Tutorial: How To Launch LinkedIn Ad Campaigns To Promote Your IT Company

Choosing Objectives

Kevin: “The first step when creating a LinkedIn ads campaign is selecting your objective. Ultimately you are telling LinkedIn what is most important for you. On most occasions you just want traffic, so it can very tempting to just select “website visits” and move on. If you do, you are missing out on one of the key byproducts of launching these ads which is new followers. When you select “engagement” your ads will actually feature a “follow” button which will help to build your audience as you drive traffic to your site.

I have tested the same ads to the same audience only one using “traffic” objective and the other using an “engagement” objective and I have actually found that the Click Thru Rate is almost the same, except the engagement rate is dramatically different. This is important later on when we get to “bid type”. So my recommendation is to use “engagement” objective for your general top of funnel campaigns.”

Target Audience

Kevin: “After you have selected the geographic area that you want to target, you are going to have a lot of additional options to narrow your audience down even further. When I work with MSPs to build out these campaigns, I always have them start with a very simple three prong approach. We want to narrow it by industry, company size, and job titles.

As you can see by my example here, I  am going to target Law Firms with over 50 employees and I have selected all the job titles that are likely to be Decision Makers of these firms. As you build this audience you want to keep an eye the audience size and make sure it makes sense for your service area. If it says there are 100,000 Lawyers in your area and there’s only 500,000 poeple that actually live there, then something isn’t right. 

Also keep an eye on what conjunction you are using when adding multiple targeting methods. This could be why your number looks a little out of whack. When narrowing down an audience, your logic should be “and”. If it says “or” then you may be showing your ad to people that don’t actually fit the criteria you are aiming for. “

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Audience Expansion

Kevin: “I always make sure that I un-check this box when creating a campaign. I went through all the trouble of finding the exact target audience that I want for my ads. No offense LinkedIn, but I am not going to let you screw it up at this point. I had a few campaigns running last year that were performing really well and I essentially had an unlimited budget on them. I was limited by the size of the audience, so I went ahead and activated Audience Expansion just to see what happened. 

Big mistake. My spending took off like a rocket and the results basically nose dived. And actually, I don’t know if it is a coincidence, but the campaign hasn’t  performed as well ever since. So this feature may work for some people, but It never has for me so I just avoid it. Now if I need more traffic, I create a second campaign and try a different targeting method. For example, Instead of my three prong targeting to attorneys, maybe I will target local LinkedIn groups like the Bar Association.”

Placement Network

Kevin: “This is another “un-check” for me. LinkedIn partners with a bunch of different publishers to show your ads across sites other than the LinkedIn feed. While this sounds like it would be a great way to get more traffic, there are a lot of problems that I don’t believe they have properly worked out to make this effective.

The first thing that I noticed is that in their support documentation they basically say that the ad can show up in any format and any size and that LinkedIn’s system dynamically does this for you. This means that the post that I am promoting with this campaign, might be turned into an ad using only the image and link that I provided and not the accompanying text. It also means that if that image doesn’t fit the specs on the publisher’s site, it may be automatically cropped.

What also sucks about this feature is that the reporting doesn’t allow you to see conversions on an individual site level. So even you do have one of these third party placements that are performing well, you won’t know which one it is. Again, I don’t have a problem with leveraging third party publishers. This is something that I do all the time with Google Ads. For me it’s more about the ability to optimize and manage the campaign and this is a little bit of a wildcard that makes it difficult to do so on LinkedIn.”

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Bid Type

Kevin: “This is where you can really get tripped up and blow away your money with absolutely nothing to show for it. First off, never select Automated Bid. LinkedIn’s idea of what an impression should cost and your idea are going to be two very different figures. I actually can’t think of a circumstance where it would make sense to allow them to set your bid especially when there are several other bidding options to work from.

The bid type that I always recommend using is CPM. In this case your bid is for 1000 impressions. This is a pretty failsafe bidding strategy and if your ads are hyper relevant to the audience that you targeted, which they should be, then you are going to perform well. I would put 1.00 in the bid field here and let it tell you what the minimum bid will be. This will vary based on the audience that you targeted. So for example, it cost more to target people with a title of “CEO” than it would with a title of “Junior Account Manager.”

Start with the minimum bid, or slight above and then work your bid up as you start to see results and want more traffic. If you are getting a Click Thru Rate of above 1.5% which is very achievable, you are going to be able to get clicks for less than the Cost Per Click minimum even allows. This is why I love this bidding strategy because it essentially rewards you financially for good ads that are relevant to your audience. It also encourages segmenting the audience into multiple campaigns and tweaking each one to improve the Click Thru and lower your cost.

Thats it for the 5 mistakes that I often see. I hope you find this helpful. If you are interested in learning more, hit the link right here to grab a free coaching session. Good luck!”