LinkedIn Ads Guide: How to Advertise on LinkedIn?
Reaching a particular professional audience is often a challenge for advertisers, whether for B2B offers and products or for training offers. If there is one platform that can target these audiences across many industries, it’s LinkedIn Ads.
The world’s leading professional network, LinkedIn has 590 million subscribers, including 17 million in France. A boon for advertisers! An easy way to create and deliver LinkedIn Ads (LinkedIn Ads) is through the LinkedIn Ads Campaign Manager, a self-service advertising platform. Discover step by step all the advertising possibilities of this platform!
Simply put, advertising on LinkedIn can be extremely relevant if your goal is:
- Reach a targeted professional audience
- To promote your brand in a professional context
- In addition, advertising on LinkedIn is particularly interesting and relevant to reach an audience made up of business decision-makers (70 million decision-makers worldwide are on LinkedIn) and professionals with several years of experience (79% of members are more than 34 years old).
Topics that we would be covering :
1 – How to advertise on LinkedIn?
2 – What advertising formats and locations are available?
3 – What are the targeting possibilities?
4 – How to track conversions on my site?
5 – How to manage your expenses and bids on the LinkedIn Campaign Manager?
6 – What are the reporting and analysis possibilities for LinkedIn Ads campaigns?
7 – Latest tips for optimizing your LinkedIn Ads campaigns
1. How do I advertise on LinkedIn?
The easiest way to advertise on LinkedIn is through the self-service advertising interface: the LinkedIn Campaign Manager.
Using the LinkedIn Ads Campaign Manager is quite intuitive. Creating an advertising campaign can be done in minutes! However, as the platform has grown rapidly in recent years, there are still often bugs and campaign creation / management could be improved.
You can also contact the LinkedIn team that helps large accounts grow or buy ad slots through programmatic platforms.
2. What ad formats and placements are available on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn Ads allows you to create and distribute to your target audience different advertising formats: Sponsored Content, Text Ad, Sponsored InMail, Dynamic Ad.
Sponsored Contents appear on the LinkedIn Member News Feed. This format is one of the most common and provides good visibility for advertisers.
Recently, the Sponsored Content format has become available not only on the LinkedIn news feed but also on the LinkedIn audience network, a network of premium advertising partners. If you choose to broadcast to the audience network, it is possible to exclude categories of content (eg automotive, education, etc.) or a list of sites.
Several types of content are possible: links to a web page, article, photo, computer graphics, video. It is also possible to refer the user to a form on the LinkedIn platform for the purpose of lead generation, for example.
Sponsored Content with lead generation form
You can collect up to 7 different data on your prospects via the form, among the following:
- First name
- Last name
- Phone number
- Postal code
- Professional email
- Business phone number
- Professional title
- Company Name
- Size of the company
- Field of study
- University / School
- Start date of studies
- Date of end of studies
The form is automatically pre-filled with the member’s profile data (except for gender). This therefore makes it possible to obtain quality prospect data.
Note: Regularly retrieve prospect data from the LinkedIn Campaign Manager to get back in touch with them quickly, If using this format.
These are smaller and therefore less visible advertising format is present on several sites on LinkedIn: homepage, profile pages, search results pages, groups, inbox, etc.
Text Ads consist of a small image and short text (title of 25 characters maximum and description of 75 characters maximum).
You can send a sponsored InMail to an audience through the LinkedIn Campaign Manager. This is a very capped format because a user cannot receive more than one Sponsored InMail every 60 days.
Sponsored InMails must be sent from a personal LinkedIn profile, so it is important to define upstream who is the most appropriate person within the organization to be the sender. For this format, auctions are at maximum cost per shipment and the InMail open rate is generally quite high.
Here are some tips for creating Sponsored InMails on LinkedIn:
- Be clear and concise in the message.
- Personalize the message, in particular using dynamic tags to include the user’s last name, first name, for example (% FIRSTNAME%,% LASTNAME%,% COMPANYNAME%,% JOBTITLE%,% INDUSTRY%).
- Do tests. In particular, it is possible to include a Call To Action button in the body of the InMail, which can generate better performance.
- Use the option to display a visual to the right of InMail, so that the visual of another advertiser is not displayed. In addition, it does not cost more to occupy this space.
Sponsored InMails can contain links to landing pages but also to lead generation forms on the LinkedIn platform.
Dynamic Ads are personalized advertisements. They dynamically take the user’s profile picture and associate it with, for example, a company logo for recruitment purposes. There are two types :
- Follow Company Ads: Aim to increase engagement on the business page and get new followers
- Spotlight Ads: Aim to send a personalized message and refer the user to a web page
Dynamic Ads are available on Desktop only. Until recently, it was only possible to create one through the LinkedIn sales department (large accounts). But they have gradually been accessible to more and more self-service advertisers since early 2018.
Please note that once created, LinkedIn ads cannot be modified!
3. What are the targeting possibilities for LinkedIn ads?
The structure of LinkedIn Ads campaigns is very simple: a campaign corresponds to a targeting, an audience.
Demographic and professional targeting
On LinkedIn Ads, you can target marketing professionals in India with more than 4 years of experience, decision makers (Manager, VP, Director, CEO, Owner, Partner) of companies with more than 200 employees in the marketing industry. consumer goods or even entrepreneurs with less than 10 people.
You just need to know how to configure your campaigns and choose relevant audiences. Under you shall find many targets available, which you can combine for more precision.
Location (required field): the geographic location, depending on the location specified by the member or the location of their IP address
- Company name: the company that the Internet user indicates as his employer
- Company sector: the sector of the company in which the member works (agriculture, arts, education, finance, government, media, etc.)
- Company size: the size of the company, according to the number of employees on the Company page of the organization the member is a member of
- Company relations: the Company relations category allows you to contact 1st level relations of employees of a company (functionality available only for companies with more than 500 employees)
- Subscribers: allows you to target the subscribers of your Company page. You must first have linked your LinkedIn Ads account to your Company page.
- Age: Age is also an estimate based on member profile information.
- Gender: the gender of the members is deduced from their profile information.
- Schools: the school in which the member completed a course (school, university, institute, etc.)
- Fields of study: the field of study corresponds to the specialization of a member’s diploma
- Diplomas: the diploma awarded by an educational institution (recognized standard diplomas).
- Position: the position that the member has entered on his LinkedIn profile, the positions also being grouped and classified by the LinkedIn algorithm
- Function: the function is based on standardized job categories (accounting, administrative, business development, education, consulting, engineer, finance, etc.)
- Seniority: seniority according to the level and influence of the current role of a member in his company.
- Years of experience: Years of experience correspond to the number of years of professional experience accumulated during a member’s career. Gaps are excluded and overlapping positions are counted only once.
- Skills: skills deduced based on relevant keywords found on a member’s profile and in particular in the skills section.
- Groups: allows you to target Internet users who are part of specific LinkedIn groups
- Interests: allows you to target Internet users according to their professional interests
To be able to serve ads on LinkedIn, you must have at least 1,000 people.
Note: By combining several criteria, the size of the audience is quickly reduced. In addition, certain criteria are not always adapted to the countries.
Account Targeting: Target a list of companies
It is also possible to upload a list of target companies, which may contain several thousand companies, to LinkedIn in order to target their employees. The list is then compared to the 8M + business pages on LinkedIn and a new audience segment is created.
Contact Targeting: Targeting list of emails
Contact Targeting consists of targeting an email list. LinkedIn recommends downloading at least 10,000 email addresses for the matching rate to be sufficient.
Website Retargeting: Targeting audiences of site visitors
Once the Insight Tag has been placed on your site, you can also create retargeting campaigns on LinkedIn. You can therefore target visitors to your site, either as a whole or to visitors to specific pages (product pages, contact form, etc.).
Lookalike audiences allow you to target Internet users with similar characteristics to your custom audiences. We also talk about “marketing twins”. For example, if you create an audience similar to your website visitors, LinkedIn will analyze the characteristics of your website visitors (based on data from the Insight Tag placed on your site) and then build up a new audience made up of other LinkedIn users with similar characteristics according to a proprietary algorithm.
Similar audience size can be up to 15 times larger than the original audience. The core audience (in the previous example, website visitors) will automatically be excluded from the lookalike audience.
To create a Lookalike Audience, you first need to create a Custom Audience in Account Assets> Matched Audiences. Then still in the same place, click on Create Audience> Lookalike (top right). You need a “core” personalized audience of at least 300 LinkedIn members.
Enable Audience Expansion option
The “Enable Audience Expansion” option allows LinkedIn to serve your ads to members who have characteristics similar to those of the audience you are targeting. So it’s a bit fuzzy and doesn’t give you control over the audience to which you serve your ads. Advise you to uncheck this option, especially if your audience is already large enough.
Note: This option is not available if you are targeting a similar audience.
As I said earlier, if your audience size is too small, you may have problems serving your ads. You also risk reaching very few Internet users and causing your audience to run out of steam by repeating the same message to them. So many effects you don’t want to cause!
So don’t forget to check the size of the audience you want to target using the right panel when creating a campaign. You see an estimate of the size of your audience as well as estimates of results (to be taken with a grain of salt).
4. How to track conversions on my site?
It’s easy to track conversions on your site! The first step is to put the Insight Tag on all the pages of the site. You will find this tag in under Account Assets -> Insight Tag. It is used for both conversion tracking and audience building.
To set up conversion tracking, go to Account Assets> Conversions. You can configure conversions by conversion URL (eg: purchase confirmation page, form, etc.) or by placing an event pixel, for example when a button is clicked.
Note: It is possible to apply the LinkedIn Insight Tag very easily via Google Tag Manager. The tag being pre-configured on Google Tag Manager (Insight Tag), you just need to enter your partner ID.
5. How do I manage expenses and bids on the LinkedIn Campaign Manager?
Advertising on LinkedIn can be extremely expensive because:
- The minimum LinkedIn Ads budgets per campaign are higher than on other platforms (minimum € 10 per day)
- LinkedIn Ads bids are also high
But it’s not that shocking to have access to a quality B2B audience.
The auction bids are defined as CPC (Cost Per Click), CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions) or CPE (Cost Per InMail Sending).
- For text ads, the minimum CPC or CPM is € 2.
- For Sponsored Contents and InMails, the minimum bid is set according to the audience targeted by the system. But in general we find that it is around 2.10 € per click for Sponsored Content and 0.10 € per submission for Sponsored InMail.
In terms of bidding and investment strategy, we recommend investing a larger portion of the advertising budget at the start of the campaign, if possible spread over multiple targets (multiple campaigns). This will allow you to collect data quickly and keep only the most efficient targeting at the end of the campaign.
we also recommend setting bids a little higher compared to your goal at the start of the campaign in order to be more competitive and not to limit the distribution of your ads. You can then reduce them little by little.
Finally, it can be interesting to experiment with different bidding strategies. For example, using CPM auctions can be more profitable than CPC auctions if you have a good click-through rate.
6. What are the reporting and analysis possibilities for LinkedIn Ads campaigns?
Different performance indicators are available on the LinkedIn Campaign Manager, depending on the analyzes you want to perform. Statistics are available at the campaign level or by ad after clicking on a campaign.
Additionally, it is possible to segment your data through conversion name, LinkedIn location vs partner network, and carousel listings.
Finally, it is possible to analyze the performance of your LinkedIn Ads campaigns by time period and demographic category according to 8 professional dimensions:
- The professional title: project manager, consultant, community manager, founder, engineer…
- Industry: energy, banking, education, aeronautics, marketing …
- Professional seniority: junior, senior, manager, director, CXO …
- The function: marketing, finance, sales, business development …
- The company
- The size of the company: from the solo entrepreneur to the company with 10,000+ employees
- Location: large cities, regions
- The country
7. Latest tips for optimizing your LinkedIn Ads campaigns
- Think carefully about the types of targeting that are most relevant to your target. You can quickly spend your budget on LinkedIn; the strategic part of creating campaigns is therefore essential.
- Check the audience sizes as you may want to combine too many criteria, you reduce the audience too much.
- Depending on your budget, focus on the most relevant targeting in order to get enough data to be able to optimize your campaigns and not to exhaust your budget too quickly.
- Uncheck the option “Enable Audience Expansion” especially if your audience is already large.
- Test continuously, in terms of targeting and advertising!
Good luck in creating your LinkedIn Ads campaigns!