If you’ve been using paid ads as part of your small business marketing efforts, chances are you’ve used Google Ads or perhaps Facebook ads. An often-overlooked paid ads option is LinkedIn ads. Here’s a quick overview of how to use LinkedIn ads to market your small business and get more customers.

What are LinkedIn Ads?

LinkedInLinkedIn Ads can help any business of any size reach more potential customers through paid advertising. There are over 630M active professionals  on LinkedIn which you can target by job title, function, industry, and more. You can control your budget which allows you to keep tabs on your overall paid advertising budget. You also have control over the schedule of when ads start and stop. LinkedIn ads are sold by auction. You bid against other advertisers trying to reach the same audience. LinkedIn allows several types of paid ad options so as a small business owner, you can choose the type of advertising that’s right for you.

Types of advertising options on LinkedIn

With some recent changes to LinkedIn advertising, advertisers can now run campaigns around clearly defined goals, such as brand awareness, lead generation, or engagement. All different advertising options can be run from a self-serve platform, making it easy to edit as needed based on results, budget, etc. Here are the different types of advertising options available:

Sponsored content

Sponsored content is one of the most popular ways to advertise on LinkedIn. This type of advertising is basically promoted posts on the LinkedIn platform. This is a good ad type if your goals include engagement, especially since feed engagement has grown considerably in the past few years. Sponsored content ads look and feel native to the LinkedIn platform. These are the ads that appear to be boosted posts from a company’s own feed. You can create a typical post with a headline, image and link to sponsor. Or you can create carousel ads, video ads. Use Direct Sponsored Content to personalize and test ads for specific audiences, without publishing on your LinkedIn Page.

Sponsored InMail

This advertising option delivers targeted messages to LinkedIn-member inboxes. According to LinkedIn, these ads are more successful at driving conversions than emails. It makes it easier to target your advertising to very specific parameters. Here’s a PDF on how to get started with Sponsored InMail advertising.

Text ads

Many people start with text ads because they’re so similar to Google Ads in how they work. Text ads are measured by pay-per-click or cost-per-impressions. They’re featured in the sidebar. This might be the most comfortable place to start advertising on LinkedIn if you’re ever done Google Ads or Bing ads previously.

Dynamic ads

linkedinThese ads can help you engage prospects with ads that are personalized to them. As with the other advertising options, you can tailor your ads to build brand awareness, drive traffic, and convert prospects, and measure and optimize your results directly in Campaign Manager. Each ad can uniquely target its viewer with their profile photo and address them by name. Dynamic ad formats include follower, job, content, and company spotlight ads.

How to use the LinkedIn Campaign Manager

All ads are created in your LinkedIn Campaign Manager. To access your campaign manager, go to the top navigation, menu, click “Work” and then click “advertise”. Once you’re in:

  • Click “create a campaign”
  • Choose your objective
  • Define your audience
  • Choose an ad format
  • Determine ad placement
  • Select a budget and schedule for the campaign
  • Ensure conversion tracking is in place
  • Create your ad
  • Review and launch

The advertising platform is fairly straightforward and will step you through the whole process, or reach out to your small business marketing manager to help get the campaign set up correctly.

A few tips for creating a LinkedIn ad

Here are a few suggestions to ensure your ad is a success:

  • Be direct and to the point
  • Use a visual whenever possible
  • Offer a call to action
  • Personalize as much as possible to your audience

LinkedIn ads are a great way to market your small business to a targeted audience. As with any advertising, always measure and make adjustments as needed to ensure you’re getting the best ROI possible for your efforts.

Patty Hughes
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