6 Simple Steps to Get Started with LinkedIn Advertising

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Be empowered by a long-time power-house in the social media landscape.

As the world’s largest online professional network, LinkedIn is the place to be for brands wanting to accelerate their B2B marketing efforts. With over 900 million members across more than 200 countries and territories globally, the opportunity to widen your reach and increase your influence is huge.

Tap into this by harnessing these 6 simple steps for LinkedIn advertising.

Know your audience

As with any kind of advertising, the goal of LinkedIn advertising is to inspire an audience to perform desired actions. Understanding WHO you want to reach is key to enacting that journey.

What are their pain points and values? How does your solution (what your ad directs them to do) help make their life better?

More often than not, your solution will be relevant to more than one audience. This is where audience segmentation enters the marketing picture.

Before you create ads for LinkedIn, take a deep dive into your analytics (across your website, social platforms and existing customer base) and understand the different profiles that make up your audience. This research should help you become clear as to what your target profile and personas are.

This then informs the language you use, the style of ad image as well as the overall campaign. While algorithms and social trends are forever in flux, understanding the audience never goes out of style.

Once you’re clear on who you want to reach with LinkedIn advertising, it’s time to get started with LinkedIn Campaign Manager – the LinkedIn ad inventory.

Here, you’ll be directed to “create ad.” It’s important to start by giving your campaign a detailed name that’s easily understood by the rest of the people in your company (e.g. including the date, demographics and advertising magnet is recommended). Campaign names are meant to help you and your team to easily identify the campaign. They’re only seen internally and don’t need to sound catchy.

Choose your objective

Your objective is what you want people to do when they see your ads. LinkedIn itself says choosing an objective “helps us streamline and customize your campaign creation.”

There are three objectives to choose from: awareness, consideration and conversion.

  • Awareness campaigns (top of funnel) expand your brand’s exposure through impressions. They help connect your brand with people who potentially share your values by providing more information about your products, services and organization. A typical call-to-action (CTA) for an awareness campaign is “learn more.”
  • Consideration campaigns (middle of funnel) persuade users to take further action to engage with the business. These actions generally involve clicks that take users to a landing page, prompt engagement across social media as well as views across video content.
  • Conversion campaigns (bottom of funnel) drive lead generation and the ability to monitor actions on your website (e.g. ebook downloads, book a demo, sign up for newsletter or event and lead generation capture).

You can also consider naming your campaign according to where it sits in your overall digital marketing funnel. It will help make reporting easier when assessing different objectives (e.g. TOFU (for Top of Funnel), MOFU (for Middle of Funnel) and BOFU for bottom of funnel/ conversion campaigns).

Select your targeting criteria 

This is a direct call-back to the first step – know your audience. Reaching the right audience via LinkedIn targeting is imperative for campaign success.

With LinkedIn advertising, there are over 20 different audience attribute categories to choose from. While you don’t need to use all of LinkedIn’s targeting options, campaigns with the more specific targeting criteria have an improved chance of being relevant to the audience as well as generating a higher return on investment (ROI).

Audience attribute categories include:

  • Company size
  • Company name
  • Member schools
  • Member interests
  • Member groups
  • Skills
  • Job title
  • Job seniority (+ more)

You can also upload company lists and add additional sales prospect targeting audiences from  information sourced from Sales Navigator.

Choose your LinkedIn ad format

Once you establish targeting parameters for your ad, you’ll be directed to start building ads.

Types of ad formats include:

  • Sponsored content appears in the audience’s news feed alongside other organic LinkedIn content. This can involve single image ads (feature one image), carousel ads (feature two or more images) and video ads (feature one video).
  • Sponsored InMail allows you to reach prospects without needing their email addresses. Like a standard LinkedIn message, a sponsored InMail is sent directly to the LinkedIn inbox of your targeted selection.
  • Message ads are delivered to your target audience’s LinkedIn inbox. They are most effective when sent directly to your audience from a personal account.
  • Dynamic ads are personalized ads. The content changes according to which audience member views them. This ad format uses member personal data to tailor its creative content, but never shares that data with other members. Dynamic ads can encompass follower ads (promote your LinkedIn company page), spotlight ads (promote special offering) and job ads (promote open jobs).
  • Text ads are shown in the right column or top of the page on LinkedIn.

No matter which ad format you select, the anatomy of an ad largely remains the same.

Here’s the rundown:

  • Ad image is the artwork or graphic that your audience sees for your ad. It must be 100 × 100 pixels and uploaded as a .jpg OR .png file. It also needs to be 2MB or smaller.
  • Ad headline is the main message your audience sees and can be no more than 25 characters.
  • Ad description is the textual body of the ad and can be up to 75 characters. It needs to be both relevant to the person viewing the ad and to the offer that the CTA link sends them.
  • Destination URL is where users go when they click your ad. It is often a landing page or a lead capture form.
  • CTA is a short phrase that directs the user to do something which benefits the business (e.g. download ebook, click for free samples, view range, learn more, etc). Essentially, the CTA is the point behind the campaign.
  • Value proposition is a clear sign of what the user will specifically gain when they click on the ad (e.g. clearance sale, custom offerings, 20% off, etc.).

It’s important to note that LinkedIn reviews every submitted campaign order. So, don’t be alarmed if you don’t see your ads published immediately.

Select your budget and schedule

Now, it’s time to determine your budget and choose a start date for your campaign.

The budget is a set amount of money that is allocated to the advertising efforts. There are three options for which you can bid:

  • Automated bid enables LinkedIn to determine the amount that will maximize the campaign objective.
  • Maximum cost-per-click (CPC) bid charges you each time someone clicks on your ad. For this bidding option, LinkedIn will suggest a bid range according to your budget and the competition for your ads. If more advertisers bid on a similar campaign, your bid will need to be higher – this is the maximum that will be charged. If the current rate is lower than your maximum bid, the current rate will be charged.
  • Maximum pay-per-1000 impressions (CPM) bid charges a certain amount each time your ad is viewed by every 1000 people on LinkedIn.

Regarding schedule, you can select a start date for your campaign and indicate for it to be shown continuously or until an end date.

Measure and optimize your campaign

Once your LinkedIn advertising is live, monitor the performance of your ads.

You need to ask:

  • How many impressions are the ads receiving?
  • What is the click-through-rate (CTR)?
  • What is the conversion rate?
  • What is the ROI?

The answers to these questions will enable you to understand the extent to which LinkedIn advertising is contributing to your success as a business as well as highlight areas that can be improved for the next campaign.

In any advertising medium, digital performance data spells the best way forward. But with a proliferation of channels, each with their own clunky recipe to retrieve native data, how can you keep on top of all your campaigns at once?

Digivizer provides the answer.

When you connect all your accounts into our platform, you can see digital performance insights across all your paid, owned and earned media in one view instantly. This will allow you to make strategic digital marketing decisions and deliver excellence at speed.

Sign up for free today.

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