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Linkedin Advertising Ultimate Guide: Overview, Costs and Examples

Linkedin Advertising Ultimate Guide

Linkedin advertising is one of the best marketing platforms available for B2B companies. Having said that it is not right for every B2B company. We have run a number of successful and some unsuccessful Linkedin campaigns for a number of companies in a vast number of industries. From both these fruitful and fruitless experiences, we have learnt which companies should invest time and money into Linkedin Ads and which should look elsewhere. In this guide we detail an array of Linkedin Advertising hacks, tips and tricks as well as examples to show who it’s right for and who it is not the best fit for.

Linkedin Advertising Overview:

Linkedin advertising is a push marketing type approach (Like Facebook and Twitter ads) which enables the advertiser to reach his/her target audience based on demographic selections rather than on search intent (Like with Google Adwords). This means that you can reach customers who don’t know your product or service exists but it also means that leads from Linkedin are typically not of the same quality as leads generated through search (Google, Bing, etc)

There are three types of Linkedin Advertising Products available: Sponsored content, Text Ads and Sponsored Email

linkedin content options

Linkedin Sponsored Content:

Sponsored content is, from our experience, the most effective form of Linkedin advertising due to the native nature of it. It is very difficult to discern between sponsored content and organic content which results in typically high click through rates (CTR’s). The disadvantage of sponsored content is that it only attracts active browsers or users of Linkedin who spend time scrolling through their Linkedin Feed.
sponsored content linkedin

Below are an example of Linkedin Sponsored Content done well:

linkedin ad1
Image Credit:


linkedin ad2
Image Credit:

Linkedin Text Ads:

Text ads are Ads which appear on the right side of one’s desktop screen. They only appear in desktop search, so usually have great intent but because they appear on the right side they typically garner less clicks and engagement. Although we have had the most success through sponsored content, each business needs to test both out to see which resonates best with their audience.

linkedin text ads

 Below are an example of Linkedin Text Ads done well:

text ad 1

text ad2

Linkedin Sponsored InMail:

Sponsor InMail are messages which you can pay for which land up in peoples Linkedin Inboxes as if you manually InMailed someone directly. InMail is often a very effective way of reaching your audience especially if your audience isn’t very active on Linkedin and doesn’t typically spend a lot of time scrolling.

Below is an example of Linkedin Text Ads done well:


Linkedin Advertising Costs:

Most people never try using Linkedin ads due to it’s relatively high cost compared with Adwords or Facebook advertising. While on face-value this is true, in reality we see most campaigns which we run, result in a lower cost per lead compared to Adwords or Facebook.

There are however a few things to consider:

Minimum Daily Budget: The minimum daily budget on Linkedin is R80 (as of March 2018). While this is not very higher, this is quite a lot higher than the minimum required for Adwords or Facebook.

Estimated Cost Per Click: The minimum or estimated cost per click is typically the factor which turns people off of Linkedin Advertising, before they even start. The minimum cost per click depends primarily on the audience which you are trying to reach and in which location they are based in. Reaching CEOs, MD’s, Financial directors and founders are usually the most expensive audience to reach as pretty much everyone selling B2B is looking to reach these people. The following are the average costs per outreach method for Owners in Johannesburg, South Africa as of March 2018:

Sponsored Content Costs:

Estimated cost per click: R41.57

Estimated Cost Per Lead : R150 (our average / depends on content,industry and offer)

Sponsored Inmail Costs:

Estimated cost per send: R4.93

Estimated Cost Per Lead : R110 (our average / depends on content,industry and offer)

Text Ad Costs:

Estimated cost per send: R33.51

Estimated Cost Per Lead : R180 (our average / depends on content,industry and offer)

Linkedin Advertising Hacks Tips and Tricks:

Below are a list of some of the best Linkedin Advertising Hacks

Tip 1: Use Linkedin Lead Generation Forms rather than sending people to your website

hack 1

Linkedin Lead Gen. forms are super slick and designed to convert users as easily as possible. Adding another navigational roadblock, like your website can potentially increase lead quality but definitely will result in fewer leads.

Tip 2: Keep your Lead. Gen Forms simple with default info

Only asking for telephone number, email and fist and last name allows users to submit their details to you (and become a lead) at the click of a mouse without actually typing anything, thereby increasing conversion rates further.

hack 2

Tip 3: Don’t target obvious buyers:

The cost per click and the cost per lead are derived directly from the audience you are trying to reach. Pretty much everyone advertising on Linkedin users the basic Owner, Director and GM targeting options. Because these are the most highly contested audiences, they are also the most expensive.

Try targeting other titles such as HR manager, Financial director and other influences in order to get much cheaper cost per clicks. Below we show the difference when targeting Directors compared to owners. The suggested bid, in the example below, to reach a director is R44.02 whereas it costs only R41.57 to reach someone who categorises themselves as owners (+-10% less)

Experiment with closely related job titles in order to get cheaper results!

Targeting Directors:


Targeting Owners:

owners ad
Tip 4: Don’t use retargeting on Linkedin

Retargeting through Linkedin is usually not more effective than retargeting/remarketing through Adwords or Facebook but is far more expensive.

Tip 5: Target specific industries

Relevancy is king when it comes to advertising results. Serving someone in a specific industry with an Ad tailored to them can have incredible results.

Below is an example of a specific super-target ad and a generic one. A super-target ad’s results are always far superior, although they do take a bit more time and creativity to create. Try craft your message to be industry specific to attract super cheap engaged leads.

Below we show an example of an SEO offer we ran to all business owners (Generic AD) vs business owners only in the Accounting field. We simply changed a bit of the wording to increase the relevancy.

Generic Ad: Targeted towards an owner with no industry stipulated

normal ad

Super-Targeted Ad: Targeted towards an owner in an accounting industry

specific ad

In Summary:

If you want to start generating high quality B2B leads and are looking for a company who specialises in targeted-linkedin campaigns please complete your details below and one of our consultants will be in touch!

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