linked in ads

LinkedIn Ads Step by Step: Full Guide for 2023 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 several 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 a single image, carousel, or video ads. Sponsored ads are best used to drive leads, build brand awareness or boost engagement. Be sure to include CTA buttons surrounding your sponsored content posts.  

Single Image Ads

Just like it sounds, these images use one compelling and engaging photo to draw in the user’s attention. The accompanying text should be kept brief (under 200 characters) and pack a punch. 

Carousel Image Ads

For some campaigns, it’s worth it to show users a few different pictures to attract them to what you’re selling. Carousels slowly roll through a few engaging pictures. Ensure your photos complement each other, and have a similar aesthetic and color scheme.

Video Ads

While creating videos can take more time and resources, the ROI is high when it comes to Linkedin ads. Creating short (5-30 second) videos can capture the user’s attention so you can get your message across clearly. 

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.

Spotlight Ads

Spotlight ads are excellent for driving traffic directly to your website. Spotlight ads typically target a specific audience based on information like their listed job title or industry. When a user is sent a spotlight ad, they can see their own profile information, but it is kept from other users for privacy. 

Event Ads

Creating Event Ads that are targeted to specific audiences is an excellent way to boost attendance for your upcoming event, but also build overall brand awareness and engagement. You can also use helpful performance metrics to gauge how many people attended your event because of the event ad. 

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.

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 

If you want to track how often users are visiting your website or landing page through your advertisements, setting up Conversion Events is crucial. Here’s the step-by-step process:

Let’s start by creating an insight tag. First, start by clicking on the “Analyze” tab on the left side of your Linkedin Business Page. From the drop down menu, click “Insight Tag”. 

From within the Insight Tag menu, copy and paste the Insight Code into your Landing Page before the closing HTML <body> tag. This is usually found in your Analytics page when you’re editing your site. 

If you’d like to track how much traffic you’re getting on each page of your website, ensure that the “Insight Tag” code is included in each page’s analytics.

Next, let’s set up conversion events. 

To begin, again click on the “Analyze” tab. Click on “conversion tracking” and then “create conversion” and “online conversion.” Follow the fillable form to reflect the information you’re interested in gathering. 

The form will ask you to come up with a name for that conversion campaign, to estimate the value of the conversion, and the timeframe of the conversion.   

Gathering this information helps you measure the return on investment for creating your ads. 

Lastly, define how you want to track the conversion, either through the Insight Tag, page load or event-specific pixel. Opting for Page Load is often the most straightforward approach.

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.

Taylor Townsend

Digital Marketing Coordinator
Taylor is a methodical and clever digital marketer with a strong focus in social media management. She has a diverse background rooted in music and the arts. She is a continuous learner and an experience seeker so in her free time, you would probably find her traveling, meeting new people or diving into a new project.

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