You’d be forgiven for dismissing LinkedIn as just a place that people go to when they’re looking for jobs. After all, that’s how it was marketed to so many of us not so long ago. But LinkedIn has evolved.
From posts from founders confiding about business decisions they’ve had to make, to professional communities being built, and even to memes being shared, LinkedIn has begun to carve its place in the Hall of Social Media Apps. It has become a space for professionals to come together to network and interact.
It’s easy to forget that professionals are humans too. And humans all have a natural desire to connect with others. LinkedIn makes that possible, and as it happens more, naturally, their advertising offerings improve. That’s why now might be the best time so far to advertise on LinkedIn .
If you’re going to do something, you may as well do it right. So here are four tips on how to get it right when you do finally dip your toe into the LinkedIn sea.
Why LinkedIn Ads?
First, let’s consider the all-important question that Simon Sinek made popular: “Why?”
Why advertise on LinkedIn? After all, LinkedIn ad costs tend to be much higher on LinkedIn than they are on Facebook or even… dare we say it, TikTok.
That’s a great question. Here’s the great answer:
You should advertise on LinkedIn if it makes sense for your product or business. Advertise there if you have the budget, and want to reach decision-makers.
LinkedIn has an array of targeting options that advertisers and social ads experts close their eyes and wish would be on Facebook. Targeting like company, member skills, job traits, and seniority are just a few of the options available on LinkedIn. These are options that Facebook can only come close to replicating with a tool like Clearbit.
Those targeting options alone almost make LinkedIn ads worth the price of admission. The ability to reach key decision makers or users with a particular set of skills could produce higher quality leads than what you may see on Facebook and Instagram. So sure, you’ll pay a bit more per lead, but the leads you get will actually move the needle.
So, what should you consider when running LinkedIn Ads? Glad you asked.
4 Best Practices to consider when running Linkedin ads
Know Your Audience
The first thing may seem obvious, but it can’t be underestimated. When running LinkedIn ads, as I’ve alluded to up to this point, cost can be a major issue if you aren’t careful. One of the quickest ways to drive up costs is to target the wrong audience with your ads.
LinkedIn has a war chest of amazing targeting options that can get your ads in front of key decision-makers that could buy your product. LinkedIn also has targeting options that could get your ads in front of tons of people that are almost perfect – that is, people that would happily buy your product, but it isn’t their decision to make.
The way to avoid the almost-perfect people is to pay attention to the targeting that you’re using and make sure that you’re including targeting parameters that will allow you to hit people with the proper amount of seniority.
Managers, directors, vice presidents, founders, and C-suite executives are all options that you could choose to increase the odds of you getting in front of a decision-maker.
Aside from seniority, LinkedIn also gives you the ability to go after member skills and member traits. The advantageous thing about these options is they allow you to go after people who would actually know how to use your product.
One example of this is a Learning Management Solutions company targeting content creators. By targeting content creators who also have video recording and video editing skills, the LMS company could place their ads in front of an audience who self-reported having the necessary skills to use the product.
Choose The Right Ad Type
Next, you’ll want to select the right ad type. LinkedIn has multiple different ad formats that you can use depending on your campaign objective and your needs. Along with choosing the correct audience, you’ll want to make sure that you choose the ad format that’ll connect with your audience.
The ad formats that LinkedIn offers are:
- Carousel ads
- Conversation ads
- Message ads
- Follower ads
- Spotlight ads
- Job ads
- Lead gen Forms
- Single Image Ads
- Single Job Ads
- Text Ads
- Video Ads
One of the limitations of LinkedIn ads is that as of the time this is being written, you cannot mix ad formats in a campaign. So choosing the correct format will save time, frustration, and money in both the short and the long run. Reviewing LinkedIn ad examples can be a great place to start.
For example, If you decide to test video ads vs Single Image Ads, you’ll need to create two separate campaigns instead of creating them in the same campaign as you would on Facebook or Pinterest.
Develop the Right Creative and Copy
The third best practice is to choose both the correct creative and the correct copy for your LinkedIn ads. You have the opportunity to get incredibly granular with your targeting, so you also have the chance to personalize your creative.
The temptation to just repurpose the assets that you use on Facebook will be strong, but I’d caution restraint in that area. Linkedin is a different platform and deserves a tailored approach if possible. It has humans, sure, but the environment and the behavior are different.
When people are on Facebook and Instagram, they’re scrolling and looking to connect with family and friends colloquially. They’re also there to be entertained, and while nobody will admit it, they’re there to discover new products.
On LinkedIn, the priming is different. It feels more professional. As such, people expect to see more professional content. The balancing act your ad has to do is to be a scroll stopper while also feeling like it belongs in the room.
To accomplish that, consider your audience. Think about their world and their pain points. Think about what they’d want to know about your product before they were ready to learn more. Think about what they wear to work. Consider who their best friend at work is. Show that in the creative. Say that in the copy.
Test Fast, Learn Fast, Move Fast
Finally, understand that it’s not likely for you to get it 100% right on the first try. To be successful with LinkedIn Ads, you need to adopt a growth mindset.
The person that’s afraid to fail is the person that’s afraid to win. So there has to be a certain tolerance for testing new things and being willing to get it all wrong.
The important thing is that you fail fast. Contain your losses. Learn from the failures. Iterate and move on to the next test.
Test different creative concepts and different copy. Give different targeting options a go. Learn if videos or single images work best for your audience. Ask yourself what would happen if the ads went to a different landing page.
Test a bunch of different things quickly. Learn from your tests. Don’t panic but manage your losses. Iterate and grow.