Of all the social media platforms, LinkedIn is one of the most mature. Launched in 2003, it now features a network of professionals numbering more than 690 million. After two decades, the platform has moved beyond its initial role as a job search and recruiting tool. Today, professionals from all kinds of industries use LinkedIn to make connections to others who offer the products and services they need to keep their businesses running. For this reason, businesses promote their goods and services as well as advertise to generate leads and recruit new employees.
If you want to know how to advertise on LinkedIn, you’re in the right place! We have broken down the LinkedIn advertising process if you’re ready to try this yourself. If not, we’re here to optimize your LinkedIn ads using current best practices and knowledge. For those ready to DIY, note that the following information assumes you have admin rights to the company’s LinkedIn page.
Quick Fix: Boosting LinkedIn Posts
If you have an event, video, or single image post you want more people to see, there is a simple 3-step process for increasing its reach. Perhaps you have a post that has good engagement. You can increase the reach for this post by boosting it. All you need to do is go to the post and click on the Boost button above the post. You will then be able to select an Objective, Audience, and Budget for the post. Read on to learn how to refine your campaign and potentially achieve more detailed and specific results.
Boosting Tip: Keep in mind that you can’t Boost a job ad. If you want to advertise a job, you will need to go into Campaign Manager. Remember to familiarize yourself with the LinkedIn Advertising Policies, as well.
LinkedIn Advertising Objectives
Even if you haven’t advertised on social media before, you can learn how to advertise on LinkedIn. The first step is to determine your objective for the ad. What action do you want people to take? Do you want to raise awareness, get people to click to buy your product online, or send a message that will capture leads? LinkedIn has dubbed these categories Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion. Under each category, you can choose detailed objectives. Be prepared to create an ad that fits one of the following.
- Awareness is the simplest objective. It offers impression-based campaigns for high level brand awareness.
- Consideration encourages people to visit a website, engage with the post, or view a video.
- Conversion focuses on lead generation (e.g. Request a Demo), website conversions, and getting job applications.
Create a LinkedIn Ad
Now that you have an objective, it’s time to develop the creative for the ad. You may have an existing post or video to use, which will save time. If not, we recommend writing copy in Google docs or Word so you can do a spell check and character counts. Depending on your objective and the type of ad you choose, you may need to edit the copy to add a strong call to action. There are three types of LinkedIn ads:
- Sponsored Content, which includes posts and videos
- Sponsored Messaging for sending targeted messages to users’ LinkedIn inboxes
- Text Ads, which provide very small pay-per-click ads with one image.
Once you have your ad content ready, you will need to enter Campaign Manager. Sign up for Campaign Manager and link it to the company page you manage.
The next steps include setting up your audience and your budget. LinkedIn will guide you through audience setup, allowing you to target people by their location, occupation, education, interests, job experience, and other demographics. As you search for and break down your audience, you will see how many potential people you can reach.
Setting Ad Length, Bid, and Budget
After choosing audience parameters, next comes the budget. If you’ve advertised on other social media platforms, you may notice that LinkedIn’s advertising minimum recommendations are much higher. Remember, LinkedIn’s user base is much more targeted than Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. It can help you find a specific audience in a specific field across the country, which commands top dollar.
First, set the start date for your ad campaign. You can choose an end date or let it run until you end the campaign manually. Next, you’ll be presented with three bid options. Automated bid is the easiest option for beginners to use. If you’re in a competitive industry, you can set Maximum cost-per-click (CPC) bid and maximum pay-per-1,000 (CPM) Impressions bids are just what they sound like. LinkedIn provides suggestions for bid ranges, and you can choose the maximum you want to be charged. If the current rate for the clicks is lower than your bid, you’ll be charged the current rate.
LinkedIn Reviews Ads
The ongoing struggle to reduce misinformation on social media continues. That is why social ads are reviewed for inappropriate content, such as spam or misleading information, before they are approved and begin to show up. It may take up to 24 hours for LinkedIn to review your ad. Plan accordingly for ad campaigns related to time-sensitive offers and events.
Create Your First LinkedIn Campaign
Do you have a post, video, job, or event you want to promote on LinkedIn? Follow LinkedIn’s instructions on how to set up an ad campaign.