5 LinkedIn Ads Best Practices for the B2B Market

Sarah Lokitis By: Sarah Lokitis

LinkedIn advertising has been top of my mind lately as we have seen incredible results by targeting specific personas for B2B industries that are hard to nail down with search ads. I’ve written a few blog posts about LinkedIn here, here and here, but in this post, I’d like to tackle some specific questions about best practices for LinkedIn advertising.

1. How can I target on LinkedIn?

Unlike with search advertising, LinkedIn ads are not based on a keyword, rather specific information within users profiles. LinkedIn ads can be targeted to users by the data provided in their profile, specifically company size, company name, job title, group name, skill, industry, location, age, and gender. I’ve seen wonderful performance from campaigns targeted to as few as 14,000 people, but LinkedIn won’t let you target to less than 1,000!

Take a look at your current customers: what are their job titles? Industries? The information you glean from your current customers may help identify who your future customers could be.

LinkedIn advertising image 5 LinkedIn Ads Best Practices for the B2B Market
From the LinkedIn ads website, this image captures an idea of the targeting options for a particular industry on LinkedIn.

2. How many ads should be in each campaign?

I am a huge proponent of always testing ad copy throughout the duration of a campaign. LinkedIn allows up to 15 ads per campaign, but initially I recommend starting with 2 or 3 ads per campaign with only one change different per ad. That way you can set up an A/B test to see which call-to-action or image performs the best for the target audience.

3. Are there any best practices for LinkedIn ad images?

LinkedIn Ads Image 5 LinkedIn Ads Best Practices for the B2B Market
Out of these 3 images, which image grabs your attention first?

In my experience, bright colors and smiling faces do extremely well on LinkedIn.

Try to have a clear, uncluttered image, so it’s easy for people to understand what is going on. There is so much happening on LinkedIn pages, so it’s important to grab the users attention quickly. The best way to know what image that is doing the best in your campaign is to test a couple images with the exact same ad copy and have the ads rotate evenly within the campaign. Unless you are a very well known brand or trying to gain brand awareness, your logo might not be the best way to attract attention.

4. What kind of CTR should you expect?

LinkedIn ads are display ads, so the click-through-rate will be much lower than your paid campaign most likely because of the frequency your ads are delivered. LinkedIn says that a healthy click-through-rate is at least 0.02%.

When the click-through-rate of an ad drops to 0.02% or below, it’s time to get a new ad variation in there. Note that you can set your campaign to rotate ads evenly or to optimize for clicks. Depending on your goals and timeline, choose the option that best fits your needs and then set the campaign to optimize for performance when a clear winner is determined.

Ads may perform very well for several weeks or a few days, so remember to monitor performance and have several ad copy variations and images ready to rotate in fresh ads when the time comes.

5. What is important to know when managing a LinkedIn Ad account?

If you are used to the options available using Google Adwords, you may be in for a surprise. The LinkedIn ads self-serve platform is not as user friendly and there are fewer features available at this time. (Hopefully this will change soon since it is such an effective ad channel!)

At this time, there is no option for any day parting and the advertising day is set in GMT. This means that my advertising day in Charlottesville begins at 7PM and you can’t schedule the ads to turn off throughout the day based on performance found in Google Analytics or another analytic’s program. Also, each campaign needs to run with at least a $10 budget per day, so if you like to get very granular, you may want to wait until you have more data if you are working with a limited daily spend before splitting your account up.

Do you have any questions about LinkedIn ads best practices, or any best practices of your own to share? Discuss them in the comments below, or find me on Twitter @lokitis!


About The Author

Sarah Lokitis serves as a Social Media Manager at Search Mojo advising clients on social media best practices for SEO, as well as strategizing and implementing Facebook and LinkedIn Advertising campaigns. Sarah managed both PPC and SEO accounts before focusing specifically on social media for SEO. Sarah has presented at MarketingProfs University, Search Marketing Expo: Toronto, the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia, and Charlottesville SheBlogs. Sarah writes for Social Media Today, Social Media Examiner, SarahLokitis.com, and Search Marketing Sage. Prior to Search Mojo, Sarah interned as a marketing communications intern at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and as a social media strategist for the International Food Policy Research Institute. She also currently dances with Terra Dance Project. Connect with her on Google+