When it comes to digital advertising, quality score is one of the most important factors to determine how relevant your ad is to your target. In other words, is your ad reaching the right audience with the right message? Different channels have different ways of estimating this relevance. Today, we will zoom in on LinkedIn, and how to check the campaign quality score of your Sponsored ads.
1. What is Campaign Quality Score on LinkedIn?
As we briefly mentioned above, quality score on LinkedIn is an approximate estimation of how your ad compares to similar ads from similar advertisers.
Every time you launch a campaign, you are trying to reach a specific target audience with your segmentation. However, you are usually not the only one trying to do so. In fact, the chances are that there are hundreds of other advertisers aiming to reach the same audience as you.
In fact, they don’t even have to be direct competitors. A company with a product or a service that has nothing to do with your own offerings can still compete with you for a certain audience. And this all happens through a real-time auction.
The way these auctions work is very simple. Of course, it will depend on the bidding type that you choose, but the general idea is that you set a maximum amount that you are willing to pay. It can be per click, per view, per Message send, or even per thousand views.
Once you’ve set your maximum amount, LinkedIn will compare it to what similar advertisers are bidding. In the example above, we can see that they are bidding between 2.55€ and 4.20€, while my maximum bid is 4.20€.
This all sounds great, right? However, there is one key consideration.
If the bid was the only factor for your ad to show up, advertisers with bigger budgets would always end up winning this bid. So, companies with more limited budgets and lower Cost per Click would have no chance whatsoever.
And this is where Campaign quality score comes into play on LinkedIn.
As we already discussed, quality score determines how relevant your ad is to your target audience. For you, this means that if your bid is lower, but your ad is more relevant than your competitors, you still have the chance to win the auction and show up on LinkedIn’s feed.
Also, having higher relevance score means that your campaign will be more efficient in the auction. Which, consequently, will lower the bid that you need to offer in order to win it. In other words, you will end up paying less per single click!
After all, LinkedIn also cares about showing relevant ads to its users. Why? Well, because if the user resonates with the ad, he is more likely to click/purchase from it. Which gives monetary benefits to both LinkedIn and the advertiser.
In this example, we can see that although Company 2 offered a higher bid, their LinkedIn campaign quality score was lower. Which helped Company 1 win the auction as their overall combined score was higher.
The quality score of their ads compensated for the lower bid with relevance.
2. How is Quality Score determined?
Compared to Google Ads, LinkedIn is not as transparent when it comes to how they calculate campaign quality score. However, there are certain things that we know sure that can help us create relevant and more efficient ads.
First, one thing to keep in mind is that campaign quality score is not available for all LinkedIn ad formats. You can check it for:
- Sponsored Content;
- Message ads (Sponsored InMail);
- Text ads;
- Dynamic ads;
However, you will not be able to see it for Video ads nor Carousel ads.
Second, quality score is calculated daily at campaign level. For its proper estimation, LinkedIn’s algorithms use your predicted campaign performance, and the predicted performance of top campaigns competing for the same audience.
If your campaigns have any historical activity, it will take this data into consideration as well. This means that, if your campaign has registered high interaction by the audience in the past, this will have a positive impact if you reactivate it at a later moment.
Although we don’t know 100% for sure what goes into determining quality score, there are some key factors, such as:
- Click-through rate (CTR) – what percentage of people who see your ad actually click on it? The higher the CTR, the more this means for LinkedIn that your ad is relevant for your audience.
- Likes / Reactions – does your campaign have a lot of interaction, such as likes and reactions? This sort of engagement is a good indicator that people are reacting positively to your ad.
- Comments – how many comments does your campaign have? Not many people take the time to leave a comment, yet alone on an ad. So, the amount of comments adds up to the quality score.
- Shares – another positive indicator on whether your ad was relevant is the number of shares. If people liked your campaign, they might share it with connections that could be interested in your product as well.
- Engagement rate – engagement rate measures the number of total interactions that users had with your ad. In other words, the percentage of all clicks, likes, reactions, shares, etc. in total.
- Member feedback – if a lot of LinkedIn members send feedback that your ad was not relevant or even worse – spammy, this might impact your campaigns negatively.
3. How to check your Campaign Quality Score
To check your campaign quality score on LinkedIn, go to your Campaign Manager. Then, select the account in which you want to zoom in on your campaigns, if you have more than one. Obviously, if you only have one, just click on it so you can see all your existing campaigns.
Next, select the campaign that you wish to see the data for. This is how a selected campaign should look like:
Clearly, I have censored my campaign as it is confidential data from my company.
Next, in the upper right corner, select your preferred time range. You can either click on All time to see the quality score of this campaign during its full historical activity, or adjust it as you like.
One you’ve adjusted your time range, click on Export, the button just above it.
From the Report dropdown, select the option Campaign performance:
Then, select your time breakdown, and click on Export to export all the data into a .csv file. Personally, I like to choose the All time breakdown, but if you prefer to see the results broken down for each month, you can select the other option.
If you want to be able to select the Daily option, you might need to adjust your time range to the last 6 months. In my case, I have chosen the full historic activity for my campaign since the beginning, so this information is not available.
In your Excel sheet, find your campaign quality score in its designated column:
And now you have it! Depending on the number, you might need to work on it so you can improve it.
Let’s see how:
4. How to Improve the Quality of your ads
Now that we have a good understanding of what campaign quality score means for your LinkedIn campaigns, and how to check it, let’s see some ways in which you can improve it.
4.1. Start with the right target audience
We already saw that one of the most important factors for a good score is making your ad relevant to your users. However, this also implies that you are actually targeting the right audience, which, unfortunately, is not always the case.
With all the segmentation attributes that LinkedIn offers, sometimes it can be hard to locate your audience. So, if you need help with that, you might check some of these articles from my blog:
- 7 LinkedIn Marketing strategies for generating more leads
- 9 Tips for High-converting LinkedIn Sponsored ads
- LinkedIn ads: My Top 20 Awesome tips
You can also check my ebook The Complete Guide to LinkedIn Advertising by clicking on the banner below:
4.2. Use branded, high-quality images
LinkedIn ads are very visual, especially when it comes to Sponsored Content. For this reason, make sure that you:
- Use high-quality images that are easy on the eye and stand out from the crowd. Avoid images that are too dark.
- Brand your images with your corporate colours, illustrations ans other elements to boost brand awareness;
- Include a clear Call to Action to ensure that people know what to expect once they click on the ad;
- Make different creatives with different designs to find out which work the best. A/B testing is key for optimizing performance.
You can check my collection of 57 LinkedIn ads examples for some inspiration.
4.3. Test different ad copies
Of course, ads are not only all about the images. I highly recommend that you test different post content and lengths to see what content performs the best. Sometimes, people need more information to understand what your product is about.
In other occasions, just a couple of lines is enough for users to make up their mind. Some users might get bored having to read too much text.
4.4. Try different Call to Actions
A compelling Call to Action is key when it comes to a highly efficient LinkedIn ad, and a good campaign quality score. However, sometimes it is difficult for us to decide what a compelling Call to Action is for customers.
For this reason, the best strategy is to let them decide for themselves. You can do this by:
- Trying out different Call to Actions to see which gets your ad clicked the most;
- Play with the CTA placement, including it in your banner, ad copy or/and headline;
- Include promotions and offers within your ad to see what drives customers;
And last but not least, make sure that your CTA is aligned with your landing page, and the content on it. For example, it doesn’t make sense to have a “Purchase now” as your Call to Action if your landing page doesn’t include the option to purchase.
4.5. A/B testing & Optimization
A/B testing is key to having a high campaign quality score on LinkedIn. You should be constantly monitoring and optimizing your campaigns to see which elements work best (or worst).
Every couple of weeks, take a look at the banners, copies and CTAs that didn’t perform well, and pause them. However, your job doesn’t end with simply pausing what doesn’t work. After that, create new copies and banners and start a new batch of testing!
And that was all from me, folks! I hope you liked my article on LinkedIn Campaign Quality score. As always, thank you for taking the time to read my article, and I hope to see you in the next one! In the meantime, don’t hesitate to leave your doubts or questions in the comments below.