You may be under the impression that LinkedIn is a tool for recruiters and job seekers and that’s it.
And while you’re correct that it’s how it all started, that’s not how it’s going.
Linkedin has become the social media for business and they’re using it to network, build credibility, and sell.
LinkedIn has 722 million members, over 200 targeting options, and it’s quickly becoming a favorite for many marketers.
So in this post, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about LinkedIn advertising and more.
The first question that popped in your head was probably, “why LinkedIn?”, well, here’s why.
Your audience is on the platform.
You may be thinking; “I don’t sell professional services and I’m not hiring… my audience isn’t on LinkedIn.” Fortunately, that is not the case.
LinkedIn isn’t the biggest platform by any means, but they’re growing. LinkedIn’s ad reach grew by 25 million people in Q4 of 2020.
And while the platform is focused on career-minded users…
…there’s much more diversity in the businesses, roles, and workers represented on the platform.
57% of LinkedIn users are men, and 43% are women, and they’re global.
76% of LinkedIn’s users are outside the United States, which is great for expanding your reach and introducing your product to new users.
Do LinkedIn Ads Convert Though?
The short answer is: yes. Ad exposure on LinkedIn can increase purchase intent by 33%.
What if you’re not looking for conversions?
If leads are more your speed, you should know that LinkedIn’s lead conversion rates are 3X higher than other major ad platforms, including Google Ads.
If you’re looking for traffic, you’re in the right place.
HubSpot studied 5,000 businesses and found that traffic from LinkedIn generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate at 2.74%.
And almost three times (277%) higher than both Twitter (.69%) and Facebook (.77%).
LinkedIn Has a Good Reputation
LinkedIn was also voted the most trusted network in 2020, which gives it an edge over Facebook…
…who has had oodles of privacy concerns, with more and more users being wary of the platform.
Plus, despite LinkedIn’s effectiveness, only 15% of marketers are advertising on the platform, so there’s room to get in and find your people.
Business to Business (B2B)
LinkedIn is the most popular platform for B2B marketers.
If you target decision-makers, LinkedIn is the best place to reach them.
There are 61 million “senior-level influencers” on LinkedIn, and 4 out of 5 people on LinkedIn “drive business decisions”.
Business to Consumer (B2C)
Just because LinkedIn is most popular with B2B marketers doesn’t mean it won’t work for B2C.
We’re seeing more B2C on the platform, and it’s working.
Why? Because the professionals on the platform likely have buying power within their own homes in their off-work hours.
You can stylize ads to fit in with the professional atmosphere on the app.
Let’s look at this example from HBO.
Notice the tone and language HBO is using on LinkedIn, compared to the tone and language we see on other platforms.
There’s a mix of content highlighting the professionals working within HBO (interviews, announcements), and promotional content or engaging content.
It’s not work-related, but it’s not so distracting or out-of-place that it doesn’t work on the platform.
There’s also a big opportunity for B2C marketers. 97% of B2B marketers use Linkedin but less than half of B2C marketers are using it.
So now that you know you need to be on LinkedIn, no matter what type of business you run…
…let’s look at how much advertising on LinkedIn will cost you, and how to set up your ad account and launch your first campaign.
If you’ve heard anything about LinkedIn marketing, you’ve probably heard that it’s way too expensive.
And yes, LinkedIn will cost you more than other platforms, but here’s why we think it’s worth it.
How about the audience?
The average income of a LinkedIn user currently stands at $46,644 per year in the U.S. which is $17,000 higher than the national average.
That purchasing power in their homes combined with their purchasing power in the workplace.
90 million LinkedIn users are senior-level influencers and 63 million are in decision-making positions.
As far as the platform itself, LinkedIn also offers over 200 targeting options, which include:
- job title,
- years in the role or industry, and
- what company they work for.
They also have retargeting and audience network options to reach even more people.
Like most other PPC platforms, LinkedIn has you work on an auction system where you enter your bid (what you’re willing to pay per action).
And then, LinkedIn finds the best options for you.
Your pricing varies based on your objective. We’ll talk more about objectives in more detail later.
Unlike on some other platforms where you can spend just a couple of dollars a day, LinkedIn has minimum budgets.
The minimum daily budget amount required to start on LinkedIn is $10, for any ad format.
The minimum lifetime budget amount for new, inactive campaigns is $100.
You’ll want to plan to spend at least $100 for your first campaign.
But we recommend starting with a monthly social media budget of at least $500, if you can afford it.
You’ll be able to do more and collect data more quickly this way.
However, if you can only do the minimum, that’s okay, you can still make it work!
So now that you know how much it’ll cost you, let’s set up your LinkedIn account.
First, if a page for your company already exists, you need to become a company page admin if you’re not already.
If there is someone who’s already assigned as a Super Admin, they can give you access.
If not, you can request access and may be granted automatic approval.
Here’s how you’ll request access if a page for your company already exists:
- List your current position with the organization on your profile. This step is required.
- Go to the Page you’d like admin access to.
- Click the More button and select Request Admin Access from the dropdown.
- Click the checkbox to verify that you’re authorized to become an admin of the Page.
- Click the Request Access button.
If you don’t have a LinkedIn page for your company yet, here’s how you’ll create one:
- Click the Work icon in the top right corner of your LinkedIn homepage.
- Click Create a Company Page.
- Select the Page type you’d like to create from the following options:
- Small business
- Medium to large business
- Showcase page. This is an extension of an existing business page, and is for audience segments or specific brands, initiatives, or business units.
- Educational institution (high school or university/college). This gives you a few more options than a business page, including an Alumni section.
- Fill out all of the page identity info and details.
- Check the verification box to confirm you have the right to create this page for the business or school.
- Click Create page.
- Click “Start building your page!” to build out your Page.
The meter and action cards visible here will guide you through anything you haven’t done yet and will disappear once your page details are complete.
Once you have access to (or have created) your page and completed the details, you’ll need to create an Ad Account and set up your conversion tracking.
Let’s do that together.
Create an Ad Account
- Sign in to your personal LinkedIn.com account.
- Select Advertise.
- Add an account name, select the billing currency, and associate a LinkedIn Page on the welcome screen.
- Click Create Account.
Install the LinkedIn Insight Tag
- From the Campaign Manager, click the correct account name.
- Move your cursor over the Account Assets tab in the top navigation bar and select Insight Tag from the dropdown.
- Activate to view a larger image.
- Click Install My Insight Tag.
- Select the method you’d like to use to install your tag. To see the tag code, select “I will install the tag myself.”
- Copy the entire Insight Tag code from the window.
- Click “I’m done. Agree and Continue”.
- Once we receive a signal from the tag you’ve placed on your website, your domains will appear under Insight Tag.
If your URL doesn’t show up in Active tags, it could be because no one has visited your site yet.
The tag won’t show up until it’s been verified. To speed up this process, you can visit the page where you installed the tag.
You’ll see colors associated with your tags.
Green means it’s active, orange indicates there hasn’t been recent activity, and red could mean it’s inactive or unverified.
Set-up Conversion Tracking For Your LinkedIn Advertising
Most people think when they started marketing that adding that Insights Tag would be enough.
But you actually need to go an extra step and set up conversion tracking in your account.
Having proper conversion tracking is an important step that you may be tempted to skip.
However, you won’t know how well your ads are really doing if you skip this step.
So let’s do it together.
- Sign in to Campaign Manager.
- Select the correct account name.
- At the top of the account overview page, click Account Assets and select Conversions from the dropdown.
- Click the Create A Conversion button on the right of the page.
- Name your conversion. This name will only be visible in Campaign Manager.
Next, you’ll choose your settings:
- Choose a conversion type.
- Choose a value for your conversion (optional).
- Select conversion windows for your clicks and views.
A conversion window is the amount of time between a view (called view-through) or click (called post-click) on your ad and a conversion.
A conversion window can be customized to 1 day, 7 days, 30 days, or 90 days.
The default conversion window for view-through is 7 days and post-click is 30 days.
Here’s an example from LinkedIn on why they matter.
Someone may not buy when they see or click your ad immediately, but they may take action soon.
We still want to give your ad credit for that. So, we go with Conversion Windows.
- Choose an attribution model to specify how each of your ad interactions will be credited for a conversion.
You can choose to attribute the conversion to a single ad campaign or to multiple ad campaigns, depending on your company’s strategy.
Next, you’ll choose which campaigns to associate this conversion with. You’ll see them listed with checkmarks that you can use to apply.
The conversion won’t be tracked unless it’s associated with a campaign.
Conversions will automatically be applied to your campaigns IF:
- You only have one active or inactive conversion already created.
- BUT, it’s not been added to any campaigns.
- OR, you’re creating your first conversions in the account.
Once your conversions are all set up and you’ve double-checked your tags are working, you’re ready to set up and launch your ad.
You’ll then choose how you want to track those, using either the site-wide Insight Tag (the preferred method).
Or, you can also use an event-specific pixel to track when there is no unique URL.
Click Create, and your conversion tracking is set up.
If you’d like to add the conversion you just set up to an ad campaign that’s already been created, follow these steps:
- Sign in to Campaign Manager.
- Select the correct account and campaign group name.
- Click the More icon to the right of the campaign name and select Manage.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page to the Conversion Tracking section.
- Click add conversions and select the conversions you would like to add from the list, checking the box next to each conversion name.
- Click save and next.
Creating Your First Ad
Now that everything’s set up and ready to go, it’s time to create your first ad.
Let’s go through that process together, because it can be tricky for a beginner.
Step 1: Start With An Objective
Just like with other networks, you’ll start with objectives before you select ad types. On Linkedin, we have these options:
The goal of awareness campaigns is to get more people to know about your brand or to help you build brand awareness.
LinkedIn’s goal here is not clicks or conversions, but impressions. This is great to use if you’re:
- A brand new business
- New to LinkedIn advertising
- Rebranding or have made significant product changes
- Looking to promote a new product or service
These are the ad formats available to you when you choose this objective.
We’ll talk more about ad formats and creating your ad later in this post.
The idea here is to get people engaging with the ad so they’re “considering” your product or service.
There are 3 sub-sections in the Consideration objective.
- Website Visits
Get more people to click on your website. You’ll be charged per click and LinkedIn will focus on getting clicks, not conversions.
Here are the ad formats available with this objective.
With this, drive clicks, comments, messages, or get page follows. You’ll be charged per action.
Here are the ad formats available to you.
- Video Views
Promote your videos – tell your product or business story, share a product or service explanation or update, etc.
There is only one ad format available to you when you choose Video Views.
When you choose this objective, LinkedIn will prioritize finding people who will convert.
You have a few different Conversion subtypes. Let’s look at those:
- Lead Generation
The goal here is to get someone to give you their contact info.
Lead generation on LinkedIn works really well and is probably one of the most effective lead generation techniques, so we recommend testing this.
Here are the ad types available with this objective.
- Website Conversion
Your conversion may not be a purchase. A conversion may be a new lead, or a download of the eBook, or viewing a specific page.
You’ll set these conversions up as we showed you earlier in the post.
Here are the ad types available to you when you choose this objective.
- Job Applicants
Promote job opportunities at your company. Here are the ad types available with this objective.
Choose an objective that makes sense to your business and your marketing goals.
You’ll want to test each of these different ad objectives to see how they perform for your business…
…so keep them in mind while planning your future advertising campaigns.
After you’ve chosen your objective, you’ll build your target audience.
Step 2: Audience Targeting
You have over 200 targeting options, but you don’t have to dive into those at the beginning.
You can create the audience here, or use a saved audience.
You can use Saved Audiences that you create in your account or use LinkedIn Market Audiences.
Spend some time here so you know what’s available to you.
To create a new audience, start with a location to target your ads to the right people. You can also exclude locations to ensure your ad doesn’t show.
Who Is Your Target Audience?
You’ll notice that there are 2 subsets of audience targeting here: audience attributes and matched audiences.
Connect to your content management platform and upload contacts, or upload your email list to make retargeting and lookalike audiences.
There are a bunch of customization options with matched audiences.
- Audience Attributes
Target based on company, job title or years of experience, education, interests, and other demographics.
You can also exclude audiences here (like past purchasers). Next, double-check the audience expansion box.
Audience Expansion allows LinkedIn to find more folks similar to our target audience who are likely to take our desired action.
We like to enable Audience Expansion because we’ve found it to work well for our clients on LinkedIn.
But, you’ll want to test it for your business and see if it works for you.
For most beginning efforts, we’ll upload an email list to set up retargeting and lookalike audiences first.
If you don’t have an email list, or it’s too small to use (must be at least 300 LinkedIn members matched from your list to use. 10,000 is recommended)…
…start with a job title and/or other demographic targeting.
Now, let’s set up your ad format.
Step 3: Select Ad Format
Next is to select your ad type. Remember that not all ad types are available for each campaign objective.
Following the objective recommendations, and choosing a goal, you can now start brainstorming ads once you know which ad types are available to you.
If you have a specific ad type that you know you want to run…
…refer back to earlier in the post when we showed what ad formats are available for each objective.
If you have a specific ad type in mind (you want to do a message ad, for example), choose the objective that lets you run that ad.
Step 4: Choose the Placement
Decide whether to use Audience Network placements or not. We recommend testing this to see which performs better.
This would be a great A/B test. Make two versions of the same ad, give it the same budget, and set it for the same time.
The only difference should be: one has Audience Network-enabled and one doesn’t.
Step 5: Decide On Your Budget and Schedule
Set your budget either daily, lifetime, or daily and lifetime.
Keep in mind that your daily budget must be at least $10.00 a day, and the lifetime budget minimum is $100.00.
Select your schedule, whether your ad will run continuously or end on a certain date.
You have bidding options as well, but we’d leave these at the default settings if you’re just starting out.
Step 6: Conversion Tracking
The last step in LinkedIn advertising is optional, but you can connect any conversions you have set up to any new ads that you create here.
This is helpful for tracking valuable conversions across campaigns.
So there goes our guide to LinkedIn advertising. We hope you found it helpful and learned something new today.
LinkedIn is an excellent advertising platform for B2B and a powerful B2C marketing tool.
Your campaigns can be successful on LinkedIn with the right planning, creativity, and targeting.
If you want more positive results from your LinkedIn marketing efforts, be sure to check out our LinkedIn marketing services here.
Or, you can also browse our social media advertising services to maximize your presence on all social media platforms.