LinkedIn Ads can be an extremely powerful tool for reaching your precisely-segmented target audience at the right moment. And although creating a Sponsored Content ad might not seem like a difficult task compared to many others, it definitely has it challenges. Today, I am sharing with you my top 20 tips on cracking the code of LinkedIn Advertising and improving the performance of your campaigns.
Tip 1: Keep your audience ideally between 100,000 and 300,000 users
Many people tend to overestimate the size of their audience – I’ve seen campaigns with an audience of 2-3 million users for a budget of just €500. When you are working with small budgets, it is better to go straight to the point and try to be as precise as possible instead of dispersing your budget all over the place.
If your audience is too big, your performance results won’t be very precise and you will not be able to make good conclusions on what worked best for you. Additionally, a smaller audience has a greater chance of getting a second impact from your campaign, increasing the possibilities for a higher click-through rate.
Tip 2: Try with a bigger audience only if you have more budget
If you have a bigger budget, you could try with a wider audience in order to obtain more data for further analysis of your campaigns’ performance. However, even in this case it might not be the best idea. Instead, I would recommend A/B Testing of smaller audiences to see which one works best for your goals. For example, if your budget is €6,000, I would rather divide it into 3 different campaigns with a 100k-300k size instead of a single one with a +500k size.
Tip 3: Avoid mixing too many countries/cities in the same campaign
The same way as with audience sizes and budgets, I wouldn’t recommend selecting too many countries or cities at the same time as it again means dispersion of budget and impact (besides from imprecise LinkedIn performance results). As tedious as it might be to make a different campaign for each region or country, it might be better for your long-term results and making better conclusiones!
Tip 4: Be careful with the segmentation criteria Company Size
When perfecting your target audience, be careful with the criteria Company Size – a lot of times, your audience size will blow up if you don’t exclude Myself Only. This happens because the Company Size criteria makes a match with the number of employees that appear on LinkedIn Company Pages. Myself Only means that LinkedIn will show your ads to companies that only consist of one person, a lot of times freelancers.
This, depending on your target and business goals, might be a good thing or a bad thing. For example, if you want to advertise your B2B product to small or middle-sized companies, you might want to exclude Myself Only from the segmentation to make it more precise. Otherwise, you are not really reaching your target audience.
Tip 5: Play with the “Exclude” filters
To achieve a more precise segmentation, you can include and exclude components from the same criteria at the same time (in the cases when the platform allows it). Let’s see an example with the criteria Job Seniorities.
To avoid profiles that don’t have any information about the job seniority of a user, you can include the desired seniorities while simultaneously excluding the ones that you don’t need.
My audience dropped from 53K to 47K when I excluded Unpaid, Entry and Training (even though LinkedIn shouldn’t show ads to them at all if I haven’t included them in the first place). What happened is that the platform “cleaned” profiles that don’t have any seniority information. By doing so, I make sure that my segmentation is much more precise to meet my needs.
Tip 6: Never stop A/B Testing
Although A/B Testing can sometimes be very tedious in LinkedIn as there are no ad groups, you should always be doing it. When testing two different campaigns, try to only change one component at a time while keeping the others similar or the same – this way, you can discover what exactly works best for your campaigns.
Tip 7: UTM tracking
Do not forget to add distinctive parameters to all your campaigns and banners within each campaign. It makes no sense to do A/B testing if you won’t be able to track and analyze your results to improve your performance!
Tip 8: Conversion Tracking
As with UTM parameters, it is extremely important to set up your conversion tracking before you start launching any campaigns. Otherwise, you won’t be able to know which campaign or banner converted better.
Tip 9: Double-check
With LinkedIn Ads, you should always double-check Step 1 (Set up Campaign) before moving on to Step 2 (Set up Ads). You will be able to make modifications to your audience later on, but some things like Objective, Profile Language and Ad Format can’t be changed once the campaign is launched.
Tip 10: Set a daily AND a total budget
If your budget is NOT unlimited and you want to make sure that LinkedIn doesn’t go over it, don’t count on just setting a daily budget for an X number of days because sometimes, it might exceed it a little bit. Instead, close the configuration with a determined total budget.
Tip 11: Extend the number of days
If your audience is very small (for example, less than 10,000 people), campaigns might have a difficulty running because not all users are active at all times. Let’s say that you want to spend 20 EUR a day, but since the audience is too small, LinkedIn only spends 10 EUR a day. In such cases, I recommend extending the number of estimated days to make sure that your campaign doesn’t stop before spending the total budget that you set in the beginning.
For example, you estimated that your budget of 200 EUR would be spent in 10 days for 20 EUR a day. In the cases of really small audiences, I recommend that you configure the campaign to run for 15-20 days to ensure that your campaign won’t stop in the middle of its activity just because of the day limitation.
Tip 12: Bid type
Unless you have a really big budget for your LinkedIn Ads, I do not recommend you to set your campaign to an Automated Bid type – otherwise, your CPC might skyrocket.
Tip 13: Performance results
Use Performance Chart and Demographics to analyze your campaign results and improve your segmentation based on actual user behavior.
Tip 14: Sponsored Content and Sponsored InMail
Whenever possible, use Sponsored Content and Sponsored InMail together to boost campaign performance. This practice improves brand awareness and increases the chances for second impact. According to LinkedIn itself, there was a 25% increase in open rates, and a 95% increase in CTR when they tried this combination.
Tip 15: Keep it short and sweet
The attention of users is quite limited when it comes to LinkedIn Ads…actually, when it comes to any ads in general. Try to keep your descriptive copy under 150 characters, and when possible, use numbers or statistics to attract more attention.
Tip 16: Ad testing
Include at least 2 or 3 different ads to each campaign to test which one works best for you – as well as to reach more people in your target audience. They can be different in terms of banners, descriptive copies, or even smaller elements such as the CTA.
Tip 17: Use Matched Audiences
Set up Matched and Lookalike Audiences to re-target your website visitors and your contact lists for better results and bigger impact. I’ve written the following extensive articles to cover these topics, so I recommend you to check them out:
- The 4 Types of LinkedIn Matched Audiences (Explained)
- Understanding LinkedIn Lookalike Audiences (2019)
Tip 18: Pause low performance ads
Every couple of weeks, pause the ads with the lowest engagement (and conversion) rate within your campaign, and replace them with new alternatives (new banners, copies, CTAs, etc.) This will not only help you see what combinations work best, but will also improve your ad relevance score over time, helping you win more bids.
Tip 19: Always include CTA
Always, always, always (I can’t stress this enough) include Call to Action – both in your banner and your descriptive copy. It might sound strange, but without a proper CTA your audience will not know what action they need to undertake after they’ve seen your ad.
Tip 20: Lead Gen Forms
Use LinkedIn’s native Lead Gen forms to improve user experience and collect more qualified leads. This feature pulls data (such as company name, job seniority, job title, etc.) from LinkedIn profiles into a form that’s easy and quick to submit without having to fill in a lot of form fields manually.
Did you like my LinkedIn Ads tips? Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments down below!
I hope you enjoyed this article, and thanks for passing by!
Featured Image credit: www.singlegrain.com