring the success of any LinkedIn advertising strategy.

Once you’ve determined your approach, set out your goals and identified the key performance indicators you’ll measure, you need to answer the questions of exactly what your advertising will look like and what format will be most useful.

If you’re looking at message ads to make direct connections with your prospects, for example, you need the capability to write engaging copy that will resonate with recipients. 

The same goes for sponsored video ads that will be placed directly in the LinkedIn feeds of the people you want to reach. That content needs to be of a high quality to give the best possible representation of your brand. 

Axonn has the right expertise and experience to guide you through every stage of the process. From areas like copywriting and video production to conducting essential keyword research and campaign monitoring, we can help you optimise your LinkedIn advertising and generate excellent returns on your investment in this space.

Incorporating social media advertising into your marketing campaigns is an effective way to boost awareness of your brand, generate leads and win more conversions.

To get the best results from your social media ads, one of the key decisions you need to make is where to focus your efforts. While the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram often seem to dominate conversations in this space, one network you certainly shouldn’t overlook if you’re targeting business buyers is LinkedIn.

Who should advertise on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a business and employment-oriented network, which had nearly 740 million registered professional users in 2020.

The clear focus of this particular network means it’s best-suited to B2B brands that are targeting commercial buyers or individuals looking for professional services. There are many types of businesses that could have a lot to gain from advertising on LinkedIn, such as:

  • Corporate software providers
  • Office furniture and equipment suppliers
  • Marketing agencies
  • Recruitment firms
  • Workforce training and development companies
  • Management consultancies

When you’re considering whether LinkedIn advertising is the right approach for you, one factor you should take into account is exactly how this social media platform works and whether it will give you a good chance of connecting with your target audience.

It’s worth doing some research into the various stages involved in creating and posting a LinkedIn ad, the different types of ads available on the platform, and your options for measuring the performance of your advertising.

Once you’re equipped with this information, you can make a decision about whether LinkedIn advertising is the right strategy for your business.

How to get started with LinkedIn ads

There is a clear, step-by-step approach you can follow to make sure you’re doing the right things at various stages of your LinkedIn campaign. Before you get started, it’s a good idea to study this workflow and think about how your organisation would navigate it.

It’s also important to educate yourself on essentials like the different LinkedIn ad types available and their various characteristics and benefits.

Different types of LinkedIn ads

LinkedIn ads can be grouped into four distinct categories:

Dynamic Ad

This LinkedIn ad type is all about personalisation. Using member profile data such as photos, company names and job titles, the dynamic ad format tailors your creative content to specific sub-groups of your target audience at scale. You can choose from different types including spotlight ads, which focus on specific desired actions such as viewers navigating to your website or registering for an event, and job ads, which help you attract the most relevant applicants for vacancies by personalising your messaging.

Message Ad

This could be the ideal format for you if one of the key objectives of your LinkedIn campaign is to have direct, meaningful conversations with potential customers. These ads give you the opportunity to make contact with prospects via LinkedIn Messaging, where a lot of professional discussions take place and the foundations of future working relationships are established. According to LinkedIn, message ads can help you encourage immediate action and achieve higher levels of engagement and response than you’re likely to get from email marketing.

Sponsored Content

This appears directly in the LinkedIn feeds of people belonging to professions you’re interested in targeting. Sponsored content can be effective when you want to connect with audiences using profile-based data and make an impression on people who are already highly engaged. It comes in three different formats: single-image ads, video ads and carousel ads.

Text Ad

Creating a text ad is a simple way to get your LinkedIn advertising up and running as quickly as possible. It’s designed to help you get concise, impactful messages across to the sort of people you want to reach. This format operates on a pay-per-click or cost-per-impression basis, meaning you “only pay for the ads that work”.

Getting started with Campaign Manager

Doing some research on the different ad formats available is one of the most important early steps in this phase of your LinkedIn marketing journey. It’s good to have as much information and knowledge as possible, to give yourself the best chance of making decisions that will yield positive results for your business.

Once you feel properly informed and ready to get started, you can concentrate on the practicalities of running a LinkedIn ad campaign, such as getting to grips with Campaign Manager. This is LinkedIn’s ad management tool, which lets you carry out tasks like setting a budget, identifying your goals and controlling your campaign’s timeline.

Specific functions and benefits of Campaign Manager include:

  • Visual reporting tools that display data matching your search and filter settings
  • Detailed representations of the actions your ads have generated, including clicks, likes, shares, comments and follows
  • Insights into the demographics of LinkedIn members who engage with your ads

If you don’t have a Campaign Manager account, you’ll need to open one before creating and launching your first LinkedIn ad.

Set your goals

Knowing what goals you want to achieve is just as important to LinkedIn marketing as it is to any other business process.

The objectives you hope to reach on this platform can be divided into three groups:

  • Awareness: Where you focus on increasing awareness of your brand and how your product or services can help customers.
  • Consideration: The point at which potential buyers start to consider whether your offering is the right option for them. Key actions and metrics at this stage include website visits and video views.
  • Conversion: When members of your target audience take the action you want them to take, such as sharing their contact details with you or completing a purchase on your website.

Setting specific goals at this point will be crucial in dictating how the rest of your LinkedIn ad campaign progresses.

Select your audience targeting criteria

Whatever ad types and formats you choose to use, the process of pinpointing your audience with targeting criteria always works in the same way.

LinkedIn uses more than 20 different audience attribute categories to help you refine your targeting and focus on those segments that are most likely to convert and take the actions you’re hoping for.

These categories include:

  • Company size
  • Company name
  • Skills
  • Job title
  • Job seniority
  • Membership of professional groups

This is a crucial phase in any LinkedIn ad campaign, because getting targeting right gives you a stronger chance of engagement and conversion.

Pick your LinkedIn ad format

Using the information and knowledge you gathered during your initial research into different LinkedIn ad types, you can now make a carefully considered decision about what format you want to use.

Message ads could be the way to go if you want to make direct contact with your prospects and encourage immediate action, while text ads might appeal if you want to make a quick, simple start and get some early results.

It’s also important to remember that you have the option to combine all four of LinkedIn’s different advertising formats.

Decide on your budget and schedule

With key campaign components like your audience and ad formats in place, you can think about the budget you’re willing to dedicate to your LinkedIn advertising and your schedule.

The three main ways to allocate your budget are:

Cost per click (CPC): You pay every time someone clicks on your ad. LinkedIn will provide a suggestion of the ideal CPC bid to reach as much of your audience as possible, based on factors like your budget and levels of competition.

Cost per impression: You pay every time your ad achieves the desired number of impressions, such as 1,000 views on LinkedIn. This is often the preferred model for companies looking to build brand awareness.

Cost per send: You pay for every message that is successfully delivered when running message ad campaigns.

The budgeting and scheduling phase of setting up your LinkedIn ad campaigns also allows you to set parameters such as:

  • Daily budget
  • Start date
  • End date
  • Total budget

Measure and optimise

Once all the plans have been made, targets and budgetary parameters have been set and your LinkedIn campaign is live, the next important step is to keep track of how your advertising is performing.

Campaign Manager provides a dashboard where you can track your metrics and key performance indicators, including impressions, clicks and social actions, which are initiated by LinkedIn members who interact with your content. You can also monitor how much you’ve spent.

Selecting particular campaigns and individual ads within them will show you how each one is performing. This data will help you make informed judgements about whether you need to take actions such as editing your ads, refining your targeting or adjusting your budget.

Best practices for LinkedIn advertising

As well as managing the practicalities and essentials of running a LinkedIn advertising campaign, it’s important to think about actions you can take to optimise your ads and get the results you’re looking for.

You can position yourself for success by researching and adopting best practices.

Analyse constantly

LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager gives you the tools and data you need to track how every ad you create is performing, so make sure you take full advantage of this potential.

On your dashboard, you’ll find different charts and data sources you can use to keep up with everything from your ad spend and bids to clicks, impressions and average click-through rates. This becomes particularly important when you’re engaged in conversion tracking and measuring your return on investment.

Constantly analysing the data available to you puts you in a stronger position to gauge performance and plan beneficial changes.

Never forget the importance of targeting

Effective audience targeting is one of the most important factors in the success of any LinkedIn ad campaign. Selecting your desired location is a mandatory step when setting up your campaign, which underlines how important it is to get this particular aspect of your targeting right. 

You should also dedicate plenty of time to refining and segmenting your target audience based on factors like company details and demographics.

If you’re new to LinkedIn advertising, you might want to start by keeping your ad targeting relatively broad and not too specific, to reduce the risk of missing out on valuable leads and opportunities. As you learn more about your audience on LinkedIn and the platform as a whole, you can start to narrow your focus and take a more carefully targeted approach.

Compare campaigns

One of the best ways to improve your understanding of what works in LinkedIn advertising and what doesn’t is by comparing different campaigns.

If you find that one campaign is proving much more successful than others, look into the factors that make this particular ad programme unique and run tests to see if using the same tactics with other ads generates similar results.

Test different versions of ads

If you’re struggling to work out what is causing certain ads to succeed while others fail, it could be useful to test a number of different variations of the same ad, so you can pinpoint which elements are having the biggest impact on performance. 

Variables that you can experiment with include:

  • Headline and ad copy
  • Featured image
  • Target audience attributes
  • Your bid amounts

Take a methodical approach and change one variable at a time, so you know which ones are influencing your results and in what way.

Use clear, relevant CTAs

Like many other types of marketing, LinkedIn advertising relies heavily on strong calls to action (CTAs) to deliver results. The chances are the people you’re targeting are busy and have many other things competing for their attention, so you need to be clear and direct about what you want them to do next.

The most effective CTAs are usually very simple and use motivational language to encourage immediate action, often starting with a verb. For example: “Register here”, or “Sign up now”.

If you’re using a button as your CTA, make sure it has a bold, impactful design that stands out against the surrounding content.

How Axonn can help you achieve your LinkedIn advertising goals

Axonn provides a range of social media advertising services that can help you get positive results from your LinkedIn ad campaigns.

We have the experience and expertise to support you in vital areas such as:

  • Researching and segmenting your audience
  • Producing powerful images and high-quality copy to feature in your advertising
  • Measuring your performance and results
  • Managing your LinkedIn activity to make connections and nurture relationships with your audience

If you want to take advantage of the endless potential of social media advertising but you’re not sure where to start, or you simply don’t have the time to do it justice, outsourcing key tasks to a reliable partner could be the answer.

Start a conversation with Axonn today to discuss your needs and goals in depth.