LinkedIn Ads: How to Get Started

LinkedIn is an amazing, untapped platform that businesses can use to market their product. Like other social media platforms you can run ads on LinkedIn. As with other networks you need to determine if the chosen platform is able to reach your audience in order to make an educated and informed decision as to move forward with LinkedIn ads as a strategic, marketing move your business.


Should Your Company Be Advertising on LinkedIn?

Your business niche will determine if running LinkedIn ads is right for your business. There are three categories of companies that are a great fit for LinkedIn ads:


  • Business to Business companies
  • Businesses that target higher level institutions like universities, especially those that offer MBA programs and higher
  • Knowledge Commerce Companies (These are companies that focus on knowledge sharing and teaching individual skills that they need to succeed. You can use LinkedIn to target people who are already at a certain education or skill level.)


Given how much LinkedIn differs from other platforms, you need to ensure your Return on Investment (ROI). When you close a customer, they can be worth a lifetime value, but you need to be smart about your investment.

If your business matches any of these above criteria, it is now time to consider the next step to running a successful ad campaign. You now need to consider your AMO which is an acronym coined by LinkedIn ads expert AJ Wilcox, and it stands for Audience, Message, Offer. Your AMO represents the three things you need for any sort of social promotion.

Let’s look at your audience. One really great feature of LinkedIn is that it is excellent at targeting the right audience especially if it is in the Business to Business (B2B) sector. You are able to target persons based on job title, education, location, company, and even skill. If your target audience is companies, then you can select companies based on location and size etc.

For example, if you are selling a marketing tool you would target marketers who are at the contributor level as they would more likely be the ones using the tool. You could market the tool as a way to make their lives easier. Similarly, if it involves selling software to a company, you would target decision-makers such as directors and CEOs.

Once you have your target audience you need to let them know what you are offering with a strong message. You do this by making sure that your ads are at least somewhat interesting. If you place an ad that just says click here, no one will be eager to be engaged in that.

Finally determine a clear offer, and be sure that your offer is in line with your target audience.


How LinkedIn Ads Work

Static Images vs. Videos

Once you have all these previously mentioned elements figured out, it is easy to build your first campaign. You need to determine the type of ads to run on LinkedIn.

I am sure you have heard the term that video is king, and that is true for platforms like Facebook and Instagram, but I do not recommend those for this platform due to the cost issue. Due to how expensive these ads are, I would recommend only running video ads on tested and proven videos. These are videos you have tested on another social network and they have given you amazing results.

If you are starting off, I suggest that you start with static images. Static images are images that do not move. Like any other platform, LinkedIn has rules about static images. Just keep things as simple as possible so that you can read the results.

Another reason I would recommend static images on LinkedIn if you are a complete beginner is that it is a little difficult to troubleshoot your ad copy or video if they didn't perform. However, this is not the case with static images as you will know that it is either your text or your image that may be causing issues. With either of these issues, you can fix the problem very quickly.

The great thing about LinkedIn is that you do not need to make extremely complicated videos to get your audience's attention and other forms of messages are just as effective. With LinkedIn ads you also have the freedom to break ads up into different campaigns to show a variety of creative messages.


Creating your LinkedIn Page

Depending on the ad campaign you choose, you may need to create a LinkedIn page. A LinkedIn page differs from a LinkedIn personal account. Your personal account will detail your education and experience while a LinkedIn page will consist of information about your company.

In order to create a LinkedIn page you need to first have a personal account. A LinkedIn page is free and easy to set up. There is a common misconception that your LinkedIn page or personal page has to be a rock star page in order for your ad campaign to perform well. And this is simply not true.

All you need to get started is to fill out the basic information about your company and that's it. The only thing that people see from your ad is the company name, the logo, and the number of followers. Most people will not come to your company page to check any other details, and your audience will most likely only go to the landing page you direct them to. They may never even see your actual company page.


Choosing Your Ad Format

Not that you have your pages set up to run ads, you now need to decide on the format of ads that you would like to run. There are three types of formats to choose from.

The first one is Sponsored Content ads. These are native ads that appear in your target audience's news feed. This is the ad format that is recommended for everyone, and it is the only ad format that requires a company page to be associated with it. All other formats can be run from a personal LinkedIn page.

The second format is Message ads. These are targeted LinkedIn messages delivered to your audience.

The third format of LinkedIn ads is Text ads. These are Pay Per Clicks (PPC) ads. Once you have all these components figured out you are now ready to start a campaign. Please see more details from LinkedIn on how to create your first campaign here.


LinkedIn advertising may be just what your business needs.

The first thing you need to determine before you decide on running LinkedIn ads is if your target audience can be reached on LinkedIn. If the answer is yes then you need to decide on your ad format and your message. It all comes down to the ever-important return on investment.

No matter what platform you choose to market your business, whether that's paid ads through Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn, just be sure to go in with eyes wide open. I want your business to last for the long haul.  That means you are always doing your research via blogs and podcasts and masterminds; making wise investments; and always being willing to pivot, adjust, and revive your marketing.


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