Last update : 14 October 2020
LinkedIn is a social network known for its extensive international network of professionals. You are probably already registered, as are most of your professional acquaintances. But have you ever thought about advertising for your business on this social network? LinkedIn has proven to be a very effective online advertising solution when it comes to the business to business market, particularly effective in segmentation of the targeted audience. Here is a complete guide that explains the advantages of advertising on LinkedIn and the step-by-step methods for creating successful ads.
Why advertise on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is known as THE platform for professionals from all fields around the world. According to the social network’s statistics, LinkedIn has 500 million professionals, including 10 million opinion leaders, 61 million senior influencers and 40 million decision-makers. Advertising on this network provides an opportunity to reach a huge professional audience, especially for companies with a B2B focus. Audiences are incredibly precise: they can be targeted according to interests, profession, sector of activity, training, geographical area, etc. Other advantages of advertising on this social media are the flexible budget management, monitoring and results analysis tools and finally its multilingualism.
The 3 types of LinkedIn advertisements
Once on LinkedIn’s “Campaign Manager” page, you will find three different types of ads: “Sponsored Content”, “Text Ads” and “Sponsored InMail”.
Sponsored content on LinkedIn appears in the targeted audience’s news feed under the label “sponsored” or “promoted”. It can consist of a message, a visual and/or a video with a link. The objective is to extend the scope of content already published by a company. This content can be its latest news, for example, or the promotion of a particular event.
The advantage of sponsored content is its placement in the news feed where it blends in with organic publications. This strategic location increases the chances it will be seen by targeted users.
This type of advertising is a small box on the right of a LinkedIn page below the “Promoted” heading. The purpose of text ads is to increase the visibility of a company’s LinkedIn page or website. This generates more leads from the social network. The advantage of text ads is the simplicity of setting them up. In addition, the budget is flexible, the audience targeting criteria are very precise and conversion tracking is simple.
There are several text ad formats:
- The simplest format is a 25 character title and a message of up to 75 characters. Illustrating the text ads with a visual is optional. But be aware that your click rate increases by 20% when using an eye-catching visual.
- Display ads: these are visual ads on the right side of a LinkedIn page. These are available in different formats: photo, video, sound and text. They have the particular feature of increasing a company’s reputation on a larger scale since they only appear on LinkedIn pages with high traffic.
- Dynamic ads are animated and personalized ads that contain an action button. They use information about the target user to provide content that may be of interest to them. This is a very effective form of advertising to increase a LinkedIn page’s number of subscribers, for example.
This last type of advertising on LinkedIn is quite special. Indeed, sponsored InMails are emails, personalized and sent from the private messaging of the social network. These InMails are only sent the next time the target user logs in to ensure that they are received and read. This method is designed to approach the target in a more personalized way and typically generates a higher response rate.
The 2 campaign management options on LinkedIn
LinkedIn offers the possibility to create and manage your ads yourself. This way, you can choose the promotional message, the visual, the target, the release date and the geographical area. You are also responsible for monitoring the results generated by your ads and deciding whether or not to continue them. This is an excellent way to take your first steps in managing online advertising and to practice customizing your ads if necessary.
Campaigns managed with a LinkedIn partner
LinkedIn offers another alternative for creating and managing ads on its platform. In effect, you can use a LinkedIn partner to create and/or manage some or all of your ads. These partners offer various services such as the purchase of advertising space, the creation of ads… To put it simply, the LinkedIn partner can support you in your social network advertising strategy in order to improve the return on investment, in a similar way to us :).
The step-by-step creation of a LinkedIn ad
Step 1: Find the ad creation page
If you want to advertise on LinkedIn, simply click on the product icon (at the top right of the menu bar) and select the “advertise” icon. This button leads directly to the LinkedIn Campaign Manager page where the different ad options are listed.
Step 2: Create a campaign manager account
Creating a campaign manager account is a prerequisite for advertising on LinkedIn. To do this, simply enter your company’s LinkedIn page, specify the account name and the currency you want to use.
Step 3: Choose the type of advertising
The choice of the type of advertising must of course be geared towards the desired goals. For example, if you want to promote news about your company, sponsored content will be very useful. You can also choose to launch all three ad types in the same campaign to maximize your reach.
Step 4: Create the ad
In the case of sponsored content, the next step is to name your campaign and define its language. The name of the campaign is simply a reference for you, so it will not be visible to LinkedIn users. Next, 3 options for objectives and different advertising formats will be proposed. Once you have made your choices, all you have to do is select, from the publications already posted on your page, the one you wish to promote.
In the case of a text ad, you will be directly sent to the creation of the ad, i.e. the writing of the message and the uploading of its accompanying visual.
Finally, in the case of a sponsored InMail, you will have to name the campaign, define its language and choose between 2 goals proposed by LinkedIn (see image below).
Step 5: Define the target audience
This is where advertising on LinkedIn gets interesting. The social network offers 3 targeting options: retargeting your website visitors, a contact list or a personalized audience from the LinkedIn interface (image below). The latter is defined by a geographical area and up to 16 different segmentation criteria.
Your audience can therefore be extremely precise or, alternatively, relatively broad if few criteria are defined. As you meet your targeting criteria, an indicator on the right side of your screen shows you the number of LinkedIn users you can potentially reach. You can also save your targeting settings so that you can reuse them for future advertising campaigns.
Step 6: Establish the budget and release dates
There are 3 different payment options:
- Cost per click (CPC): you only pay when a user clicks on your ad.
- Cost per impression (CPM): you pay when a user sees your ad.
- The cost per message for sponsored InMails: you pay for each email sent to a person you target.
Choosing CPC or CPM will allow you to regulate and limit your daily expenses. In effect, you must set a maximum daily amount for your campaigns (minimum of $10) and a total budget.
The optional conversion tracking tool is a useful tool offered by LinkedIn for sponsored content or text ads. In our opinion, it is essential because it allows you to evaluate the ROI performance of your ads in real-time.
You can also choose a launch date and/or end date for your advertising campaigns. For example, if you launch a special promotion, you can stop broadcasting your ads on the final date of that promotion.
Step 7: Analyze and interpret the results to improve advertising campaigns
A crucial step in all online and offline advertising campaign launches: analyzing results and improving advertising to optimize returns on investment. To do this, LinkedIn provides you with a multitude of performance indicators that it is very important to analyze and interpret if you want to improve the results of your campaigns.
A few tips to ensure your LinkedIn ads perform
- If you choose the destination URL for your text ads, we recommend that you avoid referring your visitors to your site’s home page. Internet users who click on your ad are looking for more details about the content you publish. Unless your homepage includes the information contained in your ad, it is better to create a dedicated landing page for your campaign.
- Don’t forget to install tracking codes for the URL you direct users to so that you can track traffic from your LinkedIn ads.
- Text ads on LinkedIn do not allow much text to be displayed. Make sure you are as catchy and punchy as possible. Linking the meaning of your visual and your message also guarantees more effectiveness.
- For Sponsored InMails, a clear and evocative call to action at the end of the message is always a good practice. In addition, a neat and eye-catching subject increases the chances that the message will be opened.
- The success of an advertisement most often rests on the choice of a target audience. Take the time to ask yourself the right questions and identify your target audience’s characteristics.
- If you are new to managing advertising campaigns on social media, we advise you to start with a lower budget and then gradually increasing your bids by improving your ads based on the results obtained.
- Important note : If this is the first time you launch an advertising campaign on LinkedIn, the network will charge you $6 to create your campaign manager account.
LinkedIn ads are a very attractive web marketing tool, especially for SMEs in the Business to Business sector. The targeting criteria are so precise that the ads generate highly qualified traffic and the chances of conversions are very high.
We hope that this guide has shed light on how to manage advertising campaigns on LinkedIn. However, if you feel the need for support in developing your online advertising strategy, don’t hesitate to contact us.