LinkedIn advertising

You want to increase your products, services or brand awareness through LinkedIn Advertising. But where do you start? Convident’s marketers will help you set up a LinkedIn campaign. Reach your B2B and B2C effectively and get more leads, quote requests and phone calls.


What is LinkedIn advertising?

Advertising on LinkedIn means showing ads on the social media platform. More and more companies advertise in this way and reach their target group(s). The developed ads are shown to LinkedIn users in their news feed. In addition, ads are shown to users in other ways, but more on this later. All these ad campaigns are optimized for different devices by LinkedIn itself. Thus, the social media channel ensures that your ad is always adapted for computer, tablet or mobile, for example.

How does LinkedIn advertising work?

LinkedIn advertising is very suitable for companies with business customers and works practically the same as other social media platforms. However, the blue platform is made for the B2B market. The people who manage company accounts are automatically your target audience. LinkedIn can also be of interest to the B2C market. Ads on LinkedIn are sold through the auction model. This means you are competing with other companies that also want to advertise and reach a similar target audience. Advertising can be very interesting on the platform because companies can specify exactly who they want to reach with their ad campaigns and how they want to reach their target audience(s).

LinkedIn uses a huge amount of data to do this. The social media platform possesses a lot of information about its users. This information can be used to define target groups, but also to measure user interests. All this has developed rapidly in recent years, making it increasingly effective for companies to advertise via the business platform.

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"Getting attention in the B2B market advertising within LinkedIn"

Which target group is on LinkedIn?

The target group that can be reached through the platform is basically all working and entrepreneurial people. That means that the age range of users is roughly between 25 and 55. Most persons using the platform have completed an education. The majority of users are men. 56% of members on the platform are male compared to 43% of women.

Target setting

Within LinkedIn advertising, it is possible to specify what the objective of your ad campaign is. This is very attractive because the platform uses this information to further optimize the ad. In addition, the ad form within the platform depends on the choice in objective. Advertising has three different objectives for your ad campaigns. The objectives are  consideration, conversion and brand awareness.

Which objective should be chosen?

Within the objective consideration, the business platform offers three options for the ads. First is the website visits option. The name really says it all, but this option ensures that your target audience(s) are directed to your website/webshop or business page. So this option is suitable for generating traffic to your website/webshop or to certain destination pages for marketing purposes.

In addition, within the objective consideration you can choose the option interactions. By choosing this option, you are telling the giant that the number of interactions with your business page or posted content can be increased. Finally, the video views option within the objective consideration allows you to promote a developed company video to your target audience(s). In all these options, the social platform itself determines what is needed to achieve the stated objective. For example, for the video views option, LinkedIn itself chooses an extension of your target audience to show the video. The platform does this based on data from its users and a calculation of the probability of people outside the indicated target audience viewing your video.

The objective of conversion

Within the conversion objective, LinkedIn offers four options for your ads. First is the lead generation option. This option ensures that when users click on your ads, they are redirected to a lead generation form. This form is then already pre-filled with their profile information. With this option, you operate at the bottom of the marketing funnel, which is all about eliciting a valuable action. The second option within the conversions objective is website conversions. This option ensures that your ad campaigns will result in more conversions on your website.

The third option within the conversion objective is applicants. By choosing this option you ensure that your ad campaigns are shown to users who are most likely to click on your ad or job posting. Thus, you increase the likelihood of users applying for a job. The last option within the conversion objective is talent leads. This option is only available to companies with an active LinkedIn Recruiter contract and allows you to generate leads from people interested in career opportunities within your company.

Brand awareness objective

The newest objective within the ad level on the platform is brand awareness. This objective allows you to tell more users about your products, services or organization. LinkedIn optimizes the reach and impressions of your ads.

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What types of ads does the platform contain?

Now that it is clear what different possibilities there are for the objectives of your ad campaigns, let’s look at the ad forms. Depending on the objective you choose for your ads, you can choose from certain ad forms. Within LinkedIn there are 7 different ad forms to advertise with.

1. Text ad or single image

The text ad or single image ad form means you are promoting your posted content. Advertising with text ads is therefore also called sponsored content. For example, when you provide a simple update on your business page, you can promote this post. This update can consist of a piece of text or a single image. Of course, posts posted on your business page are already shown to users in their news feed. But promoting them keeps them at the top of the page and on the right side of the news feed.

2. Ad with image carousel

Ads with an image carousel you may know from Facebook and Instagram, since 2018 it is also possible to use this within the blue platform. An image carousel involves placing multiple images in one post. LinkedIn users can view the different images from the post by “swiping” to the left on the screen. A minimum of 2 and a maximum of 10 images can be added to a LinkedIn image carousel.

The advantage of using an image carousel ad is that you can get your message across better. After all, you are using more than one image so you can give a better picture. In addition, it is possible to add a specific headline, text and URL under each image. The images on the platform are based on 1080 : 1080 pixels, so 1: 1.

3. Video ad

In addition to posting images, using videos as a marketing tool is becoming increasingly popular. The beauty of video ads is that you can use it for all three different objectives. For example, video ads are good for consideration (website visits, interactions and video views), conversions (leads, talent leads, job applicants and website conversions) and brand awareness.

Important to keep in mind when placing a video ad is the length of time. Minimum a video should last 3 seconds and maximum your video ad should last 30 minutes. But beware, 30 minutes is way too long. Remember that users have little time for you, make sure your video ad lasts between 10 and 30. In addition, the video should be in landscape mode and have a maximum size of 200 MB. In addition, our tip is to always use headers and explanations in the description with a video ad. This allows users to quietly read along during the video or even understand the video without sound.

"LinkedIn is coming up with more and more options for ad formats"

4. Follow Ad

Within LinkedIn, it is possible to develop an ad that aims to generate more followers. A follow ad is a standard text ad (with or without an image) to which a follow button is added. Users can click on it and in this way easily and quickly follow your business page. Follow ads aim to get users to visit your website/webshop or business page.

5. Spotlight ad

Spotlight ads are used within the platform to highlight your product, service or business through a personalized ad. Spotlight ads are dynamic ads where LinkedIn uses the available profile data of the user who sees the spotlight ad. So, for example, a user scrolling past a spotlight ad for your company will see their profile picture and name next to your company’s logo combined with a ‘Join now’ button. Spotlight ads aim to generate more website visitors, increase brand awareness or recruit job applicants.

6. Job ad

Spotlight ads use profile data, but job ads also use users’ personal data for personalized ads. When using job ads, the platform ensures that it is looking for those users who are relevant to your job posting. This may be because they have knowledge or experience in your field of work. A job ad can be started within LinkedIn’s business environment.

7. Message Ad

A message ad is also called an InMail within the advertising forms of LinkedIn. A message ad relies on the fact that you send a message to a LinkedIn user. You can send a message ad to current connections or users who are not yet connected to you. When you also use a sponsored InMail with a message ad, the ad will show at the top of the user’s inbox. With a message ad, always use a personal salutation from a company employee that is relevant to the message sent.

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What are the targeting options?

It is important to know what your objective is of advertising within LinkedIn. We have also seen different types of advertising. But extremely important is of course to whom you show these different types of ads to achieve the desired objective. Within LinkedIn advertising there are a number of targeting options for your ads. Targeting options are:

  • Locations
  • Targeting characteristics, such as company, work experience, education, demographics, interests and attributes
  • Custom audiences, which you created with Matched Audiences

With locations, you target users based on their geographic data. Users’ geographic location is based on the permanent or long-term location entered by the user in their personal information. Moreover, the geographic location can also be based on the IP address in case of a short-term visit.

Targeting characteristics for your ads distinguish between ads for the B2B market and B2C market. For example, for businesses, there are targeting options for business category, industry or company size. In addition, you can have ads targeted by a particular company’s growth rate, a company’s revenue or connections a company has.

When you have developed ads and want to target more to individuals you use demographics, education, experience and interests. Consider targeting by a user’s age and/or gender. In addition, recognized degrees, fields of study or level of education can be used to show or not show ads to certain users. Users can enter their own held positions, skills and years of experience within their personal account. This data can then also be used for targeting options.

Finally, make sure that your ads’ targeting options do not use them to discriminate based on gender, age or race/ethnicity. Ads identified by LinkedIn as discriminatory will be removed immediately. Learn more about our advertising policy and targeting discrimination.

The final targeting option for showing your ads is to create custom audiences. This allows you to completely create your target audience(s). Below is a step-by-step guide to create your own target group within the platform.

"Create your own audience within 2 steps"

How to create your own audience within LinkedIn?

Creating a target audience within LinkedIn is done based on your designed personas. The process has two steps that we will explain below.

Step 1 – Where is your target audience located?

The first question you are asked when creating your target audience is, “Where is your target audience located?” So this is specifically about the location of your target audience. So in the first step, you indicate in which country your target audience is located, what language your target audience speaks, whether you focus on recent or permanent location and exclude certain locations for your target audience, for example.

Step 2 – Who is your target audience?

The second step focuses more on the characteristics of your selected target audience from step 1. With this you refine your created target group selection. In step 2 you can add or exclude characteristics of your target group such as: job title, industry or certain skills. It is also possible to add or exclude matched audiences from your selected target group. Matched audiences are certain audience segments that you can specifically use for retargeting. Examples of a matched audience are users who visited a page on your website, watched your video ad or sent a comment on your event. So by adding or excluding matched audiences from your created audience, it becomes a lot more specific. Note that LinkedIn requires an audience of a certain size as a minimum. If this is not the case and your created audience is complete then you can choose your ad form, set a media budget and get started advertising on the platform.

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What are the pros and cons of LinkedIn advertising?

Within LinkedIn advertising, there are different targeting options for your chosen ad forms. Advertising through the platform has very different purposes than the other social media platforms. Read below what the pros and cons of advertising are.

What are the benefits of LinkedIn advertising?

1. Business communication tool

As mentioned, LinkedIn is very different from other social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram. Whereas these two social media channels focus mainly on entertainment and a social aspect, LinkedIn is a social network for business contacts. LinkedIn users can use the platform to connect with each other to, for example, find a new job, post job-specific messages, engage in discussions with fellow professionals or for companies to highlight job openings. The big advantage is that companies can respond well to the business topics that play a role on LinkedIn. This allows organizations to place customized (commercial) expressions through advertisements to seek interaction with (potential) customers.

2. Unique and specific targeting possibilities

As mentioned earlier, LinkedIn has different targeting possibilities. This allows you to advertise very specifically to a business target group. On other social media platforms, there are also the options for demographic and geographic variables. However, LinkedIn’s targeting capabilities give you the ability to use specific variables for your ad campaigns. Think about filtering by companies, markets, positions or skills. Moreover, LinkedIn advertising allows you to use the variables ‘Groups’. Here you only target users who have joined groups that fit within their field of expertise.

3. Recruiting

Advertising within LinkedIn is tremendously suitable for attracting new staff. The social media platform is a collection of working people in the Netherlands. Each user’s profile is actually a digital resume. Users are often on LinkedIn to learn and discover topics within their field. But in addition, many are also on the platform for any interesting opportunities. Users post on their profiles all the useful information you need to reach a specified target audience. When skills, experience and the resume are available, it is easy to advertise to a specific persona. In addition, job postings or interesting posts regarding recruitment are often shared as well. A LinkedIn user is not only on the platform for himself, but also for his circle of acquaintances.

What are the disadvantages of LinkedIn advertising?

1. High cost of advertising

Within LinkedIn advertising, there are very specific targeting options. Moreover, its business nature makes it a very suitable platform for companies. This makes the social media platform very popular for advertising, but automatically also more expensive. The CPM, CPC and CPL are high with LinkedIn advertising. The different payment models of advertising are further explained below. But in short, CPM stands for Cost per Mille, CPC stands for Cost per Click and CPL stands for Cost per Lead. Because of the benefits mentioned above and many more, LinkedIn knows the value of its users. Because users make very specific information available about themselves, this can be targeted when advertising. Because of the high cost, it is highly advisable to establish a clear strategy before you start advertising on LinkedIn. Convident’s online marketers have a lot of experience with this and know exactly which strategies work or don’t work on LinkedIn.

2. Low Volume

A pitfall of advertising via the business platform is to be too specific. By this we mean that due to the many possibilities in targeting options, the reach of your advertising campaigns can quickly become very low. For companies, there are several ways to specify your target audience via LinkedIn. However, we often hear that companies are targeting too specifically so there is no balance between the targeting and the reach of the ad. At Convident, we build a clear strategy for your advertising campaigns and ensure a balance between targeting and reach.

How effective is LinkedIn advertising?

LinkedIn has about 5 million users in the Netherlands, of which 771,000 are active on the platform on a daily basis. LinkedIn’s target audience is business users. In addition, we see the following:

  • 43% are women and 57% are men
  • 60% of users are in the 25-34 age group
  • 50% of total internet users with a degree have an account on LinkedIn

Advertising through LinkedIn has expanded tremendously in recent years. With new targeting capabilities, companies have never been able to advertise in such a targeted way. In addition, figures show that LinkedIn is about 277% more efficient at creating new leads than Facebook.

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What does LinkedIn advertising cost?

Costs of advertising within LinkedIn can be high. But costs of advertising within any platform can add up very quickly when there is no clear strategy in place. When advertising on Facebook or through Google Ads, there is the possibility that the objective, ad format and chosen targeting are not aligned. Precisely because of the very specific targeting possibilities within LinkedIn, it has become attractive for companies and therefore more expensive. However, we at Convident see that many companies still miss the mark. With a predefined strategy that fits your objective and company, we set up advertising campaigns in LinkedIn that are profitable.

Within LinkedIn advertising, there is the possibility of a daily budget or daily and total budget. Keep in mind that the cost of LinkedIn advertising can be 20% higher than you have set. This is why people usually perceive LinkedIn advertising as expensive. Sometimes your ads will still be shown to users for a short time while your daily budget has already run out. By taking this into account when setting your daily or total budget, you will catch any extra costs. It is also important to keep your objective in mind when choosing the payment model for LinkedIn advertising. Advertising on this platform has three different payment models.

Which payment models does LinkedIn use for advertising?

1. Cost per Mille (CPM)

CPM stands for Cost per Mille and means cost per mille, or cost per thousand. As the name implies, it is the cost an advertiser pays for a thousand views or impressions of an ad within the platform. CPM is great when your goal as an advertiser is to generate more brand awareness. At market launch or product launch, for example, you focus on getting the highest number of views possible. Within the target group you have created, you want as many views as possible. By setting the CPM billing model, LinkedIn will look for the lowest possible CPM for you.

2. Cost per Click (CPC)

CPC stands for Cost per Click and means the cost per click. As the name implies, this payment model aims to get as many clicks on your ad as possible. When you set this up on LinkedIn, LinkedIn steers for the lowest possible CPC. Of course, with this option, it is important to make sure your ad has a high CTR. The CTR is the Click Through Rate of your ad and means how many people click on your ad when it is shown.

3. Cost per Lead (CPL)

CPL stands for Cost per Lead and means the cost per lead. This payment model is great when you want to generate leads for your business. Especially for users at the end of the marketing funnel, lead generation is very interesting.

CPM is appropriate for increased brand awareness

Why is LinkedIn advertising important?

Nowadays, advertising on LinkedIn is becoming increasingly expensive, but so are other social media platforms. Advertising through online channels has become more popular and so competition is increasing. However, we at Convident see that LinkedIn advertising is still a very important part of online marketing. Especially for companies that have business clients, advertising on the platform offers tremendous opportunities. Because within LinkedIn advertising, the ads are getting smarter and smarter, one can advertise in a more targeted way. Moreover, the ads can be set up to target users who are actively searching or interested in a solution you have to offer.

Outsource LinkedIn advertising to Convident

As you have read in this article, there are many different things involved in advertising on LinkedIn. So it can be a lot more efficient for your company to outsource LinkedIn advertising. Especially in terms of time and money, this can save you a lot of costs. This way you can focus on your products, services, customers and partners.

Convident sets up your LinkedIn advertising campaigns and manages them on a monthly basis. We help you outline a clear strategy that ensures the desired conversions. We do this through the following applications, among others:

1. Grip on results

With LinkedIn advertising by Convident, you always have a grip on your results. Convident works with certified SEA specialists for advertising within this social media platform. We can help you grow your business (online) in a responsible way and get the maximum result from your budget. We do this by cost-effectively targeting only potential customers who are specifically looking for your products or services.

2. Control

At Convident, you are always in control of your advertising on LinkedIn and the set (daily) budgets. This makes it convenient and clear. Ads and keywords can be adjusted every moment of the day, just like your budget and campaign costs.

3. Measurability

You will also receive monthly reports from our online marketers on the advertising activities carried out on LinkedIn. Through the reports you get/maintain insight into the visitors to your website/webshop. The monthly overviews answer questions such as where your visitors come from, what their age is or which conversions work well with LinkedIn advertising. We use this information to better understand your target group and serve them even better in future advertisements.

Could your website or webshop use more traffic and/or conversions? Contact us to develop a targeted advertising campaign within LinkedIn for your target group(s). Just want to spar with a Convident online marketer? Then stop by the office to discuss the possibilities of LinkedIn advertising for your business.

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