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The Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn Spotlight Ads [+ Best Practices]

As a B2B brand, it’s likely that you’re already accustomed to the many benefits of advertising on LinkedIn. However, knowing what LinkedIn ad type to focus your campaign-building efforts on can be challenging – because there is more than one option!

For example, one possibility is Dynamic ads, which include Follower ads and Spotlight ads – both of which are similar to Text ads – however, they can bring a little more to the metaphorical table than the average Text ad, so they are worth exploring. 

If you’ve yet to dabble in the wonderful world of LinkedIn Spotlight ads, we explain what they are and whether the time is right for you to create your first campaign. 

1 – What Are LinkedIn Spotlight Ads, And When Should You Use Them?

Spotlight ads are an extension of LinkedIn’s famous Text ads. However, they are considered more innovative and versatile. 

How they work is the Spotlight ad in question will adapt to display the user’s name and LinkedIn profile picture. The purpose is to add a further personalized feel to the campaign to heighten engagement in lead generation, clicks, job applications, downloads, event registration, and more.

A typical Spotlight ad will include:

  • A URL/link
  • A headline (50 characters or less)
  • Ad copy (can be up to 70 characters)
  • Brand name
  • Any of the call to action (CTA) options available with Sponsored Content Ads
  • An image (100 pixels)

Spotlight ads can be used alongside your Sponsored ads or In-Mail ads and are ideal for marketers with a set budget (as this advertising method has a low cost per click (CPCs)).

Be mindful though that although your click-through rate (CTR) is generally higher than that of standard text ads, this doesn’t mean your engagement will be higher. Typically this LinkedIn ad type garners a lower engagement rate than your sponsored content, which is why they work best when used in conjunction with Sponsored ads).

Advantages of Spotlight Ads

As well as the aforementioned pros of Spotlight ads, you will also find that they:

  • Can be effective for driving more traffic or awareness to your brand or website.
  • Are great for adding a more personalized touch to your ads, which is ideal for grabbing your audience’s attention.
  • Are ideal for Retargeting purposes.

Pro tip: Spotlight ads are best used for retargeting campaigns on desktops. Free impressions and relatively inexpensive clicks will drive down your acquisition costs, but be prepared for a decrease in overall click through rate.

Disadvantages of Spotlight Ads

Objectivity is important, so it is wise to weigh the cons with the pros before committing to your first Spotlight campaign, some of which include:

  • Spotlight ads are only available for desktop viewing and won’t be accessible via mobile devices.
  • Higher CPC than text ads. The cost of your click or impression will depend on your ad competition, and competition on LinkedIn is always high.
  • Low CTR. Typically, the average CTR for Spotlight ads is around 0.1%, so you will need to define whether or not the possible return on these ads will be worth it.

2 – How to Set Up LinkedIn Spotlight Ads

If you’re ready to set up your first LinkedIn Spotlight campaign – congrats! Here’s what to do.

Choose Your Bid Type

For Spotlight ads, you have 2 bid type options: maximum CPC (cost per click) or maximum CPM (cost per impression).

Although it’s entirely your choice, we recommend opting for maximum CPC over CPM, owing to the click-through rate generally being lower with Spotlight ads as opposed to other LinkedIn advertising methods. This means you’ll only be charged for the click, which wouldn’t be the case for CPM.

Choose Your Budget

Next up, you’ll need to select your budget. 

Your options here are a daily budget or a target lifetime budget. We recommend starting off with a daily budget and keeping it low, to begin with (it can be wise to run it simultaneously with another LinkedIn campaign and monitor the results, as well as A/B testing for optimization).

A good place to start would be setting aside around 10 – 20% of your overall budget for your daily budget.

Monitor Your Conversion Tracking

If you’re experienced with LinkedIn advertising as a whole, you’ll understand the importance of monitoring your conversion tracking (if your objective is lead conversion, of course).

You’ll want to see how your Spotlight campaign is performing, so keep track of this. As with text ads, it’s advisable to have your attribution settings geared to a 30-day click and a one-day view.

Add Your Copy & Image

As we stated above, you have the option to include circa 70 characters worth of copy and one image of around 100 pixels, as well as a headline.

Because you don’t have a lot of leverage with headline and copy space (be mindful that spaces in between words are included within the character limit) you’ll want to make both your headline and your ad copy to the point and convey your entire message within those lines.

If you’re unsure what image to include, your brand’s logo is always a good port of call. Bear in mind that your image size limit is 100 x 100, which is small, so “busy” images with lots going on aren’t advisable. Go for clear, concise, and simple.

A/B Testing

Audience recommendations are really important during the campaign-building process and can be as vital to a brand as user testing (UX). You want to know what works well and what doesn’t and your audiences have the answers.

Test your campaigns against your highest-performing audiences and compare the results to other campaigns you have running concurrently (if applicable). 

Always Stick to the Specs

Adhering to ad specs is vital for top-performing LinkedIn marketing and here’s the lowdown for Spotlight ad specs:

Overall Design:

  • Company Logo Size: 100 x 100 pixels
  • Company Logo File Type: JPG or PNG
  • Company Logo File Size: 2 MB
  • Background Image File Type (optional): JPG or PNG
  • Background Image Dimensions (optional): 300 x 250 pixels
  • Background Image File Size (optional): 2 MB
  • Company Logo Size: 100 x 100 pixels

Text/Headline/Ad Copy 

  • Company Logo File Type: JPG or PNG
  • Company Logo File Size: 2 MB
  • Background Image File Type (optional): JPG or PNG
  • Background Image Dimensions (optional): 300 x 250 pixels
  • Background Image File Size (optional): 2 MB

URL/Link

Landing page URL: required

URL prefix: http:// or https://

URL characters: 500 characters for destination field URL

Call-to-Action (CTA)

  • Apply
  • Download
  • View Quote
  • Learn More
  • Sign Up
  • Subscribe
  • Register
  • Join
  • Attend
  • Request Demo

The Importance of Optimizing 

We’ve talked about the importance of testing already, but testing alone isn’t enough. You will need to be proactive with that data and use it to optimize your ad to achieve the best possible results.

This can include:

  • Trying out different images (including different image layouts)
  • Trying out different headlines
  • Rewriting ad copy
  • Using the Conversion Tracking tool (if you’re not doing so already)
  • Consider using third-party impression tracking to monitor how your ad is being seen.

Conclusion

As we’ve discovered, Spotlight ads can be a powerful tool to utilize alongside all of your other LinkedIn advertising methods – especially for ads for Brand awareness or retargeting campaigns.

Although Spotlight ads are beneficial – and may provide more leverage than using Text ads alone, it’s important to consider the drawbacks – particularly when considering your budget.

The high CPC and low CTR may result in paying more focus on monitoring and optimizing than you may realistically be committed to. A good remedy to this may be utilizing the services of a LinkedIn ads agency, which will help you manage all of your LinkedIn ad types, as well as provide guidance on budgeting.

However, despite these cons, many LinkedIn marketers find Spotlight ads to be ideal when running in tandem with other types of platform campaigns. 

If you’d like to learn more about how we help B2B SaaS and Tech companies grow their MRR through LinkedIn advertising, contact us online or send us an email today at info@getuplead.com to speak with someone on our team.

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