How well are your LinkedIn ads performing? In order to answer this question, you need to know the benchmarks. In this post, we’ll share what they are so you can more easily measure your success.
There are three main types of ad content on LinkedIn: Sponsored Content, Text & Dynamic Ads, and Sponsored Messaging. Each format has different benchmarks for click-through-rate, cost-per-click, and conversion rate.
Keep reading to see where your campaigns are succeeding and where you may need to improve.
Sponsored Content is one of the most commonly used ad types on LinkedIn and is displayed in your audience’s news feed. Available formats for this ad type include Single Image Ads, Carousel Ads, Video Ads, and Event Ads. An average click-through-rate (CTR) for Sponsored Content is 0.44%. So, depending on how high your CTRs are above 0.44% will determine how well your ads are performing above the average.
We typically see costs-per-click (CPC) for Sponsored Content fall between $8 and $11. However, costs start to increase if you’re targeting a very small audience or your audience is in high demand (resulting in you bidding higher in order for your ads to be shown). If that’s the case, your CPC could be as high as $15 – $20. But for the most part, with an average audience size, $8 – $11 per click is a good goal to shoot for in order to remain cost efficient. If you’re generating clicks for less, you’re in a great place.
Conversion rates for Sponsored Content Ads vary depending on the friction of the offer you’re promoting. A low-friction offer, such as downloading a piece of content or watching a video in exchange for contact information, yields a conversion rate of 10% – 15% on average. A high-friction offer, like a demo request or free trial, may result in conversion rates closer to 1.5% – 4% when served to a cold audience.
Text & Dynamic Ads
Text Ads are a right-rail banner ad that only displays on desktop. Text Ads typically see a 0.025% CTR on average (that’s 2.5 clicks for every 10,000 times your ad is shown). Because these ads are small and display only in the right rail, they can be easily missed, which is one reason why the average CTR is so low in comparison to other ad types.
Dynamic Ads are very similar to Text Ads but take up about three times as much space in the right rail. Because of the increased real estate, CTRs for Dynamic Ads can be almost three times as high as Text Ads on average, around 0.08%
Text Ads are LinkedIn’s cheapest ad format with manual bidding options being as low as $2 per click or per thousand impressions. Most advertisers see a CPC of $3 to $6 with Text Ads. Dynamic Ads are a bit higher at $6 – $8 per click. Because they don’t typically drive as much traffic as other ad types, bidding much more than this range likely won’t be very cost effective.
Conversion rates for Text Ads vary dramatically based on the offer being promoted. However, conversions that come from Text Ads can be higher quality than those generated from other ad types since clicking on them displays high intent.
Sponsored Messages are ads sent directly to a user’s personal LinkedIn messaging inbox. The ratio of messages opened to how many messages are sent is known as your open rate. An average open rate we tend to see on LinkedIn is about 55%.
Now, any action taken within the message after it’s been opened, we would count as a click. This includes clicks on any links within the message or the image in the top right corner of the conversation window. CTRs for Sponsored Messages typically average 3.2%. If you have a CTR of 7% or higher, that’s pretty stellar and indicates you’ve likely got a great offer with well-written ad copy.
Based on these averages, you’ll most likely be paying $0.50 – $1 per send. This usually equates to CPCs between $25 and $60. Sponsored Messaging is the most expensive ad format on LinkedIn.
Because Message Ads can be very invasive by nature (you’re sending a message to someone’s private inbox), the offer you promote needs to feel like a personal invitation in order to generate high enough levels of engagement to make this ad type worthwhile. Offers like exclusive in-person events or limited time deals are just a couple examples. It’s offers like these that can generate open rates of 70% and CTRs of 7%, in our experience, which can help lower your costs into a range closer to that of Sponsored Content.
For more information on selecting the right offer for your LinkedIn ad initiatives, check out this blog post.
Wrapping it Up
Understanding how the results of your ads compare to other advertisers across LinkedIn is key to knowing where to improve. So, now that you know what to look for, how do your ads measure up? What successes are you seeing? Where are you falling short? Leave a comment below!
And if you’re ever having trouble generating qualified leads at your desired cost, reach out to our team of LinkedIn ad experts here.
Written by Shannon Bloom
Your benchmark article for LinkedIn ads was interesting. I started Plugged Right Consulting 2 years ago when I retired. I am a petroleum engineer with over 35 years of experience. I saw a real need for this service and invested in professionals to prepare my company web page. I still feel the oversight on plugging wells is very much needed but to date I have had no legitimate inquiries. I can’t afford a lot more expenses but I thought I would see what you all would recommend. Thank you, Greg Gurley
Thanks, Greg! I would say, if you’re interested in LinkedIn Ads, know that they can get pretty pricey. Our general recommendation is, if you’re a B2B company with a customer lifetime value of at least $10K – $15K and have a starting budget of at least $5K, then LinkedIn Ads may be a good fit for you. If not, you might have more luck with channels like Facebook or Google. Hope this helps! If you do decide to give LinkedIn Ads a try and have any questions, feel free to reach out!
My recommendation would be to add as much useful content to your site as you can. Blogs are the most common way to do this. You should get organic traffic from Google search relatively easily being in such a niche industry and it also establishes you as an authority on the topic. You can also try organic social posts on LinkedIn as well or even start a YouTube channel. Good luck!
I also agree a lot with what Mike said. If you see a real need for your service but aren’t seeing business yet, try educating your audience first on why plugging wells is important. Whether you do that through LinkedIn Ads, LinkedIn organic, blog content on your website, Facebook organic, etc., identify which channels your audience spends their time online (i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) and inform them on why they may need to plug their wells the way you suggest. Again, hope that helps!