Top 20 Advanced LinkedIn Ads Tips & Best Practices in 2021

Advertising on LinkedIn can be extremely powerful for reaching a highly-segmented target audience that meets unique professional criteria. However, it can often be challenging – especially if you don’t know the peculiarities of the platform and you don’t have much experience with LinkedIn advertising.

For this reason, today I will be giving you my top 20 advanced LinkedIn ads tips and best practices that you can start implementing right away. Of course, some may take more time than others, but trust me – it will be worth it!

linkedin ads tips and best practices

And now, without further ado, let’s dive right into our LinkedIn ads tips:

1. Avoid an audience size of over 500k users

Many people tend to overestimate the size of their audience. I’ve seen campaigns with an audience of 2-3 million users for a budget of just €500. When you are working with small budgets, it is better to go straight to the point and try to be as precise as possible instead of dispersing your budget all over the place.

linkedin audiences

LinkedIn ads tips #1: Use small audiences with less than 500k users

If your audience is too big, your performance results won’t be very precise. As a result, you will not be able to make good conclusions on what worked the best for you. Additionally, a smaller audience has a greater chance of getting a second impact from your campaign.

Impacting the same audience member more than once might increase the possibilities for a higher click-through rate.

To wrap it up, my recommendation is to keep your audience ideally between 100,000 and 300,000 users.

2. Divide bigger budgets into smaller campaigns

Second on our list of LinkedIn ads tips is tightly related to what we just said in the previous section. You might say – But if I have a huge budget, I can launch campaigns with an audience size of over 500k, right?

I mean yes, of course you can. However, I would still not recommend it.

If you have a bigger budget, you could potentially try with a wider audience in order to obtain more data for further analysis of your campaigns’ performance.

money icon competitor analysis

LinkedIn ads tips #2: Divide your budget into smaller campaigns

However, even in this case it might not be the best idea. Instead, I would recommend A/B Testing of smaller audiences to see which one works best for your goals.

For example, if your budget is €6,000, I would rather divide it into 3 different campaigns with a 100k-300k size instead of a single one with a +500k size.

The main reason why is because this will allow you to collect more precise and segmented data in order to analyze your performance. However, if you launch a huge campaign with multiple criteria, you wouldn’t be able to really know what made it work (or not).

Even if you look at the performance data, you will not be able to conclude if it was a single attribute that worked, or a combination of various – so you will really not be making the most out of it.

3. Do not mix many countries within a single campaign

Third on our list of LinkedIn ads tips and best practices is to avoid mixing too many countries within a single campaign. Of course, in some cases this can be a difficult task – your company wants you to reach multiple markets, and you have a very limited budget.

LinkedIn ads tips #3: Test different countries or locations separately

However, if you have the possibility, try testing countries separately in their own campaigns. And there are various reasons why:

  • In the same way that we saw previously, selecting multiple countries at once for your campaign will make it difficult to know which country converted the best.
  • Even worse – LinkedIn gives you very scarce data regarding campaign performance per country, which means that you might be wasting money without realizing.
  • And third, more countries mean bigger audiences – so, you risk a possible dispersion of your budget, and decreasing the possibilities for a second impact.

A wider audience can also make your performance results less precise. As tedious as it might be to make a different campaign for each region or country, it might be better for your long-term results. It will also help you make more educated decisions for your LinkedIn ads!

4. Pay attention to the segmentation criteria Company Size

When perfecting your target audience, be careful with the criteria Company Size. A lot of times, your audience size will blow up if you don’t exclude the option Myself Only.

This happens because the Company Size criteria makes a match with the number of employees that appear on LinkedIn Company Pages. Myself Only means that LinkedIn will show your ads to companies that only consist of one person, a lot of times freelancers who made a Company Page for themselves.

Which, of course, isn’t a bad thing – I am a freelancer myself, and my blog has a page with Myself Only as an employee. However, in many cases, this won’t fit the goals and needs of a B2B company because I am not a real business.

For example, if you want to advertise your B2B product to small or middle-sized companies, you might want to exclude Myself Only from the segmentation to make it more precise. Otherwise, you are not really reaching your target audience.

linkedin ads company size

LinkedIn ads tips #4: Use Company Size carefully 

5. Use Exclude filters to your advantage

Next on our list of LinkedIn ads tips and best practices is to use the Exclude filters to your advantage.

To achieve a more precise segmentation, you can include and exclude components from the same criteria at the same time (in the cases when the platform allows it). Let’s see an example with the criteria Job Seniorities.

To avoid profiles that don’t have any information about the job seniority of a user, you can include the desired seniorities while simultaneously excluding the ones that you don’t need.

linkedin ads tips

LinkedIn ads tips #5: Make use of the Exclude filters for a more precise audience

My audience dropped from 53K to 47K when I excluded Unpaid, Entry and Training. Even though LinkedIn shouldn’t show ads to them at all if I haven’t included them in the first place! However, it can still happen if you aren’t careful.

By following this LinkedIn ad tip, you “clean” profiles that don’t have any seniority information. This makes your segmentation significantly more precise.

6. Never stop A/B Testing

Although A/B Testing can sometimes be very tedious in LinkedIn as there are no ad groups, you should always be doing it.

When testing two different campaigns, try to only change one component at a time while keeping the others similar or the same. This way, you can discover what exactly works best for your campaigns.

LinkedIn ads tips #6: A/B testing is a must

There are multiple things that you can test, including:

  • Ad formats – such as Sponsored Content, Carousel or InMail;
  • Ad copies – you can try a shorter or a longer copy for your ad;
  • Headlines – they can make a great difference to your ads;
  • Segmentation – and of course, you can test different audiences;
  • Banners – rotating at least 2 or 3 banners for your campaign is a must;

As you can see, you have multiple combinations and elements that you can test. The thing is to constantly be trying something new – otherwise, you will notice that your results won’t get better over time.

7. Add UTM tags to your campaigns

Do not forget to add distinctive parameters to all your campaigns and banners within each campaign. It makes no sense to do A/B testing if you won’t be able to track and analyze your results to improve your performance!

UTM tracking is a great way to track where your conversions came from – including channels, ad formats and ad creatives. You can use a free tool such as the Campaign URL builder developed by Google:

linkedin ads tips - utm tracker

LinkedIn ads tips #7: Track your URLs to measure your conversions

All you need to do it paste the URL that you will be using for your campaign, add the parameters that you wish to track, and the tool will generate a trackable link that you can then use for your campaign as a substitute to the original one:

Once you’ve had your campaigns up and running for a while, you can easily track the results with Google Analytics and measure your metrics.

8. Set up your Conversion Tracking

Speaking of tracking conversions, next on our list of LinkedIn ads tips is to set up your conversion tracking.

Make sure you do that before you launch any campaigns, especially if you want to measure the number of people who made a valuable action on your website – which LinkedIn categorizes as a third party.

You can read my article 5 Quick Steps to Setting Up LinkedIn Conversion Tracking for more information.

9. Double-check all key campaign elements

With LinkedIn Ads, you should always double-check Step 1 (Set up Campaign) before moving on to Step 2 (Set up Ads).

You will be able to make modifications to your audience later on. However, some things like Objective, Profile Language, Lead Gen form and Ad Format can’t be changed once the campaign is launched.

product beta release

LinkedIn ads tips #9: Double check your campaigns

Of course, even if you can still make changes to your campaign after it’s been launched, it’s very important to double check anyways. From grammar mistakes to typos or using the wrong segmentation, we can always mess up something, and it’s better to take a second glance.

Otherwise, you might be wasting money unnecessarily.

10. Set both a daily and a total budget

When it comes to setting the budget for your campaigns, you have three options:

linkedin ads tips - set your budget correctly

LinkedIn ads tips #10: Seth both a daily and a lifetime budget

Personally, I don’t recommend setting a lifetime budget or a daily budget only. These two options are more difficult to control, and you may end up spending more money than you initially intended to.

Especially considering the fact that LinkedIn may exceed the daily budget a little bit if you are not paying attention. Instead, close the configuration with a previously determined total budget, and you can always reactivate your campaigns once it has been completed.

11. Be careful putting an end date to your campaign

The next one of our LinkedIn ads tips may sound weird, but trust me – I’ve suffered a lot with end dates.

If your audience is very small (for example, less than 10,000 people), campaigns might have a difficulty running because not all users are active at all times. LinkedIn ads are only shown to active users.

Let’s say that you want to spend 20 EUR a day, but since the audience is too small, LinkedIn only spends 10 EUR a day. In such cases, I recommend extending the number of estimated days to make sure that your campaign doesn’t stop before spending the total budget that you set in the beginning.

For example, you estimated that your budget of 200 EUR would be spent in 10 days for 20 EUR a day. In the cases of really small audiences, I recommend that you configure the campaign to run for 15-20 days. This way, you ensure that your campaign won’t stop in the middle of its activity just because of the day limitation.

linkedin ads calendar

LinkedIn ads tips #11: Use the End date option carefully 

12. Use Manual bidding when possible

Unless you have a really big budget for your LinkedIn Ads, I do not recommend you to set your campaign to an Automated Bid type. Otherwise, your CPC might skyrocket!

Instead, for most cases I would suggest using Manual bidding + the option “

linkedin ads tips - manual bidding

LinkedIn ads tips #12: Choose Manual bidding over Maximum delivery

Of course, this is not always possible because not all campaign objectives allow it. However, whenever you can, if you don’t want your Costs per Click to skyrocket, I suggest to go with this option. You can read more about LinkedIn’s bid types in this article.

Pro tip: Always bid at the same level, or above the bid that LinkedIn recommends. This will ensure that you are getting enough impressions for your campaign.

13. Make the most out of your campaign data

We continue our LinkedIn tips with performance data, and how to make the most out of it.

Use Performance Chart and Demographics to analyze your campaign results and improve your segmentation based on actual user behavior.

linkedin ads performance results

linkedin ads demographics

LinkedIn ads tips #13: Apply data learnings to your campaigns

By doing this consistently, you will be able to detect the criteria that defines your target audience the best, and use it to your advantage. Analyze your data and constantly apply these learnings to your campaigns to refine them as much as possible.

14. Combine Sponsored Content and Sponsored InMail

Whenever possible, have your Sponsored Content and Sponsored InMail running simultaneously to boost campaign performance. This practice improves brand awareness and increases the chances for second impact.

According to LinkedIn itself, there was a 25% increase in open rates, and a 95% increase in CTR when they tried this combination.

15. Keep your copy short and sweet

Next on our list of LinkedIn ads tips and best practices is to keep your ad copy short and sweet.

The attention of users is quite limited when it comes to LinkedIn Ads…actually, when it comes to any ads in general. Try to keep your descriptive copy under 150 characters, and when possible, use numbers or statistics to attract more attention.

computer icon

LinkedIn ads tips #15: Be brief and straightforward with your message

You can read my article 10 Must-See Tips for a Killer LinkedIn Ad Copy for more on that!

16. Always test different ad creatives at once

Next on our list of LinkedIn ads tips and best practices is that, when you make a campaign, always start by testing different banners or variations of your original creative.

Include at least 2 or 3 different ad creatives to each campaign to test which one works best for you – as well as to reach more people in your target audience. They can be different in terms of banners, descriptive copies, or even smaller elements such as the CTA.

17. Leverage the power of Matched Audiences

Set up Matched and Lookalike Audiences to re-target your website visitors and your contact lists for better results and bigger impact. I’ve written the following extensive articles to cover these topics, so I recommend you to check them out:

LinkedIn ads tips #17: Use matched and lookalike audiences

18. Regularly pause low performance ads

Every couple of weeks, pause the ads with the lowest engagement (and conversion) rate within your campaign, and replace them with new alternatives (new banners, copies, CTAs, etc.)

This will not only help you see what combinations work best, but will also improve your ad relevance score over time, helping you win more bids.

19. Always include a Call to Action

Next on our list of LinkedIn ads tips is to include a Call to Action in all your campaigns and creatives.

Always, always, always (I can’t stress this enough) include Call to Action – both in your banner and your descriptive copy. It might sound strange, but without a proper CTA your audience will not know what action they need to undertake after they’ve seen your ad.

LinkedIn ads tips #19: Do not forget to include a Call to Action to all your campaigns

20. Use Lead Gen Forms

And last on our list of LinkedIn ads tips and best practices is to leverage the power of Lead Gen forms.

Use LinkedIn’s native Lead Gen forms to improve user experience and collect more qualified leads. This feature pulls data (such as company name, job seniority, job title, etc.) from LinkedIn profiles into a form that’s easy and quick to submit without having to fill in a lot of form fields manually.

Did you like my LinkedIn Ads tips? Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments down below! I hope you enjoyed this article, and thanks for passing by!

Do you want to become an expert in LinkedIn advertising? Get my ebook “The Complete Guide to LinkedIn Advertising!”

Featured Image credit: www.singlegrain.com


Written by
animitevabg
Join the discussion