LinkedIn Carousel Ads were introduced for the first time in July 2018 as a new way to enhance advertising through interactive storytelling. They allow companies to add texture to their stories through multiple visuals with the purpose of establishing a deeper relationship with their audience.
One year later, we can already see that this new LinkedIn ad format has become increasingly popular among B2B companies, and they are constantly finding more and more creative ways to use it.
Introduction to LinkedIn Carousel Ads
Carousel ads have a lot of applications that help companies drive brand awareness and engagement. Some of the most popular examples include:
- Showcasing your product portfolio at once;
- Displaying the features of your service in a visual way;
- Promoting multiple offers;
- Drawing attention to the benefits of your product;
- And some companies even use them for displaying their open job positions!
Today, we are going to learn how to create a Carousel ad, what are its main benefits, and what are some of the best practices out there. So, let’s jump right into it:
Step 1: Campaign Set Up
Next, go to your Campaign Manager, select the account in which you want to create your Carousel Ad, and click on Create Campaign.
First, you will need to select your carousel campaign objective. You can select from various options depending on the one that fits your goal the best:
The most common goals include brand awareness, website visits, and objectives based on conversion such as lead generation and website conversion. Personally, I usually select Website visits or Website conversions if I am planning to use my own landing page. If you plan on using a Lead Gen form instead, select Lead generation instead.
Tip: This step is important because once you´ve selected your objective and saved your campaign, you won´t be able to change it. However, you will still be able to make changes to your audience.
The next step is to define the audience that you would like to reach with your campaign. It includes elements such as Locations, Profile Language, and a rich list of targeting attributes:
If you need help at this step with defining your target audience, I recommend you these articles:
Once you´ve selected your campaign objective and defined your audience, scroll down to Ad Format and select Carousel Image Ad.
Again, it is important to keep in mind that ad formats can´t be changed once the campaign is saved.
Below the ad format section, you will also see the following notification: Your LinkedIn Audience Network setting has been disabled as it is not available for the ad format you selected.
This simply means that your Carousel ad won´t be showing on LinkedIn´s partner apps and websites because this format is not supported. For other formats such as Single Image Ad, this setting allows you to reach up to 25% more of your target audience.
Budget and Schedule
At this step, you need to select the daily and the total budget of your LinkedIn Carousel ads. For bidding, I always recommend selecting Enhanced CPC Bid. Otherwise, especially if you are operating on a limited budget, your Cost per Click might skyrocket!
And last but not least, it is highly recommended that you set up your conversion tracking for all your LinkedIn ads. Otherwise, you won´t be able to measure the actions of your audience on your website.
Step 2: Setting up Your Ads
Now it´s time for you to set up your ads. Click on Create New Ad and fill in the details. I have created an example for you below (obviously, it´s all invented so don´t try to search for it):
And now comes the fun part!
You have up to 10 cards (and a minimum of 2) to communicate your message to the audience. This is where you should get really creative! Don´t be scared if you don´t have a dedicated designer for pieces like that. I will tell you my little secret – Canva (affiliate link).
All you need to do is create an account, select a custom dimension canvas with size 1080×1080, and have fun with the beautiful templates they offer:
This is what I managed to do in less than 5 minutes for our example:
Which, once you´ve uploaded your cards, giving them a proper card headline and an URL:
Will look something like that once the campaign is active:
Here are some other really interesting examples that I found on LinkedIn:
Since LinkedIn Carousel ads are probably the most visual ad format on LinkedIn, it is up to you to unleash your creativity and play with different options. But before you publish your campaign, there are a few more things that I need to say…
Step 3: Optimization and Best Practices
As with any sort of advertising, campaign optimization is probably more important the campaign itself. This is also true for LinkedIn Carousel Ads. Except that there is one little detail: once the campaign is published and active, you can´t change anything about the cards.
Yes, this is true. Once your cards are published, you can work on optimizing and improving your segmentation. You can also change the Ad Name, Introductory Text and Destination URL. However, you can´t change:
- The order of your ad cards
- Card headlines
- Card destination URLs
- Neither the cards themselves
This detail is really important to know because changes and A/B testing are a huge part of any optimization process. Sometimes, changing your card headlines or even switching the order of your cards can make a significant difference.
But don´t worry, there are still some things that you can do in order to improve your campaign results over time. Let´s take a look at some of the best practices and tips for Carousel Ads:
1. A/B Testing
Even though you can´t make changes to your cards, you can still perform A/B testing by duplicating your content creatives.
This way, you can see if the order of your cards work better one or another way – just make sure to do one change at a time while keeping all other elements the same. If you change too many things at once, it might be difficult to find out which was the one that actually worked.
There are many things that you can test about your Carousel Ads:
- Number of cards – do ads with more cards work better, or should you keep it short and sweet? LinkedIn recommends to test short ads (3-5 cards) and long ads (6+ cards) to find out which one works better for you.
- The order of your cards – when your audience first sees your ad, they will only see the first card in full view. The second one will be in partial view while the rest won´t be seen until the user clicks on the arrow to reveal them. For this reason, it is crucial to try different orders to see which one captures the attention of the user and makes an actual impact.
- CTAs/Card Headlines – Every single card has its own headline. Usually, companies use the headlines to play with different CTAs and brief descriptions. Don´t underestimate their power!
And of course, you can (and should) always be testing new card designs to discover which ones generate more engagement and conversion.
Compared to other ad formats on LinkedIn, Carousel Ads require a little bit more of additional planning. You need to make sure that there are no gramatical errors, typos, or any weird-looking elements in your card design. As always, it is highly recommended to preview how your ad is going to look like before you publish it.
Once active, you can´t do any changes to your cards. However, if something still didn´t turn out all right, you can still pause this ad and create a new one within the same campaign:
It is also very important to plan your carousel content around your objective. For example, if your goal is brand awareness or brand consideration, you can design your cards around storytelling or stories of customer success.
However, if your main goal is conversion, you can use your cards to showcase multiple products or services, or displaying a single product in depth.
3. Campaign Optimization
If you want to improve your results, you should always be optimizing your campaigns and creatives based on actual results. Luckily, LinkedIn provides you with some essential insights based on real-time data. Just select your campaign within your Account and click on Demographics or Performance:
4. Leverage Lead Gen forms
LinkedIn Carousel ads work especially well when paired with quality Lead Gen forms.
Lead Gen forms work by extracting data from the LinkedIn profile of your target audience to make the conversion process faster – and easier. This means that your users will not have to fill too much data manually as the form auto-fills it for them.
Not all ad formats can be used with Lead Gen on LinkedIn, so you should definitely give it a go for Carousel Ads!
5. Card design
And last but not least, the design of your cards is key to high-performing Carousel ads.
When possible, try to capture and maintain the attention of your audience with visual storytelling. Feature graphics, dynamic text, people, and other elements that tend to draw attention. However, you should also make sure that your cards include a clear CTA and are not overwhelming with too much visuals or information.
LinkedIn Carousel Ads
Carousel Ads are a great way to communicate your message and showcase your products in a highly visual and memorable way. As LinkedIn says, they allow you “to tell an interactive story that inspires professionals to take action”.
If you haven´t used them yet, I highly recommend you to give them a try. If you have already used them, I will be glad to hear your experience in the comments below.
And that was all from me for today! As always, I hope that you liked the article, and thanks for taking your time to read it! See you in the next post!