A Weekly Checklist for Keeping Your LinkedIn Campaigns on Track
November 7, 2019
During one of the most intense scenes in the movie Apollo 13, astronauts aboard the damaged spacecraft engage in a “manual burn,” in which they attempt to correct their trajectory toward Earth through a challenging 30-second acceleration burst. With computer equipment unavailable to assist, the crew is forced to keep the planet positioned visibly in a small window while dealing with the many variables of navigating a ship that’s blasting erratically through outer space.
If you’ve ever run marketing campaigns, you can probably relate in some way to that epic cinematic moment. With all the many moving parts in play — internally and externally — it can sometimes feel very difficult to keep that ultimate objective directly in your sights.
At LinkedIn, we redesigned our objective-based advertising (OBA) experience in Campaign Manager to help ensure your destination remains front-and-center with any planned advertising initiative. Our new Guide to Objective-Based Advertising includes plenty of direction for keeping your campaigns on course before and after launch. And when it comes to ongoing optimization, we’ve gathered some of our best tips into a handy checklist.
Checklist for Objective-Based LinkedIn Campaigns
Feel free to print out or save the list below, and cross-check it against your campaigns each week (or more frequently) to proactively ensure you are doing all you can to maximize spend efficiency and rocket toward your goals.
⬜ Double-Check to Make Sure Your Chosen Objective is Still Applicable
I realize this might seem like the “Is the computer plugged in?” troubleshooting fix, but there are a number of reasons a campaign might have the wrong objective set. Sometimes we accidentally choose the wrong one during setup. (It happens.) Other times, objectives change on the fly. It’s always advisable to reflect on what you’re trying to accomplish and how your chosen objective aligns.
One key thing to note, with regards to the OBA tool, is that Website Visits and Website Conversions are two disparate objectives, and will optimize for different things. Be sure you’re clear on whether the goal is driving people to your website, or driving them to take specific actions when they get there.
⬜ Make Sure You’re Running Several Pieces of Creative at Any Given Time
Our recurring mantra here at LinkedIn Marketing Solutions is: Always. Be. Testing. While marketers can theorize based on data and assumptions, the only way to truly know what resonates with your audience is to let them tell you through their actions. Try different images, copy, and CTAs, comparing results vigorously to see what’s performing best. For Brand Awareness, Website Visits, and Engagement campaigns, we recommend having at least four pieces of creative running at all times.
⬜ Turn Off Underperforming Creative
When you’re running multiple variations for an ad and monitoring results, you’ll soon start to gain insight as to what’s working and what isn’t. If you see particular creatives are falling flat, turn them off. This will help you maintain spend efficiency. Of course, you want to give the ads enough time to draw substantial data, but it’s often clear pretty quickly when certain variations fall way behind the pack.
⬜ Shift Budget from Bottom-Performing Campaigns to Top Performers
While running multiple campaigns, you can continuously manage and adjust the budgets for each. Proactively shifting dollars to campaigns that are performing better is a simple way to optimize your budget at a high level. Naturally, we also suggest looking for conclusions and takeaways about what’s making one campaign hit home compared to another, then applying those learnings.
⬜ Pause an Ad with Your Lowest-Performing Engagement and Swap in Fresh Creative
This is especially useful for Engagement campaigns. Spot the ad with your lowest engagement, and swap in new ad creative every week or two. This will help improve your ad relevance score over time, in turn helping you win more bids. It’s also a great way to continuously test new ideas and creative hooks.
⬜ Review Campaign Demographics for Top-Performing Segments and Adjust Target Audience
The demographic data available through Campaign Manager is powerful, and should not be overlooked. By digging into these analytics, you can learn which specific audience segments are generating the strongest results, and tweak your targeting on this basis. If a specific job function or industry is being drawn to your ads, you might consider focusing more in that area.
⬜ Check Ad Rotation Options
If you set your ads to optimize for performance, LinkedIn will automatically optimize for the desired outcomes with your chosen objective. This is generally the option we recommend. It’s still smart to keep an eye on the checkboxes above, but this setting can help you feel more confident about the efficiency of your spend in between opportunities to manually go in and make adjustments.
⬜ Reassess the Relevance of Your Content
When you’re doing all of the above and still not seeing the results you want, it never hurts to take a step back and look at the content you’re using for ads. Do the imagery, CTA, and headline really speak directly to your target audience? Is the message clear and concise? Does the order of your cards in a Carousel Ad tell a cohesive story? Are you videos captioned so members can follow along without sound? Be mindful of the mindset of your audience — busy professionals scanning a feed for useful and interesting information. Creating that instant connection is vital.
Check Your Boxes for Optimal Campaign Results
Digital advertising isn’t rocket science. But for busy marketers with a bevy of things to track, tweak, and monitor, it can sometimes feel that way. If you’re checking each of the eight boxes above for your LinkedIn campaigns every week or two, you can feel confident your ad strategy is consistently moving onward and upward.
For more tips and guidance on every objective type in the OBA experience, download LinkedIn’s Guide to Objective-Based Advertising. Happy landings!