How to Kickstart a Paid Advertising Campaign on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great place for brands and businesses to market their products and services. If you’re like most other businesses on the site, you use the platform in order to:

  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Generate sales
  • Increase engagement

You may also be using the site to advertise job openings, generate leads and build relationships and networks with both customers and other businesses that exist within your niche.

And you’re not alone. In fact, 30 million companies are listed on the LinkedIn platform. The most successful companies listed on the site have something in common. They effectively integrate LinkedIn advertisements as part of their social media marketing campaigns.

The platform isn’t like other sites such as Instagram and Facebook, whose algorithms massively favour users that have paid to share their content. For this reason, you shouldn’t throw all of your advertising budget at LinkedIn.

However, when used in the right way, LinkedIn advertising could generate surprising growth for your brand or business. The site is particularly helpful when it comes to job applicants and website conversions but can also successfully drive website clicks and generate leads.

Follow the steps below to kickstart your paid advertising campaign on the LinkedIn platform.

1 Set up your ad campaign

Your LinkedIn advertisement campaign will run on a separate platform than the regular LinkedIn page that you are used to seeing.

Advertising on the site all takes place on the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions platform. Head here to get started and choose the option the ‘start ad’. Be sure to input your LinkedIn company page and enter your billing information – but don’t worry, you won’t be charged until your campaign goes live.

Choose your objectives for your campaign, such as website visits, video promotion or lead generation. This will help the marketing solutions tool to deliver the best ROI for personal goals. Plus it can report progress to you.

2 Choose your advertisement

LinkedIn gives you the option of working with a few different types of paid content. You have the opportunity to create sponsored content. This is most often a promoted post that may come in the form of an article or blog post that you want to appear higher on other people’s feeds.

You could also work with text ads, they are small sections of copy that sit at the side of users feeds. Sponsored InMail is also a great way to directly target people that you are hoping to reach on the platform and video ads can be used to help your video content reach the right audience too.

3 Know your audience – and target them

It’s important for you to take some time and really figure out exactly who your target market is. Who is your demographic beyond simply their age, gender and even location? Figure out their interests, their qualifications and their positions within their career. Are they senior? Entry-level?

All of this data can be used to reach exactly the audience you need to send your message to. LinkedIn provides marketers with highly specific and impactful targeting options – but you need to know who you’re targeting in order to capitalise on this.

The Campaign Manager tool will let you know the estimated size of the group you are targeting, depending on the demographic data you enter. This way, you can expand or narrow your target group, depending on the way this pans out.

You can also use LinkedIn’s Audience Expansion tool to find people that are similar to the group you have in mind. This could help you figure out a target demographic that you didn’t initially realise might be receptive to your message.

4 Use LinkedIn’s ‘Content Suggestions’ feature

You’re paying to get your content out there, maybe you’ve decided to opt for a sponsored post or video. Now, you just need to make sure that your content is high-quality and has the intended impact on the recipient.

LinkedIn has a tool which guides you in this regard. Keep your finger on the pulse within your niche and stay on top of the latest news, sharing developments and interesting facts from within your field.

This tool can even help you maximise your content by targeting the demographic that you’re trying to hone in on, on the site.

5 Trial and error will move you forward

Getting creative with your ads and try out different versions of the same sponsored content. Send them all out into the LinkedInsphere and see which have the most impact.

You can run 15 versions of a text ad at any given time. The best course of action would be to try out different types of ads and then once you have determined the top performers, to focus on them alone.

The auction-style system of ads on LinkedIn favours content that is higher performing. That’s why it’s important to keep a close eye on your campaign and remove any low-performing advertisements and replace them with higher-performing ones.

Figure out what works most effectively and optimise your ad campaign to this end.

6 Determine your budget

The Campaign Manager tool will give you suggestions of the different cost ranges that displaying your add may amount to.

The site works on a bid payment style. You’ll only ever pay slightly more than the second-highest bidder. This won’t necessarily have to be your highest bid, which means you don’t always pay the maximum amount that you input.

You have the option of bidding on cost per click or alternatively on cost per impression. The second option of these two is most effective when you are attempting to increase your following and raise brand awareness.

Once that’s decided your campaign is ready to go. Remember that it will be a process and when run successfully, your strategy will improve as you go.

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