Written by Caroline Cox on Jul 25 , 2022

Learn the most effective ways to create winning social media ads on the app built for professionals.

Here, you’ll find:

  • Why LinkedIn Ads are worth looking into
  • The different LinkedIn ad options at your disposal
  • Tips for leveraging the social media platform properly
  • What elements make up a successful LinkedIn ad

Got a target audience of professionals? Then they’re likely on LinkedIn.

With more than 830 million members from all corners of the globe, LinkedIn is simply too big a marketing opportunity to ignore. 

Since launching back in 2002, the platform has grown from a place to connect and network to one of the most effective social media tools for connecting with your audience.

What’s more, LinkedIn’s advertising options allow you to reach your ideal clients in a way that’s strategically targeted and direct.

How effective are LinkedIn Ads?

This platform has a ton of potential when it comes to B2B paid social

LinkedIn has more than 61 million senior-level influencers. They also boast 65 million decision-makers across various industries with twice the buying power of the average web audience. 

This presents an unrivaled opportunity for marketing experts to link up with potential clients. No wonder it generates nearly three times the revenue of other social channels.

Nearly 80% of B2B marketers say LinkedIn delivers the best paid social results. It also generates more than double the leads of other platforms, and its platform-exclusive Lead Gen Forms reportedly convert 5 times better than landing pages.

Even if social media doesn’t typically top your ROI, it can bring significant results with the right strategy. Let’s cover some of the most effective approaches to generate leads via LinkedIn Ads.

woman holding "like a boss" mug

Today, two-thirds of B2B buyers expect personalized engagement from their vendors. (Image: Unsplash)

How to turbocharge your 2022 LinkedIn Ads strategy

Want to compete in today’s digital marketing climate? Then you’ve got to invest in what works, get rid of what doesn’t, and stay on top of the latest and greatest updates when it comes to ad platforms. 

Here’s how you can attract more leads and grow your business with LinkedIn advertising.

1. Create tailored ads

Targeting the right audiences in the right way will be one of your LinkedIn ads’ top success factors. Luckily, LinkedIn lets you easily tailor your content and ad format to match their interests or requirements. 

You can choose from a range of criteria when targeting your audience, including:

  • Industry, company name, or size
  • Job title or position
  • Institutions attended
  • Age or gender 
  • Skills
  • Level and field of study

These are the main targeting categories, but they get more granular from there.

2. Choose the right ad type for your campaign

When running LinkedIn sponsored ads, you have several types to pick from for your campaign. These include:

Sponsored content

Sponsored content is a type of native ad that appears directly on the feed as users scroll through. They’re seamless, appearing like any other posted content by users. They can help build awareness, nurture relationships, and drive leads. 

Pro tip: Sponsored content gets the best engagement when the text adds up to less than 150 characters.

Message ads

Formerly dubbed Sponsored InMail, these ads are especially effective at reaching people directly. The unique format allows you to build personalized ads so you can deliver relevant content to qualified leads.

The ad goes straight to a user’s inbox as any other text-based professional message if the user is active. Message ads can reportedly work more than twice as well as traditional email marketing.

Text ads

These ad types appear on the site’s sidebar. You can choose between PPC or cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) payment options, meaning you pay when a user clicks on the ad or whenever 1,000 people view it.

Text ad campaigns are generally the most successful with audience sizes between 60,000 and 400,000.

3. Pick the appropriate ad format

Once you determine the best ad type to leverage, you can select the best format for your campaign. Options include:

  • Text ads – These only include text phrases and are located on the feed sidebar.
  • Single-image ads – These ads should feature an engaging, high-quality photo paired with short text. Single-image ads are ideal for sponsored content and are among the most common ad formats.
  • Carousel ads – This format is used for sponsored content. You can add several images, ideal for showcasing multiple products.
  • Video ads – Video ads are one of the most popular ad types these days. LinkedIn allows video ads in sponsored content to get your message across, attract attention, and garner clicks.  
  • Follower ads – These ads help promote your LinkedIn page to attract followers. This is a good option if you’re looking to grow your audience so more users can potentially see your content. 
  • Spotlight ads – Advertisers use these to showcase their overall brand. Whenever a user clicks on the ad, they’re taken to a landing page. These ads are only available with sponsored content. 
  • Job ads – This is the appropriate ad format when you’re looking to hire new talent. They can be used in Message ads or sponsored content to help connect you with qualified candidates. 

Pro tip: LinkedIn users are 20 times more likely to share videos, and B2B brands get twice the engagement and 3.5 times the conversions on video ads vs. static posts. 

4. Personalize your ads

Seasoned marketers know personalized ads can get your target audience interested in your brand in a way more generic ads just can’t. A customized ad experience delivers tailored messages to specific audiences that match their unique interests. 

Today, two-thirds of B2B buyers expect personalized engagement from their vendors.

Of course, not every user will be interested in your brand or in the market for what you offer. But by creating different campaigns that target different ideal client personas at the various stages of the buyer’s journey, you can be better positioned to attract the right leads. 

5. Post strategic content

LinkedIn offers you up to 1,300 characters for a personal post. When it comes to the content that sees the most success on this platform, it turns out longer is better

By using long-form updates, you can earn much more visibility than you would with a short post or embedding an article link. 

When you want to post a link to a blog, ensure you provide value in your post by writing context on what the content is about and why they need to read it. You can do this by offering a teaser or a quote that previews the topic. 

Creating new content for your LinkedIn advertising strategy can be time-consuming. You can cut costs and capitalize on your existing assets by repurposing content. Use content from your blogs, knowledge base, and lead magnets by editing it to fit the LinkedIn format and audience.

You can also take advantage of third-party content, like breaking industry news. Simply sharing the news may not be highly effective, but if you add your insight and provide an original opinion about the situation, you can get high-quality content without writing a long-form post.

6. Monitor key LinkedIn Ads metrics

To take full advantage of your LinkedIn Ads campaigns, it’s crucial to measure them properly. These metrics can help you evaluate your effort and adjust your future tactics:

  • Click-through rate (CTR)
  • Cost per click 
  • Conversion rate
  • Cost per conversion
  • Engagement rate

The numbers vary depending on the ad types you run as well as your industry. While keeping an eye on your metrics is important all the time, the most effective way to ensure your strategy is working is to conduct regular social media audits.

two men outside on laptops using linkedin

To err on the safe side, it’s wise to keep your LinkedIn ads polished, professional, and on-brand. (Image: Unsplash)

7. Optimize your video ads

On LinkedIn, video ads earn 30% more comments per impression than images in the news feed. That’s why it’s important to pay more attention to this ad format.

Depending on your current marketing goal, you can take advantage of the top practices listed below.

Goal: Brand awareness ads

  • Include storytelling and branding content at the end of the video.
  • Focus on real-life human experiences to make your product and services relatable.
  • Try to keep videos under 15 seconds — these are more likely to be watched in their entirety.
  • Don’t aim for conversions with a brand awareness video — analytics should focus on different metrics.

Goal: Thought leadership ads

  • Be sure to introduce your brand at the beginning of the video ad.
  • Use industry buzzwords if you’re targeting a warm audience.
  • Add captions to your video to be more inclusive and mindful of those who can’t or don’t want to have their sound on.
  • Take advantage of words that suggest growth, potential, and profitability: “thriving”, “successful, “growth,” “progress,” “rewarding,” etc.

Goal: Lead Generation

  • Make sure to introduce your brand at the beginning of the ad.
  • Use the combination of video ads and lead generation forms.
  • Make lead generation ads more dynamic, especially at the beginning of the video.
  • Communicate your key message in the first 5 seconds of the video.

Pro tip: Remember to make sure your video ads render properly for mobile devices as well as desktops.

8. Take advantage of Matched Audiences

To widen your campaign’s reach, you can leverage LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences option. It’s available for all of the platform’s advertising products, including Message ads and sponsored content.  

Matched Audiences offers:

  • Retargeting — Helps market products to people who visited your website, clicked on a LinkedIn ad, or participated in your LinkedIn Event
  • Contact targeting — Allows you to market to LinkedIn members on your contact list
  • Account targeting — Helps you set up an account-based marketing (ABM) campaign by matching target companies against other LinkedIn pages
  • Lookalike targeting — Allows you to find audiences similar to the current audience you work with

Users of Matched Audiences saw sizable increases in their CTR (30% to  37%) and post-click conversions (32%).

With the third-party cookie phase-out still slated to go into effect in 2023, these targeting tools can help keep your marketing strategy afloat.

For more, check out our articles on advertising best practices for Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, and TikTok.

9. Keep it professional

Knowing the voice and tone your audience responds to best is, of course, key to a strong marketing strategy. But it’s also important to keep the ad platform in mind.

For example, a short bit of pithy copy with a GIF attached might do really well on Twitter, but it could fall flat on Instagram.

Think about what’s bringing your audience to this specific platform. For LinkedIn, the intent is usually professional, networking, or job-related. Because of this, creating an ad that could be deemed too edgy or wacky may not resonate in the same way it would on a platform like Twitter.

To err on the safe side, it’s wise to keep your LinkedIn ads polished, professional, and on-brand. 

10. Take advantage of LinkedIn’s extras

There are certain LinkedIn features that aren’t necessary but can certainly help improve your metrics. These include:

  • Custom URL: Having a custom URL allows you to simplify the web address to be short and easy to remember.
  • LinkedIn resources: There are a number of tools available to help you use LinkedIn to your advantage. LinkedIn courses and tutorials can help you improve your LinkedIn Ads strategy using insider info. They even have magazines aimed at marketing
  • Polls: Not only are polls great for engagement, but they also help you glean vital data from real customers in your target demographic.

Pro tip: Another extra you might consider is upgrading to a LinkedIn Premium account. LinkedIn has two relevant account upgrades that might be helpful, depending on your needs.

The takeaway

When developed correctly, LinkedIn ads can deliver targeted, quality traffic to you. 

Keep these tips in mind when you’re looking to fine-tune your campaign to achieve optimal results. 

 This post has been updated and was originally published in July 2020.

Caroline Cox

Caroline Cox

Caroline is HawkSEM's content marketing manager. She uses her more than 10 years of professional writing and editing experience to create SEO-friendly articles, educational thought leadership pieces, and savvy social media content to help market leaders create successful digital marketing strategies. She's a fan of seltzer water, print magazines, and huskies.

Questions or comments? Join the conversation here!

Related Posts

How to Set Up SEM Campaigns

How to Set Up an SEM Campaign: Advice from a Paid Search Age...

Ready to start running SEM campaigns? Use this guide to get started and be set up for success....

Read More
google office from the outside

Google Ads Management: How to Manage a Successful Campaign

Get actionable tips for Google Ads management to reach your digital marketing goals and achieve long-lasting PPC success....

Read More
facebook on mobile

Facebook Audience Targeting: What You Need to Know

Here's how to use Facebook audience targeting to connect with potential and current customers seamlessly and directly on the popular social platform....

Read More
close

Free Consultation