LinkedIn Ads Growth Agency

Beginners Guide To LinkedIn Ads

Setting Up Your First Campaign

 It’s no secret that we at LinkedClicks believe that the LinkedIn ads platform should be where B2B companies allocate the majority of their advertising budget.

While it’s widely known how powerful LinkedIn is for professional networking, the ads platform is still in its infancy in terms of adoption. It’s the most powerful tool that many companies are not utilizing.

There are many reasons we feel this way, but the primary being its precise targeting capability.

You can ensure you get the right message in front of the right person, time after time, and that’s what we will be helping you do throughout this guide.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

There are three pillars of LinkedIn Ads that we are going to explore.

  1. Campaign Planning

  2. Campaign Setup

  3. Campaign Optimization

The amount of marketers that skip the first pillar, whether on LinkedIn or other platforms, is the number one reason ad campaigns fail.

You can’t just login to the platform and start creating a campaign. I guess you can, it just won’t end well.

On LinkedIn, campaign planning is far and away the most important pillar. The reason many B2B companies absolutely crush lead generation on LinkedIn is because of the targeting capabilities.

The reason some B2B companies claim that LinkedIn doesn’t work or is too expensive is because they ignore campaign planning.

Facebook marketers especially get scared of LinkedIn early on. The metrics are so different that Facebook marketers think campaigns are failing based on micro metrics like cost per click and cost per thousand impressions.

If they were to stay patient and look at macro metrics like cost per lead and cost per acquisition, they’d see that LinkedIn is the most underutilized ad platform out there, especially for B2B companies.

Pillar 1: Campaign Setup

If you are going to create your own LinkedIn ad campaign, you must do proper planning.

When planning your campaign, it is important to consider 3 important elements that will set you up for the best results.

WWH Campaign Plan:


Who are you targeting? - Who is the perfect prospect? - Know your customer, title, company, interests and groups. Plan out who is the ideal decision maker you are trying to reach with your advertising campaigns.

This will be the most important part of the planning process as LinkedIn is the most valuable B2B ad platform because of it’s targeting capabilities. If you don’t take time to really dial in your avatar, you won’t be utilizing what can help you the most.


What are you educating them with? What is the hook, the pain point, the value prop that reveals your customer’s problem and leads them to a solution?

This is the offer, the product or service that your company provides to add value to your customers.

It will be necessary to start with a highly valuable lead magnet (free content) offer that solves a small problem for your prospects.

This will establish you as an authority on the subject matter and also provide immediate relief to your prospect.

The “what” could be a guide, case study, white paper or cheat sheet that solves a specific need or issue for your prospect.


This is the messaging and medium. How do you talk to these customers and where is the conversation happening?

It’s a breakdown of the headlines, text, and imagery used to engage a LinkedIn scroller.

Brainstorm some messaging and image ideas and select your best combinations to test in your first campaign.

Once you have mapped out these 3 main concepts for your campaigns you can begin to build audience groups based around your “who” target ideas and match the “how” messaging to these target groups.

Here is an example of the targeting options you should consider for your campaign:



USA, Canada, UK, Australia

Company Size

11-50, 51-200


Software & IT Services: Computer Software

Job Title

CEO, Founder,  Co-Founder, Owner, Co-Owner, Founder, Founding Partner

Job Function & Seniority

Senior, Director, VP, CXO, Owner, Partner, CEO

Skills & Seniority

Saas, SaaS Dev, Software + Senior, Director, VP, CXO, Owner, Partner, CEO

Groups & Seniority

SaaS Founders Groups + Owner, Partner, Founder, CEO

Matched Audience

Use this if you have an email list of prospects

LAL Audience

Current customer list build LinkedIn Lookalike


Downloaded Free Opt-In, but no call


VP Sales, Entry level, training, 1-10 employee,. 200+ employees


In addition to the above, we recommend a minimum budget of $150/day and you must understand what the campaign objective is.

We often see clients we work with that have a target cost per demo of $500 or less in ad spend and $50 or less in cost per lead.

If you don’t know your numbers yet, this first campaign will serve as a baseline of what metrics you need to be profitable using LinkedIn ads.

This is also the time that you want to plan the actual creative you will use. That means writing ad copy for the headline and description along with a compelling image or video.

We’d recommend starting with an image as video campaigns typically are more expensive, according to our most recent data.

Pillar 2: Campaign Setup

Once you have finished your media plan, the hardest part is over. It’s time to actually execute the media buy.

This simply means creating your ad account and setting up your very first campaign.

We’ll take you step-by-step how to do this here:

If you don’t have a company page on LinkedIn, you’ll need to create one:

Follow the prompts for setting up your company page according to your company size and information.


Once you have a company page created and you are the admin for the page, you can now create a LinkedIn ads account.

  1. Sign in to your personal account.

  2. Go to this page to get started with your campaign, and select "Create Ad."

ad account LI2.png

3. Once here, you'll be prompted to create a LinkedIn Campaign Manager account.

Follow the steps and enter your associated LinkedIn Company Page.

4. Once you complete your Campaign Manager account setup, you’ll be directed to your member dashboard.

From here you need to set up your billing information to unlock your account. Click the gear in the right hand corner and then “billing center” to set up your payment.

Now that you have an ad account created, you can setup your first campaign.  

We’ll walk you through the initial settings we recommend you start with for simplicity sake.

Step 1 - Campaign

  1. From the campaign manager page, click “Create Campaign”

  2. Select your campaign objective - We recommend website visits to begin.

  3. Name your campaign

  4. Set up your audience

    1. Language

    2. Country


  • Company (Industry, Names, Size),

  • Demographics,

  • Education,

  • Job Experience (Function, Seniority, Title, Skills, Experience),

  • Interests (Groups)  

    In regard to audience size, you will be able to make a 20K audience size work with a small budget, but will need an audience greater than 100K for a larger budget.

  • Make sure that “Enable Audience Expansion” and “Enable the LinkedIn Audience Network” are both unchecked. This is a money pit and traffic trap for beginners on LinkedIn.

audience expanison.png

  1. Select Ad format - Single image ad to start

  2. Placement - Uncheck LinkedIn Audience Network

  3. Set budget and schedule

  4. Set bid type to CPC to start, using the minimum bid allowed

  5. Conversion tracking - create a conversion - TY page load

Step 2 - Ad Setup

  1. Create 3 ads to start with (each different & unique to find a baseline)

    1. Name the ad

    2. Introductory text < 125 Characters

    3. Destination URL

    4. Image

    5. Headline < 28 Characters

    6. Description


Okay, now that the campaign and ad creative is setup, we need to place the LinkedIn Insight Tag on your website and also setup tracking.

  • From the campaign manager select “Account Assets” and select “Insight Tag.”

  • Click Create an Insight Tag and install the code on every page of your website’s global footer.


Once the Insight Tag is properly installed on your website and a LinkedIn member visits, your domain will show up in the website tracking dashboard with the last signal received. This depends on your website traffic and may take up to 24 hours.

Now that the LinkedIn insight tag has been installed on all website pages, we can now create a conversion event specific to the objective of our campaign and track performance.

  • To create a conversion event go to “account assets,” click “conversions” and click “create a conversion.”

Your conversion event will be triggered when someone lands on the thank you page of the funnel (ie. downloads a guide, cheatsheet, white paper, booked call, etc).

Follow the steps for setting up a conversion event, select the campaign you want associated with this event and define the event with your completion page url.

conversion creation.png

Once we have the pixels placed and the ad is created, we can submit the entire campaign for approval by LinkedIn. This could take up to 72 hours, but usually takes much less.

Now that you have your campaign planning and campaign setup complete, your next order of business is to collect data and optimize the campaign.

Pillar 3: Campaign Optimization

Your very first LinkedIn campaign is up and running, congratulations!

This is where the rubber meets the road. Data such as cost per click (CPC), click thru rate (CTR) and cost per lead (CPL) will start to roll in.

What we want to watch for early on is CTR (>1% is goal), our spend (should be spending full daily budget) and our bids.

Our goal with bidding is to bid the lowest we can while also having the campaign spend full budget. This often takes tweaking early in the campaign to find the right CPM or CPC.

Your goals should be a greater than 1% CTR and a CPC that is less than $3.50. While that may seem expensive, it’s a bargain to get in front of the perfect prospect and decision maker.


In the above screenshot, you can see the campaign is within both target metrics while generating a steady flow of leads and conversions.

If your CTR is below 1%, you must keep tweaking the ad copy and images until you reach a CTR greater than 1%.

The better your CTR is, the lower your CPC will be, so you should be constantly optimizing your creative.

Bidding Optimization Strategy

If you launched the campaign with a minimum CPC bid and you have seen that your CTR is over 1%, it’s more cost effective to now switch the campaign to CPM bidding.

You can start with the minimum CPM bid with a sky-high daily budget to see if the campaign will spend or not, but monitor it closely.

You want to keep adjusting the bid throughout the day until you see at which bid the campaign actually starts spending at a steady pace, without blowing through your daily budget.

Now Go Generate Leads!

And to reiterate, LinkedIn is an incredible B2B advertising platform when measuring macro metrics like cost per acquisition and cost per lead. You could have a horrible CTR and a really high CPC, but they are converting into valuable leads and clients.

While micro metrics are important, macro metrics determine success.

We hope this has helped and wish you the best of luck launching your first LinkedIn ads campaign.

If you are a B2B SaaS company looking to generate more leads, product demos and clients, download our free Saas Demo Accelerator here.