Experimented €1,000 on LinkedIn Ads

Save Time and Money: Our €1,000 LinkedIn Ads Experiment Results Revealed

When it comes to marketing, there are always new strategies, tactics and hacks on the horizon and LinkedIn advertising is one your agency can try. If you’re new to it, it can be difficult to distinguish what works and what doesn’t. 

The top agencies and marketers will approach any new campaign they are working on with a fresh pair of eyes while also reflecting back on their previous results they got for their clients. 

If it’s not broken, don’t fix it right? That’s how we approach campaigns for our clients at Evolve Marketing. We want the campaigns we build and the work we do to drive key results in our client’s businesses.

So when we hear of these “new hacks”, we often question them. It isn’t until we hear of it repeatedly gaining traction that we decide to do it for ourselves. 

Most recently, we wanted to test out the LinkedIn Ads platform for our own marketing agency. While we’re very familiar with LinkedIn from both an organic and direct response perspective, we tend to move away from the ads side of it for our own business and for our client’s.

At Evolve Marketing, we are big fans of paid traffic campaigns when they are created and managed well. We run large scale campaigns across Google and Facebook but we are yet to experiment when it comes to LinkedIn. Before we could suggest it as a suitable strategy for our clients we did a test campaign on our own business first.

In this blog, we will run through how you can set up a campaign for your own business and the results from our campaign, we will also discuss what we would do differently next time.

How To Create A LinkedIn Ads Campaign For Your Agency

You may already have a personal and company LinkedIn account but to set up a Linkedin ad you will need to create a LinkedIn Campaign Manager for your business. The steps are really straightforward just remember to link the company page that you want to advertise from. If you’re familiar with the Google Ads Platform or Facebook Business Manager then you will recognise some of the page layouts. 

Campaign Objective – Value or Offer?

Before running any marketing campaign, you should always decide on what you are trying to achieve. So review your annual goals and make sure your campaign is in line with them. Depending on your type of business and the stage you are at, you may be trying to:

  • Grow revenue
  • Increase sales of a new product
  • Get leads
  • Get subscribers or downloads
  • Get video views
  • Grow brand awareness
  • Make sure you’re clear on the reason that you are doing the campaign so you know what to track

What is your objective?

With our own campaign we took a slightly different route than we usually would. Generally any major campaign we run on our business is a leads based campaign. We try to generate interest in how we can help professional service firms and we generally target Ireland, the UK & the USA. From the ad we will try and get a key decision-maker within that firm on a call to learn more about their challenges and figure out how we can help them.

This time was different, we experimented with a strictly value-based ad and no hard offer. The reasons for our decision were:

  1. Our agency is very close to full capacity – While this may change in the coming months, we can’t take on many more new clients at the minute.
  2. The current climate – While we know professional service firms still want to grow online, we wanted to offer them insights through easy-to-comprehend tips on how they can improv their online presence.

For those reasons and the fact that one of our annual goals was to increase our reach and be seen as the legal marketing experts in Ireland, we decided to run a website traffic based campaign. When you decide on your objective in an ads platform, the algorithm will optimise for you to achieve that result so make sure it is correct.

You will see above that as you start to create your ad, different estimates for your campaign are visible. The targeting options that we have chosen are giving an estimated audience size of 870,000. While the budget and start/end date of our campaign is telling us we’re likely to get 50,000 – 190,000 impressions.

Those estimates give an insight into potential campaign performance which allowed us to edit our end date and daily budget so we could run the campaign for longer.

Who To Target For Your LinkedIn Ads?

One of the first things you should begin thinking about is who your agency should be targeting Linkedin ads to. This was one of the first areas I was specifically interested in monitoring. LinkedIn is a social media company and they do what is called people-based targeting (as opposed to Google which is keyword-based targeting). This means that we will target specific people based on their characteristics with our ads.

You should be targeting the people you want to perform the action. This is another reason why it is so important to know who your target audience is.

Targeting Options

You can see a range of LinkedIn targeting options from below. Given it is a professional networking website, they have a huge amount of data on people’s current and previous work experience. This also allows them to gather information on interests and skills their users hold as well as information on their education.

Having that clear understanding of your overall campaign objective will mean that you know the segment of people you’re looking to target with your ads.

Job Title/ Industry/ Age

Once you have that clear understanding it is time to build the profile for the person for your campaign. You want to ensure the people who will be served impressions for your campaign fall within your potential client list.

Along with targeting all of Ireland, below were some of the targeting options we chose for our test campaign.

We know the targeting differences between LinkedIn and Google but let’s discuss the differences between LinkedIn Ads and Facebook campaigns. 

With Facebook, you get rewarded by keeping your targeting as broad as possible. That way you allow the algorithm to find your potential buyers/ subscribers etc. Once your pixel and the Facebook algorithm have built up a clear understanding of who is interested in your offer, they do a much better job at targeting your ads than you ever could.

Where Should You Send The Traffic?

Where you send the traffic from your campaign will depend on the objective of your campaign. If you’re just promoting a video, they will stay on the LinkedIn platform. But if you are trying to send them to a page on your website then you should make sure you are optimising that landing page for the visitors.

Here is a list of what you should do:

  • Ensure the page info & SEO is correct
  • Ensure the links are working
  • Ensure the information on the page is relevant to the ads you will be directing that way
  • Have a clear next step/ CTA for people on the stage
  • Link in other relevant topic clusters so visitors can continue to navigate on your website

Landing Page

We created a small blog where we hosted the video of a recent podcast interview we did with a law firm, Sweeneys Solicitors, based in Co. Cork.

We chose this as it gives solid practical advice to the audience we will be targeting the ad with and it covers some interesting topics for law firms (as described in the screenshot below). 

Campaign Results

Just like other forms of marketing, Linkedin ad results should also be monitored and reviewed. Given it was a new platform, we were unsure of what KPI’s to set or what return on the ad spend we could expect.

Keeping this in mind, here’s a snapshot of some of the results we got: LinkedIn Ads

What do all these terms mean ? Let’s break it down:

Impressions: How many times your ad loaded on the homepage

Clicks: How many times someone clicked on your ad

Average CPC: The amount it costs per click on your ad

Total Social Actions: The social engagement your ad received which includes everything from reactions, comments, shares, follows and clicks

As you can see we were spending approx €30 per day and we received just over 300 clicks and visits to our website during that time.

We were surprised and a little disappointed to see the high number of impressions while only receiving 19 engagements.


Like all results, metrics can paint a different picture. We can also look deeper through the metrics from an engagement perspective. Let’s go through the metrics below:

  • 301 people clicked and went through to our landing page
  • 66 people went and checked out our LinkedIn page
  • 2.18% of people engaged with our ad from the people who saw it

Ad Results – How Does It Compare To An Organic Post?

We always relied upon my personal Linkedin account to grow Evolve on LinkedIn. But with Linkedin ads, you have to share it via your LinkedIn company page.

With that in mind, I created the ad very similar to a post I had shared on my own page. I did this so we could compare the results of both. The image below is how the LinkedIn ad would have shown on our company page.

Below is my organic post from my personal page, with the results:

  •  4,500 Approx Views (Impressions)

While you have no control where your organic posts show, it was interesting to compare the results. There was a huge change when it came to the engagement rate.

One assumption we could make is that personal profiles perform better compared to company pages. This is something I’ve always found to be true as a personal page can be a more authentic way to share your brand’s message.

Our Verdict

Hold off on LinkedIn Ad campaigns and concentrate on opening new conversations and growing your brand through your personal profile.

The LinkedIn platform is great but you can become an expert and leader in your field through consistently posting information that is entertaining or educating through your own profile before you have to start putting money into ads.

In comparison to other social media platforms, they offer great opportunities for growth when it comes to your organic reach so take advantage of that while you still can.

Hopefully, you enjoyed this deeper dive into the LinkedIn Ads platform. If you found it valuable please share it with a friend or colleague. Get in touch with us if you have any questions relating to Linkedin Ads for your agency or if you’re interested in growing your business online. 

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