Don’t Fear LinkedIn Ad Costs: Take Control to Hit Your Goals

It's no secret that LinkedIn ads are expensive. The engagement costs alone can leave many feeling hesitant to give the platform a chance. That said, advertisers at any budget range have options for making LinkedIn work for them.

For many on the platform, It can be tempting to use LinkedIn’s default bidding option, Max Delivery (Automated), and call it a day. However, if you really want to spend your budget efficiently, I recommend bidding manually and optimizing for clicks. This is the option with the most control and the least amount of risk.

So when should you bid low and when should you bid high? Let’s dive into it.

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How to Bid on a Budget

When you create or edit a LinkedIn ad campaign and select your bid, LinkedIn will display a “recommended” bidding range in order to remain competitive with other advertisers. 

Until recently, LinkedIn would not allow you to bid lower than their recommended range – but this is no longer the case! You can now input a manual bid for as low as a penny (although I would not recommend doing that). What I do recommend is bidding slightly lower than Linkedin’s recommended range, as seen here:
Screenshot of the manual bidding option on LinkedIn.
In this case, bidding a few dollars lower than $20.65 is a good starting point. If you bid too low, LinkedIn will give you a message that reads, “Your bid of $x.xx may be too low to reach your target audience. Increase your bid for better results.” I would agree that if you are seeing this message, you should increase your bid until the message disappears. 

Sometimes, when bidding lower than LinkedIn’s recommended range, you won’t be bidding aggressively enough to be included in the auction. If you’re seeing very few impressions or clicks at your current bid, gradually increase your bids over the course of a few days until you start seeing clicks and are spending your full daily budget.

By doing this, you will eventually find the “sweet spot” of winning the auction while also maintaining a lower cost per click. Starting at a lower bid and incrementally raising bids until you can find that sweet spot prevents you from overspending on clicks. In my experience, this is the most reliable approach to saving money on LinkedIn Ads.


When to Bid High

Though my recommendation is to bid low most of the time for companies on tight budgets, the decision to bid high comes down to urgency vs. efficiency. Bidding low allows you to spend your budget more efficiently, as you generate click traffic for as low a cost as possible. Bidding high, on the other hand, is the way to go if you need to get results quickly.

For example, you may be promoting a time-sensitive offer, such as an upcoming event. Starting with an aggressively high bid will help you beat out your competition and spend your full budget at a faster rate. Yes, you’ll spend more per click than if you were to bid low, but you’ll be able to generate click traffic at the pace that you need.


How High Should You Bid?

If you want to ensure your budget is spending fast, follow the recommended bid range in order to remain competitive with other advertisers. 

Screenshot of a high bid on LinkedIn.

In my experience, this range is generally much higher than what is necessary to win the auction (as I alluded to earlier when discussing the strategy to bid below the recommended range). However, if you need to get results quickly or spend more rapidly, LinkedIn’s recommended bid, or even the higher end of its recommended bidding range, is a good place to start. From there, if you want to spend more efficiently, you can monitor performance and lower your bids each day until you find the sweet spot, where you’re generating clicks and spending your full daily budgets while maintaining a lower cost-per-click.


Which Strategy is Right for You?

If your goal is to spend your full daily campaign budget and get results quickly, then starting your bids high may be the right strategy for you. If you’re looking to save the most money over a longer period of time, stick with bidding low. 

In either scenario, the keys to optimizing performance on LinkedIn are consistent monitoring, analysis, and adjustment. Use LinkedIn’s recommendations as a starting point, and make sure to turn the dial as you go to fine-tune bids according to your business goals.


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