Creating Engaging Ads on LinkedIn: Advanced Strategies to Stand Out

With over 800 million members in more than 200 countries, LinkedIn has become an indispensable platform for B2B marketers and advertisers. However, with so much competition on the platform, creating ads that truly engage your target audience can be a challenge. While following the basics of LinkedIn advertising is important, it’s the unique and advanced strategies that can set your campaigns apart and drive real results.

A Quick Primer on the Basics of LinkedIn Ads

Before delving into the advanced strategies, let’s quickly cover the essentials of creating LinkedIn ads:

Define your target audience

Use LinkedIn’s powerful targeting options to reach your ideal prospects based on factors like job title, industry, company size, and more.

Create compelling ad copy and visuals

Craft eye-catching ad copy that speaks directly to your target audience’s pain points and desires, and use high-quality visuals that align with your brand.

Set up proper tracking

Ensure you have conversion tracking set up correctly to measure the success of your campaigns and optimize accordingly.

Test and iterate

Continuously test different ad variations and refine your approach based on performance data.

While nailing the fundamentals is crucial, it’s the more advanced tactics that can truly elevate your LinkedIn advertising game.

Leverage LinkedIn Audience Insights

One of the often-overlooked features on LinkedIn is the Audience Insights tool. This powerful resource allows you to gain a deep understanding of your target audience, including their job titles, job functions, skills, and even the content they engage with most on the platform.

By leveraging Audience Insights, you can:

  • Identify new targeting opportunities: Discover niche segments or job functions within your target audience that you may have overlooked previously.
  • Craft more relevant ad messaging: Use the insights into your audience’s interests and content preferences to create ad copy and visuals that resonate more effectively.
  • Optimize your content strategy: Gain insights into the types of content your target audience engages with most, informing your overall content marketing efforts.

Implement Account-Based Marketing (ABM) Tactics

While LinkedIn advertising is often thought of as a top-of-funnel tactic, it can also be a powerful tool for account-based marketing (ABM) campaigns. By leveraging LinkedIn’s advanced targeting options, you can create hyper-targeted campaigns designed to reach specific high-value accounts or decision-makers within those accounts.

Here are some effective ABM tactics to implement on LinkedIn:

  • Create account-specific ad campaigns: Use LinkedIn’s account targeting to create dedicated ad campaigns for each of your high-priority accounts, tailoring the messaging and visuals specifically for those businesses.
  • Leverage LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences: Upload your list of target accounts (or specific contacts within those accounts) using LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences feature, ensuring your ads are served directly to those high-value targets.
  • Implement LinkedIn Retargeting: Use LinkedIn’s retargeting capabilities to stay top-of-mind with key decision-makers who have previously engaged with your brand or content.

Combine LinkedIn Ads with Organic Engagement

While paid advertising is a crucial component of a successful LinkedIn strategy, it’s important not to overlook the power of organic engagement. By combining your paid efforts with a robust organic presence, you can amplify the impact of your campaigns and foster deeper connections with your target audience.

Here are some ways to integrate organic engagement into your LinkedIn advertising strategy:

  • Leverage LinkedIn Groups: Join and actively participate in relevant LinkedIn Groups where your target audience is active. Provide value through thought leadership and content sharing, building rapport and credibility before promoting your offers.
  • Encourage employee advocacy: Empower your employees to share and engage with your company’s LinkedIn content and ads, amplifying your reach and adding a human touch to your campaigns.
  • Implement LinkedIn Live: Explore using LinkedIn Live to host virtual events, Q&A sessions, or product demos, promoting these live sessions through your paid ads.
  • Repurpose ad content for organic posts: Take your top-performing ad creative and repurpose it as organic LinkedIn posts, continuing the conversation and building on the momentum generated by your paid campaigns.

Implement Advanced Targeting Tactics

While LinkedIn’s standard targeting options are powerful, digging deeper into the platform’s advanced targeting capabilities can unlock new levels of precision and engagement. Here are some advanced targeting tactics to consider:

  • Leverage LinkedIn’s Website Retargeting: Use LinkedIn’s Website Retargeting feature to create tailored ad campaigns for website visitors who have shown interest in your products or services but have not yet converted.
  • Implement lookalike audiences: Once you’ve identified your ideal customer profiles, leverage LinkedIn’s lookalike audience capabilities to find new prospects who share similar characteristics with your existing customers or engaged audiences.
  • Layer multiple targeting criteria: Rather than relying on a single targeting dimension, layer multiple criteria (such as job title, skills, company size, and more) to create hyper-targeted audiences that align perfectly with your ideal customer profiles.
  • Implement exclusions: Use LinkedIn’s exclusion targeting options to avoid showing your ads to audiences who are unlikely to convert, such as current customers or competitors.

Embrace Continuous Testing and Optimization

Finally, one of the most critical advanced strategies for success on LinkedIn is to embrace a culture of continuous testing and optimization. With so many variables at play (audience targeting, ad creative, bidding strategies, and more), it’s essential to continuously experiment and refine your approach based on performance data.

Here are some best practices for testing and optimization on LinkedIn:

  • Implement A/B testing: Create multiple variations of your ad campaigns (with different targeting, ad copy, visuals, or offers) and run them concurrently, allowing you to identify the top-performing variations.
  • Leverage LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager: Use LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager to access in-depth performance data and insights, allowing you to make data-driven optimizations to your campaigns.
  • Automate bid optimization: Explore LinkedIn’s automated bid strategies, which can help optimize your bids and budget allocation based on your specific campaign goals (e.g., website conversions, video views, etc.).
  • Test new ad formats: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ad formats, such as Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail, or Dynamic Ads, to find the perfect fit for your specific objectives and audience.

By embracing these advanced strategies, you can take your LinkedIn advertising campaigns to new heights, driving increased engagement, conversions, and ROI for your business.