Is The LinkedIn Audience Network More Expensive Than the Google Display Network?

Posted by on Nov 20, 2013 in Advertising, Search, Social | 6 Comments
Is The LinkedIn Audience Network More Expensive Than the Google Display Network?

I read a thought-provoking statement about the LinkedIn Ads Audience Network this week:

“As you can see, you might end up on Google sites with this option checked… and at the CPCs LinkedIn is charging you’re probably overpaying. I recommend deselecting the box.” – Robert Brady, Clix Marketing PPC Blog.

This is a thought worth exploring…

What is the LinkedIn Audience Network?

The LinkedIn Audience Network is a collection of websites that have partnered with LinkedIn to display ads from LinkedIn advertisers on their pages. Every time you create a LinkedIn Ads campaign, you have the option to opt-out of the Audience Network which will limit your ads to displaying directly on LinkedIn alone.

linkedin ads audience network

Should you opt-out of the Audience Network?

Is it really an overpriced Google Display Network?

At issue is LinkedIn’s disclosure that some sites in their Audience Network may also be part of the Google DoubleClick Ad Exchange. If you’re running similar campaigns on both networks, you could potentially see overlap. Additionally, since LinkedIn has a minimum CPC bid of $2.00 while Google’s is only $0.01, you could be paying unnecessarily high rates to show your LinkedIn ads on the same website.

Does a higher cost per click mean a higher cost per conversion?

So is the Audience Network overpriced? Probably. But just because the minimum bid in LinkedIn is higher for the same inventory doesn’t mean you should write it off as an overpriced Google Display Network. The value of LinkedIn advertising is in its ability to target an audience by their professional identity. Because of this, for many advertisers (especially those in B2B), LinkedIn can result in a much more profitable campaign.

For many advertisers, especially those in B2B, LinkedIn can result in a much more profitable campaign.

Scenario A: Google Display Network

Let’s say you’re running ads for a business that sells payroll software. You put $1,000 towards a Google display campaign and target your audience by topics related to payroll. This campaign then earns 1,000 clicks at an average CPC of $1, from which you get 25 leads resulting in a cost per conversion of $40. As it turns out, many of the clicks from this campaign came from people that weren’t actually qualified to make purchasing decisions for new payroll software.

Scenario B: LinkedIn Audience Network

In the second scenario, you put the same $1,000 towards a LinkedIn Ads campaign with the Audience Network selected. This time, you target your campaign to senior level HR professionals. Your ads show up on some of the very same websites as those in the Google Display Network campaign, but only because your targeted audience visited those overlapping sites. This campaign has a higher average CPC of $2 and only earns 500 clicks, but because these are clicks from a qualified audience of HR directors and VPs, a much higher percentage of them convert and you earn a total of 25 leads for a cost per conversion of $40.

You can learn effective targeting strategies for LinkedIn Ads in this post.

More inventory and possibly lower cost per conversion

So while it’s true that there may be overlap between the Google Display Network and the more expensive LinkedIn Audience Network, it’s possible that the difference in targeting capabilities result in a higher conversion rate lower cost per conversion to justify the difference in price.

I should note that ads that display directly on LinkedIn could have higher conversion rates because context matters and people browsing LinkedIn have business on their mind. So if you’re B2B and are targeting professionals or businesses, your first choice may be to show your ads directly on LinkedIn. But you’ll likely have trouble racking up enough impressions if you opt out of the Audience Network and limit your ads to LinkedIn.com. Although I personally waste more time LinkedIn stalking than I do Facebook stalking, I don’t think LinkedIn has the level of engagement Facebook does which means fewer ad impressions per user. If you’re not getting enough impressions and clicks for your LinkedIn campaign, enable the Audience Network.

If you’re not getting enough impressions and clicks for your LinkedIn campaign, enable the Audience Network.

Since impressions for your LinkedIn ads can be hard to come by, you’ll want to create a campaign that accesses the extra inventory available in the Audience Network. Your audience may not be thinking about work when your ad is shown, and the same ad slot may be available cheaper from Google, but you’ll know they’re the right person for your product and that could make all the difference.

For help getting familiar with advertising on LinkedIn, check out our Guide to LinkedIn Ads.

The Top 5 Facebook Reports – and How to Get Them

Posted by on Nov 19, 2013 in Advertising, Reporting, Social | 2 Comments
The Top 5 Facebook Reports – and How to Get Them

This post was originally published at FBPPC.com.

It’s always been easy to create ads in Facebook, but until recently, pulling reports with actionable data had been notoriously difficult. But now that Facebook reports have been completely overhauled, it’s easy to get the data you need to discover improvement opportunities. In this post, we’ll take a look at the Top 5 Facebook Reports along with detailed instructions on how to access them.

1. The Placement Report

The Facebook Placement Report breaks down your account’s performance by placement and device. This helps you discover the most profitable ad placements to optimize for and focus on.

In the example below, the ads placed in the news feed on mobile devices have the highest level of engagement. In light of this, it would make sense for this advertiser to create more ads for the mobile news feed. He/she can set the placement to include the mobile news feed only, upload the ideal images for that placement’s dimensions, and write ad copy and calls to action that take the mobile context into consideration.

Facebook Ads Placement Report

To access the Placement Report:

1. Visit the Reports page from the Ads Manager sidebar
2. Click the Edit Columns button above the table
3. Click Placement under Column Set on the left
4. Make any desired tweaks to the rows (data aggregation) and columns (metrics)
5. Click Save Columns

2. Demographic Report

The Facebook Demographic Report breaks down your ad performance by the age and gender of your audience. This way you can discover the most profitable customer to focus on and optimize for.

In the example below, women between the ages of 25–34 were highly engaged with the ads, while men were less inclined to click. In light of this disparity, it might make sense to separate your ads by their targeted gender in order to craft ads that men would respond better to.

facebook ads demographic report

To access the Demographic Report:

1. Visit the Reports page from the Ads Manager sidebar
2. Click the Edit Columns button above the table
3. Click Demographic under Column Set on the left
4. Make any desired tweaks to the rows (data aggregation) and columns (metrics)
5. Click Save Columns

3. Page Report

The Facebook Page Report includes page engagement metrics to show the impact each of your ads had on your Page. This way you can discover which ads are doing the most for your Facebook Page.

In the example below, the AdStage – Sponsored Stories ad has a lower Cost per Page Like, but with significantly lower volume. The advertiser may want to take steps to increase the volume of AdStage – Sponsored Stories by either raising the bid or expanding the targeted audience with the goal of getting more likes at a Cost per Page Like well below the $0.48 it costs him with the Likes – Ad Tech – PPC Interests ad.

facebook ads page report

To access the Page Report:

1.  Visit the Reports page from the Ads Manager sidebar
2. Click the Edit Columns button above the table
3.  Click Page under Column Set on the left
4. By default, this report shows your Page performance on the campaign level, but you may find it helpful to switch this to the ad level. To see ad level data, click Ad under Data Aggregation
5. Click Save Columns

4. Conversion Report

The Facebook Conversion Report includes conversion metrics to show performance relative to your conversion goals. This way you can discover which ads are helping you reach your goals.

In the example below, the AdStage – Website campaign has a lower Cost per Website Conversion than the AdStage – Likes campaign. The advertiser should compare the ad copy, images, and targeting to see if there is anything that can be done to lower costs in the AdStage – Likes campaign.

facebook ads conversion report

To access the Conversion Report:

1. Visit the Reports page from the Ads Manager sidebar
2. Click the Edit Columns button above the table
3. Click Conversion under Column Set on the left
4. By default, this report shows your conversion performance on the campaign level, but you may find it helpful to switch this to the ad level. To see ad level data, click Ad under Data Aggregation
5. Click Save Columns

5. General Report

The General Report is a great starting point for ad analysis and comes with a slew of performance metrics. You can either take it as it comes, or completely customize it to discover new opportunities.

general-report

To access the General Report:

1. Visit the Reports page from the Ads Manager sidebar
2. Click the Edit Columns button above the table
3. Click General under Column Set on the left
4. Customize this report by adjusting the:

  • Data Aggregation – Choose which levels of your account should be segmented (e.g., by Campaign).
  • Data Breakdown – Choose how the report should be further broken down (e.g., by Country).
  • Metrics – Choose which performance metrics you’d like displayed as columns (e.g., Cost Per Page Like).

5. Click Save Columns

Now that you know how to access and customize the top reports, spend some time analyzing your Facebook ads to see what opportunities you can discover! In digital marketing, every decision should be backed by data and these are precisely the reports can equip you to make data-driven decisions.

Which reports are your favorites? What changes do you like make to the default Facebook reports?

How to Audit Your LinkedIn Ads Account

Posted by on Nov 18, 2013 in Advertising, Social | 9 Comments
How to Audit Your LinkedIn Ads Account

LinkedIn is a relatively new ad network and is unfamiliar territory for most advertisers, even experienced veterans. So if you’re currently running ads on LinkedIn, you’ll want to review your account to make sure you’re taking full advantage of its capabilities, haven’t overlooked any important settings and aren’t letting issues stack up in your account. In this guide, I’ll walk you through a comprehensive audit to help you identify unique opportunities to improve your LinkedIn Ads account.

Here are the main sections I’ll cover:

    1. Account Level
    2. Campaign
    3. Campaign Targeting
    4. Ad
    5. Destination

As you go through the guide, feel free to check each section off. Now let’s get started!

Account Level Audit

The following steps will help you make sure your overall LinkedIn Ads account is in good shape.

Structure – Is there a clear structure to the account’s campaigns? A well-structured account helps prevent problems like gaps in audience coverage and helps you spot opportunities in your campaigns. It also makes it easier for colleagues to help manage your campaigns if your team grows.

Users – Are there any legacy users on your account that should have access to the revoked? Keep your user list current and remove the permissions of former employees, agencies, interns, etc. Also make sure the right users are assigned as the Billing, Campaign and Creative Contacts.

Linkedin ads user settings

Review your authorized users

Contact Settings – Are you set to receive all important email notifications? You’ll want to at least receive email notifications of rejected ads and campaigns ending.

linkedin ads contact settings

Review your contact settings

Conversion Tracking – Are you tracking conversions from your campaigns? With conversion tracking, you can optimize every aspect of your campaigns to maximize profit and eliminate wasted spend by measuring the impact ads have on your bottom line. Make sure you’re tracking the most important actions a visitor could take (e.g., shopping cart checkouts). LinkedIn doesn’t offer any native conversion tracking, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. To track LinkedIn Ads conversions with Google Analytics (or other web analytics platform), simply create a goal and tag your URLs with tracking parameters. You can also use the built-in conversion tracking in AdStage to track conversions across Google, Bing, Facebook & LinkedIn at the same time. 

Campaign Audit

Now that we’ve made sure your account level LinkedIn Ads settings are in good shape, let’s take a look at each campaign to make sure they’re set up optimally.

linkedin ads spend graph

Review your budget vs. spend

Budget – Is the campaign budget adequate? Is the campaign consistently depleting its budget? Graph the amount spent to see if your campaign is ever being capped by your budget. If it is, raise your budget in order to meet your goals. If the budget is maxed out, consider lowering your bids in order to reduce your cost per click– you just might get more clicks for your money.

Ad Quantity – Does the campaign have more than one active ad? Keeping multiple ad variations in a campaign makes it easy to test them and adds variety to the ads your customers see. Create new ads frequently to keep your tests active and fresh.

linked-ads-rotation

Test optimized ad rotation

Ad Rotation – Is your ad rotation set to optimize click-through-rate? If not, test this setting. Instead of serving your different ads equally, LinkedIn will display your higher performing ads more often.

Schedule – Is the campaign end date correct? Not every campaign will have an end dates specified, but if it does, make sure it reflects your intention for the campaign duration.

Campaign Targeting Audit

Now let’s focus on targeting options and how you can use them to reach your perfect audience.

Targeted Audience – Are you targeting the right audience? Review your targeted audience and take look closely for any targeting settings that seem out of place. Read this post for help targeting your perfect audience on LinkedIn.

Location  – Is the campaign targeting the ideal locations? Make your campaign is targeting only the places your business serves. Also consider creating campaigns that focus on your most profitable locations.

Audience Size – Is your audience size large enough to make an impact? Is it small enough to have focus? There’s no right number, but I’d recommend aiming for about 200,000 LinkedIn members for your first campaign. If you’re not getting enough impressions, relax your targeting to make the audience larger. If you’re not getting engaged clicks, try tightening your targeting to make the audience smaller and more focused.

Audience Network – Do your campaigns include the LinkedIn Audience Network? The Audience Network lets you show ads to your targeted audience outside of the LinkedIn website. This doesn’t cost anything extra and opens you up to more ad inventory. Unfortunately, you can’t see whether your existing campaigns are opted in or not, so I recommend appending “AN” to your campaign name whenever you opt-into the audience network so you can keep record for yourself.

Ad Audit

Now it’s time to address the part of your campaign potential customers see. Your ads are what you’re paying to promote, after all, so let’s make sure they’re strong.

Typos – Are there any typos or spelling issues in the ads? Typos reflect poorly on your business and obscure the message of your ad, so address any issues.

Calls to Action – Does each ad have a call to action? Tell your customers what the next step they should take is and you’ll see an increase in the number of them that actually follow through. For help writing ads, read 5 Tips For Creating Effective Ads.

Freshness – Have new ads been added in the past month? LinkedIn seems to favor new ads, so update them frequently to keep impression volume from dropping. You can also create new campaigns to regain impression volume.

Sponsored Updates – Have you tried using sponsored updates? These native ads  can have much higher engagement than standard ads and are a great way to expand the reach of your Company’s messaging. Check out this post to learn how to launch sponsored updates.

Destination Audit

Finally, let’s review your ad destinations to make sure you’re making the most of the traffic your ads generate to your website.

Company Page Quality – Is your LinkedIn company page in need of updates? If your ads are tied to your brand’s LinkedIn page, review the page and perform regular maintenance, like updating contact info, descriptions, etc.

404 error

Make sure landing pages work

Landing Page Errors – Are any ads pointing to error pages? Landing page problems break your ads, frustrate potential customers and are a complete waste of money. Update the destination of ads with broken landing pages to make sure your money goes towards ads that can actually lead to conversions.

Landing Page Quality – Are you sending traffic to the right pages of your website? The messaging on your landing page should match that of the ad. If your ad is advertising a specific product, don’t send customers to your homepage and make them search– take them straight to that product so they can engage immediately. Review the destination of each ad to make sure the most relevant destination is being used.

Landing Page Optimization – Are the landing pages optimized for conversions? You’re going through a great deal of effort to bring customers to your website so ask yourself: is there anything I can do to make a greater percentage of visitors convert on my site? Consider removing distractions from the landing page, adding a clear call to action, testing headlines, etc.

For more help, check out our Complete Guide to LinkedIn Ads.

To supercharge your LinkedIn campaigns and make management even easier, sign up for AdStage here:

Learn about AdStage for LinkedIn

Quick Start Guide to Analyzing Facebook Ads Performance

Posted by on Nov 11, 2013 in Advertising, Social | 14 Comments
Quick Start Guide to Analyzing Facebook Ads Performance

My first foray into Facebook ads was back in 2008. Even then, Facebook offered an extremely easy way to start advertising to your perfect audience. But while it was easy to create ads, measuring and optimizing their performance was much more difficult and I was always left wanting more data, like what was available in AdWords. But recent changes to Facebook’s reporting have made it much easier to access the different levels of data you need to make informed decisions. In this post, I’ll give you an overview of Facebook Ads dashboards and reporting to help you get familiar with the analysis that guides your optimization efforts.

Facebook ads sidebar Facebook Ads are laid out fairly simply and the three key areas we’ll cover are campaigns, ads and the new reports.

Campaigns

Facebook Ads Campaigns

The campaign view is very simple and should provide a birds-eye view of your account performance split up by campaign. Here are the metrics presented:

  • Results – The number of actions as a result of your ad. The results you see here are based on your objective (applicable to recently created ads only).
  • Cost Per – The average you paid for each action according to your objective.
  • Reach – The number of people who saw your ads.
  • Start Date – The date a campaign is eligible to start running.
  • End Date – The date a campaign is scheduled to stop.
  • Budget – The maximum you’re willing to spend on each campaign, per day or in the lifetime of the campaign.
  • Remaining – The amount still left in this campaign’s daily or lifetime budget.
  • Total Spent – The total you’ve spent on this campaign during the dates selected.

Your campaigns house your ads and are where you set your budget. Your optimization goal is to allocate money towards your best performing campaigns, according to your objectives.

Ads

Facebook Ads Campaign View of Ads

Clicking into a campaign will present the performance of each ad in your campaign. Here are the metrics you’ll see:

  • Results – The number of actions as a result of your ad. The results you see here are based on your objective (applicable to recently created ads only).
  • Cost Per – The average you paid for each action according to your objective.
  • Ad Reach – The number of people who saw this ad.
  • Frequency – The average number of times each person saw your ad.
  • Clicks – The total number of clicks this ad received. This can also include Page likes, event joins and app installs that came from your ad.
  • CTR – The percentage of time your ad was clicked when it was shown.
  • Avg. Price – The average price you paid for each action, each click or each time the ad was shown 1,000 times.
  • Total Spent – The total you’ve spent on this campaign during the dates selected.

Your ad must capture the attention of your audience and compel them to click. Since your ad is competing with clever Buzzfeed articles and pictures of friends on vacation, it really has its work cut out for it. Test new ads frequently and compare their performance to find the winners. Your optimization goal is to pause weak ads and fund those that perform best.

Optimization Examples

When analyzing your ads, you’ll want to compare each ad’s metrics to others in the campaign. Here’s a few examples of what you could find:

  • Low CTR – This means people aren’t clicking on your ads when they appear. This could be because your ad isn’t capturing their attention, or it may be irrelevant to the people you’re targeting. Try creating new ads that are more compelling, or modify your targeting settings to reach an audience that’s more receptive to your offer.
  • Low Impressions – This means your ads aren’t running very often. It could also be because your bids are too low or your target audience is too small. Try raising your bids in order to top competing advertisers, or try relaxing your targeting to increase its size.
  • High Average Price – This means your cost is too high for the amount of actions you’re earning. This could be because your bids are too high and/or your actions are too infrequent. Try reducing your bids to lower your overall cost, or create new ads that are more up-front about your offer in order to limit clicks from people that won’t take action, thus increasing your actions and lowering your cost. This post will help you qualify customers with your ads.
  • High Frequency – This means your ad is being shown to the same person many times. This could be because your bids are too high or your target audience is too small. Try reducing your bids to show up less frequently, or try relaxing your targeting to increase its size so your ads reach a wider group of people.

Keep in mind that targeting is set on the ad level, so the ad’s targeting must be considered when looking at its performance.

Graphs

Facebook Ads Line Graph

While the tables present aggregate performance data for a given time period, they fail to show you how metrics fluctuate over time. Because of this, it’s helpful to review the line graphs to see how and when a metric has changed. Look for peaks, valleys and trends to measure the impact of changes you’ve made, along with any affects of seasonality or changes in the competitive landscape.

Reports

Facebook Ads Reports Home

Facebook’s new reporting interface provides access to previously unavailable metrics and offers many new ways to slice and dice your data. Follow these steps to access and create custom reports:

  1. From the Reports page, click Edit Columns in order to customize the data.
    Facebook ads edit columns buton
  2. Select a Column Set to get started with a report template.
    • General – This report provides a general overview of your performance details.
    • Page – This report focuses on the impact your ads have had on your Page.
    • Offsite – This report focuses on ad clicks.
    • App – This report focuses on the impact your ads have had on your apps.
    • Conversion – This report focuses on the impact your ads have had on conversions.
    • Demographic – This report breaks down ad performance by age and gender.
    • Geographic – This report breaks down ad performance by country.
    • Placement – This report breaks down ad performance by placement and device.
  3. Customize your reports by selecting Dimensions (rows) and Metrics (columns).
    • Data Aggregation – Choose which levels of your account should be segmented (e.g., by Campaign).
      Facebook Ads Report Data Aggregation
    • Data Breakdown – Choose how the report should be further broken down (e.g., by Country).
      Facebook Ads Report Data Breakdown
    • Metrics – Choose which performance metrics you’d like displayed as columns (e.g., Cost Per Page Like).
      Facebook Ads Report Metrics

Make an effort to examine the metrics available for each of your ad types and compare the performance of the different ad copy, images and targeting to draw conclusions from the data. Also try breaking down your data in new ways for additional levels of detail. Lastly, explore the different metric columns and read their tooltips to get familiar with what they reveal and your Facebook ad optimization efforts will be a breeze!

How to Audit Your Facebook Ads Account

Posted by on Nov 1, 2013 in Advertising, Social | 11 Comments
How to Audit Your Facebook Ads Account

You might be able to run the same old PPC ads on the same old search keywords without any significant dip in volume, but you won’t get away with that with Facebook Ads since they require regular maintenance to keep click-throughs high. Even when you update your ad images and copy regularly, there are many other aspects of your account that can fall through the cracks. In this guide, I’ll walk you through a comprehensive account audit to identify opportunities to improve your Facebook Ads account.

Even when you update your ads regularly, other aspects of your account can fall through the cracks.

facebook ads sidebar

Here are the main sections I’ll cover:

  1. Account
  2. Campaigns
  3. Ads
  4. Ad Settings
  5. Destinations

As you go through the guide, feel free to check each section off. Now let’s get started!

Account Level Audit

The following steps will help you make sure your overall Facebook Ads account is in good shape.

Structure – Is there a clear structure to the account’s campaigns? A well-structured campaign helps prevent problems like outdated ads and helps you spot opportunities in your reports. It also makes it easier for colleagues to help manage your campaigns if your team grows. Group your campaigns together according similar traits like goal or targeted audience.

Admins – Are there any admins that should no longer have access to the account? Keep your admin list current and remove the profiles of former employees, agencies, interns, etc.

Email Settings – Are you set to receive all important email notifications? You’ll want to at least receive email notifications of ad disapprovals, ads that require editing, and perhaps even periodic account summaries.

Conversion Tracking – Is conversion tracking set up? Is it working? Are the right conversions being tracked? With conversion tracking, you can optimize every aspect of your campaigns to maximize profit and eliminate wasted spend by measuring the impact ads have on your bottom line. Make sure you’re tracking the most important actions a visitor could take (e.g., shopping cart checkouts).

Facebook Conversion Tracking

Track conversions from your ads

 Custom Audiences – Have custom and similar audiences been created? Custom audiences allow you to upload a list of customers to target or exclude. This helps you advertise to leads or past customers exclusively, or to exclude current customers from your audience.  Update your custom audience lists or create your first. For help, read How To Use Custom & Lookalike Audiences with Facebook.

Facebook Custom Audiences

Update or create custom audiences

Campaign Level Audit

Now that we’ve made sure your overall Facebook Ads account is in good shape, let’s take a look at each campaign to make sure they’re set up optimally.

Budget – Is the campaign budget adequate? Is the campaign consistently depleting its budget? Review your spend and budget to make sure your best-performing campaigns have a high enough budget to meet your goals. If the budget is maxed out, consider lowering your bids in order to reduce your cost per click– you just might get more clicks for your money.

Facebook Campaign Date

Review your end dates

Schedule – Is the campaign end date correct? Not every campaign will have an end date, but if it does, make sure it reflects your plans for the campaign duration.

Ad Quantity – Does the campaign more than one active ad? Keeping multiple ad variations in a campaign makes it easy to test them and adds variety to the ads your customers see. Create new ads frequently to keep your tests active and fresh.

Ad Audit

Now it’s time to address the part of your campaign potential customers see. Your ads are what you’re paying to promote, after all, so let’s make sure they’re strong.

Address any disapproved ads

Address any disapproved ads

Approval Issues – Are there any ads marked as disapproved? Approval issues keep your ads from running but can be fixed quickly. If you find any, make the required change and set a reminder for yourself to check back in a few days to make sure the issue has been resolved.

Typos – Are there any typos or spelling issues in the ads? Typos reflect poorly on your business and obscure the message of your ad so address any issues.

Calls to Action – Does each ad have a call to action? Tell your customers what the next step they should take is and you’ll see an increase in the number of them that actually follow through. For help writing ads, read 5 Tips For Creating Effective Ads.

Freshness – Have new ad images and copy been added in the past month? Ads must be updated frequently so your audience doesn’t get fatigued causing click-through rates to drop. Create new ads with new images regularly.

Ad Types – Are the appropriate ad types being used to to reach the goals? Facebook frequently changes the ad types you can choose from and each type caters to a different purpose (e.g., Mobile app install ads). Review the current options from the ad creation screen to see if there is one that works better, given your goals.

Ad Settings Audit

Next we’ll take a look at your ad settings to make sure they’re configured for the maximum impact.

Location  – Are the ad location targeting settings appropriate? Make sure your ads are targeting only the locations your business serves. Also consider creating ads that only target your most profitable locations.

Placements – Do the ads cover all placements? Are there any placements that should be more heavily targeted? Now that Facebook allows you to choose from a wide list of placement on the screen on which your ads can display, you can craft custom ads that take advantage of each placement. You can also generate a report that includes the “placement” column to analyze your performance by placement and use it to give a placement extra attention when creation new ads.

Facebook Ad Placement Report

Analyze your placement performance

 Top Audiences – Have the top audience targeting settings been used in other ads? Since audience targeting is on the ad level, it’s easy to lose track of which audience types are perform best. Review the best performing ads and see if they have any targeting settings in common. Use this as inspiration to create new ads that target these top audiences.

Audience size – Do ads target a large enough audience size? While it’s ok to have a highly targeted ad with a small audience size, you’ll want to create other ads that target the rest of your potential audience as well. Consider increasing the audience size of low volume ads by relaxing the targeting settings, or create additional ads with larger audiences to get broad coverage.

Age – Have the appropriate ages been targeted? Age data on Facebook is fairly accurate and is a great way to exclude users that may be too young or too young then your demographic. If your customers tend to be a specific age, consider narrowing your age targeting to focus on your target age group.

Custom Audiences – Are custom audiences being used where relevant? Custom audiences can be used to target past customers, exclude current customers, and more. Review your current audiences and consider how they can be used to improve your ad performance. For example, when trying to get more page likes, you could target your customer list since they are

Conversion Specs – Have conversion specs been specified for ads? If you use Optimized CPM bidding in the Power Editor, Facebook will automatically optimize your bids for a specific action (e.g., likes, clicks, etc). If no conversion spec is specified, Facebook will choose an action by default, depending on the ad type. If you have a specific action goal for the ad (like video plays), make sure to define it. For help, read Facebook Conversion Specs.

Destination Audit

Finally, let’s review your ad destinations to make sure you’re making the most of the traffic your generating.

Facebook Page Quality- Is the brand Facebook page in need of updating? Many of your ads are tied to your brand’s Facebook page, but small teams may find it difficult to keep it up to date when they’re focusing on paid channels. Review the page and perform regular maintenance, like updating contact info, descriptions, etc.

404 error

Make sure landing pages work

Landing Page Errors – Are any ads pointing to error or “out of stock” pages? Landing page problems break your ads, frustrate potential customers and are a complete waste of money. Update the destination of ads with broken landing pages to make sure your money goes towards ads that can actually lead to conversions.

Landing Page Quality – Are you sending traffic to the right pages of your website or tabs on your Facebook Page? The messaging on the ad’s landing page should match that of the ad. If your ad is advertising a specific product, don’t send customers to your homepage and make them search– take them straight to that product so they can make a decision to buy. Review the destination of each ad to make sure the most relevant destination is being used.

Landing Page Optimization – Are the landing pages optimized for conversions? You’re going through a great deal of effort to bring customers to your website; is there anything you can do to make the most of the visitors you already have? Consider removing distractions from the landing page, adding a clear call to action, testing headlines, etc.

Top 5 Reasons Your Facebook Ad Has Limited Reach

Posted by on Oct 8, 2013 in Advertising, Social | 2 Comments
Top 5 Reasons Your Facebook Ad Has Limited Reach

This post was originally published at FBPPC.com
Facebook Reach

So Facebook said your ad targeting had a potential reach of 60,000, yet you’ve only reached 9,000 since you launched your campaign. What happened to the other 51,000 potential customers?

It’s easy to feel shortchanged but there’s a number of reasons why you may not reach all of your potential audience and there are even some easy ways to fix it.

First, let’s recap the terms and metrics we’re analyzing to evaluate our reach:

Potential Reach is the unique number of people you have the potential to reach based on your ad targeting. Potential Reach also gives you an idea of how narrow your targeting is. If the number is too large, you may be wasting ad impressions on people that are less than ideal and you could narrow down your targeting and be more selective. If the number is too small, your ads are targeted too narrowly and your targeting should be relaxed.

Campaign Reach is the number of unique people who actually saw ads from your campaign. We’ll explore the causes of low campaign reach below.

The 5 Causes of Low Facebook Reach

1. Budget

The most likely reason your reach is limited is you have an insufficient ad budget. A low budget means you’ll miss out on opportunities to show your ads. Raising your budget will let your ads run more frequently and for longer in the day…

2. Active Users

Another likely cause is your targeted audience hasn’t been active on Facebook. Let’s face it, all 60,000 of these potential users haven’t necessarily logged into Facebook since your ads began running.

A 15 year-old with drama will rack up more Facebook ad impressions than a conservative 50 year-old will.

They also may not have spent enough time on Facebook to see your ad. The more time they spend browsing on Facebook, the more opportunities your ad has to reach them. A 15 year-old with drama will rack up more Facebook ad impressions than a conservative 50 year-old will. It’s possible that your target audience is less active on Facebook and you’ll need to adjust your expectations, or target a wider audience.

3. Bids

Like with budget, a low bid will reach fewer users. It’s true: throwing more money at your ad’s can help improve your reach. Keep in mind you’re competing in an auction with many advertisers and limited ad inventory so raising your bid will give you a better chance at beating out other advertisers and reaching more of your targeted audience.

4. Relevance

Are your ads relevant to your audience? Facebook takes relevance into consideration when deciding which ads get displayed to users. To make sure your ad has a fighting chance at reaching your audience, make sure it’s relevant to them. You may need to make several ads that each target a different segment of your audience. This allows you to craft your ad image and copy to be more relevant to your target audience.

5. Time

The last cause of limited Facebook reach is the easiest (and cheapest) one to fix! Your ads just may need more time to run. To fix this, do nothing. Just wait. Because the more time you allow for your ads to run, the more people they will have an opportunity to reach.

Now get out there and reach more Facebook users!

How To Use Broad Categories with Facebook Ads

Posted by on Oct 7, 2013 in Advertising, Social | 19 Comments
How To Use Broad Categories with Facebook Ads

According to Facebook, 137,663,700 of their users are away from family. This isn’t data from a recent report… I pulled it by simply looking at the reach estimates provided for the “Away from Family” broad category. Maybe they relocated for a job, are away for college or even emigrated to the US in pursuit of the American Dream. Regardless of why they’re away, they’re apart from family and likely miss them. Why does this matter?

Having this level of insight about your audience allows you to create extremely relevant ads.

Facebook Broad Category Away From Home

As a marketer, having this level of insight about an audience is wonderful. For example. if I’m advertising a video chat platform, I could create some powerful ads that acknowledge the loneliness that comes from being away from family and highlight the joys of talking face-to-face over video chat with them. It’s an emotional roller coaster just thinking about it and if I were away from family, I’d click that ad!

So what makes this “Away from Family” targeting possible? Broad categories.

What Are Broad Categories?

Broad categories are predefined targeting categories provided by Facebook that group users according to their Likes and Interests, apps they use, Pages they like and other profile content they’ve provided. With broad categories, you can easily and comprehensively reach a desired audience on Facebook by selecting it from a list.

facebook-broad-categories-politics

For example, you can now reach people who like conservative US politics with a single category selection rather than adding every conservative interest individually. It’s like a ready-to-go cluster of targeting settings!

Some Awesome Example Categories

Here are some of my favorite examples of broad categories. They highlight the unique targeting available for Facebook advertisers:

  • Currently Traveling
  • Owners of Old Computers
  • Small Business Owners
  • Technology Early Adopters
  • Frequent Casual Diner
  • Has Birthday in 1 week
  • New Job
  • New Serious Relationship
  • Recently Moved
  • Engaged (6 months)
  • Expecting Parents
  • Long Distance Relationship
  • Parents (child: 13-15yrs)
  • Politics (US Non-Partisans)
  • Blackberry Mobile Users
  • Bollywood Movies
  • Reggae Music
  • Luxury Goods

How to Get Started

To take advantage of these broad categories:

  1. Browse the categories available from the audience targeting section of Facebook’s ad creation.
  2. Note which ones match your personas.
  3. Brainstorm ways you can tailor an ad to promote your product or service to that audience.
  4. Consider the other targeting settings (like location) to further narrow your reach towards your ideal audience without wasting your money on people that are unlikely to be your customer.
    • If you select additional targeting setting like gender, it will act as an “and” clause. E.g., Users that are women and are in the category “Pets (Cats).”
    • If you select multiple broad categories, it will act as an “or” clause. E.g., Users in either “Away from Family” or “Long Distance Relationship.”
  5. Finally, create at least one relevant ad for each category.

For more on Facebook ad targeting, read How to Target Facebook Ads to Your Perfect Audience.

The AdStage Guide to Facebook Ads

Posted by on Sep 5, 2013 in Advertising, Social | 5 Comments
The AdStage Guide to Facebook Ads

Editors Note: This post was updated on January 2, 2014

Facebook Ads give you the opportunity to reach potential customers from the over 1 billion people on Facebook. Facebook is unique in that, while you can target by the location, gender, and age, you can also target likes and interests, relationship status, workplace, and the education of your target audience. In this guide, we’ll walk through Facebook Ads to get you familiar with the ad network.

Campaign Creation

When setting up your first ad, you’ll need to define your objective. Your choice will affect which settings are exposed to you during ad creation to simplify the process and Facebook will also report on your chosen objective.

facebook ads objectives - website clicks

  • Clicks to Website: Get people to visit your website.
  • Website Conversions: Promote specific conversion events for your website.
  • Page Post Engagement: Promote your Page posts.
  • Page Likes: Get Page likes to grow your audience and build your brand.
  • App Installs: Get people to install your mobile or desktop app.
  • App Engagement: Get people to use your desktop app.
  • Offer Claims: Create offers for people to redeem in your store.
  • Event Responses: Increase attendance at your event.

Writing your ad

  • facebook adImage: Your image should be eye-catching and relevant to your copy. Try to use a clear image that will still look good when viewed as a small thumbnail.
  • Headline: This is the most noticeable text in your ad so make sure it will capture a person’s interest and encourage them to read the rest of your copy.
  • Copy: Make sure to explain what you’re advertising along with the details of your products, services, and offers. Keep in mind that people are not actively looking for your offer, so you’ll want to write copy that will pique their interest. Your landing page can close the deal.

Targeting

facebook ads targeting ageAfter creating your ad, you will be able to choose the specific audience for your ad. You’re sure to be impressed with the ways Facebook lets you precisely target an audience by demographics, attributes and interests. Here are some of the ways you can choose who will see your ad:

  • Location: Target people by where they live.
  • Age: Target people by how old they are.
  • Gender: Target people by their gender.
  • Interests & Categories: Target people by their interests.
  • Connections:  Target people by Pages they like.
  • Custom Audiences: Target specific people by email address or other identifying information.
  • Advanced: Target people by language, education, workplace, etc.

For a detailed breakdown of the different targeting options along with how to best use them, read our Guide to Facebook Ads Targeting.

Budgets

Your daily budget is your spend limit on a specific campaign each day, so it should be an amount you’d be comfortable spending per day. Each campaign will have a separate budget and your ads will run until the budget has been met for that day. You’ll never accrue charges in excess of the budget you set. Additionally, you can also set a lifetime budget to spend over the entire scheduled duration of a campaign. Learn how to set your campaign budgets.

Bidding

There are two main bidding methods with Facebook Ads:

  1. Bid for Clicks (CPC) – This bid is for each time a person clicks your ad. This bidding method works well if you want to drive traffic to your website.
  2. Bid for Impressions (CPM) – This bid is for each 1,000 times your ads are shown. This bidding method works well if you want to increase awareness of your brand.

facebook ad pricing modelMost people opt for the CPC bidding option, which means they’re charged according to the number of clicks they get on their ads. When you run your ad or sponsored story on Facebook, you will only be charged for the number of impressions (CPM) or clicks (CPC) it receives. The amount that you pay will never be more than your daily or lifetime budget and there are no additional fees associated with running ads or sponsored stories on Facebook. The larger your budget, the more people a campaign is likely to reach.

Facebook’s ad system uses an algorithm that chooses the best ad to display based on a variety of factors, including the historical performance of each ad and their bids. The bid necessary to display your ad will fluctuate as Facebook learns more about your ad based on its actual performance, and as the pool of competing ads changes.

Analysis & Optimization

Tracking your results

While creating Facebook Ads is fairly straightforward for new advertisers, analyzing performance after the campaign has launched can be more difficult. Learn how to analyze campaigns and ads and create reports in our Guide to Analyzing Facebook Ads Performance.

If your goal is to generate leads, inquiries, or sales that result from the clicks  you receive, you’ll also want to configure conversion tracking on your website in order to attribute those actions to your ads on Facebook and evaluate performance.

Improving your ads

You can find the best performing ad text for your targeted audience by testing multiple ads and evaluating results regularly.

  • Description: Include a clear action you want your audience to take in the body text of your ad. Also be sure to highlight your benefits and any special promotions.
  • Image: Make sure your image is relevant and eye-catching. Also be sure to update your images frequently as your customers can quickly become fatigued.

Improving your targeting

  • facebook ads audience size gaugeTest an ad with broader targeting
    Make sure you are not targeting too few people. If your targeting is too narrow, the delivery of your ad or sponsored story may be limited. To improve the performance of your ad, try relaxing your current targeting to expand your potential audience.
  • Test an ad with narrower targeting
    If you narrow down your targeting, you can reach people that will be most interested in your ad. You can check your Ad Reports and Page Insights to see who is responding to your ads and add additional targeting filters to reach the most relevant audience.

If you’re not satisfied with the number of people your ad actually reaches, read the Top 5 Reasons Your Facebook Ad Has Limited Reach for tips to improve it.

Auditing your account

Finally, you’ll want to audit your account every few months or so to make sure there are no major issues or missed opportunities. Check out our comprehensive Facebook Ads Audit Guide for an easy-to-use checklist.

How to Target Facebook Ads to Your Audience

Posted by on Aug 23, 2013 in Advertising, Social | 28 Comments
How to Target Facebook Ads to Your Audience

This post was updated on May 20, 2014

Getting started with Facebook advertising is a pretty exciting experience. You’ll be impressed with the way Facebook lets you surgically target your ad’s audience with an impressive array of settings like demographics, attributes and interests. More than any other network, Facebook knows its user’s gender, age, and likes which you can use to focus your ads on the best audience. In this post, we’ll review the different audience targeting options Facebook Ads provides.

Audience Size

Before we dive into the different targeting options, it’s important to point out that you’ll need to be mindful of how large your target audience is.

  • Broad – Targeting too many people means you’ll end up showing your ads to people who aren’t likely to be your customers. This will limit how effective your ads are and it will take a big budget to reach your audience.
  • Specific – Targeting too few people can also limit how effective your ads are. While the people who see your ads may be highly relevant, you could end up barraging a small audience with your ads, instead of distributing your budget to many potential customers.
  • Clearly Defined – Your goal is to land somewhere in the middle with your targeting. So try to target somewhere between the extremes: 1,000 and 180,000,000 people.

facebook ads potential reach targeting size

Custom Audiences

Here you can target custom audiences you’ve previously created. Custom audiences allow you to upload a contact list to target or exclude with your Facebook ads. For example, you could upload a list of customers that placed an order on your website and add them as a custom audience. You can then advertise to this list to encourage repeat orders which may perform well since they already have a relationship with your company. Alternatively, if you sell a subscription product, you could exclude active subscribers to focus on acquiring new subscribers.facebook ads targeting custom audiences

You can also create a similar audience list (known as lookalikes) based on your custom audience. This is great for advertising to an audience that’s similar to your best customers. For more, read our post on How To Create Custom & Lookalike Audiences.

Location

First, you’ll need to choose at least one location to narrow down who should see your ads. You should set it to where your potential customers are. You can select countries, states or provinces, cities and zip codes. To make things even easier, you can target a radius. For example, if you’re advertising a bakery in Dallas, Texas, you can include cities within 10 miles of Dallas. This will include Facebook users that live in this location to your campaign’s audience.

facebook ads location

Age

facebook ads ageHere you can target the age range of your audience. You can specify any age range between 13 and 64 or choose “no maximum” age. If your typical customers skew towards a certain age, you can select that range. For example, a life insurance provider may choose to target people between 35 and 55. This will include Facebook users within that age range to your campaign’s audience.

Gender

facebook ads targeting genderHere you can target the gender of your audience. If your typical customers skew towards a certain gender, you can select that gender here. For example, a nail salon may choose to target women only. This will include Facebook users of that gender to your campaign’s audience.

Languages

Here you can target the language your audience speaks. This is helpful when the language your audience speaks is uncommon in the targeted location. For example, a law firm that works with immigrants may want to target their audience by their native language.facebook ads targeting languages

Demographics

Here you can select several more demographic categories to narrow down your target audience.

  • Relationship
    • Interested In – Here you can target your audience by the gender they’re interested in. For example, a dating site may target those interested in women so they can create an ad with an image of a woman along with ad copy about meeting women. One caveat with this targeting option is that Facebook officially describes this as “interested in a specific gender for friendship, gender, a relationship or networking.” That’s extremely inclusive– so your mileage may vary.
    • Relationship Status – Here you can target your audience by their relationship status. For example, a dating site would (hopefully) target single people only and avoid wasting money on people in relationships.

facebook ads targeting relationships

  • Education
    • Education Level – Here you can target your audience by the level of education they’ve completed. For example, a business school may choose to target people that have graduated college with a major in Business.
    • Fields of Study – Here you can target your audience by their college major. For example, a business school may choose to target graduates that majored in computer science for an MBA program.
    • Schools – Here you can target your audience by school they studied at. For example, if you’re trying to reach Stanford graduates, you can enter “Stanford University.”
    • Undergrad Years – Here you can target your audience by the year they graduated. For example, a business school may choose to target recent college graduates for a graduate degree program.
  • Work
    • Employers – Here you can target your audience by where they work. For example, a high-end restaurant in Mountain View may target employees of Google. This will add all users that have indicated they work there to your audience.
    • Job Titles – Here you can target your audience by their job title. For example, a caterer may choose to target people with the job title “event planner.”
    • Industries – Here you can target your audience by the industries they work in. For example, a regional sales conference may choose to target people working in Sales.
    • Office Type – Here you can target your audience by the type of office they work in. (US Only) For example, an office supply store may choose to target people working from a home office.

facebook ads targeting work

  • Financial
    • Income – Here you can target your audience by their annual income. (US Only) For example, a luxury car dealership may choose to target people with an annual income over $125,000.
    • Net Worth – Here you can target your audience by their net worth. (US Only) For example, a financial advisor may choose to target people with a net worth over $2,000,000.
  • Home
    • Home Type – Here you can target your audience by their home type. (US Only) For example, a landscaper may choose to target people living in single-family homes.
    • Home Ownership – Here you can target your audience by whether they’re homeowners or renters. (US Only) For example, an insurance company may choose to target renters in order to promote renter’s insurance policies.
    • Home Value – Here you can target your audience by the value of their home. (US Only) For example, a real estate agent may choose to target homeowners with a home value between $600,000 and $1,000,000.
    • Household Composition – Here you can target your audience by their household composition. (US Only) For example, a travel agent may choose to target Empty Nesters who are more free to travel.

facebook ads targeting home

  • Ethnic Affinity – Here you can target your audience by the ethnicity they have an affinity towards or interest in. (US Only) For example, a Spanish-speaking church may choose to target Hispanic people that speak Spanish as their primary language.
  • Generation – Here you can target your audience by the generation they identify with. (US Only) For example, a financial advisor may choose to target Baby Boomers since retirement will be on their mind.
  • Parents

    • All Parents – Here you can target parents by the age of their children. For example, a babysitting service may choose to target parents of children 4-12 years old.
    • Moms – Here you can target mothers by their specific interests or lifestyle. (US Only) For example, a car dealership may choose to target Green Moms with an ad for a 7-passenger hybrid.

facebook ads targeting parents

  • Politics – Here you can target your audience by their political affiliations. (US Only) For example, a Democratic candidate for Mayor may choose to target registered Democrats in his city.
  • Life Events – Here you can target your audience by life events they’ve had. For example, a wedding planner may choose to target people that are newly engaged.

Interests

This is a powerful targeting method because Facebook’s “Like” feature makes user interests incredibly accurate. Here you can target topics your audience is interested in. For example, if you’re advertising power tools, you can select the “Home improvement” interest, or the more precise “craftsman”  interest. This will include all Facebook users that have indicated the interest to your campaign’s audience.

facebook ads targeting interests

Behaviors

Here you can select behaviors you’d like to target. You can choose from purchase behaviors, device usage and more. For example, an e-commerce website may choose to target “Online buyers” since they should be more comfortable making purchases online. I’m sure you’ll find the various categories Facebook Ads provides both impressive and helpful.facebook ads targeting behaviors

More Categories

Here you can find Facebook & Partner Categories you’ve requested access to. Don’t be disappointed if the options in this field are sparse.

Connections

Here you can target your audience by their connection to your pages, apps or events. You can specify people that are connected, aren’t yet connected or whose friends are connected to your page, app or event. For example, if you’re trying to get more likes on your page, you can exclude those that are already connected to your page and target your campaign to people whose friends are connected to your page. This will generate new likes for your Facebook page from users whose friends already like your page.facebook ads targeting connections

Test Your Targeting

Once you’ve selected the audience to target with your first ad, be sure to experiment with other audiences as well. There is an endless number of combinations to test and you’re bound to find a better audience than the one your created on your first attempt.

The AdStage Guide to LinkedIn Ads

Posted by on Aug 15, 2013 in Advertising, Social | 15 Comments
The AdStage Guide to LinkedIn Ads

This post was updated on August 14, 2015

With LinkedIn Ads, advertisers can finally promote their business to a targeted professional audience. Ads on LinkedIn can target the information entered by members on their resume-like profiles or from information entered by other members, such as skills they’ve endorsed. An example of the powerful targeting available in LinkedIn is targeting ads to director-level IT professionals only. In this guide, we’ll walk through the different pieces of LinkedIn Ads to help you get started.

Where Ads Display

(This feature has since been deprecated, updated 8/14/2015)

Ads appear to your target audience when they visit various pages on LinkedIn.com. They can also be set to show across other website that are part of the LinkedIn Audience Network (details below).

where linkedin ads display

Ads on LinkedIn

Up to 3 LinkedIn Ads are shown in each ad placement on the website. Ads are placed on:

  • Profile Page – when members view the profile of other LinkedIn members.
  • Home Page – the page members see when they sign in to LinkedIn.
  • Inbox – the page where members see messages and invitations to connect.
  • Search Results Page – the page that results when you search for a member by name.
  • Groups – when members view pages in their group.

Ads could also be shown in a text link advertisement at the top of the home page. Images and logos in the ad may be omitted in this situation.

LinkedIn also recently added the ability to sponsor company updates. These promoted posts will display in the content feed.

Sponsored Updates on LinkedIn

Businesses with LinkedIn company pages can also promote their posts with “Sponsored Updates.” Sponsored Updates are LinkedIn’s native ad type and display directly within the LinkedIn feed, even across devices on both mobile and tablets. Learn more about creating Sponsored Updates.

linkedin sponsored update with content

Ads on the LinkedIn Audience Network

The LinkedIn Audience Network is a collection of websites that partner with LinkedIn to display ads on their pages. This allows you to use the same LinkedIn-specific targeting to reach professionals when they are visiting other websites. Note that partner websites may also be part of the Google Display Network so it’s possible to have overlap.

Suppose you’re targeting LinkedIn members who are IT directors. If you run your ads on the LinkedIn Audience Network, your ads could display to IT directors when they visit LinkedIn and when they visit other websites in the LinkedIn Audience Network.

More about the LinkedIn Audience Network:

  • The LinkedIn Audience Network is available at no extra cost.
  • Excluding the network could limit how much your ad is shown.
  • You can add or remove the LinkedIn Audience Network at any time, even after you’ve launched your campaign.

Targeting Options

When creating an ad, you can choose to display it to specific viewers based on their industry, job function, seniority, geography, and more. LinkedIn won’t show your ad to members who don’t meet the targeting criteria you specified. As you select your targeting options, you’ll see an estimate of the audience size you’re able to reach.

Learn how to target LinkedIn ads to your perfect audience.

Creation

Ads

LinkedIn ads are made up of a headline, a description, a URL and an image. The ads that perform best will be relevant to the target audience and have a clear and compelling message:

  • Headline – Choose a headline that really grabs the attention of your target audience. Keep in mind that people on LinkedIn are in a different frame of mind than when they’re browsing other websites. Take advantage of that.
  • Description – Give people a reason to take notice and click to learn more. You can do this by highlighting your special offers, unique benefits, whitepapers & content, free trials or demos. Also include strong call-to-action phrases like Try, Download, Sign up or Get a Quote.
  • Image – Include an image with your ad that’s relevant to what you offer. Bright colors are more likely to capture the attention of your audience. The maximum size of the image is 50 pixels wide by 50 pixels high, so be sure that the contents of your image are still readable when they’re that small.

LinkedIn Ad Anatomy

Here are some tips to create strong and relevant ads:

  • Try calling out the group you’re targeting; it improves click throughs.
  • Make the ad relevant to your target audience.
  • Images of professionals tend to work best, but always be testing.
  • Stick to only 3-4 ads per campaign.

LinkedIn Ad Tips

Targeting

LinkedIn uses the information provided by members to target their professional identity. Here’s an example of the some of the information found in LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner’s profile.

LinkedIn Ads Member Profiles

When creating your campaign, there are a number of ways to target your ads in order to reach the most relevant audience. You can use any combination of these targeting options:

  • Location
  • Company
    • Company Name
    • Industry
    • Company Size
  • Job Title
    • Specific Job Title
    • Job Function
    • Seniority
  • Schools
  • Skills (Example: HTML or Project Management)
  • LinkedIn Groups
  • Gender
  • Age

Narrow your target audience to focus on the people who are most likely to be interested in what you offer. Make sure to create ads that resonate with that particular audience.

Learn how to target LinkedIn ads to your perfect audience.

Geography

Geographic targeting helps you focus your advertising on the areas where your customers are. Choose one or more locations for your campaign. Avoid narrowing your audience to the city level as it will decrease your target audience dramatically.

Industry

LinkedIn Ads Industries

Top LinkedIn Industries

You can also target by categories of companies (known in LinkedIn as Industry) if you’re trying to reach people of various job functions within an industry. Examples of industries include: Real Estate, Banking, and Automotive.

Job Function

Targeting by job function will allow you limit your ads to people who are in one of 20 broad job functions. If your offer appeals to multiple job functions, you could create a campaign for each function. This will let you tailor your ads to each function.

Here are some example job functions:

  • Academics: Includes teachers, professors, and science researchers
  • Administrative: Includes admin. assistants and program/project management
  • Creative: Includes artists, designers, musicians, writers, and journalists
  • Engineering: Includes engineers, developers, architects, and quality assurance
  • Finance: Includes bankers, investment managers, financial advisors, and insurance agents
  • Information Technology: Includes IT workers, system and database administrators
  • Marketing: Includes advertising and marketing professionals, market researchers
  • Operations: Includes operations roles, logistics professionals, facility managers, and manufacturing roles

Job Title

If job function isn’t specific enough, target by exact job titles and customize your ad text for those people. When you enter a job title, LinkedIn Ads will suggest similar titles. However, your audience will consist of people whose current job title matches the titles you select.

LinkedIn Groups

People express their interests, skills, and expertise by joining LinkedIn Groups. You can also target by adding members of groups to your target audience. When those people visit various pages on  Linkedin (not just in LinkedIn Groups), they can see and click on your ads.

You can search for groups using the LinkedIn Groups Directory.

Exclusions

You can also specify exclusions for each of these targeting options in order to prevent subsets of your audience from seeing your ads. This is a great for when there are segments of your target audience that have a lower value to you.

For example, if leads from the hometown of your biggest competitor never seem to work out, you can add that metro as an excluded location. This way, they won’t see your ads and you can focus your budget on a more profitable audience.

Just think through what qualifies your leads and apply exclusions where relevant. This strategy helps you keep your target audience large without wasting your budget on lower quality leads.

Bids

You can choose between two different bidding options for your ads: Cost-per-click (CPC) and Cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM).

With CPC, you will pay each time someone clicks on your ad. Your bid is the maximum amount you’re willing to pay for each click by a member of your target audience. This is the recommended bidding option for most advertisers.

With CPM, you will pay each time your ad is shown 1,000 times on LinkedIn, no matter how many clicks you receive. Your bid is the maximum amount you’re willing to pay for each thousand impressions of your ad.

LinkedIn provides a Suggested Bid Range field to help you select a bid by estimating the competing bids from other advertisers. Keep in mind your bid will compete with other advertisers for impressions and clicks. So the higher you bid, the more likely you are to receive impressions and clicks. While there is no set cost for ads, there is a $2.00 minimum bid for advertising on LinkedIn.

Budget

Your Daily Budget is the maximum amount that you’re willing to spend each day. Once your budget is depleted, your ads will stop showing that day. Your spend may be lower on weekends than weekdays since most people visit LinkedIn during the workweek.

Optimization

Evaluating Performance

If your goal is to generate leads, inquiries, or sales that result from the clicks that you receive, you need to configure conversion tracking on your website in order to attribute those actions to your ads on LinkedIn and evaluate performance. Keep your goal in mind as you create your ads, target the right audience, and choose the best landing page on your site.

Improving Performance

To get more clicks at a lower cost per click (CPC)

  • Test new ads. One of the easiest ways to get more clicks and reduce your average CPC is to improve the click-through rate (CTR) of your ad. In general, the higher the CTR, the lower the CPC you’ll need to bid to receive impressions and clicks. The best way to increase the CTR is to test multiple variations of ad text and images.
    Your CTR is a good indicator of how well your ad is performing. According to LinkedIn, good ads generally have a CTR greater than 0.025%.
  • If the CTR of your ad drops, refresh the ads with new images or ad text. A good practice is to refresh your ads at least once per month.
  • If your CTR is lower than 0.025%, create and test new ad variations. Even small changes can improve the CTR significantly. You can also try narrowing your target audience so that your ad becomes more relevant and will receive more clicks.

To generate more leads or sales

  • Review your targeted locations to make sure your ads are shown to people in the places you do business in.
  • Refine your targeting to reach your ideal customers. Are there any job functions or industries you should focus on? Make sure you’ve selected the targeting that fits your prospective customers.
  • Send people to the best landing page. The landing page is the page that people are sent when they click on your ad. The information on that page should be related to the products, services, or events that are mentioned in your ad. If people can’t easily find what they’re looking for, they’ll leave.
  • Improve your landing page. Your quality of your landing page and website can determine how many of your visitors do what. Here are a few tips for creating the best landing page:
    • Keep things simple. Don’t clutter your page with too much text, images, or competing messages.
    • Make sure the messaging of your page matches your ad.
    • Offer relevant and useful information that you’ve mentioned in your ad to give users a reason to stay and take action.

To generate more awareness about your business

  • Test more images. Your ads should include images that portray your products or services well. Take advantage of the full 50×50 pixel space. Read more about creating effective ads.
  • Test paying by CPM. With a CPM bid, you’ll be paying each time your ad is shown 1,000 times.

To increase the number of times your ad is shown or clicked

There are a number of factors that affect how many impressions and clicks your ad receives. This includes how competitive LinkedIn ads are and how big your target audience is.

  • When selecting which ads to show, LinkedIn factors in the performance of each ad and its bid. If your ad isn’t receiving enough impressions or clicks, you can either increasing your maximum bid or improve the ad text and image.
  • You can also edit the audience targeting to make it more broad or narrow. It also helps to include information that is specific to your target audience in ad text.

Lead Collection

(This feature has since been deprecated, updated 8/14/2015)

LinkedIn Ads offer a Lead Collection feature that lets advertisers collect leads directly through their LinkedIn ad campaigns. WIth this feature enabled, members who click on your ad can easily request that you contact them. For each lead, you’ll see the member’s name, headline, a link to their LinkedIn profile, and an optional email address. You’ll be able to send a free follow-up message to them on LinkedIn.LinkedIn Ads Lead Collection

Budget

If you’re not receiving as many impressions and clicks as you’d like, this could be because your Daily Budget is too low. If your total spend per day is close to your Daily Budget and you’d like to receive more impressions and clicks, increase your Daily Budget.

Please note that LinkedIn is unique in that their advertising “day” is based on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which starts at 4 PM Pacific (7 PM Eastern) in the U.S.

To supercharge your LinkedIn campaigns and make management even easier, sign up for AdStage here:

Learn about AdStage for LinkedIn