How to create more effective LinkedIn Ads - best practices and tips.LinkedIn recently announced they’ve surpassed the 200 million member mark, with people connecting on the professional social network from over 200 countries and territories. Their social advertising offering, LinkedIn Ads, can be highly effective for marketers looking to increase their social following or drive traffic back to a website, especially in B2B marketing.

A Merchant Circle survey showed that 70% of SMBs are using social media marketing, many to the exclusion of all other channels. If you are new to the advertising arena on LinkedIn or want to improve the performance of existing campaigns, check out these best practices tips released by LinkedIn themselves.

1. Create Effective Ads

LinkedIn recommends highly targeted ads written with your audience in mind. People use LinkedIn differently than other websites, they note. Their tips on effective ad creation include:

  • Including a strong call to action by using words like: Try, Sign Up, or Download Now.
  • Using images with bright colors, to stand out against the LinkedIn background, and ensuring they are optimized to display at 50 x 50 pixels.
  • Offering special offers or exclusive content as an incentive for people to click.
  • Refreshing ad creative at least monthly to avoid stale ads.

2. Create Multiple Ads Within a Campaign

Campaigns contain a daily budget, targeting options and the option of including several ads. This is a great way to test out ad copy and images to see which resonates best with your target audience. LinkedIn recommends:

  • Choosing to rotate ad variations more evenly; by default, the highest performing ads will be displayed most often.
  • Pausing ads that have the lowest CTRs (click-through-rates).
  • Monitoring and testing new images and ad copy to improve ad performance.

3. Target the Right Audience

This is critical for LinkedIn Ads, as we learned in a previous post from LinkedIn for Business author Brian Carter. “For example, if you’re going after CMOs or CIOs, you may still need three separate campaigns to find the best way to target those people,” he said. “It might be groups they’re in, or it could be that targeting job titles is more effective.”

LinkedIn recommends that you use all targeting options available to you, in order to build a profile of your target buyer. You can use geography, age, job title or seniority, industry and more to tell LinkedIn who you would like to view your ads.

4. Set an Appropriate Daily Budget

This is an area marketers should monitor closely. Once your daily budget is reached, LinkedIn will stop showing that ad for the day. If you are maxing out your daily budget on an ad, it may be wise to increase the budget for that ad at the expense of a lesser-performing one.

LinkedIn provides a Suggested Bid Range to help marketers set an initial bid, though this can be changed as you learn about the ad’s performance.

Depending on the purpose of the ad, you also have the choice between CPC (cost-per-click) or CPM (cost-per-thousand-impressions) bidding. CPC is used far more often, though CPM might be a good choice if the purpose of the campaign is not to generate clicks, but to raise awareness. We share more on this topic in LinkedIn Ads: How to Choose a Cost Structure.

Just getting started on LinkedIn? Check out our How to Engage Your Audience on LinkedIn post series for tips and advice to help you build your company’s presence.