How to create a LinkedIn Ad Campaign ? 5 mistakes to avoid

Would you like to increase the effectiveness of your LinkedIn Ads campaign? How to create a LinkedIn Ad Campaign?

Although running ads on this platform can sometimes be costly, advertising on Linkedin is the most effective way to generate qualified B2B leads.

Our experience as a LinkedIn Ads agency, having audited and managed several accounts, enables us to reveal the most frequently encountered errors on these accounts.

1. Opting for overly broad targeting

The essence of a successful campaign lies in precise targeting. On Facebook, you’ll struggle to get results with narrow audiences, but it’s not the same on LinkedIn.

If your audience exceeds 150,000 people, you run the risk of missing your main target, as the ads will prioritize a less qualified audience segment.

Prefer a range of 50,000 to 100,000 people, using combinations of criteria depending on your objectives: Are you looking for more precision? More volume? The most affordable CPM?


If you opt for a broad audience (function + hierarchical level + industry): your CPMs will be low.

If you decide to refine your audience (member groups + industry): you’ll have higher CPMs.

Good to Know: Don’t hesitate to create lists of companies, classifying them according to their level of engagement based on your CRM data. Your content will resonate much better with the companies you choose, rather than those selected by the algorithm.

2. Leave default options checked

Two settings activated by default can quickly exhaust your budget and generate little or no return on investment: Audience Expansion and LinkedIn Audience Network.

Audience Expansion extends your reach beyond the targeting criteria you’ve carefully defined in your LinkedIn Ads campaign. This means that your ads can be delivered to people outside your targeting criteria (a practice recommended on Facebook, but much less so on LinkedIn). To avoid showing your ads to people who would not be good potential customers, deactivate this option by unchecking the box in the “Audience” section of your LinkedIn ads campaign.

As for the LinkedIn Audience Network (or LAN), while it may sound promising in theory, our experience indicates that traffic from these sources is often of poor quality. You can deactivate it in the “Placements” section to maintain the quality of your advertising interactions.

3. Use ‘maximum delivery’ as a bidding strategy (when your account doesn’t have much history)

The idea of maximizing campaign visibility may seem appealing if you want your ads to reach a large audience. However, if your objective is to generate conversions (e-book downloads, demos), you could be quickly disappointed.

If your CTRs are low (<1%) and you’re not spending your entire daily budget, opt for manual bidding instead. By choosing this option, you retain total control over your spending, avoiding spending your money on clicks that lead nowhere.

Good to Know:

  • LinkedIn will suggest a recommended bidding range when you opt for manual bidding. It’s often possible to spend your entire daily budget by bidding less than LinkedIn recommends.
  • If you’re struggling to spend your entire budget, it’s because your bids aren’t high enough.

4. Launch lead generation campaigns only

Too often, companies try to generate leads prematurely in the funnel with forms or e-books targeting an audience that doesn’t know them. Have you ever bought an artist’s concert ticket without even knowing their music?

On average, it takes eight contacts to set up a first meeting. Most LinkedIn users aren’t in buy-now mode, and sales cycles are generally longer. So:

  • Focus your strategy on creating demand and need, rather than jumping into lead generation too early. You’ll avoid saturating cold audiences with incessant sales pitches.
  • Maximize the impact of your LinkedIn Ads campaign with retargeting. By creating a robust retargeting ecosystem, you stay present in your audiences’ minds, nurturing them through various channels such as emailing, SEO, SEA and Facebook Ads. For effective and strategic implementation of these techniques, consider the expertise of a paid media agency.

Good to know:

  • You can also refine the retargeting of website visitors to specifically target people matching your criteria (for example: managers in industrial production companies of at least 100 people).
  • If you’re not getting enough traffic to your website, don’t worry! With video ads, you can quickly create high-quality retargeting audiences. You can create audiences based on the percentage of the video people watched (25%, 50%, 75%).

5. Lack of creativity and creative formats

As on any advertising platform, your ads need to resonate with your target audience and be tailored to your objectives. Using generic messages or uninspiring visual elements can lead to low engagement and click-through rates.

To boost the CTR of your campaigns, follow these tips:

  • Avoid being generalist and adopt the “less is more” principle instead. Focus on the pain points and present your solution in a way that speaks directly to your audience’s needs.
  • Conduct regular A/B tests to identify the most effective creative elements: add 3-5 creatives per campaign (with different titles, visuals and CTAs – simply changing the color of a CTA won’t do).
  • Don’t just test image formats! For example, integrate “thought leader ads” into TOFU campaigns and opt for product videos or carousels to present your product in an impactful way.

Good to know :

CTR of brand awareness ≠ CTR of website visits. This distinction is crucial for accurately assessing the performance of your ads.


In summary, successful LinkedIn Ads campaigns rely on a thorough understanding of the platform. Precise targeting, judicious management of default settings, a bidding strategy tailored to your history and objectives, and a creative and diversified approach to advertising formats are essential to reaching your targets effectively and economically. It’s crucial to remember that every aspect of your campaign needs to be carefully thought through and continually optimized to achieve the best return on investment. By avoiding common mistakes and exploiting the nuances of LinkedIn Ads, you’ll be able to generate quality B2B leads. Our lead generation agency will be happy to support you if you’d like to explore the subject of lead generation on LinkedIn in greater depth.

Vincent Chevalier Levy
After managing the largest marketing analytics & growth teams from the Silicon Valley (Electronic Arts & Udemy), Vincent decided to create Impulse Analytics in order to accelerate the growth of the accounts he manages. Vincent's focus on media, content & data helped him generate more than +50 million euros of revenue, +70 clients supported, 25 countries and counting ..

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