An introduction to LinkedIn advertising

Contributor - Luan Wise

Woman in black top using her tablet to advertise on LinkedIn

LinkedIn offers a range of useful advertising options and the ability to target messages to niche audiences. Luan Wise explains how it works

LinkedIn's self-service advertising solutions allow you to launch a targeted campaign in minutes. Using Campaign Manager - LinkedIn's ad platform - you can set your own budget, choose clicks or impressions, get a detailed breakdown of the actions your campaigns generate, and stop your ads at any time.

There are three advertising formats to choose from: Sponsored Content, Text Ads and Sponsored InMail.

Getting started

Go to LinkedIn's advertising page.

If you haven't already created an account and business page and set yourself up on Campaign Manager, you will be prompted to do so.

In Campaign Manager, select the LinkedIn account you'd like to use, click the Create Campaign button and choose from Sponsored Content, Text Ads or Sponsored InMail.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content is advertising that appears directly in the LinkedIn feeds of professionals you want to reach. Once you've selected Sponsored Content, you will have three options:

You then decide what you want to happen when someone clicks on your ad:

  • send people to your website or to specific content;
  • collect leads using LinkedIn Lead Gen forms.

It's a good idea to create multiple variations of Sponsored Content so that you can see which messages get the best results.

Text Ads

Text Ads are simple pay-per-click (PPC) or cost-per-impression (CPM) ads. Once you've selected the Text Ads option and named your campaign, you can start creating your ad.

First, decide where members should go when they click your ad, whether it's your page on LinkedIn or a specific page on your website. Next, add your image, a headline (up to 25 characters), and a description (up to 75 characters). As you create your ad, you will see a preview on the right side of the page.

You can create up to 15 Text Ads to see which headlines, descriptions and images get the best results.

Sponsored InMail

Sponsored InMail is the ad format that lets you deliver personalised content through LinkedIn Messenger. Once you've selected Sponsored InMail, you will take the following steps:

  • Choose the sender. The sender's first name, last name and profile image will appear in the recipient's inbox, along with the subject line of the message.
  • Add message subject line and summary. The summary will give your recipients a preview of your message (desktop users only).
  • Prepare your message.
  • Add a landing page URL.
  • Add a call to action button.
  • Include a banner image.

Choosing your target audience

After you have prepared your ad, choose your target market. There are a number of criteria you can use to define your ideal audience, including:

  • location;
  • industry sector;
  • company size;
  • job title;
  • job function;
  • gender;
  • age.

As you select criteria, you will see how each option affects the estimated target audience size in the right sidebar.

You can install a LinkedIn Insight Tag to track conversions, retarget website visitors and unlock additional insights about the people interacting with your ads.

Advertising costs

Sponsored InMail messages are purchased on a cost-per-send basis, which means you will pay for each Sponsored InMail message delivered. Sponsored Content and Text Ad campaigns are priced in two ways, as below.

Setting budgets

The daily budget is the maximum amount you want to spend per day. Your campaign will stop showing once it reaches its daily budget; it will start again the following day.

The total budget is the maximum amount you want to spend for the duration of your campaign. Once your campaign hits the total budget it will stop.

Setting bids

This is the maximum amount you want to pay for each click, or every 1,000 impressions (the number of times it is shown). There are two bidding options:

  • pay-per-click (PPC): you specify the maximum amount you're willing to pay per click and set a daily budget;
  • pay-per-1,000 impressions (CPM): you specify a set cost for each 1,000 times your ad is shown, no matter how many clicks you receive.

Why not set aside a small budget, create some ads and see what results you can achieve for your business?

Written by Luan Wise.

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