10 Top Tips for a Successful Sponsored Content Campaign

Follow these tactics to meet your marketing objectives sooner on LinkedIn

November 21, 2018

10 Top Tips for a Successful Sponsored Content Campaign

I love my job as a senior online ads strategist for LinkedIn. I get to work closely with advertisers on their Sponsored Content campaigns, sharing ideas for maximising their budgets, and helping them get full value from the LinkedIn platform and the opportunities it presents. There’s nothing better than being able to share a tip or a tactic that you know will make a big difference to marketers meeting their objectives – and that’s why I’m writing this post. Maybe you’re not yet running a Sponsored Content campaign on LinkedIn – or perhaps you’re wondering whether your existing campaigns could work harder for you. Either way, I wanted to share ten tips that I know will make a difference – because I’ve watched them make a difference to lots of other marketers that I’ve worked with.

Scroll down for the insights that I’ve found most valuable for helping advertisers set up campaigns, target effectively, generate more leads, track impact and demonstrate ROI to their business.

How to set up content and landing pages:

Include four ads in each campaign

LinkedIn is a members-first platform, which means everything is optimised on the basis of user experience. We set frequency caps that ensure each user only sees a particular ad once in 48 hours, and a maximum of four unique creatives overall. That’s why we recommend each campaign contains at least four unique ads, to help keep your message fresh and front-of-mind for the audience. A unique ad doesn’t have to involve wholly different content. Variations on your message and headline are enough to qualify – and help you to keep engaging your audience.

Run A/B tests to compare different ad versions

Direct Sponsored Content is Sponsored Content that appears only in your audience’s feed and not on your Company or Showcase Page. This enables you to test different combinations of creative and copy for your ads without creating a Company Update first – and without cluttering up the experience on your pages. Check the performance of these different ad versions every two weeks. Pause the ad with the lowest engagement and replace it with new creative. Over time, this will improve your Relevance Score, and help you win more bids.

Check the mobile experience of your landing page

Approximately 60% of LinkedIn members access the feed from a mobile device. That means they’ll experience the landing pages where your Sponsored Content directs on mobile as well. Check that all landing pages are easy to view and navigate on mobile devices.

Implement Autofill with LinkedIn

Autofill with LinkedIn is a free tool that pre-fills information from a members LinkedIn’s profile on data capture forms, making it easier and quicker for people to supply you with their details. Implement it on your landing pages to generate more quality leads.

How to target your audience:

Keep your addressable audience size above 50-80,000 members to begin with

This helps you cast a wider net and use testing to learn which content and targeting strategies are most effective for your business. From there, you can optimise campaigns to focus on your most valuable audiences, or create bespoke campaigns for specific segments

Build your targeting approach around seniority, industry and function

This will give you a scalable yet relevant audience. We recommend using a maximum of two to three targeting facets for each campaign, in order to avoid hyper-targeting and paying too much for your ads. Function is a far more inclusive targeting facet than Job Title, and Seniority is more accurate than Age, which is inferred rather than specified by members themselves.

Segment your campaigns by geography when scale allows

You can target Sponsored Content by geography based on the location a member has included in their profile. When members fail to list a location, this targeting facet uses IP address instead. This gives you the opportunity to tailor campaigns to the specific needs and priority issues of different markets – provided you still have the addressable audience size you need.

How to bid successfully:

Keep bids at the high end of the suggested bid range – or higher

The suggested bid range gives you valuable insight on how to win auctions to display your Sponsored Content to your target audience. It’s based on what other advertisers are bidding when targeting similar profiles. Bidding at the top of the suggested bid range or higher is the best way to maximise exposure to the audience you’re interested in. Because LinkedIn advertising products are decided on a second-price auction, you will only have to pay the minimum amount needed to beat the second-placed bid. So even if you bid at the high end of the range, you are likely to pay less.

Run your campaign for at least two weeks

Sponsored Content auctions are decided by a combination of Bid and Relevance Score (based on indicators that LinkedIn members find the content interesting, such as clicks, comments or shares). Campaigns are assigned a Relevance Score approximately 4-5 days after launch, and so running campaigns for two weeks gives you time to launch, analyse, optimise and benefit from the stronger Relevance Score that results.

How to track conversions and ROI:

Implement Conversion Tracking

Through LinkedIn Conversion Tracking, you can define conversion actions on your website, such as content downloads, sign-ups or purchases, and then track how Sponsored Content contributes to those conversions. You’ll be able to track how many times members converted after engaging with, or even just viewing, your ads. For robust tracking, tie your conversions to the Thank You pages that your site displays after visitors successfully complete an action.