With over 875 million professional users, LinkedIn is a powerful marketing channel for B2B marketers. However, simply running ads on the platform isn’t enough. To truly see success with LinkedIn advertising, you need to know how to scale your ads and take them a step further whenever it’s possible.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about scaling LinkedIn ads, including what it means, when to do it, how to do it, and which metrics to monitor.
Without further ado, here’s how to scale LinkedIn ads the right way!
What does it mean to scale LinkedIn ads?
Scaling LinkedIn ads simply means increasing your ad spend and/or targeting a larger audience on your successful campaigns. So, if you were spending £1000 per month on LinkedIn ads before, scaling would be increasing the budget to £1500 or £2000, etc. Doing this can lead to increased brand awareness, leads, and, ultimately, sales.
When and how to scale LinkedIn ads
Not all ads and campaigns should be scaled up. Some should be abandoned. Some should keep running exactly as they are. And some should be taken to the next level.
So, how to know when to scale LinkedIn ads?
Simple (not really), do the following:
Step 1: Optimise your ads to the fullest
Before attempting to scale LinkedIn campaigns, you must first optimise your ads to the fullest to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your current budget. After all, why spend more if you can still generate new leads or sales using your current budget?
Here are five strategies to do this:
Try out different bidding strategies
LinkedIn Campaign Manager offers different bidding strategies, each with varying levels of control over ad spend. Here are the main bidding strategies you can try :
- Maximum delivery: this is basically a fully automated option with no manual bidding involved. It aims to deliver the most results given your ad budget
- Cost cap: this option allows you to set a maximum cost per result so that it can deliver as many results as possible at or without exceeding that amount
- Manual bidding: as the name indicates, this option lets you set your preferred bid for each click. With Enhanced Manual Bidding, LinkedIn can increase your bid by up to 45% to maximise results
When testing ad creatives, offers, and audiences, we recommend going with manual bidding. Although the process can be intensive that way, you’ll end up getting more leads at a cheaper price. Not to mention that you’ll have more control over your budget.
Experiment with different creatives to stand out in the LinkedIn feed
To get optimal results, your ad needs to stand out in the LinkedIn feed. Here, it’s crucial to understand that ad formats that worked well in the past may not work as well now, as customer preferences and trends change frequently.
To create the best possible ad creative for your campaigns, test multiple ads in each campaign. LinkedIn recommends creating two to four ads per campaign. Try slight variations to easily identify what resonates with your audience.
PS: When creating a campaign on LinkedIn, there are two ad rotation options to choose from, “Optimise for Performance” and “Rotate Ads Evenly”. We recommend going with the first option because it allows you to quickly identify and prioritise top-performing creatives, avoiding wasting your budget on low-performing ones.
Try various audience-targeting options
LinkedIn offers many options for building a target audience, from job titles and companies to interests and hobbies. You can play around with those options to see what brings you the best results. Two things to keep in mind here, though:
- Targeting too narrowly can lead to inefficient delivery. For efficient testing, LinkedIn recommends a minimum audience size of 50,000. You can estimate the size of your target audience by checking the forecasted results in the right-hand panel of Campaign Manager
- Using an audience that’s too broad will lead to a lower conversion rate since you’ll be getting many clicks and views from people who aren’t interested in what you have to offer
For more details on how to target users effectively on this platform, take a look at our LinkedIn targeting guide.
Use split testing
Unlike some advertising platforms, LinkedIn Campaign Manager does not have a built-in A/B testing tool. However, you can still run LinkedIn advertising campaigns against each other and compare results by setting up any A/B tests manually. Elements that you can split test include creatives (as mentioned above), CTA language, targeted job titles, etc. Here’s a guide on how to do it by the LinkedIn Ads team itself.
By creating split tests, you can compare the performance of different ads and make informed decisions about which ads to scale.
Track and analyse metrics
It’s important to track the metrics that matter most to your business such as click-through rate (CTR), cost per click (CPC), cost per lead (CPL), and conversion rate (CVR). This will help you identify patterns and make informed decisions about your ad campaigns.
Furthermore, monitoring those metrics will allow you to get a better idea about whether you’re finally ready to scale your campaigns (more on that in the next section).
Step 2: Consider the following thresholds
If you’ve done all of the above and believe you’re ready to scale your campaigns, take a final look at the below metrics to know if it’s time to take the leap. If you’re too far off from those thresholds, you ought to keep optimising your ads before scaling.
For reference, here are the indicators of a successful ad campaign for each of the main ad formats:
- Average CTR: 0.44%
- Average CPC: between £6.50 and £9. Keep in mind that if you’re targeting a small audience or if you’re audience is in high demand, your CPC may be as high as £17
- Average conversion rate:
- Low-friction offers (downloads, video views): 10-15%
- High-friction offers (demo requests, free trials): 1.5%-4%
Text and dynamic ads
Text and dynamic ads are only displayed on the right column of desktop devices.
- Average CTR: 0.025% for text ads (since they’re easier to miss), and 0.08% for dynamic ads
- The average CPC: between £2.50 and £5 for text ads, between £5 and £6.50 for dynamic ads
- Average conversion rate: varies greatly depending on the offer being promoted, but these ad formats usually have a high conversion rate with higher-quality leads since clicking on them displays high intent
Sponsored message ads are directly sent to the inboxes of targeted members.
- Average open rate: 55%
- The average CTR: 3.2% (a CTR of 7% or higher indicates that you have a great offer with a well-written copy)
- Average CPC: between £20 and £50
Pro tip: since sponsored messages can be very invasive by nature, make sure that your ads feel personal to get high open rates and CTRs.
Something to keep in mind
Note that those are basically the average metrics for each ad format. That means that they may vary depending on your industry, so take them only as a reference when evaluating your ads.
Step 3: Scale your LinkedIn ads
When it comes to scaling, there are two main strategies to choose from; vertical scaling and horizontal scaling. Each approach has its own set of pros and cons to consider before making a decision.
Vertical scaling is the simpler of the two options. It involves increasing the budget of your current campaigns and ad sets to reach more potential customers. The trick with this method is to gradually raise your budget, rather than jumping to a much higher amount too quickly. This is because LinkedIn’s algorithm needs time to adjust to the changes in budget. As your ad spend increases, so does the cost of advertising to your target audience. But if you’re careful and make changes that help the algorithm optimise your ads, you can avoid a big increase in costs.
Before increasing budgets, consider how quickly you need to scale, whether you’re running a launch or seasonal campaign, and how many ad sets to include in your campaigns. It’s also important to watch out for audience overlap, which occurs when two or more of your ad sets share the same audience.
By the way, here are some tips on how to keep LinkedIn costs at bay.
Horizontal scaling is a growth strategy that focuses on expanding to new audiences and testing new ad creatives and offers. This method can be more time-consuming, but it can also be more rewarding. Several tactics can be applied to your ad account to achieve horizontal scaling.
Targeting current audiences with new offers or ads
By changing the ads that you’re showing to a winning audience that engages and converts well, you can appeal to different preferences and reach a wider range of users. This can be achieved by changing out ad creatives, using different ad formats and placements, and switching out the type of offer on an existing product. It’s important to keep an eye on the frequency of your ads and make changes when necessary.
Targeting new audiences
As you scale, consider expanding your target audience to include new job titles, industries, and locations.
You can also reach out to new users by targeting new audiences based on different LinkedIn pixel events, such as people who have subscribed to your app, added a product to their cart, visited your website, engaged with your LinkedIn posts, or viewed your videos.
Here are more details on the LinkedIn pixel and how to use it effectively.
Adding new products or services to your current ad sets
This tactic can be simple but often overlooked. Once you have identified a winning audience, you can show them other products or services that you provide. Retailers can cross- and upsell other products or bundles, while SaaS companies can advertise newly added features to their software. This is known as remarketing, and we’ve covered it in detail in this LinkedIn remarketing guide. It’s important to check for audience overlap when creating your ad sets.
So, which method should you follow?
Well, as always, it depends.
Generally, we recommend trying horizontal scaling early on to look for new audiences and new ad opportunities. Once you fully utilise the audience you currently have and stop seeing results even after fully optimising your ads (as said above), then it’s time to up your game by increasing your budget to scale your campaigns vertically.
Step 4: Continuously track and analyse performance metrics
As you scale, it’s important to continuously track and analyse performance metrics to understand how your ad campaign is performing using the aforementioned averages as a reference. Use this data to make adjustments and optimise your ad campaign as necessary.
We can help you scale your LinkedIn ads
If scaling your LinkedIn ads seems like too risky of an endeavour for you, book a discovery call with us. We’ll show you how we can handle it for you in the most efficient and data-driven way.