LinkedIn as an advertising platform may not be the best solution out there. It is still undergoing product revamps and modifications to suit advertising needs better, this year. It does, however, know you target audience best for account-based marketing programs. Like every product have an area of improvement, here are 10 such common issues and problems I discovered while working with LinkedIn Advertising over the last three years.

1.Inconsistent List Match Rate in Matched Audience

You can create Audience by creating website audience or uploading a list of accounts or contacts to include or exclude in your campaigns under Account assets as given in the screenshot below. 300 is the minimum threshold value for a list to be ready for running campaigns as such.

website & uploaded list audience

The problem is that the list match rate observed under “Uploaded List Audience” changes with time. It can reduce or increase on its own. This is true even for a live campaign. I observed this during July to September this year to be specific. It has a significant impact on your advertising campaigns as more list match rate means more impressions being served, better changes for your audience to click your ads and vice versa.

Quick Pro Tip:

Keep a close watch on list match rates within your live Campaigns if any being used. This reason is not discoverable by usual metrics LinkedIn Ads provide as such.

For instance in the screenshots below the match rate for same list of accounts has changed thrice from 15 August to 16 September. (80% then 35% and then less than 5%)

List match rate August 2018 Linkedin AdsList match rate September 2018 linkedin adsList match rate October linkedin ads

Learn More:  Uploading Lists for Account and Contact Targeting for LinkedIn Ads


2.Two Problems with LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms

a) No form edits

There is no way to edit a Lead gen form which is most promising offering from LinkedIn Marketing Solutions. You will have to create a new form all over again if you wish to edit anything at all. It is painful ☹

Secondly, you can choose a maximum of 7 form fields only. This is more like a limitation though!

edit a lead gen form template

Learn More: Editing Lead Gen form templates

b) Social Sharing

Social engagements with lead gen forms just don’t work. If you intend to show ads to your target audience alone, they will see an auto populated lead gen form upon clicking your ad, if any among your target audience happen to like, comment or share it further, the followers of your target audience will see a mere image and post – nothing remains clickable on that ad. In short, followers of your target audience cannot take the desired action you want them to take.

Quick Pro Tip: Always create a landing page version on your website despite of using lead gen forms and include that URL in your ad copy/promotion. A lead gen ad when shared by your audience will get you more leads organically then.

3.Audience Targeting is not accurate

I was trying to setup a campaign in early November and surprisingly, Antarctica showed about 12000+ people available by IP addresses among my target audience which is not possible, because of all the available resources Antarctica doesn’t happen to have 12000+ people in winters at all.Antarctica targeting Linkedin

Here is what Wikipedia Says


demographics of Antarctica

4.Bid Range & Simulators don’t work

If you happen to bid manually, you will notice suggestions for your bid range and real-time recommendations with a bulb icon as below. The recommendations as you see below are of no range and simulation linkedin manual ad bidding

Moreover, if you implement any of the suggestions as such, you will the next immediate recommendation to go further higher on your bids which is again difficult to digest.

Learn More: LinkedIn’s Advertising Cost & Bid Types

5.No GIF Ads on LinkedIn

Unlike Twitter, you can’t really advertise a GIF ad format on LinkedIn as such. Minor workaround of converting GIF in MP4 files work fine though!

6.Vague Quality Scores

Quality scores are measured at Campaign and Account level. There is no way you get a reward or incentive or better CPCs if ad quality is great. On the flip side, unlike google ads, you could run an irrelevant ad, promote an irrelevant landing page without being penalized for it as well.

Secondly, Multiple advertisers trying to target similar or exactly same audience as yours would only increase the bid prices.

Learn More: Campaign Quality Scores for Sponsored Content

7.Probable bidding against yourself

This is true to large organizations running multiple campaigns or having multiple people as Campaign Managers on LinkedIn. If you advertise from your corporate handle, that is treated as one account and if you issue a purchase order or IO to LinkedIn from any part of the world, that is considered as another account. When you target similar audience within these 2 accounts and within the same time frame, you bid against yourself in simple terms and you also end up spending more money for showing ads as such.

Your audience, however, will see the ads coming in from same company as yours despite of having 2 separate accounts within your company.

Quick Pro Tip:

With one account you never bid against yourself, Avoid advertising from more than one IO or more than one corporate account.

8.Can’t Delete Ads & Campaigns

Don’t worry there are options to change your ads or add new ads in your campaigns, you can’t  really delete any created ads though! They will just stay in there.

archiving campaigns linkedin ads

Quick Pro Tip:

Replace old creative with new ads instead of adding new.

Learn More:  Archiving Campaigns and Ad Variations

9.No notifications on Comments

LinkedIn Ads don’t have a way to send in  alerts or notifications as such. While running campaigns if any of your ads happen to get a negative comment, there is no way you will be notified for such comments, instead you will have to manually check all campaigns and all ads within them to respond as appropriate. it is a tedious task if you are running multiple campaigns simultaneously. Positive comments are okay with negative comments need your immediate attention.

sad part linkedin ads

10.Ineffective Audience expansion

While targeting a list of accounts or audience targeting in general, Audience expansion does helps to get additional leads from similar audience within your targeting parameters. having said so, it can, sometimes go out of the proportion and get you irrelevant leads which you never wanted and certainly not at a bid price. It gets difficult to justify ROI from advertising spend in such cases.

Example:  One of the campaigns targeting IT department as a Function, I ended up getting a lead submission for a “Medical Nurse” every factor was correct and in place except the fact that I had enabled Audience Expansion.

audience expansion linkedin ads

Learn more: Audience expansion

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Handpicked related topics to Learn More:

  1. Tips & Best practices for LinkedIn Ads
  2. Types of LinkedIn Ads & When to Use Them
  3. Step by Step Guide To Setup LinkedIn Ads
  4. Best Practices for Social Media Usage in 2018

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Neeraj is a Tech Marketer with 9+ years of experience in B2B Sales and Marketing. At StepToInbound, Neeraj writes about Website, Search, Social Media and Marketing Automation practices.

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