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Power of A/B Testing: LinkedIn Ads for Highly Effective Campaigns

June 20, 20236 min read

Is your sales funnel missing out on the power of LinkedIn ads? Discover the art of split testing in LinkedIn Campaign Manager to optimize your digital marketing strategy! In this comprehensive guide from Rocket Digital Marketing, we'll unveil the secrets of A/B testing LinkedIn ads' placements, creative elements, targeting options, and more, ensuring your digital marketing campaigns reach their full potential.

Is LinkedIn too much? Check out our Google Business Profile Optimization Guide here.

The Significance of Split Testing for LinkedIn Advertisers

In digital marketing, testing campaign elements is crucial to optimizing results and maximizing resources. While platforms like Meta Ads Manager and Google Ads have long provided A/B testing tools, LinkedIn still needs to catch up. However, as of April 2023, LinkedIn Campaign Manager has stepped up its game, introducing a built-in A/B testing tool. This advancement empowers advertisers in the realm of digital marketing to conduct more reliable experiments, identify top-performing elements, and unleash more cost-effective paid promotions on the LinkedIn platform.

LinkedIn's A/B testing tool revolutionizes your digital marketing game by providing a statistically valid environment for experiments. Unlike running two separate campaigns, this tool allows you to test different elements, such as ads (creatives, copy, formats), audiences (targeting strategies), and placements (including the LinkedIn Audience Network). With this powerful feature, you can fine-tune your marketing strategies, optimize performance, and drive impactful results on the LinkedIn platform.


Mastering A/B Testing in LinkedIn Campaign Manager: Your Step-by-Step Guide

Begin your A/B test in LinkedIn Campaign Manager by accessing the Test tab and selecting "A/B Test" from the drop-down menu after clicking the Create Test button.

Optimize Your Digital Marketing Efforts with LinkedIn's A/B Testing Tool

  • Name your A/B test: Give it a distinct name, incorporating "A/B Test" and relevant campaign details for easy identification.

  • Select the variable: Choose the specific element you want to test, keeping all other campaign aspects identical.

  • Set the budget: Allocate a lifetime or daily budget for the A/B test, which Campaign Manager divides equally between the test versions.

  • Naming consistency: Ensure each test version has an appropriate name aligned with your standard account naming structure.

With these steps, leverage LinkedIn's A/B testing tool to refine your digital marketing strategies and unlock optimal performance. In digital marketing, ensure to schedule your A/B test for a minimum duration of 2 weeks, as set by default in Campaign Manager. While you have the flexibility to manually adjust the start and end dates, it is important to allocate sufficient time for effective A/B testing.

Building the Test LinkedIn Ad Campaigns

Once you've selected your A/B test settings, it's time to create the two test ad campaigns. If you're familiar with using Campaign Manager, the setup interface will feel familiar, with one notable distinction. Since the two campaign versions should be identical except for the test variable, you only need to choose the shared settings once. Campaign Manager automatically applies them to both versions. Then, you can focus on setting up the variable elements for each campaign, optimizing your digital marketing efforts.

Step 1# 

Choose the campaign objective and test metric to determine the winning campaign.

Step 2# 

Build the target audience using saved audiences, website, or LinkedIn company page data, or create new attributes-based audiences.

Step 3# 

Select the ad format for the campaigns, considering options like video ads, carousel ads, conversation ads, message ads, dynamic ads, etc.

Step 4# 

Determine the ad placement, including available stations across LinkedIn and the option to include the LinkedIn Audience Network.

Step 5# 

Adjust the optimization goal and bidding strategy to align with your goals, based on the campaign objective.

Step 6# 

Enable conversion tracking to measure outcomes using the LinkedIn Insight Tag, allowing you to track ad views, URL clicks, lead magnet downloads, form submissions, and other conversions.


Create new conversions directly from the A/B test interface if relevant conversions haven't been set up already. Specify the type of conversion, set a value if applicable, choose an attribution model, and provide tracking details such as the URL where the conversion occurs.


Crafting the Perfect Ad: Designing an Irresistible Digital Marketing Masterpiece

If you're conducting ad testing, you can proceed to the next step and start creating variants for each version of the split test. However, if you're A/B testing audiences or placements, the next step involves creating a compelling ad that will be used across both versions. Just like in a standard ad campaign, you'll need to choose an impactful image or video, write an attention-grabbing headline, craft an engaging caption, and select a compelling call to action. You have the option to use existing content or create a brand new ad, keeping in mind that adding five ads is recommended for optimal performance according to Campaign Manager. 

However, it's important to note that for A/B tests, it's best to follow specific best practices that may differ from standard creative workflows in order to achieve the desired results in your digital marketing campaign.

Creating A/B Test Variants for LinkedIn Ads

The setup process for variants may vary depending on the campaign element you choose to test, and this is especially relevant in the context of digital marketing. Let's examine each variant type more closely, considering its impact on your digital marketing efforts.

  1. To A/B test LinkedIn ads in digital marketing, define your question and objective. Create variants that are similar except for the element you want to test. Conduct the test and analyze the results to optimize your ad strategy.

  2. To A/B test LinkedIn ad placements in digital marketing, focus on the LinkedIn Audience Network. Compare campaigns running on LinkedIn only versus those running on LinkedIn and the Audience Network. Test different brand safety options to balance control and performance. Note that brand safety settings apply to the Audience Network only. Keep in mind that not all ad objectives support the Audience Network, such as lead generation campaigns.

  3. To A/B test LinkedIn audiences in digital marketing, set up targeting for two variants while selecting shared campaign settings. Choose from saved audiences, and LinkedIn-generated audiences, or create new ones. Utilize the same targeting tools available in Campaign Manager, such as attributes, retargeting, and custom data. Exclude selecting audiences to refine targeting. For accurate results, compare audiences with minimal overlap to achieve statistically significant outcomes from your split test.

The Takeaway

In the realm of digital marketing on LinkedIn, A/B testing has traditionally required manual efforts. However, with the introduction of Campaign Manager's latest A/B testing tool, advertisers now have the ability to compare campaigns across ads, audiences, or placements. This empowers advertisers to identify high-performing elements and optimize their LinkedIn advertising strategies more efficiently.

If you would like help creating and implementing a winning LinkedIn Ad strategy, book a free strategy call with our team using the link below.


linkedin ads

Eric Berry

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