How to set the best objective for your LinkedIn ad campaign

We’ve revamped LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager interface to make it easier to optimise campaigns around your objective – here’s how:

December 5, 2019

Whether it’s Winston Churchill (“Plans are of little importance but planning is essential”) or Dwight Eisenhower (“Planning is everything. The plan is nothing”) prime ministers, presidents and military leaders seem pretty much agreed: the plan that you create is much less important than the process you go through to get to it.

The best laid plans of mice and marketers definitely have a habit of going awry. Campaign numbers don’t add up in the way we’d hoped; competitor activity means that our scenarios are suddenly out of date; the sector agenda changes in ways we hadn’t expected. However, even when the detail of the roadmap goes out the window, there’s still real value in having thought carefully about where you’re trying to get to. Objectives outlive plans – and the better we understand them, the better our ability to course-correct and still make it to where we need to go.

When LinkedIn recently reconfigure the Campaign Manager interface for setting up self-serve ad campaigns on our platform, we put objective-based advertising at the heart of the process.

You start out by choosing the objective that matters most for your campaign, which enables our systems to suggest the ad formats and features that best support what you’re trying to achieve. Campaign Manager will then walk you through the options for targeting your audience. It’s able to optimise your campaigns according to your objective, so that your ads are shown to the members of your audience most likely to take the action you want. That could involve filling out a lead gen form, clicking through to a website or downloading a content asset.

But how can you feel confident you’ve selected the best objective for your campaign? Watch the video below to learn how objective-based advertising lets you market to the full funnel, from awareness to consideration to conversion, and how to select the best objective for your new campaign:

What LinkedIn ad objectives mean – and when to choose them

The image below shows the available advertising objectives that you can choose from when setting up your campaign. Here’s all the information you need on each of them. 

As you can see, the objectives cover the full marketing funnel from awareness all the way through to lead generation. We’ve broken them down into three categories: awareness, consideration, and conversions.

  • Awareness campaigns seek to maximise your brand’s share of voice 
  • Consideration campaigns encourage your target audience to engage with your brand and gain a better understanding of what you’re all about
  • Conversion campaigns focus on generating leads and using conversion tracking to measure the true impact of your ads, so you can optimise for even better performance

Now let’s explore all of the objectives to choose from when kicking off your LinkedIn advertising campaign. 

Brand Awareness

Choose Brand Awareness as your objective when you want to build your brand and fill the top of your funnel. Because the goal of awareness campaigns is to get as many of your target audience members to recognise your brand and what you’re known for (or want to be known for), campaigns with this objective will charge by impressions using CPM (cost per thousand impressions). 

Website Visits

This is the objective to select when you want your audience to click through from your ad and arrive at a landing page on your website (unless you want to track what happens when they get there, in which case you should choose website conversions as your objective). 


This is all about getting your audience to interact with your ad. If you want people to like your ad, share it (perhaps with a specific hashtag), comment on it, or follow your company, Engagement is the objective to select. 

Video Views

You guessed it: Video Views is objective to choose when your primary goal is driving views of your video ad. Video is a format you can use for other objectives as well. What’s unique about Video Views is that you can spend your budget based on how many people actually watch your video (cost per view). 

Lead Generation

Choose Lead Generation when your goal is to cultivate potential customers for your offering. Lead gen campaigns tend to work even better when you combine them with campaigns focused on brand awareness and engagement. You can use the data generated by people engaging with these campaigns to target your lead gen activity at people who are interested, and likely to convert.

Lead Generation campaigns use LinkedIn’s Lead Gen Forms, which are pre-filled with LinkedIn members’ profile data, making it easier than ever to get high-quality leads with accurate data. 

Website Conversions

This objective goes hand-in-hand with LinkedIn’s Conversion Tracking tool. If you choose Website Conversion as your objective, you’ll need to set up Conversion Tracking because that’s how you’ll track – and accurately attribute – downloads and form fills. The main difference between the Lead Generation objective and the Website Conversions objective, is that Lead Generation form fills occur on LinkedIn (using LinkedIn’s Lead Gen Forms), while Website Conversion form fills occur on your website. 

Job applicants

Did you know that LinkedIn Talent Solutions customers can create ads using Campaign Manager? If you’re looking to encourage people to apply for vacancies at your company, this is your objective. 

Achieve your campaign objectives on LinkedIn

Once you’ve chosen your objective and launched your campaign, you’ll have a wealth of data to optimise your approach and try to beat the targets in your plan. You’ll be able to do this using LinkedIn’s redesigned ad reporting interface, which works seamlessly with our new, objective-based campaign creation flow.