How to Audit Your LinkedIn Ads Account

Posted by on Nov 18, 2013 in Advertising, Social
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

How To Set Your Campaign Budgets

Posted by on Oct 16, 2013 in Advertising
How To Set Your Campaign Budgets

Are you looking to launch new ad campaigns and unsure of how your budgets should be set to start? We’ll walk you through the decision making process here to start you off on the right foot. And don’t worry, your budgets can always be changed and changing them will be one of the most enjoyable steps you take to optimize your campaigns.

How Campaign Budgets Work

First, let’s look at an overview of budgets. Budgets are set at the campaign level and dictate just how much you’re willing to spend on ads in that campaign over a given period of time. Typically, budgets are measured by day, although some networks like Bing Ads & Facebook Ads offer monthly and lifetime budgets as well.

Daily budgets are not always firm limits and, in the case of Google AdWords, you could go over your daily budget. AdWords may go over your daily budget by as much as 20% in order to compensate for fluctuations in search volume that happen in any given day. However, AdWords will prevent your campaign from going over your budget for the month as a whole and will credit you if spend goes over the effective monthly budget.

It’s unlikely that your campaigns will be profitable from the moment you launch them, so set aside a budget that will help you get started testing the waters and collecting data. It’s tough to say just how much is appropriate for you to test with, but I hope you can spend at least $30 per day per campaign. (Need to spend less? That’s ok, but you may need your campaign to run for several weeks to collect data. Able to spend more. Do it. Your budget will dictate just how much data you’re able to collect and how quickly you can get it.)

Choosing a Campaign Budget

To choose your campaign budget:

  1. Take the total budget you’ve set aside for digital advertising for the month and divide it by 30.4. This will be your overall daily budget.
  2. Take your overall daily budget and divide it by the total number of campaigns you are launching across the different ad networks. This will be the initial campaign daily budget.
  3. Apply the campaign daily budget to each campaign you are launching. This will help you manage your total budget across your campaigns.

Reallocating Budget

After the first days and weeks, you’ll collect traffic and conversion data for your campaigns. You can move money out of campaigns that aren’t spending their budget and use your performance data to reallocate money towards your best performers.

Reallocating by Spend

After a few days, you will be able to see which campaigns are spending through their daily budgets and which are hardly touching their budget. You can then take money out of the latter and reallocate it towards the former.

Reallocating by Value

It may take a few weeks, but if you’re tracking conversions you can see which campaigns are most profitable. With this data, you can move budget from the low converting campaigns into the high converting campaigns.

If you’re using AdStage to manage your campaigns and track conversions, you can group campaigns into a folder and use our budget optimizer to automatically reallocate your budget towards the campaigns that are resulting in the most conversions, regardless of network.

Creating Effective PPC Ads [Slideshow]

Posted by on Sep 13, 2013 in Advertising
Creating Effective PPC Ads [Slideshow]

Looking to boost the effectiveness of your online ads? Check out this presentation for quick tips for writing effective PPC ads. You can also read the original blog post here.

 

The AdStage Guide to LinkedIn Ads

Posted by on Aug 15, 2013 in Advertising, Social
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

How to Target LinkedIn Ads to Your Audience

Posted by on Aug 9, 2013 in Advertising, Social
How to Target LinkedIn Ads to Your Audience

LinkedIn AdsLinkedIn is an incredibly powerful ad network that every business should test. It has the unique ability to reach an audience by targeting their professional identity and this can be a big boon for B2B marketers especially. You can now reach professionals quickly and programmatically. In this post, we’ll walk through LinkedIn campaign creation with a focus on targeting options and how you can use them to reach your perfect audience.

You can now reach an audience by targeting their professional identity quickly and programmatically.

To get started, login to your LinkedIn Ads account (or create one) and create your new campaign. Once you’ve given your campaign a name and chosen a language, you’ll be able to create your ad.

Create a LinkedIn Ads Campaign

You can create basic ads (which include text and an image) and video ads. You can include up to 15 different ads in a campaign. Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn ads apply their targeting settings to the campaign level. This means that each ad within a campaign will have the same targeting settings.

Next, you’ll be presented with your campaign’s targeting settings screen. This is where you can describe the professional audience you’d like to reach with your ads.

With the exception of location, each targeting field is optional. I stress this because you’ll want to be conservative in your selections as each new targeting field you apply will further narrow the size of your audience. To manage this, watch the counter to see an estimate of how many LinkedIn members you’re eligible to reach given your current targeting. If the number dips too low for your taste, either remove all selections within that field or add more selections to that field (entering multiple selections within a field will increase the size of your audience).

Location

Here you must specify at least one location for your audience. You should set it to where your potential customers are. You can select world regions, countries, states, and metropolitan areas. For example, if your customers are nationwide, you can enter “United States.” This will include all LinkedIn members that have indicated the US as their location to your campaign’s audience.

Linkedin ads location

Companies

Here you can target by either company name or by a combination of industry and size. You can target members of companies by entering specific company names. For example, if you are looking to promote your business to employees of Salesforce.com, you can enter “Salesforce.com” (naturally). This will include all LinkedIn members that have indicated Salesforce.com as their employer to your campaign’s audience.

linkedin ads company

Alternatively, you can target categories of companies by selecting industries and the number of employees. For example, if you are looking to target large software businesses, you may enter “Computer Software” and “Internet” as industries and “10,001+ employees” as company size. This will include all LinkedIn members that have employers that fit that criteria to your campaign’s audience.

linkedin ads company type

Job Title

Here you can target by either job title or by a combination of job function and seniority within an organization. You can target members by job title by entering specific job titles. 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

Alternatively, you can reach similar members by selecting the job function and seniority. For example, you may enter “Information Technology” as the job function and “Director” as seniority. This will include all LinkedIn members that have indicated current positions that fit that criteria to your campaign’s audience.

linkedin ads job function and seniority

School

Here you can specify the alma mater of your audience. You can enter specific school names to target members that have attended. For example, if you’re trying to reach Stanford graduates, you can enter “Stanford University.” This will include all LinkedIn members that have indicated they’ve attended Stanford to your campaign’s audience.

linkedin ads school

Skills

Here you can specify the relevant job skills of your audience. You can enter common skills your audience claims to have. For example, if you’re trying to reach online advertisers, you can enter “PPC,” “Online Advertising” and “Google AdWords” as skills. This will include all LinkedIn members that have indicated they are skilled in any of the skills you’ve selected to your campaign’s audience.

linkedin ads skills

Groups

Here you can specify groups your audience is a part of. You can enter large or niche groups. For example, if you’re trying to reach wedding photographers, you can enter “Wedding Professionals Networking Group,” “Photography Industry Professionals” and “This is Wedding Photography” as groups. This will include all LinkedIn members that have joined either of these three groups to your campaign’s audience.

linkedin ads groups

Gender

Here you can specify the gender of your audience. You can select either male or female. If your typical customers skew towards a certain gender, you can select that gender here. This will include all LinkedIn members that have identified themselves as that gender to your campaign’s audience.

linkedin ads gender

Age

Here you can specify the age range of your audience. Your available selections are 18-24, 25-34, 35-54 and 55+. If your typical customers skew towards a certain age, you can select that range. This will include all LinkedIn members that are thought to be in that age range to your campaign’s audience

linkedin ads age

Pro tip: LinkedIn members do not actually specify their age so you’ll want to avoid this targeting field in order to reach the largest eligible audience.

LinkedIn Ads Audience Network

After you’ve set your audience targeting, you’ll be presented with the option to enable the LinkedIn Audience Network. You should certainly test out this option as it will make your ads eligible to display on partner websites. This lets you reach your highly targeted LinkedIn audience even when they’re visiting websites other than LinkedIn.

llinkedin ads audience network

Once you’ve finished setting your targeting, you can move on to setting your campaign bids and budget. Once you launch your campaign, your business will be promoted to your perfect audience!

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

Learn about AdStage for LinkedIn

How To Create Sponsored Updates on LinkedIn

Posted by on Aug 2, 2013 in Advertising, Social
How To Create Sponsored Updates on LinkedIn

LinkedIn recently opened up it’s sponsored updates feature to all advertisers via its self serve ads interface. Sponsored updates are how companies can promote posts on their LinkedIn company page to a wider audience. If you have an active LinkedIn company page and are looking for ways to expand the reach of your updates, sponsored updates are a great way to do it. In this post we’ll walk through exactly how it’s done.

Sponsored updates are a great way to expand the reach of your company’s LinkedIn posts.

There are two ways to sponsor an update: you can either do it from within the LinkedIn Ads interface, or by clicking the “Sponsor Update” button next to your existing update.

 sponsored-updates-button

Sponsored Updates Walkthrough

Here’s a walkthrough of how to sponsor an update from within the LinkedIn Ads interface:

1. Create a new campaign and select “Sponsor an update.”

sponsor an update2. Name your campaign and select the language.

name and language3. Select your company and the updates you want to sponsor.

Company and updatesThis will show you a preview of your sponsored update on different devices.

preview of sponsored update4. Next set your targeting as you would with traditional LinkedIn ads.

targeting settingsLocation is required but the rest of the targeting options are optional. Mix and match your targeting until you’re satisfied with the size and relevance. Targeting by company and job title categories are common, but you can also target by schools, groups, skills, and more.

6. Now that your targeting is set, you will need to set your bids.

set bidsThe minimum bids vary based on your targeted audience: in this example, CPC has a minimum bid of $2.50 and CPM has a minimum bid of $12.50. LinkedIn will also provide a recommended bid based on the audience you have targeted.

7. You must also set a daily budget for this campaign.

budgetThe minimum daily budget is $10.00.

8. The last step is to set a duration for the campaign.

You can either set a date in the future, or set it to run indefinitely.

9. Simply save changes your changes to launch the campaign.

That’s all it takes! Your update will now be presented to a much larger audience. You can follow the performance of your campaign in the LinkedIn Ads Campaign Manager.

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

Learn about AdStage for LinkedIn

Unbounce & AdStage: Rapid Landing Page Testing

Posted by on Jun 19, 2013 in Advertising
Unbounce & AdStage: Rapid Landing Page Testing

So you just built custom landing pages in Unbounce along with variations to A/B test? You’re so close to finding the best performing page– don’t let weeks or months go by waiting for your statistically significant outcome! Get rapid A/B test results by driving targeted traffic to your landing pages.

What is a Landing Page?

sample landing page

A landing page is a single web page with focused sales copy that drives a customer towards a specific conversion goal.

But many businesses make the mistake of sending all of their traffic to their home page. The problem is your home page has way too much going on. Rather than focusing on a single message, your homepage pitches everything on your website: your products, your company, events, blog posts, even jobs. Instead of pointing potential customers to your home page, build a landing page with a single call to action.

Worse yet, many businesses fail to test changes to their pages. Is your headline as effective as it could be? Does that image help visitors understand the value of your offer? Does your button clearly guide people to the next step? Make sure to A/B test your landing pages to optimize for conversions. So how do you get started?

Create Your Landing Pages

Unbounce, an easy-to-use landing page builder, lets you build new, focused landing pages without having to go through your web developer. It offers landing page templates, a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) editor, 1-click publishing, and A/B testing so you can always improve.

With Unbounce, you can create new landing pages yourself. And you can do it quickly. Within minutes, you can create a new landing page along with variations to test. Once you deploy, you can track landing page performance within Unbounce to discover the best performing variations.

Promote Your Landing Pages

Once you’ve created your pages, you’ll need to drive traffic to them in order to collect performance data. The quickest and easiest way to do this is with AdStage Express which will open the floodgates of customer for immediate results. AdStage Express, currently a free beta, lets you build, deploy and manage online ad campaigns that run across Google, Bing, Facebook & LinkedIn. Don’t be intimidated by the idea of advertising; Express is designed to help first-time advertisers build effective campaigns.

Your AdStage Express campaign will help you reach targeted customers when they’re actively searching for your product on Google or Bing, or as they’re browsing social networks. AdStage Express will bring potential customers straight to your Unbounce landing pages so you can see how they react to your message. Once your campaigns are running, you can check back into Unbounce to track their performance. A clear winner will emerge among your landing pages quickly, allowing you to make changes and improve your conversion rate.

Ready to get started? Learn how to test new landing pages quickly with Unbounce & AdStage Express in these easy steps:

What you need

  • The URL of your landing page test (e.g., http://unbouncepages.com/unbounce/)
  • An AdStage Express account (Currently a free beta)

4 easy steps to success

  1. Locate the URL of the landing page in Unbounce you want to testunbounce-destination-url
  2. Create a new campaign in AdStage Expressadstage campaign creation
  3. On the ad creation screen, insert the URL into the URL/Target web address fieldadstage ad creation
  4. Finish building your campaign in AdStage Express and deploy.

That’s it! AdStage Express will start driving traffic to your Unbounce landing pages. Unbounce will automatically serve traffic to each of your variations and will segment your performance so you can quickly find the winner.

adstage express dashboard

You can follow your overall conversions within the AdStage Express dashboard.

unbounce landing page test results

And you can identify the winning variation in Unbounce by comparing the conversion rates. The higher the rate, the more likely your visitors will convert to customers.

Need help?

5 Tips For Creating Effective PPC Ads

Posted by on May 23, 2013 in Advertising
5 Tips For Creating Effective PPC Ads

I admit it: I really get a kick out of writing online ads! It’s an opportunity to craft a message that will be seen by thousands, even hundreds of thousands of people. But the excitement doesn’t stop there– these ads generate near real-time statistics that let you evaluate their performance and make them even better! If you’re new to online advertising or are looking to be more purposeful in your copywriting strategy, check out these 5 high-impact tips for creating paid search ads.

1. Make Your Headline Count

An ad with an unclear headlineAn ad with a clear headlineDon’t waste this space with 7 purposeless characters! Your headline is the most prominent aspect of your ad so make sure it carries its weight. You have 25 characters of space to take advantage of; use it to make a statement. For ads targeting generic keywords, consider using descriptive headlines that explain your product or service. For ads targeting searches on your brand name, make sure to include your company name as well.

2. Include Keywords in Your Copy

Another helpful trick is to include your keyword in your ad copy whenever appropriate. This reinforces the relevance of your ad to the searcher and will help them see the value in your offer. Google will make keywords (and synonyms) present in your ads bold, which can really make your ad pop.

Ad copy with bolded keywords

Note: Try to avoid stuffing keywords into your ads. Keyword stuffing looks unnatural and confuses the message.

3. Create & Test Multiple Ads

Ads are social creatures… they don’t like to be alone. So never stop at only 1 ad in your campaigns and ad groups. Create 2-3 ad variations and let the networks find and serve the best performing version (you can set your ad rotation to optimize for clicks to let the networks serve the best ads). For example, duplicate your first ad and change the headline to see if that works better. You can also create an ad that highlights a different feature. Your ads are also competing with other companies for your customer so try out a few different messages and let them run. Test a wide variety of messages and you’ll likely learn that your personal favorite failed while another succeeded. Once you find a winner, you can test variations of that ad and pause all the others.

Two ad variations to test

4. Qualify Your Customers

Ad with clear pricingIt’s not hard to get a lot of clicks, but it is hard to get a lot of clicks from qualified people that are willing and able to become your customers. Make sure your ad text qualifies potential customers and prevents clicks from those that will leave your site without converting because your offer isn’t right for them. For example, if most of your competitors typically charge less than you, consider including your price in the ad copy. It may result in fewer clicks, but the clicks you do get will be from customers that are willing to pay that price.

5. Include a Call to Action

ppc ad with a clear call to actionIt’s amazing how many advertisers fail to include a “call to action” at the end of their ad text. This is your chance to tell customers what they should do once they arrive on your site, and it really works! What is your goal? Do you want to drive downloads, collect leads or increase sales? Tell your customers what the next step is and you will see an increase in the number of them that actually follow through.

Note: Make sure your website also echoes this call to action. You don’t want customers that land on your site to be confused about what to do next.

Expand Your Reach with AdStage

Check out our all-in-one online ad platform to create effective campaigns across Google, Facebook, Bing & LinkedIn. AdStage helps you amplify your reach across multiple networks from a single application to grow your business and reach new customers.

 Learn more about AdStage

Robert Scoble Interviews AdStage Co-founder & CEO, Sahil Jain

Posted by on May 13, 2013 in Advertising

Robert Scoble of Rackspace and Scobleizer interviewed our co-founder and CEO Sahil Jain about AdStage and building online ad campaigns. Check out the full video here!

Sign Up For AdStage Beta

Targeting effectively on LinkedIn

Posted by on Apr 2, 2013 in Advertising, Social

LinkedIn advertising is unique because it lets you target professionals. This is especially useful in two scenarios – you’re either looking to hire and want to reach certain folks, or you’re a B2B company that wants to sell to professionals that might find your product or service useful in their work.

The targeting options LinkedIn offers include skills, groups, seniority, job title, job function, and more. Each of these options let you narrow down your targeting to a highly relevant audience for your ads.

New to LinkedIn advertising and want a bit of a head start?

Try searching for groups related to your business. Within a group, select the “more” tab and you’ll find group statistics:

Linkedin advertising

Group statistics

Group statistics reveal a lot about the group’s members and will give you a base to effectively target your new campaign. You’ll learn the general make up of the group including: the distribution of seniority levels, location, and job function. Use this information, along with the activity level of the group (discussions, comments, job posts, etc.) to determine if your targeting a group that’s both active and relevant to your product or service. Also, use this information to test different targeting combinations. For instance: target location and job function for one week, and job title and industry in another.

Beyond the summary of overall group data, group statistics help you learn about the group’s demographics, the growth of the group, and whether the group has had much recent activity.

Hope this quick tip helps you target your LinkedIn advertising more effectively. If you know of any good tricks to help a new or experienced advertiser get more out of their LinkedIn campaigns, please share in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

Here are some related links worth checking out:

http://blog.linkedin.com/2011/11/10/groups-analytics/
http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/23454/The-Ultimate-Cheat-Sheet-for-Mastering-LinkedIn.aspx (There are lots of good tips in this post – scroll down near the bottom for the tips related to using LinkedIn for business/marketing)