Common issues and problems with LinkedIn Advertising [2021 Update]

Dec 28 2018


Social Media Marketing


Last Updated: May 19, 2021

Author Neeraj

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LinkedIn as an advertising platform may not be the best solution out there. It is still undergoing product revamps and modifications to suit advertising needs better. It does, however, know your target audience best for account-based marketing programs. As every product has an area for improvement, here are 10 common issues and problems that we discovered while working with LinkedIn Advertising.

1.Inconsistent List Match Rate in Matched Audience

You can create an “Audience” by creating website audience or uploading a list of accounts or contacts to include or exclude in your campaigns under “Account assets” as shown in the screenshot below. 300 is the minimum threshold value for a list to be ready for launching campaigns.


website & uploaded list audience


The problem is that the list match rate observed under “Uploaded List Audience” changes with time. It can reduce or increase on its own. This is true even for a live campaign. We observed this from July to September in 2019 to be specific. It has a significant impact on your advertising campaigns as more list match rate means more impressions being served, better chances for your audience to click your ads and vice versa.

Quick Pro Tip:

Keep a close watch on list match rates within your live campaigns if any are being used. The reason is not discoverable by the usual metrics that LinkedIn Ads provide.

For instance, in the screenshots below, the match rate for the same list of accounts has changed thrice from August 15 to September 16. (80% then 35% and then less than 5%)

List match rate August 2018 Linkedin AdsList match rate September 2018 linkedin adsList match rate October linkedin ads

Learn More:  Uploading Lists for Account and Contact Targeting for LinkedIn Ads

2.Two Problems with LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms

a) No form edits

There is no way to edit an active Lead gen form and it has been in their product roadmap forever, which is, otherwise the most promising offering from LinkedIn Marketing Solutions. You will have to create a new form all over again if you wish to edit anything at all. It is painful 🙁

Secondly, you can choose a maximum of 12 form fields only. This is more like a limitation, though!

edit a lead gen form template

b) Social Sharing

Social engagements with lead gen forms just don’t work. If you intend to show ads to your target audience alone, they will see an auto populated lead gen form upon clicking your ad. If any among your target audience happen to like, comment or share it further, the followers of your target audience will see a mere image and post – nothing remains clickable on that ad. In short, followers of your target audience cannot take the desired action you want them to take.

Quick Pro Tip: Always create a landing page version on your website despite using lead gen forms and include that URL in your ad copy/promotion. A lead gen ad when shared by your audience will get you more leads organically.

3.Audience Targeting is not accurate

We were trying to setup a campaign in early November and surprisingly, Antarctica showed about 12000+ people available by IP addresses among our target audience; however, this is not possible, because Antarctica doesn’t happen to have 12000+ people at all in the winters 🙂

Antarctica targeting Linkedin

Here is what Wikipedia Says at least!

demographics of Antarctica

4.Bid Range & Simulators don’t work

If you happen to bid manually, you will notice suggestions for your bid range and real-time recommendations with a bulb icon as below. The recommendations as you see below are of no range and simulation linkedin manual ad bidding

Moreover, if you implement any of the suggestions as such, the next immediate recommendation will go higher on your bids which is again difficult to digest.

Learn More: LinkedIn’s Advertising Cost & Bid Types

5.No GIF Ads on LinkedIn

Unlike Twitter, you can’t really advertise a GIF ad format on LinkedIn. However, minor workaround of converting GIF in MP4 files works fine.

6.Vague Quality Scores

Quality scores are measured at Campaign and Account levels. There is no way you get a reward or incentive or better CPCs if ad quality is great. On the flip side, unlike Google Ads, you can run an irrelevant ad and, promote an irrelevant landing page without being penalized for it.

Secondly, multiple advertisers trying to target similar or exactly the same audience as yours would only increase the bid prices.

Learn More: Campaign Quality Scores for Sponsored Content

7.Probable bidding against yourself

This is true for large organizations running multiple campaigns or having multiple people as campaign managers on LinkedIn. If you advertise from your corporate handle, that is treated as one account and if you issue a purchase order or IO to LinkedIn from any part of the world, that is considered to be another account. When you target a similar audience within these 2 accounts and within the same time frame, you bid against yourself in simple terms and you also end up spending more money for showing the ads.

Your audience, however, will see the ads coming in from the same company as yours despite of having 2 separate accounts within your company.

Quick Pro Tip:

With one account you never bid against yourself, Avoid advertising from more than one IO or more than one corporate account.

8.Can’t Delete Ads & Campaigns

Don’t worry! There are options to change your ads or add new ads to your campaigns. You can’t really delete any created ads, though! They will just stay there, forever.

archiving campaigns linkedin ads

Quick Pro Tip:

Replace old campaigns with new ads instead of adding new ones.

Learn More:  Archiving Campaigns and Ad Variations

9.No notifications on Comments

LinkedIn Ads don’t have a way to send in  alerts or notifications. If any of your ads happen to get a negative comment during the campaign duration, there is no way you will be notified for such comments, instead you will have to manually check all campaigns and all ads even the likes within them to respond as appropriate. It is a tedious task if you are running multiple campaigns simultaneously. Positive comments are okay but negative comments need your immediate attention in you are serious about your public reputation. All people who see your ads can notice each and every comment made there.


sad part linkedin ads

10.Ineffective Audience expansion

While targeting a list of accounts or audience targeting in general, audience expansion does help to get additional leads from a similar audience within your targeting parameters. Having stated that it can, sometimes, get out of proportion and attract irrelevant leads which you never want and certainly not at a bid price. It gets difficult to justify ROI from advertising spending in such cases.

Example:  In one of the campaigns targeting the IT department as a function, we ended up getting a lead submission for a “Medical Nurse” every factor was correct and in place except the fact that we had enabled Audience Expansion.

audience expansion linkedin ads

Learn more: Audience expansion

Learn More about LinkedIn Ads:

  1. Tips & Best practices for LinkedIn Ads
  2. Types of LinkedIn Ads & When to Use Them
  3. Step by Step Guide To Setup LinkedIn Ads

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