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LinkedIn Advertising ROI: Choose the Right Ad for Your Campaign

For food ingredient brands, it’s worth your time and effort to have an effective LinkedIn marketing strategy in place. LinkedIn is a great place to build awareness and credibility, connect with others in the industry, and generate leads through valuable content.

Some of this will come from organic posting and marketing strategies, but LinkedIn has a valuable advertising platform that can boost your efforts.

LinkedIn generates the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate, 277% more effective than Facebook and Twitter. —HubSpot

Before you embark on any advertising campaign, you should have a clear objective. Why are you running a campaign? Is it to raise awareness of your brand? Do you want to drive traffic to your website and generate leads? Are you hosting or attending an event you want to draw people to? Clearly state your why before moving on to the what. Knowing what you hope to accomplish with an ad campaign will help you more strategically decide what type of ad is most advantageous to you.

Let’s walk through the different kinds of ads you can utilize on LinkedIn and whether they are valuable for food ingredient companies.

Message ads

If you’re on LinkedIn, you’ve likely received a message from someone outside of your connections. If a user pays for a LinkedIn Premium membership, they receive InMail message credits monthly. This allows them to send messages to people they are not connected with. They are often personalized and appear at first glance as genuine messages. However, they are always marked as “InMail” in your LinkedIn inbox.

If you don’t have a premium membership on LinkedIn, you can still send messages outside your connections via message ads. Instead of attempting to connect with someone you identify as a target customer, getting into their inbox via message ads is an option.

But is it worth your investment?

LinkedIn sponsored messaging ads are the priciest ad format on the platform. Rather than paying when someone clicks on your ad, you pay to send the message ads without a guarantee that anyone will see, open, or click on your message.

Sponsored InMail has an open rate of 52%, and LinkedIn Message Ads have a 40% conversion rate. —SocialPilot.

If a prospect doesn’t have a current need for your products, they’re not very likely to respond to your message if you’re overtly pitching to them. Sponsored messaging is not the way to go if you’re trying to drive traffic to your website by having visitors view your product portfolio.

Message ads work best when you have something unique and exciting to offer the recipient. Maybe you have free tickets to an industry event to give away or early access to a new product. In these cases, message ads could work for you if you create the right message.

Here’s an example of what a sponsored LinkedIn message ad could look like:

Hey John,
I have complimentary tickets to this year’s XYZ event and thought you would enjoy them. I’m excited about this event and would love to see you there. Let me know if you’d like the tickets!


Will this seem spammy to some of the recipients? Probably. Could it get you leads? Possibly.

The bottom line is that LinkedIn message ads are complex to set up and expensive to send out. There are probably other ad formats that are a better spend of your marketing dollars. Let’s explore those.

Dynamic Ads

LinkedIn dynamic ads are tailored to each user and incorporate specific details such as their profile photo, name, or company.

You’ll find these ads on your LinkedIn desktop to the right of your feed. They typically pair your profile image with the logo of the advertiser. It’s important to note that dynamic ads are only shown on LinkedIn desktop devices, and don’t appear on mobile. It’s important to factor in on which devices your audience views LinkedIn.  

In our experience with food ingredient brands, dynamic ads can successfully build awareness and gain followers. They’re small and simple in design and not spammy. Our recent dynamic ad campaign for a food ingredient client achieved a 0.07% click rate and a 233.3% increase of followers on their company page. For dynamic ads, LinkedIn says a CTR of 0.02% or greater is the goal for a campaign.

An example of dynamic ad copy could read:
[First name], your next big idea starts here. Follow our page to get the latest industry insights.

Dynamic ads are simple to set up and an affordable option to build brand awareness and gain valuable followers.

Boosted Posts

Have you had an organic LinkedIn post that has received good engagement and impressions? You can make it go even further by boosting the post to others outside your connections. Promoting an organic post can be cheaper and quicker than running a similar single-image ad.

Boosted posts are great if you want to gain visibility and followers. Boost a post with good engagement and a clear call to action, such as, “Follow our page for more industry insights.”

Boosting well-performing organic posts is a quick and easy way to further your reach. For more well-thought-out ad campaigns, you will want to run sponsored ads.

Sponsored Ads

Running sponsored ads is a great option if you’re promoting an event or linking to a landing page where visitors can learn more information and submit their contact information. Sponsored ads have an organic feel, so they naturally fit into a user’s feed. They’re a great way to catch a target audience’s attention.

When analyzing your sponsored ad performance, the average CTR across all LinkedIn sponsored content ads is about 0.39%, according to Social Media Examiner. A client’s recent ad campaign achieved a 0.62% CTR and increased their followers by more than 166% during the run of the ad.

Our advice is to have a solid organic social media posting strategy before you move on to running sponsored ads. Give your company page an opportunity to build an organic following before you start advertising to grow your page.

Types of Media

When running sponsored ads on LinkedIn, you have several types of media you could choose for your ad: text only, single image, carousel and video.

Single-image ads are an optimal choice for your ad to appear native in a user’s feed. Video ads can be captivating and informative, influencing the audience to take action and learn more. Carousel ads are a great way to tell a story with images by showcasing your products. Knowing your goals for the campaign and what content engages your audience can help you choose what media to include in your ad to have the most impact.

If you’re looking for guidance on your social media strategy and what ads are best to run on LinkedIn for your food ingredient marketing strategy, contact us today to set up an introductory meeting.