LinkedIn Ads are created in Campaign Manager, whilst there are standard best practices in general, I would try to focus on ad tips and best practices with respect to running ads on LinkedIn. This is a slightly deep dive topic and relevant for someone who has already started with LinkedIn Ads. If you are new to LinkedIn Ads or trying to learn from basics. I would strongly recommend referring my previous two blog posts:
If you are new to social media, I did cover:
Best Practice 1: Web Page & Landing Page basics
Seamless user experience is desired today. Your web pages and landing pages capturing leads must be mobile optimized and in sync across all channels. Try to maintain same look and feel when a user comes to your website from any source, be it search, emails or if they come to your website from LinkedIn Ads. They should experience a seamless user flow and they should reach your desired call to action in minimum possible clicks. For example, if you use lead gen forms on LinkedIn to capture leads, try to have minimum form fields and users will be comfortable filling in, Secondly, if you are not using lead gen forms and driving traffic to your website or landing pages instead, try to maintain exact same number of form fields.
Quick pro tip: Having an email ID for subscription is enough likewise – capturing first name, last name and email ID is enough for first level lead capture.
Best Practice 2: Relevant Content & Messaging
In LinkedIn Ads, your target audience should get the context of your ad when they see it for the first time and understand it explicitly if it is really meant for them, reach to a landing page which fulfills their set expectation in first step and when they download the asset/marketing material being promoted, they should receive the exact same asset.
Quick Pro tip: For example, User Flow 1: LinkedIn sponsored ad promoting a whitepaper download should have the image of the cover page of the whitepaper itself, the message should address the target audience, “Hey Doctors”, Download this whitepaper to learn more about US FDA regulations this year.”
User flow 2: Upon Click, the landing page should have the larger thumbnail of the asset being promoted in step above with bullets or pointers around why they should be downloading this whitepaper.
User flow 3: Upon form submission, they receive the whitepaper with exact same cover page as expected by your target audience when they saw your ad in the first step above.
Best Practice 3: AB Test Ads & Variations
AB Testing is usually manual and behaves differently than any other advertising platforms. Creative and content rotation is very important in a successful campaign’s performance.
Test out your ad creatives and ad copies for at least 7 to 10 days.
You could do so by running the campaigns as usual and by automated ad testers like ezoic
Quick Pro Tip: I would recommend having at least 4 ad copies and creatives in one campaign, remove the worst performing campaign creative and ad copy every 7 to 8 days and allow it to run for another 10 days for performance observation.
Best Practice 4: Frequency Cap & Number of Ads
LinkedIn recommends running 4 updates simultaneously (mix of ad creatives and ad copies) Basically your target audience could see up to 4 unique sponsored content every 48 hours
Quick Pro tip: Remove the worst performing ad every week and update with revised/new ad while maintaining 4 ads.
Best Practice 5: Right Audience Targeting & Size
Audience size, you could find in the right-hand top side while setting up audience targeting.
Showing impressions tom your target customers is of utmost importance. The higher they are, the better are the changes for your ads to get clicks and thus, desired leads. You should aim for 100,000 and above in sizing of the Audience to see better conversions. It is usually difficult for ads to show up effectively when your audience size is lower than that. Anything above 1 million in sizing becomes too broad to target. Additionally, the narrower your targeting becomes, the prices usually go higher for your ads to show up, be it a CPC or CPM bid.
Having said so, there are minor exceptions to the rule above basis the type of business you might be operating in.
Quick pro tip: 2 to 3 filters work best for audience targeting. For instance, mixing locations with Job function and Seniority works well.
Best Practice 6: Bids and Auctions
Cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM) or cost per click (CPC) are 2 broad bid types possible while running LinkedIn Ads. CPMs is about asking LinkedIn to show more impressions and you are charged for impressions. CPCs, on the other hand are leaving the onus of performance to the platform. You pay only when someone clicks an ad.
Quick Pro Tip: CPMs work better when you are looking for long term campaigns with sustained budget spends, $200/day for 2 months for instance. CPCs work better when you have heavy competition and need quick wins. A best practice and pro tip in that case would be to bid on higher side of the suggested bid range.
Best Practice 7: Retargeting, Audience Matching & Targeting
You can setup URL based retargeting lists which work with minimum threshold value of 300 or above. The larger the Size the better it is. Audience matching rate behaves erratically in my experience. Any match rate less than 70% is best to be avoided. Audience matching is available for email IDs or list of accounts you may want to target.
Quick Pro Tip: The Account list upload works phenomenally for Account based marketing objectives.
Avoid hyper targeting and target junior guys in your targeting too, these guys grow up fast and act as catalysts to influence decision making in organizational buying.
Best Practice 8: Utilize Website & Campaign Demographics
All the macthed audiences or retargeting lists you create can provide you significant amount of data about website demographic of your audiene within those lists. It’s a great way to look at insights around the industry, job titles, seniority levels etc. your audience might belong to.
Whilst its good to know, there is no significant way to use this information while running your campaigns.
Best Practice 9: Always on Campaigns
When you are always on and targeting a set of audience, you are at pace and keep your target audience occupied. When you pause or stop, you leave the opportunity for others to start targeting audience like the ones you have been targeting, Secondly, LinkedIn Algorithm takes a while to start serving or even pausing ads, therefore, the time gap is best avoided when you are always on. If budgets are limited, spending over 100/day per campaign basis your budget’ availability is a good way to plan budget allocations ahead.
Best Practice 10: Use More of lead gen forms in B2B
Lead gen forms are very popular with a lot of advertisers on LinkedIn today as they ensure prefilled form submissions within the ad platform. Your customers no longer need to go to your landing pages all the time. Moreover, conversions are far better when you ask your target audience to submit details on Lead gen forms against submitting on landing pages as such.
These forms could also be integrated well with leading marketing automation tools.
Learn more about Integrating Lead Gen Forms with Your Marketing Automation/CRM System
While I covered 10 such best practices above, there could be more as LinkedIn Ads continue to evolve, especially when they are trying to launch forecasting and BETA version of objective based advertising soon.
Let me know your thoughts, suggestions and if you discovered more such best practices for LinkedIn Ads in the comments section below.
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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.