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How to Use LinkedIn Advertising to Get More Sales

windows into a business

Did you know that you can create ads on LinkedIn? The social media platform has helpful tools to promote your business, get more sales, and make money online.

However, you need a different strategy on LinkedIn, since you will be targeting professional workers and other businesses.

We’ll show you how to start LinkedIn advertising and maximize the tools it provides.

Step 1. Sign up to LinkedIn campaign manager

Before you can sign up as a LinkedIn Campaign Manager, you need to register a personal account first.

After that, follow these instructions:

  1. Sign in to your personal LinkedIn profile and click the Work button at the top right corner.
  2. Then, choose Advertise.
  3. Fill out the Account Name and Currency forms. You may also specify a LinkedIn page for your campaign but that it’s optional.
  4. Once it’s done, hit Create Account.
  5. Click Create Campaign to start configuring your ad.
LinkedIn Campaign Manager's welcome page

You can create more than one campaign manager account on LinkedIn, if you need.

Step 2. Set your objective

Setting a clear objective is important for the overall success of your LinkedIn advertising campaign.

By doing this, you know what kind of audience you want to target and how you’re going to approach them. Your ad campaign will be more effective and you can measure its success.

On LinkedIn, you can choose one of these objectives:

  • Brand awareness — leave a good impression as the first step of brand building
  • Website visits — attract people to visit your website
  • Engagement — get more likes, followers, and shares on your LinkedIn profile
  • Video views — increase your number of video views
  • Lead generation — generate customers from LinkedIn users
  • Website conversion — improve your website conversion rate
  • Job applicants — encourage people to apply for a job opportunity in your company

You will get a different set of ad formats depending on the objective you select.

Step 3. Define your target audience

After you decide on your campaign’s objective, it’s time to define your target audience.

By identifying your audience, you can optimize the campaign to be more interesting to them. This way, you will improve your ad’s response rate significantly.

You can target your audience based on a handful of factors on LinkedIn, including:

  • Location — specify the area where your target audience works. It can be a city, a state, or a country. This field is mandatory on LinkedIn advertising.
  • Language — filter your target based on the language they speak. Language and location are the basic factors in LinkedIn ad targeting.
  • Company — target a specific group of audience based on their company connections, followers, industry, name, and size.
  • Demographics — define the age range and gender that you want to target.
  • Education — take degrees, fields of study, and school memberships into account when targeting LinkedIn users.
  • Job experience — target job functions, job seniority, job title, skills, and years of experience.
  • Interests — target based on the interests of users. It might be influencers, categories, and companies that they follow.

What’s great about LinkedIn advertising is that the platform has a feature called Audience Expansion.

This allows you to reach other potential customers similar to your original target audience.

LinkedIn provides a good example of this feature.

Let’s say you want to target people who have online advertising skills.

If you enable audience expansion, LinkedIn will include someone who has similar expertise, such as Interactive Marketing, on their profile.

To start using the feature:

  • Go to your LinkedIn Campaign Manager Dashboard
  • Choose Create Campaign
  • Select the Audience section and simply tick the Enable Audience Expansion box to turn it on

Besides expanding your reach, LinkedIn lets you exclude certain types of demographics so they won’t see your ads.

The setting is located on the Audience section, right above the Audience Expansion box.

You can choose to exclude a location, company, demographics, education, job experience, interest, and traits.

Step 4. Pick your advertisement format

To choose an ad format:

  • Go to your LinkedIn Campaign Manager Dashboard
  • Select Create Campaign
  • Choose the Ad format section

There are several ad formats for you to choose from. They are grouped into Sponsored Content Message Ads, Text Ads, and Dynamic Ads.

To help you decide which one fits your needs, we’re going to explain all the options.

Sponsored content

Sponsored Content Page on LinkedIn

Sponsored content is a set of native ads that are displayed on the Homepage of your target audience. However, people won’t see it on your company page.

This is what the ad looks like on your feed:

An example of LinkedIn advertising (Here Maps)

Since sponsored content is accessible to the readers, it usually generates high engagement rates.

If you want to create sponsored content, choose from three different ad formats:

  • Single Image Ads
  • Video Ads
  • Carousel Ads.

As the names suggest, the first two options allow you to post one picture and one video that users can click.

Carousel ads are also clickable, the difference is that they let you upload several images to tell your brand story.

Message Ads

Message Ads page on LinkedIn advertising

With Message Ads, known previously as Sponsored InMail, you can send an ad to the message inbox of your targeted audience.

An example of Message Ads

It is delivered when your audience is active on LinkedIn, no matter when you send it. This is useful to ensure immediate response to your ad.

Message Ads is one of the most effective and engaging formats in LinkedIn advertising. As a matter of fact, LinkedIn claims that more than 50% of your audience will open your ad.

Think of Message Ads just like an email marketing campaign. Your direct message has to include:

  • A top banner
  • Body text
  • A call-to-action button.

You can also measure its open rate and click-through rate.

Text Ad

Unlike Sponsored Content, Text Ads is located on the right side of LinkedIn members’ Home page. People can only see it on the desktop version.

The ads look simple. They merely contain a text-based message along with your brand logo.

Text Ads in LinkedIn advertising

Dynamic Ads

Dynamic ads are personalized advertisements from LinkedIn. They allow you to use a member’s profile data inside your ad content.

Users are generally more interested in Dynamic Ads because they can see their name and image. This increases your chance of getting clicks.

LinkedIn Dynamic Ads

The benefit of this ad format type is that it remains on a user’s screen as long as they are on the LinkedIn Home page.

People see it all the time even when they scroll the page. As a result, your ad has a higher chance of getting clicked.

Unfortunately, the size of dynamic ads is small, similar to Text Ads. It is also only available on the LinkedIn website and not on its mobile app.

The available ad formats in Dynamic Ads are:

  • Follower ads — boost the number of your company followers. The striking feature of this format is its Follow button.
  • Spotlight ads — promote your products, services, newsletters, or events and encourage the readers to visit your website.
  • Content ads — share files with your targeted audience. You have to contact a LinkedIn representative in order to use Content Ads.

Step 5. Enable LinkedIn audience network

Audience Network is a nifty feature. When turned on, it places your ads on LinkedIn’s partner apps and websites.

Thanks to this option, you can reach 25% more people since your ads will be displayed outside the LinkedIn feed.

LinkedIn carries out a high level of quality check to make sure your ads are placed on the best partners available.

You can review your ad performance from time to time by downloading the report.

Unfortunately, Audience Network only supports Sponsored Content. This means only Single Image and Video Ad campaigns that use a CPC (Cost Per Click) payment method.

Keep in mind that the feature is just available in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

To turn this feature on:

  • Head to your LinkedIn Campaign Manager Dashboard
  • Click Create Campaign
  • Select the Placement section
  • Click the Enable the LinkedIn Audience Network box

There is also an advanced setting under it, which includes two more options.

The first is to Exclude Categories. It lets you stop certain websites or apps from showing your ads. The list includes Education, Automotive, Real Estate, Sports, and many others.

The second option is to Upload a block list. It is useful when you want to compile specific websites or apps that you don’t like.

LinkedIn gives you a template to create this file, which should be in .csv or .txt format. You can block up to 20 thousand websites or apps.

Step 6. Adjust ad budget and schedule

The next step is to set your LinkedIn ad budget and schedule.

This is important, as you have to make sure that your spending doesn’t exceed your budget.

The setting is located on the Budget & Schedule section on your LinkedIn Create Campaign menu.

Ad Schedule

On LinkedIn, you have the option to choose Run campaign continuously from a start date or Set a start and end date.

When you run a campaign continuously, your campaign will run as long as your ad budget is sufficient.

Meanwhile, if you set an end date, LinkedIn will show your ads within the specified period. That being said, your campaign might often be finished sooner than the planned end date.

Ad Budget

LinkedIn advertising offers five budget limit options depending on the format you choose. You can choose between:

  • Daily Budget
  • Total Budget
  • Daily and Total Budget
  • Lifetime Budget
  • Daily and Lifetime Budget

LinkedIn shows you forecasted results on the right sidebar. It predicts the key results, like total clicks, total impression, and CTR, based on your budget and schedule

Daily Budget

The daily budget limits your expense based on a fixed amount per day. That said, you have to spend at least $10 to activate it.

The final amount of money you have to shell out might be up to 20% higher. This is because LinkedIn will display your ads if it thinks that you could get more clicks on a busy day.

Supported ad formats:

  • Single-image ads
  • Carousel ads
  • Video ads
  • Text ads.

Total Budget

Total Budget requires you to specify how much money you want to spend during your campaign. But unlike daily budget, you won’t be charged extra at the end of your ad schedule.

This method has three pacing tools, which control how fast your money will be spent:

  • Optimized traffic pacing — makes sure your ads are only displayed when LinkedIn members are active. Your budget may be spent sooner or on time.
  • Even pacing — will divide your total budget evenly per day during the ad campaign.
  • No pacing — spends your ad budget as fast as possible.

LinkedIn is slowly phasing out the Total Budget option and replacing it with Lifetime Budget.

Supported ad formats:

  • Spotlight ads
  • Follower ads

Daily and Total Budget

You can also set both a daily and total budget. With this option, you need to set the maximum amount of money you are willing to spend per day and for your entire campaign.

The daily budget might still charge you an additional 20% fee but your total spending will not surpass your total budget.

You should note that LinkedIn will stop displaying your ads when the total limit is reached — even though the schedule is not finished.

Supported ad formats:

  • Single-image ads
  • Carousel ads
  • Video ads
  • Text ads
  • Spotlight ads
  • Follower ads

Lifetime Budget

Lifetime Budget is similar to the Total Budget. The difference is that the Lifetime budget is optimized to boost your ad performance.

You don’t have to choose the pacing tool, as it will decide the daily spending to get more clicks and a higher engagement rate.

Although the Lifetime Budget is made to replace Total Budget, this option is not available for all LinkedIn advertising users yet.

Supported ad formats:

  • Spotlight ads
  • Follower ads

Daily and Lifetime Budget

With the Daily and Lifetime Budget options, your ads are optimized automatically, but you can limit how much money to spend per day.

This time, the extra charge from the Daily Budget increases to 50%, instead of 20%.

You also can’t pick an end date on your schedule. As such, your campaign stops as soon as the budget limit is reached.

Supported ad formats:

  • Single-image ads
  • Carousel ads
  • Video ads
  • Text ads
  • Spotlight ads
  • Follower ads

Bid Type

A bid represents how much money you want to spend per click, per 1000 impressions, per send, or per video views that your ad gets.

You are going to compete with other advertisers. The higher your bid is, the more likely LinkedIn will display your ads.

LinkedIn has three bid types:

  • Automated bids
  • Maximum bids
  • Enhanced CPC bids

With Automated bids, LinkedIn will decide on the cost of every action you’ll receive with the help of machine learning.

This is the recommended method for beginners or someone who wants their ads to be optimized automatically.

Or if you want to manually set a bid cap, the Maximum bids method will be a better suit for you. Just note that you might fail to get a good result if your bid is too low.

The last bid type is Enhanced CPC bids, which will optimize your bid based on the entered amount. LinkedIn will only display your ads to those who are really likely to click.

However, Enhanced CPC bids are limited to Website Visits, Engagement, Lead Generation, and Website Conversion campaign objectives. It is also only compatible with Single-image Ads, Video Ads, and Carousel Ads.

Thankfully, you don’t have to think too hard about how much you should spend. LinkedIn gives you a recommended bid amount below the setting.

Step 6. Track ad performance

LinkedIn Campaign dashboard to see and track your ad campaign performance

The final step of creating a LinkedIn ad is to set up its performance tracking.

You need to track your ad performance because the data will help you make decisions to improve your results.

You can see if you have to increase your bids, edit the content, or change your objective.

To track your ad performance on LinkedIn, you need to turn on conversion tracking.

  1. Simply go to Account Assets -> Conversions on your Campaign Manager Dashboard or click Add Conversions on the last section of your ad creation process.
  2. After that, you have to choose your conversion and create your ad settings that include:
    • Action types — define what action you want your target audience to do. There are several types, such as Add to Cart, Download, Install, Key Page View, Lead, Other, Purchase, and Signup.
    • Time Window — specify when you want to start seeing the results of the ad click or view. The period varies from 1, 7, to 30 days.
    • Attribution Model — defines how LinkedIn credits one click or view.
  3. You need to decide how you would like to track your conversion. The suggested method is to use a site-wide Insight Tag. It is a JavaScript tag that will integrate your website with LinkedIn Campaign Manager.
  4. Enter the website URL that you want to track. You can add more than one, depending on your objective and preference.
  5. Hit Create and Next.

Why should you advertise on LinkedIn?

If you want to target professionals and businesses with your ads, LinkedIn is the perfect social media platform. Here’s why:

  • Unique audience targeting — target a specific audience based on their professional information
  • Various campaign objectives — use features to optimize your results depending on your objective
  • Numerous ad formats — choose ad formats that you think will be suitable for your audience and objective
  • Wide ad placement — reach more potential customers by showing your ads on other websites and apps
  • Flexible budget and schedule — set a bid amount and campaign period that work for you
  • Powerful conversion tracking — get full performance tracking to review and improve the campaigns running

LinkedIn advertising recap

LinkedIn advertising offers a great opportunity to get more sales from professional workers and business owners.

The ad creation process is quick and easy thanks to the LinkedIn Campaign Manager platform.

In this article, we have shown you how to start an ad campaign on LinkedIn with its Campaign Manager. To help you recap, let’s overview the steps once more.

  • Sign up to LinkedIn Campaign Manager
  • Set up your campaign objective
  • Define your target audience
  • Pick your advertisement format
  • Enable LinkedIn Audience Network
  • Adjust ad budget & schedule
  • Track ad performance

Now that you have learned all the process and benefits, it is time to create your own LinkedIn ads.

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Martina is an expert in writing about website building and eCommerce, but her real passion is helping others grow their small business online. From solid branding to punchy marketing strategies, you can count on her for the best growth tricks. In her spare time, Martina loves nothing more than a good scoop of ice-cream and a sweaty match of tennis.

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