How to Create an A/B Testing Strategy for Your LinkedIn Ads

January 13, 2017

Editor’s Note: This blog post is part of a 14-day series on running successful LinkedIn Sponsored Content. View the previous blog post here.

With Linkedin’s Campaign Manager tool, you can learn how to reach the right audience by promoting the same posts against different audiences.

A true A/B test is a test that changes one variable at a time to see if it increases your metrics.

If you want to test your targeting strategy, set up two campaigns that are exactly the same in every way except for the target audience selected. Want to see if your content performs better for senior-level professionals vs. junior-level? Run an A/B test with all other variables equal except job level.

Follow these three steps to run an A/B test for your LinkedIn Sponsored Content:

  1. First, create a campaign that you want to promote. Customize the creative, bidding, budget, etc. then create an exact replica of that campaign as a second campaign.
  2. Once you have two campaigns that are exactly alike in every way, change one variable - for example, the targeting, the image or the image caption - and let the post run against the two different audiences. LinkedIn recommends letting the two campaigns run for at least two weeks before calling the test. After two weeks, use an A/B significance test to monitor the results.
  3. Make sure to also keep track of your A/B tests over time. Finally, glean the results from all of your tests (or design a long-term experiment) to gain insights about yourtarget audience and the success of your campaigns.

You can perform your A/B test with these types of LinkedIn ads:

Sponsored Content

Content campaigns that are promoted through paid channels based on posts you have also made directly on your Company Page.

Direct Sponsored Content

This allows you to post content directly in the LinkedIn feed without the content originating on your LinkedIn Company Page.

Direct Sponsored Content is a great way to A/B test whether or not your content works better for your followers or for new audiences. Skip the company post and instead sponsor the content directly to your audience through LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager. Simply click “create new Sponsored Content” when setting up your creative assets in the Campaign Manager.

On Monday we’ll explore how to implement Conversion Tracking. In the interim, create your own LinkedIn ad by logging into Campaign Manager.