How to Advertise on LinkedIn (In 7 Simple Steps)
October 20, 2016
It’s possible to have all the right tools for the job and still not get the best results. Choosing the best tools are a good first step. But even more important is knowing how to use them.
At LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, we exist to develop tools that help marketers reach the right audience with the most relevant content. We use these tools every day to grow our business and we want to make sure you know how to use them to their full potential as well.
We recently created a page that takes an in-depth look at how to advertise on LinkedIn. Consider this post your quick-start guide: It’s an overview of the process to get you up and running.
Here are the seven steps to successful LinkedIn Advertising.
1. Choose Self-Service or Managed Campaigns
LinkedIn’s all-in-one advertising platform makes it quick and easy to get started on a self-service campaign with Text Ads and Sponsored Content. Use the Campaign Manager to configure ads, run campaigns, and monitor progress.
For a more strategic approach that tends to attract a premium audience, try LinkedIn’s account-managed advertising. This service pairs you with a dedicated team of LinkedIn experts to help in each stage of the process, from targeting to optimization.
2. Get Started with Campaign Manager
Campaign Manager is the hub of your LinkedIn advertising activity. There you will find detailed results of your ads’ performance, including the demographics of members who clicked on your ads, engagement with Sponsored Content, and more.
It’s worth taking a few minutes to get started with Campaign Manager before you proceed.
3. Choose Your Ad Format
Choose whether to create Sponsored Content, Text Ads, or both.
Sponsored content appears natively in LinkedIn member feeds, whether they’re on desktop, laptop, or mobile device. A good way to get started with Sponsored Content is to promote your top-performing updates on your Company Page. Those updates were already a hit with your existing followers, so they’re most likely to appeal to a broader audience.
Text Ads are simple but effective ads that display on the side, top, or bottom of the LinkedIn member’s feed. Keep your copy short and compelling and use a dynamic visual for the best results.
4. Create Your Ads
For Sponsored Content, you can choose an update to your Company or Showcase Page to promote, or create new Sponsored Content. Try creating multiple versions of your Sponsored Content with variations on the creative, to see which gets the best results.
For Text Ads, you can specify a link that clicking the ad will open, then add an image, headline and brief description. You can run 15 variations of a Text Ad at a time—it’s best to start with a variety, then focus on the top performers.
5. Target Your Ads
One of the biggest advantages of advertising on LinkedIn is being able to target based on first-party, self-reported information. As you choose criteria, Campaign Manager will show your estimated target audience size in the right sidebar. It’s best to choose an audience that is broad enough to generate statistically significant results for the next round of optimization. At the same time, don’t sacrifice relevancy for bigger numbers.
Enable Audience Expansion to let LinkedIn’s algorithm find and target similar audiences to the one that you specified. It’s a good way to find potential LinkedIn members you might have overlooked.
6. Set Your Budget
You can choose to bid on cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-impression (CPM). Use CPC when the click is directly related to a conversion, like a webinar registration or lead capture. CPM is more useful for raising brand awareness.
Campaign Manager will suggest bid ranges for displaying your ad. It’s best to stay on the upper end of the suggested range. You will only ever pay just enough to beat the second-highest bidder, which is not necessarily your maximum bid.
7. Measure and Optimize
The LinkedIn auction system rewards ads with greater engagement. So it’s important to continually review your results, stop low-performing ads, and promote high-performing ones. Keep an eye on the metrics provided in Campaign Manager, and continue to test new variations based on your initial results.
The tools we create are designed to help you market to who matters on LinkedIn. Use this quick guide to get started, and we’ll continue developing and refining the platform to help you achieve amazing results.