Generating sales from your LinkedIn Ads is increasingly difficult if your ads aren’t being displayed in the first place.

Impressions are a metric used in digital marketing to measure how many times your ads have been displayed. Note that this will include unique users who may have seen your ads multiple times.

Whether your ads start off with low impression volume, are declining in impression volume, or aren’t generating impressions at all, this article will act as a guide to diagnosing the problem.

The majority of these will be applicable, regardless of how you’re bidding, but there are a few that are only relevant if you’re manually bidding (we’ll be sure to point these out).

Here are 8 things you can check to understand why you’re not seeing your desired impression count:

 

Ads Are in Review or Rejected

 

Every LinkedIn ad goes through a review process before going live (or “Active” status). The purpose of this is for LinkedIn to determine whether or not your ads comply with the platform’s ad guidelines. These reviews are conducted both manually and through AI.

If you’ve just launched some new LinkedIn Ads, click into your campaigns to see if they’re either still in the review stage or if they’ve been rejected.

If your ads are still in review, hang tight for a while longer. It can take up to 24 hours for ads to be reviewed.

If your ads have been rejected, you can click on the “Creative rejected” status for an explanation of which policy your ads may have broken. You can then edit or relaunch new ads in order to get them reevaluated.

If your ads have been in review for over 24 hours or you believe they’ve been wrongly rejected, you can contact LinkedIn support to request a manual review.

 

Audience Size is Small

 

This one is a little self explanatory, but if the size of the audience you’re targeting is on the lower end, then you likely won’t see a high impression volume. An ideal audience size on LinkedIn Ads is between 20,000 – 80,000 members.

Remember that the size of your audience doesn’t guarantee that everyone in that bucket is even going to see your ads. An impression is dependent on whether audience members log in to the platform at a given time and if you happen to win the auction at the time they’re active.

If your audience is small, but is made up of the exact people you want to target, there’s no need to expand your targeting just to increase your reach to those who wouldn’t make an ideal customer for you. Though it’s recommended to target audiences sized between 20K – 80K, if your audience is outside this range, that’s okay as long as you’re targeting your ideal customer persona. Even if you’re on the lower end of this range, you may see a smaller amount of impressions.

In this case, you can either choose to be satisfied with low impression volume in exchange for getting your ads shown to the exact people you care to reach or you could try experimenting targeting your audience through a different targeting type. If you’re currently targeting by job titles, for example, try targeting relevant skills, groups, or job functions.

 

Something is Paused

 

If you or someone on your team accidentally paused either your ad(s), campaign(s), or campaign group(s), that would prevent your ads from being distributed.

The simple fix here is to find where in the hierarchy something might be paused and then reactivate it.

You can tell if something closer to the top is paused in the hierarchy because LinkedIn will display a message at lower levels. For example, if your campaign group is paused, a message will be displayed just below the “Active” status next to each of your campaigns saying, “Not running.” When hovering your mouse over this message, LinkedIn will follow up with the message, “Campaign group status is not set to Active.”

Use this method to more easily find where in the hierarchy something may be paused.

 

Bidding Too Low

 

If you’re manually bidding, whether by clicks or by impressions, this one will be relevant to you. If you’re bidding by Maximum Delivery, then this likely won’t be the issue.

Like many other digital advertising platforms, LinkedIn displays your ads based on an auctioning system. Because other advertisers are also competing for your audience’s attention, you’ll need to bid higher in order to win impressions- and click-share (depending on your bidding method).

Your bid, however, is not the only factor that determines whether or not you win the auction, which brings us to our next point…

 

 

Low Relevancy Score

 

Your Relevancy Score is a combination of your historical click-through-rate (CTR) and your current CTR. LinkedIn takes both your bid and Relevancy Score into account to determine who wins the auction.

The higher your score, the lower you can afford to bid and still beat out your competitors for impressions.

Unfortunately, LinkedIn doesn’t make your Relevancy Score public, but since it’s calculated based on CTR, you can use this metric to gauge how well your ads are performing.

If your CTR is at or below LinkedIn’s benchmark (0.4% for Sponsored Content Ads), chances are your Relevancy Score isn’t looking too good. In this case, you’ll likely need to bid higher in order to win more impressions.

On the other hand, your Relevancy Score isn’t set in stone either. It can be reset if new ads are launched within a campaign and they generate a higher CTR.

So, though bidding higher can be a short-term fix, we would recommend launching new ads in order to improve your Relevancy Score, win the auction more frequently, and generate a higher volume of impressions.

See this episode of The LinkedIn Ads Show for more on Relevancy Score and how the LinkedIn Ads auction works.

 

Ads Are Fatigued

 

This one is also more relevant if you’re bidding manually.

If you’ve been running the same ads for a while now and have noticed your CTR declining, despite bidding adjustments, chances are your ads are fatigued and are in need of a refresh. In our experience, ads fatigue after running for about a month’s time, but can fatigue sooner or later than that.

Tying in to the previous section about Relevancy Score, as your ad performance declines over time, the less likely LinkedIn will be inclined to show your ads, thus decreasing your impression volume.

Replacing your old ads with brand new ads, in this case, is the best remedy.

 

Invisible Impressions Ceiling

 

If you’re just jumping into the LinkedIn Ads platform, this one will be applicable to you.

It’s a little-known fact that LinkedIn limits ad spend to $100 per day on brand new accounts. You can set your daily budgets higher than this, of course, but it likely won’t spend more than $100 each day for at least a little while.

The reason for this is because LinkedIn wants to be sure it can trust the payment source (credit card) before allowing the account to spend higher amounts.

Limits in ad spend, in turn, result in lower impression volume. The solution here is to hang tight. As you run ads, LinkedIn will see your payment source as trustworthy and will lift the spend cap.

As an alternative, this is another case where you could reach out to LinkedIn support to request that they lift this restriction early.

 

A Possible Glitch on LinkedIn’s End

 

Though it’s very rare, if all of the options we’ve listed so far are not the cause for impressions dropping, then it’s possibly due to a glitch in LinkedIn’s system.

Note that this is more likely the case if you have zero impressions, rather than few impressions. In other words, if you’re still getting impressions, regardless of volume, it’s not going to be a glitch on LinkedIn’s end.

If you do have zero impressions, though, nothing is paused, and ads aren’t in review or rejected, then we recommend reaching out to LinkedIn support to see if they can diagnose the issue.

 

Conclusion

 

It’s not ideal to have your LinkedIn Ad performance halted by a drop in impressions, but we hope this guide was helpful in deciphering the root of the cause.

What other LinkedIn Ads challenges have you faced? What are you struggling with right now or what questions do you have? Comment below!

And if you want to jump into the channel but don’t have the time or expertise to do it yourself, consider booking a discovery call with us.

We’ll build, execute, and manage a holistic, custom-tailored LinkedIn Ads strategy for you to help you get more sales opportunities with your ideal prospects.

 

Written by Eric Jones

Eric Jones - B2Linked