Advertising on LinkedIn helps businesses achieve their goals—whether your goal is to promote your brand or capture leads. It’s designed to be convenient and easy to comprehend, allowing you to do more work with less stress.
While it doesn’t take long to understand the LinkedIn ads platform, it’s important to follow a few best practices to help you reach your goals (and after this blog, check out additional dos and don’ts for LinkedIn ads here).
1. Set up your company for success with a free company page
Before you start with your LinkedIn advertising campaign, it’s essential to lay a strong foundation for your company. To do so, create a free company page for your SaaS business. This will establish your brand on LinkedIn and is required for specific ad formats.
LinkedIn ad formats are something you should familiarize yourself with—it’s how you’ll reach your audience. There are three different forms they can take:
- Sponsored Content
- Sponsored InMail
- Text Ads (pay per click)
Each of these will help you achieve different goals.
In addition to setting up a company page, create a campaign manager account. This account allows you to properly manage the ads platform. You can set up ad accounts, run campaigns and control your budget just by signing in!
2. Create captivating content
Most people use LinkedIn to gain unique insights relevant to their profession or skills, so put yourself in your audience’s shoes and consider what would catch your attention. Choose a language that will appeal to this audience. Use clear, compelling words that direct leads to take action.
In addition, it’s also recommended you follow these best practices with your ads:
- Include an image that’s relevant to the advertisement
- Link to a landing page that matches the message
- Address your specific audiences directly - “Are you social media marketer?”
- Use a strong call to action
- Refresh your ads at least once per month with new text or images
3. Target specific audience segments
The LinkedIn ads that perform best are relevant to a specific target audience. The LinkedIn ads platform is unique because you can target based on what a person does professionally, including:
- Job title
- Job seniority
- Company name
- Years of experience
- And more
LinkedIn provides you with plenty of targeting facets but requires you use the location field—whether that be a specific city or broader area—it’s a good practice to add one or two more fields based on your targeted audience. However, you don’t want to hyper-target, or select too many fields, as it could hurt your initial campaign. After talking with LinkedIn, they recommend that your audience size be around 200,000-300,000 for maximum results.
Audience Expansion is a feature unique to LinkedIn and will soon become your best friend. When enabled, LinkedIn’s algorithms will identify additional audience members that are similar to your targeting criteria.
If this wasn’t the way you were looking to target an audience then you also have the options of re-engaging website visitors with Website Retargeting, nurturing prospects with Contact Targeting or running account-based marketing campaigns with Account Targeting.
4. Test your ads
Obviously, you want to give your audience the content they crave, but how do you do that? I’d recommend creating at least 2-4 ad variations for each campaign—whether you test different ad text, call-to-action buttons or images. In doing so, you can test these versions and see which is most appealing to your audience.
As you start receiving clicks, the best performing ad will show more often and you can pause the ads with lower click-through rates. You don’t need to toss these ads out completely, but show them some TLC to make them more appealing. Then, test again.
5. Set a competitive bid
Unfortunately, there isn’t a specific formula for success when it comes to budgets or bidding, it takes time and testing.
A great place to start is by setting your goals. Determine what you are trying to achieve and set and measure your budget accordingly. Next, set your budget —lay a strong foundation for a long-term strategy. LinkedIn recommends testing with at least $100/day or around $5,000 total. However, for most SaaS startups we work with, that budget is a bit high, so we recommend aiming for $100/week to start.
For each campaign, you will set a payment method as well as a bid. The payment method can be either pay per click or pay per 1,000 impressions, and the bid is the maximum amount you’re willing to pay for those clicks or impressions. If your goal is to be competitive, you will want to set a bid that’s on the higher end of the suggested bid range—this range is an estimate of the current competing bids by other advertisers. LinkedIn will discount your click or impression bid so that you are only paying the minimum necessary to outbid the next advertiser.
Keep in mind, if you don’t enter a bid that’s within the suggested range, your ad will be less likely to beat the competition.
6. Analyze your campaign performance
If your goal is to gather views and interest then you should spend more time focusing on clicks, impressions, click-through rate and average engagement. If you are focusing on driving leads, you might want to monitor conversion rates, leads and their respective costs.
After figuring out your focus, you’re ready to evaluate and optimize. LinkedIn provides professional demographic data you can use to discover and target new audiences. Once your most responsive demographic is determined, you can adjust your audience for more efficient reach.
Furthermore, LinkedIn campaign insights allow you to easily understand how your ads are performing and provides recommendations to improve bids and budgets, which helps increase your ROI. Additionally, you are able to test variations of your ad and adjust ads based on your findings.
If you’re not running LinkedIn ads but are considering advertising, this is a platform you want to be on. You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity for your B2B SaaS company to capture more contacts. When you run your campaigns remember to keep testing and trying—practice makes perfect!