LinkedIn first introduced conversation ads in March 2020, and this new ad format has already proven to be an incredibly effective tool to engage users directly through LinkedIn messages. Like any new ad, it’s essential to understand exactly how conversation ads work to determine if they’ll help your business achieve its goals.
We’ve compiled this comprehensive guide to help you learn everything you need to know about conversation ads. This beginner’s guide includes what conversation ads are, how they compare to message ads, why you should use them, how they work, and some of our best practices.
First things first, what exactly are LinkedIn conversation ads?
These ads are interactive and personalised messages that appear in users’ inboxes. Conversation ads allow users to select replies that match their needs and help businesses achieve different objectives.
If you’ve used LinkedIn message ads before, you might be wondering what the difference is between conversation and message ads.
The main difference between these ad types is the number of call-to-action buttons you can set up. With message ads, you can display a personalised message with one call-to-action button. However, with conversation ads, you can set up multiple call-to-action buttons that link to landing pages, a lead gen form, or more information in the following message.
The thing that sets LinkedIn conversation ads apart from message ads and other forms of ads is their ability to let users choose between different replies and help businesses achieve different objectives.
Businesses can set up multiple ‘flows’ with multi-layered and targeted call-to-actions. This allows businesses to interact with their target audience in a meaningful way. In return, users feel listened to and can easily find relevant information or services. Conversation ads are designed to mimic human interaction, which comes with an improved user experience and higher levels of engagement.
Conversation ads can only be sent when a user is online, so they are likely ready to engage with valuable and relevant content. This style of conversation ads allows for real-time engagement with users. Businesses can tailor their approach based on where the user is in their customer journey. Users’ responses help businesses understand prospective customers' motivations and intentions to understand their target audience better.
Another benefit of using LinkedIn conversation ad campaigns is that these ads have a higher click-through rate than other ads. LinkedIn messages have an open rate of 50%, considerably higher than the industry benchmark of 21%. Some businesses have reported clickthrough rates 5 times higher than they had previously seen using conversation ads.
As with all campaigns, the first step is to choose your objective. Conversation ads are shown under two objectives: website visits and lead generation.
Website visits: this middle-of-funnel objective drives users to your website or a tailored landing page.
Lead generation: this bottom-of-funnel objective takes users to a lead generation form that is pre-filled with their LinkedIn profile data.
You can target audience segments such as location, industry, and job title. Or you can also remarket to existing users using your own list of contacts or retarget users who’ve previously visited your website. If you have a valuable and high-performing existing audience, you can also target them.
With conversation ads, it’s crucial to exclude previous conversions from your target audience, particularly if you use lead generation forms. You don’t want to ask users for information they have already given you.
You have two options when setting a budget: either a daily budget or a total budget.
Daily budget: This option is best if you have a large target audience (over 100 thousand) and your campaigns have no specific end date.
Total budget: This is better if you’re working with a smaller audience (less than 100 thousand) and have a specific campaign end date.
The next step is to choose a relevant sender for your conversation ad by clicking ‘add sender’. Make sure the sender you choose aligns with your campaign’s objective, and it makes sense why they’re messaging users about your chosen topic. For example, if you’re a marketing agency trying to attract clients needing SEO help, a logical choice might be the Head of SEO.
LinkedIn offers several templates that you can use to structure your conversation, or you can create your own unique and fully personalised conversation flow.
Although you can use up to 8,000 characters, keeping your copy to around 500 characters is best. Shorter messages drive higher levels of engagement and make more of an impact.
Conversation ads should ideally consist of 2-5 layers. Each layer should contain a message and CTA’s that respond to the previous message. You should always have at least 2 CTA’s per message, although you can add up to 5.
Depending on which objective you selected when setting up your campaign, each CTA should link to a lead generation form or your website.
Make sure you upload a banner image that showcases your brand. This needs to be 300 x 250px and either a jpg or png. Although this will only show up on desktop, if you don’t upload a banner, you risk a different brand’s image showing up instead!
Once you’ve finished setting up your conversation ad, don’t forget to play around with different senders and CTAs to test which options are most effective for achieving your objectives.
It’s essential to be highly specific when choosing your audience, particularly when choosing job titles to target. Similarly, you should be just as specific when choosing job titles you want to exclude from your target audience.
Aim for a relaxed and conversational tone and get your message across in as few words as possible. Avoid unnecessary long words and sentences and ask questions to mimic the feel of a real conversation.
LinkedIn allows you to dynamically personalise your conversation ads using users’ profile information, so make use of it. Start with their first name and introduce yourself and what you can offer them. You can further personalise the message by including LinkedIn data, such as the industry the user works in.
Avoid including negative CTA buttons such as ‘no thank you’. However, try to include a variety of CTAs to give users options and reduce the likelihood of them closing the ad.
Grabbing users’ attention with a compelling and snappy subject line is essential. This sets the tone for the rest of the conversation.
If you think conversation ads could benefit your business, but you’re unsure where to start, it might be time to get some outside help.
At Logica Digital, we have over 15 years of experience running successful advertising campaigns, including LinkedIn conversion ads. After a free initial audit, our PPC experts will work out a comprehensive strategy to help you achieve your business goals and start seeing real results.
Contact the team today to learn more about what we do and how we can help you make progress with LinkedIn ads. Or take advantage of our 100% free digital marketing audit for a breakdown of your current ad performance and what you can do to improve!