Not a new social feature

A Carousel ad is a way to bundle multiple ads into a single one. You can show multiple images, headlines, or links in the same ad format. They are useful for showcasing products, step by step guides, or just telling a brand story.

Carousel ads aren’t something new. Facebook has this format for years now. In other words, LinkedIn Carousel Ads are a copycat of Facebook’s format.

I researched a little bit on other websites about this type of Ad on LinkedIn, but they don’t give you many details about it. They repeated what was advertised previously from LinkedIn and don’t tell you about its results.

I went ahead and tried it myself.

The first problem I ran into was this “Your LinkedIn Audience Network setting has been disabled as it is not available for the ad format you selected.

It is saying that you can’t use LinkedIn Carousel Ads with the LinkedIn Audience Network (third-party sites and apps.) One less point to the LinkedIn Ad Network.

The minimum you can spend per day is USD10. You need to create at least two cards (ads) in your Carousel ad.

I have to say that the LinkedIn Ad editor is miles away from the Facebook Ads Manager:

LinkedIn Campaign Manager won’t ask you for your billing information after creating the campaign, so make sure you add the information before you kick it off.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t show you the preview while creating the Ad, and as you can see, they don’t do a very good job on autoscaling, adjusting the images as Facebook would do.

One thing that I did like is the Forecast Results, which is not something Facebook will provide. It adds transparency to a black box that the social media ad networks often are:

Expensive Performance

I ran the campaign for 2 days, targeting people in San Francisco Bay Area interested in Marketing and Advertising. The results are expensive:

I’ve spent USD17.85 and got 0 results. And I’m not talking about conversions, I meant 0 clicks.

It reached 295 people on LinkedIn, and that is a cost per reach was USD0.06, incredibly expensive.

If you look at some results on Facebook, similar audience (San Francisco), the cost per reach was USD0.019.

I have to mention that it has a great Demographic reporting tool: it is simple to use and adds transparency to the results. For example, you can see a breakdown by job seniority of the people who have seen your ad.

Blame the Ad Creative

You can object the creatives were different, and it is harder to get someone on LinkedIn to click on an Ad.

The reality is that people will spend more time on Facebook than on LinkedIn.

If you check your LinkedIn feed, it is mostly crowded by people publishing/reposting articles or talking about their career, product or services (they are in selling mode, rather than buying mode.)

A Carousel Ad format might break that mode if the first card is attractive enough for the user to click through the rest of them.

Conclusions: it needs more work

LinkedIn Carousel Ads are an uncompleted copycat of Facebook Carousel Ads. It performs poorly compared to its counterpart and therefore is more expensive.

If you run a LinkedIn Carousel Ad, you might learn more about your audience than you would do on Facebook: it has a great forecasting tool and a nice demographic reporting tool. Seek for learning, instead of for conversions.


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Leo Celis