The ability to target a prime audience filled with professionals across a wide range of industries is a foundational benefit of advertising on LinkedIn – in fact, over 590 million users were on LinkedIn by the end of 2018, including 154 million American professionals. These professionals access LinkedIn because they wish to view content and advertisements geared towards employment and business solutions. Setting up ads on LinkedIn is a smart business decision, but what does the process look like?
Enter LinkedIn’s Advertising Homepage
When you enter LinkedIn’s Advertising homepage, you’ll see a variety of informational graphics and clickables that exist to inform you about the advertising services LinkedIn offers. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the page and do a little clicking around; LinkedIn provides a brief breakdown of pricing structures and a few of the ad formats they offer – all pertinent information you’ll need later.
In particular, the drop-down menu entitled “Advertising” provides links for each type of advertising LinkedIn offers, a variety of marketing features, and links to more in-depth information regarding audience, pricing, analytics and more. Of note is the Advertiser Help Center and the Campaign Manager, which is your next step.
Find LinkedIn Ads Manager / Campaign Manager
LinkedIn refers to their ads manager as “Campaign Manager,” and you can access it by clicking on any of the actionable “make an ad” buttons on the advertising homepage, or clicking to log into the Campaign Manager. Signing and setting up is free and easy, though your account will be on hold until you enter a valid credit card.
Once you’re in, you’ll see your ad accounts. If you eventually have several accounts at once, you can organize them by account name, company name, status, date created, money spent, budget, and campaigns. Select the account you’ll be using and click on it to expand into the full campaign manager, which offers detailed access to all your campaign groups, ads, and their associated metrics.
Decide Which Ad Formats Work for You
LinkedIn offers several forms of ad formats to address the needs of the variety of businesses who advertise on their platform. Deciding which formats will work for you is an important first step in setting up LinkedIn Ads.
- Sponsored content allows you to place your page’s content directly into a user’s feed. Direct sponsored content works similarly, though you post directly into the feed and do not have to publish on your page first. Use sponsored content to increase click throughs to your page or promote content to all LinkedIn users.
- Sponsored InMail sends a message of your choosing directly to the inbox of the users in your target audience. Use sponsored InMail to generate leads and personalize advertising content.
- Text ads appear only in the desktop version of LinkedIn, along the right rail. Similar to Google search ads, these ads work well for brand promotion and brand awareness.
- Dynamic ads are similar to text ads in that they appear on the right rail in the desktop version only. Users can interact with dynamic ads and send you their information with only a click. Dynamic ads work well to drive traffic and follows to your company’s LinkedIn page, or to advertise job openings.
- Video and carousel ads aim to tell your business’s story right in the user’s feed. These ads work well if you want to drive traffic to your page but want users to have a more comprehensive view of your brand.
- Lead generation forms are available with sponsored content and sponsored InMail. They appear similar to other sponsored content but allow users to fill a simple form with contact information.
Create a Campaign
Once you’ve decided which type of ad serves your purposes, you need to create an ad campaign. From the Campaign Manager, locate and click on the white “Create A Campaign” button on the right, above your account and campaign information. After clicking, you’ll be taken to the Set Up Campaign subpage.
Set Up Campaign
A nice feature of Create a Campaign is that its first step is asking you about your objectives and building in ad types and features that will help you reach them. Select your primary objectives from the list, then move on to creating your audience. If you don’t have a pre-filled audience already, you’ll be asked to enter a location and either choose audience attributes from a provided list, or select a matched audience based on your profile. You can also expand your audience or choose people or demographics to exclude.
Once you’ve saved your audience, choose your ad format and budget. You’ll be asked to decide if you want a recurring schedule, or a campaign with a start and end date; your cost will be determined by the type of campaign you choose. Campaigns paying per click or impression are subject to bids, meaning you’ll either let LinkedIn automate your bid or set a maximum per click. Alternatively, you’ll pay per send for InMail ads.
Ad formats that require video uploads, photo uploads, and user-entered content can be added right on the Create a Campaign subpage. Simply enter the desired content along the way. Tips:
- Image and video file sizes vary by type of ad.
- Keep print content brief and to the point. There are relatively short character limits for all content type
- Personalize as much as possible. You can use functions to have sponsored InMail use the name of each user targeted – use these to avoid appearing spammy.
- Choose a call to action that works. LinkedIn supplies a list of calls to action for lead generation forms and lead generation forms for sponsored content.
- A/B test over time. Down the road, compare campaigns to see which types of subject lines, content, and calls to action generate the most conversions for you, and utilize these for future campaigns.
Track Your Conversions
This step is optional, but LinkedIn can track the actions your users take after visiting your page from an ad. You can choose your desired conversion, as well as set a window of time for a conversion after a click and a view, separately.
Launch Your Ad
That’s it – you’ve created an ad. You can manage your campaign in the Campaign Manager subpage and view your clicks, impressions, money spent, and more metrics there as well. Whether you choose to view your ads per-ad or as a comprehensive campaign, LinkedIn provides a fairly detailed view of the money you’re spending and the associated results. You’ll know almost instantly when your ad begins to have the desired effects.
If you would like assistance in setting up LinkedIn advertising for your business, check out our Social Media Services.