LinkedIn, as the frontrunner among social media platforms tailored for professionals, presents a remarkable avenue for B2B advertisers to tap into. The fact that there are over 930 million members on LinkedIn globally as of Q2 2023 might pale in comparison to Meta’s colossal user base of 2+ billion across Facebook and Instagram, but what sets LinkedIn apart is its distinct focus on professional networking, rendering it an optimal go-to platform for marketers seeking to engage with a more business-oriented audience.
Since the inaugural advertisements graced LinkedIn's virtual pages in 2005, a mere two years following the platform's inception, the landscape of LinkedIn Ads has undergone a noteworthy evolution. The journey from the inception of text ads and sponsored content to more substantial transformations, like the implementation of lookalike audience targeting and objective-based advertising, has positioned LinkedIn as a potent force for advertisers, especially in the realm of B2B marketing.
The culmination of these advancements occurred in 2022 with the beta launch of LinkedIn Business Manager, a platform mirroring Meta’s Business Manager structure. This new feature allows agencies and clients to effortlessly share access to various assets — such as LinkedIn profiles, ad accounts, and the LinkedIn Insights Tag, which bears resemblance to Meta Pixel — with the streamlined partner access feature reminiscent of Meta’s Business Manager. Today, we embark on a journey to explore some of the standout features of LinkedIn, both in terms of objectives and ad units.
LinkedIn presents advertisers with a trio of overarching objectives to align with their specific goals: awareness, consideration, and conversion. Experienced digital marketers might quickly realize this structure bears a striking resemblance to Meta’s ad objective framework. But if it ain’t broke, why fix it? After all, these three primary objectives encapsulate the goals of the vast majority of advertisers.
Nestled within each of these objective categories are more granular objectives from which advertisers can choose. Collectively, the available campaign goals encompass brand awareness (housed under the Awareness umbrella), website traffic, engagement, video views (all falling within the Consideration realm), and Lead Generation, Website Conversion, and Job Applicants (all under the Conversion banner). These diverse goal options furnish advertisers with distinct avenues to optimize their campaigns throughout the funnel's various stages. Some objectives are straightforward, as in the case of brand awareness, where the focus lies on efficient impression delivery. On the other hand, certain objectives demand a more intricate setup — take Lead Generation (requiring the creation of a lead form) or website conversion (hinging on the placement of a LinkedIn Insight Tag on your website, equipped with ample historical conversion data for optimization).
LinkedIn Ad Units
With the objectives laid out, let's delve into the array of ad units at your disposal on LinkedIn. Unlike Meta, LinkedIn offers a broader spectrum of ad types, though not all of them are available within every objective category. In total, LinkedIn boasts 11 distinct ad types. Some are familiar faces, such as single images, videos, and carousels. Others are distinctly tailored to LinkedIn's professional milieu, like Message Ads (a conduit for initiating direct conversations with prospects), Spotlight Ads (geared towards spotlighting products or services to enhance website traffic), and Conversation Ads. Another unique LinkedIn-specific ad type is the Single Job Ad, a tool designed to drive top-tier candidates to your LinkedIn job postings. Which ad units to consider running must evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but one consistent suggestion is the value of testing various ad versions and iterations to optimize performance.
Seizing the Power of LinkedIn Ads
In essence, the intention here was to unveil LinkedIn Ads as a compelling conduit for B2B marketers. While we've scratched the surface by briefly exploring available objectives and ad types, our expertise extends to providing customized and comprehensive recommendations to our clients who turn to us for guidance on leveraging the potential of LinkedIn Ads. If you're ready to take the plunge, we eagerly await your connection with our Media Stewards at The Ward Group!