How To Create Your First LinkedIn Ad

February 26th, 2021 Mathias Lehnhoff

LinkedIn is a huge professional network that can put you in touch with other professionals, clients, and business partners. 

While there are many effective ways to use LinkedIn for marketing, advertising is one of the best ways to reach your audience. If you have not yet used ads to boost your LinkedIn strategy, this is a perfect time. 

In today’s guide, we’ll share what you need to know to set up your first LinkedIn Ads campaign. 

Let’s get started!

The LinkedIn Audience 

Before running ads on any site, you want to make sure the ads will reach your target audience. LinkedIn users are career-oriented. Most are focused on growing their careers, networking, and finding educational opportunities. The users are leaders, decision-makers, buyers, and executives in a wide range of industries. 

The industries represented on LinkedIn are incredibly diverse. The largest group of users on the platform is 25-34 years old. There are many Americans on the platform who earn over $75,000 per year. 

Where Do LinkedIn Ads Show Up?

LinkedIn ads appear as text or dynamic ads at the top of the page or in the right column for the desktop view. Any carousel image ads or video ads show up on the LinkedIn feed for mobile and desktop. However, sponsored messaging ads will only appear in LinkedIn messenger. Additionally, LinkedIn ads will appear on the LinkedIn Audience Network, which includes many different ad exchanges, mobile sites, and apps. 

Create your LinkedIn Ads Account 

To run LinkedIn Ads, you’ll need a Page (different from a personal profile). 

This works similarly to Facebook Ads. You’ll need to complete a LinkedIn page (and should build your audience on that page). The page will be associated with your LinkedIn ads account, which you’ll manage via the LinkedIn Campaign Manager. 

Choose a Campaign Objective 

When you create a new ad campaign, you must select the objective. 

The three possible objectives are:

  • Awareness: get your brand in front of more people, spreading awareness. 
  • Consideration: boost website visits, video views, engagements, etc. 
  • Conversions: website conversions (sales), job applications, lead generation. 

As you may notice, the options mirror the sales funnel. A good way to determine your objective is to look at where you need to improve in your current sales funnel. Many businesses start out by combining brand awareness and conversion campaigns to reach their audiences at different points in the sales funnel. 

Based on your campaign objective selection, LinkedIn will suggest various ad creatives. 

Select Your Audience 

The next step is to determine your ad audience. 

On LinkedIn, you can select from one of the platform’s pre-created audiences, build your own from scratch, or choose a saved audience you previously used. For each campaign, you can create, edit, or refine your audience. 

According to LinkedIn’s recommendations, it’s best to use 2-3 audience attributes or matched audiences per campaign. You can easily select one of their ready-made audiences and customize it to suit your goals. 

You’ll see” Audiences” and “Audience Attributes.”

“Audiences” are people that are matched to you from some prior contact or connection. This option can help you reach more qualified audiences on the platform. 

Examples include 

  • Upload a target audience list (like current clients) and get a match to audiences that are similar. 
  • Account target by marketing to a list of specific accounts. 
  • Email retargeting by using your email list to identify target audiences on LinkedIn. 
  • Website retargeting. Target your website visitors on LinkedIn. 

Audience attributes

  • Job experience (title, function, years of experience, skills)
  • Education (school name, degree, field of study).
  • Demographics (age or gender)
  • Company (industry, name, category, size)
  • Interests (groups, interests, members traits)

On LinkedIn, you can target audience attributes with AND or OR. If you select female AND job title X, then the audience members must meet both criteria. If you select OR, then females OR those with job title X will show up. Using “and” will narrow your audience, and “or” will increase it. 

LinkedIn makes this easy to visualize. As you select criteria for targeting, LinkedIn will show forecasted results in real-time. The forecasted results give you an idea of your audience size that you will reach with each selection. 

LinkedIn shares these recommendations for audience size and ad type:

  • 100,000 or fewer members for sponsored messaging ads. 
  • Between 60,000 and 400,000 members for text ads. 
  • 300,000 or more for single image ads. 

Creating the Ads

Based on your objective, LinkedIn will suggest creative types. You should aim to create 4-5 different creatives, with minimal differences for testing. Make sure the ads and landing pages are optimized for mobile. 

Set Your Budget

Next, you need to set your daily budget and total program budget for the campaign. For the best ad serving and highest quality clicks, LinkedIn suggests a daily budget of at least $100. If you notice the budget running out too quickly, you can lower the daily budget. The Automated Bid option can help you to adjust the bids to be more competitive. If you are not getting many clicks, the budget may be too low, so you could temporarily set it higher to jumpstart the campaign. 
LinkedIn ads are a great way to make the most of your LinkedIn marketing strategy. For more helpful advice on how to get the most from LinkedIn, sign up for the Beep2B Daily where we share the best tips, strategies and examples for LinkedIn content creation. It’s free!