Successful LinkedIn Advertising in 4 Quick Steps

Linkedin is growing as a social media platform, and with it comes expanding space and opportunities for advertising. Linkedin ads are a great opportunity you should be taking advantage of. Here are 4 things that should shape your Linkedin ad strategy.



1. Have Your Goals Set Out

There's no point in running ads if you don't have a specific plan in mind for what you want your ads to achieve. Ads can be used to fulfill a number of goals. It doesn't matter which one you are using ads for, as long as you keep your eyes on your ultimate objective and plan for it. If you have a clear goal in mind, you will have an easier time getting the other article's other steps down. Here's a list of goals that ads are typically used to accomplish:

  • Clicks: You want people to click on the ad and visit your website, pure and simple. Driving traffic is probably the most common goal when it comes to Linkedin ads.
  • Engagement: This is when you want to increase engagement with your content and with your profiles.
  • Product promotion: When you have a new product or service, you wish to promote to make your target audience aware of its launch.
  • Employee prospecting: If you're looking to hire new employees, ads are an excellent way to reach them. Linkedin is the perfect place to advertise to potential employees.

The list of goals isn't limited to this, but hopefully, this gave you an idea of framing your ad campaign goals. Remember that all this is on Linkedin; it's not always going to be the same as a more traditional ad campaign.


2. Aim For The Right Audience

The most important thing when it comes to advertising is precision. You want to have a firm grasp of your audience before you start thinking about what kind of ads you're going to push out. You need to know exactly who you're targeting, what they like and want to see, and then you can figure out what you're going to show them.

LinkedIn ads let you target people through a variety of filters, such as:

  • Job title
  • Experience
  • Company name or general field of work
  • Education
  • Skills
  • Social factors (age, gender, etc.)

Thanks to these filtering options, ads on Linkedin can be tailored to precisely the right personages you want to see them. All you need to do is figure out how to use these tools to target the right people and let the algorithms do the rest of the work for you.


3. Pick The Right Kind of Ad

Once you know who you're targeting, picking the correct type of ad is the next big step. Linkedin ads offer you a fair amount of variety when choosing the right kind of ad to run. The three most significant options are: Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail, and Text Ads.

  • Sponsored content ads show up on feeds when Linkedin members use the website (or the app). These ads are mixed in with other updates on a user's feed. The cost of running sponsored content is calculated upfront based on the amount of exposure you want to have on people's feeds. You have the freedom to use simple text or to complement your text with multimedia content like images or short videos.
  • Text Ads show up on the sidebar of the Linkedin website. They're not as integrated into the Linkedin experience as sponsored content ads are, and they operate more similarly to pay-per-click ads - the more people click, the more you pay for the ad. The upside of text ads is that you can get a more precise idea of how your ad is effective (by looking at clicks), but given that it's more intrusive than sponsored content ads, it's not always the most straightforward choice. Text ads are usually cheaper, but they are less effective than other types of ads. The most significant disadvantage of text ads is that you're limited to using text, and you don't have the same freedom as you would in other ad types.
  • Sponsored InMail ads are ads that are sent directly to users' inboxes. They're not integrated seamlessly into Linkedin's user experience, but they are more directly addressed to them. Sponsored InMail ads feel less like giant billboards being shown to everyone and more like personalized messages being sent privately (because that's what it is). You have the freedom to add multimedia to these ads, but for the most part, they're text-based since they operate through Linkedin's messaging function. The downside is that this type can be very hit or miss. Many people dislike having advertising directly into their inboxes, and you could give off the wrong message to people you're trying to attract. Be careful with your tone and approach. If you're too dry, then people could easily be put off by you. If you're too comfortable, people may not even realize it's an ad and may attempt to respond - and you don't want to be managing that many conversations.

Depending on your target audience, the type of ad you want to use will change. If you think personalization is the most important thing, then consider sponsored InMail or sponsored content ads. If you think you can get away with less, and you want to reach a broad audience, then look at text ads. If your budget allows it, you can even pick multiple ad types for the most exposure. Be careful, though - you don't want to overexpose your target audience to ads; it could put them off.


4. Pick The Right ad Format

Each ad type allows for different ad formats, depending on which type you chose. Your ad's structure will largely depend on what kind of content you choose to include in your ad. Remember that some ad types cannot involve some formats (for example, text ads cannot incorporate videos), so not all formats can be applied to all ad types. Here are the main formats you can choose from:

  • Single image ads are the most popular ads on Linkedin. It's a simple ad with one carefully selected image to accompany some text.
  • Carousel ads are exclusive to sponsored content. You can use more than a single image in these kinds of ads. They come in handy if you're trying to show off more than a single product you're launching, or you feel like you can't get the message across with just one image.
  • Video ads are more interactive than image ads. They can deliver more information than text in the same space, and you can show more than you could with one image. You can also incorporate music or other sound effects to complement your ad better.
  • Follower ads are meant to drive people to your Linkedin page and get you more followers. They're not about selling products and services. It's just about getting followers for your page. It's the most useful for growing your following on Linkedin.
  • Spotlight ads are specifically designed to advertise products and services. If you have a specific product that you just launched and want to focus on your ads on that one product, spotlight ads are the best option.
  • Job ads are there to invite potential employees to check out your company and see if they'd be interested in working with you. Not the most common ad on most websites, but there's no better place than Linkedin to run job ads.

Overall, including Linkedin as a part of a general marketing plan, or as your only avenue for advertising and recruiting, is a prudent investment. 

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In addition to having a passion for writing, Toronto-based Takin is working on his academic career in Philosophy. He can also play the piano and sing in French.

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