LinkedIn Ad Types: Our Step-By-Step Guide

Linkedin Ad Types

LinkedIn Ads offer a unique way to reach your target audience and grow your business. If you’re a B2B company, LinkedIn ads need to be on your radar. We’ll give you the rundown on the types of ads LinkedIn offers, how to position them, and some best practices.

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Glyna: Good morning!

Sarah: Good morning. Friday, Friday!

Glyna: Here we are.

Sarah: Here we are. Here we are. We’ll get right to it. So we’re talking about ads. And let me tell you, you may have tried Google; basically, if you want to generate leads, quality customers, get more traffic, LinkedIn advertising might need to be on your radar, especially if you’re a B2B type of business. So today, we are going to unravel it all in a very simple way for you. What differentiates LinkedIn ads from other platforms, the best practices, and how to set up a successful campaign. So let’s get right to it.

Glyna: Oh, I’m so excited about this.

Sarah: Me too.

Glyna: It’s a game-changer for business. It is. When we talk about B2B, that’s business to business; in other words, if you have a business and your products and services are sold to other businesses, that’s what we mean when we say B2B, and LinkedIn is packed with those types of people.

Sarah: It really is.

Glyna: Welcome to Marketing Mix. Every week, Sarah and I are going to be here to talk about digital marketing topics. We try to cover some trends, we try to cover some tips, reviews, interviews, Q&A’s, just kind of mixing it up and that’s where the mix comes in Marketing Mix. But today we’re going to be giving you an overview of LinkedIn ads, which is really, really something to pay attention to if you’re a business these days.

Sarah: It sure is. So before we get started, don’t forget, every week we go live on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, you can catch the replay on Instagram and LinkedIn. And don’t forget to check out our podcast Marketing and Mic, it is a great podcast to listen to, and as always subscribe to our YouTube channel, Fusion One Marketing. Yes, we’re always putting out new videos and new resources because as we say, this is what this is all about, this is the purpose of our show is we want to give people really good information that can help them in business, in digital marketing. And it’s all about just getting more calls and more business. Okay, so before we get the nitty-gritty of LinkedIn ads, the very first thing that you need to ask yourself obviously is, are LinkedIn ads, a good fit for your business? So as we mentioned at the top of the show, it’s a perfect option for a B2B type of business. So, really that’s what we want to zero in on is this is the best platform for it.

Glyna: I think most of us have been on LinkedIn and know the basics but think about it this way, LinkedIn versus some of the other platforms it’s mainly made up of professionals and really those decision-makers, those C-level executives, which is really cool. There’re companies of all sizes on there and get this, there are more than 50 million companies on LinkedIn these days.

Sarah: Yikes. Wow.

Glyna: So yeah, it’s definitely a place to be if you’re a business selling to businesses. It’s also the most used platform by fortune 500 companies. So your next question, if you think about your products and services, do you think that a professional who’s just using LinkedIn during the week would stop and look at your product or service? Do you think it would be of interest to them? So if you sell something that benefits business owners, chances are LinkedIn just might work for you.

Sarah: And that’s the key is now that you’ve got to look at what type of business you are but also the mindset of the people that are using this platform because people are using this platform to better their careers, to build connections, to network, to find a new job, or like all of us sometimes get a few minutes to just mindlessly get away from the work time. But they’re in work mode and that’s the key. Your ad needs to be centered around that type of head space. So, what truly differentiates LinkedIn advertising, and this is such a game-changer is their targeting capabilities.

Glyna: Oh my God.

Sarah: Their targeting capabilities are incredible. So you can target companies based on so many dynamics. Plus there’s currently no other platform that comes close to targeting ads to key decision-makers. So that’s phenomenal.

Glyna: It really is. I mean, I know that other platforms have some targeting capabilities, but LinkedIn is crazy. I’m going to run down and I have to read them because there are so many different things that you can target when you’re thinking of your LinkedIn ads. So, you can actually target company connections, so people that work in the company, company followers, so that’s a huge thing, if you’re like, well, those people would buy that product, it’s similar to my product, so I want to target those followers. Industries, which is huge, who’s your demographic? Choose your demographic. I mean, the sky’s the limit. You can also target actual names of people if you have them, size of the company, education, and experience, it’s just crazy. I mean, it’s down such little minute things. You also can, this is a big one, seniority’s or titles. So if you’re after those C-level executives just target them, don’t throw something up against the wall targeting everybody in the world. Get specific. You can also target by interests, which is huge.

Sarah: Yeah.

Glyna: It’s also worth mentioning that LinkedIn is…Right now, there’s a lot of junk out there in the social media world and LinkedIn is really viewed as the most trusted and safe platform right now. You’re not seeing a bunch of spam and junk and all of the fake news out there like you are at other platforms. So, it really makes it even more credible, a credible place for you to do your ads, really.

Sarah: Yeah and I think that’s a big thing too because a lot of people will see something and it’s “click for more” and it’s like, ooh, what am I getting myself into? So this platform has really kept that reputation of having some really good stuff out there. So, all right at this point, if we’ve determined LinkedIn ads is a fit for my business and it’s a fit for the kind of audience that I need to target. Let’s just move right into how to create the ad. And this is something that’s important to note that there are four different types of LinkedIn ads, four broad and then there’s some within each category. We want to break those down because we want to show you not only what does it look like, but when you want to use these types of ads, so right from the top, we want to talk about Sponsored Ads. These are, I would say almost like the least pushy I would say, they look and feel exactly like native LinkedIn ads and you’ll see them in the news feed, but they’ve been boosted or they are tagged with that promoted text next to the top of the ad. So, these look and feel a lot like just a regular type of post that you would see in the news feed, they’re just hoping that you’ll click through and get to know the company a little bit more. I’m sure we’ve seen these and not even realized it, right?

Glyna: Yeah, exactly. Because you’re right, that’s the whole thing. It looks like a regular post and they’re probably the least in your face. This kind of ad is great at the beginning phases of trying to gain prospects and followers. It’s kind of like putting more information about your company out there. If you have a compelling ad that doesn’t look like spam or something in your face, people are going to be interested in it. It works best, again, if you’re trying to build an audience and you’re just getting started and it’s really something to mention about the type of ad that you can use and we’ll get into this a little bit more, but you can choose to use a carousel, you can use a video, which is huge. I feel that videos are huge in ads or even a single image, or you can mix it up. Try different things.

Sarah: Yeah. Which we’ll talk more about that too, about adding variety to your ads. So, the next up is Text Ads. Now these are very straightforward, you’ll most likely see these on the column on the right and these are probably the closest to a Google or Bing search ad that you can get on the platform. You’ll see these, as I said, featured on the sidebar of LinkedIn, they’re simple, they’re to the point, they’re just a basic text block with a headline and a company logo or an image right next to it. So, I think for these in particular, when you want to use these, they’re really non-invasive they’re to the point, it is for a specific audience. So, kind of how Google ads are, these people have intent. And so this should be an ad that’s got intent and it’s narrowed in on the people that are looking for that exact type of content. It really is good when you know the exact traffic and audience that you’re trying to contact for your business.

Glyna: That’s exactly right. And that’s why they’re so effective because they’re going to interest people who have an interest in that because you’ve targeted those people and that’s what all of this is about. So, that’s a great way to use LinkedIn ads. Now, LinkedIn has something called InMail. It’s basically like their email or messaging within LinkedIn. So you can also target ads in InMail, called Sponsored InMail. Now, I will say, this is probably my least favorite. And Sarah’s going to get into some gotchas or tips on when to use this. But you’ve probably seen, I know you have seen this, have you ever logged into LinkedIn and you’re like, I got 10 new messages? This is really cool.

Sarah: I’m so popular!

Glyna: Yeah, I’m so popular, people love me! And then you go there only to find out that they are people that are just throwing ads at you and it can be good and bad I guess if it’s of interest to you. So, actually, the advertisers put a list together of contacts to send out personalized messages to. Again, it can be good and bad. The content’s all up to you. Where I think is a great place to use it, if you have great information to share, like in a webinar where you have an event coming up versus a sales pitch. If you’re giving good advice and good content, I think this would be the perfect way to use LinkedIn ads because you have some sort of call to action.

Sarah: Yes.

Glyna: So, that way the people that are bothered by it, they go away. So, you really have the very interested person who’s going to fill out your form and stuff like that, coming to whatever it is you’re offering. So you’re kind of-

Sarah: Yeah, that is so key what you just said, because when you have a list of key prospects, these are people that are most likely to want to engage with a one-on-one conversation or most likely, as you said, to sign up for something. And I think this is where people miss the mark in using these types of ads, is that these should really only be targeted as a warm lead to re-engage with a prospect. The mistake that’s made too often is that this should not be your first touchpoint of contact with a prospect because it goes without saying, I mean, nobody enjoys getting a message or notification from somebody when they have no clue who they are, it’s a complete stranger and they’re like, “Hey! I just wanted to connect with you because I thought we’d really like this”, and it’s like, who are you?

Sarah: This would not be one of your first points of contact, first types of ad, I should say, unless you really have your core context and it’s a warm lead.

Glyna: Yeah.

Sarah: So, these ads do come in, I want to say two formats. One of them is a message ad, which we see a lot, it looks like a direct message or it’s in an email type format or like a letter. Then the other one is kind of cool, it’s a Conversion Ad. And those are kind of designed to start a conversation with your target audience or your prospect through a choose your own path experience, and what I mean by that is it’s sort of like a Q&A of do you need this, yes or no? And then it’ll kind of ask the next question based on the first answer. So, those are really nice too, to do a little bit more fact-finding and it’s not as invasive.

Glyna: Yes. We could probably say that over and over and over. Between that and accepting someone’s invitation to connect and then right away, they’re boom, right in your face. It’s like, oh, now I have to take time to go just disconnect from you.

Sarah: And that really comes down to the success or failure of your ad is knowing where your target audience is in their customer journey, so to speak. And you just don’t want to skip steps sometimes or you’re just going to lose them.

Glyna: Yeah. I think people don’t have this information and are not educated on the different types of LinkedIn ads. That’s why we kind of want to do an overview of them to make people think which one fits me best. So, the one that’s probably the one you see the most in your newsfeed is what we call Dynamic Ads. These are the most personalized ads and they’re ads that people are used to seeing. So, advertisers can choose anything they want to promote and any type of content that they wish. Again, we can still target the people that we think would be interested, but you can use anything from a job posting, give them some downloadable content or even you can advertise your company page. These ads appear in the newsfeed. So again, we’re used to seeing them and the people that are interested in them will engage. The other people will just keep on scrolling. So I’d say these ads are the most versatile in terms of what your goals are.

Sarah: Yeah. That’s exactly-

Glyna: You have to set up your ad, again, depending on what your goals are. You and I, gosh, how many hours did we spend yesterday on streaming talking to them about our own LinkedIn ads and different ideas, so you really need to think it out, just don’t throw something up there.

Sarah: Oh, it’s so true. It’s so true. So here’s another set of some Dynamic Ads, but as I bring this up, I kind of want to talk about, that’s why these are the most versatile because dependent upon your goals, there’s different types or formats, I should say, within Dynamic Ads. So, you could use Spotlight Ads, which can drive traffic to your website or a landing page that is featuring a product or service, or event. Build brand awareness, we’ve seen these, this is kind of cool is you could do something, that’s just, hey, I just want to build my follower base, I just want people to get to my page and see what I’m about. This is so non-invasive, here is an example, she’s just saying, “Hey, listen, I’ve got some stuff that you might be interested in, why don’t you just follow my page?” Or you could download something and preview it first. Here’s another one of a request, a demo, and this will get them straight to their URL or landing page, they can download some content, you can capture their contact information. And it’s just really nice to have that kind of variety. There’s also something called Content Ads and they’re designed to do exactly that to capture specific content information when the users download your content. But these, you can actually put together through your campaign manager, which is your little business section of LinkedIn, but these are available only through a LinkedIn representative, there are a few requirements in order to get those features but beyond that, there are so many different types of ads with dynamics that are great to use.

Glyna: Yes, definitely. It’s endless. It’s endless what you can do on LinkedIn. If we talk about best practices, you have to really think through the technical aspects of LinkedIn and what’s going to fit your customer or your demographic, who are you targeting the best? Just think of your customer, who that is, how much would they engage or how much do you think they would engage if you are putting that offer or that ad right in front of them? What is the best approach? And you may not know that and we run through this all the time, we may try one type of ad and we’re getting a lot of attention, but not click through. So, we want to change it up because maybe we didn’t nail it on the first go-around. You really have to think through this. You’ve got to think, would they react better to giving them some free content or inviting them to a webinar? It’s all a thought process. And again, you really have to go through that instead of just throwing something up against the wall and seeing if it sticks. And as we always talk about and I think we’re going to talk about it in a minute, yeah. I won’t even go further. It’s good to keep checking on it. It’s good to keep trying different things.

Sarah: Yeah, that’s exactly it. When you do these ads, they’re not one and done. And so you shouldn’t have that mindset. You want to rotate your ads, new ads to get a boost in terms of impressions because it’s new eyes or change up the look of it. So you might have one type of image on one and you want to switch it up to another image. So that way you can test to see how people are reacting to it. This is important too, always include an incentive to your audience, whether it’s giving something away for free or downloading some helpful content, or inviting them to a free webinar, people jump at free. And not only that, you just don’t want to be pushy. I mean, we’re all smart enough to know that if you’re coming at me and I know nothing about your business, I don’t know who you are, if you’re not giving me something to help build that nurture path, like why would I want to be interested? It’s like sight unseen. So, really give some sort of incentive or a warmer up to make them want to get to know you more. Another great component of LinkedIn ads is the ability to auto-populate a lead generation form, which is so cool. So, with a few clicks, LinkedIn users would submit a form with all their information, which means you’re able to already gather that contact info and LinkedIn will help pre-populate it because they’ll pull your information already from your page. So, the user isn’t sitting there trying to fill it all out, LinkedIn will populate it for you, which I think is really cool.

Glyna: That is really cool because you want to have that call to action like you said. Offer something in a free resource, be a resource to these people, not just somebody spamming them and then have them fill out a form and if you don’t know how to do that as you said, you can do the auto-populated lead generation forms. So that’s huge. All right. So, we’ve done all of this, right? We tried an ad. How do we know if it’s working? Obviously if the phone’s ringing, we know it’s working, but let’s say your phone’s not ringing as much as you want, you need to track everything. This is going to help you determine, okay, which ad is performing better? What tweaks do I need to make? What else do I need to try? And really think about which part is catching people’s attention, the other thing is, I would say reevaluate things once a week, I know we look at things at least once a week.

Sarah: We do. Yeah, once a week, we’ll look and see how it’s performed through the last seven days.

Glyna: Yeah and LinkedIn can tell you what guidelines and they give you guidelines and say, if you have this much of a click-through rate, those kinds of things, you can look at that as something that’s doing well. Again, if it’s not converting, I mean, we can run ads all day long and say, oh, look how many clicks and as Rob always says, you can’t take clicks to the bank. We have to have conversions, people filling out that form. So, I would just say, track it please, and keep reevaluating, if it’s not working. Now, hey! If it is working, maybe you don’t worry about changing it up until it kind of starts trickling off, but you can also use Google analytics. If you have a landing page, a specific landing page set up for your ads, put Google analytics on it, see how many people are visiting. Another thing is if they’re coming to your page and bouncing off, why? Okay, that’s another piece we’ll talk about probably at another one of our segments, but so much to think about. So, your landing page may not be attractive. They may be getting there and not doing anything else. So again, there’s so much to think about from top to bottom on these ads, but today we really just wanted to give an overview of what is possible.

Sarah: Yeah. And that’s exactly it. And with LinkedIn, it’s a great platform for B2B businesses. It’s got amazing targeting capabilities and it’s got several types of ads to use. And the main thing is really to know what your goals and objectives are and they’ll match it with which type of LinkedIn will be the most successful. And as you said, know your customer, track your ads, track the performance of it. Do some variety. There’s a lot to it. But as always, we’re always here to help. We love doing this type of stuff. It’s fascinating to us and our end goal always is to get that phone ringing for all of our clients. So, if you’re interested in LinkedIn ads and you’d like to learn more, we would love to have a conversation with you, be sure to reach out to us directly, and really that’s it for today.

Glyna: Yeah, it sure is. We will see you next week, Friday at 8!

Sarah: See you next week. Bye.