Getting Started with LinkedIn Ads

Even if you’ve dabbled in Facebook ads, or you’re a pro with Google ads, LinkedIn is a different beast—but a beast you need to tame. 
LinkedIn has 630 million users, and 63 million of those are in decision-making positions in their industries. It could be an extremely powerful platform to not only meet millions of people but millions of people in your industry. Not to mention, a large portion of those people have the power to make executive decisions about what services or products their company buys. In fact, 65% of B2B companies have used LinkedIn paid ads to gain new customers. The platform is 227% more effective than Facebook when it comes to generating leads. 
Convinced yet? Even if you are, we know that learning to run ads on a new platform can seem intimidating! That’s why we’re here to walk you through it, so you can start capitalizing on what LinkedIn has to offer—which is a lot. 

Get Started with LinkedIn Ads

First, of course, you’ll need to sign into the LinkedIn Campaign Manager—this is where you’ll manage all of your ad campaigns. You’ll need a LinkedIn account to access it, so if you don’t have one, take a few seconds to create one (it’s nice to have one anyway!). Enter your account name, and select your currency. If you’re running ads for a business, you’ll see an option to link your campaign with a LinkedIn page. 
Next, you’ll need to figure out what the goal of your campaign is. Are you looking to hire more people? Do you want to capture more leads? Do you want more website traffic? LinkedIn gives you several objectives to choose from for three different stages of the sales funnel—awareness, consideration, conversions. Choose the most relevant objective for the campaign you’re setting up. 
If you have any experience running ad campaigns, you’ll know this already: Your campaign is only as good as your targeting. Make sure that, along with your campaign’s objective, you have a clear idea of who you’re talking to. With LinkedIn, you have the option to target people based on job function, education, company size, industry, skills, and location. You can select multiple attributes at a time to narrow things down even further, as well as exclude irrelevant attributes. Once you’re done building your perfect audience, find the check box next to “enable audience expansion” and check it. This will let LinkedIn automatically include people with similar attributes to the ones you chose. 

Types of LinkedIn Ads

The ad type you choose will significantly affect the success of your campaign. If you’re starting out, and you’re not sure which format will appeal to your target audience, that’s okay! Playing around with all of them is the best way to figure out what works best. For example, some users hardly check their messages, meaning that sponsored messages wouldn’t be the best use of your budget. 
Here are the ad formats you can choose from on LinkedIn:

Sponsored Content

  • These look like regular posts that show up on your feed, except there’s a CTA button and a “promoted” label near the top (they look very similar to sponsored Instagram ads)
  • Within this format, you can choose between single image, carousel, or video
  • Try all three! See what works best for your content, and what your audience is responding to

Message Ads

  • Also known as Sponsored InMail
  • These deliver your ads as messages to users’ inboxes
  • They tend to be direct, and more personalized than other ad formats
  • This can make them very effective, especially if your audience is niche

Text Ads

  • Pay-per-click (PPC) ads appear on the right-hand side of a desktop screen
  • They include a small image, short headline, and a blurb
  • They’re less prominent than sponsored content, but can be effective depending on your campaign goal

Dynamic Ads

  • These work like text ads, but are more personalized
  • They address the user by name and include their profile photo
  • They’re great for company spotlight ads, follower ads, content ads, and job ads

LinkedIn Ad Best Practices

Here are some tips to make sure your LinkedIn ads are running smoothly and professionally. You’ll need great visuals to catch your audience’s eyes, so make sure you’re following the proper LinkedIn ad specs and sizes. 
Be sure to use LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms with your sponsored content and message ads. These auto-populate the form fields with relevant information about your prospect so that all they have to do is click “submit” and they’re good to go. They’ll be able to move along the funnel quickly and with minimal effort!
Measure, measure, measure! If you’re running ads, that means you have a goal in mind. A crucial part of the success of any campaign is monitoring it along the way. Take note when some LinkedIn ads are working better than others, and don’t keep throwing money at ads that aren’t working for you. LinkedIn Campaign Manager comes with a thorough reporting feature, so you can track key metrics like impressions, clicks, click-through rate, cost per click, cost per impression, cost per conversion, cost per lead, leads, and conversions. Make sure you have LinkedIn Insight Tag installed on your website—this will allow you to get a clear picture of your conversions, as well as get access to demographic reporting. 
Optimize your campaign. When you’re constantly tracking your success, you can constantly capitalize on opportunities for improvement. Run A/B tests on different ad formats, creative strategies, copy, and CTAs to see what resonates with your audience because that’s what it’s all about—resonating with people. What your audience responds to will often surprise you, because it might not be what resonates most with you! Keep making slight adjustments until your ad campaign is running as efficiently and effectively as possible. 

Need Some Help?

Sure, we simplified things for you, but it’s still a lot to manage! If you’re short on time—or just short on patience—Uptick can handle everything for you. Start a conversation with us today.

About Alan

Alan Harned is Uptick’s Marketing Consultant Manager. He graduated from Birmingham’s Samford University, creating video content for Samford’s athletic department right after graduation. He also completed a multi-year stint at Student Life for Lifeway Christian Resources. His work at Uptick includes leading a team of Marketing Consultants, analyzing campaign results, recommending digital marketing services and swaps, and refining marketing strategies to suit clients’ short and long-term goals best. His previous experience in video gives him a great reference point for creative work, which offers clients additional perspective when strategizing.

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