How to have higher conversion rates with LinkedIn ads

LinkedIn is a great platform for promoting your professional products or services.

Coming to the point, I have good news and bad news, the bad news first.

When you publish an update or an article on LinkedIn, only a percentage of your connections actually get to see them and this is because of the algorithmic timeline that all social media platforms are using.

The good news is LinkedIn advertising could help you expand your reach on the platform. You can even get past your own network and reach people with some defining targeting options such as job title/function/seniority, company name/industry/size, skills, schools, etc.

This is great but there is another problem . . .

LinkedIn uses an auction system to decide on which ad to show to a target audience. It occurs that two companies have made ads for the same audience and it’s LinkedIn’s job to make sure the better one is displayed.

Now in the auction, apart from the amount of bid you invest on the ad, the relevance is the key. LinkedIn wishes to make a great experience for its users by providing the content they care about.

Your ad gets a relevance score based on its click-through rate, comments, likes, shares, and member feedback.

This means that you can reach more audience if you make your ad or promoted content optimized to be more interesting for your target audience. But it’s not just that. See it as on-site and off-site SEO. Apart from optimizing your content, there are a couple of steps you should take.

If you want to get most conversions out of your LinkedIn ads or promoted content, you need to take care of these four areas:

Audience Targeting

Your ads work best if it is targeted to the right audience. It goes unsaid that if your ad is shown to the people who are not interested, it won’t be engaging and as a result it gets a low relevance score. This affects the ad’s display chance.

The first step in setting up your campaign is to define a detailed persona of your target audience. The more targeting options you choose for your campaign, the more personal it will look to your target audience.

You can even go further and select a specific company name and target some people from that company. This method is called account-based marketing. You select an individual company and target people related to that company. The content curated for this kind of campaign is the most relevant and personal for the target audience.

When your target audience is defined in full detail, you have the chance to study their demographic (gender, age, education, profession, occupation, marital status, etc.) and behavioral information (interests, preferences, reactions, etc.). You can then procure the most relevant content for them.

This brings us to the second area you should attend to when planning your LinkedIn’s paid campaign.


2. Curating Content that Converts

Even if you want to get the most personal kind of content in front of people, they might not engage with it if the copy is not attention-grabbing or engaging enough.

There are two aspects to your content’s copy: one, your ad’s surface copy, or the bait that people see, and second, your target content’s copy, or where people are led to when clicking on the link.

Your ad’s surface copy should be attention-grabbing. People see lots of the same content and you don’t want your ad to be the final straw, right?

The best way to know what kind of copy is most attention-grabbing, you should experiment with different forms and see what’s working for your audience.

But overall there are some proven tips:

  • Prove your content’s value by giving a clue to your new original findings or opinions.
  • Ask questions that target people’s problems and pain points.
  • Be assuring without seeming unrealistic so that people would know that you’re there to solve their problems.
  • Use contrasts, simple language, emotional words, and engaging visual elements — these elements are appealing to humans reptilian brain.

To make your target content more engaging, again the best way is to experiment (by testing the content’s organic reach of course — you don’t want to waste your money). Write different copies of the same content and see which one gets the most attention.

There are lots of tips on how to make your content more engaging, but here is what neuroscience teaches us to do:

  • You Have 8 Seconds To Provide The Hook: When you take your online content in front of people, you have 8 seconds or so to look interesting and grab their attention, or they’ll fly to check out another piece of content. Study shows that in the age of smartphones, human attention span (8 secs) has shrunk to less than that of a goldfish (9 secs).
  • Target The Decision-Maker Part Of The Brain: The reptilian brain is responsible for instinctive decision-making. According to o Neuromarketing, a book written by Patrick Renvoisé and Christophe Morin, the reptilian brain has six characteristics: 1) It is self-centered—always searching for ways to relieve pain and increase comfort. 2)It can pay attention only to the beginning and ending of lengthy communications. 3)It is visual. 4) It likes contrast. 5)It best understands simple language. And, finally, 6) it is triggered by emotion.
  • Write About States Of Mind: We have the natural tendency to track others’ states of mind. Memories, beliefs, desires, intentions, expectations, point of views, anything that could be found in others’ minds are interesting for us. In cognitive psychology it is called “Theory of Mind”, the ability to attribute distinct mental states to others as compared to oneself. Talking about mental states could be a great attention-grabber in your content. Use human case studies, write in first person point of view, use your personal experiences, and ask interview questions based on mental evaluations: feelings, emotional experiences, judgments, predictions and etc.
  • Be authentic: You can’t imagine how people count on the authenticity of a piece of content when deciding to continue reading it or not. When reading a piece of content, there are two scenarios: either the author is there to solve a real problem, or he’s just another scum trying to steal people’s money or sell them a wicked opinion.
  • Harness The Power Of Stories: Studies show that our brain does not make any distinction between reading about an experience or encountering it in real life. The implication is you can activate brain’s sensory parts by incorporating the senses in your writing, and this is an exciting way to engage your audience.
  • Incorporate a complete process: Don’t leave your audience high and dry in making sense of the processes in your content. Be clear in where you started from and where you’re heading with your content.

3. Optimizing Content Using Basic SEO

LinkedIn uses a smart newsfeed to detect the most relevant content for its users. Now this algorithm cannot say an engaging content from a non-engaging content unless by relying on some keywords, and the content’s previous performance.

To improve your content’s relevance score, you should do a keyword research and determine what keywords are preferred by your audience. By using the right keywords in your ad’s copy you can make sure that the ad is found relevant by LinkedIn’s algorithm and thus displayed more frequently.

Another basic SEO factor that could be useful in optimizing your ad’s copy is improving content’s trustworthiness. Trustworthiness is an element related to a good user experience which avoids issues such as pogo sticking.

Two main questions you should ask to determine your content’s trustworthiness are: “do you look trustworthy in terms of a valid and professional layout, content, and visual navigation?” and “do other people validate you (testimonials, citations and references for the data you provide, outside references, . . . )?

4. Users’ seamless experience across various platforms:

Another off-site step you should take to have more conversions with your LinkedIn ads is determining your target audience’s behaviour and preferences across different platforms and then providing a seamless user experience for them.

People’s expectations of each platform are different. In order to provide a seamless experience for your target audience across different platforms you should know how they move from one platform to another and then target them with the right content.

For example, because people expect short texts on Twitter, it could be a good platform to raise people’s awareness about your company and then drive them to your LinkedIn page. You could also add LinkedIn button on your other social media accounts.

The same is true about targeting different devices. An omnichannel marketing approach considers the kind of content people are interested in across their different devices. If your audience is more interested to interact with your blog content on their mobile devices, but convert (buy your product, register in your seminar/course, etc.) on their PCs, then you know how to fine-tune your targeting options to show them what they most like to engage with when they are on their different devices.


People normally think that once they pay for their content display in LinkedIn they get the full potential of people’s engagement. The problem is even for your promoted content to be displayed to your target audience, it should be relevant and have the minimum past engagement. Taking care of the four aforementioned areas in LinkedIn advertising could optimize your ads for the full potential conversion.

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