Hello, my dedicated followers!

In this post, I’ll talk about the new ad type for LinkedIn, Conversation Ads! I’ll also give a brief update on some early test results I’ve seen in testing this new ad type. Thrilling stuff, to be sure.

Conversation Ads: What Are They?

Conversation Ads, according to LinkedIn, allow you to start conversations with professionals and business decision-makers via LinkedIn Messaging on both desktop and mobile devices. They’re a form of native advertising displayed to LinkedIn members. 

What I think is unique about this ad type is that it’s a kind of choose-your-own-adventure ad, reminiscent of those books some of us probably read as kids. Advertisers have many different options available to them as they can essentially create full-funnel campaigns with several different CTAs (calls-to-action). You can choose to start with softer offers, like ungated case studies and, if that offer intrigues them, they can continue through the funnel by choosing to talk to a rep or requesting a product demo, for example.

conversation ads cta example 1
conversation ads cta example 2
conversation ads cta example 3

Additionally, advertisers can choose who the sender of the message is, allowing for further customization and testing options. For example, messages can be sent from your company’s product lead (provided they have a LinkedIn account) or a sales rep. The message could also just be sent from your company profile, however, the ad might lose it’s personal touch if you choose to go that route. No matter which route you take I recommend reading Steve Burnett’s blog, Before Spending Money On LinkedIn, Do This First as he speaks to optimizing your company profile before shining the spotlight on it.

Early Conversation Ad Test Results

One brand I work with has been testing the new conversation ads for about a month now. Our test has centered around presenting our target audience with ungated case studies with the hopes of both educating and intriguing the audience about our product offerings to the point where they want to talk to one of our product experts.

What we’ve seen so far is fantastic engagement with our case study offers, generating case study downloads at a CPA of $15.92. Our conversion rate is right around 3.5%. Typically, in our normal lead gen campaigns for case studies, we see CPAs between $80-$110, however, our conversion rate is much higher at 10%. 

The main difference here is that our lead gen campaigns have Avg CPCs of $10-$14 whereas the conversation ads have Avg CPCs of $0.45. All that being said, we’ve not seen much engagement with people wanting to talk to our product experts, having only a single user request to speak to a product expert after 3,500+ opened conversation ads.

Of course, it is still very early in our testing and we’re working on tweaking the offers to see if we can’t get better bottom-funnel engagement. However, the data certainly suggests that conversation ads can be drivers of top-funnel engagement. It’ll be interesting to test further once LinkedIn allows us to retarget those users who engage with our lead forms.

Certainly, I recommend testing the new ad type for yourselves as I think they’re one of the more unique ad types available to PPC advertisers. There really is an endless amount of offer combinations to try, all of which can be sent from different users. Happy testing!