If you are looking to create a LinkedIn ads campaign, it is important to understand that generating the campaign – as well as the success of it – depends heavily on the bidding strategy you implement.
Let’s take a look into what this means….
What are Bidding Strategies on LinkedIn?
A bidding strategy is the plan you set up in order to spend your marketing budget on a LinkedIn ad campaign that requires bidding for the ad auction.
LinkedIn will guide you insofar as making the best suggestions as to how you should go about distributing your bidding budget throughout the length of your campaign. It is important to set a specific campaign objective (the platform will provide you a selection of options and you will need to pick one) in order for LinkedIn’s algorithm to then work with you to set up the best bidding strategy for your campaign (more on this later).
How it works is you will be charged for a specific reaction from your target audience members (such as a click to visit your website), so you will have a daily budget guide recommended by LinkedIn.
The four types of bidding strategies for LinkedIn ad campaigns are:
- Manual bidding
- Maximum delivery (automated bidding)
- Target cost
- Enhanced bidding
LinkedIn will recommend the right one for your specific campaign based on the objective you choose, as well as your overall budget and ad format choice. In general our LinkedIn ads agency have seen best results using manual bidding.
How Does LinkedIn Bidding Work?
Your ad campaign will need to enter a bidding auction and LinkedIn’s algorithm will then take into consideration the following:
- Your target audience: the LinkedIn users most likely to convert via your campaign.
- Your specified overall budget: You will need to let the platform know how much you can afford to fund the campaign. You will then have three budget distribution options (“Lifetime”, “Daily”, or “Total”).
- Ad content: discerned on how likely your audience is to engage with your type of content.
- Your campaign objective: for example, lead generation, brand awareness, etc.
- Historical campaign performance. This will only be applicable if you have used this particular platform to create campaigns in the past.
All of the above is factored in during the auction process, and whoever wins (there will be other marketers bidding for the same keywords and phrases) will be the marketer who outbids all others.
Choosing the Right Optimisation Goal
Now that you understand the fundamentals of bidding for LinkedIn ad campaigns, the next crucial part of the process is focusing on your optimisation goal (you are only allowed to select one).
Your optimisation goal is simply what you wish to achieve via the ad campaign (sales, building your brand’s awareness, etc).
We mentioned earlier the bidding strategy will depend on your campaign objective; and once you have settled on your goal of choice, LinkedIn will then recommend which bidding strategy works best for this particular goal.
A breakdown of the optimisation goals available:
Clicks/Landing Page Clicks
This type of campaign and goal requires inputting your website’s URL, so that the lead can (hopefully) click on it to be transferred to your website to, then (hopefully) convert there.
If you select this particular optimisation goal, LinkedIn’s clever algorithm will then collect relevant data to make sure your ad is displayed only to audience members most likely to click on the URL. This will be based on each user’s individual past “behaviour” (interactions with other ads in the past).
An “impression”, for all intents and purposes, is an ad view.
LinkedIn will aim to display your campaign to as many audience members as possible to gather as many impressions as it can. Of course, LinkedIn will document this in the form of its KPIs (key performance indicators), so that you will be able to monitor how your ad is performing at any given time (and make any recommended adjustments to bump up those numbers, if need be).
Video is becoming an increasingly popular method of advertising simply because consumers (whether they are B2B or B2C) are lazy and like content to be spoon fed to them.
LinkedIn’s algorithm keeps note of users who regularly watch videos on LinkedIn, so naturally, once you’ve compiled your target audience list, if you opt in for video content, your ad will be displayed regularly in front of those users (in particular) for optimum views.
This method works to target users who are keen on engaging with ads (“liking”/”reacting”, commenting, sharing, et al), because they will be more prone to engaging with your ad.
Again, LinkedIn’s algorithm is a key player in discerning which users make the most profitable targets per ad format/goal.
This is aimed towards “unique” account holders, and LinkedIn will try to display your ad to them only once.
Naturally, this nods towards lead generation campaigns, and is ideal if your ad format is a LinkedIn lead-gen form, which is a quick and effortless way for a member to provide his/her account info (such as their job role, demographic, and so on).
LinkedIn will optimise your ad towards those most likely to fill out a form.
We touched on this briefly earlier; many LinkedIn marketers like to include their website’s URL within the campaign in order for the lead to then click on it and be trafficked to your landing page.
This can be useful for those with lead conversion tactics on their sites (such as downloading an eBook or subscribing to a monthly newsletter). Please note: LinkedIn cannot monitor how users perform once they have clicked on the ad and left the platform, so you will need to incorporate coding (an insight tag) within your website’s back-end information to monitor this.
LinkedIn’s Bidding Strategies: A Guide
First of all: please be aware that not all strategies may be accessible depending on which ad format or optimisation goal you opt for. Don’t worry though – LinkedIn will guide you every step of the way!
Let’s delve further into the bidding strategies available:
Manual bidding gives you ample control over the CPA (cost-per-actions) of your campaign, meaning there’s little-to-no chance of overspending on your budget.
LinkedIn will typically recommend a budget for each bidding strategy; whether or not you opt for it depends on your marketing budget circumstances. This recommendation will be based on two things: what your competing marketer’s are bidding and your campaign segmentation (how competitive your industry audience is).
Ultimately, you are usually able to make the final decision on which bidding strategy suits your ad format, as well as your bidding spend.
Maximum Delivery (Automated Bidding)
Unlike the above strategy, you have less control over the bid spend here, so if you’re on a limited overall budget, this option may be best avoided. In short, LinkedIn will select the maximum bidding amount you pay – not you (unlike with manual bidding).
Ultimately, LinkedIn will recommend this if it thinks it’s the best option per your optimisation goal and will endeavour to ensure you don’t go over-budget.
If you do select this option, you will need to regularly monitor your spending and your KPIs to ensure your money is being well-spent.
Enhanced bidding will automatically occur if you click on the “Enable bid adjustment for high-value clicks” option.
While this option is similar to manual bidding, once you’ve selected the above option, your bid will automatically be increased up to 45% higher than the initial one to cover these high-value clicks.
While LinkedIn’s algorithm will calculate who qualifies as a high-value click and who doesn’t (AKA, the leads most likely to convert), you will need to be mindful of whether this hinders your overall budget.
Finally, this option will allow you to set a maximum cost that you cannot exceed. So, whatever your optimisation goal is, LinkedIn will aim to generate as many conversions as possible while in-keeping with this budget limit.
Best Practices for LinkedIn Bidding
While LinkedIn does most of the bruntwork of carving out the best methods of successfully advertising via its platform, you will need to make the final decision as to which bidding option you prefer.
Should I Use an Automated Bidding Strategy?
The automated bidding strategy can be useful for the following:
- If your target is to gain more brand visibility, as this method charges per impression.
- A new campaign launch: i.e.: if you’ve never used the platform to advertise, meaning you have no historical campaign data to work with.
- If your budget spend is less than 85% on a daily basis.
When to Use a Cost Bidding Strategy?
If automated bidding isn’t the right option for you, cost bidding may be, as it allows you more control over your bidding budget.
When to use a cost bidding strategy:
- When your audience size is less than 50k members. This is considered a “small” audience, in which controlled spending is required, otherwise your campaign costs will increase, but with little ROI because it’s only being viewed by a smaller audience.
- Again, if your budget spend is less than 85% per day, this can be useful as it will help you optimise your campaign in a controlled way.
- If CPC and CPM costs are high; you can use this to generate traffic without going over-budget.
- Driving a better quality of traffic to your site. You can get relevant traffic without being charged a higher fee than you’ve set (which wouldn’t be the case with automatic bidding, as you would be charged extra).
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for B2B companies, and taking the time to understand how its bidding strategies work will help you optimise your campaigns for maximum success and profitability.
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 email@example.com to speak with someone on our team.
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- LinkedIn Retargeting: How It Works & How to Set It Up
- LinkedIn Ads Targeting Options: The Complete Guide
- How to add a User to LinkedIn Campaign Manager?
- A Complete Guide to LinkedIn Tracking for Beginners
- Linkedin Ad Campaign Objectives: How to Choose the Right One
- LinkedIn Ad Optimization: Tips and Best Practices