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On this episode of the LinkedIn Ads Show, we’re talking about the biggest oversight that LinkedIn made on their ad platform, the feature that is constantly requested.
Welcome to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Here’s your host, AJ Wilcox.
Hey there LinkedIn ads fanatics, whether you call it dayparting or ad scheduling, one of the most requested features that I’ve heard for LinkedIn ads is the ability to turn ads on and off at certain times of the day, or certain days of the week, or certain times of the week. I’ve personally asked LinkedIn for this at every chance I’ve gotten. And so far that request has fallen on deaf ears. Today, we’re doing another deep dive. And we’re talking about why dayparting is important, and how to analyze your traffic patterns during the day. In the news, by the time you hear this episode, I’ll be on an Alaskan cruise. Now, I love cruises. But every time I’ve gone, it’s been to somewhere warm with beaches. Well, it’s no surprise, I’m a ginger, which means I’m naturally allergic to the sun. Seems like Alaska will be the perfect trip for my fair skin. This will be my first vacation since the beginning of COVID. And I’m excited to finally unplug. And I’m hopefully going to be back here in a couple weeks with a brand new action packed episode, and coming from a clear and rested brain. Alright, enough about me, let’s go ahead and hit it.
Alright, so what is dayparting or what is ad scheduling? This is simply the act of being able to turn your ads on and off during certain times. And of course, all of the major ad platforms have this. LinkedIn seems to be the only one who hasn’t developed this feature. Facebook has it, Google has it, Microsoft ads, and probably honestly, everyone else. The reason why I call this LinkedIn biggest miss is that if you look at all the other platforms out there, traffic patterns are very undefined. But here you have LinkedIn, where people tend to use it on a normal schedule that you can predict because of business hours. We’ve had so many clients request, hey, we don’t have a sales team in on Saturday on Sunday so we don’t want to drive leads on those days, but let’s keep running every other time. Or maybe you just only want to run during business hours. Or maybe you only want to run on weekends. Because LinkedIn traffic patterns are so predictable. It makes it really important to be able to define your traffic by what time of day and what day of the week, they’re on the platform. So LinkedIn really is perfect for day parting, yet it hasn’t ever developed it. An analysis that you can definitely do is go into campaign manager and export as much of your data as you can by day. And then what you can do is add in a new column in Excel for day of the week, then you can use an Excel formula based off of the date to figure out which day of the week it is, then with one pivot table, you’re aggregating all of your ad performance data to find out which days of the week work best for you. I’m obviously breezing through this. This isn’t a class on Excel. But we’ve done quite a bit of this and what we found is that, obviously, the weekends usually have less desktop traffic, a lot more mobile. So surprise, surprise, if you’re advertising using text ads or dynamic ads, you’re probably not going to see much action on the weekends as opposed to sponsored content and sponsored messaging, you’ll probably see a lot more traffic on the weekends than the other ad formats. We generally find that Tuesday is the best day. It’s the one with the most impressions, the most click volume. But we recently had a client where Tuesday was constantly the worst day. So don’t always count on that. Monday and Wednesday usually are pretty top too, it’s like, Tuesday is number one and then Monday and Wednesday are two and three. We consistently find that holidays don’t perform very well. So if you’re looking for a way to save your budget, it might be a good idea to pause on holidays. If you’re going to do this analysis and start looking at your campaign performance by the day of the week, you’ll probably want to compare things like your click through rate or your engagement rate. You’ll probably want to look and see which days spend the most. Which ones have the highest cost per click or the highest cost per lead. And if you’re not amazing in Excel, go grab one of your colleagues or coworkers who is and show them this segment. They’ll know exactly what to do. All right, here’s a quick sponsor break and then we’ll dive into hourly analysis.
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All right, let’s jump into an hourly analysis. So what’s so interesting about the platform is LinkedIn does not give us hourly reporting, which means you might figure that certain hours of the day are less helpful to advertise during as others. And this is definitely true. So we’ve spent a lot of time on these analyses, and will tell you, it’s a lot harder to get access to. If you really, really want to follow us on this, you can do this analysis, but fair warning, it’s going to suck. It’s not a fun process. What you have to do is log into your campaign manager account, every single hour on the hour and make note of all the stats. The number of impressions, the amount of spend, the number of clicks, number of leads, etc. And then every hour during the day that you get data, you subtract it from the data from the hour before leaving you with just the amount of data that was generated during that last hour. You’re going to want to continue this for ideally, at least a week, like I said, it’s totally going to suck. You’re gonna have to get people from around the globe all helping you to do this. And then of course, you will have to adjust for some errors. Every so often, you’ll log into campaign manager and the stats will have changed and you might find that during a certain hour, you see a negative value for number of impressions or amount of spend, that’s hard to deal with. As a shameless plug, I will mention that if you don’t want to do this, yourself, the clients that we work with, we do this analysis for them. Now, if you are going to do this yourself, I’ve got three suggestions for you. First of all, don’t bid too high because that could cause you to run out of your budget before the whole day is complete. Let’s say your budget ran out by 4pm, you’ll notice a lot of zeros after 4pm that day until it resets for the day. On that same note, don’t budget too low. You need to make sure that you have enough budget for the whole day. So again, you don’t run out and have your ad stopped partially through the day. This analysis is much much better if you have high budgets and high bids because what that’s going to give you is not just a limited amount of like the number of impressions by hour that your audience sees, but if you’re bidding high enough or aggressively enough, that impression, volume by hour will show you what the traffic pattern of your ideal prospects looks like. And that can be really powerful. You might find that, wow, my audience starts to wake up around 6am. And it looks like they go into the office around 8am or start working around then you can see little bumps along the way. When we’re doing this analysis, we’re looking for things like which hours of the day have higher volume, or are less expensive, or have higher conversion rates. You want to take into account what your costs per click are during the day, or your cost per lead or conversion rates. And be aware, if you’re analyzing your cost per lead and your conversion rates, you have to be using LinkedIn lead gen forms. You can’t count on LinkedIn conversion tracking off of your website to allow you to do this because there is a significant delay that could land in the next hour or multiple hours later. So it’s a lot better if you’re using the lead gen forms. But look for the volume of clicks by hour. Look for your volume of impressions that tells you like when people are most active on the platform during the day, which days and which hours. And of course, look at your click through rates to see when people are paying the most attention. If you tell your LinkedIn rep that you’re doing an analysis like this, a fair warning you will hear them say that when you pause a campaign, it resets your relevancy score. Well, this is absolutely not true from our experience. I say pause away. You have to ask yourself, why would LinkedIn be telling me this? Well, it’s because they want your money. If you ever pause your account, less money is probably going to them. But let’s dive in a little bit. Why would your relevancy score get reset if you paused? Well, I could see LinkedIn saying that if you pause an ad or a campaign for too long, then enough time has passed that maybe it’s no longer timely to them. So they’ve got to reset the relevancy score to allow you to have your ad prove itself again. I’ve heard some reps suggest that maybe if you pause for two weeks at a time, maybe it resets it. But I would say it’s really, really similar to launching a new ad where that campaign itself, if it has a high relevancy score, then the ad that you launched within it, whether it’s an existing ad that’s been unpaused after two weeks or something, or if it’s a brand new ad, it’s still gonna borrow from the relevancy score of the campaign. And so if your relevancy score is still strong, that ad should still be able to pick up fast and be good to go. So even if our relevancy score resets, I’m not too worried about it. But of course, if you have heard or experienced differently, please let me know. This is just from our experience. But I will say that we have done a lot of ad scheduling and day parting on the platform and we haven’t noticed any deleterious effects from it. But if your experience is different, we would absolutely love to know. So make sure to email us at Podcast@B2Linked.com. And let us know what you’ve seen. Once you’ve done this analysis, and you find out what times of day or what days of the week work better for you, it’s time to actually try this out. You can either do this manually or with a third party tool that can pause and unpause your LinkedIn campaigns for you. But do make sure that you’ve done this analysis before you start day parting your campaigns. Because we don’t want you to go in with the assumption that weekends or after hours are bad, you really need to run ads during those times, and then sample and actually do the analysis to prove it. Because if you are just randomly pausing or and pausing your account where you think, your results may not be what you’re trying to go for. And of course, it goes without saying probably, but when you’re thinking about what times do you pause, it probably makes sense to pause during those times where performance is lowest. I mentioned this is something we’ve asked LinkedIn a lot for, and they’ve never given it to us. So what we did is we actually built our own internal proprietary tool to do this day parting for us. And by doing it, we’ve seen some pretty extreme successes of being able to analyze and show ads only during specific times. If this is something you want help with, like I said, clients of B2Linked, we do this analysis for you so you don’t have to do it yourself. So I realize this is a bit of a shameless plug, but we’d love to help you with this analysis and research and help you perform better. Plus day parting is not the only set of tools we’ve created. We’ve created the ability to create and edit both campaigns and ads in bulk. So when you work with us, we’re able to move faster than anyone else can. If something’s not working well, we can pivot quickly. And of course, we can launch faster to take more advantage of opportunities. I hope that I’ve provided enough value to all of you so that you don’t mind a shameless plug every now and then. So I’ll leave it there at that. Alright, I’ve got the episode resources for you coming right up so stick around.
Thank you for listening to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Hungry for more? AJ Wilcox, take it away.
Okay, resources for the episode. If you or someone you know is trying to learn LinkedIn Ads, check out the link down below in the show notes to the LinkedIn Learning course that I did on LinkedIn Ads. It’s by far the most comprehensive and inexpensive course out there. And if I do say so myself being the author, it is really good. So definitely check that out. Also, on whatever podcast player you’re listening to hit that subscribe button. And also please do rate us. And if you would be so kind, leave us a review as well. The reviews really, really help. You’d be doing me a giant favor. With any suggestions, questions feedback on the show, email us at Podcast@B2Linked.com. And with that being said, we’ll see you back here next week. Cheering you on in your LinkedIn Ads initiatives.