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 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?
So, without further ado, let’s deep dive right into them!
What are LinkedIn 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.
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;
- 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
Ad formats available: Single image ad, Carousel image ad, Video ad, Text ad, Spotlight ad, Follower ad;
Bid types: Automated bid, Maximum CPM bid;
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 ad to people who are most likely to view it. 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. However, viewing is not the same as clicking or converting. So, if your goal is to generate leads or maximize conversions, you might be disappointed with the results.
Because the focus of this objective is views, the main bidding strategy will be Maximum CPM bid.
Bidding on CPM means that the way you will be charged per 1,000 impressions. In other words, you will pay a specific amount for your ad to be viewed 1,000 times by your target audience. Keep in mind that we are not talking about unique views. So, if the same user saw your ad 5 times, all 5 times will be counted towards the 1,000 mark.
You can select the maximum amount that you are willing to pay per 1,000 views by choosing the Maximum CPM Bid option. In the example above, I have followed LinkedIn´s recommendations to bid on 28.16€. They are based on both your daily budget and what other advertisers are paying for an audience similar to yours.
I definitely recommend you to follow them because if you decide to bid lower than that, your campaign might underperform.
You can also let LinkedIn bid for you automatically by opting for Automated bid. I personally don´t recommend the second option because it might cause your costs to get out of control.
2. Website visits
Ad formats available: Single image ad, Carousel image ad, Video ad, Text ad, Spotlight ad, Message ad;
Bid types: Automated bid, Maximum CPM bid, Enhanced CPC bid;
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.
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.
We already discussed Maximum CPM bid and automated bid in our previous objective. However, this time, we also have the option to select Enhanced CPC bid:
Enhanced CPC allows you to bid by setting a maximum amount that you are willing to pay for a single click. For example, in this case, I am telling LinkedIn that I wouldn´t pay more than 4.48€ for a click on my ad. Which means that the algorithm should respect that amount during the auction.
I personally find this option to be the best one for optimum results while having more control over your budget.
Ad formats available: Single image ad, Carousel image ad, Video ad, Follower ad
Bid types: Automated bid, Maximum CPM bid, Enhanced CPC Bid
Next on our list of LinkedIn objectives is 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 bid strategies go, we have the same options that we already saw before. Automated bid, Enhanced CPC, and Maximum CPM bid.
4. Video views
Ad formats available: Video ad
Bid types: Automated bid, Maximum CPM bid, Maximum CPV bid
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.
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 making as many people as possible watch the video.
Concerning ad formats, the only one available for this objective is Video ad.
When it comes to bid types, we have a new one that we haven´t discussed before: Maximum CPV bid:
This is the maximum amount of money that you are willing to pay per single video view. Keep in mind that the user doesn´t have to watch the entire video till the end for you to be charged. If he clicked on “Play” but only watched till the middle, you will still be charged.
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
Ad formats available: Single image ad, Carousel image ad, Video ad, Message ad
Bid types: Automated bid, Maximum CPM bid, Enhanced CPC bid
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 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 bid types go, they are basically the same as the ones that we just saw before:
So, no need to repeat!
6. Website conversions
Ad formats available: Single image ad, Carousel image ad, Video ad, Message ad, Text ad, and Spotlight ad
Bid types: Automated bid, Maximum CPM bid, Enhanced CPC bid
Next on our list of LinkedIn 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 request, downloading a resource, or viewing a key page. 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.
The bid types are the same that we already discussed previously.
7. Job applicants
Ad formats available: Jobs ad, Single image ad, Spotlight ad
Bid types: Maximum CPM bid
And last but not least, we have 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 launch a regular Sponsored Content 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 Maximum CPM is obligatory for the Jobs ad format:
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 objectives, and I hope to see you in the next one! If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below!