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LinkedIn Ads Part Two: Bidding and Optimizing

LinkedIn Ads Part Two: Bidding and Optimizing

Posted by Kristin Grages on Jul 09, 2020

In our last blog post, we discussed how to determine if LinkedIn was the right fit for your business and how to get the most out of LinkedIn’s targeting features. Once you’ve identified that LinkedIn is right for you, and that you can find the people who you need to reach, you need to try to maximize your investment. 

Bidding Strategies

LinkedIn offers two types of bids, Automatic Bids and Maximum Bids. LinkedIn has recommendations for when to use automated bidding and when to use maximum bidding. My recommendation is much more straightforward. Never do automatic bidding. Maximum bidding offers you flexibility, control and efficiency, none of which are available in automatic bidding. 

What does that flexibility look like? 

Low bids and high budgets

To maximize the efficiency of your bidding and to drive down your cost per click, you want to start WAY TOO LOW. LinkedIn tells you what similar advertisers may bid - but you should find the minimum bid - and go right above that. LinkedIn will be happy to tell you the lowest you can go, but only if you try to go too low. Once you set that low bid, set your daily budgets super high. Not “I’m going to get fired” high but at very least “Let me offer some clarification” high. If you’re not getting enough clicks, raise that bid. If you’re hitting your high daily budget, you’re being inefficient. I’ll explain. 

Once you set that low bid, set your daily budgets super high. Not “I’m going to get fired” high but at very least “Let me offer some clarification” high.

 

What’s a good CTR? 

Your click-through rate (CTR) is the calculation of what percentage of people who see your ad, click on your ad. For the purposes of LinkedIn, you need to start above 0.35%. If you’re below 0.35%, you need to take a hard look at your ads and your targeting. Something’s not resonating. Change the messaging, change the fonts, the colors, the imagery, the offer… keep testing until you’re above 0.35%. 

Looking at your CTR as it improves, when you’re between 0.35% and 1%, you want to bid down to get the lowest CPC (cost per click) or bid up for more traffic more quickly. This decision should be based on your goals, how much time you have left to meet your campaign KPI’s and how tight your budget is. 

If you’re running Rock Star ads with a CTR above 1%, change the bid type from CPC to CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions). When you’re getting that many clicks, the volume discount of CPM can offer you big discounts. These strategies combined will help you beat LinkedIn’s auto-bidding every day. 

If you’re running Rock Star ads with a CTR above 1%, change the bid type from CPC to CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions).

 

Optimizing Your LinkedIn Campaigns

There are all sorts of great tools to help you A/B test your marketing campaigns. My personal favorite is HubSpot’s Complete A/B Testing Kit. In it you’ll find a great paper on the theory behind A/B testing and two excel templates, one to track your tests and one to determine if your test results are actually statistically significant. Both will help you as you work to maximize your investment in LinkedIn. 

The question of what to test can be challenging. The answer is practically infinite - you can test anything from ad copy to font size, from landing page layout to the name of the offer itself. Each will have a different degree of effect on the change and the scale of your spend will determine just how finely tuned you should make your changes. For a spend of $100,000, it makes a lot of sense to aim for a 5-15% change from adjusting ad copy. For a spend of $100, that change isn’t going to be as impactful. In that case, a 50-150% change from the Landing Page design may be helpful, but a 200-300% change from adjusting the title of the offer will be even more meaningful. 

Whether you’re making big changes or small, a three figure or six figure ad investment, you’ll want to make sure you’re able to track not only the analytics within LinkedIn but also what happens to those leads once you have them. HubSpot offers a huge advantage to marketers looking to track their marketing investments through the buyer’s journey - and to the deal close. If you’re looking to get better insight into your advertising spend and better track how those dollars influence your business growth, Penguin can help! 

Kristin Grages

Written by Kristin Grages

Strategist at Penguin Strategies. More than 15 years of B2B marketing and PR experience has given me a deep understanding of the intersections and benefits of Inbound Marketing and Sales.

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