Optimizing LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn Advertising Best Practices: Writing and Testing Ad Copy

Your ad copy plays a key role in the success of your campaign. If it isn’t enticing, people won’t click through, and if it’s misleading (intentionally or not), it can mean a lower conversion rate for those that do land on your site.


In previous posts, I’ve covered the step-by-step process for creating a paid LinkedIn ad campaign as well as how to find the best audience for your ad. Here I’ll go in-depth about writing effective copy, and also the best practices for testing it to improve your results.


Let’s look at the two parts of your ad separately.


LinkedIn Advertising Best Practices When Writing Your Ad Headline

Writing Linkedin Ad Copy
Your ad headline is the first line of your ad with a maximum of 25 characters (including spaces). It’s displayed as a blue, bold hyperlink.

  1. Use Title Case. Capitalizing each word in your headline. This will help draw attention, but isn’t obnoxious or spammy like using ALL CAPS (which is also likely to get your ad rejected.)
  2. Make sure your offer is clear upfront. In most cases, people won’t bother reading past your headline, so make your case immediately: “Close Your Books Faster”
  3. Use strong action verbs. You want viewers of the ad to take action, so make sure your word choice reflects that.
  4. Consider asking a question. One way to entice people to read on is to pose a question in your headline: “Need a Corporate Caterer?”
  5. Highlighting a discount or promotion. Give ad viewers a reason to take action now, not put it off for later: “20% Off All Baby Products”
  6. Consider your audience. What are their needs? Concerns? If you can address either, you’ll have a better chance of getting a click.
  7. Use industry-specific jargon. Speak their language to connect with your target audience and let them know that you are an expert in their field and understand their needs.
  8. Make sure your ad has a strong connection to the landing page. In fact, repeating the same language from your landing page is a good practice. They clicked on that copy for a reason, so let them know they arrived in the right place.
  9. Don’t include your company name. In most cases, it’s a waste of precious characters. It’s likely that your web page address reflects your company name, so instead focus on using your headline to showcase the benefits of your product or service.
  10. Highlight your unique selling points. Are you the top CRM software available for that industry? Or maybe your product offers a feature that others don’t. Call it out in the headline.


Writing Your LinkedIn Ad Description

Writing Ad Copy Linkedin

  1. Use sentence case. Make it easy to read through by using short sentences and phrases. Start each with a capital letter and end it with a period.
  2. Provide details. You’ve drawn them in with a question, fact, or USP. Now’s the time to provide the nitty gritty. Tell them why they should go with you, the services you provide, or the key features of your product. Is there a free trial? Informational eBook? Seal the deal.
  3. Rule out unqualified leads. Consider who you might NOT want to click through on your ad. This is particularly true if you are running a pay-per-click campaign. Why pay for a click that’s not a qualified lead? For example, if you offer an enterprise software, you might be out of the price range for small businesses, so you may want your ad copy to say something like “The perfect solution for large corporations.”
  4. Include a strong call-to-action. Viewers should know what to do next. Here are a few examples: Contact Us, Download the Free eBook, Buy Now, Sign Up Now, Learn More
  5. Be specific. Like with your headline, keep your audience in mind, and tell them exactly how your business addresses their needs.
  6. Consider adding a brief testimonial or review. A recommendation can go a long way to building trust with a potential customer.
  7. Address concerns. What are the things that might cause someone not to buy your product or service? For example, they’re afraid to make a commitment, and a 30-day risk-free trial could help them give you a try.
  8. Don’t be too salesy or pretensious. Claims like “The Best Product Out There” are likely to be met with skepticism and also usually don’t actually say much about the benefits your products provide. Your goal is to be clear and upfront.
  9. Don’t worry too much about style. If you have a strong brand voice, that can be an effective marketing tool, helping you to connect with your audience and stick out in their memory. But you have a limited amount of space in your LinkedIn ad, so focus instead of the facts rather than developing your voice. You can bring in your voice on the landing page to reel in that sale.
  10. Don’t lie. This is true for the headline, too. It can be tempting to set up a “3-Day Only” sale that lasts forever. Or to stretch the truth a bit to get people onto your page. But this isn’t an effective in the long term. If your ad is misleading, you’re unlikely to realize conversion on your landing page, so what’s the point? And if you promise on thing and deliver something different, you’re damaging your brand and trust with customers, which will hurt repeat business and referrals, both strong drivers of growth.


How to Brainstorm for Your LinkedIn Ad Copy

Having trouble? It’s not always easy to know what to focus on. These exercises can help you come up with a starting point for writing more effective LinkedIn ad copy:

  • Find your benefits. Write down all the features of your product. Then translate them into a benefit. For example, if your product can be used anywhere with an internet connection, “flexibility” or “freedom” might be the benefit you can promote.
  • Find your USPs (unique selling points).  Make a list of all your major competitors. Now write down what sets you apart from each one.
  • Make a list of calls to action. Brainstorm calls to action specific to your product or service. For example, instead of just “Sign Up Now”, you could say “Learn French Now”. Come up with a long list of ideas, and then you can see what best matches your ad.
  • Learn your customers’ concerns. Do you have recent leads that didn’t pan out? Shoot them an email or give them a quick call to find out why they didn’t pull the trigger or went with a competitor. Make a list of these issues and consider addressing them in your ad copy.


A/B Testing Your LinkedIn Ad Campaign Copy

Ad Copy Testing

Now that you’ve written some great copy, you need to put it to the test. Sometimes your best guess just isn’t right, and something you thought would be less effective actually outperforms your number one choice.

  1. Hit the “duplicate” option. It’s available at the bottom of each ad you create. This just saves time and makes your life easier. From there, you can make changes to one section (headline, description, image, or landing page) to test different variables.
  2. Take advantage of the 15 variations. Sound overwhelming? Then at least start with 5 total variations. First create your base ad. Then change out the headline for the next ad, the description for the following, and then the image and landing page. It will be clearer which changes made a difference.
  3. Try different strategies. For your headline, consider one with strong action verbs promoting a key benefit. Then another with a question. Or write an ad highlighting one benefit, and another focused on a totally different benefit.
  4. Try the same copy for different audiences. This is a method of A/B testing copy that’s often overlooked. Your ad copy may resonate better for accountants than doctors. Test it out.
  5. Don’t get attached. Maybe you came up with a killer line. Or you just know that a particular benefit connects with clients. If the numbers say otherwise, it can be tempting to overlook them and still hold onto your initial impressions. If you’re looking for improved conversions though, this isn’t every effective. Put your ego aside and follow the results.

Check back for more LinkedIn Ad Campaign advice, such as developing effective images for your ads, or go back and read past installments of the LinkedIn Ad Campaign series:


Running Paid Ads on LinkedIn: A Step-by-Step Guide
How to Target the Right Audience with Your LinkedIn Paid Ad Campaign

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