Make sure you're aware of these common LinkedIn ad mistakes before starting a campaign.

Advertising On LinkedIn

LinkedIn is recognised as the world’s largest professional network. Regular activity, such as writing updates, contributing to group discussions and sharing industry news are great social selling activities that can boost credibility, and build a relevant relationship with your network.

While LinkedIn offers some of the greatest paid ad targeting capability around, it’s also a great channel to consider for targeted, paid lead generation.

With over 300 million registered users across all industries and seniority levels, LinkedIn’s Ad campaigns make use of accurate data submitted by all LinkedIn members which, in turn, allows you to focus your advertising to a keenly selected audience of your choice (your ideal persona).

However, before jumping straight into an ad campaign, there are a few common errors to be aware of and avoid.

Common LinkedIn Advertising Mistakes To Avoid

Mistake 1 - Not using LinkedIn

Of course the paid ad channels you use (and combine) will depend on where your audience is active. Other ad platforms (such as Google, Facebook, Twitter) also offer good paid ad solutions.

But one advantage of including LinkedIn into your paid mix lies in targeting; audience insight is up to date, can be segmented to match exact company/ persona profiles - and crucially - users receiving ads on LinkedIn (rather than via other networks) will already be in a professional mindset.

Mistake 2 - Thinking you need a large budget to advertise on LinkedIn

Because LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager is so flexible, your budget does not necessarily need to be large. Once your ad campaign is set up, you can start and stop when you want, and because of LinkedIn’s unique search and targeting capabilities, you can be sure you are targeting your ideal audience (and therefore, yielding quality leads).

Mistake 3 - Using the wrong ad type

Should you use sponsored content (such as sponsored updates), or text ads? The main differences between the two types of ads are that:

Text Ads:

Appear on desktop only (on the right hand side, clearly marked as ads)

Can be seen on group pages, search results pages, in the main feed etc.

Contain a small amount of text

Don’t need to be linked to a company page

Are one of the fastest ways to start advertising on LinkedIn

Sponsored Content:

Are essentially, sponsored verisions of your LinkedIn content and updates

Appear on desktop, mobile and tablets and appear more natively in news feeds

Advertisers pay for Sponsored Content based on the number of LinkedIn members who see the update (CPM) or the number of clicks they receive (CPC).

Frequently, a combination of both Text Ads and Sponsored Content Ads works well and provide improved CTR - but always remember to tweak and test all ads regularly to see what works best for you.

Mistake 4 - Poor preparation

Good preparation is key to a successful ad campaign. Publishing a poorly planned, poorly targeted ad, and just hoping for results is a bad strategy.

At a top level you should:

Define and target your ads to your ideal buyer persona

Consider your persona when creating ad messaging and associated images

Promote content that resonates with your persona’s business pain

Make sure your ad goes to a relevant associated

Make sure the content of your ad and landing page are clearly related to encourage your targeted visitors to convert

Regularly review ads and test to see how you can optimise performance

Mistake 5 - Incorrect targeting

LinkedIn targeting allows you to be very specific on the exact audience you want to attract. Of course here, it’s important to ensure your buyer persona development is up to date to know you’re targeting the right individuals, across the right industries, locations, budget and more - and segmenting where appropriate.

Don’t make the mistake of wasting resources on non-specific advertising. It’s also wise to target groups where possible. Your audience will no doubt be talking to each other in interest/industry related groups, and LinkedIn allows these to be included in your search criteria.

Mistake 6 - Narrow targeting

Although you need to ensure you are targeting a precise buyer audience, it is worth noting that your target audience size shouldn’t be too narrow. You should still aim to have more than 1,000 members in your target audience. This is because LinkedIn has found that smaller campaigns are unable to gain enough traction to gauge true CTR.

Mistake 7 - Having geographic targeting too wide

Conversely, if you set your geographic target area too wide in your campaign, you are in danger of diluting your click through rate and consuming your budget very quickly.

If your target audience for example, covers different countries, it might be wise to set up different campaigns for each country. This way you will have more control over spend and will be better able to monitor success rates.

Mistake 8 - Targeting by age

Although LinkedIn members are asked to provide their age when opening an account, this is not a compulsory field, so using this as a targeting filter is best avoided. Instead, try filtering by seniority or job title to reach the largest eligible audience.

Mistake 9 - Using the wrong content

Ensuring your content resonates with your target buyer is key to success throughout inbound campaigns. But when it comes to LinkedIn ads, promoting the wrong content to your target audience will not only dilute your authority - it will also be a waste of budget.

Creating relevant content for every stage of the buyer's journey should be a key consideration when planning a complete inbound marketing campaign.

Mistake 10 - Bidding the wrong amount

Bidding on LinkedIn can be tricky as you have to calculate the click-through rate against your budget and the projected leads you would like to receive.

LinkedIn suggests that bidding above the suggested range will produce a higher click through rate and bidding within the suggested range will provide a better ROI. Make sure you monitor each ad against budget and adjust your bids accordingly.

Mistake 11 - Not measuring performance

With any advertising campaign, it is essential to know what works and what doesn’t. You should measure all aspects of ad (text, content, ad type, audience size and demographics) to assess performance.

Correcting small tactical mistakes can make a big difference to your ad campaigns so if you are embarking on a new ad campaign on LinkedIn, or are reviewing existing ads make sure you’re avoiding the above mistakes to ensure return on your investment.

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