The Campainless Blog
If you’ve read any of our other blogs, you know we’re returning to the essentials with this one. We’ve shifted from how to leverage specific ad formats and sophisticated budgeting strategies to the elementals: ad creation.
But as any pro marketers know, nailing the basics is key to success.
In this article, we’ll show any beginners, experts who want a refresher or agency reps who are setting up a campaign for a new client – exactly how to create a LinkedIn advertising campaign from scratch. Let’s get into it.
We assume because you’re reading this article, you’re already planning to build a LinkedIn advertising campaign (and understand the value of doing so). But it’s probably worth going through a quick debrief of why you should invest in LinkedIn Ads before we get started.
LinkedIn is the advertising weapon of choice for many B2B marketers. One of the key reasons we think these marketers find it so compelling and a staple to any marketing mix is the advanced targeting features available in the platform. You can get in front of your exact audience with the specificity, nuance and accuracy that no other platform allows.
On top of the rich audience options, the users who operate on the platform are likely already in a work/career mindset when they see your ads. This means that they are likely to be more receptive to work-related content and advertising than they might be on other platforms e.g. Facebook where the focus is more personal.
These are just 2 of the many benefits of the platform that you can use to justify an investment to your manager, team or client.
Before we even start on the steps of creating a LinkedIn ad campaign, there are some essential pitstops you need to make on the way there. This includes setting up your company page and creating a campaign manager to run your ads. Without these two assets, you simply can’t do anything ads-wise!
If you haven’t already got a LinkedIn Page for your company, you’ll need to create one. Luckily, the setup process is pretty simple! All you need to do this is have a personal LinkedIn account, a valid email address and click on the button in your dashboard “Create a Company Page.”
The prompts from here are pretty easy to follow, just a few steps, LinkedIn will decide whether you have the ability to create a company page and if so, you’ll have one in minutes. We’d recommend sprucing up your page a bit before you reach the advertising steps. Though this is not essential, it’ll just have a positive impact on the results of any ads you run.
Secondly, if you don’t already have one, you need to build a Campaign Manager account. This is the advertising hub where you’ll create all your campaigns, build ads and view performance and reporting. Like creating a company page, the steps for setting up a Campaign Manager are pretty easy to follow.
On your homepage, click “Work” and select “Advertise.” LinkedIn will prefill Account Name, company page and currency – you can customise any of these. Once you’ve made any changes all you need to do is “Agree & Create Account” and then you’re ready to advertise.
Now the prerequisites are done, it’s time to get into the meaty portion of this article – how to create LinkedIn Ad. Before we jump into the actual steps, make sure you’re logged into your Campaign Manager account and are ready to get started.
So, you’ve signed in and want to create a LinkedIn Ad campaign. The first step in this process, is choosing a campaign group for it to sit in. If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll probably need to create one (or use the default one).
We’d recommend creating one of your own because you can customise it to your own needs and make it easy for organisation and attribution. All you need to do is click “Create a New Group,” give it a name and then click next.
Once you’ve got a Campaign Group, it’s time to select an objective for your campaign. LinkedIn has a diverse range of objectives, that align with different goals you might have for your campaign.
They are also split out according to different stages of the marketing funnel. The options include: Brand awareness, Website Visits, Engagement, Video Views, Lead Generation, Website Conversions and Job Applicants.
It’s super important that you make the right decision here. Your LinkedIn Ads are unlikely to perform well if they are not set up with the right objective attached to them. After all, this is what Linkedin will optimise towards and there are limits and capabilities for each objective that will impact performance.
After selecting your objective, it’s time to choose your audience: Who your ads will be shown to. Who you will be targeting. This is arguably the most important decision you’ll make in the entire campaign-creating process and one of the most powerful levers the LinkedIn Ads platform has. No pressure!
You have several options and a wealth of choice when it comes to Audience selection. The default option is to create a demographic audience based on a list of filters, which include Location, Job title, Seniority, Job Function, Company Size, Company Names, Member Groups, Interests and more.
Our favourite combo is Location (Cities or Countries), Job Function, Seniority and Company Size. You could use a list you’ve built specifically with prospects or create a lookalike based on a list you have (e.g. customers).
Next, it’s time to choose your format. This is the type of ad you will be opting for in your campaign. Options include: Single image ads, Video ads, Carousel ads, Event ads, Conversation ads, Message ads, Lead Generation form ads, Text ads, Spotlight ads and Follower ads.
Each of these ad formats have its own set of advantages and disadvantages, it just depends on the specific objectives of your campaign and the creative resources you have at your disposal. While you can’t mix up the types of ads you use within one campaign, you do always have the option to test different ad formats in different campaigns to see which ones resonate most with your audience.
A/B testing is recommended in every aspect of campaign set up – though it depends on your budget and resources.
Budgeting and scheduling come after choosing your format. Here, you decide the budget you will delegate to the campaign. And you have the option to set a daily budget or lifetime budget, or a mix of both.
We typically select daily budget because it’s the best way to ensure pacing is consistent and spread evenly. If there’s an end date you had in mind (i.e. it’s a time-sensitive campaign), you’ll want to also add in an end date when setting up your budget.
Then you’ll also be prompted to choose the optimisation goal, your bidding strategy and bid for the campaign (if you choose manual). We recommend matching the optimisation goal with the objective e.g. if Brand Awareness is the objective, choosing “Reach” as your goal makes sense.
For your bidding strategy we recommend choosing Manual to start with, and Maximum delivery if you see any issues with spending your budget. When it comes to what bid you should start with, we recommend starting as close to the floor as possible.
Now you move onto the second page of the campaign set-up, where you build the LinkedIn ads you will promote with your campaign. Dependent on the ad format you have chosen (and the objective), the creative set-up might be slightly different.
This might look like different character requirements from a copy perspective or specs depending on the banner or video or carousel requirements.
However, the bare bones are the same. Click “Create Ad,” input the creative, the copy and the CTA and then click “Create.” We recommend at least two creatives in each of your ad campaigns – minimum.
You’ve crossed off all the key components of your LinkedIn ad campaign and it’s ready to go! We’d recommend giving it one last look over, from start to finish, before going ahead and launching it. Check your creatives for any spelling mistakes, or set up issues, check your bids are inputted correctly and that the budget is A-OK.
Then, we trust you, it’s time to launch!
At Campainless, we have a team of experts who know all there is to know about LinkedIn Ads. If you have any questions about the platform, how to set up a campaign effectively or need a little help doing so, we are more than happy to help.
If you’re interested in a more long-term solution, our AI-backed LinkedIn optimisation tool can help you optimise after your LinkedIn Ad campaigns are out there in the LinkedIn feed and delivering to your target audience. It provides real-time performance improvements to help you achieve the results you’re looking for.