Getting Started With LinkedIn Ads – What You Need To Know

By Cassie Oumedian | @cass_oumedian | 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”

LinkedIn_HubSpot

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_Targeting

 

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.