LinkedIn Ad Benchmarks 2021: The Essential Guide

Last Updated: September 22, 2021

Jason

Jason

To know how well your LinkedIn ads are doing, you have to measure them with certain benchmarks.
LinkedIn Ad Benchmarks 2021
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If you are reading this article, there is a high possibility that you just placed an ad on LinkedIn, and you’re wondering just how well it is performing against industry standards.

It makes sense to ask this question, especially since LinkedIn charges a big fee for these ads. 

To know how well your LinkedIn ads are doing, you have to measure them against certain benchmarks.

While these benchmarks are important in analyzing the performance of ads on this social media platform, they are also dependent on the type and format of the ads (text, pictures, videos, etc.)

To be able to evaluate the performance of your LinkedIn ads effectively, you should first consider the type of ad you are promoting, as well as its format. 

Types of Ads

LinkedIn

As a LinkedIn advertiser, below are some popular types of ads you can place on LinkedIn. 

This is the traditional type of ad across many social media platforms. This ad usually pops up on the users’ feed; however, it differs from regular content with the “promoted” label.

Many advertisers opt for this type of ad as it supports various formats like a single image, video, or carousel ads. 

This is also referred to as sponsored inmail. It is a type of LinkedIn ad that allows you to send messages directly to a wide range of LinkedIn users advertising your product or services.

This is a very effective type of ad as it brings your product close to the customer (that is, their inbox). 

It has been found that about 89% of customers like to be kept in the loop via texts. However, a lower percentage of companies utilize this type of ad. 

When using sponsored text or messaging, you need to know the specific number of LinkedIn members you can message every month. Members of your target audience will not receive the message twice within a short period. 

Dynamic Ads 

LinkedIn

This type of LinkedIn ad is quite different from others since it personalizes the ads shown to LinkedIn users even to the smallest detail.

This ad pops up on LinkedIn feeds, showing things like their names, job titles, or employer’s names.

While this ad has the potential to perform exceedingly well, some users may find the ad too personal and may go on to hide these details on their profiles. Dynamic ads branch out into two types, and they are: follow ad and spotlight ad. 

  • Follow Ads: This type of dynamic ad also sponsors personalized posts on the feed of the LinkedIn user intending to increase your engagement and awareness of your brand. Here, your LinkedIn page is promoted with a call-to-action to follow the page. 
  • Spotlight Ads: As the name implies, this kind of ad is geared towards spotlighting your brand, services, content, or product to your audience in a personalized manner. When anyone clicks on the ad, they are directed to the landing page of your website. The purpose of this type of dynamic ad is to increase engagement, lead generation, and brand awareness, amongst others. 

Text Ad

This type of LinkedIn ad usually pops up at the top and right-hand side of your feed on the desktop format.

It is great for improving lead generation and reaching a large demographic on a budget. It is a very effective ad for those looking to build leads with a professional audience. 

With this in mind, below are some popular formats your LinkedIn ads can be represented with. 

Carousel Ads

This ad format involves telling your brand’s story or showcasing your product and services with a row of cards.

These cards can be swiped left or right to learn more about the ad. Carousel ads can yield effective results when eye-catching images and texts are used. The requirements to run a successful carousel ad are: 

  • Ad Title/name: this can be up to 255 characters.
  • Ad description or introduction: this should not exceed 150 characters to prevent it from being shortened on certain devices. 
  • Swipeable cards: it can range from two to 10 cards. 
  • Images: you’d want to choose images with rich media formats like JPEG, PNG, or Gif (unanimated). 
  • Card headline text: these are lines of text describing the content of each card. This description should not exceed two lines. 

After incorporating each of these formats into the ad, the file size should not exceed ten MB. 

Conversation Ad

This type of ad first requires you, as the advertiser, to start a conversation. Then, different responses are attached to this post.

The audiences are prompted to pick the response that speaks to them the most to learn more about your ad.

You can compare this ad to a choose-your-own-adventure type game or book. The purpose of this ad is lead generation, brand awareness, engagement, and increased website visits.

To successful run this ad, you will need:

  • A title: this should not exceed 255 characters. Desktop users are given the option for banners which should be 300 x 250px JPEG or PNG.
  • Custom footer: this can also be in the form of terms and conditions. It can be up to 2500 characters. 
  • Introductory message: this is the block of text that introduces the ad. It can be up to 500 characters. 
  • Message: this is the main body of the conversation, and it can also be up to 500 characters. 
  • Image: while this is optional, it is necessary to give your audience a pictorial idea of your ad. It should be 250 x 250px in JPEG and PNG format. 
  • CTA buttons are meant to get a response from the audience, and you can have up to five per ad. 

Job Ad

This is another LinkedIn ad format, also known as the “work with us” ad. This is not merely a recruitment ad.

Beyond showing up on feeds of your target audience, you as an employer can leverage your employee’s network and prevent the ads of competing employers from showing up on their feed.

The requirements for a job ad are:

  • Company Name
  • Company Logo
  • Ad title
  • CTA 

Lead Generation Form

LinkedIn

This ad format can be used for both sponsored content and message ads. You can use this format to get more qualified leads for your products or service.

For example, if you are hosting a webinar, you can attach this form to your CTA to get data on your target audiences. Afterward, your leads can be downloaded from LinkedIn’s ad manager.

A lead generation form will only require: 

  • The form name
  • Headline
  • Message
  • A text on your privacy policy

Single Image Ad

This is one of the most popular ad formats, and it is mostly used for sponsored content. As mentioned above, they are quite similar to regular posts. Nonetheless, they can be distinguished by the promotion label.

This ad format will require:

  • Ad name
  • Ad description 
  • Five MB image or lower (JPEG, PNG, or Gif)
  • A link to your website or profile 

Text Ad

This LinkedIn ad format is usually employed for B2B leads. If you are looking at increasing your brand’s awareness within your budget, consider this format.

To carry this out, you will need:

  • A 100 x 100px JPEG or PNG Image less than two MB. 
  • Headline
  • Ad description  

Video Ads 

Video Ad

This is one of the most creative ways to capture an audience’s attention. This LinkedIn ad format allows you to tell your brand’s story. You can utilize this format to share customer experience, new products and services, your work ethic, and many more.

As the name implies, you will need a video to archive this. It can be a short 3 seconds video or as long as 30 minutes. However, high-performing videos on LinkedIn are usually 15 seconds and less. 

LinkedIn Ad Benchmarks 

In 2021, below are some LinkedIn Ad benchmarks that determine how well your ads are doing.

  • Click-through rate (CTR)
  • Cost per click  (CPC)
  • Cost per impression (CPM)
  • Cost per lead (CPL)
  • Completion rate of lead gen form
  • Conversion rate
  • Cost per conversion
  • Engagement rate

Click-through rate (CTR)

Click-through rate (CTR)

The first benchmark for the performance of your LinkedIn ad is a high CTR. A high CTR on your ad also means high engagement.

It means that your audience is willing to check it out. Your CTR score is obtained by dividing the number of chargeable clicks on your ad by the number of impressions, the number of times the ad was seen.

As an advertiser, you should know that not all clicks on your ad are chargeable. Some factors that make a link chargeable are the campaign’s objective, the optimization goal of the campaign, the ad format, and the region where the user clicks within the ad format.

For video format, the chargeable clicks are calculated by the number of views with more than 2 seconds playback when the video covers more than 50% of the screen.

For lead generation format, chargeable clicks are clicks on the call-to-action button. For landing pages, clicks on your introduction texts, website links, or images are regarded as chargeable clicks. 

Knowing this, you may wonder why CTR is a benchmark for your LinkedIn ads. Your Click through rates is a creative and easy way to know if your audience is interested in your brand or content.

If you have a continuously low CTRA, you may have to channel your ads to another audience or employ another creative ad format. 

Cost Per Click (CPC) 

Cost Per Click (CPC) 

This is another metric for determining how well your ads are doing on LinkedIn. It simply involves knowing how much you pay for a click on your ad.

While this metric may not sound too relevant in evaluating your ads performance, it helps you understand how much it costs to reach a particular audience on LinkedIn.

Globally, the CPC rate for LinkedIn is $5.58; however, this price may vary based on the job description or position of the user clicking your ad.

For example, the CPC of a junior employee could be $4.40 but could also be $6.40 for senior decision-makers.

Although your CPC is beyond your control, you can lower this rate by switching your audience targeting to once with a lower CPC. 

Cost Per Impression (CPM)

This means the cost of your LinkedIn ad per 1000 impressions. As mentioned above, impressions refer to the number of times your ad was seen.

Therefore your CPM means the price you pay for every 1000 times your ad was seen on LinkedIn. Regarding the performance of your ad, the higher the CPM, the better your ad will perform.

For example, if your total ad spend is about $10,000, and you get 175,000 impressions on that ad, you will divide $10,000 by 175 to give you approximately $58. Since CPM is the cost per 1000 impressions, 175,000 is divided by 1000. 

The average CPM on LinkedIn is $38.8 per 10,000. However, it could be lower when targeting a large audience, say, a whole country, for example.

To yield better performance, it is best to target a smaller and specific audience like an industry, albeit it results in a higher CPM. 

Cost Per Lead (CPL)

This is simply the price you are willing to pay as an advertiser to get a lead. Although it appears on this list, it isn’t exactly a benchmark to evaluate the performance of your LinkedIn ad.

Nevertheless, it is an important factor to consider during a lead generation campaign. For a LinkedIn ad, the average CPL ranges between $15 and $350.

The price variation is based on the audience type, the region, or the industry. 

Completion Rate of Lead Generation Form

This is another benchmark for analyzing your ad’s performance, especially when using a lead generation form as your ad format.

To know the completion rate of your lead generation form, you will need to get the percentage of opened forms.

This is the total number of the forms submitted divided by the total number of forms opened. A good lead generation form completion rate is 10% and above.

In the case where you end up with a low lead generation form completion rate, this means your audience is opening the form without completing it; therefore, your ad is performing poorly. 

Conversion Rate

This is another important metric to help you analyze the performance of your LinkedIn ad. Concerning your ad, a conversion is anytime your audience carries out an action you expected. It can be as follows: purchase of products, filling of forms and many more.

Knowing this, the conversion rate is the number of times your audience carried out the expected actions. What then is a good conversion rate? A well-performing ad on LinkedIn should have a conversion rate between 5%-15%. 

Cost Per Conversion

This means how much you spend on advertising to get a conversion. That is, your ad spend is divided by conversions. However, this calculation may vary slightly depending on the company.

There is no general value for this. However, as an advertiser, knowing how much a conversion can help you determine the performance of your ad. 

Engagement Rate

Engagement Rate

This is simply the number of times the audience interacts with your ad. The higher your engagement rate, the better your ad performance.

You can get this rate by adding the chargeable clicks with free clicks then dividing it by the total impression. The engagement benchmark for non-video ads is 0.5%, and for sponsored contents, 1.6%.

Conclusion

No doubt running an ad on LinkedIn and other social media platforms can seem like shouting into space without having the right knowledge.

These benchmarks mentioned above not only give you a criteria for measuring your ad performance, but also help you do better in the future.

Written by Jason

Hi! I’m the editor at EarthWeb. I have a deep interest in technology and business. I also enjoy testing products out. Contact me to be featured!

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