LinkedIn Conversation Ads: How they work and should advertisers use them

The new messaging-based ad format by LinkedIn, which is similar to Facebook Messenger Ads, allows advertisers to target prospects with personalized messages based on audience segments.

LinkedIn Conversation Ads
LinkedIn Conversation Ads example

LinkedIn reports the number of messages sent on the site has quadrupled during the last five years, with reply rates up 30%. To maximize messaging opportunities for advertisers, LinkedIn rolled out Conversation Ads last month – a messaging-based ad that permits advertisers to send messages to targeted audience segments created within the platform’s Campaign Manager. The new ad type is similar to Facebook’s Messenger Ads.

Conversation Ads build on [LinkedIn’s] current Message Ads offering (formerly Sponsored InMail), and feature a ‘choose your own path’ experience that [let advertisers] create full-funnel campaigns with multiple customized calls-to-action, writes LinkedIn Product Manager Romina Bin Mac Donnell on the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog.

How Conversation Ads Work

When creating a Conversation Ad, advertisers are able to choose from multiple templates within Campaign Manager, including:

Advertisers can also personalize their ads using data from a LinkedIn user’s profile and add multiple CTA buttons that link to landing pages, launch a Lead Gen Form or encourage a response from the prospect.

For example, if you have a call-to-action button such as ‘Learn More,’ you can provide a custom response with another set of call-to-action buttons or you can have the button click through to your website, according to LinkedIn’s Conversation Ads Overview help page.

Conversation Ads are charged on a cost-per-send (CPS) basis and come with two objective options: Website Visits or Lead Generation. Advertisers who choose the Website Visits objective must include, at least, two CTA buttons within the ad leading to a landing page. When using the Lead Generation objective, only one Lead Gen Form link can be included per ad creative. As far as targeting, advertisers can use the same targeting capabilities offered with other LinkedIn ads. In its Conversation Ads Best Practices Guide (PDF), LinkedIn recommends using top-performing targets from your other LinkedIn campaigns with previously converted leads excluded.

Advertisers’ Experiences So Far

LinkedIn opened beta access to several brands before beginning to roll out the ads to all advertisers in March. Samsung, one of the brands with early access, used Conversation Ads to raise awareness for new Galaxy Note10 features by sending messages with a CTA pointing to a landing page for the device. Our main goal was to understand whether a Conversation Ad could effectively raise user engagement with our brand and our sponsored product Samsung Galaxy Note10, said Samsung Electronics Italia Media Manager Valerio Vidoni, This new format resulted in 23% uplift of CTR compared to Message Ads.

Episerver, a digital experience cloud software platform, used Conversation Ads to promote its customer event Episerver Ascend for their Swedish market. The ads included two options: to learn more about the conference track for developers or to learn more about the conference track for business. Prospects could click on either link to see the corresponding event agenda or read a blog post outlining why they should attend the conference. The company says the ads helped increase engagement with its audience while cutting cost-per-click rates in half. They allow us to offer our audience a variety of information in one attractive ad formant – and without forcing them to leave the LinkedIn platform, said Episerver Digital Marketing Manager Ann Gebhardt.

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Akvile DeFazio is the President of AKvertise, a social media advertising agency. She specializes in Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter Ads. Follow @AkvileDeFazio