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What Are LinkedIn Conversation Ads?

Derek Blaszak

Director of Digital Marketing

What LinkedIn Conversation Ads Are, and What They Mean for Your Business:

LinkedIn is rolling out a new ad format called Conversation Ads. These ads use the InMail messaging platform and provide a multiple-path user experience that basically allows targeted users to select from multiple “dialog options” when engaging with the messages. You’ve no doubt received InMail messages in the past, and Conversation Ads take InMail messages several steps further. Rather than the one-sided nature of current InMail ads, which are easy to outright ignore, Conversation Ads seek to open up a dialog by offering multiple options, and hopefully some enticing content to make the user’s journey all the more rewarding.

When Should I Use Conversation Ads?

It depends. If you’re not already a believer in sponsored InMail it probably isn’t going to make you a convert. But, giving marketers more options with how to engage with their audiences is always a good thing. We can see the strengths of this strategy being the ability to craft a very tailored message to a specific group of high-value leads. Plus, the more “conversational” nature of the format allows for marketing teams to preserve brand voice and deploy messaging and media that resonates with their audience.

What are the steps to set up a Conversation Ad?

Here are the basic steps to follow when setting up a Conversation Ad within LinkedIn:

  1. Start with a greeting.
  2. Ask a question (this is the segue for your call to action steps)
  3. Offer Dialog Choices (Leverage different types of content)
  4. Have the types of dialogue responses each correspond to a different type of rich media or content piece.
  5. Tie your content choices to a conversion action (Landing Page Visits, Lead Gen Form Fills, Event Signups, etc.) A visual breakout of how this works is shown by LinkedIn below:

set up step 1 linkedin conversation ads

set up step 2 conversation ads on linkedin

set up step 3 conversation ads on linkedin

As you can see, the ads give you a multitude of options and dialogue trees as a way to encourage conversion actions. The best benefit is it allows the use of multiple content options, whether it’s text copy, videos or images, pictures, or lead gen forms. In the past, LinkedIn has been a little more limited in terms of the content it allows advertisers to use, lacking some of the more “immersive” Facebook options such as a canvas ad. Conversation Ads help to remedy this issue.

Best Practices for Creating LinkedIn Conversation Ads

  • Mix It Up – Leverage a different piece of valuable content for each dialog option (i.e. an informational landing page, a video, a gated e-book etc.)
  • Keep It Simple – As fun as it can be to create a garden of forking paths for your audience to walk through, avoid overwhelming your audience with too many options. We suggest that each “step” of the path have no more than 2 or 3 options. Also, the “funnel” from greeting to conversion should probably have no more than 3 or 4 steps.
  • Write to Your Audience – The conversational style of Conversation Ads is perfect for letting your brand voice show through. Make sure to adopt a tone and voice in your messaging that resonates with your target leads.
  • Focus Your Targeting –The interactive nature of Conversation Ads tend to be well suited to laser-focused targeting. Take a gander at your site analytics for past conversion events and see what audience identifiers lead to the most success.

Get Help Advertising on LinkedIn

If this sounds like a lot of work, it’s because it kind of is. Not only do you need a clearly mapped engagement funnel, you also need compelling and authentic copy, a variety of media options, a well-defined audience, and a slate of valuable content to share. That’s where the power of an integrated marketing strategy can help you make the most of LinkedIn Conversation Ads and improve your conversion rate. View our case studies to see how an integrated marketing strategy generates real results while remaining cost-effective.