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How to run LinkedIn retargeting ads successfully

How to run LinkedIn retargeting ads successfully

Reaching the right professional audience at the right time is paramount for brands—but it’s also incredibly challenging. Instead of throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks, try reconnecting with prospects who have already engaged with your brand.LinkedIn retargeting makes your ad dollars work smarter, not harder, by zeroing in on warm leads that have already shown an interest in what you’re selling. By using powerful retargeting capabilities, you can strategically show up in the LinkedIn feeds of users who have previously visited your website, downloaded content, or shown interest in a specific product or service—a.k.a. win back the 98% of visitors who didn’t convert the first time.

Here’s how to do retargeting ads on LinkedIn.

What are LinkedIn retargeting ads? 

LinkedIn retargeting ads serve relevant ads to users who have already visited your website.

You’ve probably experienced it yourself. If you’ve ever browsed LinkedIn and started seeing ads for a company you checked out earlier, you’re witnessing retargeting in action. It’s a way for businesses to give a friendly wave and say “Hey there, remember us?”. 

Instead of just shouting into the void with regular ads, retargeting ads reach people who have already shown an interest in your business, products, or services. It’s a smart, cost-effective way to keep nurturing warm leads and—on a professional platform like LinkedIn—is a more natural, low-pressure approach to sales. In fact, visitors who are retargeted with ads are 70% more likely to convert on your website. This is huge when you consider that only 2% of visitors convert the first time they land on your site. 

According to HubSpot’s 2024 State of Marketing report, LinkedIn lead generation is set to be big this year. Making it a top priority now means you’ll reap the rewards of marketing to people who already know and trust your brand. 

How LinkedIn retargeting works 

When a user visits your website or interacts with your content on LinkedIn, they leave a digital trail. Retargeting lets you pick up that trail and use it to deliver ads as leads scroll through their LinkedIn feeds. 

When someone visits your website (and you have retargeting enabled), your site will load an HTML tracking pixel and specialized JavaScript code into the visitor’s browser. This code sends anonymized data about the visitor back to your website’s server log files. 

The log files then transmit these anonymous user signals to an ad exchange platform, which can identify the general location of that visitor across the internet. It can instantly serve tailored ads to that visitor, encouraging them to return to the original website and convert into a lead or customer.  

This level of insight into user behavior allows brands to build familiarity and remain top-of-mind with prospects as they browse multiple digital channels. Even after a visitor exits the website, retargeting lets you continue to advertise to leads until they make a purchase or take the action you want them to take. 

For example, if a visitor spends time on your pricing page, the LinkedIn ad algorithm will take note of that and deliver ads about pricing. It’s safe to assume someone who looks at a pricing page is relatively interested in the product, so serving content to help push them toward a purchase can give them the nudge they need. 

While non-retargeting ads are great for getting fresh eyeballs on your business, retargeting ads boost engagement. Visitors who make a return trip through retargeting tend to be more invested. They check out more pages on your site, stick around longer, and are less likely to stray. The added layer of familiarity pays off in the form of higher lifetime value for these customers.

How to set up retargeting ads on LinkedIn 

Ready to start retargeting prospects on LinkedIn? Here’s how to get set up. 

1. Install the LinkedIn Insight Tag

The first step is to install the LinkedIn Insight Tag on your website. This is a piece of code that tracks visitor activity so you can actually retarget them on LinkedIn.

Here’s how to do this: 

  • Log in to your LinkedIn Campaign Manager account.
  • Click on the “Account Assets” tab.
  • Under the “Insight Tag” section, click “Install Insight Tag”.
  • Copy the tag code and either add it manually to the footer of your website HTML, use a tag manager platform like Google Tag Manager, or have your web developer insert it for you. 
Linkedin insight tag

You should install the tag on the pages you want to track visitor activity on. When you’ve copy-pasted the code, make sure you enable the Insight Tag by clicking the status toggle in your campaign manager account. 

Next, you’ll want to test the tag installation to check it’s working:

  • Go back to the “Insight Tag” section of your campaign manager account.
  • Click “Test Installation” and enter your website URL. 
  • Refresh your website and check for any errors. 

If there are no errors, the tag is successfully installed. 

NB: If you’ve never advertised on LinkedIn, read our guide to creating a LinkedIn advertising account

2. Define your audiences

Next, you’ll need to define the website audiences you want to retarget. The LinkedIn Insight Tag is a real data goldmine for learning about who’s visiting your site. It collects useful details like company size, industry, job seniority, and even company names. This gives you a much clearer picture of your LinkedIn audience so you can serve up hyper-relevant retargeting ads. 

To define your audiences:

  • Go to “Account Assets” in the Campaign Manager.
  • Go to “Matched Audiences” and click “Create Audience”.

Here, you can set up different audience types based on criteria like the web pages they visited, the lead forms they filled in, or previous products they purchased. 

Create website retargeting campaign on Linkedin

3. Create your ad campaign 

Now it’s time to create your retargeting ad campaign. 

Here’s how: 

  • Go to your Campaign Manager and click “Create Campaign”.
  • Choose “Website Retargeting” as your objective.
  • Choose your pre-defined website audience, and set a budget and schedule. 

You can repeat this process for different campaigns. For example, you might want to run a retargeting campaign to reach people who visited a specific product page and another campaign for people who signed up to receive your latest whitepaper.

Create your Linkedin retargeting ads

4. Set up ad creatives

Design branded, eye-catching visuals to accompany your ads. You can use a tool like Canva or have your design team put something together. Keep in mind that LinkedIn has a professional, corporate audience, so make sure your visuals tie into that. Otherwise, use high-quality images, product photos, or custom illustrations. Avoid blurry or low-res images and experiment with using video as well as stills. 

You’ll also need to write compelling ad copy that resonates with your retargeting audience and their previous engagement with your brand. Use messaging that creates a cohesive experience—for example, if you’re retargeting people who visited your pricing page, mention pricing, costs, or objections in your ad copy. 

See a handful of successful LinkedIn retargeting examples here or examples of general LinkedIn ads.

5. Analyze and optimize

Once your LinkedIn retargeting ads are up and running, you’ll be able to reach people who have already visited your website. However, the first iteration may not always be the best. For this reason, it’s a good idea to constantly tweak and optimize your ads so they continue to perform well. 

Regularly check your Campaign Manager analytics to monitor metrics like clicks, conversions, and cost-per-conversion to identify areas for improvement. If ads are underperforming, you can either edit the creatives or pause them and reallocate your budget to better-performing campaigns. 

5 tips for effective retargeting ads on LinkedIn 

Setting up your LinkedIn retargeting ads is the first hurdle. Next, it’s an ongoing process of tweaking, refining, and learning what works best. Here are some best practices to increase your chances of success. 

1. Use LinkedIn Matched Audiences with LeadsBridge 

LeadsBridge offers integrations between LinkedIn Matched Audiences and several popular CRM and email marketing platforms. This is great if you want to target people who haven’t necessarily visited your website but have interacted with your brand in some way. For example, you can pull contacts from your email marketing software, a CSV file, or your CRM and deliver ads to them on LinkedIn.

Using LinkedIn automation tools can make your life much easier. 

2. Refine and prioritize your audiences

As well as segmenting your retargeting audiences based on specific website behaviors, such as pages visited, content downloads, or viewed products, you can also layer demographic filters like job titles, industries, and companies. This helps you hyper-target your campaigns to a very specific subsection of your audience. 

Don’t forget to exclude audiences that have already converted to avoid wasting ad spend and refresh your audience lists regularly so they’re full of active, interested prospects. 

3. Test multiple ad creative variations 

A/B test your ads by using different images, copy, and calls to action. Closely monitor the results of each variation to see which ones resonate best with your desired audience. Then, optimize your existing campaigns to include the top-performing variations. 

4. Take advantage of LinkedIn’s automated features

Make use of LinkedIn’s built-in optimization features, like campaign scheduling and automated bidding to make sure you’re optimizing your spend and sending out your ads to the right people at the right time.

5. Integrate your campaigns with other platforms

Connecting up your retargeting campaigns with your CRM, marketing, and analytics platforms will give you a unified view of each customer. You can better understand how your LinkedIn retargeting audiences engage across multiple channels and touchpoints in the overall buying journey. 

Plus, you can pass hot leads from LinkedIn campaigns directly into your CRM or marketing automation workflows to help nurture them and prevent them from slipping through the cracks. LeadsBridge helps you automate lead gen processes with LinkedIn lead gen form integrations that sync leads from LinkedIn with your CRM in real-time. 

You can then unlock a recurring cycle of sending ads, learning more about your customers, refining your LinkedIn ads, and so on until you have a well-oiled system for engaging warm leads. 

Win back 98% of website visitors with LinkedIn ads retargeting 

LinkedIn retargeting ads are great for nurturing warm leads and keeping your brand top-of-mind with prospects who have already shown interest. By taking advantage of advanced targeting capabilities and rich audience insights from the LinkedIn Insight Tag, you can serve relevant ads that pick up where previous interactions left off.

As with any marketing tactic, the key is to continuously test, optimize, and integrate your retargeting campaigns with your broader sales and marketing efforts. Don’t just set it and forget it. Regularly analyze performance data, refine your audience segments, iterate on ad creatives, and connect up with other platforms in your tech stack.

Ready to convert more leads? Discover LeadsBridge’s LinkedIn Matched Audiences integration

Lizzie Davey

Lizzie is a freelance writer and content strategist for SaaS and ecommerce brands, specialising in creating long-form content that gets shared and sells. When she's not typing away at her desk in sunny Brighton, you can find her exploring new places, hanging upside down on aerial silks, or going on a long walk.

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