LinkedIn is the world’s biggest business marketplace. With around 500 million+ users, LinkedIn is one of the best platforms for businesses. Users of LinkedIn are business professionals, who know exactly what they want.
LinkedIn advertising allows you to reach an even wider audience than you may have reached previously
It enables you to get your name in front of the people who matter the most, in a variety of different ways. LinkedIn has an all-in-one advertising platform that allows you to set your own budget, choose goals, stop ads at any time; all in all making it completely customisable.
It’s all about experimenting and finding out exactly what works for you, what gets you the best results and what is most effective.
Types of LinkedIn Ads
LinkedIn has three main types of advertisements. These are Sponsored Content, “promote your content with targeted native advertising”, Text Ads, “drive traffic from the desktop with easy to create ads” and Sponsored InMail, “I want to send targeted messages directly to people who matter to my business”.
Sponsored content is a way to promote content that already exists on your page. It allows you to share your posts with a wider, targeted audience. They simply appear on the home feed on all devices. Sponsored content is good for increasing awareness, encouraging users to click through, attracting new followers and getting more impressions and clicks.
LinkedIn Text Ads
Text ads on LinkedIn are similar to Google and/or Bing search ads; they’re a way to drive traffic to your page or website. It’s recommended to create variations of different campaigns to see what works most effectively, for example changing the headline or description and seeing how the results differ. Text ads only appear on desktop, on the right hand side of the news feed. LinkedIn text ads are easy to use, you can set your own budget and choose your own audience, and you can easily track conversions.
Sponsored InMail is a way to deliver personalised messages to LinkedIn users’ inboxes; no matter what device they’re using. Messages have a customised greeting, a call to action button, body text with links and so on. You only pay for the messages you send. Sponsored InMail is beneficial as people begin to feel connected and develop trust when you talk to them directly; it’s great for having more conversations, attracting more leads and promoting other content.
How to Advertise
Begin with Campaign Manager
To begin advertising with LinkedIn, you must sign in to Campaign Manager, or make an account if you don’t have one. This is where you will manage your adverts, as well as optimise and develop them. You will find analytics and data in here.
Choose your ad format
Once you’ve logged into Campaign Manager, you can begin to properly make your adverts. You have to decide what format you want your advertisement to be in, whether it be Sponsored Content, Text Ads or Sponsored InMail. You need to remember to have your company page’s account within Campaign Manager - by navigating towards “accounts” and “create account” and then associating a company page with your account if you don’t run the particular page yourself. You then select the account you’d like to use, click “Campaigns” on the top menu and then click “Create campaign” and from there you can choose what format you want.
Create your ad
If you select sponsored content, you have three options. You can choose an update from your LinkedIn company page, choose an update from your LinkedIn showcase page, or create new sponsored content. It’s best practice to create multiple variations of sponsored content so you can determine what works best.
Selecting this option means you have to enter a campaign name, and choose a language. You then have a variety of sections to customise; choosing the sender, adding a message subject line and summary and then crafting your message. For this type of advertisement, it’s good to keep your subject lines concise, relevant and conversational - making it impactful and valuable.
This one is probably the easiest. You simply have to name the campaign, and then start building it from scratch. You have to decide where members should go if they click on your ad, add an image, a headline (up to 25 characters) and a description (up to 75 characters). You can create up to 15 text ads.
Target your ads
Regardless of what format you choose, targeting and selecting your audience works the exact same way. Once you’ve created your ad, you will be taken to a page with a wide variety of options to help you select your audience, such as (the obvious) locations you want to target and then some specific things you can target such as company industry, job title, age, gender, and so on. Your estimated target audience will show to the right of all this as you’re moving along. You can also switch on Audience Expansion which automatically includes audiences similar to the audience you’ve selected.
Set your budget
When setting your budget, there are three options; cost per click (CPC), cost per impression (CPM) or cost per send (CPS).
CPS is used to run Sponsored InMail campaigns - paying for each InMail successfully delivered. CPC is most often used for action oriented campaigns, and CPM is mostly used when brand awareness is the goal. When you choose between the options, you have to enter your suggested bid, daily budget, start date, end date and total budget. You can cancel your campaign at any time; so you don’t have to worry too much about the end date you’ve set.
Measure and optimise campaign
Once your adverts are up and running, you will need to analyse them and see how they’re performing. All analytics will be shown in Campaign Manager. You can see overall performances such as impressions, clicks, money spent, social actions, budget, and so on. It’s important to keep an eye on the analytics of your adverts as you can then edit and optimise the adverts dependant on the data you’ve received.
Best Practices for LinkedIn Adverts
Create compelling content
You need to create an advert that is engaging, eye-catching and interesting. You need to choose words that will catch the attention of the right audience. Include strong phrases, make your ad unique and give people a true reason to take notice of your advert.
Test ad variations
On LinkedIn you can create multiple adverts for the same thing - allowing you to test various elements and determine what works the best. First of all, all the ads you create will be shown equally to the audience, but the ad that begins to perform the best in terms of clicks and impressions will be then shown more often to improve your experience.
Target the right audience
Before you begin using LinkedIn advertising you need to completely refine and define your target audience. You need to understand who they are, what sector they’re in, and so on. Knowing all this will allow you to target them much easier.
Set a competitive bid
On LinkedIn, there are going to be competitors wanting to get their advertisements shown to the same audience as you want yours to be shown to. It’s recommended that, to be one step ahead of these competitors, you need to set a bid that’s within the higher end of the suggested bid range. Each time a LinkedIn user visits a page that includes an ad unit, a real-time auction is run. If the user is in your target audience, you will be entered into the auction with your advertisement alongside other competitors. This is where the higher bid comes in useful as your ad will be more likely to be shown if competitors have lower bids.
If you’re a business, you’re probably on LinkedIn (if you’re not - you need to be). But, you may not be utilising LinkedIn’s advertising platform to the best of its ability.
It’s about getting your content in front of the right people; having content that adds value to their lives and educating them about your business
You need your adverts to be compelling, eye-catching, entertaining, engaging and all round interesting. You need to understand your target audience and understand what they want and need, more specifically from a business such as yours. If you hit their pain points or give them what they want; your adverts will perform better.
LinkedIn advertising is easier and quicker than ever! Try it out today and see the results you can achieve.