linkedin campaign objectives

The 7 LinkedIn Campaign Objectives & The Best Way to Use Them

A couple of years ago, LinkedIn introduced objective-based advertising to their Campaign Manager with the idea of helping businesses achieve their Marketing goals.

Today, it has evolved into 7 different, highly-targeted LinkedIn Campaign objectives designed for driving the best possible results for each  budget and strategy.

And in this article, we will see them in detail, responding to questions such as:

  • What is the difference between all LinkedIn objectives?
  • In what context should I use each one of them?
  • What ad formats does each objective support?

And more!

So, without further ado, let’s deep dive right into them!

linkedin campaign objectives

What are LinkedIn Campaign objectives?

Each time you launch a campaign, no matter in what channel, you always do it with a specific goal in mind. Maybe you want to promote your product, invite people to an event, or encourage them to download your ebook. Maybe, you just want to show them your latest brand video.

In other words, you want to achieve something with that campaign. 

effective google ads copy

LinkedIn objectives are all the possible Marketing goals that you can choose from for your campaign. When you select one, LinkedIn’s algorithms will use it as a guidance on how, and to whom to show your ad. Moreover, each campaign objective will enable specific ad formats and bidding strategies.

This means that you will need to understand how different objectives work in order to select the one that fits your goals the best.

Currently, there are 7 types of campaign objectives to choose from:

  • Brand awareness;
  • Website visits;
  • Engagement;
  • Video views;
  • Lead Generation;
  • Website conversions;
  • Job applicants.

But before I move on to explaining them in detail, there is one last thing that I need to mention. Keep in mind that once you’ve selected an objective and your campaign is active, you can´t go back and change it later.

So, let’s see how each one of them works:

1. Brand awareness

linkedin campaign objectives - brand awareness

Ad formats available: Single image ad, Carousel image ad, Video ad, Text ad, Spotlight ad, Follower ad, Conversation ad, Event ad.

Bid types: Maximum delivery, Target cost, Manual bidding, Reach

First on our list of LinkedIn Campaign objectives is Brand awareness.

Brand awareness is suitable for impression-based campaigns. This means that it is a great choice if you want to increase the visibility of your company because it will show your ads to people who are most likely to view them.

However, pay attention to the word “view” in this phrase.

With this objective, LinkedIn will focus on getting the most views for your ad within your budget, with the purpose of reaching as many people as possible.

However, viewing is not the same as clicking or converting. So, if your goal is to generate leads or maximize conversions, this might not be the most adequate goal for you.

Bid types

When it comes to bidding, the default bid type that LinkedIn will set for you when you select Brand awareness is Maximum delivery, combined with the optimization goal Reach.

What does this mean?

Maximum delivery, also known as Automated delivery, means that LinkedIn will automatically bid for you in order to reach the most results possible for your budget. So, you are not going to have manual control over the Costs per Click.

If you select Reach as an optimization goal, the platform’s algorithms will aim to reach as many unique users as possible. In other words, instead of impacting the same user more than once, it will try to show the ad only once per user.

Instead of Reach, you can also select the optimization goal Impressions from the drop-down:

linkedin campaign objectives - optimization goal

With this goal, the algorithms will aim to deliver as many impressions as possible for your ad budget. In other words, they will try to show your ads as many times as possible, whether they are impacting the user more than once or not. In this case, the aim is not unique users.

Under this optimization goal, you have three options:

  • Maximum delivery – as we already mentioned, this option will put the control of your bids in LinkedIn’s hands.
  • Target cost – with this optimization goal, you set a specific target cost, and the algorithms should not exceed it. For example, you may tell LinkedIn that you are not willing to spend more than 10 dollars per lead, and algorithms should “respect” that.
  • Manual bidding – this option lets you control your bids in the auction. In this case, you set your own maximum Cost per Click, and LinkedIn should not exceed that amount.

2. Website visits

Ad formats available: Single image ad, Carousel image ad, Video ad, Text ad, Spotlight ad, Message ad, Conversation ad, Event ad.

Bid types: Maximum delivery, Target cost, Manual bidding.

Next on our list of LinkedIn Campaign Objectives is Website visits. If your goal is to drive more visits to your website or landing page, then this objective might be the right one for you.

This time, instead of aiming to get the most ad views for your budget, LinkedIn will try to get as many clicks as possible. Because each click will take the user straight to your website.

In other words, the algorithm will try to optimize the way your ad is shown for traffic instead of impressions. However, once the user has clicked on your ad and arrived on your landing page, it will be in your hands to convince him to take further action.

In this case, you have two optimization goals – Landing page clicks and Impressions. By default for this objective, your Campaign Manager will set Landing page clicks:

linkedin campaign objectives and optimization goals - landing page clicks

If you select Landing page clicks as an optimization goal, the platform will try to show your ads to people who are most likely to click on them.

To determine who is more likely to click on a particular ad, LinkedIn takes into account the historical data, intent and behavior of each member for similar content.

For example, if you are a user who tends to click on car ads (maybe you are planning to purchase a vehicle soon), the platform will consider you more likely to click on ads related to vehicles, and it will show you more of them.

For Landing page clicks, you can again select between Automated bid, Target cost and Manual bidding. With Impressions, your only option is Manual bidding, which I strongly recommend because it gives you more control over your results.

And now, on to the third one of our LinkedIn Campaign objectives:

3. Engagement

LinkedIn Campaign Objectives: Engagement

Ad formats available: Single image ad, Carousel image ad, Video ad, Follower ad, Conversation ad, Event ad.

Bid types: Maximum delivery, Target cost, Manual bidding.

Next, we have Engagement. If you select this one, the algorithm will aim to show your ad to members who are most likely to interact with it.

Common social interactions include likes, shares, reactions, comments, ad clicks, or Company Page follows.

To calculate how likely is for a user to interact with your ad, LinkedIn takes into account his historical activity over time. So, if he has shared, liked, or commented on past publications similar to yours, he will fall under this category.

This objective will also include a Follow button to your ads, as an addition to your regular Call to Actions. However, keep in mind that you will not be charged exclusively for the clicks on your ad. If someone clicks on the Follow button, you will be charged as well.

Which means that your budget might get consumed a lot faster compared to other LinkedIn objectives.

As far as bidding strategies go, this one of our LinkedIn Campaign Objectives also offers Engagement clicks as an optimization goal:

linkedin campaign objectives - engagement

If you select Engagement clicks, LinkedIn will try to deliver your ads to members who are most likely to interact with them – share, comment, like or follow.

4. Video views

linkedin campaign objectives - video views

LinkedIn Campaign Objectives: Video views

Ad formats available: Video ad

Bid types: Maximum delivery, Target cost, Manual bidding

Among all LinkedIn objectives, Video views is probably the most simple and straightforward one. Its only goal is to target those people who are more likely to actually end up watching your video, or at least some part of it.

Which is different than an “ad view”. Just because someone physically saw your ad doesn’t mean that he actually clicked on “Play” to watch the video itself. So, in this case it will be the actual watching of the video, even if it wasn’t until the end.

In terms of Marketing goals, this objective is very similar to brand awareness. After all, its end goal is not to generate more leads or drive other quantifiable results, but rather drawing the attention of as many people as possible to your ad.

Concerning ad formats, the only one available for this objective is Video ad.

When it comes to optimization goals, you can select between Impressions and Video views:

If you select Impressions, your only option would be Manual bidding.

For video views, you can select between Manual bidding, Maximum bidding and Target cost. My recommendations for most LinkedIn Campaign Objectives is Manual bidding – with the Automated option, your spending per click may go out of hand.

Also, try to follow LinkedIn’s recommendations concerning bid amount to ensure that your campaign is not underperforming. If you bid lower than the recommended minimum, you will barely appear because other advertisers will almost always win the auction. And this is true for all bid types that are not automated, not only for this one.

5. Lead Generation

linkedin campaign objectives - lead generation

Ad formats available: Single image ad, Carousel image ad, Video ad, Message ad, Conversation ad

Bid types: Maximum delivery, Manual bidding

Next on our list of LinkedIn Campaign Objectives is Lead Generation.

Lead generation, in my experience, is one of the best performing objectives when it comes to results. What makes it different is that it allows advertisers to create a native Lead Gen form to collect leads directly on LinkedIn.

In other words, when somebody clicks on your ad, instead of being taken out of LinkedIn to a third-party page such as your website or landing page, a native form will open on his feed. It looks something like this:

lead gen form

Lead Gen forms are great because they extract information automatically from the user’s profile. This makes user experience much better as he doesn’t have to fill out multiple fields manually.

Which is something that usually makes people abandon the form if they have to spend much time on it.

However, because Lead Gens does practically all the job for the user except for just a couple of fields, it becomes much more efficient. It increases the number of submitted forms and signifcantly reduces the Cost per Lead for the advertiser.

I have seen CPL reductions of up to 10x times (!) just by using a Lead Gen instead of a landing. You can create them beforehand in the section of Account Assets in your Campaign Manager. Or design it directly when launching the campaign!

Lead Gens are also highly beneficial for LinkedIn as well because they make the user stay on the social media platform. Once the form has been submitted, he can simply continue scrolling without interrupting his time on LinkedIn.

As far as optimization goals, you can select between generating the most leads as possible, getting the most clicks, or driving the most impressions with your ads:

And the bidding strategies are pretty much the same as we already saw before.

6. Website conversions


linkedin campaign objectives - website conversions

LinkedIn Campaign Objectives: Website conversions

Ad formats available: Single image ad, Carousel image ad, Video ad, Text ad, Spotlight ad, Message ad, Conversation ad

Bid types: Maximum delivery, Manual bidding

Next on our list of LinkedIn Campaign objectives is Website conversions. Put simply, it has the same Marketing goal as Lead generation, except that it allows you to take users to your website instead of using a native form.

However, the end goal is still lead generation because you want to drive as many conversions as possible within your budget.

Of course, the way you define a conversion on your website will be up to you. It can be making a purchase, submitting a contact form, downloading an ebook, or viewing a key page on your website.

However, for LinkedIn to actually register this data and provide you with the insights, you will need to enable conversion tracking first.

This requires the installation of the so-called Insight tag. It is simply a piece of code that you will need to include on all pages of your website so that LinkedIn can gather the data. You can learn more on how to do it by clicking on the link that I just provided above.

By default, the optimization goal will be Website conversions:

Which means that LinkedIn’s algorithms will aim to generate as many conversions as possible for your budget.

7. Job applicants


linkedin campaign objectives - job applicants

LinkedIn Campaign Objectives: Job applicants

Ad formats available: Single job ad, Jobs ad, Single image ad, Spotlight ad

Bid types: Maximum delivery, Manual bidding

Last on our list of LinkedIn Campaign Objectives is  an interesting Marketing goal that you will not see in many other digital channels.

The Job applicants objective allows you to promote your current job offers via three different ad formats: Jobs, Spotlight, and Sponsored Content (Single image ad).

If you select the Jobs format, you will obligatory have to take users to the job offers section of your LinkedIn Company page. You can’t take them to a specific job position that you want to promote, it will be a generic ad to announce that you are hiring.

However, if you select Single image ad, you can create regular LinkedIn ads with a custom URL. The same is true for Spotlight ads – you will be able to add your custom URL in case you don´t want to make a generic ad.

As far as bid types go, the one selected by default will be landing page clicks:

If you choose any of the other two formats, you will have the rest of the most common options as well.

And that was all from me, folks! I hope you enjoyed my article on LinkedIn Campaign objectives, and I hope to see you in the next one! If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below!

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