How to Win More Auctions and Get Your Ads in Front of the Right Audience.
LinkedIn offers a variety of bidding strategies geared towards different campaign objectives. Picking the right strategy and setting a competitive bid can make or break your campaign, so how do you ensure your ads are showing to the right audience? Let’s break it down and dive into how bidding works on LinkedIn.
1. How does Bidding Work?
The first step in choosing the right bidding strategy for your business is to understand how the LinkedIn auction works. LinkedIn uses a second price auction meaning that the winning bid in an auction will pay $0.01 more than the second-highest bidder.
However, your bid is not the only thing LinkedIn uses to determine who wins an auction. The winning bid is also determined by your audience, your ads’ relevance to your audience, and overall campaign performance. Refreshing your creative often and selecting the best targeting is just as important to your campaign’s success.
2. Choosing your Objective
When creating your campaign, LinkedIn first asks for your campaign objective which will determine your optimization and bidding options. LinkedIn breaks out campaign objectives into 3 categories:
- Awareness: all awareness campaigns are charged by impressions on a CPM basis.
- Consideration: this includes website visits, engagement, and video views. These can be charged by clicks, impressions, or video views.
- Conversions: this includes website conversions, lead generation, and job applicants. These are charged by either clicks or impressions.
Each objective will offer different optimization goals and bidding strategies. Clicks are defined differently depending on the objective. For example, the website visits objective will only charge clicks to your landing page, but the engagement objective defines a click as any action on your ad including social actions, clicking on your LinkedIn page, or visiting your website.
3. LinkedIn’s Bidding Options
Your bidding strategy also determines how much control you have over your bids. You can leave all control to the LinkedIn algorithm to optimize your campaign within your budget, you can have complete control over your bids, or find yourself somewhere in the middle.
- Manual CPC gives the advertiser the most control over costs. You will set the maximum bid you are willing to pay for a click and LinkedIn will not exeed that. For this method, you will need to monitor your campaigns closely and you risk your ads not delivering if your bid is too low.
- Automated Bidding lets LinkedIn do all the work for you. Automated bidding is done on a CPM basis so you are charged for every 1,000 impressions. You do not set a maximum bid so your costs can fluctuate. You can be confident that the campaign will spend its full budget and do not have to update your bids.
- Enhanced CPC is a mix of the two previously discussed options. LinkedIn will auto-optimize your bid so that your ads show to people most likely to take your desired action. Your actual CPCs will vary and might be a little higher than your bid, but won’t be too far off. It is only available for website visits, engagement, lead generation, and website conversion objectives.
4. Selecting the Right Strategy for Your Business
The best bidding strategy for you depends on your business goals. Here are a few things to consider to get you started:
- What is your campaign’s goal?
Automated bidding is great if your goal is to get more visibility so your ads can get in front of as many people as possible. If you want higher quality clicks that are more likely to convert, then Enhanced CPC may be the best route. If costs are a top concern, Target Cost will be able to optimize to your goals.
- How much time do you have?
If you have the time to monitor your campaigns every day, you may want to use manual CPC or enhanced CPC so that you can control your costs better. But if you can’t commit too much time to your LinkedIn advertising, using one of the automated strategies may be the best choice for your company.
- What are your budget needs?
If you want to maximize your budget spending, Manual CPC or Enhanced CPC may not be able to spend your full budget if your bid is too low. If budget is your priority, Target Cost and Automated Bidding are more likely to ensure your budget is spent as efficiently as possible.
Ultimately your bidding strategy comes down to your company’s goals and how much control you want to have over your costs. There may not be just one strategy that works for you and you should always test multiple bid options and keep working to find the best strategy to maximize your results.