A Comprehensive Guide on LinkedIn Ads

Whenever we talk about internet marketing, the first option that comes to our minds is either of Google Ads or the Facebook Ads. Although these two platforms are kings of social networks, there are other networks as well that hold relevant importance when it comes internet advertising. One such network is popularly known as LinkedIn.

What most people think of LinkedIn is that it is a great platform for staying in touch with professional contacts as well as making connections. But they usually forget to realize its marketing potential.

Moreover, LinkedIn has an enormous user base of 467 million professionals who are looking forward to discovering new career opportunities. 

LinkedIn offers the marketers a variety of options to fulfil their online marketing needs. Click To Tweet

Furthermore, it allows you to promote your business directly to the qualified professionals and also offers a wide range of targeting options, especially for B2B professional services.

To advertise or not to advertise on LinkedIn

Who should use LinkedIn Ads

Who should use LinkedIn Ads?

Before you go ahead with LinkedIn Ads, you should for once ask yourself, if this channel is worth testing for your business or not. There are three types of businesses that tend to work best on LinkedIn. They are:

(i) B2B Products and Services

If you sell something that in turn benefits the other owners and working professionals, without hesitation, you can use LinkedIn Ads.

(ii) Recruiting Services

Not having the right employee at the right time might cost you a lot. Sometimes, even the recruitment process can be too expensive. LinkedIn comes as a life saviour. As LinkedIn is a professional network, it also allows you to target individuals with specific professional traits.

(iii) Higher Education Services

LinkedIn also offers higher education targeting. It allows you to show your ads to people who have bachelor’s degree or graduate degree. You can also target the college graduates who have a degree in a particular area.

Who should not use LinkedIn Ads?

Since, we have covered the businesses who should use LinkedIn Ads, let us now see which type of businesses should not use LinkedIn Ads.

(i) B2C Companies

If your main targets are the customers, you should probably use the other platforms of online advertising. LinkedIn is all about professional networks, so if you tend to sell your products and services directly to the consumer, LinkedIn would not help you out in the best possible manner.

(ii) Businesses with less budget

You should know that the clicks on LinkedIn are more costly as compared to other platforms. Thus, if your company is relatively small, you’ll end up spending more on the ads. Which is pretty impractical.

(iii) E-commerce

Users on LinkedIn are generally the professionals who are looking out for either B2B services or creating networks. They are not the usual shoppers who are surfing the internet with their credit cards. So, if you are an E-commerce business, LinkedIn might not just work for you.

Why does LinkedIn gets overlooked when it comes to marketing?

Why does LinkedIn Gets Overlooked

There are a lot of misconceptions that people have regarding LinkedIn Ads, that makes it overlooked by a lot of marketers and advertisers. Some of the misconceptions are:

Myth 1: People think that LinkedIn focuses only on the business connections.

Myth Debunked 1: Although LinkedIn not only focuses on business connections, it also provides marketing and B2B professional services.

Myth 2: LinkedIn has a much smaller audience than Google and Facebook.

Myth Debunked: LinkedIn has a user base of 467 million people as of 24th January 2017.

Myth 3: LinkedIn is not a typical social network.

Myth Debunked: LinkedIn is a social network that is specially designed for professionals who are looking forward to making social connections with other professionals.

How to know if LinkedIn Ads are right for you?

As now you know the importance of advertising on LinkedIn, the next step is to figure out if this platform is good enough for your specific needs or not. To check if LinkedIn is a good platform to advertise, you should know the following things about your target audience.

Targeting Options LinkedIn

(i) The job titles of your target audience

LinkedIn offers targeting options on the basis of the job titles. This type of targeting option can help you to pinpoint your specific target audience with certain job titles. Hence, it becomes very important for you to know the job titles of your target audience.

(ii) The work location of your target audience

This is another targeting option provided by LinkedIn that targets on the basis of the work location. You can use this targeting for recruiting the employees of your target competitors. On the more, you can also use this for a targeted sales approach to get your brand in front of the right people. Hence, by knowing the work location of your target audience can help you to take full advantage of LinkedIn Ads.

(iii) The skills and interests of your target audience

The skills and interests are another parameters on the basis of which you can target your audience. You can use it to target people have specific skills and interests with respect to a particular field.

(iv) The role of your target audience in the company

Targeting by the role can be a major plus point if you want to target highly specific individuals according to their designation and position.

Creating your Company Page on LinkedIn

So, by now you have decided that you want to move ahead with LinkedIn Ads. Before going on to the ads, you should first have a company page on LinkedIn.

Company Page LinkedIn

(a) Steps to create a Company Page on LinkedIn

(i) From your homepage move the cursor to top bar and click “Work”.

(ii) Click on “Create a Company Page” from the drop-down menu.

Company Page LinkedIn 1

(iii) Enter the name of your Company and choose the URL.

(iv) Check the verification box to confirm that you have the right to act on behalf of the company in the creation of the page.

(v) Click on “Create Page” button.

(vi) Click on “Get Started” on the welcome screen to begin editing your Company Page.

(b) Benefits of creating a Company Page on LinkedIn

(i) The company page showcases your entire company and not just individual employees.

(ii) Your employees can act as indirect company ambassadors.

(iii) The company page makes it easy for you to measure the effectiveness of your updates.

(iv) You get the notification when someone mentions the name of your company.

(v) It promotes your latest and important news.

(vi) It also showcases your special services.

(c) Requirements for creating a Company Page on LinkedIn

You should have the following:

(i)  A personal profile on LinkedIn with your actual first and last name.

(ii) The profile strength must be either “intermediate” or “all-star”.

(iii) Several connections on your profile.

(iv) You should be the current employee of the company and your position should be listed in the “Experience” section of your profile.

(v) Have your company’s name added and confirmed on your LinkedIn account.

(vi) The company’s domain should be unique. You can not use gmail.com or yahoo.com to create a company page because they are not unique.

LinkedIn Showcase Page

The Showcase Pages are the extensions of your company page. They allow a company to promote specific products or market to a specific buyer persona.

If your business offers multiple solutions, then creating Showcase Pages is a great idea. Click To Tweet

Moreover, the LinkedIn users can follow a single Showcase Page without having to follow the entire Company or other Showcase Pages. Therefore, this allows businesses to promote for and cater to the audience specific to the page.

The LinkedIn users can follow a single Showcase Page without having to follow the entire company or other Showcase Pages. 

Showcase Pages LinkedIn

These pages provide the followers with the opportunity to choose certain sections of your business that they would like to receive updates for.

The Showcase Pages are shown below the company description and insights. By default, only 2 Showcase Pages are displayed. You can expand the section to see more.

The Showcase Pages are intended for the long-term use. They enable you to distribute your content to specific segments of your audience.

To create a Showcase Page, you should follow these steps:

(i) Identify business areas that need a Showcase Page.

(ii) Click the “Edit” menu on your Company Page.

(iii) Select “Create a Showcase Page” from the drop-down menu.

Showcase Pages LinkedIn 1

Naming The LinkedIn Showcase Pages

Naming the LinkedIn Showcase Pages is one of the trickiest parts. Consider the following things while naming your Showcase Pages.

(i) Your Showcase Page must be unique within all of LinkedIn. If someone else has used the name that you like, you will then have to choose another name.

(ii) If possible, use keywords in your name. By including the keywords you will increase the probability of attracting the right people towards your page.

(iii) Experiment with various combinations to find the most suitable name that works the best. You can rearrange words and even use special characters to get the most appealing name.

In a nutshell, the Company and Showcase Page act as a strong foundation for advertising on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn-PPC Advertising Platform

Over the years, LinkedIn has focused itself on being a cost-effective PPC advertising platform. On the more, you can even target your highly specific audience for $10 per day.

As a PPC advertising platform, LinkedIn holds the ability to segment the ads on the basis of Company, Job Title, Job Role, Experience, Schools, Skills, Age, Gender etc. It also provides the advertisers with a plethora of targeting options to reach out to their target audience.

Furthermore, LinkedIn gives you three major options to advertise. The first option is the display & text ads, the second one is the sponsored content and the third one is the Sponsored InMail.

(I) Display & Text Ads

The easiest way to get started with LinkedIn advertising is through the Display and Text Ads. Generally, these ads appear in multiple sections like the side, bottom or top of the LinkedIn homepage. In the display & text ads, you can include an image and video as well as the ad copy.

Display and Text Ads

Anatomy of the LinkedIn Ads

(i) Headline: A rule of thumb, the headline has to be eye-catching and attractive. It should attract the attention of the user at once. Using the job title of the people in your headline can be a good move. You get a character limit of 25 in your headline. So make sure that each character counts well.

(ii) Ad Copy: Cater your Ad Copy to the specific audience that you are targeting. To create curiosity amongst your target audience, you can also post a question in your ad. You have 75 characters to fit in the Ad Copy to tell the target audience about your offer and include a CTA.

(iii) Destination URL: Do not take your visitors to your homepage. Create a tailored landing page especially for your LinkedIn Members. Ensure that your Landing Page is highly relevant to your ads because you would not like to disappoint your visitors by not correlating your ads and landing page.

(iv) Image: To make your ad copy even more appealing, it is always recommended to include some sort of image alongside your ad copy. Usually, the ads that have an image tend to drive 20% more clicks. The shape of your image should be square with 50 by 50 pixels of dimensions. Generally, it is advised to use the photos of people, the product or the company logo.

(II) Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content allows the companies to raise awareness, build relationships and generate qualified leads through the updates of their Company Page. These updates appear on the feed of the LinkedIn homepage of the users who come under the targeting range of the advertiser.

The placement of the Sponsored Content naturally leads to increased engagement as they can be shared further to connections of a member who likes, comments or shares the Sponsored Content.

Sponsored Content LinkedIn

Creating Sponsored Content

  1. Access your Company Page. Navigate the advertising platform and click on “Create Ad” button and then choose “Sponsored Content”. You can now choose the updates that you want to distribute to a wider audience.
  2. The next step is to choose the type of audience that you want to distribute your content. Remember, all the content that you create is not equal. A certain post might be relevant to one group and not to the other. So correlate your audience and the content before sponsoring it.
  3. Pick out a specific bid for your Sponsored Content. The bids in LinkedIn either run on a CPC or a CPM basis. Thus, you should also test and optimize the best bidding option.

(III) Sponsored InMail

The Sponsored InMail allows you to engage your target audience in a more personalised, direct and meaningful way. In Sponsored InMails, you have to pay to send your ads directly to different user’s mailbox.

Sponsored InMail is a great way to deliver your highly targeted ads. Click To Tweet

It gives you a chance to reach out to your targeted audience with a personal touch and also eliminates the character limit.

The Sponsored InMails also drive conversions with mobile-optimized features. Actually, it generated more leads with a consistent CTA button. The Sponsored InMails also have the ability to reach out to members when they are highly engaged and active on LinkedIn. It also allows the advertisers to send a form or an email message to any of the members.

Sponsored InMail LinkedIn

Creating Sponsored InMails

(i) Login into LinkedIn Campaign Manager

(ii) Open your Ad Account and click on “Create Ad”.

(iii) Select “Sponsored InMail” and start crafting your message.

(iv) Choose the target audiences.

(v) Set your campaign budget and launch.

How to create LinkedIn Ads

Step 1: Start a new Campaign

Go to the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Page and click on “Create Ad” on the top right corner.

LinkedIn Marketing Solutions

After you have clicked on the “Create Ad” option, you will be given 3 options just the image given below.

  • Sponsored Content
  • Text Ads
  • Sponsored InMail

LinkedIn Ads Types

Step 2: Create Your Ad

After you decide the format, the next step is to create the ad. There are 4 key things that you need to create an ad:

  • Headline
  • Ad Copy
  • Destination URL
  • Image

LinkedIn Create Ads

Step 3: Set Your Targeting

After you have written your ad and included the destination URL and Image, the next step is to focus on targeting. LinkedIn proves its uniqueness from other advertising platforms in terms of targeting. Click To Tweet

Although they do not have extensive targeting options like Facebook, they have a number of interesting and useful targeting options that you can really take advantage of.

LinkedIn Targeting

LinkedIn has some targeting options that are very similar to Facebook but it also has some targeting options that allow you to go to the next level. As mentioned earlier, you can target people by Company, Job Title, Job Role, Experience, Schools, Skills etc. You can target the individual at specific companies or people who have specific job titles. Thus, you can even target people based on their specific work history, education, skills and interests.

Step 4: Set Your Bid

Now that you have created your ad and have targeted the right audience, the next step is to decide how much are you going to bid for your ads.

LinkedIn gives you 2 options to bid:

(i) Cost Per Click (CPC): If you choose CPC method of bidding, you will only pay when someone clicks on your ad. Here, LinkedIn will only show your ads to those people who are most likely to engage with your ads.

(ii) Cost Per 1000 Impressions (CPM): If you choose CPM method of bidding, you will have to pay for every 1,000 people that see your ad. This method can actually save you money and boost your ROI provided if you write a very compelling Ad Copy that has a high CTR. Moreover, this type of bidding is highly suitable for campaigns which are designed for brand awareness where your goal is to get as many views as possible.

LinkedIn Bidding and Budget

After you determine the type of bid, LinkedIn will automatically recommend a range of bids based on other people’s bids. Moreover, to get a decent placement, it is advised to start your bid a little higher than the bottom range. You can also set your daily budget with LinkedIn Ads.

You can also set your daily budget with LinkedIn Ads. Click To Tweet

Step 5: Set Your Billing and Launch

You will need to enter your billing information if you are creating your first LinkedIn Ad. Until the billing information is filled and verified, LinkedIn will not display any of your ads. Once you have filled the billing information, it might still take some time for your ads to start running. This is because LinkedIn reviews all the ads to make sure that the best ads are launched.

How to Track Your Ads on LinkedIn

Tracking your ads enables you to measure exactly how many leads, sales or sign-ups are you getting from your LinkedIn Ads. Tracking also lets you know which of your ads and the target audiences are driving in more conversions.

Thus, with the help of conversions, you will be able to see how many leads are you getting from your campaigns including the downloads, leads, purchases and more.

Tracking also permits you to measure the true value that you are getting from your ads. Click To Tweet

Also, when you have all the information about the performance of your ads, you can further optimize your ads to get even better results.

Since tracking your ads is highly important, we present a few tips on how to track your ads on LinkedIn.

(I) Add the LinkedIn Insight Tag

The LinkedIn Insight Tag is a lightweight piece of javascript code that allows you to track your website conversions from your campaigns. Therefore, when you begin your conversion tracking in Campaign Manager, in the setup process, your ads account will automatically set its own Insight Tag. Installing the tag on your website takes only a few minutes and you are required to do it only once.

LinkedIn Insight Tag


(II) Create a conversion action and add it to the campaign

A conversion action is that rule which informs LinkedIn about the events that you want to count as conversions. For example, someone filling out a form or downloading an e-book.

After you have added a conversion action, you can add that conversion action to a particular campaign. You can thus, start recording the conversions from that particular campaign. You can add as many conversion actions to a single campaign.

(III) Use “Thank You” page as your conversion URL

You are required to enter a URL when you create a conversion action. This is basically a page on your website that you want to count a visit as conversion. For a lot of advertisers, the best page to use as a conversion URL is the “THANK YOU” page. The “THANK YOU” page is that page which will arrive when the visitor fills out the form to download your Case Study or Ebook, request a demo or make a purchase.

(IV) Leverage Demographic Reporting

Conversion Tracking in LinkedIn is quite different from the conversion tracking of other advertising platforms. Thus, in LinkedIn, you can measure exactly how many leads are you generating from a specific audience segmentation.

To determine which target audience is generating strong conversion results and which audiences are underperforming, you can furthermore, use demographic conversion data.

(V) Make sure your Landing Pages are mobile optimized

If you notice that some of your ads are driving fewer conversions than the others, you should now make sure that your landing pages are mobile optimized. The fact is, mobile devices have taken over other devices in terms of traffic generation and engagement. Hence, you should make sure that your landing pages look great on mobile devices and are also easy to navigate. This will, in turn, improve your conversion rate and will also reduce your Cost per Conversion.

Final Thoughts

LinkedIn is one of the best advertising platforms for those marketers who are looking for a great opportunity to promote their business. Although LinkedIn is a popular social media platform for business professionals worldwide, it also introduces online advertising skills to businesses who are looking for brand awareness and attracting potential customers to their websites.

Apart from promoting your business and products, LinkedIn also provides remarkable conversion tracking techniques so that you can get the most out of your LinkedIn Ads.

Now that you have everything at your disposal, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and set up your first LinkedIn Ad Campaign.

Dinesh Thakur

Dinesh Thakur is the co-founder of Ads Triangle which is a Google Partner and Bing Ads Accredited agency. He has over 7 years of experience in Pay per Click marketing. Dinesh has helped hundreds of businesses to grow their revenues through PPC. He has expertise skills in Google Adwords and is passionate about Pay Per Click.

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