Start creating a campaign in LinkedIn Campaign Manager and you will be presented with several Objectives for your campaign, of which you must choose one. But what does selecting each objective mean and how does it affect the performance of your campaigns? Let’s explore…
Objective 1: Brand Awareness
Select this objective if your primary purpose is to get large scale exposure of your brand within your target audience. LinkedIn will show your ads to as many relevant contacts as your budget will stretch to, but will show no regard for past behaviour of these individuals. This means that contacts with a poor history of clicking on calls to action or otherwise engaging with ads will be included, and thus your click-through rate will likely be very low.
Objective 2: Website Visits
Now, along with Engagement and Video Views, we move into the Consideration objectives. When the Website Visits objective is selected LinkedIn will show your ads to relevant contacts who have a good track record of clicking on ads. This could be in the form of a click through to your website or landing page, or to your LinkedIn event page. Since LinkedIn has to be more selective about who it shows ads to the cost per impression is higher with the Website Visits objective than it is with Brand Awareness. The click-through rate of your ads will almost certainly be higher though.
Objective 3: Engagement
Similar to Website Visits, when the Engagement objective is selected the LinkedIn Ads platform will give consideration to the past behaviour of the members it serves ads to, and will reserve inventory for those with a good track record of engaging with ads (likes, shares, follows etc). Again, the CPM will be higher than Brand Awareness ads but the engagement rate will also be higher.
Objective 4: Video Views
Just like the Website Visits and Engagement objectives, when the Video Views objective is selected consideration will be given to members’ past behaviour in terms of video views. To put it another way, only people with a good history of watching in-feed videos on the LinkedIn platform will be shown ads. As with the other two Consideration objectives the cost per impression will be higher, but so will the percentage of people viewing your video content.
Objective 5: Lead Generation
Objectives 5 through to 8 are known as the Conversion objectives. These are most suitable for LinkedIn Ads campaigns where the primary purpose is to get the audience to take a specific, measurable action. With the Lead Generation objective that purpose is often a content download, a sign-up, a free trial or some other action that could be considered a lead. What is slightly different (and highly beneficial) about Lead Generation campaigns is that a lead generation form with built-in profile information will be served to the member when they click on your ad. This results in a higher number of form completions because a. the user has not had to leave LinkedIn to submit their information and b. the majority of the fields on the form are prepopulated.
Objective 6: Website Conversions
The Website Conversions is very similar to the Lead Generation objective, but instead of using the lead generation form that LinkedIn provides users will be taken to your website to convert. It’s great for times when you have a specific campaign landing page that you want to use, but campaigns with a Lead Generation objective will typically outperform a Website Conversions campaign.
Objectives 7 and 8: Talent Leads and Job Applications
Both of these are intended for use by companies wishing to attract and engage future talent for their organisation. Strictly speaking they are not for traditional marketing campaigns, though you do often find the marketing function being leant on to help drive brand awareness and engagement amongst a pool of potential talent, particularly in a candidate driven market.
So there you have it – the LinkedIn Ads objectives demystified. As with all marketing campaigns careful consideration should be given to your desired outcome before you select the channel and objective. With LinkedIn Ads the general rule of thumb is that the more you want people to do something after seeing your ad, the more it is likely to cost.