LinkedIn currently has over 810 million users, spread over 200 countries and territories worldwide. As of December 2021, the platform had over 33 million users in the United Kingdom alone. Many of these users engage with other professionals on a somewhat active basis on the platform.
So, it perhaps comes as no surprise that LinkedIn is one of the more favourable places for businesses to engage and target users with ads. However, you will see a lot of people online complaining about the failure of their LinkedIn ads.
This is because LinkedIn ads, like any other form of digital advertising, are bound to fail if not done right. To help you avoid this fate, we’re going to go through some reasons as to why LinkedIn ads fail. Stay tuned.
LinkedIn is exclusively a professional network. In other words, you will be mainly interacting with other professionals instead of the traditional family and friends’ interactions that you see in a platform such as Facebook. As a result, LinkedIn allows businesses to target people using specific professional-oriented criteria that can’t be found anywhere else, including:
- Company name: at which company does your target audience work?
- Degrees: what are the educational levels of your target?
- Schools: in what school did they study?
- Job title: what job title do you want to reach with your ads?
- Member skills: target people based on their skills and qualifications
- And many more…
LinkedIn is very proficient at extracting data from the profiles of its users and organising it in relevant, anonymous groupings that advertisers can rely on to market their ads.
Why LinkedIn ads fail
LinkedIn is widely accepted as the supreme platform for B2B marketing. And fortunately for you, it’s also great for B2C advertising. However, as we have mentioned above, LinkedIn ads are very much prone to failure for a variety of reasons, including:
1. Inaccurate targeting
It really doesn’t matter how much time you spent working on your ad creatives, copy, and offers. If you don’t target the right people, then your ads will most certainly fail. The thing is, targeting on LinkedIn is not an easy task. So, here is some advice that should help you to improve your results dramatically:
- First off, make sure to target the location of your audience. You can get specific with this by targeting a city or a metropolitan area or general by targeting a state or country
- Next up, make sure to build your audience from the ground up using the numerous targeting criteria that we have mentioned above
- Avoid hyper-targeting. In other words, don’t go for a very specific audience from the get-go. LinkedIn themselves recommend that you keep your target audience over 50,000 for sponsored content and text ads and somewhere around 15,000 for message ads
- Once that’s done, we recommend that you A/B test your audiences. That way, you can to see which combinations of targeting criteria are most effective. In order to do this, simply create a campaign and an audience group, duplicate it, then slightly change your targeting parameters
- In time, you will start getting data in the campaign demographics tab that you can use to better optimise your ads
2. Ineffective ad copy
In the previous point, we have mentioned why LinkedIn ads fail due to bad targeting even if your ad copy is on point, but what if it isn’t?
Keep in mind that in a platform such as LinkedIn, people are always looking for appealing content. And attention is really scarce on social platforms. So, your aim should be to create ad copy that is intriguing enough but not overly selling.
Here are a few tips and tricks that you can follow to ensure that your ad copy is good enough:
- Personalise: Personalisation refers to the use of a real profile in the ad and not a company one
- Incentivise: Your ad copy should include information encourages your target audience to click on your CTA
- Acknowledge the pain points: You should try your best to not only acknowledge the pain points of your audience(s) but also use them to your advantage
- Provide a solution: Mentioning the pain points of your target audience without hinting at the fact that you have a solution makes for a useless ad
3. Using the wrong creatives
On a platform like LinkedIn, creatives, images specifically, can make or break an ad. Not only do you have to upload high-quality images, but you also need to make sure that they are the correct size and format.
Another common mistake that advertisers on LinkedIn commit when it comes to their images is using the wrong colours. Always keep in mind that the colours of LinkedIn are really bland, it’s just blue and white.
In other words, you need to use colours that make the image stick out or else people will just scroll by. We recommend using colours such as yellow, purple, red, green, and orange.
On a side note, though, use vibrant colour combos but don’t go overly vibrant as it can be annoying for some users.
4. Using one ad placement per campaign
Many marketers fall into the mistake of running a single creative or ad per campaign, which is inherently wrong. Don’t limit yourself.
We recommend that you create a minimum of four ads per campaign. Each one should have its unique imagery and designs. The aim of this is to try to get as many quality ads running as possible. You’ll also be able to make future decisions based on the data you get.
Speaking of data, once you get back enough information about the performance of these ads, you can tailor them accordingly. In the end, you will have in your hands a functional, effective ad campaign that is capable of targeting people in at least four different ways.
5. Underfunding the LinkedIn campaigns
If you’ve already used other digital marketing mediums such as Facebook or Google, you might be surprised when you find out that LinkedIn requires a minimum spend of $10 per day per campaign, a sharp increase.
So, if your business in its current state cannot afford to meet this minimum, then you should probably explore other options. However, if you wish to go with LinkedIn, you should definitely give it what it deserves. And in most cases, we recommend a lot more than this. We usually start our clients at £20 to £50 per day, minimum.
Rest assured, though, because if you do your ads right and provide the necessary budget, you should expect quality leads that can’t be found on any other platform.
6. Not managing your ads while they’re running
LinkedIn’s auction system rewards people with ads that have great engagement. So, it’s really important for you to continually review your results. Not keeping an eye on the different metrics provided to you in the Campaign Manager can break an ad.
One way of optimising and improving running ads is using A/B testing. Run multiple variations of an ad at once and see which works and which doesn’t. Once that’s done, focus your budget on the top performers, and cut spending on the low ones.
Additionally, rely on the data provided to you by LinkedIn as it can be used to greatly improve on each ad.
Getting LinkedIn ads right can be challenging, but we can help
LinkedIn is one of the hardest platforms to navigate when it comes to paid advertising; there’s no denying that. Worry not, though, as our LinkedIn experts can help. Just book a discovery call today, and we’ll show you how we can make LinkedIn work to your advantage.