Getting to Know Facebook Ads Interest Targeting

Posted by on Mar 21, 2014 in Advertising, Social
Getting to Know Facebook Ads Interest Targeting

This section is an expansion of our Guide to Facebook Ads.

Facebook Ads are a cost effective option to reach a specific audience with your advertising message. In addition to demographic targeting (location, age, gender, marital status, and education level), Facebook offers an additional rich layer of targeting know as Interests.

This option allows advertisers to target Facebook users based on pages they have liked, their activities, and interests.


When creating a new ad, Facebook displays a select group of preset options an advertiser can choose from known as categories, in the interests field.

FB Interest Categories_Blog

Each of these main category pillars can be clicked into, revealing more defined targets.

FB Interest Categories_2_Blog

Precise Interests

Advertisers also have the option to type in keywords directly into the interests bar. As each letter is entered into the search field, Facebook will reveal new targeting choices.

FB_Precise Interest Targ_Blog

Tip: Facebook will not show every available targeting option in this view. By adding different variations, more targeting options will be revealed.

E.x.: Lebron James + a

 FB_Precise Interests_2_Blog

Lebron James + b

FB_Precise Interests_3_Blog

Audience Reach

As each new interest category is added, it affects the potential reach of your Facebook ads.

(D) Reach: The number of unique Facebook users who are being actively targeted and could potentially see your ad.

FB_Audience Definition Dial_Blog

While adding each individual interest target, pay close attention to the number of Facebook users who might see your ad, known as the potential reach. This dial on the right hand side helps you understand how large of an audience might see your message. Facebook has also added a dial labeled audience definition which acts like a gauge, informing you if the ad targeting is too broad or too specific.

Targeting too broad of an audience can lead to poor performance  spending budget on Facebook users who might not be your best potential or current fans. If the ad targeting is too refined, your ad might show at a high frequency to a small audience, causing a negative experience.

Tip:  Broader targeting is great for increasing brand exposure, awareness, and new fan growth. While specific targeting is ideal for focused goals, such as increasing engagement on your brand page or driving certain website actions.

Wrap Up

Before creating any Facebook advertising campaign, take time to define what type of Facebook audience you would like to reach and have a clear goal for what the ad campaign should accomplish. This will help in generating cost effective results.

If you are interested in learning about Facebook’s broad categories targeting, you can reference our guide, “How to Use Broad Categories with Facebook Ads”.

Taking Advantage of Facebook’s New Campaign Structure

Posted by on Mar 5, 2014 in Advertising, Product Updates, Social
Taking Advantage of Facebook’s New Campaign Structure

Have you heard the news? Facebook is rolling out a brand new campaign structure. The goal of the new structure is to make it easier for you to organize, optimize and measure your ad performance. So how exactly does it work and how can you make the most of it? I’ll explain all you need to know about the change and how to take advantage of it right here.

What’s Changing

Up until this change, Facebook campaigns had two levels: campaigns housed ads directly. Your schedule and budget lived at the campaign level and your objective, bid and targeting lived at the ad level.

Now, campaigns have an additional level between campaigns and ads called “ad sets.” Search advertisers may liken this to the “ad groups” used in Google and Bing campaigns, but there are some big differences. In this new structure, you’ll create campaigns for each of your objectives. Then you’ll create ad sets with their own schedule and budget (that’s right, budget is on the ad set level).  Ads still include their unique bids and budgets, but they no longer include the objective since that’s already been set at the campaign level.

Take a look at this table to see the features available for each of these entities:

facebook l3 campaign entity features

Features available for each Facebook Ad entity

Facebook explains the three levels as:

  • Campaign – You’ll choose an advertising objective for each campaign you create and that campaign will consist of one or more ad sets. This will help you optimize and measure your results for each advertising objective.
  • Ad Set – An ad set will have one or more ads and you’ll continue to define the budget and schedule for each ad set. You can create an ad set for each of your audience segments by making the ads within the ad set target the same audience. This will help you control the amount you spend on each audience, decide when each audience will see your ads, and see metrics specific to each audience.
  • Ads – Ads will now live within ad sets. You’ll continue to define your creative, target your audience, and select your bidding at the ad level. Multiple ads should be created in each ad set so our system can optimize for variations in images, links, video, text or placements.

How It Will Affect You

Every single account will be migrated and the changes will roll out to every interface: the Facebook Ads create tool, Ads Manager, Power Editor and even third-party ad tools like AdStage. Facebook will migrate your account to the new campaign structure sometime between March 4 – 30, 2014. You’ll know you’ve been migrated when you see ad sets added to your campaigns.

What Will Happen to Your Existing Campaigns

new campaign structure for facebook  ads

All of your ad campaigns (even the ones you’ve deleted) will be migrated to the new campaign structure and will now have one ad set containing all existing ads.

Facebook says this won’t change the delivery, spend, reporting or performance of ads in your existing campaigns, but you want to revisit your schedules, budgets and ad sets to make sure they match your campaign goals.

How to Structure New Facebook Ad Campaigns

In light of these changes, you’ll want to structure your Facebook ad campaigns a little differently moving forward.

  1. One campaign for each objective – First define your objectives and create a campaign for each of them (e.g., create a campaign for generating mobile app installs).
  2. One ad set for each audience – Next, define the different audiences you want to target for this objective (e.g., Males 24-36, Females 24-36) and create one ad set for each audience. Note: You won’t actually define the audience in the ad set, but rather in the ads.
  3. Diverse use of creatives – Finally, create multiple ads within each ad set. Facebook recommends you use different images, links, video, text and placements in your ads, but also that you use the same target audience and same bid type for each ad within an ad set. This strategy will allow Facebook to optimize your campaign to use the best-performing ads.

Once you’ve been migrated to the new structure, make sure to share your tips and tricks in the comments below!

Profit From Mobile with Facebook Ads

Posted by on Jan 31, 2014 in Advertising, Social
Profit From Mobile with Facebook Ads

facebook logoFacebook has figured out mobile. What was once a threat has now become 53% of their ad revenue and has contributed to some serious earnings growth. In honor of this impressive feat, let’s take a look at how companies with mobile apps can profit with Facebook’s mobile app install ads, mobile app engagement ads, and the new mobile app custom audiences.

Drive Installs with Mobile App Install Ads

iphone 5s adstage facebook mobile install ad

First announced in late 2012, Facebook’s mobile app install ads have become an industry standard and are a proven way to drive installs and increase app discovery. They’re set up just like traditional Facebook ads, however, rather than directing people to a webpage, you can link them directly to your listing in the appropriate app store.

For example, I could promote the AdStage iPad app with a Facebook mobile app install ad. It will then display to people who like AdWords when they’re using the Facebook app on their iPad. The ad will display directly in their newsfeed and will encourage them to install it directly on their device, by way of our App Store listing.

Facebook even provides an SDK that you can install in your app to track installs generated from your ads. You can also use the SDK to exclude people who already have your app installed from ever seeing your ads. This means all of your ad spend can efficiently go towards installs.

Drive Engagement with Mobile App Engagement Ads

But for many apps, especially free apps, getting an install is only half the battle. To make money, you’ll need customers to use the app again and again. So how do you keep your app from being forgotten? You can drive people who already have your app installed to engage by using Facebook’s mobile app engagement ads. These ads help encourage users to open up the app and take a specific action once inside (there are 7 call to action buttons to choose from).

For example, an education app could promote their latest tutorial to their users. And rather than seeing a button with “Install Now,” they’ll see “Watch Video.” Clicking the button will launch your app and deep link them directly to the featured video in the app!


Target Specific Users with Mobile App Custom Audiences

facebook mobile app custom audienceOn Tuesday, Facebook revealed an even more exciting update to its mobile app ads. Now you can advertise to people who have taken specific actions in your app– this is a really powerful way to segment your audience to hit them with timely messages. It’s just like Facebook’s custom audiences, except there’s no need to upload any files, you simply define the event.

For example, JackThreads used an early version of this feature to target people from their mobile app who added items to their carts but didn’t actually checkout. Advertising to cart abandoners earned them an 8x return on ad spend!

Profit From Mobile Like Facebook Does

With this full suite of mobile app ads on Facebook, you can be clever with your ads. You can drive new app installs, promote engagement to people who already have it installed, and reach segments of your users with targeted messaging to monetize your installed base.

So what goals do you have for your mobile app and how can these products get you there? Create a mobile app campaign today so your profits can soar like Facebook’s!

Speed Up Facebook Ad Creation With Saved Audiences

Posted by on Jan 24, 2014 in Advertising, Social
Speed Up Facebook Ad Creation With Saved Audiences

This post was originally published at

In the course of managing your Facebook Ads account, you tend to target the same basic audiences again and again. But configuring your audience repeatedly can get really tedious. Thankfully, Facebook’s Power Editor offers a handy feature that lets you save your audience targeting settings for repeated use. Don’t worry; the process is extremely easy and helpful. In this post, I’ll walk you through the steps to create and use saved audiences.

Creating a New Saved Audience

You can create and save a new audience, from scratch, within the Power Editor Audiences tab.

  1. Open the Power Editor and select your ad account.Facebook Ads Power Editor
  2. Click “Audiences” in the left navigation.
  3. Click “Create Audience.”facebook ads create audience
  4. Choose “Saved Target Group” from the dropdown that appears.
  5. Name your new audience and select your targeting.facebook ads targeting settings

Your audience will be automatically saved as soon as you upload the changes in the Power Editor.

Saving an Existing Audience

You can also extract and save an audience from an existing ad by selecting the ad within the Power Editor.

  1. Select your campaign from the Campaign Filter.
  2. Select the ad with the audience targeting settings you’d like to extract.
  3. Click “Save Audience.”facebook ads save audience
  4. Name your new audience and adjust your targeting as desired.

Your audience will be automatically saved as soon as you upload the changes in the Power Editor.

Using a Saved Audience

Once you’ve saved an audience group, you can easily use them in your ads.

  1. Begin creating (or modifying) your ad.
  2. Click the “Audience” tab.
  3. Click “Use Existing Targeting Group.”
    facebook ads use saved target audience
  4. Select your saved audience from the dropdown.

Get Started With Saved Audiences

Saved audiences make it quicker for you to target the perfect audience on Facebook. Simply create your different audiences once and save them for future use. Then you’ll be able to apply them to ads on demand. At the very least, you should build one saved audience with your basic targeting settings and then modify it slightly for each ad.

Also Try Custom Audiences

While saved audience groups make it easy for you to reach new customers on Facebook, Custom Audiences let you reach existing customers. Make sure you know how to use custom audiences to generate repeat orders and drive customer loyalty.

5 Must-Try Tips for Optimizing LinkedIn Ads [Slideshow]

Posted by on Jan 8, 2014 in Advertising, Social
5 Must-Try Tips for Optimizing LinkedIn Ads [Slideshow]

Interested in getting more from your LinkedIn Ads? Not sure what to try next? Check out these five must-try optimization tips to boost your campaign performance and earn more impressions, clicks and leads! You can also read the original blog post here.


Quick Start Guide to Analyzing Performance in LinkedIn Ads

Posted by on Jan 2, 2014 in Advertising, Social
Quick Start Guide to Analyzing Performance in LinkedIn Ads

Once you’ve created and launched a LinkedIn Ads campaign, you’ll need to analyze its performance and look for opportunities to optimize and improve it. In this post, I’ll give you an overview of the LinkedIn Ads dashboards and reporting interface to help you get comfortable analyzing your ad campaigns on LinkedIn.

The LinkedIn Ads platform has a fairly simple interface and to get started, we’re going to review the “Ads” section of the ads manager. This will bring you to a table presenting each of your campaigns.

linkedin ads header

All Campaigns

The campaign view provides a high-level look at your overall account performance over a pre-selected date range (which you can change). linkedin ads campaign table

The table below the graph displays your performance split up by campaign. Here are the metrics presented:

  • Status – Whether your campaign is on, off or hidden.
  • Budget – The maximum you’re willing to spend on each campaign.
  • Clicks – The number of times ads in this campaign were clicked.
  • Impressions – The number of times ads in this campaign were shown.
  • CTR – Clickthrough rate is how often people who saw ads in this campaign ended up clicking it. CTR is clicks divided by impressions.
  • Leads – The number of people who requested that you contact them through LinkedIn’s Lead Collection Tool (if utilized).
  • Avg. CPC – Average cost-per-click is the average amount that you’ve been charged for a click on your campaign’s ads. Average CPC is spend divided by clicks.
  • Total Spent – The amount you’ve been charged for your campaign.

Your campaigns house a set of ads and are where you set your budget and targeting settings. Your optimization goal when looking at your campaigns together is to allocate money towards your best performing campaigns, according to your objectives.

Individual Campaigns

Clicking into one of your campaigns will present you with that campaigns details, the highlight of which being the Ad Variations table showing the performance of each ad in your campaign.

linkedin ads ad table

Here are the metrics you’ll see in the ads table:

  • Status – Whether your ad is on, off or hidden.
  • Clicks – The number of times this ad was clicked.
  • Impressions – The number of times this ad was shown.
  • CTR – Clickthrough rate is how often people who saw your ad ended up clicking it. CTR is clicks divided by impressions.
  • Avg. CPC – Average cost-per-click is the average amount that you’ve been charged for a click on your ads. Average CPC is spend divided by clicks.
  • Total Spent – The amount you’ve been charged for your ads.

The ads in this table are essentially competing against each other in order to display to your targeted audience. Whichever ad displays must capture the attention of your audience and compel them to click. Because of this, you want to test ad variations frequently and compare their performance in order to find the winners. Your optimization goal is to pause weak ads and fund those that perform best.

 See a Campaign’s Engaged Audience

When looking at an individual campaign with performance data, you’ll see the following bar below the graph. Click it to see your campaign’s engaged audience.

linkedin ads show summary of who clicked

With this data, you can see the type of audience that has clicked on your ads. These insights can prove helpful when analyzing your ad performance.

linkedin ads summary of who clicked

Optimization Examples

When analyzing your ads, you’ll want to compare each ad’s metrics to others in the campaign in order to guide your optimization. Here’s a couple 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 on the page, or it may not be interesting enough to the people you’re targeting. You could pause the ads with the lowest CTR in order to serve you higher performing ads more frequently. You should also try creating new ads that are more eye-catching and compelling.
  • Low Impressions – This means your ads aren’t be shown very often. It could also be because your target audience is too small, but more commonly it’s because your bids are too low. Try raising your bids in order to top competing advertisers, or try relaxing your targeting in order to increase the number of people your ad is eligible to display to.

For more optimization help, check out 5 Must-Try Tips for Optimizing LinkedIn Ads.


The campaign and ad tables show you your aggregate performance data for a given time period, but they fail to show you how your performance metrics change 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 the changes you’ve made.

linkedin ads graph


linkedin ads reports

LinkedIn’s reporting interface allows you to create a CSV spreadsheet of you performance. Follow these steps to generate your report:

  1. Visit the Reports tab.
  2. Select your desired report type:
    • Campaign Performance – This report provides a spreadsheet of your performance split by campaign.
    • Ad Performance – This report provides a spreadsheet of your performance split by ad.Customize your reports by selecting Dimensions (rows) and Metrics (columns).
  3. Set your desired date range.
  4. Select how you’d like your performance broken down further:
    • Day – Splits your performance by day.
    • Month – Splits your performance by month.
    • Year – Splits your performance by year.
  5. Click Download CSV.

And for more advanced reporting that presents your LinkedIn data side-by-side with Google, Bing & Facebook campaigns, check out the AdStage all-in-one ad management platform:

Learn about AdStage for LinkedIn

Creating Better Facebook Ads With Page Insights

Posted by on Dec 19, 2013 in Advertising, Social
Creating Better Facebook Ads With Page Insights

This post was originally published at

Are you the admin of a Facebook Page? If it’s kept active and has a following, there’s a wealth of potential insight about your audience at your fingertips You can even use this data to guide experiments and improve your Facebook Ads! This post will walk you through some examples of Page Insights to show you how you can apply the data to create better performing ads.

Using Page Insights With Ads

Facebook’s Page Insights reveal a lot about the people that engage with your brand and how they go about it. Once armed with these learnings, you can apply them to your strategy to improve your Facebook ads.

facebook page see insights

You can access these insights as a page admin by visiting your brand page and clicking “See Insights” in the top right of the Admin Panel. Once inside, you’ll be able to view the full suite of insights Facebook provides to learn about your fans and see how they engage with your brand.

Let’s check out the sections Facebook advertisers will find most interesting:

1. People Engaged

facebook page insights people engaged

What it shows: Rather than simply seeing who likes your page, this insight will reveal data about the people who have actually interacted with it recently. That means people who have liked, commented, or shared your posts in the past 28 days.

How to find it: You can access it from Page Insights by clicking the “People” tab followed by “People Engaged.”

How to use it: You can use the People Engaged insight to:

  • Discover the age of your most engaged Facebook fans.
  • Discover the gender of your most engaged Facebook fans.
  • Discover the location of your most engaged Facebook fans.

With this data, you can start testing ads that target these attributes in hopes of earning better results by focusing your spend on only the most engaged audience.

For example, an advertiser found that women on Facebook between the ages of 25-34 are more engaged with their brand than women aged 35-44, even though their performance in retail stores differs. The advertiser may then create new ads that target younger women exclusively on Facebook, resulting in a higher CTR and better results from their campaign.

2. Post Types

facebook page insights post types

What it shows: This insight shows the average reach and engagement of each of the three different post types: Status, Photo & Link.

How to find it: You can access it from Page Insights by clicking the “Posts” tab followed by “Post Types.”

How to use it: You can use the Post Types insight to discover which post type your Facebook fans engage with most. (You can ignore the Reach metric since paid reach isn’t limited the way organic reach is because throwing money at it solves that problem.) Then use your findings to choose which post types to promote more frequently with ads, or to guide your ad creation.

For example, if you find your photos have the highest average engagement, you could begin to promote image posts or focus on creating news feed ads with large images.

3. When Your Fans Are Online

facebook page insights when fans are online

What it shows: This insight looks at the last week and reports the days and times when your audience is on Facebook. (Note that the times shown reflect your computer’s time zone.)

How to find it: You can access it from Page Insights by clicking the “Posts” tab followed by “When Your Fans Are Online.”

How to use it: You can use the this insight to create ads that consider the days and times your audience is most active on Facebook.

For example, a florist may find that their audience is typically online when their store is still open. This may lead them to change their ad’s copy to promote more calls and in-person visits than online orders.

4. All Posts Published

facebook page insights posts

What it shows: This insight shows the engagement metrics of each post published in the past 3 months.

How to find it: You can access it from Page Insights by clicking the “Posts” tab, then scrolling down to “All Posts Published.”

How to use it: You can use the All Posts Published insight to find individual posts with above average reach and engagement. If any stand out as top performers, consider promoting them or build ads with similar characteristics or structure.

For example, an ecommerce site may find that posts about sweaters are performing especially well on Facebook this month. This may lead them to start featuring sweaters more prominently in their ads.

What Can It Do For You?

Using your Facebook page insights is by no means a silver bullet for all advertisers, but it is a helpful tool for your toolkit. You never know where you’ll find the next insight that will take your campaign performance to the next level. For many advertisers, these insights will help guide effective audience targeting and craft high-performing ads!

5 Reasons B2B Marketers Must Test Linkedin Ads

Posted by on Dec 19, 2013 in Advertising, Social
5 Reasons B2B Marketers Must Test Linkedin Ads

If you’re a business-to-business marketer, LinkedIn Ads needs to be on your radar. It’s a unique channel with targeting capabilities that vary greatly from search, display and other social networks. Here are 5 reasons B2B marketers need to test LinkedIn Ads to see how the channel performs for their business.

1. Reach Potential Customers According to Their Job

The greatest advantage of LinkedIn Ads over other ad networks is the ability to target your audience according to their profession. That means you can show ads directly to decision makers and influencer at your target businesses. You can target by job functions (e.g., finance), industry (e.g., biotechnology), job titles, company name and more to reach potential customers in your niche.

For example, if you’re trying to reach online advertisers, you can target the people with the skills “PPC,” “Online Advertising” and “Google AdWords.” This will include all LinkedIn members that have indicated they are skilled in these areas to your campaign’s audience.

We target a niche within a niche…

“One of the things we like best about LinkedIn Ads is the ability to reach our exact audience” said Intelliworks VP of Marketing Dan Obregon. “We target a niche within a niche – the people specifically responsible for student recruitment within higher education institutions.”

2. Get Higher Quality Leads

LinkedIn Ads can be a terrific source of high quality leads because you can configure your campaigns to ensure that only qualified people see your ads. This sets LinkedIn apart from other display & social ads that can be affected by poor performance because visitors may be curious but not actually qualified. Because you know that the person who sees your ad is qualified to be your customer, you can expect higher quality leads from LinkedIn Ads.

The cost per lead is about the same, the difference is the quality.

For example, if your decision makers tend to be IT Directors, you can enter “Director of Information Technology” as a job title. This will include all LinkedIn members that currently have this job title to your campaign’s audience.

linkedin ads job title

When comparing LinkedIn Ads to paid search campaigns, Barbara Wainwright of Fowler Wainwright International said “the cost per lead is about the same, the difference is the quality. With LinkedIn, the quality is a huge advantage.”

3. Reach Senior-Level Professionals

LinkedIn Ads goes takes targeting by job category a step further by letting you also narrow down potential customers by seniority. Are you trying to reach decision makers in finance? Then skip the entry-level assistants and interns and target manager, senior and CXO roles.

For example, you can enter “Information Technology” as the job function and “Director” as the level of seniority. This will expose director level LinkedIn members in IT to your ads and exclude all others.

linkedin ads job function and seniority

4. Reach Trade Association and Conference Groups

You can always reach qualified prospects in trade publications and the occasional industry conference, but what about when you don’t have the time or budget to have a presence there? With LinkedIn Ads you can easily emulate this targeting by targeting LinkedIn groups.

For example, I can reach online marketers by targeting relevant conference groups like SMX and SES. I can also reach online marketers by targeting the LinkedIn group of SEMPO, a prominent trade organization.

…LinkedIn helps us get in front the right people early in the decision-making cycle.

On this note, Dan Obregon said “We may not have the big conference and print advertising budgets of the larger players in our industry, but LinkedIn helps us get in front the right people early in the decision-making cycle.”

5. Get Insight into Customer Segments

Another benefit of LinkedIn Ads for B2B marketers is the potential insight that can come from campaigns segmented by audience. When your campaigns are split by customer segments, you may discover some interesting insights about which messages resonate with each segment.

For example, you may find that senior-level prospects want white papers and ebooks while owners and managers want demos and free trials. This information can help you craft the strongest message and offer for each of your segments.

On this note, Dan Slagen of Hubspot said “Getting clarity on our customers’ preferences gives us valuable insights into what offers are most appealing to particular segments.”

Get Started

LinkedIn Ads is a uniquely powerful channel that all marketers should test– especially those focused on business to business. For help getting started, check out our guide to LinkedIn Ads.

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

Learn about AdStage for LinkedIn

5 Must-Try Tips for Optimizing LinkedIn Ads

Posted by on Dec 6, 2013 in Advertising, Social
5 Must-Try Tips for Optimizing LinkedIn Ads

linkedin logoInterested in getting more from your LinkedIn Ads? Not sure what to try next? Check out these five must-try optimization tips to boost your campaign performance and earn more impressions, clicks and leads!

1. Resurrect an ad by changing its image.

Is an ad lagging? Instead of merely pausing it and diverting your impressions to the better performing ads, try bringing it back to life by swapping out the image for a better one. Some advertisers have been able to triple the CTR by simply using a different image.

When choosing a new image for your ad, try to use one that’s both eye-catching and relevant. Bright colors, high contrast and easily identifiable images tend to work well, especially when compared to busy and vague images. And while it may have been convenient to use your company logo, you may want to consider something different. Faces, icons and product shots are also easy images to source.

2. Capture audience interest by calling out your targeting.

LinkedIn Ad that addresses audience targetingA great way to capture your target audience is to call them out in your ad. If you’re targeting by job category, mention that category in the ad. That’s right, marketer, I’m talking to you! If you’re targeting by job title, use that job title in the ad. In addition to getting their attention, this technique will qualify your audience so the wrong people won’t click on your ad and waste your budget.

If it’s not clear how your offer relates to your targeting, try to be explicit and highlight the specific feature, product or service that the audience would be most interested in. Come on, this is your chance to present the ideal messaging to this customer segment.

3. Support bold headlines with the ad description.

Bold headlines can really make your ad stand out and capture the interest of your viewers, but you’ll want to make sure your description supports it with additional details. Consider elaborating in a way that explains what people can expect to find on your landing page once they click on your ad. This way, you can qualify potential visitors and limit clicks from people that aren’t likely to do business with you.

4. Get more impressions by bidding generously.

Don’t roll your eyes. Sure this one sounds obvious, but LinkedIn can be a particularly difficult ad network to earn impressions on. If you’re having trouble earning a meaningful number of impressions, bid above the system’s suggested CPC bid.

“I always bid at least double the suggested amount – instead of below or at the suggested amount – to quickly get to the top of the auction and obtain actionable data.” –Scott Bowler, Localiiz

The good news is you won’t necessarily pay this much. Localiiz found that even when they doubled the suggested bids, their actual CPC was typically less than the suggested bid amount. Of course, your mileage may vary, but if you’re earning quality leads from LinkedIn and have a positive ROI, raise your CPCs when impressions slip.

5. Reach qualified prospects by targeting groups.

Since LinkedIn users reveal their interests, skills and expertise by joining groups, targeting large and niche groups can be a great way to reach people that are likely to be interested in your offer. For example, if you’re promoting a seminar for wedding photographers, you can target “Wedding Professionals Networking Group,” “Photography Industry Professionals” and “This is Wedding Photography.”

linkedin ads groups

This is a powerful technique for targeting the right audience and really shows the capabilities of LinkedIn Ads targeting. Just make sure your targeted groups in total have a large enough membership so you still have a meaningful reach.

For more help, check out our guide to LinkedIn Ads targeting.

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

Posted by on Nov 20, 2013 in Advertising, Search, Social
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 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.