How to Succeed With LinkedIn Ads in 2020

January 20, 2019

How to Succeed With LinkedIn Ads in 2020

There are a humongous amount of portals out there to amplify your efforts in B2C outreach. But with B2B marketing, you have limited options, and yet they are awesome. B2B advertising may not have the quantity, but it surely has the characteristic of quality.

Linkedin is one such platform that allows for a credible outreach. You will find a lot of professionals present on Linkedin, and this makes it a profitable marketplace to increase your engagement with potential leads.

But how to make sure that you get the most out of your efforts? We will discuss some handpicked aspects to make your LinkedIn ads successful.

Success with LinkedIn Ads

Unlike Facebook, the LinkedIn community is a bit selective about their connections. It is not just blind acceptance, but the members filter out with whom they want to connect. This nepotism (sort of) allows every marketer to pitch their product to the right user and get the maximum conversions.

The reason being that everybody on LinkedIn is there with a purpose. Their connections request acceptance is also subject to fulfillment of that purpose. In business, an individual or a company most probably knows that they want, and this makes it easy for you to engage at a similar level.

Every year there is a rise in the user activity on LinkedIn. This leads us to believe that the outreach of your posts or ads on this platform will increase with time.

Another factor that ensures maximum conversions on LinkedIn ads is to make sure that there is no fluff in your ads. Cut straight to the point. Because the users know what they want for their business hence, they only need to check whether or not you can help them fill the void.

That is the most promising thing that you can do to increase your LinkedIn outreach.

Are you in the right business to run ads on LinkedIn?

By now, you must have understood that LinkedIn isn’t for everybody. A business executive who wants to buy a new pair of shoes will not look for ads on LinkedIn. That is the B2C segment. LinkedIn is more into the professional profile, and that is why promoting ads that are suitable for businesses to gain more traction.

Mercedes did a study only to find enough evidence proving that it is possible to sell cars to executives through LinkedIn. They leveraged the scope of display ads and InMail to pitch their product and increase engagement. Now, you cannot sell Mercedes cars on Facebook or Instagram. This is because you do not have that kind of audience on these platforms.

That is why it is essential first to identify the scope of your business, who will be your target consumer and how you can approach them effectively.

The second type of businesses that will find LinkedIn to be a proactive advertising campaign is Recruiting. Through time LinkedIn has become somewhat of a diverse platform. You can find the right consultation, the right career advice, and a good partnership for the business. Moreover, everyone on this platform is doing something or the other. No one hesitates to share what they are doing and whether or not they want to change.

This makes it easier for such businesses to address the right people with the right solution.

Run the appropriate Ads:

The end-user is dynamic. Their preferences change over time. What might have attracted for you the right audience back then may not work now. Hence, it is essential to choose the right type of ad for your outreach.

There are different types of LinkedIn ads:

  • Sponsored content
  • LinkedIn Text Ads
  • Sponsored InMail
  • Video Ads
  • Display Ads
  • Dynamic Ads
  • LinkedIn Marketing Partner Ads

LinkedIn ads are a bit expensive to run. The rate per click can sometimes get as high as

$20 per click. This means that you need to be in profit at the backend. Or your product should provide lifetime value. This is yet another reason why running B2C ads on LinkedIn won’t give you much success. The value proposition of what you are selling on this platform has to be high enough for you to afford such a high price.

Strategies to run successful LinkedIn Ads:

Audience, Message, and Offer (AMO):

These are the three major components of every social media ad. As long as you do not connect these three aspects, you cannot expect to get the desired results.

Getting the right audience leads means that you have identified the right person to target. The message is where you need to pitch the product right, show what the end-user wants to see. Solve a problem for them through your ad. The offer is the hook that will lure them into making a deal.

These three aspects have to be in sync with each other.

Objectify your Ads:

There are 690 million users on LinkedIn alone. And it's not possible that your product is useful for each and every one of them. Plus, what you want LinkedIn to record for these ads also depends on you. That is why they have introduced Objectives Settings for your ad campaign.

You may want users to come to your landing page, or get more leads, or even get the users to apply for a job post. With this new feature, LinkedIn is helping you sort your preferences and set certain goals to measure the performance.

A good practice to set website visits as the objective for your ad campaign. The reason being that it is easier to measure this kind of metric. On the landing page, you can add some extra spicy flavor to entice the visitor further and force him/her to engage with your CTA.

The key is that you will want to have a high CTR. Higher the CTR means that your ad is resonating well with the target audience.

LinkedIn Ad Campaign Maximization:

Isn’t that what we all want? Maximizing your ad campaigns results is made possible by the fact that you can set as many objectives you want for your campaign. It will, however, change how LinkedIn bids for you.

Hence, you need to decide how you want LinkedIn to set the bid. Either it can be CPC or CPM in case of website visits. For video ads, cost per view takes the lead. Similarly, lead generation is measured based on the lead form open rate or submitted. Lastly, you also have the option of automated bidding, but that is not very healthy for marketers.

Focus on whom to Target:

Here again, you need to set your objectives straight. Like you need to identify who is going to be your target audience. Segregate them into different groups and then pitch a matching service or product to those groups. Like you can create a group for CFO’s, another for employees and the third for the companies. All these groups will be looking for a different product. Hence, there is no universal approach.

Company sizes: Even if you are targeting a CFO of the company and pitch in a high value product. A CFO who is working in a company with less than 10 employees is not a good audience. Therefore, check for the company size before targeting an individual. Your product should resonate with their needs, make it worthwhile for the target to click on your ad.

Organization based targeting: Other than the company size, Linkedin also provides you with the option to choose your industry type. It can be from the educational sector, arts and crafts, engineering, automotive, and whatnot. You need to develop a specialist ad if you want to see the maximum results. There is already too much organic ad content out there. With a platform such as LinkedIn, it is crucial to define your boundaries.

Fortune 500 Companies: The more intricate you get with your objectives, lower will be the CPC. LinkedIn gives you the option to target companies directly for your ad campaign. All you need to do is upload a list of the companies that you want to address. A simple step as providing your campaign manager with the list of companies formulated by Inc or Forbes is enough to bring down your CPC.

Job or Title Targeting: This is the most direct form of marketing that you can practice with LinkedIn. There are a lot of options that you can dabble in this format. Some marketers may use the job title as the only target objective. This can work, but the CPC will climb up, not to mention the competition that awaits. A better option is to combine job seniority and function. You can set the function as engineering and the seniority level as Executive. This will expand your outreach and bring down the CPC. Another option is to set the number of years instead of seniority level.

Skill-based targeting

Every member can add up to 50 skills on their profile. A platform which has around 35000 skills segregated under different heads makes for a non-exhaustive audience targeting based on one metric. The thing with skill-based campaign setting is that it is not possible to divide between the levels. Like a highly skilled target will be treated the same as a low skilled one. So, you will have a massive audience at your disposal, which also means that the CPC may not be what you had desired.

Interest-targeting is somewhat better: LinkedIn records, observes, and stores the type of content any user shares or reads. So, if you were to target a specific interest group such as artificial intelligence or iOS or anything else. That will give you a better audience exposure than what you may get with skills.

Group Targeting: LinkedIn has premade groups that will help every marketer reach out to a specific target audience. It is as easy as searching for your target group in your campaign manager and select the one you want. The benefit of groups is that these people are highly engaged with their niche industry. They represent a crucial link to an organization (if they are associated with any). The audience is small, which means you will have more chances of conversions, but the CTR will be on the higher end.

Hence, with Linkedin audience targeting it all depends on your product and ability to catalyze the prospects available to you. Targeting may take some A/B testing, but once you have got a hold over the right targeting mechanism, the funnel becomes smooth and more promising.

Fill the Void between Audience and Bidding Correctly:

The rate per click in LinkedIn is set as per the audience range that you are targeting. A more narrowed down audience range will cost you somewhere between $6 to $8 for

every click. A good practice is to keep the audience between 20,000 to 80,000 prospects. Unlike Facebook, Linkedin will give more specific audience range, because they have their preferences defined.

Ad bidding is one of the key aspects that will let you rank your ad campaign. But it is not the only factor. That is why the cost per bid of $12 to $19 is not worth it. This higher price is set due to the automated bidding. Automated bidding starts working by default when you set up a campaign on LinkedIn. So, make sure to turn it off ASAP and set the bid to max CPC in the initial stages of your campaign.

LinkedIn ads are not akin to set and forget campaigns. You need to observe the performance and make suitable changes if you want to optimize the performance. That is why the moment your CTR trespasses the 1% mark, relocate the bidding range to cheaper but maximum CPM. CTR and CPM are inversely proportional to each other. If the CTR goes up, CPM will slide down provided you manually set it to the lowest maximum range.

#Tip: LinkedIn may encourage you to increase the target audience number to 3,00,000. But, this is not a smart move, and the chances of a successful LinkedIn ad campaign are grim.

Understanding individual LinkedIn ad types:

Out of the 7 types of LinkedIn ads listed above, let us know about a few of them in detail.

Sponsored Content: This is the most common type of LinkedIn ads that you can run for your campaign. Sponsored content rules on the feed. This means that every user who scrolls through their feed will come across your ad. Clicking on the ad further depends on your presentation and hook.

You can put in an image, video, slides, or some text on these ads. But videos and images tend to get the most clicks. Plus, with videos, make sure to insert the subtitles as turning on sound on the sponsored feed ad videos is not very straightforward.

#Tip: Inserting subtitles will let the viewer understand the message and resonate with it better without listening to the sound. Although these type of ads will show up naturally in the feed, it will have ‘Promoted’ or ‘Sponsored’ written on them.

Ads with Text: A text ad is what the user will see in their browser on the right-hand side. These ads are simple, short, and give a crisp message to the reader. Most of the times, test ads have the company logo or the face image of the proponent.

Given the fact that they are only visible on a desktop and not on mobile, text ads have low conversion rates. These type of ads may bode well with landing page and webpage visit objectives, but for that to you will need to have a large size audience. For instance, setting an ad on the basis of one skill level such as ‘Writing’. It will allow you to reach out to all the users who have listed ‘writing’ in their profile, irrespective of a prefix or suffix attached to it.

#Tip: Text Ads are the cheapest forms of an ad campaign, and the CPC is as low as $3 to $5/click.

InMail Ads: This is where things get a bit serious. InMail ads need to be highly targeted and bereft of any sort of material that can drive away from the lead. These sponsored ad’s rate is decided with per send rather than per click. No matter the target individual has clicked or not, the cost will still add to your account because you have sent the mail.

This is the reason to authenticate that the InMail ads are crisp, resonates with the audience, and offers something that the individual cannot refuse. These are not personal ads. They can have the name of the company, individual, or even the industry. But that is it. Nothing more beyond this will tend to increase engagement.

So it is better to a highly engaging InMail sponsored ad that has the maximum ROI. We stress upon this because a CTR as low as 3% will increase the cost per bid to $23 of CPC. This is when you are sending the mails at the per send rate of $0.35 to $0.85.

#Tip: Sponsored InMail ads have a limit. You can only send one message within the time period of 45 days to one user. So it is better to segregate the target audience and define the objectives to the very last step.

A new type of ad (Dynamic Ads):

Well, we would not recommend you to run dynamic ads. There are reasons for this ignorance. One that these ads are expensive ($12 to $15/click) than sponsored ads and they have lower CTR. Basically, the dynamic ads have the user’s picture in the ad content. And the users can regard this is as trespassing their privacy.

Ask these three questions to yourself before you create a LinkedIn ad?

One of the critical aspects of every successful ad campaign is creativity. Every type of ad has to have that X-factor, which will make conversions an easy task. And to infuse that creativity, you need to ask three questions to yourself.

Question:1 Why You?

This means that what is the reason that an individual will start engaging with you. What are you giving that someone else isn’t? There is always a bigger fish in the ocean. So,

what makes you the biggest fish who will get the highest conversions, the most business out of LinkedIn ads. Answer this question, and then only you can create an ad that has the desired results. You need to attract the viewer to such an extent that they should feel that you are a panacea for them. That you have just what they were looking for.

Question:2 Is it True?

Whatever you are writing on your ad, does it resonate with what you provide or facilitate? An ad which endorses a cheap trip to mars, but takes the leads to the stimulation center for a VR trip to Mars is not going to get you good results.

This means that you should only promote what you will exactly do for your customers or clients.

Question:3 Why Now?

Think over it. Why should the target audience interact with you now? Why not a month later or why they didn’t do it a month back?

This implies that you need to give something unique to the audience which nobody else is giving through your ad. It can be an offer, a unique opportunity, a discount, a coupon, a gateway, a job, and whatnot.


Advertisements are akin to storytelling. They start with a hook, get the reader engaged, resonate with them, and then provide a meaningful solution in the end. When you are selling something, it is also essential to stand in the shoes of your audience and understand what they need the most.

Your target audience may be in millions, but out of them, a small group may be facing one type of problem, another group may be looking for a solution to another problem. The onus is on you to facilitate that solution. It may not be a universal solution, but it should cater to a specific target audience. And that is what LinkedIn ads are all about, you find a problem, identify the sufferers, and provide the solution. All because you are a marketer, and every market runs on the basic principle of demand and supply. If there is a demand, you need to supply. It is as simple as that.

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