How To Set Up LinkedIn Ads – A Complete Guide

how to set up linkedin ads
Ravi Davda Rockstar Marketing CEO

Written by Ravi

Mar 8, 2021

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Time and again, we speak to businesses who wonder how to set up Linkedin Ads. The UK has 31 million Linkedin users. It is the number one social platform for lead generation. That’s irrespective of whether you are a B2B or B2C business. Linkedin offers businesses with a higher quality audience base, compared to Facebook. There are leaders, executives, decision-makers & influencers looking to forge long-term business relationships.

That’s not all. Linkedin’s sponsored Ads now rival Facebook and Google Ads in terms of reach and targeting options. Depending on your skills about how to set up Linkedin Ads, it might offer a cost advantage too.

All said and done, it all boils down to the effectiveness of your marketing campaign. That’s why you need a team that knows how to set up Linkedin Ads. That’s where we step in. Rockstar Marketing has been setting up winning campaigns on Linkedin for our clients around the world. We have created this article to help you understand the basics of running a winning Linkedin Ad campaign.

How to set up Linkedin Ads – Create an Ad account

how to set up linkedin ads tips
The basic Linkedin campaign manager

Let’s begin with the most basic step, which is setting up an Ad account. Linkedin allows you to create an Ad account that is separate from your personal profile or company’s Linkedin page. The idea is to organise your campaigns easily without affecting anything that you post on your profile or company page.

To create an Ad account, click on Advertise. You will find it in the top right corner of your personal profile.

This will lead you to the campaign manager page. Set up a name for the new campaign. Select the currency. You also have the option to associate a Linkedin page with your account. But it’s not mandatory. Go ahead and create a new account.

Setting the right objective

Setting the right goal is critical for the success of a Linkedin Ad campaign. What are your goals from the ad campaign? Is it to create awareness? Are you looking for leads? Maybe you just want more traffic to your website. Linkedin gives you three options to choose from.

  • Awareness – This is a great option if you want to share your story with the audience. Tell them more about your brand, your services, your mission and vision.
  • Consideration – Consideration is a great objective for brands that seek traffic. It can be to increase engagement or just gather eyeballs for a corporate video. There are many ways to customise this objective.
  • Conversions – The conversions objective gives you three choices. Lead Generation, which is used to collect leads via a form. There’s website conversion for tracking specific actions on a website. For instance, clicking on a CTA button, or downloading a PDF and so on. Lastly, there are job applications as a conversion objective. Do you know that 40 million people search for Jobs every week on Linkedin? It’s hands down, the best place to hire a skilled workforce.

Targeting the audience

how to set up linkedin ads guide

The next step is audience targeting. Linkedin’s targeting options have become progressively better over the years. In its current form, it’s second to no other PPC platform. You can narrow down your audience based on basic parameters. Your options are location, company, demographics, education, job experience and interests. Then, you can hone this further to razor target attributes. This helps you control your Ad spend and also maximises the efficiency of the campaign.

A lot of SMBs are unsure about the right audience demographic to target. That’s completely normal. Not every business can afford a million pounds to spend on marketing data. To this end, Linkedin offers pre-made audience templates. Recent college grads, doctors, millennials, you can search in their template database and select the best match.

Tip – Once your Linkedin Ads agency helps create the perfect audience targeting template, they can save it for repeated use.

How to set up Linkedin Ads – Choosing the right Ad format

Linkedin offers a total of 8 Ad formats. But you may or may not be able to view all of these. Linkedin’s internal algorithm shows you only the formats that are relevant to your campaign.

  • Single Image Ads – These Ads use only a single image and will appear in the news feed of your targeted audience. You can use infographics or product images.
  • Carousel Image Ads – These show a series of images. We generally use this for e-commerce businesses. But there are other creative ways to use it as well. Here’s We Work using it beautifully to showcase their shared workspaces.
WeWork using a carousel ad to great effect
WeWork using a carousel ad to great effect
  • Video Ads – Linkedin has taken a page out of Facebook and Google’s bias towards video. It offers the ability to upload native videos, along with a plethora of filters. Video Ads are a great way to drive home the brand message.
  • Text Ads – These minimalistic Ads show up in the right column or on top of the feed page. Very effective for a wide range of businesses.
  • Spotlight & Follower Ads – These are highly personalised Ads that sources data from the user’s profile. These Ads generally show up on the desktop though.
  • Message Ads – Ads that show up in the Linkedin Inbox. These have become very popular in recent months.
  • Job Ads – Customised to employers looking to hire the best talent. It uses profile data to target users.

It seems a little overwhelming, we give you that. But a skilled Linkedin Ad manager should be able to set up a razor sharp Ad campaign for you in no time.

Setting up the Ad spend

how to set up linkedin ads account

The mere idea of a PPC campaign gone awry can be stressful. More so, if you are a small business with limited marketing capital. That’s why it’s crucial to set up a pre-defined budget for your campaign. Secondly, your Linkedin Ad manager should constantly monitor the Ad campaign. This allows them to spot and weed out Ad groups that are underperforming, or off the mark. Constant monitoring and tweaking is the only way to stay on top of the Ad spend.

Once everything is set, you can publish the campaign immediately. Alternatively, you can schedule the campaign to run for a specific number of days. For instance, from the 8th of March 2021 – 15th of March 2021. Even if you choose to let it run every day, your manager can always stop it manually. That’s why it’s important to choose a team that knows how to set up Linkedin Ads.

How to set up Linkedin ads – Select the right bid type

This is probably the part that most determines a campaign’s success. If you are not careful, it can be a futile exercise that cleaves your limited marketing spend. But if you get it right, your ROI will be much better than what you expect. Linkedin allows a marketer to choose from three types of bids for their Ads.

  • Automated Bid – Linkedin will set the lowest bid for your campaign using an algorithm that determines the best cost and ROI. It’s a no-brainer way to set a bid. The caveat is that you will be billed based on impressions. Even if a user does not click on the Ad, your ad spend will get depleted.
  • Enhanced CPC Bid – You will manually determine the bid price. It takes an in-depth understanding of PPC-based keyword research. That’s because bids are highly dependent on the keyword competition. Something that only a skilled Linkedin marketing team will bring to the table. However, this is the most effective way to control your marketing budget. Also, you are billed only when a user clicks on the Ad.
  • Max CPM Bid – A CPM bid is a price that you are willing to pay for 1000 Ad impressions. That’s a rough way to put it. Once again, you will manually set the bid. The Ad visibility and placement will depend on what your competitors are willing to pay for the same campaign.

Businesses that are inexperienced with PPC ads should consider engaging a PPC marketing team. One that knows how to set up Linkedin Ads and select the best bidding strategy. The rule of thumb goes that CPM Ads work best for generating traffic. PPC works great for conversion Ads.

The Money lies in the data – Tracking your Ad campaign

Your Linkedin marketing team will help set up a ‘Linkedin Insight Tag’ on your business website. This is ‘Conversion tracking’ and it helps you leverage the power of analytical data to monitor the Ad campaign. The team can also help you make important changes to your business website.

You can set up more than one conversion to gauge the performance of the Ad campaign. After clicking on the Ad, does the user complete the intended goal? What is the conversion rate? What is the cost per conversion?

How to set up Linkedin Ads – Create your Ads

Finally, it’s time to create the Ads. There is a multitude of possibilities here. You can sponsor existing content on your company page. Alternatively, you can set up an ad from scratch and customise everything. That includes the name, introduction text, image, CTA, header and URL.

Once you hit the ‘launch’ button, your Ad will go under review. If everything’s in order, it will go live instantly. Linkedin’s advertising team is fast and efficient.


Linkedin Ads can be a treasure trove of targeted traffics. But setting up these campaigns requires an astute understanding of your target audience and the targeting options on offer. That clubbed with relevant expertise in PPC bidding.

Rockstar Marketing can help you launch, tweak and monitor winning campaigns on Linkedin. At the current rate, it’s may not be too far before Linkedin becomes a chosen platform for most brands and businesses. Don’t wait until the competition skyrockets. Get a head start. Speak to us now.


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  1. chandan singh

    We are very grateful to you for this information and we hope that you will continue to give us similar information.

    • Ravi

      We will try our best, Chandan. Thanks for following our blog.

  2. Alan W

    This article is an excellent article that provides comprehensive and practical insights into running successful LinkedIn ad campaigns. The author has done a fantastic job of breaking down the setup process into easy-to-follow steps, and the screenshots used in the article provide a clear visual representation of each step. I appreciate the inclusion of tips and best practices to help advertisers optimize their campaigns and achieve their desired results. Overall, this article is an excellent resource for anyone looking to get started with LinkedIn ads or improve their current ad campaigns.

    • Ravi

      Thanks, Alan. Appreciate the comment.


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