Beginners Guide to LinkedIn Ads

July 22, 2019

If you’re considering running advertisement campaigns on LinkedIn and haven’t done so, this blog will help you quickly get live and start driving leads or sales! I’ll be going over:

  1. campaign objectives
  2. campaign/ad types
  3. targeting options
  4. ‘maximize for’ options
  5. tracking

1. Campaign Objectives

There are 4 campaign objectives available to use now; website visits, engagement, video views, and lead generation. LinkedIn is, and has been, working on rolling out 4 others as well; brand awareness, website conversions, job applicants. These objectives simply help LinkedIn’s algorithm to optimize towards a specific goal.

A. Website visits

The campaign objective of website visits is very straightforward. LinkedIn will optimize your campaign, according to your bid and budgets, to get as many clicks to your website as possible. This is useful when you simply want to increase your website traffic. You can also use this objective in combination with the ‘optimize for conversions’ option I note later in this blog to focus on getting as many conversions as possible.

B. Engagement

The engagement objective will focus LinkedIn’s algorithm on getting as many likes, comments, and shares on your content. This is useful when you want to build engagement on your LinkedIn profile and don’t necessarily want users to click through to your website. 

C. Video views

With the video views campaign objective LinkedIn will focus on getting as many video views as possible. This is useful when you want to leverage videos for social engagement. Again, LinkedIn won’t optimize towards getting users to click through to your website. 

D. Lead generation

The lead gen campaign objective allows you to access lead ads. These ads don’t allow the user to click through to your website, rather when they click on an ad a customized lead form comes up for them to fill in. This is useful for any campaigns focused on gaining more leads. 

2. Campaign/Ad types

The reason campaign and ad types are grouped together is because the campaign type is what actually determines the type of ad you use. The options are sponsored content, dynamic ads, and text ads. Refer here to see which objective allows you to use which ad type.

A. Sponsored content

Sponsored content campaigns have 3 different ad types, single image ads, carousel image ads, and video ads. 

Single Image Ad:

Video ad:

Carousel Image ad:

Sponsored content ads are great for highlighting key benefits of your product or service, upcoming webinars or events, and so much more! They are the most visual of the 3 campaign types LinkedIn offers.

B. Dynamic ads

We’ve all seen dynamic ads on LinkedIn “Hey Keenan, Four15 is hiring!”

These ads are primarily used for recruiting purposes but are also great if you uploaded a custom audience list and want to call draw more attention to your product or services. You can utilize a few macros in order to show the user their first name, full name, or even company name Here’s the list: 

C. Text ads

Text ads are very simple and, in my experience, don’t drive a lot of traffic. However they are the cheapest clicks in comparison to sponsored content or dynamic ads. 

If you want to focus on impressions, and believe your ad copy is strong enough or are targeting a very focused group, text ads are a great option for you.

2. Targeting options

Linkedin has a very cumbersome selection of targeting options. You can overlay audience after audience to build an audience of exactly who you want to target. Keep in mind you need at least 300 active users in an audience to be able to use it for targeting ads. 

LinkedIn’s core targeting options are company (who you work for), demographics (age, gender, etc.), education (college, masters, etc.), job experience (entry, senior, etc.), and interests, which is a combination of member groups and member interests. 

You can also upload your own CRM list and target to just those users, you can upload a list of company names and target to just those companies, and lastly you can build audience from your website if you’ve added the LinkedIn insights tag to your website. 

3. ‘Maximize for’ options

There are three ‘maximize for’ options within LinkedIn. You can set your campaign to maximize for:

  • Conversions
  • Impressions
  • Clicks. 

If your goal is to drive leads or sales on LinkedIn you should use the ‘maximize for’ conversions. Note: when you select ‘maximize for’ conversions you will not be able to see any forecasting from LInkedIn as this is a fairly new feature for LinkedIn Ads. 

When your goal is simply to get as many eyes on your ads you should use the ‘maximize for’ impressions strategy. 

The last option, ‘maximize for’ clicks, is useful when you don’t have a particular event or action you want a user to take on the page rather consume the content. 

PRO TIP: If you have Google Analytics you’ll be able to track how long people are staying on the landing page after they click on your LinkedIn Ad. This will help you understand how effective your ads are and see if users are just bouncing off the page after they click on your ad.

4. Tracking

LinkedIn uses a website tag much like Google and Facebook. The tag is called an ‘insights tag’. This can be placed on your website and will allow you to create conversion events as well as audiences when users visit specific pages on your website. At Four15 Digital we’ve helped many clients set up their insights tag on their website, and we have noticed that the tag DOES NOT work when placed by Google’s Tag Manager (GTM). This is a technical issue we’ve seen from LinkedIn and it’s best to add the insights tag to every page separately from GTM. 

Stay tuned for when I take a deeper dive into LinkedIn as an advertising platforms and share best practices, successes and failures, as well as any new tools that LinkedIn releases in the future.