Marketers are always looking for new ways to reach their target audiences. Because of this, you might be wondering, “Are LinkedIn ads right for my business?” It’s a great question!
Keep reading to learn more about the LinkedIn advertising opportunity and whether LinkedIn ads will benefit your specific organization or not.
What Are LinkedIn Ads
LinkedIn ads are exactly what they sound like: paid advertisements that appear on LinkedIn, the number one social media network for modern day professionals.
The LinkedIn advertising platform provides multiple ad types to marketers, which we’ll discuss in detail in the next section. But no matter which ad type you choose to use, you can expect to receive a few benefits from a well-oiled LinkedIn ads campaign:
- Reach: As of this writing, LinkedIn has over 700 million users around the world. That’s a lot of people! When you advertise on LinkedIn, you can gain access to each and every one of them, depending on the targeting options you choose.
- Targeting: The “spray and pray” approach to advertising rarely works. Fortunately, LinkedIn gives marketers advanced targeting options they can use to get their ads in front of the right audience. LinkedIn will allow you to utilize user information like location, job title, company name, industry, and more to target your ads.
- Analytics: Lastly, the LinkedIn advertising platform provides marketers with an advanced analytics dashboard they can use to optimize their ads. Easily measure conversions and monitor performance to design high-converting advertisements.
Of course, you’ll only experience these benefits if you use LinkedIn ads the right way. But don’t worry! We’ll cover a few LinkedIn ad tips later in this article.
The 4 Types of LinkedIn Ads
To receive positive ROI from your advertising efforts on the LinkedIn platform, you need to choose an ad type that suits your goals. Here are the four most popular ad types that you need to be aware of before creating a LinkedIn advertising campaign:
1. Sponsored Content
Sponsored Content ads are native advertisements that appear in the LinkedIn feed. They’re essentially “boosted posts” that will allow you to reach more of your target audience with company announcements, special promotions, and lead gen forms. Sponsored Content ads can be created in single image, video, and carousel format and are ideal for generating high levels of engagement.
2. Sponsored Messaging
Sponsored Messaging enables marketers to easily engage LinkedIn users in one-on-one conversations. There are two Sponsored Messaging formats available to you: Message Ads, which are designed to spark immediate action, and Conversation Ads, which provide prospects with a “choose your own path” experience.” Both ad formats can help drive traffic, generate leads, and even increase sales.
3. Text Ads
Text Ads are basically LinkedIn’s version of Google search ads and appear on the right hand side of the news feed. They’re very easy to set up, can be highly targeted, and run on a cost per click (CPC) or cost per thousand impressions (CPM) model. Text ads are generally best for raising brand awareness, but it should be noted, they only reach LinkedIn users on desktop devices.
4. Dynamic Ads
Dynamic Ads are automatically personalized to each and every LinkedIn user that sees them. Because of this, they’re great for capturing attention, driving traffic, and converting prospects into paying customers. Dynamic ads are also flexible, which makes them easy to optimize. Not seeing the ROI you want? Try using a relevant icon instead of your logo, or include custom backgrounds.
Different ad types will help you achieve different goals. When you know what you want to accomplish, you can choose the ad types that fit best.
5 LinkedIn Advertising Tips
Now that you know why LinkedIn ads are beneficial and the four most popular ad types available to you, we can talk about how to properly advertise on this channel. Keep these five tips in mind whenever you design a new LinkedIn ads campaign:
1. Know Your Audience
To succeed with advertising — whether you’re using LinkedIn, Facebook, or some other social media platform — you need to have a deep understanding of your target audience.
Who does your company serve?
Fortunately, LinkedIn allows marketers to create highly targeted ads based on prospect location, age, job title, level of education, interests, and more. Use these targeting features! A “spray and pray” approach to advertising is a great way to lose money.
2. Be Straightforward and Concise
LinkedIn ads typically perform best when written in a straightforward and concise way. Use just enough copy to capture your audiences’ attention and entice them to click a link. Do NOT write your entire life story in your ads.
According to Hootsuite, you’ll want to aim for a specific character count for different ad types:
- Sponsored Content: Make sure your headlines don’t exceed 150 characters and keep your body copy to 70 characters or less.
- Sponsored Videos: If your goal is brand awareness, keep your videos to 30 seconds or less. If you’re aiming for conversions, don’t exceed 90 seconds.
- Sponsored Messaging: Messages that are under 500 characters have a 46% higher CTR on average. If you must exceed 500 characters, cap messages at 1,000 instead.
To help you keep your ads concise, don’t beat around the bush. Be straightforward, convey the value you bring to the table as quickly as possible, and then sign off.
3. Use Visuals Whenever Possible
Eye-catching visuals can help increase the ROI of LinkedIn ads — especially if said ads contain people-centric images. A study conducted by LinkedIn found that ads that feature pictures of people can boost CTR by up to 160%!
No matter what kind of images you use, make sure they’re high quality, are the recommended size of 1,200 x 667 pixels, and are easily seen on small screens. This last tip is extra important since 85% of LinkedIn engagement happens on mobile devices.
4. Make Your CTA Clear and Compelling
An ad with enticing copy and an engaging image will still perform poorly if its CTA isn’t clear and compelling. Make sure your CTAs are easily seen and easy to understand.
On LinkedIn, one-word CTAs like “Try,” “Register,” and “Download” often perform best.
In fact, a recent study found that simply changing a LinkedIn ad’s CTA from “Join” to “Register” generated 165% more clicks. Obviously, your mileage will vary. But it goes to show you that the right CTA is absolutely essential.
5. Test and Optimize Your Ads
Finally, it’s important to continually test and optimize your ads. That way you can be sure that they’re always ROI positive for your company.
What should you test? We suggest starting with your headline, image, and CTA. Just make sure that you only test one change at a time so that you can determine which aspect of your current ad is causing it to underperform.
Optimizing your ads will also improve your ad relevance score, which will help you win more bids at lower costs. Win!
Should Your Business Invest in LinkedIn Ads?
So, should your business invest in LinkedIn Ads? The answer is, it depends…
LinkedIn ads can be incredibly effective when used correctly. But they won’t work for every company. To help you decide if LinkedIn is the right advertising platform for your brand, ask yourself the following two questions:
- Who is my target audience? LinkedIn ads are generally best for B2B companies. This is because LinkedIn is a social network for professionals and users frequent the channel to network, learn, and otherwise grow their careers. If your company doesn’t serve a professional audience, it might struggle to make LinkedIn ads work.
- What’s my budget? It’s a well-known fact that LinkedIn ads are more expensive than ads on many other social media advertising platforms, including Facebook. This is offset by the fact that LinkedIn usually produces higher quality leads. But you need to make sure that you can support a more expensive campaign before starting one.
So what’s the verdict; are LinkedIn ads worth your time? Only you can decide that for sure, but, in general, we recommend LinkedIn advertising to B2B companies that sell high-priced products and have a sizable advertising budget to work with.
That does not mean that B2C companies with small ads budgets can’t find success with LinkedIn ads. But we suggest looking at other advertising options first so that you can ensure your limited marketing dollars are spent wisely.