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LinkedIn Ads, PPC

The Comprehensive Guide to Leveraging LinkedIn Advertising

By Team Swydo
21 June 2024

LinkedIn is a professional social platform with over 1 billion users, making it a powerful tool for B2B marketing. Its user base includes decision-makers, executives, and professionals seeking business solutions and networking opportunities.

In this guide, you’ll learn about the different types of LinkedIn Ads, their benefits, and how to create effective ad campaigns. We’ll cover targeting options, ad formats, and bidding strategies to help you maximize your advertising efforts on LinkedIn. You’ll also discover how to track performance and optimize your campaigns for better results.

Keep reading to enhance your LinkedIn advertising strategy and achieve your marketing goals.

What Are LinkedIn Ads? 

LinkedIn Ads are a form of digital advertising offered by LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional networking platform. These ads allow businesses to target specific professional audiences with customized ads to promote their products, services, or brand.  

LinkedIn Ads can appear in various formats, such as sponsored content, text ads, and sponsored InMail. You can target your ads based on demographic criteria such as job title, industry, company size, and skills. Marketers use LinkedIn Ads to increase visibility, drive website traffic, generate leads, and foster engagement among LinkedIn platform users.

Benefits of LinkedIn Ads  

LinkedIn Ads offer unique benefits for B2B companies and those targeting professionals for networking, education, or recruitment. Here’s an overview of the core benefits of advertising on this professional networking platform:

Professional Audience
LinkedIn is the premier social network for professionals, hosting over 850 million members worldwide. This vast pool of professionals includes decision-makers, executives, and other influential figures in various industries. 

Advertising on LinkedIn lets you reach a professional audience, leading to more business-focused interactions and results.

Advanced Targeting Options
LinkedIn provides sophisticated targeting tools based on professional data that users willingly share. These include:

  • Demographics: Age, gender, and geographical location.
  • Job Experience: Job titles, functions, seniority levels, and years of experience.
  • Company Information: Company name, size, and industry.
  • Education: Degrees, fields of study, and institutions attended.
  • Skills and Endorsements: Specific skills and areas of expertise.
  • Interests and Groups: Membership in professional groups and interests.

These targeting options let you tailor messages to your audience, increasing your campaign’s relevance and effectiveness.

High Engagement Rates
LinkedIn users focus on career development and networking, making them more likely to engage with professional content. This leads to higher ad engagement rates, especially for ads offering industry insights, professional development, or career opportunities.

Credibility and Trust
Advertising on LinkedIn can enhance your company’s credibility because of the platform’s professional setting. Ads on LinkedIn may appear more legitimate and relevant than those on casual social media platforms.

Effective for Lead Generation and Recruitment
LinkedIn is great for generating B2B leads, where buying involves more research and stakeholders. It’s also effective for recruitment, helping employers find candidates with specific skills and experience.

Retargeting Capabilities
LinkedIn lets you retarget visitors who interacted with your content or visited your website but didn’t convert. This helps nurture leads and improve conversion rates.

Influencing Business Decisions
LinkedIn is an ideal platform for influencing business decisions, given its professional user base. You can showcase your products or services to key decision-makers who have purchasing authority.

Steps For Setting Up Succesful LinkedIn Ads Campaigns

Setting up a LinkedIn Ads campaign lets you tailor your ads to reach the right professional audience. Follow these steps to ensure your campaigns are set up effectively.

1. Choose Your Campaign Objective

Choosing the right campaign objective is crucial when setting up a LinkedIn Ads campaign. It guides how LinkedIn will optimize your ads and what actions you encourage your target audience to take. 

Here’s a closer look at each of the objectives you can choose from on LinkedIn, explaining what each one entails and use cases:

Brand Awareness
The brand awareness objective maximizes exposure to make people aware of your brand, product, or service. It’s ideal for new product launches, rebranding, or entering new markets, helping increase recognition by reaching a broad audience.

Website Visits
The website visits objective drives traffic to a specific URL like your homepage, blog post, or landing page. Use it to increase visitors, boost engagement, promote content, or provide detailed information about your products or services.

Engagement
The engagement objective encourages likes, comments, shares, and increases followers on your LinkedIn Company Page. Use it to build a community, boost your presence, strengthen your brand, and ensure ongoing interaction with your content.

Video Views
This objective aims to increase views on your video content. Videos are great for storytelling, demonstrating products, and conveying complex information in an engaging, easy-to-digest format.

Lead Generation
Select the lead generation objective to collect leads directly on LinkedIn with pre-filled forms. This makes it easy for users to show interest in your product or service and is essential for generating prospects to boost sales growth.

Job Applicants
Choose the job applicant objective to attract and encourage qualified candidates to apply for a job. This helps you find candidates who see your posting and are a good fit based on their LinkedIn profiles.

Choose an objective that matches your goal to ensure LinkedIn’s algorithms focus on achieving the results that matter most to your business.

2. Audience Targeting

LinkedIn provides advanced targeting options to focus on specific segments of its professional user base. This precise targeting allows for highly customized campaigns to reach the most relevant audience based on professional and demographic criteria.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of the key targeting options available on LinkedIn:

Location: Location targeting is mandatory for all campaigns, letting you specify where your ads appear down to the city level. Essential for localizing campaigns or targeting areas where your products or services are available.

Demographic Targeting: Demographic targeting includes age and gender. While you may not use this as your primary filter, it can help refine audience segments. Beneficial in cases where age and gender are relevant to the advertised professional product or service.

Company Targeting: You can target users based on their current employer, industry, and company size. Company targeting is ideal for B2B products or services, especially those tailored to specific sectors or enterprise levels.

Job Experience: Job experience targets users based on their job-related information.

  • Job Function: Based on a department or function, like marketing, HR, etc.
  • Job Seniority: By seniority level, from junior staff to executives.
  • Job Title: Specific job titles, reaching users holding particular positions.
  • Years of Experience: Focus on professionals with a specific range of job experience.

Effective for reaching decision-makers or influencers within specific job functions or levels.

Education: You can target users based on their educational background.

  • Schools: Target alums of specific educational institutions.
  • Degrees: Target based on the level of educational attainment.
  • Fields of Study: Target individuals with a background in particular subjects.

Applicable for products or services related to continuing education, professional development, or recruitment in fields requiring specific educational qualifications.

Skills: Targets users based on the skills they have listed on their LinkedIn profiles. Ideal for targeting professionals with specific technical skills or qualifications relevant to the product or service offered.

Groups: Targets members of LinkedIn groups. Great for reaching people who have expressed interest in specific professional topics or industries by joining relevant groups.

Interests and Traits: You can target based on professional interests and other behavioral traits.

  • Member Interests: Focused on topics they interact with on LinkedIn.
  • Traits: Includes more behavior-oriented targeting, such as frequent travelers.

This targeting option helps engage users interested in specific subjects, making it powerful for content marketing and thought leadership.

Retargeting: Engage users who have previously interacted with your LinkedIn content, website, or emails. Retargeting is a valuable way to nurture leads or re-engage prospects who have shown interest but have yet to convert.

These targeting capabilities let you launch precise LinkedIn campaigns, ensuring your messages reach the most relevant and responsive audiences. Achieve better engagement, higher conversion rates, and more efficient use of advertising budgets.

3. Choose Your LinkedIn Advertising Format

LinkedIn offers various ad formats tailored to different objectives and designed to blend seamlessly with the platform’s professional content. Each format has unique features and benefits, making them ideal for different campaign types.

Understanding these options can help you choose the best format for your advertising goals.

Sponsored Content: These native ads appear directly in the LinkedIn feed, resembling regular LinkedIn posts. Sponsored Content can be single image ads, video ads, or carousel ads (multiple images that users can swipe through).

Sponsored Messaging: Also known as Sponsored InMail, these are personalized messages sent directly to users’ LinkedIn Messaging inboxes. Messages can include a call-to-action (CTA) and are sent when users are active, ensuring high visibility.

Text Ads: These simple, straightforward ads appear on various LinkedIn pages, including the LinkedIn homepage, profile pages, and search results pages. Text Ads consist of a headline, a small amount of text, and an optional small image.

Dynamic Ads: Dynamic Ads automatically personalize ad content for each user based on their LinkedIn profile data, including their photo, company name, or job title.

Video Ads: These ads appear as native videos in the LinkedIn feed and are designed to auto-play (without sound) as users scroll through.

Carousel Ads: Carousel Ads allow advertisers to showcase multiple images and links within a single ad unit. Users can swipe through various images, each with its own headline.

Event Ads: Designed to promote LinkedIn Events, these ads increase attendance by highlighting key details directly in the feed. Choose your ad format based on your campaign objectives, target audience, and content type. Aligning your goals with the strengths of each LinkedIn ad format helps you engage your audience and achieve better results.

4. LinkedIn Ads Creatives

Creating compelling ad creatives is essential for a successful LinkedIn Ads campaign. Ad creatives include your ad’s text, images, and call-to-action (CTA) elements. 

A strong strategy should use LinkedIn’s professional context to engage and convert your target audience. Here are the elements you need to consider:

Crafting the Message: Your ad’s text and visuals should be compelling and tailored to the audience:

  • Headline: It should be attention-grabbing and convey the value of what you’re offering. Keep it concise and action-oriented.
  • Description: This provides more details about the offer or message. Ensure it’s informative and speaks directly to the needs and interests of your target audience.
  • Visuals: Use high-quality images or videos that are relevant to your message. For professional audiences, visuals should be clean, clear, and business-appropriate.
  • Call-to-Action (CTA): This should be clear and compelling. Tell the audience exactly what you want them to do next, such as “Learn More,” “Sign Up,” or “Download.”

Consistency in Branding: Maintain a consistent brand image and voice that aligns with your overall business branding:

  • Brand Colors and Logo: Use these consistently to increase brand recognition.
  • Tone and Style: Ensure the ad’s tone matches your brand’s personality and resonates with a professional audience.

Optimization and Testing

  • A/B test: Regularly test different versions of your ad creatives to see what resonates best with your audience. Test different headlines, images, and CTAs to refine your approach.
  • Mobile Optimization: Since many LinkedIn users access the platform via mobile devices, you need to optimize your creatives for smaller screens.

Remember, the key to success with LinkedIn Ads lies in how well your ad creatives resonate with your audience’s professional motivations and interests.

5. Set Your LinkedIn Ads Budget 

When setting up a LinkedIn Ads campaign, effectively managing your budget is necessary to maximize the impact of your advertising efforts without overspending. 

Start by clearly defining your campaign’s goal. Is it brand awareness, lead generation, or something else? Your goal will influence how much you spend.

LinkedIn provides flexible budgeting options that cater to various advertising needs and goals. Understanding these options will help you plan and control your ad spending efficiently. 

Here’s an overview of the types of budgets you can choose and manage on LinkedIn:

Daily Budget: This is the minimum amount you will spend on a campaign each day. LinkedIn will pace your daily spending to prevent your entire budget from being used too quickly.

Total Budget: This is the total amount you will spend over the campaign’s duration. Once you reach this amount, LinkedIn will stop serving your ads.

Lifetime Budget: Similar to the total budget, this option refers to the overall cap on spending for a campaign but is typically used for long-term or ongoing campaigns without a specified end date.

By carefully planning and managing your LinkedIn budget, you can ensure that your ad spend delivers the best possible results. 

6. LinkedIn Ads Bidding Strategies

To set up a LinkedIn Ads campaign, choose a bidding strategy that fits your marketing goals and budget. LinkedIn’s bidding strategies help you compete for ad space effectively and affordably.

Here’s an explanation of the different bidding strategies available on LinkedIn:

Automated Bidding
Automated bidding, or “Maximum Delivery,” lets LinkedIn’s algorithms optimize your bids to get the best results within your budget. Using machine learning, it predicts the best bid for each ad auction. The idea is to maximize clicks, impressions, or conversions without manually adjusting bids.

Cost Per Click (CPC)
With CPC bidding, you pay only when someone clicks on your ad. This strategy is ideal for driving actions like website visits or lead generation.

Cost Per Impression (CPM)
CPM bidding charges you for every thousand impressions your ad receives, regardless of any action taken on the ad. This method is often used to build brand awareness and visibility.

Cost Per Send (CPS)
Exclusive to sponsored InMail campaigns, CPS bidding means you pay for each InMail message successfully delivered to a LinkedIn member’s inbox.

Strategically selecting your bidding options helps you better manage your LinkedIn Ads campaigns. You can achieve optimal visibility and engagement while controlling your advertising spend, ensuring your campaigns are effective and cost-efficient.

LinkedIn Ads Conversion Tracking

Conversion tracking in LinkedIn Ads helps you measure campaign performance by tracking users’ actions after clicking or viewing your ad. 

These actions, defined as conversions, can include a range of activities, such as filling out a form, signing up for a newsletter, downloading a document, or making a purchase. Setting up and understanding conversion tracking is critical for optimizing your ad spend and achieving your marketing objectives. 

Here’s how to set up conversion tracking in LinkedIn Ads:

Step 1: Install the LinkedIn Insight Tag
Install the LinkedIn Insight Tag on your website to start tracking conversions. This small piece of JavaScript code allows you to track visitors’ interactions on your site. 

Step 2: Define Your Conversions
Once the Insight Tag is in place, you can set up specific relevant conversions to your campaigns.

Step 3: Track and Optimize Campaigns
With your conversions set up, LinkedIn will start tracking these actions as they occur due to your advertising efforts. View detailed reports on how many conversions each campaign, ad set, or ad generates. Analyze data like conversion rates, cost per conversion, and total conversion value.

Conversion tracking is an indispensable tool for any marketer looking to gauge the success of their LinkedIn Ads campaigns. Understanding and reacting to conversion data significantly enhances your marketing efforts and ensures your advertising budget is wisely invested.

Additionally, integrating with tools like Google Analytics can provide deeper insights into user behavior post-click, further enhancing your ability to measure and refine your ad campaigns.

Monitoring the Performance of Your LinkedIn Ads Campaign

Monitoring your LinkedIn Ads campaign is essential for optimizing your advertising efforts and ensuring the highest possible returns. 

Here’s why you should keep a close eye on how your campaigns are performing:

1. Maximize Return on Investment (ROI)
Monitor the success of your campaign to determine which ads resonate with your audience. This can help drive actions like generating leads, boosting website traffic, and increasing brand awareness. Allocate your budget to high-performing ads and adjust or cut underperforming ones to maximize ROI.

2. Refine Targeting
LinkedIn provides robust targeting options, but not all targeting strategies may work equally well for your goals. Regular monitoring allows you to analyze the most responsive demographics and audience segments. You can then refine your targeting to focus more on these responsive groups, enhancing the efficiency of your ad spend.

3. Improve Ad Creatives
Performance data gives you insights into what aspects of your ad creative—such as imagery, copy, and calls-to-action—resonate with your audience. Use this data to improve your ads continuously. For example, if video ads perform better than image ads, you might allocate more resources to creating video content.

4. Optimize Bidding Strategy
Monitoring performance helps you understand if your current bidding strategy is effective. You can see if you’re spending too much for too little return or if a slight increase in bid might boost your results significantly. This ongoing optimization helps maintain competitive bids and can improve ad visibility and engagement.

5. Leverage Analytics for Strategic Decisions
The analytics derived from campaign monitoring are invaluable for making informed strategic decisions. Insights on which content and offers attract the most engagement can guide your advertising, marketing, and product strategies.

6. Achieve Campaign Goals
Monitoring performance is vital whether you want to increase brand awareness, generate leads, or drive sales. It helps you understand if you’re meeting your goals and how to improve, keeping your campaigns aligned with your business objectives.

7. Documentation and Reporting
For businesses that need to report to clients or stakeholders, monitoring provides essential data to document and demonstrate marketing effectiveness. It can help secure additional budgets or expand existing campaigns. Check out these 5 Simple Steps to Better LinkedIn Ads Reporting.

Monitoring your LinkedIn Ads campaigns isn’t just about numbers. It’s a valuable practice that guides smarter business decisions, ensures efficient use of your marketing budget, and helps achieve your strategic goals.

LinkedIn Ads Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) You Should Track

When running LinkedIn Ads, track specific key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to evaluate your campaign’s success. These indicators help you understand how well your ads achieve the set objectives. 

Here’s a breakdown of the essential LinkedIn Ads KPIs and metrics to monitor:

Click-Through Rate (CTR): Calculated as (Clicks / Impressions) x 100. This metric is crucial as it indicates the percentage of times people saw your ad and decided to click on it. A higher CTR generally suggests that your ad is relevant and appealing to your target audience.

Cost Per Click (CPC): The average cost you pay each time someone clicks your ad. It’s calculated by dividing the total cost of your clicks by the number of clicks. This metric is vital for managing your advertising budget and evaluating the cost-effectiveness of your campaign.

Conversion Rate: The percentage of clicks that resulted in a conversion, such as a sign-up, download, or sale. The Conversion Rate is calculated by dividing the number of conversions by the total clicks and multiplying by 100. It helps measure how effectively your ad persuades users to complete a desired action.

Cost Per Conversion: This metric measures the average cost of acquiring a conversion. Understanding your campaign’s ROI and allocating a budget is essential.

Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): Measures the total revenue generated for every dollar spent on advertising. Calculate by dividing the revenue attributed to the ad campaign by the total ad spend.

Further reading: Which 8 LinkedIn Ads KPIs You Should Track

By monitoring these KPIs closely, you can use data to improve the performance of your LinkedIn Ads campaign, optimize your budget, and align your advertising efforts with your goals.

Using a reporting and monitoring platform like Swydo allows you to automate your LinkedIn Ads reporting. You’ll gain critical insights into how your LinkedIn ads perform across multiple campaigns over time.

Optimize Your LinkedIn Ads Campaigns with Swydo 

Follow these steps to successfully create targeted ads and fine-tune your LinkedIn Ads campaigns for optimal outcomes. Consistently monitor these campaigns with Swydo and make adjustments to improve their performance.

Swydo’s automatic reporting and monitoring platform makes monitoring important Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) easy, empowering digital marketers to make well-informed decisions. Request a demo or start a free 14-day trial.