LinkedIn Campaign Manager: The Ultimate Guide

LinkedIn Campaign Manager: The Ultimate Guide


In this article, we’ll discuss the inner workings of LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager, including the different ad formats available for marketers. We’ll next dive into each ad format in detail starting with Text Ads, then Sponsored Content, Display and Sponsored InMails, and talk through the available placement options, key elements, and best practices. We’ll finish up by discussing LinkedIn’s targeting capabilities and analytics.


Campaign Manager is LinkedIn’s self-serve platform that allows advertisers to deliver highly relevant, targeted messages to unique audiences.

linkedin campaign manager

The primary uses for Campaign Manager are to:

  • Create, manage and edit ads and campaigns
  • Track your ad performance: impressions, clicks, CTR, social actions, engagement, CPC, CPM and total spend
  • Track social actions on ads: likes, comments, shares, follows and other clicks
  • Track your ad budget: daily budget, total budget, bid and duration
  • Analyze advertising demographics.

There are four ad formats available on LinkedIn to nurture and acquire a specific target audience:  


#1 Text Ads

 A Direct response focused advertisements that help generate new leads or potential customers for your company.


#2 Sponsored Content

 An ad type that increases the reach of company posts from beyond the organic following of the company.


#3 Sponsored InMail

 Allows a company to send, on a mass scale, personalized messages directly to the inbox of their target audience.


#4 Dynamic Ads

It Allows you to precisely target decision-makers and influencers with highly relevant and customizable creative. You can craft your ad copy, choose your CTA and leverage dynamically generated images from LinkedIn member profiles.


You should note that only Text Ads, Sponsored Content ads and Sponsored InMails can be created and managed through Campaign Manager. If you want to create a Dynamic Ad, you will have to go through Marketing Solutions – LinkedIn’s internal account management team.


On LinkedIn, Text Ads can appear on the Homepage, Profile pages, Search results pages, Groups pages, within the LinkedIn inbox, on the ‘People You May Know’ page and the ‘Who’s Viewed My Profile’ page.


With Text Ads, the objective is to generate leads, with results focused mainly on click-through rate (CTR). When you go to Campaign Manager, select ‘Text Ads’. Then create one by completing these four key elements:



#1 Link

 You can choose your landing page and destination URL. Some options to link to are your pages on LinkedIn (Company Page or Career Page) or your website outside of LinkedIn.


#2 Headline

 You can have up to 25 characters and they should be short and snappy. An attention-grabbing headline entices a reader to read further. Here are some headline styles you could use:
– Ask a question that sparks thought (e.g. “Want to get ahead?“)
– Be direct (e.g. “Get 30% off today“)
– How to (e.g. “How to write a great ad“)
– Command (e.g. “Get ahead with an MBA“)



#3 Description

 These can be up to 75 characters long. Descriptions should give your reader a compelling reason to click your ad with a strong CTA. Examples include: “Sign up to learn more”, “Download our e-book today”, “Send me the video!”.


#4 Image  

These are optional, but Text Ads with images get up to 20% more clicks. If you choose to use one, image dimensions must be 50×50.


Let’s look at how you can create a successful campaign on LinkedIn:


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Select objective

When starting out with a Sponsored Content Ad campaign, you first have to choose an objective. Choices are: ‘Send people to your website or content’ or ‘Collect leads using LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms’.


Choose your content

 Start by sponsoring an organic update recently published to your LinkedIn Company Page.


Target your audience

By location, company, industry, title, skills, degree of study, and more.


Set your bid

And also your campaign budget by CPC or CPM.


Launch your campaign

 And start promoting your content right in the LinkedIn feed.


Measure your results

 Track key metrics including clicks, impressions, and engagement with your content.


Optimize your impact

Test variations of your content and target audiences, using scalable campaign management tools.


For marketers, Sponsored InMails are great for supporting inbound lead generation goals and sales teams, boosting registration for events/seminars/webinars/open evenings, content downloads, increasing website traffic, and supporting any other CTA/ direct response style marketing. Let’s look at how Sponsored InMails differ from regular InMails:

  • CTA Button: Appearing within the InMail.
  • Branding/Image: Can appear on the right-hand side of the InMail.
  • Real-Time Deliverability: Sent out only when a user is engaged on LinkedIn.
  • Once every 60 days: Exclusive access to the target audience/not considered spam.
  • Unlimited InMails per Campaign: Not restricted to 40/50 a month.



Another advantage of using Sponsored InMail is that you can achieve a direct response from your target audience at scale.


When it comes to targeting an audience on LinkedIn, there are plenty of options. The only mandatory targeting option is Location, so once you’ve chosen your geographic location(s), it is recommended that you add no more than two of the targeting facets below to improve the scale of your campaign. Here is some more insight into each of the targeting options:

  • Location (required field): Geographic location is based on location specified by the member or the IP address location.
  • Company Name: The organization has a member lists as his or her employer. These are based on LinkedIn Company Pages, which are maintained by company employees.
  • Company Industry: The primary industry of the company where the member is employed.
  • Company Size: Allows you to reach members based on the size of the organization in which they work. Company size is determined by the number of employees listed on the organization’s Company Page.
  • Company Connections: Allows you to reach the 1st-degree connections of employees at companies you select. This is only available for companies with more than 500 employees.
  • Followers: Allows you to target your own Company Page followers. To use this targeting facet, your Ads account must be associated with your Company Page. When not using this facet, by default your campaigns may reach both followers and non-followers.
  • Job Title: When members update their LinkedIn profiles with new roles, these job titles are grouped by LinkedIn’s algorithms and organized into standardized titles.
  • Job Function: This is based on standardized groupings of the job titles entered by LinkedIn members.
  • Job Seniority: Describes the rank and influence of a member’s current role in their organization.
  • Schools: The school, college, university, or other learning institution where a member completed a course.
  • Fields of Study: The major or area of study within a member’s degree. Standardized from member-entered degrees.
  • Degrees: Recognized ranks granted by a college, university, or other learning institution.
  • Skills: Highly relevant keywords found within a member’s profile and skills section that indicates expertise in a particular area. This includes member-entered skills in the ‘Skills & Endorsements’ section on their profile, skills mentioned in their profile text, or inferred skills based on their listed skills.
  • Groups: LinkedIn Groups where members who share interests or professional associations can gather, discover new information, and ask questions.
  • Gender: Determination of whether a member is female or male is inferred based on member profile information.
  • Age: An estimation of how old a member is based on their profile information.
  • Years of Experience: Allows you to reach a target audience based on the years of professional experience they’ve accumulated over their career. Gaps in experience are excluded and overlapping positions are not double-counted.

6. Create multiple ad variations for each campaign: Use 2-3 active ad variations per campaign to show variety to your audience while also allowing you to see which strategy is most successful (A/B testing).

7. Address your audience directly: Grab your audience’s attention by calling out to your audience in the headline (e.g. “Attn: High-Tech Managers” or “Are You an IT Director?”).

8. Keep ads & targeting relevant: The LinkedIn system serves relevant ads more often and limits ads that rarely get clicks.

9. Turn off low-performing ads: Active ads with a low CTR can weigh down a campaign and lead to a drop in impressions.

10. Recognize the impact of small changes: Even simple changes, such as adjusting targeting, raising bids, and refreshing/creating ad variations, can improve your performance.


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Company Page Analytics is LinkedIn’s native reporting tool that can be used to gain deeper insights into a Company Page’s performance. It’s important to note that only Company Page administrators can access the Analytics page. Check out the link in the references for details on how you can become a Company Page administrator. Company Page Analytics is particularly useful for marketers because it helps:

  • Evaluate the engagement of your individual posts
  • Identify trends across key metrics
  • Understand more about your follower demographics and sources
  • Understand more about your page traffic and activity

There are three main sections within this tool; Visitors, Updates and Followers, and each can be accessed by clicking the ‘Analytics’ dropdown at the top of the page.

Let’s start by looking at the Visitors section. Here you can control the time period the data covers by selecting the timeframe dropdown next to ’Visitors’ in the upper left corner of the page. There are two types of Visitor analytics you can track in the admin centre:

#1 Traffic Metrics: Displays key metrics based on traffic to your company page. You can view metrics for unique visitors or page views over time by clicking the ‘Page views’ dropdown in the upper left corner of the page.


#2 Visitor Demographics: Displays a breakdown of who is following your company using five types of demographic data. Use the dropdown menu to the right of ’Visitor demographics’ to filter by job function, country, region, seniority, industry, and company size. This section can help you identify audiences you want to grow with demographic information to more effectively target company updates.


In the ‘Updates’ section of Company Page Analytics there are three types of data you can track:

1.Engagement Highlights: Displays the number of total likes, comments, shares, and new follows in the last 30 days. It also indicates the percent change from the previous 30 days.

2.Engagement Metrics: Displays key metrics for your Organic and Sponsored Content over time. Use the dropdown menu to the right of ’Engagement metrics to filter by; Impressions, Unique Impressions, Clicks, Likes, Comments, Shares, Followers Acquired, and Social Engagement Percentage.

3.Update Engagement: Displays engagement updates by individual update. You can view the following metrics for each update posted to your Company Page: Update Name, Date, Target Audience, Sponsorship, Follows Acquired, Impressions, Clicks, CTR, Social Actions, Engagement.


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And finally, the Followers section. Here, there are four main types of data that can be tracked:

#1 Follower Highlights

It Displays the number of total, organic, and acquired followers in the last 30 days. It also indicates the percentage change from the previous 30 days for organic and acquired followers.


#2 Follower Gains

Displays how your number of followers has changed over time. You can view different date ranges and control the time period this data covers by selecting the timeframe dropdown next to ’Follower gains in the upper left corner of the page.


#3 Follower Demographics

It includes a breakdown of who’s following your company using seven types of demographic data; Country, Region, Job Function, Seniority, Industry, Company Size, Employment Status. You can filter by each type of data by selecting the drop-down next to ‘Follower Demographics’.



#4 Companies To Track

It Lets you see how your followers compare to other similar companies. You can view the following metrics for the companies list: Total followers, Follower growth, Number of updates, and Social engagement.


Campaign Manager provides performance metrics to help you measure the effectiveness of your ad campaigns. These metrics can be seen in Linkedin Campaign Manager when viewing your campaign. They can also be downloaded as performance reports.

Some metrics will not be shown if you are not running that particular ad format, or do not have that particular feature enabled. For example, if you’re running Sponsored Content Ads, you will be able to see social action data. If you are running Sponsored InMail ads, you will be able to see Sends, Opens, and other Sponsored InMail metrics. If you have LinkedIn Conversion Tracking set up, then you will see conversion metrics.

To download a performance report, select one of the options from the ‘Export’ button in the top right of the page. You can filter performance by date ranges or choose a custom date. This report provides:

Campaign performance: Daily metrics for all campaigns in the account.

Ad performance: Daily metrics for each Creative across all campaigns in the account.

Click intelligence: A summary of who’s clicked on your campaigns. Data in this summary is based on your targeting filters.


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