LinkedIn Ads News for the First Quarter of 2020

LinkedIn Ads News Q1-2020 Apr 28, 2020 - Marcel Odena

The first quarter of 2020 is over and it is time to stop for a moment and see the LinkedIn Ads news for the first quarter of 2020. New conversation ads have been introduced and also two new company targeting options.

It has been a quarter marked by the emergence of the Coronavirus, which has quickly spread throughout the world. Still, improvements to LinkedIn Ads have not stopped.

The most outstanding news in Linkedin Advertising are:

  • New Ad Format: the LinkedIn Conversation Ad
  • Two new company targeting options:
    • Company Category
    • Company Growth Rate
  • New Ad Labels in campaign manager

Below I explain each change in detail.

1. New Ad Format: the InMail Conversation Ads

A new version of the regular InMail Ad has been introduced on LinkedIn Campaign Manager: this is the InMail Conversation Ad.

Below you can see the new InMail Conversation Ad format on the LinkedIn Campaign Manager:

New InMail Conversation Ad on LinkedIn Campaign Manager
New InMail Conversation Ad on LinkedIn Campaign Manager

How InMail Conversation Ads look like

The new conversation ad format is a variant of the InMail ad format with the difference that it allows a higher level of interaction to the user.

In the regular Inmail ad, the user receives a message in their LinkedIn mailbox in which there is a call to action (download a document, register for a webinar, etc.). The user can basically do this or do nothing.

With the new Inmail Conversation ad format we can offer the user multiple call-to-actions. In the main message we can include several calls to action and depending on what the user selects, we can show another message with other calls to action.

The objective of this new ad format is to improve the conversion rate, offering more options to the user than the classic InMail ad format.

Below you can see an example of InMail Conversation Ad (desktop version):

New LinkedIn Conversation Ad Example
New LinkedIn Conversation Ad Example (desktop version)

This format also allows you to include an image within the message itself and a 300 × 250 pixel banner shown on the right.

For more information, you can check the official LinkedIn page about InMail Conversation Ads and the announcement post from LinkedIn.

Using Templates to create an InMail Conversation Ad

In the process of creating an inmail conversation ad, we have to select a template to create the conversation flow. We can start from a blank template or select a predefined template.

There are currently the following templates for conversation ads:

  • Recruit new hires
  • Get donations and volunteers
  • Drive event or webinar registrations
  • Drive trials and demos
  • Drive enrollment for programs
  • Drive asset downloads
  • Offer professional services
  • Survey or poll your audience
  • Promote your podcastVacío
  • Blank template

In the following image you can see the templates available within the LinkedIn campaign manager:

InMail Conversation Ad Templates on LinkedIn Campaign Manager
InMail Conversation Ad Templates on LinkedIn Campaign Manager

Depending on the template we select, one conversation flow or another is defined. If you click on the “Flowchart” option, you can see the communication flow.

Below you can see the flowchart that is predefined with the “Drive trials and demos” template:

Flowchart for one on the Conversation Ad Templates
Flowchart for one on the Conversation Ad Templates

From this template, you can customize the copies, calls to action, the URLs you want to direct the user to, etc.

InMail Conversation Ads are available for this objectives

InMail conversation ads are currently available for the following objectives:

  • Website visits
  • Lead Generation

Below you can see these objectives marked in pink:

Objectives available for LinkedIn Conversation Ads

Cost Per Send (CPS) Bid

The only bidding option currently available for Conversation InMail ads is Cost Per Send (CPS) :

Cost Per Send (CPS) option for LinkedIn Conversation Ads

In fact, this bid option is the same as for regular InMail ads.


2. New Company Targeting Options

The Q1 of 2020 left us with two new company targeting options on LinkedIn. These are:

  • Company Category
  • Company Growth Rate

In this image you can see the two new company targeting options available in the LinkedIn campaign manager :

New Company Targeting Options in LinkedIn Campaign Manager
New Company Targeting Options in LinkedIn Campaign Manager

2.1 Company Category

The company category targeting option consists of a series of categories of companies predefined by LinkedIn such as:

  • Forbes World’s Most Innovative Companies
  • Fortune 100 Fast Growing Companies
  • Fortune 500 (US only)
  • Fortune Global 500 (Worldwide)
  • Top Companies and Top Startups from several countries, etc.

I think the inclusion of these new segmentation options is very good news. I am sure there are many use cases for many advertisers.

Below you can see a sample of the business categories:

Company Categories in LinkedIn Campaign Manager
Company Categories in LinkedIn Campaign Manager (some of them)

Regarding the “Top Companies” category, just some comments:

  • There is no information right now about which “Top Companies” and “Top Startups” belong to these lists, you have to rely on LinkedIn curation. Once a campaign is launched using one of these lists we will be able to see the targeted companies through the demographics report, but not in advance.
  • The Top Companies and Top Startup listings are not available for all countries. Currently, there is a list for each of these countries: Germany, Brazil, Canada, China, USA, France, India, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

2.2 Company Growth Rate

The Company Growth Rate allows us to target only those companies with a certain rate of growth year over year. According to LinkedIn official documentation, the rate of growth year over year is determined by factors such as employee or revenue growth.

These are the options available right now:

  • Negative growth companies
  • 0% – 3% company growth
  • 3% – 10% company growth
  • 10% – 20% company growth
  • 20%+ company growth

In the following image you can see the Company Growth Rate options on LinkedIn Campaign Manager:

New Company Growth Rate Targeting Option in LinkedIn Campaign Manager
New Company Growth Rate Targeting Option in LinkedIn Campaign Manager

In the previous image, you can see the “20%+ company growth” filter applied to the USA, without applying more targeting options. The result is that we could reach an audience of 6,1 million people who work in such companies. Obviously now we would have to continue applying segmentation filters to reach only our buyer persona.

Interesting Use Case: there are many products and services that come in handy when companies start to grow very fast. Thanks to the growth rate targeting option, we now have a great opportunity to reach these companies.

The company growth rate only applies to companies for which LinkedIn has information

The classification of all companies according to their growth rate is a process that LinkedIn performs based on its sources of information, and it does not have to be comprehensive.

That is, it is very likely that there are many companies for which LinkedIn does not have information on its growth rate. In this case, keep in mind that by applying these filters you are leaving out companies for which LinkedIn does not have their growth rate. In this sense, keep it in mind to create multiple campaigns with different segmentations to reach all the companies of your interest.

For example, according to the LinkedIn campaign manager in the USA, there is a potential audience of 160 million people. Well, if we apply all the growth rate filters we observe that the resulting audience is 72 million, and not 160 million as you might have imagined.

All company growth rate options selected + USA country

What does this mean? This indicates that there are 88 million members on Linkedin in the USA who work in companies for which LinkedIn has no information on their growth rate.

3. New Ad Labels on LinkedIn Campaign Manager

We can see new ad labels in the campaign manager for some accounts (this feature is rolling out right now). If you take a look at the Ad Section of a campaign you’ll see that each ad now is labeled with its type and its ID.

You can see an example in the following image:

New Ad Labels on LinkedIn Campaign Manager
New Ad Labels on LinkedIn Campaign Manager

In this example you can see:

  • One direct sponsored ad, single image ad type.
  • One promoted post from the company page.

This, a priori, may not seem very important, but it suggests that perhaps it is the first step to ensure that in the future we can mix different types of ads in a single campaign. Time will tell.

Anyway, I think this update is a good improvement, these labels certainly help to easily identify the type of ad they are and their ID.

LinkedIn Ads News Recap

Throughout the first quarter of 2020, the following LinkedIn Ads news happened:

  • New Ad Format: the LinkedIn Conversation Ad
  • Two new company targeting options:
    • Company Category
    • Company Growth Rate
  • New Ad Labels in campaign manager

I hope this article has helped you to learn the latest LinkedIn Ads news.

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Marcel Odena

Marcel Odena

CEO at Magnetica Advertising | LinkedIn Ads Expert

Since 2013 I've been working in the Pay Per Click Advertising Industry. I manage Google and LinkedIn Ads accounts for several B2B companies. I work to deliver results to my clients as well to contribute to do better B2B marketing. I like to learn and share my knowledge at the same time.