Whether building brand awareness or generating leads, LinkedIn is undoubtedly a powerful platform for B2B advertisers.
Within my own experience of running B2B campaigns, LinkedIn consistently outperforms other platforms on a cost per acquisition level which provides a compelling reason to make the most of all available features.
In an effort to help new advertisers, I’ve put together a list of things that I wish I knew when I started running campaigns on LinkedIn.
Hopefully this list will prove useful and give you more time to get on with the most important bit – optimising your campaigns for success!
Account Configuration – Currency Settings
A good place to start this list is with the first step you’ll take as a new advertiser on LinkedIn; setting up your account.
It’s a simple point, but one that most people won’t notice until they need to update their currency settings for billing reasons. When setting up your ad account, if you choose to be billed in USD then you won’t be able to change this retrospectively.
That’s no big deal if you need to change after a few small runs, but if you’ve saved a bunch of audiences and spent time configuring conversions, setting up a new account for admin reasons isn’t really what you’ll want to be doing.
Compared with building audiences in Facebook, the process of building your audience targeting for each campaign in LinkedIn can feel somewhat manual.
Let’s say you have a list of specific countries or regions to target, with a list of sectors and job titles layered on top:
If you then want to run that same audience across multiple campaigns to test results across say sponsored content, sponsored InMail and Lead Forms, entering your targeting manually each time is a bit laborious.
To save time, once you’ve built out your first set of targeting click the ‘save audience’ option and give your audience an appropriate name. Then, next time you go to run a campaign targeting the same audience group, you can simply select it from the dropdown and save yourself the time.
Creating Multiple Ad Variations
Another gripe with the LinkedIn platform is that once you’ve created and saved your ad, you can’t go back and edit it retrospectively. The same applies for lead forms.
Clearly you’ll want to be extra careful with typos, but if you’re the type of marketer that likes to edit and switch ads on the fly, this limitation might be a bit of a surprise.
My advice is to create more ad variations than you think you need, thus allowing you to quickly switch out creative and essentially build a backup list of options.
As with any other form of social advertising, keeping your creative fresh is key to getting the most from your audience. It might be a bit of extra work when setting up, but it’ll make maintaining your campaign far easier once it is running.
*EDIT – advertisers can now edit ads!
If you’re not set up to measure conversions, then you’ll never get the level of detail you need to fully optimise your campaigns.
With LinkedIn’s recent changes and additional features, the previous conversion pixel has been re-named as the ‘Insights Tag’. If you’ve already installed the older conversion pixel then there’s no need to change if you want to start taking advantage of the new remarketing features – it’s simply a name change.
If however you’re in the process of getting your first account set up, installing the pixel should be a non-negotiable item on your to do list. Thankfully, if you happen to be using a tag manager solution such as Google Tag Manager, installing the pixel is incredibly easy.
Taking Google Tag Manager as an example, simply add the LinkedIn script as a new tag set to fire on all pages:
You can then start to configure and save conversions based on page views (just as you would do when setting up goals in Google Analytics) and save those conversions to your account for future use.
Any advertiser will know that split testing different combinations of audiences, ads and ad formats is always a key part of driving a campaign to success. To get a clear view on your results across multiple tests, you’ll need to give some thought to your campaign structure.
My recommendation is to set your tests out as follows, changing one element per campaign:
Doing the above will enable you to get a clear view of the results for each optimisation you make, and thus enable you to channel your budget into areas that are most likely to work well for your business.
Set End Dates and Maximum Amounts
A slightly hidden feature when setting your budgets is the end date along with the maximum campaign budget. To get there, you’ll need to click ‘show more’ and then add your figures in accordingly.
With the average cost per click being more expensive on LinkedIn that other platforms, leaving your campaign running accidentally can add up to quite a bit of money. It’s a really simple safety measure to put in place, but one that can be missed quite easily by those not familiar with LinkedIn’s ad manager.
Billing – Collecting PDF Invoices
For self-service ad accounts on LinkedIn, you’re going to be billed for your ad spend on a daily basis for low budget campaigns. That creates a large amount of unexpected admin work for most new advertisers.
To give you an example, one of my clients currently has up to four ad accounts running at one time. On a busy month, that’s anywhere up to 120 invoices to collect and reconcile. Even at one per minute that’s two hours’ work!
Making it even more laborious is the lack of an option to download PDF versions of your invoices directly from your account. So, without wanting to take screenshots or separately print each invoice to PDF my quick hack is as follows:
- Install the uSelect iDownload Plugin in Chrome
- Go to the billing history for the month in question and click ‘show transactions only’
- Activate the uSelect plugin, and drag your cursor over the invoice links
- Click Alt + Ctrl + Ent to download the pages as html files
- Go to http://html2pdf.com/, upload your html files, and download as a batch of PDFs
I realise the list above is a bit of a botch, but I’ve genuinely found it to be the most rapid way to collect invoices from LinkedIn on mass.
Good luck and happy advertising!