LinkedIn Ads Step by Step: Full Guide for 2021 and Beyond

Over 65% of marketers describe LinkedIn ads as the best way to reach B2B audiences. It’s easy to see why. According to LinkedIn, 4 in 5 people who use the platform plays a role in making business purchase decisions.

What does this mean for your business? It implies that LinkedIn ads are an excellent way to get in front of key decision-makers. 

In this post, we take you through LinkedIn ads, step by step, and a couple of LinkedIn optimization tips.

Do LinkedIn Ads Work?

According to Social Media Examiner, the average CTR for LinkedIn ads is 0.39%. While the CTR is lower than other social networks, LinkedIn ads are still a worthy investment for businesses looking for highly qualified target audiences.

SaaS businesses, technology companies, and most B2B companies will often find the most success with LinkedIn ads.

How to Create LinkedIn Ads: LinkedIn Ads Step by Step Process

If you don’t have a LinkedIn campaigns manager account, you need to create one first. It takes less than two minutes, and the only requirement is a LinkedIn business profile. Also, to track performance, make sure to add LinkedIn’s Insight Tag to your website. 

Now let’s go over the steps to creating your first LinkedIn campaign.

1. In The Ad Manager Account, Click on Create a New Campaign

This takes you to a dashboard where you can start creating the ads. Then, you need to create a campaign group. A campaign group is based on your campaign project, target location, and budget.

2. Choose Your Campaign Objectives

Choosing a campaign objective helps you determine what action you want the target audience to take. It also plays a role in creating better ad customization. LinkedIn offers you three types of campaign objectives:

  • Awareness— for more people to learn about your business.
  • Consideration— drive website/landing page visits, create more social engagement, or increase your video views.
  • Conversion— capture leads directly on LinkedIn or increase registration, subscription, and downloads on your website.

3. Designate Your Target Audience

This is where the bulk of the work lies. A wrongly targeted audience could break the bank without producing results. Lucky for us, LinkedIn audience targeting is top-notch and easy to set up.

First, select the location of your target audience. Next, narrow down your target audience with the audience attributes. These attributes include company, demographics, education, interests/hobbies, and job experience. 

LinkedIn will be updating the forecasted audience reach as you narrow down the target audience. The forecast also includes the budget estimates and the key results based on your objective.

4. Choose the Ad format

You can select four LinkedIn ad types based on your campaign objectives.

Sponsored Content Ads

These are ads displayed on the LinkedIn platform and appear as feed content would. They can be single image, carousel, or video ads. Sponsored ads are best used to drive leads, build brand awareness or boost engagement. 

Message Ads

Message ads are displayed in a users’ direct message tab. They are an excellent option to drive immediate action. What’s more, message ads have an impressive open rate of 50%. Message ads are more expensive, but they offer you a better ROI considering their open rate and personal approach.

Text Ads

These ads tend to have the lowest CPC among LinkedIn ad types. However, they also have the lowest CTR— averaging 0.02%. This makes them a good option for limited budgets.

Dynamic Ads

Dynamic ads include follow, content and, spotlight ads. They offer a ton of personalization options, such as the user’s photo and job title, among other profile data. Dynamic ads work best when you want to grow your following, increase product sales, and grow your email list.

5. Set the Budget and Campaign Timeline

With LinkedIn, you can choose to set a daily budget, lifetime budget, or set both at once. The minimum daily budget is $10 and $100 for lifetime budget. Your budget options can run continuously without a set end date, or you could choose a fixed schedule for the campaign. 

6. Set up Your Bid

After allocating a campaign budget, it’s time to set your bid. LinkedIn gives you two options: Manual or automatic bidding. Automated bidding relies on CPM, while manual bidding gives you CPC and enhanced CPC (eCPC) options.

In most instances, CPC bids will work better as you’ll have more control over the campaign performance. If the CTR of your campaign is above average, then a CPM bid will be more effective. LinkedIn will always recommend a bid amount based on competitors’ bids. For best results, use the recommended amount, or go higher, but never lower than this amount.

7. Create Conversion Events 

First, you need to assign a name to your conversion event, then proceed to the settings. Here, you will input conversion actions such as ‘sign up.’ Next is to estimate how much that action is worth to your business and the cost of achieving it. This helps you measure the ROAS.

After this, you need to set up the conversion window, which ranges between one and ninety days. Lastly, define how you want to track the conversion, either through the Insight Tag or event-specific pixel.

8. Build Your Ad and Launch

If all the above steps are in check, you can start building the ad. Make sure to include a captivating headline and high-quality images/videos that grab attention. As you create your ad, LinkedIn will show you a preview to ensure it’s turning out as you wanted. Next, add your payment information and launch the campaign.

LinkedIn may not publish your ad immediately since it needs to be reviewed, which takes 24 hours to a few days.

How to Optimize LinkedIn Ads

Use Custom Targeting 

With LinkedIn, you can get a higher ROI for your ad spend by using matched audiences. Here are three matched audiences to create a narrower, more targeted segment that’s likely to interact with your ads.

  • Account Targeting— achieved by uploading a CSV with company names or an email list. 
  • Website Retargeting— where you target users who have previously interacted with your site.
  • Lookalike audiences— where you target people with the same characteristics as your matched audience.

A/B Test

It’s essential to split test different ad formats to determine what your audience is responding to. You can test different images, descriptions, headlines, and even LinkedIn ad types. Remember, tiny details such as color or placement of images will play a significant role in optimizing LinkedIn ads.

Concise and Engaging Ad assets

Everything from your visuals, headline, and description should be eye-catching, engaging, and relevant to the reader. The CTA should be direct and convince your target audience to take action. 

How Much do LinkedIn Ads Cost?

LinkedIn ads are the most expensive social ads — the median CPC stands at $3.49, and the median CPM at $8.23. However, they also produce more qualified leads. 

The cost of LinkedIn ads will depend on the target audience and ad quality score. A high-in-demand audience equals higher bid competition, CPC, and CPM. Likewise, if your ad is relevant to the target audience, you can expect a lower CPC.

How to Run LinkedIn Ads with a Digital Marketing Partner

There is so much more to LinkedIn ads, and that may leave you confused. If you need help creating well-optimized, high-converting LinkedIn ads, contact Nomadic Software today. We are always here to help.

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