5-minute guide to effective PPC on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is more than a networking tool. For partners looking to make the move to modern marketing, it's also a great way to advertise to potential prospects. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements can increase both brand awareness and the quality of website traffic.

In this 5-minute guide, we'll show you how to set up effective PPC on LinkedIn.

What's so special about LinkedIn?

Most social networks enable PPC advertising. However, customers using LinkedIn tend to be more business-minded, making it ideal for B2B marketing.

With more than 500 million active members, LinkedIn is a global community of professionals and enterprises looking to connect with well-positioned brands. Research suggests that LinkedIn PPC results in six times the ROI of Google AdWords with a 75% lower cost per lead.

LinkedIn's simple user interface makes effective PPC manageable for everyone. Get the most from this platform by following these best practices.

1. Choose your targets wisely


Knowing exactly who you want to target maximises the impact of your adverts. LinkedIn PPC allows you to reach specific personas at specific times. This level of personalisation gives your adverts the best chance of attracting qualified visitors. Consider these criteria when deciding who to target:


Industry and job title: LinkedIn allows you to target prospects in a variety of industries and verticals. You can also go one step further and pick a specific job title, rank or amount of experience.


Example: CIOs with ten years' experience in the financial services industry.


Targeting individual demographics in this way means you can tailor your ads to include relevant offers that solve the business challenges of this particular group.


Location: Location-specific ads are extremely successful. There's no point pitching local offers to users outside your territory. Increase the number of qualified targets by narrowing your target sphere.


Gender and age: If your audience mainly fits one gender or age group, tailor your ad to reflect this. Save this demographic as a template for future campaigns.


LinkedIn groups: LinkedIn allows you to join groups of like-minded individuals. Targeting these groups in your PPC campaign can help you raise brand awareness within the community.


2. Optimise your ad content


Now you know who you want to target you need to think about how best to engage them. Break your ads into the following components and work on perfecting each in turn:


Headline: A headline makes or breaks your content. It should clearly state what you're offering your audience. Since you have limited space to achieve this, lead with strong, attention-grabbing verbs.


Example: 'Get your free Azure migration toolkit'.


Ad copy: The body of your ad should be equally concise, so focus on explaining the purpose of your offer in a precise and compelling way. It's also important to keep the offer relevant to your target audience.


Example: 'Are you a CIO looking to move to cloud computing? Download our free guide to hybrid cloud migration and discover how Microsoft Azure can reinvigorate your business' performance'.


Call to action: A great call to action (CTA) convinces your audience to click on your ad and take the next step in the purchase journey. Keep the CTA short and actionable for maximum impact.


Example: 'Click here for your free guide'.


Top tip: Images and videos can also improve advert click-through rates.


3. Set and monitor your budget


A key part of effective LinkedIn PPC is how you handle your budget. PPC centres on a bidding system, with businesses paying more for high-demand demographics or keywords. For example, if you want to appear on your target audience's LinkedIn home screen, it's likely you'll need to place a more competitive bid. Businesses have two bidding options:


1. Cost-per-click (CPC) - you pay your maximum bid every time someone clicks on your advert.

2. Pay Per 1000 impressions (CPM) - you pay your maximum bid every time 1000 people view your advert.


Your campaign goals will determine your choice. CPC is great for driving high-quality traffic to your site, whereas CPM is better for overall brand awareness. Your daily budget will dictate how much you can bid.


Budgeting for maximum ROI


Don't bet all your money on one advert. Instead divide your budget between campaigns. Once you've worked out who to target, you need to decide which demographic offers the biggest ROI.


Testing different variations is crucial. By bidding conservatively on unproven strategies, you can experiment with different approaches. These industry figures will help benchmark your success:


    • Click-through rate (CTR) - aim for 0.025% or above.
    • Conversion rate - the HubSpot average is 9%
    • Cost-per-lead - the HubSpot average is £70


Use these as a yardstick, but set goals based on your own KPIs and adjust your budget accordingly. If an advert is underperforming, try increasing your bid by 25% to improve its exposure. Ads that continue to underperform may need tweaking before you run them again.


PPC as part of a bigger marketing plan


While LinkedIn PPC is a great way to dip your toe into modern marketing, it shouldn't form the foundations of your overall strategy. Use it in conjunction with other inbound marketing methods to increase brand awareness and drive traffic quickly to your site.


For more information on how to include PPC in your marketing strategies, check out our Microsoft Partner Transformation Toolkit.