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Your Step-by-Step Guide To Advertising On LinkedIn

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Your Step-by-Step Guide To Advertising On LinkedIn

Read time 10 min read
Your Step-by-Step Guide To Advertising On LinkedIn

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Can I Advertise on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is both a social media network and an ad service provider. The reason LinkedIn stands out from the other advertising platforms is the ability to target B2B. LinkedIn has virtually all of the professionals on its network, so this is where the majority of B2B marketers prefer to advertise. Since LinkedIn is aware of this, the targeting options available through the platform have been optimized.

This means you have the ability to connect with the professionals most beneficial for your business. You can use LinkedIn ads to connect to the healthcare industry, CEOs of large corporations or investment firms or any business professional. LinkedIn ads are also a great option if you are interested in college graduates with a specific skill set or interests in your industry.

Due to the B2B option, a lot of business owners prefer to spend their budgets on LinkedIn ads. This does not mean you are unable to advertise on other social platforms as well, but if you have a smaller advertising budget, you should at least consider LinkedIn first.

How to Run Ads on LinkedIn

There are certain considerations important for any LinkedIn ads to guide. First, you need to consider your goals. If you want your advertising to be successful, your specific goal needs to be in the list below.

  • Lead generation
  • Website visits
  • Job applicants
  • Video views
  • Brand awareness
  • Website conversions
  • Engagement

Lead generation is the most frequent goal for LinkedIn ads, followed by job applicants. Website visits and video views are currently tied for third place. Organic engagement is one of the most substantial benefits. Keep in mind the algorithm used by the platform is not as selective as Facebook. For this reason, you must determine your budget before you place your first ad.

Many professionals prefer one of the more direct objectives such as website conversions or job applicants. For every accomplished objective, you will need to spend more. You can control your spending by being more direct in selecting your ad objectives. There are different types of ads based on your chosen objective.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored content is very similar to promoted posts, Your business promotes a post or article appearing on the platform feed. You need to be careful because the average CPC for these types of ads is not one of the highest. Make certain you give careful thought to the content you choose. Here is an example of sponsored content on LinkedIn:

Your Step-by-Step Guide To Advertising On LinkedIn

(Image Credit: Social Media Examiner)

Sponsored InMail

You can have a lot of fun spamming a LinkedIn inbox with this option. When you do everything correctly, your conversion rate can be higher than with any of the other ad options. This type of ad is derived from a personal profile as opposed to a branded page.

The individual feels as though communication with a business representative is possible as opposed to simply being sold. You should not copy and paste templates for any demographic. Ensuring every In Mail is personalized is important for success. The image below shows an example of sponsored InMail:

Your Step-by-Step Guide To Advertising On LinkedIn

(Image Credit: AdStage)

Text Ads

If you have even seen very small ads to the right of the LinkedIn feed, these are text ads. In addition to appearing in the right column, text ads can also appear beneath the section for People You May Know. This is where the content of your text will either help or hinder your ad conversions. You should be very direct and test a couple of different ads before you proceed.

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Video Ads

Video ads are fairly self-explanatory. The idea is to promote your videos to your targeted market. You will need to create a substantial amount of video content. Test different types of videos to determine which ones offer you the most conversions. You also need to consider animation and real-life videos, length and topic.

How to Do Ads on LinkedIn

To help ensure your success, you should follow the seven steps outlined below. Do not skip any of these steps because each one is important in a different way.

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Selecting Managed or Self-Service Campaigns

LinkedIn provides you with a fast and easy all-in-one ad platform. You can begin a self-service campaign with either Sponsored Content or Text Ads. The Campaign Manager is ideal for configuring your ads, running campaigns and monitoring your progress. If you want to attract a more premium audience by using a strategic approach, consider account-managed ads.

This service provides you with a team of experts offering assistance for each stage of the ad process. This includes targeting, optimization and everything in between.

Starting with the Campaign Manager

The hub of all advertising activity on LinkedIn is the Campaign Manager. This is where detailed results are located for:

  • Performance of your ads
  • Member demographics regarding who clicked on the ads
  • Sponsored Content engagement

Your Step-by-Step Guide To Advertising On LinkedIn

(Image Credit: LinkedIn Business Solutions)

Before you take the next step, it is worth spending a little time to familiarize yourself with the Campaign Manager.

Selecting Your Ad Format

You need to decide whether you want to create Text Ads, Sponsored Content or both. Sponsored Content will appear in the member feeds for mobile devices, laptops and desktops. The best way to begin is by looking at your company page. Find the updates with the best performance to promote.

You already know your current followers enjoyed these updates. This means there is a better chance you can appeal to a wider audience. Text Ads are effective, simple and displayed on the top, bottom or side of the member’s feed. For optimal results, use a dynamic visual and make certain your copy is compelling and short.

Creating Your Ads

Many businesses are asking how to advertise on LinkedIn. The simple answer is creating compelling ads. You can promote a showcase page, company update or new sponsored content. Use multiple versions and creative variations for your Sponsored Content for the best results.

The link clicked to open your ad can be specified for Text Ads. You can add a brief description, headline and image. There are 15 different variations of Text Ads you can run. Begin with a variety, then select the top performers.

Targeting Your Ads

One of the best benefits of LinkedIn ads is you can target self-reported, first-party information. As your criteria are selected, the estimated size of your targeted audience will be displayed in the right sidebar. Your audience should be fairly broad to ensure you receive results generated according to statistics for your next optimization round.

Do not make the mistake of sacrificing relevancy to obtain larger numbers. Audience expansion can be enabled to allow the algorithm to locate and target audiences similar to your specifications. You can use this approach to locate potential members that have been overlooked. The image below shows what it will look like to target your audience on LinkedIn:

Your Step-by-Step Guide To Advertising On LinkedIn

(Image Credit: LinkedIn Business Solutions)

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Establishing Your Budget

You can bid on CPM or cost-per-impression or CPC or cost-per-click if the click is related directly to conversions such as lead capture or webinar registration. If you want to improve brand awareness, CPM is the better option. The bid ranges for your ad will be suggested by the Campaign Manager. Your maximum bid is not always used since you only need to win against the second-highest bidder.

Measuring and Optimization

You will receive rewards through the auction system for ads showing more engagement. This is the reason your result must be consistently reviewed. You want to promote the ads performing well and stop those with poor performance. Watch the metrics offered through the Campaign Manager and keep testing new variations according to the initial results. Make certain you keep an eye on your budget. Here is an example of the campaign manager:

Your Step-by-Step Guide To Advertising On LinkedIn

(Image Credit: Marketing Land)

How Do I Advertise on LinkedIn Using Audience Targeting?

There are numerous questions you should ask before placing a LinkedIn ad including:

  • Does your demographic consist of females, males or both?
  • What is the location and age for your demographics?
  • Is your demographic usually upper or lower management?
  • Who does your demographic follow?
  • Have your demographics spent their entire lives in the same industry?
  • How many years have they held the same position and how many positions have they had?

If you do not have the answers to these questions, you need to find out before placing your ad. LinkedIn offers exceptional targeting options for B2B. The only way your advertisements will convert is if you understand the professional aspects of your demographics. If you run ads on Facebook, knowing their preferred snacks is terrific. LinkedIn is different due to the targeting options.

You must know if your demographic went to college or what they studied to choose the correct targeting options. Placing ads on LinkedIn will attract more than CEOs. LinkedIn ads are about so much more than targeting the men and women already at the top. You can also use ads to target individuals with less experience, those in lower-level positions and professionals looking for jobs.

You can even target professionals recently graduating from college or high school. Every minute, approximately 120 new members join LinkedIn. This means you have an exceptional variety of professionals from which to choose.

Tracking Ad Conversions

The event-specific pixel is an ideal tracking pixel if your objective is lead generation. A good example is if you have some type of form in your ad you want to be filled out but you either do not currently have a thank you page or it is not connected. Installing this code enables conversion event tracking every time someone completes your form.

Ad conversion tracking can also be added to your existing campaign. This eliminates any concerns if your conversion tracking is not set up. The site-wide insight tag shows you website results from your LinkedIn ad. This tag only needs to be installed once to allow you to keep an eye on the data as it is received. This will not affect the speed of your website.

After your insight tag has been installed, retargeting ads can be set up. Make certain the number of visitors you are receiving is steady before you set up any retargeting ads.

Your Step-by-Step Guide To Advertising On LinkedIn

(Image Credit: LinkedIn Business Solutions)

Content Suggestions

Business pages are offered Content Suggestions by LinkedIn. You can use this to guide what you are writing about. You should use creative and unique content in addition to trending ideas for both your ad descriptions and headlines. Using the Content Suggestions is extremely easy.

This is a great option for targeting the CEOs and directors you are interested in. Start by selecting the location, industry and seniority you want to target. The newest trending topics will then be generated by LinkedIn for your designated filters.

Cost Overview

Social media has become an important part of everyday life. The projected number of users for this year is 2.95 billion. Due to the visual nature of social media, you have a captive audience. Social media platforms have become an incredibly important resource to engage customers. The LinkedIn platform offers you high returns through an effective advertising medium.

This makes a lot of sense for the majority of B2B businesses. Although there are numerous choices for social media sites offering B2B ads, LinkedIn is one of the best. This is important because the success of your ads is dependent on the platform you have selected. You should consider the following information and statistics before you make a decision.


This is a visual medium not effective or efficient for your written content. This is because Instagram focuses specifically on sharing images.


The largest audience is on Facebook. Approximately 2.2 million users were on Facebook at the end of 2018. The structure of the platform enables both verbal and visual posts. The idea is to help people remain connected with their friends and family.


More than 330 million people use Twitter every month. The issue is there is a limit of just 280 characters. Twitter was designed to allow the instantaneous exchange of both information and ideas.


LinkedIn was created specifically for business professionals. By 2019, the platform boasted more than 590 million users. Both verbal and visual content can be posted. The users are interested in making business connections, sharing content, networking and finding jobs. If you are interested in acquiring quality leads, the most efficient platform is LinkedIn.

Approximately 26 percent of all B2B decision-makers prefer and use this platform. LinkedIn is currently responsible for the generation of 80 percent of B2B leads obtained through social marketing.

There is no doubt LinkedIn is an exceptional option for the engagement of B2B companies. There are benefits provided by LinkedIn paid options as opposed to simply posting your business page. This is part of the reason running ads on LinkedIn is more expensive than an ad campaign using Google Ads or Facebook ads. This is because LinkedIn is the best advertising platform for B2B Companies.

The quality of LinkedIn leads is better than what you can achieve by running a campaign through Google, Twitter or Facebook. The reason is the LinkedIn audience includes a lot of business professionals interested in establishing connections. The audience for both Twitter and Facebook is mostly consumers as opposed to business professionals.

Yes, the size of the ads on LinkedIn is small. A text containing just one sentence appears over the newsfeed. You also have another option for ad placement. You can display the profile picture of the targeted user and your logo on the right side of your newsfeed and invite the professional to follow your business page. Despite the smaller size of the ads, the majority of businesses achieve their desired results.

LinkedIn Sponsored Content

The best way to build qualified leads for your company is through Sponsored Content. The cost of the ads is worth it for B2B companies. Sponsored content is very similar in appearance to posts including an image, link and text. Your content appears in the homepage feed for members with the criteria you are targeting. The advantage is your advertisements are formatted as posts.

This means you have more control over your ad content. You have the ability to direct the user to the content located on your business page. The user will not be turned away because you are not running a hard sell ad. Another benefit is the ability to choose which users see your ads according to specific qualifiers including industry, location, title and company size.

Your post will be seen on user news feeds even though the members are not among your followers. You can edit Sponsored Content easily. When you track Sponsored Content, you can determine the performance of all of your ads. If an ad is not performing according to your specifications, you can simply discontinue your post. You can then create a new post using different text or images and track the results.

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Daniel Urmann

Author Bio:

Daniel Urmann is the co-founder of Diib.com. Over the past 17 years Daniel has helped thousands of business grow online through SEO, social media, and paid advertising. Today, Diib helps over 150,000 business globally grow online with their SaaS offerings. Daniel’s interest include SMB analytics, big data, predictive analytics, enterprise and SMB search engine optimization (SEO), CRO optimization, social media advertising, A/B testing, programatic and geo-targeting, PPC, and e-commerce. He holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) focused in Finance and E-commerce from Cornell University – S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management.


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