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How to Level Up Your LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn is fast becoming the advertising and social platform of choice for businesses. Particularly those in the B2B and B2G space.

The following LinkedIn statistics may help explain why:

  • Earlier this year LinkedIn was reported to have over 875 million members and is expected to have either already overcome the billion-member mark or to do so soon.
  • Almost 60% of users are between the ages of 25-34 years old. These young millennials are making decisions for companies more often than this age group has in decades past.
  • Over 25% of LinkedIn users are aged 34-54, leaving Gen Z and Gen X bookending at less than 15% of users total.
  • Marketers see up to 2 times higher conversion rates on LinkedIn than on other social platforms. CPA is more expensive than other channels but more likely to be a qualified lead upon engagement.
  • 4 out of 5 people on LinkedIn are driving business decisions.
  • Over 58 million companies are represented on LinkedIn.
  • 77% of content marketers say LinkedIn produces the best organic results.

    Find over 30 more statistics here!

What kind of company should be advertising on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn Ads works best for companies in the B2B space when they have:

  • High Lifetime Value (LTV), like consultants, manufacturing, engineering and the like
  • Larger Deal Sizes
  • Longer Sales Cycles

LinkedIn Ads work best for companies in the B2C marketing in:

  • White-Collar Recruiting
  • Higher Education
  • Luxury
  • Travel
  • Finance

Targeting options on LinkedIn:

  • Job Title
  • Department
  • Level of Seniority
  • Company Size
  • Industry
  • Company Name
  • Email Address
  • And more, as well as a combination of the above demographics to narrow targets.

Using ABM Matched Lists on LinkedIn

In the past, these lists required at least one matching factor beyond the user name. These days, it’s much easier. Trying to match phone numbers and emails has become too cumbersome and hasn’t resulted in enough matches.

This is because the phone number on their account was usually a personal cell phone number rather than the business phone number in lists or their emails could be business or personal email or both.

Recently, LinkedIn updated these match list requirements to be first and last name only. This does not guarantee that the members of your list will match, as they may use their full name or nickname, some people still have their married or single last name despite that status changing, or they may not have a LinkedIn account.

The minimum number of matches required for advertising to an uploaded match list is 300. The recommendation from LinkedIn is to upload a list of 20,000 or more to get closer to a guaranteed match of 300. Smaller lists could allow for a match of 300 if your sales team is already gathering and keeping track of their data and working the accounts.

Unfortunately, you cannot receive the list once it has been matched to determine who was not matched on the list and work to correct it.

LinkedIn Ad Formats and Best Uses

Single Image LinkedIn Ads in News Feed

These ads are ads that show up in the regular news feed where organic posts are shown. A well-crafted and attention-grabbing ad can look as though it is organic and may get more traction. They are highly recommended at any stage of the buyer journey and have a >.4% click-through rate (CTR) as a standard for good performance. Anything over is excellent. They are the most versatile and are typically $10-16 cost per click (CPC).

LinkedIn Video Ads

These are video ads in the regular news feed where organic posts are shown. The format provides many more advantages and opportunities to be seen. The LinkedIn algorithm prefers video and it is a great way to get more about your brand and offer across to the LinkedIn community.

Whenever possible, it is highly recommended to use original content in your video ad that reflects your company, culture, etc., so that more users feel more connected to your business. If you don’t have the budget or time right now, using a video creator like Canva is an excellent option. And we would recommend that you find the budget and time to do so soon.

These ads cost $.10-.35 per 2-second view, so you want to make sure your video will keep the attention of a user, get your message across quickly and has a CTA included. If your ad has speaker audio, you must have subtitles enabled and check them for accuracy. Must, as in, you can still launch your ad without subtitles, but they are often played or at least started on mute.

LinkedIn video ads are an excellent option for retargeting potential clients who have already interacted with your ads and/or your website.

LinkedIn Right Rail Text Ads

Why, you are likely asking, would I ever use these ads? They are tiny, and no one pays attention to them. However, people do pay attention to them, and they are a great option for brand awareness. They are less expensive and more constant than other ad formats.

These are specifically well-performing for brand awareness on the desktop, not on mobile; another reason that interaction is lower. It is recommended that a brand awareness ad runs alongside any campaigns you are running. Right rail text ads are an affordable option for this as the least expensive option at $3-6 CPC with anything over 0.23% CTR considered successful.

Conversations Ads on LinkedIn

This is one of our favorite ad formats for retargeting. These ads allow the advertiser to send an inbox message to a prospect and offer options for them to interact with. For example, you could ask a prospect if they would like an eBook or guide that you have created for your prospects with a link to the resource. You can even give them choices between scheduling a demo or downloading a resource.

The offer must be a VIP offer. Something with genuine value. A proprietary or customized report, a video that is not public facing or an opportunity to guest on a podcast or interview. This method of advertising is similar to a “choose your own adventure” story. However, they can be quite cumbersome to build and take some time and intentionality.

Dynamic Ads on LinkedIn’s Right Rail

These ads are similar to the right rail text ads mentioned previously. They do change dynamically to reveal your face and a company logo directed at you personally. You will see this oftentimes with employment ads. The format can also be beneficial for ads that encourage followers to your business and tend to perform better at a lower cost than other formats on LinkedIn Ads.

The cost is $8-$10 CPC and is only shown on desktop. The CTR baseline is .97% due to the low volume.

LinkedIn Lead Gen Form Ads

Lead Gen Form Ads on LinkedIn can be a game changer for leads. Oftentimes, landing pages or websites lose clicks and interest simply because they do not load fast enough. However, when using a lead gen form ad, since the information is collected on the platform, it is lightning-fast to load the form, creating less friction for interested parties. This means people are much more likely to complete their journey than they would have been otherwise. You can in many cases connect your ad account and lead capture to your CRM.

The lead quality will be lower as the numbers increase, but you should have someone in charge of qualifying lead opportunities in your sales process. They may be a bit busier, and your conversion rate should increase.

LinkedIn Lead Gen Form Ad Integrations:

  • HubSpot
  • Eloqua
  • Marketo
  • Salesforce

And more opportunities to connect with Zapier.

Coming Soon to LinkedIn Ads

Click to Message LinkedIn Ad

This ad is set up so that you pay for it like sponsored content. These ads allow and encourage a viewer to message you. The best advertising content for these can be an advertisement for a YouTube channel, podcast, speaking engagement or attendance at an event as a vendor or sponsor. Or if you are making an offer that can’t be refused. This takes the pressure off and puts the control in the hands of your advertising target. They aren’t available to the general advertiser yet but are coming in months or quarters. It is currently in testing.

LinkedIn Though Leader Ads

We could not be more excited for this! Not only can you advertise thought leadership pieces (you can currently), but you can do them with an individual shown as the advertiser. This is ideal for webinars, speaking events, thought leadership growth within a company, personal branding and the proliferation of knowledge with a lower barrier to entry for consumers. Recommend a CEO or Founder as the face of your company. People trust people, not companies.

With these ads, you pay per comment. They can create much more buzz for your event and interaction is the goal. You will be able to use them with single image, text only or video posts.

These LinkedIn Ad Formats Are Not Worth It

LinkedIn Carousel Ads

Though we see carousel posts work well, in most cases, carousel ads on LinkedIn don’t have the same success. And, even in the case of carousel posts, if the images are vibrant and have recognition or movement, along with very large, clear, concise text, people will gloss over them. They don’t want to have to blow up the image to see. It’s asking too much of the viewer. There is no performance benefit over other options. Stick to the carousel in the organic feed instead.

Event Ads for LinkedIn

These ads are not recommended as of this writing because they are constrained. Unless you are promoting an on-platform LinkedIn Event, and, with these ads, you can retarget based on event interest. In these cases, it can be very beneficial. Otherwise, the recommendation is to stay away from them. 

Document Ads on LinkedIn

This ad format is similar to carousel ads, but usually with EVEN SMALLER text. No one can read them, even blown up in some instances. If you choose to use a Document Ad on LinkedIn, expect to share imagery that has large text and very succinctly summarizes what the benefits are of your documents. Unless your offer is exceptionally valuable, don’t count on these ads for success.

When you get started on LinkedIn, you need to keep in mind that their ad platform is more expensive, as are leads and conversions. The minimums are higher, and you really should be looking at budgets well over $500 for ads that target Top of Funnel conversions.

LinkedIn is a fantastic option for advertising for B2B and B2G-focused businesses. Make sure as you set up ads that you are very intentional, focus on the funnel or flywheel you have decided on and spend what you need to spend to get results. Carefully plan budget and execution and check in on them often.

We’re here to help with an effective LinkedIn and LinkedIn Ads strategy if you need it. Reach out any time!