With over 575 million total users, of which 260 million are active each month, it is no surprise that LinkedIn is a very important platform for advertisers who want to reach a wide professional audience. Its variety of ad formats are a huge contributor to the channel’s success. And today, we will deep dive into one of them: LinkedIn Dynamic ads.
What are LinkedIn Dynamic ads?
Dynamic ads are small, personalized ads that appear on the right side of the user’s feed. Compared to other LinkedIn ad formats which are completely static, they extract the user’s name and profile image to include them within the ad.
This creates a more personalized experience for the user. And most importantly, it makes him feel a part of the ad, in a way that he can resonate with it.
Currently, dynamic ads are only available for desktop, and you won’t be able to see them on mobile phones. And, as far as I know, it is not planned any time in the future. (But then of course, I am not working at LinkedIn, so don’t take this statement for a fact. 🙂 )
Types of Dynamic Ads
There are 3 types of LinkedIn Dynamics ads that you can choose from:
- Follower ads
- Spotlight ads
- Content ads
Each one of them has different goals and features, so let’s see them in detail:
This format allows you to expand your organic audience by increasing the number of followers on your Company Page. In other words, when a user clicks on your ad, he will be taken to your Company Page on LinkedIn so he can follow you.
Follower ads are only available for two objectives: Brand awareness and Engagement:
If you select the objective of Brand awareness, LinkedIn’s algorithms will show your campaign to those users who are more likely to view it.
However, if you select Engagement, the platform will show your ad to people who are more likely to interact with it. Interactions include likes, shares, comments, views, and of course – follows. This objective will also add a Follow button to your ad.
So, if you are building your campaign and find out that this format is nowhere to be seen, you have probably selected a different objective other than these two. It is important to mention that because it got me confused a lot when I first started with LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager.
The specs are as follow (including spaces):
- Brand name: 25 characters max;
- Logo: at least 100×100 pixels (and less than 2 MB);
- Ad headline: you can either select from pre-determined drop-down options (we will see them later), or select a custom headline. The maximum for custom headlines is 50 characters.
- Ad description: again, you can select from a drop-down, or write a custom headline that does not exceed 70 characters.
- Call to Action: you can choose between Visit careers, Visit companies, Visit jobs, or Visit life.
Spotlight ads help you drive traffic to your website or landing page. You can use them for a variety of goals, from promoting your product or service to announcing a new release, or just inviting your audience to an event. Many businesses are also using them to announce a new job position within their organization.
Put simply, when a user clicks on your ad, he will be taken to any link you want him to visit.
Spotlight ads will be available as an ad format if you chose one of the following objectives:
- Brand awareness;
- Website visits;
- Job applicants;
- Website conversions;
In other words, if you select Engagement, Video Views or Lead Generation, you will not be able to launch any Spotlight ads.
The specs are almost the same as Follower ads, except that they don’t have pre-determined options;
- Brand name: 25 characters;
- Logo: at least 100×100 pixels (and less than 2 MB);
- Ad headline: a maximum of 50 characters;
- Ad description: no more than 70 characters;
- Call to Action: This isn’t pre-determined either. Your CTA cannot exceed 18 characters.
The third type of LinkedIn Dynamic ads are Content ads. They allow you to generate leads using your content, and download them within your Campaign Manager. Or send them to your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or Marketing Automation tool.
Currently, Content ads are only available to launch with the help of a LinkedIn representative. In fact, if you go to your Campaign Manager, you will not be able to find them there. You can learn more on how to do that here.
Their technical specs are:
- Brand name: 25 characters;
- Company logo: 100 x 100 pixels minimum, and less than 2 MB (the logo is optional);
- Follower count of your Company Page: it is optional and you can switch it on/off;
- Call to Action: maximum 75 characters, or select from a drop-down;
- Document name: no more than 50 characters;
- Downloadable document: should be in .pdf, and no more than 10 MB;
- Document preview: the preview is optional, with a maximum of 5 preview pages;
What are the benefits of this format?
LinkedIn Dynamic ads are a great way to attract the attention of your audience right from the moment they open their feed. You just open your account, and boom – they are already there!
Of course, sometimes Text ads will appear instead of Dynamic ones. However, ads such as Sponsored Content might not be the first thing you see when you go on LinkedIn.com. In the majority of the times, you will have to scroll some time until you see one.
So, let’s see some of the biggest benefits of LinkedIn Dynamic ads:
They are tailored to your audience
As we already mentioned, they are the only ads that allow you to extract data from users’ profiles (their name and profile picture), and use it within the ads itself.
This level of enhanced customization, combined with the possibility for auto-translation to match the member’s profile, will inevitably make the users resonate more with your ad. And, it will be easier for them to imagine themselves being a part of it.
They adjust to your company’s objectives
Dynamic ads are great for each stage of your Marketing funnel as they have a wide variety of functions. LinkedIn not only offers a big selection of pre-determined, professionally written headlines and descriptions, but you can also write it fully yourself if you wish. From generating leads with content to increasing followers for your Company Page, they’ve got all of your brand objectives covered.
Dynamic ads are easily digestible
A lot of the professionals that you will be trying to reach with your ads on LinkedIn are quite busy. For you, this means that you will need to serve them with quick and easily digestible information. And Dynamic ads are perfect for that!
Compared to other formats such as InMail and even Sponsored Content, where you have a lot more text, here we can only deliver our message in a very limited space.
Ad format peculiarities
Compared to other ad formats on the platform, there are a couple of peculiarities that are worth mentioning when it comes to the segmentation for LinkedIn Dynamic ads:
When you launch a regular campaign on LinkedIn, such as Sponsored Content or InMail, you will have to select only one profile language. This means that LinkedIn will only show your campaigns to members whose profile language is the one that you’ve selected for your campaign.
Dynamic ads, however, will give you the option for Auto-translate:
This simply means that LinkedIn will automatically translate your ad to the language of your target audience. So, instead of having to select only one, you will be able to reach members in multiple languages! Which is great because you don’t have this possibility for other formats.
Another possibility that LinkedIn Dynamic ads offer that others don’t is the automated budget pacing. This option gives you more control over the way your budget is spent throughout the lifetime of your campaign.
You can choose between:
- Optimized traffic pacing – which means that LinkedIn will only spend your budget when members are active on the social media channel. So, some days it will spend more, and other days less, but it will not be the exact same amount daily.
- Even pacing – this configuration acts in a similar manner as the Daily budget option. Except that you don’t get to decide your exact daily budget. Simply put, it will spend the same amount of money each day until your campaign is over.
- No pacing – LinkedIn’s algorithms will spend your budget as soon as possible, which could easily mean the whole budget in a single day. Although not necessarily, of course.
How to Create your First Dynamic ad
Now that we know everything about Dynamic ads, it is time to create our first one! So, without further ado, let’s see the steps:
1. Install conversion tracking
Before you actually start building your first campaign, you need to ensure that you have your conversion tracking installed. On LinkedIn, this means implementing a piece of code called the Insight Tag onto your website and/or landing pages. This way, you will be able to measure how many people converted from your campaigns.
For more information on how to do that, you can read my article Setting Up LinkedIn Conversion Tracking (Step by Step).
2. Select your objective
Once we’ve got the conversion tracking installed, go to your Campaign Manager. Then, choose the account in which you will be creating your campaign (in case you have more than one). Once you are at the desired account, click on Create campaign, and you will arrive at the Objective section:
Of course, before that, give your campaign a name that is easily recognizable.
Next, select the goal that you are trying to achieve with your campaign. Do you want to increase the number of followers on your LinkedIn page? Or maybe promote your newest open job position? Maybe you want to generate leads or get as many views as possible for your video? This is up to you to decide!
Remember that not all objectives will enable you all possible ad formats. For example, if you want to launch a Follower ad, you will have to select either Brand Awareness or Engagement. If you select any other, Follower ads will not show within the ad format options.
If, however, you want to launch a Spotlight ad, you have more options. We already mentioned them in the previous section, so you can always go back to it.
Also, if you want more details on how objectives work, you can check my guide on LinkedIn ad targeting.
Keep in mind that once you’ve chosen an objective and your campaign is active, you cannot change it.
3. Choose location and profile language
Next, select the geographical region that you want to reach with your campaign. If you are planning to do more than 1 country, for example 4-5, I highly recommend that you do each country in a separate campaign.
This way, you will be able to monitor and analyze the results by country. And see which ones convert the most, and which ones have the highest/lowest Cost per Click. Also, you will have a smaller and more refined audience. Having audiences that are way too huge is almost never efficient because it dilutes your budget.
As for the profile, we already saw that LinkedIn Dynamic ads have the option to auto translate. So, you can either choose one language exclusively, or stay with this option and reach all of them.
4. Select your target / Best practices
Next, we can finally start building our audience. LinkedIn offers a wide variety of attributes that you can choose from. Of course, businesses and products are different, so obviously, what has worked for me might not necessarily work for you.
However, I can give you some tips (or best practices, if you prefer) to make sure that you are building your segmentation in the right direction:
Ideally, try to keep your audience under 300,000 LinkedIn members. Anything above that is way too big, and it will significantly dilute your budget. Also, you will decrease your chances of impacting the same person twice (and you don’t want to do that!)
As you add or exclude attributes, you will notice that your audience is expanding (or reducing). Some criteria, such as Job Functions or Member Interests, will probably make your audience explode.
However, you can keep this under control with what I like to call the “control criteria”. This is a term that I made up :). In other words, adding attributes such as Company Size, Years of Experience and Seniorities will get your audience size under control.
Try to make campaigns using the attribute Groups! I have found that it works really well because these are people already interested in a certain topic/sector/product.
Make A/B Testing
Create different campaigns with almost the same segmentation, except that you change one thing. For example, if you want to test Managers against Business Owners, try a specific campaign with only this Job Seniority. And keep the rest of the elements the same.
LinkedIn allows you to upload lists of your current database to make retargeting. More on that here.
You can also configure matched audiences to target people who have already visited your website from your campaign, and converted. Or didn’t.
5. Ad format
Our next step is to select the ad format for your campaign. In my case, because I’ve selected the objective Website Visits, I have these ad formats available. Of course, for the purpose of this article, we need to select Spotlight ad:
6. Budget, Schedule & Bid Type
Once you’ve selected your ad format, you need to finish it off with some budget configuration details.
We already saw the option for automated budget pacing. However, if you want to be 100% sure of how much money LinkedIn will spent on your campaign for the next weeks. I recommend that you simply stick to the daily + total budget option:
Actual daily spend may be a bit higher, but LinkedIn will not exceed your total budget.
As far as schedule goes, unless you have an event that ends on a specific day, I wouldn’t recommend using an end date. Otherwise, if your audiene is very small, you take the risk of not reaching your daily budget and spending less money than your initial total budget. Unless if that’s okay for you, of course.
Just don’t forget to remember it when it comes the time for accounting!
You can also schedule your campaign for a future date, and LinkedIn will automatically start it for you.
When it comes to bidding, depending on the objective that you’ve selected, you might have different options. In this case, I have two: Maximum CPC Bid and Maximum CPM Bid.
If you select Maximum CPC Bid, LinkedIn will charge you per click.
If you select Maximum CPM Bid, it will charge you per 1,000 impressions. An impression is simply an ad view by a user.
And last but not least – conversions. Which are optional, but still highly recommended.
Remember that we already created them in the first step? It is time to include them here to ensure that you are correctly tracking your users’ actions.
7. Create the ad
And now, you are finally ready to create your first Dynamic ad!
First, start by adding a catchy headline. Or select from the pre-determined options, if you have chosen an objective or a format that has them.
The headline will appear below the profile picture of the user and the company’s logo. So, make sure that it will be something short and sweet that will immediately grab his attention. It will probably the first thing that he will see from your ad.
Next, ad your Company’s name. You can also write another text in this place, if you consider it worth it. However, especially if your ad is for Job Applicants, not having your company’s name might have more f of a negative effect rather than positive.
The next element is your Company’s logo. Again, it doesn’t have to be a logo – I have seen a lot of companies using specific images that might attract the attention. However, I don’t necessarily recommend it because they will not be able to associate a random image with your brand.
Wrapping up your ad
Having LinkedIn include the member’s profile image is optional, but without it, you would lose the personalization element. However, you can always do an A/B testing to see which version works best for you.
The ad description, which appears at the top of the ad, is also not obligatory, but highly recommended. Without it, there might not be enough information to convince the user to click on it. But of course, testing is always the answer!
And last but not least, the Call to Action. A good Call to Action should be straightforward, and give a clear indication on the action that the user should do once they click on your ad. Should they download your content? Or follow your Company page? Maybe submit a form on your landing page?
Then, just paste the URL of your landing page, and you are ready to launch your campaign!
I hope you liked my article! As always, thank you for taking the time to read it, and I hope to see you in the next one. Also, if you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.
Additionally, if you need help with your LinkedIn Dynamic ads, I also offer freelance services for businesses of all sizes. You can get in touch with me on firstname.lastname@example.org, or via LinkedIn.