LinkedIn is the Facebook for professionals. While there are some things you’d do on Facebook that you wouldn’t do on LinkedIn (such as, post those pictures from last year’s holiday party), social advertising isn’t just for Facebook. If you’re a services company you can take advantage of generating leads for a webinar or from whitepaper downloads using LinkedIn advertising. Let’s walk through how to create an ad.
Types of LinkedIn Ads
- Sponsored Content: In feed sponsored advertisements
- Text Ads: Right rail text only advertisements
- Sponsored InMail: Direct sponsored messages to LinkedIn inbox
When to Use
- Sponsored Content: Use sponsored content when you’d like the advertisement to look like a native post in your audience’s feed. You can use an image with a link to entice clicks for a whitepaper download or event/webinar registration.
- Text Ads: Text ads are short and sweet ads located on the right rail. You can see text ads under the section “Ads You May Be Interested In”. They have a small image; usually a headshot, icon, or logo next to the copy.
- Sponsored InMail: InMail are sponsored “emails” within LinkedIn’s messaging system. They allow you to deliver personalized messages to leads in a direct way. Be sure segment and target appropriately to drive action.
How to Create Sponsored Content:
*Note: You must have a business LinkedIn page, you must be an Admin of the page, and Campaign Manager must be set up for your business to follow these steps.*
Step 1: Post your update (what will become the ad) to your business page newsfeed as regular non-paid content.
Step 2: Click “Sponsor now” to turn the regular post to an ad.
Step 3: You will be prompted that you don’t have any campaigns running (gosh LinkedIn – we know!). Click the blue box to go to Campaign Manager.
Step 4: You will need to log in again to Campaign Manager using the same login you use normally for LinkedIn.
Step 5: Choose the Account you’d like to sponsor content for, if one is not listed you will need to click “Add Account”.
Step 6: On the Campaign Manager homepage you will need to click Create Campaign at the top right to sponsor your content.
Step 7: Then you will be asked to choose an ad product – this is where you will find the three options we outlined above. In this example, we will choose the first option: Sponsored Content.
Step 8: Name the campaign (use the naming convention for your org, here we did yy-month-campaign-ad#) and choose what action you’d like your audience to take. In this example, we chose the first option to send them to a website since we have a link to our blog in the post.
Step 9: Now you will check off which post you’d like to sponsor and click “Sponsor selected content”.
Step 10: You will create your audience in this next step. Save the audience with a clear name so you can use the same audience again in the future for another ad.
Initially you are asked to indicate a location you’d like to target. If you’re having an in-office workshop, choose areas in a short driving distance to you. But, if you’re having a webinar you can choose to include just the United States or you can choose entire continents if you’d like a global audience.
Next you can segment your audience further based on company, job title, education, and more. If you’re hosting a webinar on SEO, you can target an audience of mid-level marketing managers of all types (internet marketing, search marketing, etc). Play around with different audience types to fit your needs.
Step 11: Defining the budget for your ad is the final step of the process before launching. LinkedIn fills in the amounts it thinks you should spend on the daily budget and bid based on what others are spending on similar ads. You can choose to keep the same, or change it based on your budget. Once you’ve set the start and end date (end date is optional), click Launch Campaign.
Ad Tracking Within LinkedIn
It’s important to track your ads to see how they’re performing even before they’ve reached their end date (if one was set). LinkedIn makes it easy to view overall stats on your ads right from the admin business page view of the post in your feed – you will see organic and sponsored performance stats. As with any ads – test and then test again to see what type, content, images, call to actions, and budget work best for your audience.
Additionally, if you have Google Analytics set up on your website use Campaign URL Builder to tag the URL used in ad with LinkedIn as the source and sponsored content or ad as the medium.
Get started with LinkedIn advertising using our how to above. The only way you’ll get better at it is the start, track engagement, test, and test some more. Take advantage of the easy set up process and streamlined user interface for advertising. Play around with copy, URLs, images, and call to actions to see what works best for your brand, audience, and goal.