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Get results from your LinkedIn Ads: 9 mistakes to avoid

By April 9, 2024No Comments

In 2024, U.S. B2B display ad spending on LinkedIn is expected to total $4.56 billion, a 51% increase from 2022.

More spending means more marketers are targeting the 65+ million decision-makers on LinkedIn.

Increased activity and budgets means more opportunity to reach your ideal customer. While a bigger budget is always welcome, it’s only one component of a successful LinkedIn campaign.

You’ll want to ask yourself, are your campaigns perfectly optimized to deliver on your marketing and lead generation goals?

Our team of digital marketing experts can help you create the best campaigns possible and avoid costly errors.

Here are nine lessons learned from our years of managing more than $5M in LinkedIn advertising campaigns.

Top mistakes to avoid in LinkedIn Ads campaigns

From ad set up to channel management, avoiding these nine mistakes will contribute to the success of your ads and generate the awareness and conversions you need to achieve your marketing goals.

1. The target audience is too broad. Less is more with your audience. Identify the closest LinkedIn users to your targets based on a combination of Skills, Job Functions, and Job Titles. While LinkedIn has 750 million users, only a small fraction match your profile for marketing targets, therefore cast a more narrow net to find the most qualified prospects. The ideal size for a niche LinkedIn audience is between 15,000-35,000 folks.

2. Audience expansion is enabled While LinkedIn says this feature will “reach people who are similar to your target audience,” our experience has found their network is far too broad and does not similarly match folks to your target. As a result, ads are served to poorly matched individuals resulting in wasted ad spend. Our advice: do not enable audience expansion.

3. The daily budget is too low. An effective campaign requires at least a $75-$100 daily spend to generate several clicks per day (note: for lead-gen campaigns, it should be at least a $150 daily ad spend). The more daily clicks will lead to a favorable conversion rate and generate those marketing leads. Be ready to spend to reach the most high-quality leads.

4. The run time is too short or too long. Don’t be afraid to let your ads run their course, but ensure you have an adequate daily budget to support them. Without it, the ads won’t be able to reach their targets effectively as you will have exhausted your budget too early. Your ads should run for at least three weeks to fall into the LinkedIn algorithm and generate consistent placement, impressions, and engagement.

5. There are not enough ads within each campaign. Each campaign should include at least 5 associated ads. If not, the campaign will quickly diminish the ad frequency and prevent the user from receiving your ad daily. LinkedIn uses an ad cap to limit the number of times an ad can be served to a user to once every 24 hours. By adding multiple ads to your campaign, you increase the likelihood your target will receive an ad every day.

6. There is no testing of branded vs. non-branded ad creative. Test both branded and non-branded graphics within the campaign. Users receive dozens of sponsored posts per day–break up their LinkedIn feed by setting up multiple ads with different graphics. A branded image is ideal for building awareness but a non-branded image slides into the feed with less friction.

7. There is no target audience optimization based on demographic data. Campaign Manager provides in-depth engagement data from your campaigns including titles, company, functions, skills, and more. Analyze these reports biweekly when starting out, and monthly thereafter to learn who is engaging and ensure it aligns with your campaign goals. Make changes swiftly within the campaign to ensure your ad spend is reaching the right folks—don’t continue to serve ads to the wrong audience.

8. There is no organic activity on your LinkedIn Company Page. LinkedIn Ads can generate additional followers to your company page. Don’t sleep on your organic posts—keep the channel alive and post organically a few times per week to nurture new and existing followers. Grab that low-hanging fruit and automate social posts from all of your employees to expand your reach.

9. The LinkedIn Company Page is outdated. With new company page followers, keep it updated—refresh the About section, company statements, and make sure your branding is consistent with other marketing and assets.

As an added bonus, our healthcare marketing agency can help you determine if you should even be advertising on LinkedIn at all, or if your product may be better suited for Google Ads. Read Google Ads vs. LinkedIn Ads: Which channel works for B2B healthcare and biotech to learn more.

Ready to optimize your LinkedIn Ads?

Our data-driven team loves diving deep into Google, Microsoft, Meta, and LinkedIn Ads to help you find the right prospects.

We’ll even audit your campaigns while we’re at it. Let’s work together.

Marla Sokolowski

Author Marla Sokolowski

Marla is an experienced marketing, communications, and project management professional who serves as our Senior Director of Marketing Systems. She leads our marketing automation team to craft email marketing campaigns, develop nurture campaigns and integrate CRMs for sales and marketing alignment. To learn more about Marla's experiences and qualifications, visit our leadership team page.

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