LinkedIn is one of the most popular, if not the most popular, social media platforms built for professional networking on the internet. It remains the top-of-mind choice for running paid ads campaigns for B2B companies and for some B2C companies specifically targeting working professionals or job seekers. Every company should take full advantage of this platform to reach their target market by knowing how to optimize LinkedIn Ads.
Why should you use and optimize LinkedIn ads?
LinkedIn Ads is an advertising tool that allows access to its millions of active users. In 2022, 75% of the companies on LinkedIn use this self-service ads tool for paid campaigns. It’s a key communication channel for B2B companies to promote awareness, acquire potential leads, build an online presence, and share owned content through sponsored posts and other effective ad formats.
It’s no secret to digital marketers that LinkedIn Ads require a pricey investment to get the results you want. However, if you successfully build strategic ads, it can bring your business a steady stream of content engagement and quality leads at extremely low costs.
How can you unlock the benefits of LinkedIn Ads?
We created this quick no-fail guide for you with tips and best practices shared by experts on how to nail the four crucial parts to optimize LinkedIn ads so you can get the most out of your campaign spend.
1. Ad Formats
The LinkedIn advertising tool is optimized to run your selected ad format based on your chosen campaign objective. When you select an incorrect objective for your ad campaign, it may not deliver your desired results. You can not change the objective once the ads are running. If it is necessary to change the objective, you have to create a new campaign and start the whole process over again.
LinkedIn ad formats are available based on the objective selected from three buckets of options depending on your business needs within the marketing funnel. For conversion campaigns when you want to get potential customers for your business, the most used objective is Lead Generation. This gives you the option to use a built-in lead capture form within the ad itself. For top and middle-of-the-funnel objectives, the best ones are the Awareness and Website Traffic objectives.
Whichever objective you want to go for, the most widely used ad format is the Single Image Ad. You can probably spot many of them on your own LinkedIn feed when you scroll down. Based on recent statistics, Single Image Ads have the highest CTR of 0.56% compared to other ad formats.
Other Ad Formats
Other ad formats you can explore for Awareness and Consideration objectives are Carousel Ads when you need to highlight multiple products or features in your campaign, and Video Ads when you have the resources to produce high-quality video content. If you want to run a hyper-personalized campaign, you may go for Message Ads or Conversation Ads. These ads are delivered straight to your target user’s LinkedIn inbox.
LinkedIn’s feed is generally filled with Single Image ads and Video ads because they are popular among companies since they are less complicated to set up yet still able to deliver impactful results. The fact that you see them most often on LinkedIn does not necessarily mean they are always the best ad format to use. When you have various types of content, try and experiment with different ad formats to determine which one works best for your campaign objective. Choose the ad format that will be most impactful and makes the most sense for your marketing goals.
2. Ad Copy & Creative
The next part of how to optimize LinkedIn ads is setting up an ad. We start with the introductory text first. We then add the image or video, then the headline, and finally the description because that is the order from top to bottom when the post is placed on the home feed.
The image is usually different from the typical white background with text of LinkedIn, so it naturally stands out. It is important that the message you put in your ad creative is compelling and crystal clear about what your ad is all about so that users will stop scrolling, pause, and explore your ad more.
Here are a few best practices to optimize LinkedIn ad creative to make it more appealing to your target audience.
- Create a single point of focus within your image. It will be easily recognizable to your target audience, which will get them to stop.
- The in-art copy should just be minimal and written in large, bold typeface. Although there is no strict character limit for in-art text, that doesn’t mean you should fill the creative with long paragraphs. Try limiting it to a few striking phrases or just one to two full sentences.
- Use bright colors all over. LinkedIn’s platform is typically white and blue with black text. To stand out on the feed, you need to use colors that are outside of the platform’s color scheme or are more dramatic. But make sure it still follows your brand guidelines, of course!
- Lastly, the image is ideally in portrait format (2:3) for more screen coverage, especially on mobile devices. Landscape format tends to either break your image or shrink to fit the screen width when viewing on mobile devices.
The Headline and Description
LinkedIn recommends keeping headlines to 70 characters or less. Text over a hundred characters is truncated when viewed on desktop. Stating your unique value propositions or product benefits can be a great headline but avoid putting too much information. The headline should be brief and imperative to keep the user engaged. As for the Description, we recommend using up to 100 characters to avoid shortening, but you can use up to 300 characters if it makes more sense to you.
The Introductory Text
Targeted users who take the time to read this part are the most engaged and are more likely to click the call-to-action of your LinkedIn ad.
LinkedIn truncates the Introductory section of the ad after about 150 characters for readability purposes. While we can use up to 600 characters, it would be great to sum up the message to fit the 150-character limit. It will make it more engaging to users and they won’t have to spend time reading more.
If you really need to place more information beyond 150 characters, it’s a good thing that LinkedIn has the “…see more” capability. You may add more detailed messaging below the truncation line to maximize the character limit of the intro text. Make sure the first 150 characters before the truncation contains a complete thought that can stand alone. The text should be interesting enough to pique their interest to “see more”.
One other bonus pro-tip is adding a link to your destination URL within the Intro text. With this, the user who took the time to read your long introductory text will not have to scroll back down to the call-to-action button.
3. Ad Messaging
In one of your B2B campaigns, you may have to target specific job titles at a specific company. Each job title has its own user persona that should have its own unique messaging. The ad copy should be written to tailor-fit those interests accordingly.
Let’s take for example these four different personas below.
In targeting CEOs, talk about how your offerings can make an impact on their business at the company level. This would make a more compelling message for them. Your ad may focus on the angle of company growth, disruption, expansion, or other matters they’re most concerned about.
The CFO is certainly interested in growing the company from a financial perspective. They are keen to learn more from a purely financial point of view. Attract your target CFO with astounding yet realistic numbers and figures by highlighting financial benefits their company can expect, such as percent growth of revenue and dollar savings on cost.
The Marketing Director
The Marketing Director is eager to learn more about PR and market growth strategies. You can provide insights on relevant marketing topics such as reach and exposure, market opportunities, unique value propositions, and customer experience.
The Technical Engineer
Technical engineers are more engaged in streamlined workflows and efficient operations. Curate your LinkedIn ad copy to highlight process improvements and maximize productivity to produce more quality output in less time.
With this in mind, a single campaign can be split into separate, highly niche campaigns. Each message per target user persona will explain your value proposition in the context of their individual interests.
4. Ad Variants
It’s a little-known fact that each LinkedIn ad is only shown to a user once every 48 hours. With this limitation, we highly recommend running four active ad variants in one campaign to ensure full impression coverage. A 48-hour period would display your four active ad variants when LinkedIn divides your campaign into 12-hour blocks.
Aside from having full impression coverage, it allows A/B testing of ads continuously. Try having entirely new ads with new creative and text. You may use the same creative but test it with different intro messaging and headlines. You may also just simply change the word order of the headlines. To ensure the effectiveness of the ad variants, LinkedIn suggests running them for at least two weeks.
Another important aspect of having multiple ad variants is finding the winning combination of components within each ad. For instance, run an A/B test for the headline. Is a question-type headline more effective than a sentence type? The creative is another way to test a LinkedIn ad. You may test out adding a real photo, stock photo, vector image, plain typography, or even animated GIFs.
Optimize LinkedIn ads by exploring many variants regularly because the market is highly dynamic for social media users. Their taste and engagement of ad creative is fickle and influenced by several factors. To stay relevant and compelling, don’t stop improving and learning about your target market to capture their changing interests.
Here are some ideas on how to optimize LinkedIn ads with four variants in one campaign:
The above steps will ensure full daily impression coverage of your B2B LinkedIn Ads.
Wrapping up how to optimize LinkedIn ads
Now that we’ve gone over this quick B2B LinkedIn Ads guide, keep in mind the following tips sworn by successful LinkedIn Ads experts:
- Speak directly to your target audience. If you are attempting to express a benefits statement to prospects within the same organization, make sure to use the right message for the right person.
- Provide unique value by targeting their pain points. Be brief and clear. Use a message that the reader will easily understand.
- Be bold and stand out with your ad creative whether it’s through color usage or text. Overall the design should be fascinating enough so that the user will stop scrolling. Pay attention to understand what you’re trying to promote to them. Utilize the supporting text to funnel them to the conversion part of your pipeline.
- Most importantly, always test and optimize to see what works best by using multiple ad variants. Always use 4 variants at the least. Take the opportunity to test the effectiveness of your ad copy to receive valuable insights on how to run winning LinkedIn ads and get the best performance out of your ad spend.
LinkedIn Ads optimization takes time and experience to master. Keep track of your campaign performance, and stay on top of your LinkedIn Ads metrics to get ahead of the game. That’s all for today, hopefully, you know how to optimize LinkedIn ads now.