Why You Should Automate Your LinkedIn Ads

October 18, 2016

The topic of automation in marketing arises a lot of questions, curiosity, and even a degree of apprehensiveness. For good reason -- it can seem scary to give up a portion of control over your ad campaign management over to technology.

In an ideal world, advertisers would have the capacity to monitor and tweak their campaigns around the clock -- even on weekends. In reality, dedicated optimisation time continues to dwindle under the weight of increased responsibilities, meetings, and unyielding reporting requests. There’s a time and place for automation, and it can have a profound impact on the performance of your ad campaigns, while freeing up marketers to refocus their time on what matters most.

Let’s pull back the curtain behind advertising automation and examine how it can be used to drive better performance from your LinkedIn Advertising campaigns.

What is Ad Automation?

Advertising automation is the process of turning previously manual, often mundane optimisation tasks into automated jobs that run in the background using technology. This allows for continual monitoring and optimization of ad accounts, campaigns, and ad creative without taking up a marketer’s precious time.

What Types of Automation Are There?

There are two different, distinct types of automation:

Full Automation

A user simply opts into a black box algorithm that will optimise your ad account without advertiser input.

Ideal for:

Newer advertisers or those will lean budgets (SMBs). Also ideal for bid management solution based on ROI for app promotion and eCommerce objective campaigns.

Rule-Based Optimisation

An advertiser chooses which metrics (KPIs) and costs ranges they care about. Optimisation is run automatically according to the user's set of defined rules.

Ideal for:

Businesses who want full control and flexibility over their optimisation strategy. Designed for intermediate to advanced advertisers – especially those running direct response (web conversion) objective campaigns.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Automation?

It provides marketers with more time to dedicate to high level items such as:

  • Forming comprehensive campaign strategies

    • In-depth audience & targeting research

    • Estimating budgets & expected return projections

    • Creating thorough, robust new campaigns

  • Crafting more impactful ad creative

    • Creating themed content campaigns

    • Enhancing your product/service positioning that better resonates

    • Testing messaging with variations

  • Optimising past the click (Conversion Rate Optimisation)

    • Improving the landing page experience

      • Such as ensuring your landing page is mobile friendly

    • Testing different calls-to-action

    • Rearranging your forms position and field length

It can be used to monitor and improve performance trends in real-time, such as:

  • Observing the pacing of your budget at the account and campaign levels

    • Combating overspend by pausing campaigns that reach budget

    • Increasing the pacing of underspending campaigns with bid optimisation

  • Tracking and increasing the performance of your ad accounts, campaigns, and ad creative based on the metrics you care about. Such as:

    • Average CTR increases or decreases

    • Average CPM or CPC increases or decreases

    • Conversion volume trends

    • Cost per conversion trends

What Tasks for LinkedIn Ads Should I Automate?

As a LinkedIn Marketing Solutions partner, here at AdStage, we’re obsessed with creating new automation solutions that provide better campaign performance and save marketers an incredible amount of time. Below are some suggested automated tasks gained from leading LinkedIn advertiser suggestions and analysis of millions in ad spend.

Campaign Monitoring & Alerting

Campaign Budget Pacing Alert

Ensure your campaigns don’t overspend past your target budget with a campaign spend alert.

Let’s say you have a campaign with a $800 budget for the course of the month. Instead of needing to check in on the budget pacing for the campaign each weekday, instead set email alerts to fire when campaign spend is close to reaching your total budget.

Campaign Overspend Alert Setup

IF my “LI Conversion Tracking - Blog Post - Engagement” campaign reaches 85% of my budget (spend greater than $650), then I want an email alert sent to my inbox. I want this alert to run everyday before 5am and check on the month-to-date spend of the campaign. Once I receive the alert, I’ll lower the daily budget to pace correctly across the remaining days of the month.

Account Underspend Alert

Advertisers are provided with a budget to aid with company goals. Failing to maximise your total budget limits the number opportunities to make a larger impact for your organisation. Monitor the spend pacing closely with an account level alert so you can make adjustments to utilise your total funds.

Imagine having a total monthly budget of $12,000 to spend on LinkedIn advertising a month. In a 4-week month, you have a budget of $3,000 per week to spend on advertising. Instead of constantly needing to calculate monthly spend pacing in dashboards or spreadsheets, create an alert to monitor rolled up weekly spend across all your campaigns.

Account Underspend Alert Setup

IF my total ad spend last week across all the campaigns in my account is less than $2,500, THEN send me a triggered email alert to prompt me to increase campaign budgets.

  1. Optimisation Rules

Pause Ads with No Conversions Rule

Continuing to advertise poor performing ad copy has the negative impact of increasing your overall average cost per click, and your average cost per conversion (lead) prices. Pause poor performing Sponsored Content and Text ad creative automatically by setting up a performance rule.

Non-Converting Ad Creative Pause Rule Setup

IF any of my ad creative across desired campaigns has historic spend of $120 or more, AND over 500 impressions, BUT has received no conversions, THEN pause those ads in question -- using data from the past 14-days, automatically. Run this rule everyday at 5pm and send me an email digest of the campaigns paused.

Increase Bids for Low CPA Campaigns Rule

There’s an old saying in digital advertising: if you find something that works, double down on it. Take advantage of campaigns with great click through rates and attractive cost per conversion trends by increasing their audience reach with bid optimisation.

Increase Bids on Campaigns with Low CPAs Rule

IF any of my Text Ads or Sponsored Content campaigns have a CTR of greater than .30% AND an average cost per conversion of less than $150 AND more than one historical conversion over the past 14-days, THEN increase the campaign bid 5%, with a bid ceiling of $18.00. Schedule the rule to run every Monday morning at 5am.

Wrapping Up

Automation doesn’t need to be daunting. Instead view it as a way to automate your most mundane and routine ad optimisation steps, freeing you up to think about high level strategy and ad creative. Dabble with email alerts until you feel comfortable with the process, then move into automation rules to drive better campaign performance and more conversions.