Using LinkedIn Ads to Drive Webinar Signups

Is your ideal webinar attendee in the B2B space? If so, then LinkedIn Ads are a great way to drive targeted traffic to your webinar registration page. In this post, we are going to look at the steps you can take to create the best LinkedIn ads to drive webinar registrations.

Two Types of LinkedIn Ads to Drive Webinar Signups

First, let’s look at the two types of ads you can create on LinkedIn: Sponsored Content and Text Ads. Text Ads are the ads you typically see in the right sidebar throughout LinkedIn. 

Years ago, Text Ads were the only option you had available to you on LinkedIn. But now, you also have the option for Sponsored Content. Sponsored Content is similar to the ads you see in the Facebook news feed, except these updates appear in the LinkedIn news feed.

All three types of ads can be created using the LinkedIn Ads Campaign Manager. You just have to choose the one you want to try.

As LinkedIn explains in their marketing solutions page, there are six simple steps to advertising on the platform:

  1. Create a LinkedIn account (if you don’t already have one), and sign into Campaign Manager where you will follow the prompts to create an advertising account
  2. Choose your ad format 
  3. Create your ads
  4. Target the ads to be delivered to your ideal audience
  5. Set your budget
  6. Finally, your ad will be live, and you will be able to measure and optimize the campaign 

Now that you know the basic steps, let’s break down how to set up each type of ad.

Design the Text Ad to Drive Webinar Traffic and Registrations

When you click on the Text Ad option, you will be able to name and create your first Text Ad design. 

First, you will name your campaign. Choose a name for your webinar ad that you will easily recognize down the road for analytics purposes. Then, you will configure your ad’s website link, headline, description, and image. Specs for these are as follows.

  • Website – Any length with or without UTM parameters or other tags.
  • Headline – 25 characters. It’s not much to work with, so you will have to choose your two to three words carefully.
  • Description – 75 characters split on two lines.
  • Image – Must be 100X100 pixels and the file size must be 2MB or smaller.

After these elements, you will select the LinkedIn company page you want to link your ad to, or leave it off if not applicable.

You can use the Preview box at the right to see how your ad will look in various formats throughout LinkedIn. You can also click the Example Ads link to get a little inspiration for your ad’s copy and design.

The amount of characters you have for your Text Ad is very similar to Google AdWords. If you are in need of further inspiration and know of other marketers using Google AdWords to market their webinars, look for their ads to see how they utilize the short amount of text to convert paid search traffic into conversions.

Design the Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content ads come in three different formats. 

  • Single image ads
  • Video ads
  • Carousel ads

The Sponsored Content option allows you to promote a post that must come from your LinkedIn company page. If you don’t have a company page, you will need to create one ahead of time in order to use the Sponsored Content ad type. As mentioned earlier, the benefit of using the Sponsored Content option is that your ad will appear in the LinkedIn news feed of your target audience.

For those that have ad blindness to the Text Ads in the right sidebar, your Sponsored Content will catch their eye as they scroll through the updates of their connections. When you choose Sponsored Content, you will need to name your campaign and select your company page from the dropdown beneath the heading Which company is this campaign for?

You will then have the option to choose from updates you have posted on your page already or to create a Direct Sponsored Content. The latter will only be shown to your target audience, whereas updates you have posted to your page will show up publicly to anyone who follows or visits your company page. When posting an update to your company page that you will use for your Sponsored Content ad, or when creating a new Direct Sponsored Content ad, you will want to customize everything – the comment, the headline, the description, and the image. Click on each area to customize them.

The specs for your Sponsored Content updates are as follows.

  • Website – Any length with or without UTM parameters or other tags.
    • Note: URLs longer than 23 characters are shortened by the LinkedIn shortener
  • Headline/Introductory Text – Should be under 150 characters because concise headlines show the most engagement
  • Descriptive Copy – LinkedIn’s best practices recommends your copy be less than 70 characters, and notes that anything over 100 characters could be “truncated on desktop.” However, the copy area states it can hold up to 600 characters. If your text is truncated, ad viewers will have the option to “see more” to expand the text.
  • Images – LinkedIn recommends embedding larger images with a size of 1200 X 627 pixels instead of standard thumbnails. This is because their analytics have shown that larger visuals tend to yield up to 38% more click throughs. 
    • Supported image types are JPG, JPEG, GIF, and PNG
    • Animated GIFs are not accepted
  • Include a clear CTA (call to action) that tells your audience how to act if they are interested in the ad. (i.e. “learn more here” or “click to buy now”)

Once you choose or save your new update, you will see a preview of it for all devices below.

After you choose or create an update to use as your Sponsored Content, you will move on to the audience targeting options.

Target Your Ideal Webinar Audience

From this point, the configuration of your LinkedIn Ads campaign will be the same, regardless of whether you choose Text Ads or Sponsored Content. First, you will define your ideal audience through ad targeting. You will initially be presented with a few targeting options.

Be sure to click the More targeting options link to get the full options available to you.

This is what makes LinkedIn Advertising immensely powerful. First, you will choose the location of your ideal audience. Then you can define your ideal ad audience by including or excluding people based on the following details.

  • The company the person works for by name, industry, or company size.
  • The person’s job title by name, job function, or seniority.
  • The person’s school, field of study, and degree by name.
  • The person’s skills by name.
  • The groups that a person belongs to by name.

Finally, you will have the option to choose gender and age range, as well as to expand the audience size by reaching people similar to what you have defined above. With these options, you can easily target male, middle aged CEOs in the healthcare industry in the US. As you go along, you can see an estimated audience size based on your configurations.

You can use this number to gage whether you want to continue refining your target audience or if you want to expand it a little.

Set Your Campaign Options

After you have targeted your ideal audience, you will move on to the Campaign Options. Here, you will choose whether to run a CPC (cost per click) or CPM (cost per impressions) campaign. You will need to determine whether you just want a lot of people to see the ad (CPM) or if you only want to pay for the actions (clicks) that are most likely to lead to a conversion.

Note that neither model will charge you for social actions on your Sponsored Content ads. Likes, shares, comments, and follows of your company are free. After you choose your model, you will want to choose the amount you are willing to pay for click (for CPC campaigns) or the amount you are willing to pay per 1,000 impressions (for CPM campaigns). You will then choose a daily or total budget for your campaign, and how long you would like your campaign to run for. Live webinars will want a short duration, whereas automated webinars can be set to indefinitely.

It’s important to note that the amount you will pay for advertising will be up to you. You can get started with any budget, and stop whenever you want. However, it’s critical that you understand that LinkedIn Ads are sold through an auction. As such, when you run your ads, you will be competing with other advertisers that want to reach a similar audience. Learn more about how the auction pricing works here.

Run Your Ad

Once you are finished configuring your campaign options, you will click the Save Changes button to submit your ad for review to LinkedIn. Once LinkedIn has reviewed the ad, it will go live immediately and will run until the designated length of time or until your budget has been exhausted.

Monitor Your Results

Once your ad goes live, you can go to your LinkedIn Ads home page to see your ad campaigns.

Click on your campaign to see specific details about the ads within the campaign. If you chose Standard Ads, you will see statistics for each variation of your ad. This will allow you to see the metrics you need to determine which one is the most successful so you can toggle the best ones on and the worst ones off.

Also note that you can click on the View Details for your Text Ads campaign to see all of your ad settings. Most importantly, you can click on the Edit link next to optimizing click through rate to choose whether you want to show each ad equally or if you want LinkedIn to choose the best performing ad and give it more exposure. This will save you from having to manually choose the best ads on long-running campaigns. manually choose the best ads on long-running campaigns.

You can also use this area to edit your audience targeting, campaign budget, and campaign schedule throughout your campaign. If you chose a Sponsored Content ad, you would see the update that is being shown in the LinkedIn news feed along with similar metrics as you would get with the ad variations. Unfortunately, the only way to get variations with your Sponsored Content would be to create separate campaigns with different Direct Sponsored Content updates.

Considering the spend per click and per 1,000 impressions on LinkedIn is higher than other social networks, you will want to monitor your ads carefully to ensure that you are getting the best results for your advertising budget.

Additional LinkedIn Advertising Options

LinkedIn offers two additional types of advertising options to choose from – Sponsored InMail and Dynamic Ads. If you choose to advertise your upcoming webinars through Sponsored InMails, LinkedIn will put a private message at the top of your target audience’s inbox on the platform. Those that receive email notifications about their new private messages on LinkedIn will get a message to their standard email alerting them to your InMail.

You can also choose Sponsored InMails, which will put a private message at the top of your target audience’s LinkedIn inbox. Those that receive email notifications about their new private messages on LinkedIn will get a message to their standard email alerting them to your InMail.

Sponsored InMails are the same types of messages you can pay to send to people who are not connected with you on LinkedIn. The difference is through the advertising platform, you can send out InMails in bulk. Individually, you must have a premium LinkedIn account and are limited to anywhere between three to thirty InMails per month. If you want to experiment with these types of ads to drive more webinar registrations, you will need to contact LinkedIn Marketing Solutions to connect with a representative to assist you with these premium advertising options.

Dynamic Ads are available in three formats:

Follower ad to build brand awareness and engagement with a LinkedIn Page.

 

Content ads to generate leads, or drive content download conversions. These ads are only available for accounts managed by a LinkedIn representation.

 

 

Spotlight ad to showcase your product, service, content, or event . This is the best ad format to use to drive webinar signups because when a member clicks on this ad, they will instantly go to your webinar registration page.

 

What’s the difference between Dynamic Ads and the others listed above? 

Dynamic ads are personalized ads that are tailored to your target audience by displaying the individual member’s profile data in the ad creative.

It’s important to note however, that though each member sees their personalized information in a Dynamic Ad, this member profile information isn’t displayed to other members. You should also know that LinkedIn members can opt out of allowing their profile information to be used to personalize ads, and if they have done that they might not see your ad at all.

Best Practices for Ads to Drive Webinar Signups

Regardless of the type of advertising campaign you choose to run, you’ll want to consider these tips and ideas to have the best chance of success with your ads:

  1. Read all the specifications and advertising guidelines for the ad campaign you are choosing before creating one.
  2. It’s best to have all your image files and copy ready before creating a campaign to ensure it is displayed properly. Note the size and character limits for images and verbiage respectively.

Pro tip: Avoid using too many words to explain your webinar in your ads, but don’t be too vague either. Use caution in not being pushy or “too salesy” in your copy as well. 

  1. Remember you have the option to turn off your campaigns if you feel they are not working (no one is clicking through and registering), or if they are working too well (you have too many signups). Don’t feel as though you have to allow a campaign to keep running for any specific amount of time. 
  2. Make sure your call to action is both strong and understandable. LinkedIn says that ads with a strong call to action, such as “Register Now!” or “Sign-up Today!”, perform best. They also recommend only using one call to action. 
  3. Use large, bright, eye-catching images that don’t feature a lot of text.
  4. Get as specific as possible when targeting your audience for who will see your ad. Not doing so could result in overspending. You can target by geography, industry, skillset, gender, age and much more.

This is one time where the phrase “cast a wide net” can cost your hundreds of thousands of unnecessary dollars. You want to ensure that only the people who are most likely to benefit from your webinar, and potentially buy as a result are the ones that see your webinar ad. 

Pro tip: LinkedIn says to make sure you select the language of your target audience. They suggest that while English is best for most audiences, it may be a good idea to set up two campaigns for international markets – one in English, and one for the local language of the location that you’re targeting.

  1. You many want to try running an organic, free, campaign to spread awareness first. As we mentioned, likes, follows, and comments to your LinkedIn company page cost you nothing. And, you can create a LinkedIn company page for free! What you learn in trying to promote for free first can also give you valuable information for when you’re ready to pony up the ad money as well. 

In Conclusion

LinkedIn Advertising offers webinar creators the ability to create great advertisements for highly targeted business audiences. Start by defining the ideal customers you want on your live and automated webinars and then create ads on LinkedIn to get that audience to your webinar registration page. If you are currently advertising on LinkedIn or another B2B property I would love to hear about your experiences.

**This article was originally published July 15th, 2015 and was updated October 15th, 2019.

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