Whether you are advertising on LinkedIn, or simply planning to do so at some point in the future, you will have to play your cards right if you want to get the best out of your ads. Especially considering that, compared to other digital channels, the Cost per Click on LinkedIn is generally more expensive. For this reason, it is essential to make sure that everything is running at its full potential. And today, we will focus on some of the best practices for LinkedIn text ads to ensure that you achieve that!
What are LinkedIn text ads?
Text ads are the most simple (and usually the cheapest) option of all LinkedIn ad formats. The main reason why is because they occupy a much smaller space on your LinkedIn feed, making them a bit harder to get noticed. Which, consequently, makes them harder to convince people to convert.
Text ads consist of:
- A small image (100 x 100 pixels), which will typically be your company´s logo. Although necessarily.
- An ad headline of up to 25 characters;
- Followed by an ad description of no more than 75 characters.
- And last but not least, a destination URL, or your Company page on LinkedIn as an alternative option.
As you can see, these ads are quite limited when it comes to space. In comparison, other formats such as Sponsored Content have an introductory text of up to 600 characters, and a headline of 200 characters maximum.
You can typically find LinkedIn text ads on the right hand side of your feed, in the Promotion section:
You can also find them at the top of your homepage, in the form of a short single sentence (without the image):
Now that we´ve cleared that out of the way, let´s jump straight into the tips!
My top 10 tips for better text ads
Now that we know the basics of these ads, we need to ensure that we are implementing the best practices to get the best out of them.
1. Install the Insight tag
Before you actually begin creating your first ad, you need to make sure that you have configured your conversion tracking first.
This is important because without it, you will not be able to track your leads, and see how many people converted from your ad. A conversion can be the submission of a form, a purchase, or simply viewing a key page of your website.
On LinkedIn, this configuration requires the installation of the so-called Insight tag. Which is really just a piece of a code that you paste on your website´s pages. This way, LinkedIn can communicate all the important data and performance metrics from your campaigns with your website.
If you need help with the configuration, just click on the link in the beginning of the section.
2. Refine your segmentation
An ad can never be effective if it’s not in harmony with the right segmentation. Let me explain.
Let’s say that you are selling an executive education program for directors and managers that live in Spain, and have over 10 years of experience. In this case, your audience could look something like this:
Let’s say that your budget for this campaign is 800€, and the average cost per click is 4€. With these fictional numbers in mind, we can quickly see that 800€ is only going to get us about 200 clicks.
Well, what’s the problem with that? The problem is that trying to reach over 1.5 million people with a limited budget isn’t going to be very effective, because your audience isn’t specific enough. Currently, it is so wide that the chances of wasting our money on people that could not be interested is very high.
On top of that, the possibilities of your ad impacting the same person twice is relatively low. You might say, why do I want to impact the same people over and over again? Because they will have a better chances of converting.
In fact, according to the Rule of 7 in Marketing, a brand should have an average number of 7 impressions on a member of their target market to get him to purchase. So, the more times a user sees your ad, the better.
Luckily, with just a couple of adjustments of your segmentation criteria, you will be able to refine your segmentation.
If your target is not very detailed from the beginning, start doing so by asking the right questions.
Let’s go back to our executive education program. It is on the pricier end of the spectrum, and a lot of managers don’t pay it with their own money. In fact, their companies pay for it so that they can improve their skills and capabilities.
So, our first question would be: What companies are more likely to pay for this type of formation for their executives? Well, usually the bigger ones, so we can use the company size criteria for it:
With this audience attribute, we dropped our initial audience size from 1.6 million people to 720,000.
Next, we can continue asking questions. What company industries are less likely to invest in this type of education? An example of this could be non-profit organizations, so we can exclude them:
Of course, this is just an example. I am not saying that all these questions and answers are true/applicable to everyone.
As you can see, the campaign manager offers a lot of audience attributes for the segmentation of your LinkedIn text ads. So, try to refine it as much as possible to get better results with your budget. In fact, I personally wouldn’t recommend an audience of over 300,000 people even if your budget was unlimited.
3. Include a Call to Action
You might think that when a user sees your ad, the next steps and actions that you expect from him would be obvious. However, you will be surprised how many times this is not the case.
Including a Call to Action in your ads encourages your audience to actually take the specific action that you are expecting from them. Do you want them to download your brochure, submit a form, or make a purchase? Let them know in the copy.
When it comes to text ads, the CTA is part of the ad configuration, and you will be able to select from a few pre-configured options. However, because text ads can be displayed in different ways on LinkedIn, there is no guarantee that it will show up every time.
For this reason, I recommend that you also include it in the text copy, whenever possible. This way, you will make sure that the purpose of the ads is perfectly clear to your audience.
You can see the example above, in which GetResponse has one while CX Automation doesn’t.
4. Use your space wisely
As we already saw above, the maximum space for your text ads is very limited.
In this image, I actually got very lucky to stumble upon an example with similar services by two different companies – CX Automation and GetResponse. However, their approach to copies is not the same.
CX Automation uses the space to summarise the essence of their services, but it doesn’t get into any detail. GetResponse, however, uses the same space to enumerate the key features of their email marketing and automation services.
In my personal opinion, GetResponse makes a better use of their space because it gives more information about what users can do with their service. It also includes a Call to Action – “try now”, which CX Automation doesn’t.
Bu of course, this doesn’t mean that this is the only correct way to do it! And that’s where our next point comes:
5. A/B Testing
When it comes to Digital Marketing, nothing has a 100% success rate for absolutely everyone. After all, businesses, products, and target audiences can be really different from one another.
A lot of times, and not only on LinkedIn, what we think will surely work might not perform so well for our business as expected. And vice versa – what we think will never work could surprise you positively. Users can also be really different, and what one person likes will not necessarily be appreciated by another.
For this reason, it is highly recommended that you perform an A/B testing for everything. And LinkedIn text ads make no exception:
- Test multiple messages and different copy approaches to see which one resonate the most with your audience. Wondering if you should enumerate your services, or use a brief description / slogan of your business? Test both, and see which one works for you!
- Call to Action – what are the Call to Actions that work best for your business? Try different ones, and see which one makes your audience interact with your ad the most!
- Use A/B testing to optimize your segmentation as well. For example, if your budget is 800€, you can split it into two different campaigns (400€ each) to try different target audiences. And see which one is more interested in your business.
- Include at least 3 variations of your text ads to compete against each other at the same time. Just remember to not do too many modifications at once. For example, if you are testing a different CTA, keep the rest of the copy the same in both creatives. If both the copy and the CTA are different, you will not be able to find out whether it was the text or the Call to Action that worked.
- Optimize frequently – every couple of weeks, pause the creatives or campaigns with the lowest engagement / conversion rate. And replace them with new alternatives so that you can continue testing.
6. Avoid targeting more than 2-3 locations at once
If you want your ads to reach multiple countries or a whole continent, don’t include them all within the same campaign. For example, if you want to target countries like Spain, Portugal and Italy, it is better to make three small campaigns for each country, instead of a single one for all of them.
The reason why is because you will have a better overview of which country / location brings you the best results. Additionally, the average cost per click varies a lot between locations, in a way that Spain could be much cheaper than Switzerland (or not, depending on your target!). So, you will be able to concentrate your budget better.
7. Match your text ad with the right landing page
Just as your LinkedIn text ads should be in perfect harmony with your segmentation, the same is true for your landing page. In a way that the content of your landing page should match the copy of your ad.
For example, if your ad is about making a purchase, but the URL takes the user to a home page with no checkout or purchase options, he will quickly leave your website. Because he didn’t find what he was looking for.
Or, if you offer a free trial but the trial button is nowhere to be found, it will also make your audience leave without converting.
Wrapping it up
Now that we’ve seen some of the best practices for better LinkedIn text ads, it is time to start implementing them! If you have any doubts or questions, don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments below.
As always, thank you for reading my article, and I hope to see you in the next one! Also, if you need help with your LinkedIn advertising, you can send me an email to the address in the banner below: