LinkedIn can be a mysterious beast of a platform when it comes to advertising. It offers a certain level of specificity in B2B advertising that is simply not available on other platforms. Therefore, it does require an experienced and knowledgeable hand to get the best results.
But the effort is worth it when you consider the reach the platform offers.
That’s why today we’re going to look at what it takes to run successful ads on LinkedIn, and how to know if it’s right for you.
The Pros of LinkedIn
Naturally, you’re going to ask why you want to run ads on LinkedIn in the first place. What’s so great about it that it garners this sort of attention? To answer that, we’re going to start with the advantages LinkedIn advertising offers.
The foremost advantage that LinkedIn holds over other platforms is its targeting options. As a B2B social media platform, users submit tremendous amounts of information such as their job titles, experience, where they work, and whathaveyou.
This information simply isn’t stored the same way on other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Therefore, LinkedIn’s campaign manager is capable of highly specific targeting. That’s what makes the platform so unique. It empowers you to target audiences down to metrics such as their positions, company sizes, industries, and locations.
LinkedIn is a digital space where B2B professionals congregate. Therefore, it’s created an ideal audience pool for B2B advertising.
Compounding this with the aforementioned targeting power, LinkedIn advertisements make a powerful tool to reach your audience.
Of course, this all means that LinkedIn advertisements are capable of a higher quality and lower quantity of leads.
Contrast this with other platforms such as Facebook which lead to high quantity, low-quality leads.
The Cons of LinkedIn
The powerhouse of B2B advertising that it is, LinkedIn has its drawbacks just like any other platform.
The advantages LinkedIn offer happen to be what causes its drawbacks. You could think of it as advertising recoil. Regardless, the most noteworthy of these are the expenses.
The hyper-specific targeting that LinkedIn offers comes at a significant cost. The cost of impressions on the platform runs notably higher on average compared to other platforms.
Therefore, this increases the costs of all metrics such as a CPL, CPC, and whatever other metrics you use to measure your ad costs.
Are LinkedIn Ads Right For You?
LinkedIn advertising is a powerful tool to grow a business. However, the caveat is that it has to be in the right hands to do so. It isn’t for everyone.
Whether or not it is right for your business depends on some key factors.
Average Order Value
Due to the expensive nature of LinkedIn advertising, you will need a higher average order value than campaigns on other platforms. It doesn’t matter if you have an incredibly high-quality ad, a low average order value means your campaign won’t be viable in the long term.
The least average order value you can expect results from is roughly $1000.
This is the biggest benefit of LinkedIn advertising. If you’re not here to utilize that power, it is certainly not for you. Businesses with a generic targeting goal such as small business owners are better off using platforms such as Facebook.
However, if you’re looking to reach CIOs of small to midsized SaaS companies, for example, you’re exactly who needs to be advertising on LinkedIn.
On that note, it’s time to discuss how to utilize targeted advertising on LinkedIn.
Targeted Advertising on LinkedIn
As we’ve discussed, LinkedIn’s campaign manager options for specific targeting are what puts the platform head and shoulders above the rest for B2B ad solutions.
So, let’s take a look at some of the metrics you can target in order of precision.
Arguably the most basic of audience options you can target, job title targeting offers:
- A very precise method of targeting,
- But is proportionally expensive.
This is a natural option if you’re looking to reach an audience that holds a specific role.
Job Function & Seniority
This targeting option offers:
- Broader targeting.
- A cheaper solution than job title.
- And higher volume.
What’s more, this option does encounter the same problem as targeting by job title due to predefined text. As such, it is a broader solution capable of reaching a larger audience at a cheaper rate. Overall, that makes it an excellent option for most marketing objectives.
Skills & Seniority
This option is an alternative to Job Function & Seniority, and as such offers:
- Comparably broad targeting
- High Volume
- And slightly higher cost than Job Function & Seniority
This option is worth experimentation. However, it varies little from job function & seniority in terms of results.
Group & Seniority
This option offers:
- Lower volume than the others
- And moderate cost
This option primarily targets audiences that have joined particular LinkedIn Groups. Which can offer hit-or-miss solutions. Although it is worth experimenting with, the option is potentially on average the least effective of the options we have discussed.
What Else Does LinkedIn Ads Offer?
Beyond targeted marketing, LinkedIn offers several other options and solutions to improve the effectiveness of your ad campaigns. We’re going to cover some of those now.
LinkedIn Ad Objectives
LinkedIn offers options based on the objectives of your ad campaign whether it be awareness, consideration, or conversions.
Starting with Lead Generation, this offers access to LinkedIn lead forms. This is a powerful solution that provides a prefilled form that offers a one-click solution for your audience which quickly leads to the follow-up process. By expediting the process while keeping the user on the website, this creates a high volume of leads.
Alternatively, there are times when you need to send a user to a website. In these cases, the Website Visitors option is your strongest choice.
The conversion option requires a large amount of data to make it effective which is not as available on the platform. For this objective to be viable, you will need to make 50 to 100 conversions a week which is often not feasible. Which makes it the least recommended option available.
Not counting side ads, LinkedIn offers three primary types of ads that can provide increasing levels of detail.
- Single Image – This is best for low information content such as gated content offers or driving traffic to a website.
- Carousel – This option is good if you’re offering more information than you’d be able to cover on a single image. This includes offering demos or more involved subjects.
- Video – Engaging and descriptive, videos offer a powerful ad option no matter the platform.
What Else You Need to Know
Ideal Audience Size
Finding your ideal audience size for LinkedIn is essential for cost-effective campaigns.
If your audience is too small, i.e. specific, you will pay more per impression. It will also mean you will quickly exhaust potential leads. Therefore, be cautious with your desired level of specificity.
On the other hand, if your audience is too broad, your quality of leads will suffer.
It is best to aim for the middle ground of 75K to 80K. However, there are of course arguments for larger or smaller audiences. This is dependent on your campaign.
Numbers to Expect
So, you’re running your LinkedIn ads. How do you know your campaign is doing well?
To answer that, here are some numbers to benchmark your campaign.
- CPC – $3 to $6
- CPL – $15 to $50
- CTR – 0.3% to 0.4%
- CPM – $33 per 1000 impression
Of course, these are only milestones to judge your performance. Remember to focus on the end results
A Final Word
With this information in mind, you’re ready to prepare your own LinkedIn advertising campaign for business growth with confidence.
What’s more, you now have a better understanding of LinkedIn campaign manager options along with what to expect from the platform.