Getting Started With LinkedIn Ads – What You Need To Know

By , Associate Director of Services at Hanapin Marketing


For January’s series post we are taking a look at our PPC wishlists. What tools do we all wish we had available to make our lives that much easier? Where do our chief frustrations stem from and what band-aid solutions are we using to fix them?

LinkedIn Ads can be a tricky beast wrangle due to the ‘self service’ set up of the platform but once you are up and running, it’s pretty easy to use and has seen great success in Business-to-Business Lead Gen Accounts. HubSpot did a study on 5,198 B2B and B2C business and mentions in blog post “LinkedIn 277% More Effective For Lead Generation Than Facebook & Twitter”


Even with the success seen for Lead Gen accounts, it’s not all puppies and kitties or this would not have made our “wishlist” series. In the words of a fellow PPCHero, Carrie Albright, during a recent webinar, the LinkedIn Advertising platform can be a bit “crunchy” to put it nicely. To help take some of the crunch out of it for fellow PPChero readers, I plan to breakdown the basics of getting started, LinkedIn Ads wishlist and the band-aid fix for the wishlist.


Getting Started

Start by signing up here. If you are managing LinkedIn Ads for a business, which 99% of the people are, you will need to create a “Business Account”. Creating a business account is a little tricking to find. It’s hidden under the drop down of your name in the top right hand side of your screen *see below. You’ll then need to search for the company name you will be managing. After selecting the company, you then agree that you are authorized to represent that company, blah, blah and all that good stuff.

Business Acct


Once you got the account set-up creating the ads is pretty easy. You just need to know your target demographic and decide if you are going to direct traffic back to LinkedIn company page, or to your website.


Things To Know:

  • Minimum CpC of $2.00
  • Minimum Daily Budget $10 or $300 per month
  • Ad Targeting is at Campaign Level– Segmentation is key!
  • Up to 15 Ads per campaign
  • Targeting Options Include: Job title, job function, industry, geography, company size, company name, seniority, age, gender, LinkedIn group
  • 10 Targets Per Campaign for: Geography, Industry, Job Function
  • 100 targets per campaign for Company, Job Title, School, Skill, Group
  • Ad Copy: Image: 50×50; Headline: 25 characters; Body: 75 characters
  • CTR IS KEY!!  CTR > .025% is considered “good”. If you have poor ctr, your ads will stop showing so always be optimizing.
  • Start Bids high. Bid $1-$2 higher than suggested bids in the beginning to help increase CTR and then widdle them down.
  • Test at least 3 ads and update at least once a month




LinkedIn Ads Wishlist

LinkedIn Ads are kind of the new kid on the block compared to other dinosaur PPC platforms such as AdWords, Bing or Facebook, and it needs some work to make it less “crunchy” for PPC, in my opinion. Below are a few items we would love to see the LinkedIn Fairies make happen in 2014.

Dear LinkedIn Fairies,

  • Better Tracking!  PPC = Love Data. Nuff Said. Actually, LinkedIn does now offer Goal tracking but you can only contact users directly in LinkedIn. Waa waa
  • Mass Editor – AdWords, Bing and even Facebook has one. With importance of Ad Quality and CTR, having a mass editor to update lots of ads at once would be amazing.
  • API Access – Allowing API access for 3rd party platforms would allow again for PPC advertisers to more easily update ad copy, amongst other features that can only be done through backend API systems.
  • Better Customer Support – Unless you plan to be a premium advertiser or spend a boatload of money, the customer support is usually nothing more than a comment box and some help forums.


The Fix

Well unfortunately I don’t have a band-aid fix for most of my wishlist items but the one I do (and in my opinion the most important one) is tracking.

The best work around way to help with tracking is to use a 3rd party analytics software such as Google Analytics or Omniture. Below are a few of the steps you need to take for the work around:

  • Create a LinkedIn specific landing page
  • Tag landing page URLs with tracking parameters. For Google Analytics you can use the URL Builder
  • Segment and report away!

While I don’t exactly have a band- aid fix for having to spend less to get better service, I do have a Hot Tip mentioned in a recent webinar with Clix Marketing and Hanapin Marketing – Grab Attention Like A Champion: LinkedIn.

**Hot Tip: LinkedIn backfills ad space with GDN. If you aren’t sure if you want to jump on the LinkedIn bandwagon just yet, try targeting LinkedIn via AdWords on the GDN. I imagine you would see much better results via LinkedIn Premium Ads but it’s a way to test the waters before doing a giant cannon ball into the LinkedIn premium ad waters.

Let us know what areas of LinkedIn Ads you’ve seen success with or if you have any other “wishes” to add to our LinkedIn wishlist.

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9 thoughts on “Getting Started With LinkedIn Ads – What You Need To Know

  1. Mary Kay Lofurno

    Yes, we have had success with Linkedin ads for lead generation but with a caveat: you really should put up some content or something useful to them, hence driving them to it. We have had much better results when doing it that way.

    We have terrible results when using it for direct response when selling something.

    1. Hugo Phang

      Hi Mary Kay Lofurno, thanks for sharing.
      I am new in LinkedIn ads, my upcoming project is promoting a leadership training program via LinkedIn.
      For this kind of product, should I lead them to a landing page or sell directly in my LinkedIn Ads ?

      1. Mary Kay Lofurno

        Can’t possibly say because I do not know your product. That said, one of the many tests I have done on Linkedin ads is direct response [sell direct] products for our education/training events and it did not work. I tested it at least 3 different times selling education/training events so its not for a lack of trying.

        I think you should test it both ways, direct selling and lead gen w/giving way content. See what happens, mileage will vary because it may very well work in your product and market.

  2. Carl

    We have great success with Linkedin Ads for Lead gen, the key for us is bidding CPM and getting high CTR’s to get the CPC’s down.

    For tracking we use free affiliate tracking prosper202, this way you get a tonne of data on individual ads performance plus you can see the time of day breakdown and also it gives you the ability to split test landing pages

  3. Ben

    Hi Cassie,
    Isn’t it best practice to turn off the LInkedin audience network? Isn’t that essentially like display advertising for Linkedin?

  4. Venkatesh Madgundi

    Hi Cassie!
    Do you have any specific formation of LinkedIn Ads Landing Page or Any other resource for the better creation of LinkedIn Ads Landing Page?

  5. Dave Thompson

    LinkedIn Ads are one of the less studied in digital marketing. Thanks for this post, Cassie, it will help the starters. LinkedIn is certainly the most successful platform for getting leads through ads because unlike other social platforms where users are looking for some leisure time, this network is by the professional people for the professional people. Users here are most probably looking for great connections which might help them and hence ads have a great chance of getting leads here.

  6. Ydraw

    Great article this is one of the few I have seen on this. Linked in is great for lead generation manually, but not sure how good it works with ads. I tried some twice and they did not work out so well.


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