How to Choose the Right LinkedIn Ads Objective
LinkedIn released objectives just like Facebook, but which objective you choose may not be as straightforward as you think.
In this article, we decode each objective to make sure you get the most from your ad spend. If you’re used to advertising on Facebook, you’ll notice when you go to create a campaign on LinkedIn, that the objectives look very similar. They wanted to enable Facebook advertisers, who have experience over there, to have a very similar type of experience on LinkedIn. LinkedIn has had objectives for quite some time. They’ve essentially been checkboxes and bid types. Now it’s very defined. When you go to create a LinkedIn ad and click Create Campaign, you’re going to be faced with lots of different objectives. We’re going to concentrate on a few of the main ones because some just kind of blend together or are actually very similar. If you know you want to drive towards a website conversion, you may be able to get that website conversion cheaper using a different objective. Don’t worry, we’ll dive in and figure all of that out, and make sure to stick around to the end because I’m going to share my recommendation for the right ad format and objective if you’re just wanting to get started and want the least amount of risk.
The first objective we’re going to cover is engagements. Now this is one you can pay either by the click or by the impression, and I would almost always recommend bidding by the click because it’s the least risky. This objective is going to optimize towards any sort of action on your ad. That means a social action like a like, a comment, or a share, a follow to your company page, visiting your company page, and even clicking your call-to-action link. This is the lowest cost objective, which can be really nice, and it’s really the objective you’re going to select if you want to get more company page followers along the way.
The next objective we want to cover is website visits. This is the one you’re going to want to select if your goal is just to get people to your landing page so that they can convert there, but again, I would almost always bid by the click, and as a little hack here, you can actually bid by the click for a video view, which can get you the cheapest video traffic possible through this objective as well.
The third objective we want to talk about are video views. Now this obviously applies only to video creative, but this is helpful to understand, by using the objective, you can bid by the impression or by the view. A view on LinkedIn’s video ads is two seconds. In general, on LinkedIn, you can expect to pay between about six to 14 cents per two second view, which is obviously much more expensive than Facebook, but again, we’re reaching a very specific, hyper-targeted audience here.
So, I would recommend using whichever bid type, cost per view or cost per impression, that gets you the cheapest costs, but there is another way to potentially optimize this as well. You can run video creative as website visits and pay only by the click. I would recommend running all three side-by-side in separate campaigns so you can find out which one actually gets you the lowest cost per click or the cheapest cost per conversion. If you want to use LinkedIn’s lead gen form ads, you have to select your objective as lead generation. These will allow you to have a form directly within the ad itself so you can skip the landing page experience entirely. With the lead generation objective, you can use this on any type of sponsored content or any type of sponsored messaging ads. You can pay by the cost per click or cost per impression, and I always recommend paying by cost per click because it’s the least amount of risk to you upfront. You can always change later. For more information about creating lead gen form ads.
Now this is really similar to website visits except LinkedIn is now starting to make decisions about who they want to show your ads to because they have some data about who tends to convert and who doesn’t. I’m certain that as time goes on and LinkedIn gets more and more data about their users, this will become more and more useful, and you might be wondering about other objectives we haven’t mentioned like brand awareness and job applicants.
Brand awareness really isn’t any different from engagement. They just take away the option of being able to pay by the click, and job applicants is really a specific use case that you’d only use if you were recruiting, and as promised, I’m going to give you my recommendation for the right ad format and objective that you should use when you’re just testing things out. So, anything that you do on LinkedIn ads, my recommendation is to always start by paying cost per click.
If you’re paying by the impression, and you have a bad ad no one clicks on, you’re going to keep spending money and not have anything to show for it, but if you’re bidding by the click and you have a bad ad, you’re going to only pay for the traffic that you get, and so a bad ad isn’t going to penalize you, you just didn’t spend any money.
I will recommend using the ad format of sponsored content first. It’s by far the most versatile, and I would start with the single image version, just because it’s a static image, very easy to create, very easy to change, and very easy to troubleshoot. If you’re sending traffic to your website, go with website visits, and if you want to keep that traffic on LinkedIn, and use LinkedIn’s lead gen forms, then use the lead generation objective, and chances are, LinkedIn is only a piece of your whole marketing mix.