Rising to the Top: How Use LinkedIn Ads

higher-self-mountain-topHow to create high quality ads for the leading social network for professionals and get the most out of your advertising budget. 

LinkedIn has over 100 million active users and is the leading social media network for business professionals. However, the site is not just a collection of resumes. B2B marketers can use LinkedIn to generate leads and build brand awareness through the site’s advertising platform.

On LinkedIn, you can target your ads to users based on important metrics such as industry and job title. You can even target your ads to be shown to members of particular LinkedIn groups or geographic areas such as Ottawa. This targeting is better for B2B than perhaps that of Facebook, which targets users by their interests.

You can easily get started with LinkedIn in minutes, with a minimum of $10. To get the best ROI from your campaigns, there are a number of things you should keep in mind. Let’s go through the basics of LinkedIn Ads.

The Basics of LinkedIn Ads

When your campaigns go live, the ads can appear on two places on LinkedIn; the top of the networking site or along the sidebar. The ad appearing on the top will be text only while the one appearing along the sidebar will be a combination of text and image.

Your ads can include a 75-character description, 25-character headline and a photo. You can also choose to pay for the ads based on cost per 1000 impressions (CPM) or cost per click (CPC).

Finally, there are several variations of ads you can test to determine the ones that result in the most click-through and leads.

How to Create a Successful Ad

Now that we have an overview of LinkedIn Ads, let’s see how you can optimize your ads to get the best ROI. Here are four steps to follow:

i) Use relevant images and great copy for your ads

Before you increase your bid amount or optimize your campaigns for the best clicks, you should have a great ad.

Make sure your copy is great. You have limited characters for your ads; make the most of them. For the headline, you only have 25 characters to work with; use them wisely.

You can use LinkedIn Ads to drive leads to your social media pages or a website. If you have used Facebook Sponsored Stories to promote your content, it will be easy to get started with LinkedIn’s Sponsored Ads.

When crafting your ad content, address the benefits that your target audience will get and include a clear call to action. Your ad headline should be catchy and straight to the point. For your call to action, you can request your audience to “sign up”, “call”, “join”, “download” or do any other action.

ii) Target specific audience

To get the best ROI, you need to target your ads to the most relevant prospects. Some of the common options you can target your ads at include industry (internet, marketing and advertising, banking), job function (engineering, academic, marketing) and groups.

TIP: You can learn more about your audience and the content they are sharing by checking LinkedIn Today. Depending on the news items being shared, you can know what kind of offers will work for the audience.

To ensure positive ROI, you should be specific with your offer and targeting. Monitor the click-through rate (CTR) on the social network and your visit-to-lead conversation rate. These metrics can be monitored using Google Analytics.

iii) Split-test your campaigns

You can organize your LinkedIn ads by campaigns. Each of your campaign can have different ads, targeting options and daily budget.

LinkedIn advises marketers to create at least three ads per campaign. The ads should have different images, call-to-action messages and headlines. You can create up to 15 ads per campaign.

When your campaign goes live, the ads will start showing on users’ timelines and getting clicks. The ad that gets the highest CTR will be shown more frequently than the others. However, you can change your campaign settings to show your ads evenly.

TIP: Keep track of the ads that are receiving the highest clicks and pause those with low CTR.

iv) Spend your budget strategically

In LinkedIn’s advertising platform, budget refers to the daily maximum amount you are ready to spend in your campaigns. Your ads will be displayed at different times depending on when users are active on the site. When your daily budget is exhausted, the ads will stop showing.

If your ads are not receiving as many clicks or impressions as you would like, your budget may be too low. Generally, increasing the budget improves the visibility of your ads. However, make sure the ads are well-targeted to the prospects you are interested in.

Measure the performance of your ads against your overall marketing and business goals. Also, monitor your CTR frequently. If you notice a drop, it may be time to revitalize the ad with new copy or images.

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