Welcome to the LinkedIn Ads Show On this episode, I will be interviewing Tom Kim at LinkedIn. Contact us at Podcast@B2Linked.com with ideas for what you’d like AJ to cover.


I got to sit down with Tom Kim, who is the Senior Product Marketing Manager over the campaign manager user experience. In this chat, we talk about how advertisers should navigate the options while building campaigns and ads. I know you’re going to like this.

Welcome to the LinkedIn Ads show. Here’s your host, AJ Wilcox.

Hey there LinkedIn ads fanatics, every time I get a chance to sit down for a fun geeky conversation with someone over product at LinkedIn, I just wish that I could record it and share it with my other geeky ad friends. I decided to do that just that today. And I hope you get to enjoy it. I’m stoked to introduce you to Tom Kim, the Senior Product Marketing Manager over campaign manager experience at LinkedIn. He’s the one responsible for what you see in the ads platform and how you interact with it. He’s going to give us insights into the various options that LinkedIn advertisers have and how to decide your approach with the various objectives and ad settings. So without further ado, let’s hit it. I am super excited to be sitting here with Tom Kim, who is the Senior Product Marketing Manager over the whole campaign manager experience at LinkedIn marketing solutions. Everyone who uses your platform every single day, this is going to be really interesting information for so really excited to get started. Thanks for coming. I mean, anything you want to share about yourself.

Awesome. Nice to be here. Yeah, I’ve been at LinkedIn for about two years now. And it’s been a great ride. And I’ve been leading the objective based advertising effort. You’ve seen the transformation of campaign manager over the last couple of years, pretty dramatically and so really excited and grateful to be part of that experience. And I live here in San Francisco. So I’m very grateful for the short commute. I have two kids and a partner and life is very busy.

So awesome. Well, congrats on on two years. I can’t believe it’s already been two years. I know right? I don’t know what last time we met or not the last time but the first time We met up was pretty recently when, when you guys were still considering obey. It’s exciting to see it fully rolled out now. Yeah. So as we start talking about this, I mean, we talked to a Amita Paul, who kind of laid out how LMS thinks about the objective based advertising approach. What we’d really like to discuss with you is specifically, how do advertisers think about this? How do we use it relate to it to actually like, put rubber to the road? So as we talk about this, in the very first thing you’re greeted with when you jump into to create a campaign is you go to Select your objective. Tell us about that. How like, how would you as an advertiser, select your objective? How would you determine?

Yeah, I think selecting objective is probably the most important part. And with the latest rollout of objective based advertising, that rolled out to everybody on September 19, we’ve introduced more objectives, so website conversions and brand awareness, as well as job applicants. And so I think it’s most it’s more important than ever To make sure that you’re choosing the right objectives, and the only guidance I would have for our advertisers will be that you have to pick a lane. So I get a lot of questions from customers that say, hey, I’ve chosen a lead gen campaign. But I’m seeing less clicks, right? Well, if you choose a lead gen objective clicks is not your main objective. And so you just have to make sure that you identify the KPI that matters most to you. And make sure that you align the objectives and choose the objective accordingly and picking that KPI is really important for your company because it can rapidly organizational support, senior management support if you have a very clear KPI and that’s what the objective solution demands you to do is really be singularly focused and what you want to accomplish out of your marketing campaigns.

Excellent. What new things have come from LBA in general?

Yeah, I would say that with this most recent rollout with the introduction of website conversions, brand awareness and job applicant objectives. we’ve rolled out objective based clicks. And so what that means is that you only get charged and we only optimize for the results that are most important to you based on your objectives. So we’ve aligned and not just the kind of campaign creation flow, but also the optimization on the backend as well as what we charge you for. So that we can have a consistent and integrated end to end objective base experience. So objective base clicks is essentially for website visitors and conversions, we only charge you for clicks to your landing page. So in the past, we used to charge for any kind of engagement because we used to be very ad format focused. So any engagement was considered good. But now in the objective based world, only clicks to the landing page is what our advertisers care about. And that’s the only thing that we’re going to optimize to and charge you for. And I would say related to that, I think there’s gonna be some implications for our advertisers and the way they look at metrics. So for website visitors and conversions, They’re going to see some of the vanity metrics like CTR and clicks drop. But what’s really important is to look at your campaign results based on a key results. So we introduced a new column, and the reporting UI called key results. Yeah. And that will align to, again, your KPI, which is aligned to your objectives. And in the case of website, visitors and conversions, it’ll be landing page clicks for website visits. And for conversions, it’ll be the number of conversions you’re going to get in your campaign. So what I would encourage our advertisers to do is to take a deep breath when they see their CTR and the clicks drop, and to really look at the key results that really matter.

And for someone who may not know right off the bat, what their objective is, I know this might sound a little crazy that someone would go in, but we get this from advertisers. What would you recommend for a testing strategy for testing into an objective or selecting if you’re not quite sure?

I think that really matters on that really depends on the individual advertiser, but experiment with different objectives. We know we have formats that span across multiple objectives. So if you’re not sure about an objective, I would say, you know, spread across a couple of objectives. Let’s say you want to do website conversions to generate leads on your own website versus, you know, using LinkedIn lead gen forms on the lead generation objective. So, you know, test a couple of objectives, pick the format that matters most to you. Make sure you’ve got the right bidding, and just test away

Great recommendations. When you go to create any campaign regardless of the ad format, anything like that. The first option that comes up is going to be auto bidding. Tell us about about auto bidding in general, as we get questions on it fairly regularly.

Yeah, auto bidding is essential to the object based experience. So when you choose auto bid, we basically optimize for the end result that you care about that’s aligned to your objective. For example, when you choose auto bidding and you pick lead gen, we’re likely going to target those customers or those members. that are on our platform that are more likely going to fill out a prefilled lead gen form. So for that reason it’s really important auto automated bidding is really important because there’s already optimization baked in based on your objective. And so I know that some of our advertisers have struggled to gain kind of performance improvements using automated bidding versus CPC bidding. So what I would suggest is that if you have a proven campaign that you know works, and you’re spending at least 85% of your budget, then automated bidding will probably give you efficiencies, quite you can’t do manually. So for those tested campaigns, I would strongly urge people to use automated bidding. Now if you have a new target or you’re sort of experimenting, you’re not sure if a creative is naturally going to work. I recommend that you choose CPC bidding first. See if you can fully utilize your daily budget. I have about 85% level and if it does, then you can switch on automated printing and and see what kind of results you get. I think the hardest part is if you have a campaign that Not quite optimized, you can turn on automated bidding, and the system will work overdrive to get you the impressions. And sometimes that comes at the cost of efficiency. So I think you need to be careful and how you approach automated bidding. So please, I would say start with CPC if you’re not sure. And then switch on automated bidding when you know that the the ad is working well for you.

Yeah. And it’s, it’s an algorithm that’s based off of what it’s learned and off of experience. So that makes total sense. If you’ve, if you’ve had results already, the machine has already learned a lot so you can flip the auto bidding. Great advice. I like starting out if it’s a new campaign, maybe start out CPC, then test and auto bidding. Yeah, exactly. Okay, I love it. And then of course, the next thing that you’ll start to decide after you choose your objective is your targeting. And this is I think, where LinkedIn absolutely shines. LinkedIn is the only place that has the level of targeting you do so first of all, you should be proud Second of all, you as an advertiser, if you’re going in and you’re looking at all of this litany of options. How do you decide how would you recommend someone approach the targeting, if they haven’t done it before?

Yeah, I’ve a couple of pieces of recommendation. One is, I get this question quite a bit, it’s where is job titles, because I think that’s the first thing that people think about. And the new redesign is great in terms of for new users giving them discoverability. Right, you can use that tree like structure to kind of drill into the different facets and you want to target your audience by. I would say that job titles is under job experience. So that’s number one. That’s the most often the number one question that I get. And the second is for our experienced advertisers. The new targeting design is a lot more clicks to get to the facets they want. In the past, they were just able to just click on a facet and go. And so for the advanced advertisers, what I would say is use global search, because it’s a quick way to get to the facet that you’re looking for, and it’s one of the most requested things that we’ve gotten before OBA and so now it’s in there, so please use it.

Yeah. So now if you, you don’t have to click through multiple options. If you know what you’re looking for you just search for it. I’ve found you can just type the word marketing, and it’ll bring up job functions. It’ll bring up skills, it’ll bring up groups. And you can just say, Oh, yeah, that’s the direction. I want to go down further. Yep. Excellent. Tell me a little bit about AD rotation in the previous interface. Ad rotation was a little bit easier to access. And I still get asked a lot of questions about AD rotation in general. I definitely have my own opinions on it. But I’m curious from your side, how do you view ad rotation? What questions are you getting from advertisers? And what are your responses?

Good question. So ad rotation is one of those features that I believe has been abused by advertisers, to put it bluntly. A lot of people used even ad rotation versus optimize, optimize is the default a lot of pushes out of it and choose even because they think it’s a good way to do AB testing. Yeah, and it’s not. So, it’s not a true AB test. What it does is it lets both sets of creative or all your creatives enter the option evenly, but even for even rotation, it will optimize over time. And that’s kind of what you want our engine to do. And so I would say that for those advertisers that are missing ad rotation, hang on, because split testing is coming up very quickly. Beautiful. And that’s just software that use case but please for those people that have found it, please do not use even ad rotation for split testing.

Yeah, the the explanation I have for people on this is because it says it will enter two different ad creative in the auction evenly, doesn’t mean that they will win the auctions evenly. So the poorer creative the one that shouldn’t be winning, it will be shown less because it won’t win. And when it does get shown it will cost more so you’ll get less delivery and higher CPC is by using it,

AJ, Yeah. Good insight. Yeah.

That’s what we found. I used to call it and this was like five years ago. But I used to call it the the show me less and charge me more button. And if you’re curious about where this is located in the audience building portion, you flip over to the ad section. And if you hover over, it’s the gear at the top of the ads section.

It’s in the ads in the rotation section. As in this creative section.

Yeah. So if you hit that gear, you can get access to it. But like you’ve heard us talk about maybe don’t.

I was not gonna tell them that, but now that it’s out.

Awesome. Well, anything else that you want to share specifically with new advertisers? I know, we’ll have a lot of experienced advertisers here who this probably feels pretty at home, to. But any advice for new advertisers who are starting to figure the platform out?

Yeah, I would say that objective based advertising we’re a lot over the last couple of years has been a big and major step in making sure that we streamline the campaign creation process for advertisers, I know that our online advertisers are still struggling with it. So for those customers, I would say hang on, we know that it’s not fully there. And we’re very transparent in that we are still working on some foundational features like basic editing, deleting, and duplication and making sure that those things are right across the board. We know that those feature limitations are often blockers and frustration points. And so I read verbatim, weekly, I get 150 to 200 comments from our customers that will leave feedback in our product survey and consistently across the board, I hear frustrations with the deleting. They want to be able to delete campaigns. They want to be able to duplicate and have it not affect all the ads and the parent campaigns, right? Things like that. So I’m a strong ambassador for you guys. Here in this Oregon. We’re trying to get it fixed. It’s not going to be overnight, but there’s someone inside that’s listening to you.

That’s awesome. You are listening to us as advertisers, which is fantastic. I’m assuming that means if any of us have feedback, just use the in product in the upper right hand corner, delete feedback button and then you get to see that Yeah, absolutely. Alright, so leave feedback away. Tom would be happy to, again, read. I mean, hopefully we don’t bombard you

No, that’s all right.

Awesome. The question I’ve got for you is, this can be personal, this can be work related, whatever. What are you most excited about right now?

You know, I am really excited about on the work fun for our online advertisers for the people that struggle. I’m fighting the fight every day. And I think that’s really, really I’m really passionate about that. I mean that earnestly and then I think the second is, I’m a piano player. I’m a classical pianist. So I had my lesson last night. And yeah, between all this, just busyness, I’m able to get some quality piano playing in and that’s my creative outlet.

That’s awesome. If you have a YouTube video or something.

Awesome. Well, Tom, thank you so much. for joining us and sharing these awesome insights for advertisers. Anything else you’d want to share with us before we break?

No, I think that’s it.

Okay, awesome. That was Tom Kim, the Senior Product Marketing Manager over the campaign manager experience. Tom, thanks so much for coming on the podcast.

Thanks for having me.

Thank you for listening to the LinkedIn ad show. hungry for more AJ Wilcox, take it away.

So there you have it. Good advice straight from the horse’s mouth. It was short, but definitely packed with the good stuff. So as a quick reminder, whatever podcast player you’re listening on right now, please hit the subscribe button. It’s brand new, and I could definitely use some numbers there. And also take a look at the podcast app you’re listening to and see if you can drop a rating and a possible wordy Review there, that would be super excellent. There’s a really good chance that whatever app you’re listening to right now, there is not currently a review so you could be the first and it’s always great to be an early adopter. As always, feel free to email us at podcast@B2Linked.com with any ideas for future episodes you’d like us to cover. And without further ado, we’ll see you back here next week. And I’m cheering you on in your LinkedIn Ads initiatives.