LinkedIn Ads Now Feature Conversion Tracking — Here's How You Can Make the Most of It
October 4, 2016
Good news — LinkedIn Sponsored Content and Text Ads now have conversion tracking capabilities. You probably won’t find anyone who’s hoped and prayed more for this feature than I have. Now that it’s here, I’m excited to tell you about what it is and how my team and I use it to get the most out of our advertising efforts at my agency B2Linked.com.
First, what is conversion tracking?
The code tracks anyone that clicks on one of your LinkedIn ads and then converts to a lead or sale within a 30-day period. When the code fires, it alerts your LinkedIn Ads account, so it can associate that conversion with the individual ad and campaign that drove the new lead.
This means that you can now track the conversion rate and cost per lead (CPL) of all of your advertising efforts right from within Campaign Manager. You can even track conversions by audience segment to see which types of audiences are driving the most conversions -- and optimize your targeting from there.
How does it impact optimization?
Like most marketers, when I first began advertising on LinkedIn, I tracked what I could using the metrics I had—namely click-through rates (CTR). I instinctively figured that an ad that was more interesting, and garnered more clicks, was more likely to convert, so I made my optimizations accordingly.
Then I got a little more sophisticated and started compiling and comparing lead data with ad performance data. When I compared my CTR optimizations with my lead-based optimizations, I was surprised to find no correlation between high CTRs and high conversion rates.
What did that mean to my advertising account? It meant I had been optimizing to the wrong metric the entire time. I actually would have fared just as well statistically had I randomly decided which ads were better performers! Thankfully, those days are gone.
What’s the advantage of in-platform tracking?
In-platform conversion tracking provides a number of benefits including these must-haves:
Easier analyses—minus the cumbersome data exports to Excel
The old way to track conversions was to export lead data from Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics, then export your ad performance insights, and marry the two in Excel. Then you still had to crunch the numbers. Because this type of analysis was so time consuming, it probably didn’t get done often enough.
With LInkedIn conversion tracking, you skip all those steps, and the lead-level insights (like cost per conversion and conversion rate) are available immediately. You’re now free to perform quick analyses directly inside the platform, saving you a lot of time and hassle.
Faster A/B Testing
If you’re currently A/B testing your ads, you know there is a point at which you will have collected enough data for the results to become statistically significant, and you can make a decision about the winner.
Unfortunately, in the time it usually takes to export your data to Excel and jump through all the hoops outlined above, your poor performing ads continue to run, depleting your budget and making you look bad. The sooner you can make the call about which ads are performing and which are not, the better.
There are lots of insights about both audience and sales that you can gain from your A/B tests. It stands to reason that the more tests you can complete, the more you will learn. Having lead data available directly in the platform allows us to iterate more rapidly and gain insights faster.
At B2Linked.com, we often work with companies that have sizeable budgets and are willing to invest, but are unable to scale quickly and efficiently. Nothing is worse than going all in and spending big money, just to find out that half your budget was wasted!
The good news is that even if you don’t have an abundance of down-funnel data yet, the ability to track conversions right in the LinkedIn platform enables you to take initial leads as a cue and scale intelligently—and fast. You can quickly spot inefficient campaigns before they harm your overall initiative and either pause or retool them as needed.
A word about tracking post-lead metrics
While tracking initial campaigns is highly valuable, I also recommend you keep a close watch on down-funnel efficiency as well to determine which LinkedIn conversions ultimately become closed deals or paying customers
More specifically, I recommend building a model that tracks conversion rates from each stage of the sales funnel. If you find for example that 10 percent of your leads close, then it’s easy to determine which campaigns are producing leads efficiently, and which should be scaled back or retooled.
If you haven’t set up conversion tracking yet, I highly recommend you do. Getting started is easy and the amount of time and energy you save with in-platform analysis and faster testing will make you the office hero.
Ready to use conversion tracking? Log into LinkedIn Campaign Manager and click “Conversion tracking” at the top right of the home screen to get started.