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Show Transcript

Should you launch ad hoc LinkedIn Ads campaigns or keep it strictly evergreen? Let’s have a debate on this week’s episode of the LinkedIn Ads Show.

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

Hey, hey, hey there, LinkedIn Ads fanatics. As he said, I’m AJ Wilcox, and I’m the host of the weekly podcast, The LinkedIn Ads Show. And I’m thrilled to welcome you to the show for advanced B2B marketers to evolve through mastering LinkedIn Ads and achieving true pro status, maybe even ninja status.

The LinkedIn Ads Show is proudly brought to you by, the LinkedIn Ads experts.

B2Linked is the ad agency 100 percent dedicated to LinkedIn ads, and we have been ever since 2014. You know, back before it was cool. We’ve mastered the platform, we’ve figured out how to get you the very best traffic, the very best performance, at the very lowest costs. Which on a platform like LinkedIn, that charges a premium, we’ve found this is the best way to increase your ROI. We’ve even built internal reporting capabilities that LinkedIn themselves can’t provide, so we always give our clients the very best insights. And really, it’s just unfair to your competitors, but that’s the way we like to play. If that sounds interesting to you and you’d want to explore working together, schedule your free discovery call at b2linkecom/h discovery.

Alright, do you have a question, a review, or feedback for the show? Message me privately on LinkedIn. It’s totally free, even if we’re not already connected. Or you can email us at And you can either attach a recording or link to a voice recording from you, And I’d love to play them right here on the show, and shout you out. I’m happy to keep you anonymous as well, if you’d rather. So record yourself asking a question, commenting on something from a past episode, or maybe even correcting me, telling me I’m full of hot air. Either way, I’ll aim to include you right here on the show.

I want to highlight a recent review. This one says, "Must Listen." This one comes from a listener in Australia. The name is DontDownload88. DontDownload88. Thanks so much for leaving a review for us. The review says, if you’re responsible for anything, LinkedIn dot, dot, dot. All right. I love this. You kept it short and sweet, saying that the show is a must listen if you’re responsible for anything LinkedIn. And I have to say, I’m extremely flattered that it’s for anything related to LinkedIn, because we talk about ads. But I also love the organic side of LinkedIn. I do try to pepper that in. So if that’s what you’re referring to, that’s fantastic. But if not, I do hope I give everyone a lot of value, even if you’re not actively advertising.

Alright, today we’re talking about evergreen campaigns versus ad hoc campaigns. I think we have to define these. What is an ad hoc campaign? Ad hoc is really another way to say it’s a one time campaign, or a campaign that you launch to fill a temporary need, or to fill a quick gap. For example, we have one client currently that we run ad hoc campaigns for, because when they attend events, We want to get people to their booth and get a whole lot of attention as if we were sponsoring the show. We act like an event sponsor, and we’re reaching the right kind of audience when they’re at the city of the event. And this is ad hoc, because after the event is over three days later, we turn those campaigns off, They’ve served their purpose. Other examples of ad hoc campaigns might be filling slots for an upcoming webinar. That’s, that’s of course time sensitive. Or maybe there’s another one time event. Maybe you’re using ads to make a big product announcement.Whatever it is, that would be an example of an ad hoc campaign.

So then what are evergreen campaign? Sometimes we refer to these as always on campaigns or evergreen like the tree that even in the winter, it still stays green. Evergreen campaigns are ones that, when we launch, we expect them to run for many months, if not years, or indefinitely. This same client I was telling you about, that we run ad hoc campaigns for their events that they attend, we also run Evergreen campaigns for them. And it’s all about reaching their most valuable audiences regularly. You get to introduce the brand to those who haven’t heard of it before, And then remind and reinforce the value of the brand to those who have heard of the brand and may still be in the consideration phase.

There are definitely great reasons to run both. Ad hoc can be for upcoming events or other time bound opportunities. Evergreen are for building demand over time. Generally, I prefer evergreen campaigns because it takes time to take these cold audiences and warm them up to where they may consider doing business with you. And because LinkedIn has such great retargeting. We can do this in a very systematic and organized way. Time is on your side. It gives you lots of attempts at your audience and the ability to optimize over time and make little tweaks. It’s also the ability to stay top of mind so that when they are finally ready for your product or service, you’re there. You’ve been top of mind. Running ad hoc campaigns is quite a bit tougher that way because you’re relying on your prospect being ready when you are. And since the time is tight, there’s not much room for multiple attempts or any sort of mistake. Otherwise, you’re not going to get the results that you want. But there are times when you have a deadline and an ad hoc campaign is the only option. I’ll tell you my least favorite thing about ad hoc campaigns. And that’s because they run only for a limited amount of time. Once they’re done, the campaigns just sit in the account, taking up space, and making a disorganized mess. I’m a big fan of really clean account organizations. Call me a nerd.

Alright, so there are great reasons to run both evergreen and ad hoc campaigns. And, you can even run them at the same time. There are some things that you’ll want to keep in mind, though, as you’re doing this. It gets complex, because what if you need to run an ad hoc campaign to the same audiences that you’re already reaching with your evergreen campaigns? Because if they’re not the same audiences, no big deal to run ad hoc campaigns and your evergreen at the same time, because there’s going to be minimal crossover. But when there is a lot of overlap, that’s when the complexity sets in. You need to ask yourself a few questions to start. B2Linked. com Which should take precedence, the ad hoc or your evergreen? Do you want to run them in the same campaigns or the same audiences, but in different campaigns? And while your ad hoc or your special campaigns are running, should you shut your evergreen campaigns off? How you answer these questions will dictate how much attention your ad hoc campaign gets and how much extra it’s gonna cost you.

If you remember way back on episode 108 about the LinkedIn Ads auction, you’ll know that any time that you have multiple campaigns that are targeting the same audience members, LinkedIn’s auction has to make a choice about which of these campaigns is going to enter the auction and win the auction to get the impression served. And that’s every time someone comes online who’s in your target audience and there’s an auction held for a potential impression. Now, sometimes the auction does a pretty good job of sharing traffic pretty evenly across multiple campaigns. Other times it totally fails miserably. And that is a risk to your ad hoc campaign. Because if you go through this process of creating specific ads and specific campaigns for a limited time event, and then you only end up spending a fraction of your budget, You just wasted a lot of time and opportunity cost. LinkedIn tends to favor creative that it already knows. So when you have evergreen ads running to an audience, and then you introduce new ads, either in the same campaign or a new campaign, you might find that LinkedIn makes a pretty sad attempt at handing a handful of impressions to the new ads. And then continues favoring the old, tried and true ads that it already knows, with the majority of the impressions. This totally makes sense to me, because ads that have already been through the full learning phase on LinkedIn, they are a known quantity, a known entity, and LinkedIn knows what to expect from them, good or bad. And new ads may not perform as well as the previous ads. This is a risk to LinkedIn, because if they keep running what they know, they can expect a certain amount of profit. So it is a risk to show a new ad when some tried and true ads are performing and are available. This is especially hard when you have exceptionally high performing ads, and introducing new ones feels a lot like trying to dethrone a king. It seems everything is working against you.

Now, the idea for this topic actually came from a long time friend of mine, and a friend of LinkedIn Ads. His name’s Thomas Banki. He’s THE LinkedIn expert in Hungary. And so I’m thankful to Thomas because he’s been active in the LinkedIn community for lots of years and he’s constantly sharing helpful info for marketers. And you can know that when LinkedIn finally supports the Hungarian language in the ads platform, I’m certain that Thomas is going to be the reason for it. Alright, so this started out because Thomas tagged me in a question about this and shared his own perspective. He got asked, do you pause your Always On campaigns when you’re running a special ad hoc campaign, especially if the audience is the same? I liked Thomas answer. He says, I keep running the Always On campaign because if you stop it and then restart, the auction algorithm has to relearn, and it costs more money. I would never recommend my clients to stop. Maybe shrink the budget, but never stop. And I have to say, Thomas, you make a really good point here. Anytime you pause a campaign, you do risk the campaign going back into a learning phase, which can cause performance to drop suddenly, and your costs to increase. But then the risk if you reduce budget to launch your ad hoc campaign is that the existing campaign could fight your new campaign in the auction and steal the majority of its impressions. But significantly reducing budgets, and even bids, is a great insurance policy against that happening.

Here’s how I handle this personally though. I would actually pause the always on creative while the specialty ads are running. This just gives them the very best chance of getting the most attention while they’re a high priority. If the tried and true and expected ads are off, then LinkedIn has no choice but to say, Okay, we’re gonna consider these new ads. If possible, I’d actually run them in the same campaign. So the same campaign stays active, and we’re just temporarily switching out creative. That way the campaing retains its relevancy score in the auction, so it shouldn’t cause elevated costs or even interruptions in delivery. But if, for whatever reason, your ad hoc ads do need to be in their own campaign, then I would either set higher bids in the ad hoc campaign to try to give it preferential treatment from LinkedIn, and at the same time, I would reduce the bids and budgets, like Thomas recommended, on the Always On campaign. Or I would just pause the evergreen campaigns just for the time of the ad hoc campaigns run and expect a bit of unpredictability in the evergreen campaign when it gets turned back on after the ad hoc campaign has run its course. Most of the time, I find ad hoc campaigns are very important to get attention on, and so it’s important to get as many impressions, as many clicks, and as much of your budget that you can share towards them as possible. Therefore, if you can give them all of that attention, and not have to share many of those impressions with other evergreen campaigns, All the better. Oftentimes the risk of not getting the timely message out there is really high. And so often we’ll start out ad hoc campaigns by bidding higher than we normally would just to ensure that we get the delivery and

Alright, before you hit skip to go to your next episode, I’ve got some important information for you. If you’re not already a member of the LinkedIn Ads fanatics community, you’ve got to go check it out. It’s at b2Linked. com. This is where for a very low monthly membership charge, you get access to all four of our courses that take you from beginner to expert. Plus you get access to all of these top minds in LinkedIn ads who are all sharing what’s working for them and how they’re getting better performance on the platform. These are exactly the people that you want to be interfacing with when you’re learning about LinkedIn Ads. These are exactly the people you want to be interfacing with if you want to get the very most from your LinkedIn Ads.

If this is your first time listening, welcome. We’re excited to have you here. Make sure to hit that subscribe button on your favorite podcast player, and then you’ll hear us again next week. If you are a loyal listener though, and you’ve been listening for a while, the biggest compliment you can pay us is going to Apple podcasts and leaving a review. With any questions, suggestions, or corrections, reach out to us at You can also see down in the show notes below links to some of the resources we’ve talked about. You’ll see a link to the episode that’s a deep dive on the LinkedIn Ads auction. You can even see Thomas Banki’s profile on LinkedIn, if you wanna go connect with him and follow him there. With all that being said, we’ll see you back here next week. I’m cheering you on in your LinkedIn Ads initiatives.