LinkedIn Ad Tracking: What Data Do You Need?

9 min read

LinkedIn Ad Tracking: What Data Do You Need?

Are you tracking the right data when it comes to your LinkedIn ads?

LinkedIn can be one of the most powerful business-to-business (B2B) marketing platforms at your disposal. And yet, when it comes to LinkedIn ad tracking, many marketers leave valuable KPIs off their weekly or monthly reports.

Frankly, I think that’s a huge waste of potential.

That’s why I’m excited to show you the 4 key metrics you need for successful LinkedIn ad tracking.

By the end of this post, it’s my goal that you’ll start including each of these 4 KPIs in your marketing reports.

But before we get into all that, let’s quickly look at the benefits of using LinkedIn ads.

Benefits of Using LinkedIn Ads

In the world of paid advertising, LinkedIn may not be one of your “go-to” platforms. Many marketers these days rely on Facebook and Google for their paid ads. But that could be a mistake, especially if you’re in B2B sales or you run a SaaS company. As your target audience moves away from everyday consumers and toward professionals in a certain niche, LinkedIn can be a tremendous asset to your marketing plan. Here are just a few benefits of using LinkedIn Ads when you’re trying to get your product in front of company decision-makers:

  • Wide Reach of Professionals: As of 2020, LinkedIn has over 500 million users. While this may be a smaller pool than Facebook, Instagram, or Google, it’s still a platform with immense potential for marketing.
  • Target the Right Audience: One of the best parts of LinkedIn is that it has a focused niche: professional networking. That means people tend to use it less for entertainment, speaking with friends, or watching funny videos of cucumbers scaring cats. Instead, you can write your ads more effectively and reduce the risk that it will get lost in the competing noise of other platforms.
  • Send Custom Messages: When you’ve identified your target audience, you can send custom messages to potential clients or influencers–emphasis on the word “custom.” With LinkedIn’s sponsored InMail, you can build long term professional connections with people who see your ads. And the best part is that sponsored InMail won’t send messages to inactive users, meaning you’ll get more bang for your buck.

The reality is that LinkedIn Ads may not be the best option for every company. If you’re selling t-shirts on Shopify, homemade handbags on Etsy, or custom pillows shaped like donuts (yes, that’s a thing), then LinkedIn may not be right for you. But if you or your clients are selling products that help professionals or businesses grow, then LinkedIn ads can get your message to over half a billion people. Now that you know why the platform holds so much potential for your marketing strategy, let’s look at what you need to optimize your LinkedIn ad tracking.

LinkedIn Ad Tracking: 4 Must-Have KPIs

In a second, we’re going to look at what data you need to be looking at to improve conversions with your LinkedIn Ads. This means the KPIs we’ll look at are more sales-based rather than building brand awareness.

For that, you can simply track clicks, impressions, and engagement to determine if you’re getting a good return on investment (ROI). And “good” is something only you can determine for your company. But I digress. First things first…

You need to clarify two things before any of 4 metrics listed below will matter.

  • What are your KPIs for LinkedIn Ads?
  • What’s your total budget for paid ads across all channels?

The first point is something we’ve discussed at length many times in our Martech Hub. We even wrote an article on why you need to have KPIs rather than neutral metrics.

If you haven’t checked that out, I highly recommend doing so. You can read about why you need concrete KPIs here.

Second, you should know what your total budget is for all channels. This is particularly true if you’re just starting out. The reality for most companies is that they’ll have “X amount of dollars” for paid ads.

But since there are so many different platforms to choose from, that “X amount of dollars” ends up getting split up. When you know how much you can spend across all your paid ad platforms, you’ll be able to use the data to figure out how much is appropriate specifically for LinkedIn.

As you review your daily, weekly, or monthly marketing reports, you can take all the information to make data-driven decisions to boost your ROI with LinkedIn. It will also help you gauge whether or not you need to spend more of your total budget on LinkedIn or move to another platform.

Whatever the result, your overall conversions will improve by keeping your eye on the following data from LinkedIn Ads.

1. Cost

We briefly touched on this above, but there’s no way for you to know if your LinkedIn ads are costing you too much unless you keep a tight watch on how much you’re spending.

Sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many agencies and marketers forget to put this key metric in their analytics reports. Getting a weekly reminder of how much you’re spending on LinkedIn will help you put the rest of the metrics listed in perspective. This is definitely a metric that should be front-and-center in your marketing reports if you’re running ads on any social media platform. And LinkedIn is no exception.

2. Cost per click (CPC)

A lot of marketers track the number of clicks their ads generate. Personally, I don’t see the point if your goal is getting more leads and sales. Not because the number of clicks doesn’t matter (of course they do!), but because they don’t matter the most.

At the end of the day, who cares how many clicks your ad gets? What you need to know is how much those clicks are costing you.

Once you figure that out, you can ask yourself two crucial questions about your paid ad strategy:

  • How can you bring the cost per click down to get the most conversions for the least amount of money?
  • How long can you afford to keep these ads up?

The reason I prefer CPC metrics over clicks in general is because they’re more practical. They bring money into the equation and, when it comes to business at least, money should always be factored into your reports.

Don’t feel the same way? That’s OK. Metrics Watch makes it easy to add metrics to all of your marketing reports. That means you can add clicks, cost per clicks, and many other valuable metrics in just a few seconds.

For more information on this, check out this post: The Best Marketing Report Tool to Grow Your Business: 3 Popular Choices.

3. Conversions

I’ve always thought that people in the SEO world put too much emphasis on traffic and not enough emphasis on sales. This is particularly true of smaller teams who don’t have distinct sales and marketing departments.

That’s why I always tell people they need to track how well their ads are converting casual “clickers” into paying customers.

Your ad may be fantastic at getting clicks, but if you aren’t generating new customers, you can start to pinpoint why.

Perhaps your ad is speaking to a group on LinkedIn that falls outside of your target audience. That would mean your ad copy needs to be changed to get the same click-through-rate with higher conversions. Or maybe your landing page isn’t as strong as your ad copy. That would mean testing out different landing pages to increase conversions on your site.

There are a million and one reasons why your conversions aren’t as high as they should. But by tracking this information at the source (your LinkedIn ad), you can better identify and fix the problem.

4. Cost per conversion

Conversions are awesome. But, they’re not free. Nothing is. Your cost per conversion will let you know how much you’re spending for each new lead or customer.

With this information at hand, you can finally look at your overall budget and determine if LinkedIn ads are worth your time, money, and energy. If you find that your cost per conversion is lower with LinkedIn than, say, Google, then you can allocate more of your budget to the former.

If, on the other hand, you’ve been testing LinkedIn for a while and find that your cost per conversion is much higher than other platforms, you can either experiment with new ad copy or stop the ads altogether.

The point is that you won’t know what the best course of action is until you have the data to back it up.

Now, let me guess: you already know all of this, don’t you? Most marketers do.

And yet, when it comes to LinkedIn ad tracking, most people don’t check in with their analytics often enough. Why?

Because they have about a million other distractions asking for their time.

In other words, they don’t have the right tool for the job. So while they know what they should do, they keep telling themselves they’ll start keeping better track of it all someday when they have more time.

But as Creedence Clearwater Revival taught us back in the 70s, “someday never comes.”

That’s why I built Metrics Watch.

I wanted to give people an easy solution for building marketing reports that contain all their KPIs. This includes data from Google Analytics, Facebook, Instagram, MailChimp, and more. Yes, LinkedIn Ads included.

That way, they could look at their marketing strategy more holistically. Plus, everything would be delivered straight to their inbox. No messy PDFs to keep organized. No 3rd party dashboards to link out to. And no managing sub-accounts/passwords for clients or team members.

Instead, Metrics Watch gets you all the data you need, when and where you need it most.

Curious how it looks? Go sign up for your free Metrics Watch account today, no credit card required!

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