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Getting started with LinkedIn Ads

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LinkedIn / April 08, 2019

If you’re a business that sells products or services to other businesses, you’re probably already aware of the awesome power of using LinkedIn to generate leads. Pair your perseverance with a little investment, and LinkedIn becomes a powerful advertising platform that allows you to extend your reach and amplify your brand to new B2B prospects and customers.

Why should you do LinkedIn advertising?

With 560 million members, most of whom have posted resumes and other juicy professional information on its network, LinkedIn has a mother lode of data on its users. Advertising on LinkedIn gives you an unprecedented opportunity to target your advertising or sponsored content to exactly the role, geography, company and industry you want to reach. What’s more, LinkedIn members are an active and engaged network of high value customers — VPs, Directors and C-suite folks — many of whom you won’t be able to reach easily elsewhere.

Here’s everything you need to know to start advertising on LinkedIn Ads.

Types of LinkedIn ad formats available to advertisers

LinkedIn’s ad formats range from familiar text ads to unique formats such as native ads and lead gen forms.

Text Ads

Much like other pay per click ad products, LinkedIn’s text ads feature a logo, headline and description. However, instead of bidding on keywords like you would on other networks, LinkedIn allows you to target by location, demographics, skills and interests. In other words, you can put your ads in front of the exact roles and markets that are most relevant to your business.

Sponsored InMail

LinkedIn’s equivalent to email marketing, Sponsored InMail lets you draft and send personalized messages to LinkedIn members who match the location, company, industry, title, skills and education of your target market.

Sponsored Content

LinkedIn Sponsored Content are native ads that allow you to amplify LinkedIn status updates to a wider audience while simultaneously targeting exactly the demographic that’s relevant to your business. Looking to generate leads? You can also create sponsored Lead Gen forms, that self-populate with information from members’ LinkedIn profile information.

How to advertise on LinkedIn

If you’re familiar with managing campaigns in other ad platforms, you’ll find it easy to set up LinkedIn Ad campaigns. These are self-service ads, meaning you set up, configure and manage the campaigns yourself.

Billing is done via a credit card that you enter into the platform. You will be billed based on cost per click (CPC) or thousand impressions (CPM) — you get to choose, depending on whether you’re looking to extend your brand reach or directly generate sales and leads.

Step 1: Set up your LinkedIn Ads Campaign Manager

Log into your LinkedIn homepage and click on the Work icon in the top right hand corner. Here you’ll see the Advertise option, which will bring you into the Campaign Manager. Use the Edit buttons to give your Campaign a name, then create and name your first Campaign Group.

Step 2: Set your Campaign Objective

By setting an objective for your campaign, you’ll give the Campaign Manager Tool critical information about how to target, optimize, bid and report on your campaigns. In your Campaign Manager, choose the option that best aligns with the reason why you are running a LinkedIn Ads campaign:

Website visits: Traffic to your website

Brand awareness: Increasing awareness of your brand among LinkedIn members

Website conversions: Driving sales or other types of conversions on your website

Engagement: Social engagement with your LinkedIn Ads

Lead generation: Capture leads using a form pre-filled with members’ LinkedIn data

Video views: Views of videos posted on LinkedIn

Step 3: Target the right audience

Here’s where the magic happens. Based on your business objectives, you probably know the types of LinkedIn members who are relevant to your product or service. If you don’t, take time to develop buyer personas so you can strategically hone in on the right demographics, industry, company, role and more. Precise targeting will make sure your ads appear to exactly the right people in LinkedIn’s global network of 560 million professionals.

Step 4: Choose a LinkedIn Ads format

Click on the Create Ad button in Campaign Manager to start building your ads. You’ll be prompted to decide what kind of ad you wish to create. We recommend making this decision in advance, based on your budget and objectives. You should also have your ad creative ready to go ahead of time so you’re ready for the next step. Here are the creative specifications for each type of LinkedIn Ad.

Step 5: Set Your Budgets

Next you will be prompted to set a campaign budget and schedule. Similar to other digital advertising platforms, LinkedIn Ads enable you to set exactly how much you want to spend, per campaign and per day for the duration of your campaign. Implementing a campaign end date, as well as both daily and campaign budgets makes sure you never exceed the total amount of money allocated for your campaign.

Step 6: Create your LinkedIn Ads

Once your creative is ready and you’ve decided on the ideal type of LinkedIn Ads will meet your objectives, follow the steps in Campaign Manager to enter the text and images or video that will become your ads or sponsored content. If your campaign is driving outside LinkedIn to your website, be sure to include a URL that drives to the exact product or service that you’re promoting (and not just to your website homepage).

Step 7: Review, report & optimize

Once you’ve set up and entered all the details for your campaign, review everything —  make sure your budget is correct, your ad creative is the way you want it, and that you have targeted the right audiences. Then click Launch Campaign.

Keep a close eye on your LinkedIn Ads campaign for the first few days and weeks. Check your campaign reporting, and make sure the CPC or CPM you set brings you the right amount of traffic for your budget. And of course, continue tweaking, adjusting and optimizing your campaign based on its capacity to meet your campaign objectives.

Advertising on LinkedIn can be difficult when you don’t know much about it. Our experts in digital advertising for B2B businesses can help you take advantage of all the targeting opportunities on LinkedIn. Contact us!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeff Johnson

Director of Paid Media @ Bloom

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