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Digital Marketing 10 min read

LinkedIn Advertising Guide For Small Business Owners

Natalie Yelton photo

Written by Natalie Yelton

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed

Dallin Porter photo

Expert reviewed by Dallin Porter

Marketing Director @ Galactic Fed

Published 16 Nov 2021

As of this month, LinkedIn reports a total membership number of 800 million spread across 200 countries. American users make up over 180 million of this total figure. LinkedIn’s total number of members represents a whopping 13% of the global population aged 18 and above. 

If you are a small business looking to grow in 2021, advertising on LinkedIn could be the answer. From forming connections with the right people, whether for lead generation purposes or recruitment, there are many ways for your small business to leverage this mighty platform.

In this comprehensive guide, Galactic Fed explains LinkedIn Advertising, the type of ads your small business can deploy, and the benefits of doing so. We take you through a six-step plan of action, including setting up a LinkedIn business profile, to hit the ground running with LinkedIn Ads. 

What is LinkedIn advertising?

LinkedIn Advertising (or LinkedIn Ads for short) is an online paid media tool that provides valuable access to the LinkedIn social network through various sponsored posts and other methods. At its core, Linkedin Ads is a powerful digital marketing tool that allows small businesses to gain leads, find the best staff, increase visibility, share helpful content, and more.

Type of LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn offers several placement options for small businesses to take advantage of, including:

  • text ads, 
  • dynamic ads, 
  • sponsored content and 
  • sponsored messaging.

Text Ads 

One of the most common ad options, LinkedIn’s Text Ads, appears along the top and right-hand side if someone views the platform on a desktop and is an excellent choice if your small business seeks to gain high-quality leads with a particular demographic. 

Dynamic Ads 

LinkedIn’s Dynamic Ads show up along the right-hand side of their main feed and engage members with personalized and tailored messaging. When a dynamic ad appears in a LinkedIn member’s feed, it is crafted in a way that includes personal details such as their profile photo, employer’s name, and job title, to name a few. 

It’s worth noting that members can adjust the settings so that this type of ad is displayed with a set level of personal details they are comfortable with. 

LinkedIn dynamic ads.

Source: LinkedIn 

Follower Ads are a prevalent sub-type of Dynamic Ad that small businesses use to reach relevant LinkedIn members. 

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content, or native content as it is also referred to, appears in members’ feeds across both desktop and mobile. This type of content is labeled ‘promoted’ by LinkedIn to distinguish it from other forms of content in members’ feeds.

Sponsored/Promoted analytics app

Source: LinkedIn 

Sponsored Messaging 

Previously known as Sponsored InMail, Sponsored Messaging lets you reach members directly in their inbox with a targeted, relevant ad. 

Take note that LinkedIn does impose a cap on how many of its members you can message with this type of ad per calendar month. In other words, a particular LinkedIn member can’t receive more than one sponsored message from your small business with a specified time frame. 

The benefits of LinkedIn advertising for small businesses

Recent research from Sprout Social explains that firms that market on LinkedIn generate 277% more leads on average when compared to small businesses that engage people through Facebook marketing alone. 

LinkedIn best social network for lead generation.

Source: HubSpot

LinkedIn is a potent tool when it comes to recruitment. Three people are hired every minute through LinkedIn. Another impressive stat explains that employees hired through the platform are 40% less likely to leave the firm within the first six months, so LinkedIn can positively impact your small business staff retention. 

Fed Fix: grow an email list fast with LinkedIn 

Are you looking to build or grow an email mailing list fast? Check out Galactic Fed’s comprehensive guide to finding, validating, and collecting email addresses through the LinkedIn platform.

Creating a Linkedin company page

Having a regularly updated company page on LinkedIn is vital for getting the most out of LinkedIn advertising. A company page gives members confidence and helps boost your credibility on the professional platform. Your firm can build a page for free as long as you have a company name and an email address. 

LinkedIn has a dedicated help page that walks you through setting up your company page.

A six-step LinkedIn advertising guide 

To help your small business deliver its very first LinkedIn ad campaign quickly and easily, Galactic Fed has pulled together a six-step plan of action for doing just that. From setting up Campaign Manager and deciding who to target to measuring the impact of your ad campaign, we explain how to get the most out of a LinkedIn Ad campaign to benefit your business’s growth. 

1. Setting up Campaign Manager 

It only takes a minute or two to create an ad account on LinkedIn. Campaign Manager lets your small business set an appropriate budget, select targeted goals (clicks versus impressions), and gain complete control over your campaign timeline. 

Additionally, LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager allows your small business to: 

  • Run dynamic visual reports that recalculate and display only the data that matches your unique filter and search settings.
  • View a detailed breakdown of actions your ad campaign generates, including clicks, shares, likes, comments, and follows.
  • Explore detailed demographic categories of LinkedIn members who click on your small businesses ads.

2. Choosing your ad objective 

Your small business should take careful consideration when it comes to setting an objective for your ad campaign.

Do you want to increase conversions?

Then think about setting an objective around lead generation numbers, conversions through your website or job applications submitted. 

Want to improve numbers when it comes to consideration? 

Set a goal concerning visits to your website, demo requests, or views of a particular video, for example. 

Whether impressions, clicks, or video views, the goal you choose shapes the remainder of your ad campaign creation process.

3. Deciding who to target 

Deciding who your audience should work the same way no matter which ad type you choose to deploy. 

Engaging the right audience of members by using LinkedIn’s targeting tool. They let you choose from over 20 different audience categories, including: 

  • Job title,
  • Job seniority, 
  • Company size, 
  • Company name, 
  • Member schools, 
  • Member interests, 
  • Member groups, 
  • Skills, and more. 

Appropriate targeting is a crucial step when it comes to running a successful LinkedIn Ad campaign. By getting your small business’s target audience right, you can ensure higher engagement with quality leads, and ultimately, higher conversion rates. 

4. Selecting your type of LinkedIn Ad

Next, you’ll want to select which type of ad to deploy, which we went over in greater detail earlier in this article. Choose between:

  • a Text Ad, 
  • a Dynamic Ad, 
  • Sponsored Content, 
  • Sponsored Messaging, or 
  • a combination of all four LinkedIn Ad types.

5. Deciding a budget an ad campaign timeline 

With your audience chosen and ad type confirmed, you’ll now want to specify your LinkedIn Ad campaign budget and how long it will run. 

LinkedIn offers three options: 

  • Use cost per send (CPS) when you run a Sponsored Messaging campaign. Your small business pays for each message that is successfully delivered.
  • Use cost per click (CPC) for an action-oriented campaign like lead generation.
  • Use cost per impression (CPM) if product or service consideration is your goal.

Once you have chosen the right payment option for the type of ad campaign to intend to run, you will enter a suggested bid, daily budget, start date, end date, and total budget. 

Regardless of the end date you set, you can cancel your small businesses ad campaign at any time. It’s worth noting, too, that LinkedIn uses an auction system for bidding that rewards engagement, meaning your firm can win an auction without necessarily being the highest bidder. 

6. Measuring and optimizing your ad campaign

Once your LinkedIn ad campaign is live, you’ll want to review how your ads perform regularly. Check out your analytics and select the campaign you want to evaluate, all through LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager.

Pay particular attention to your ad campaign’s overall impressions, clicks, social actions, and budget. Social actions are initiated by LinkedIn members who interact with your content which is essentially organic, free engagement. Win! 

By clicking through to each campaign, you’ll be able to see how each ad within the campaign is performing. Using this data and insight, you can edit your ads, refine your targeting, adjust your budget, and shift ad variations on and off based on ad performance.

Leverage LinkedIn to grow your small business 

There you have it! A six-step guide to getting started with LinkedIn Ads. From setting up your company’s business page to creating an ad account, the ad objectives to set at the very beginning should dictate the rest of your ad campaign. 

Choose an ad type based on what your small business hopes to achieve and who you want to reach through the platform, taking into consideration your digital marketing budget and anticipated timeline. 

Finally, make sure to regularly check-in to see how your LinkedIn ad campaign is ticking along to measure campaign success and make changes to optimize your paid media strategy. 

Galactic Fed has a dedicated team of paid media experts who know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to LinkedIn ads. If your small business would like a helping hand with your next LinkedIn Ad campaign, reach out to us today! Galactid Fed Banner

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Natalie Yelton photo

Natalie Yelton

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed