Your business already has a complete LinkedIn profile and you post often, so why do you need a LinkedIn ad strategy? An effective marketing strategy will get your content seen and offer the most bang for your buck

When users log in to LinkedIn, they’re already in a business mindset. They are looking to enhance their professional lives, whether they’re looking for a solution or simply for networking. Because of this, your business-centric ad will be received better than ads on Facebook or other social media platforms.  

Below are 5 simple ways to start implementing a LinkedIn ad strategy to improve your business profits or client reach.  

LinkedIn Ad Strategy #1: Work Out Your Marketing Plan 

Your LinkedIn ad strategy needs to fit into your larger marketing plan.  

When you advertise on LinkedIn, your ads appear in a news feed filled with industry news, expert advice, career training, and tips, and peer insights and recommendations. Therefore, it is important that you take the time to determine what your audience looks like, which will inform the type of content you want to create.  

linkedin ad strategy - holding a question markFirst, create your audience persona.

If you’re new to LinkedIn marketing strategy, check out Part 1 of this blog here. Read up on the basics before diving into the details so you have a broad understanding of how it all works! 

LinkedIn Ad Strategy #2: Choose Your Objective 

An objective is an action you want your customers or clients to take once they view your ad.  

  • Awareness – People learning about your brand or business 
  • Consideration – People actively searching out more about your brand or business 
  • Conversion – Generating leads or downloads 

Not quite sure how to do this? LinkedIn has a chart that will help determine your objective.

Like most marketing efforts, you’ll get a much better payoff if you do your research before launching any campaigns. 

LinkedIn Ad Strategy #3: Set Up Your Audience Targets 

Targeting criteria is very important when setting up a LinkedIn ad strategy. You want to try to hit that sweet spot of targeting your audience, but not being so specific that you’re missing out on potential clients or connections (known as hyper-targeting). Be wary of simply using job titles, as this may exclude those who have the “in” you need without being officially in charge of a specific department or project. Consider using skills instead.  

Some options for targeting include: 

  • Location 
  • Company 
  • Industry 
  • Job title 
  • Job experience/Skills
  • Interests/Hobbies 

linkedin ad strategy - woman short hair looking at a computerOnce you understand the basics, familiarize yourself with ad targeting best practices to get the most out of connecting with your chosen audience. 

Pro tip: Did you know that LinkedIn provides tools to help reach your current connections that aren’t converting? There are 3 options, including: 

  • Website Retargeting – People that have visited your website 
  • Account Targeting – Pinpoint decision-makers at specific companies you’re already connected with
  • Contact Targeting – Upload email lists or other databases 

LinkedIn will let you upload email lists that are matched with profiles. If the list is able to match 300+ profiles, a Matched Audience is created. You can also do this with company pages.  

“With Matched Audiences, you can retarget website visitors, market to contacts from your customer databases and marketing automation platforms, and reach decision-makers at target companies for your account-based marketing programs. It’s available for all LinkedIn advertising products, including Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail, and other ad formats.” 

Read more about Matched Audiences here

Lookalike Audiences are also available, which helps reach people similar to your existing customers or exclude existing customers to your marketing campaigns. 

LinkedIn Ad Strategy #4: Choose Your Format  

Keep your objective in mind. Do you want people to visit your website, watch a YouTube video, or send your team an inquiry email?  

LinkedIn offers various ad formats including: 

  • Single image ad 
  • Carousel ad
  • Video ad
  • Message ad
  • InMail ad 

 Once you decide which is best for your campaign, this tool will help you decide which format to use, based on your marketing objective.

 Pro tip: Note that when using photos or videos, faces are proven to get a better response. 

“Pictures of faces were 38% more likely to get a like than photos without faces. Face photos also were 32% more likely to snag a comment, too.” 

LinkedIn Ad Strategy #5: Create Your First Campaign 

linkedin ad strategy - man and woman working in a desktopLinkedIn’s Campaign Manager lets you set a budget, select goals (clicks vs. impressions), and have complete control over your campaign’s timeline. 

 According to LinkedIn, there are three options for paid ads:  

  • Cost per send (CPS) is used when you run Message Ads campaigns. You pay for each message that is successfully delivered.
  • Cost per click (CPC) is often used for action-oriented campaigns like lead generation or event registration.
  • The cost-per-impression (CPM) model is typically a better fit when brand awareness is the goal. 

 If you’re looking for B2B, learn more about LinkedIn’s ad bidding.  

Get Started 

There are several features in Campaign Manager designed to help you meet your advertising goals, including visual reporting with demographic filters.  

The best way to start figuring out the LinkedIn ad strategy that will achieve your marketing goals is to do A/B testing. This means creating 2 campaigns with the same copy and budget and assigning each a slightly different audience. See which does better and continue to refine your ads until you get your desired result.