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LinkedIn Ad Scheduling: Who’s Got The Time?

Ranga Kaliyur
April 1, 2024

LinkedIn Ad Scheduling: Who’s got the time?

LinkedIn is by far the largest professional network on the planet today. This, in turn, makes it one of the largest B2B advertising platforms as well. LinkedIn uniquely supports the ability to target specific B2B audiences and accounts with a wide range of ad formats. That being said, it's yet to account for one piece of the puzzle: timing

As with most other situations in life, timing is everything when it comes to effective marketing. You may have the right target accounts, ad creatives, and budgets — but if your ads are programmed to run at suboptimal times, it’s all for naught. This is why ads for breakfast cereals tend to air in the morning while popsicles are promoted in the summertime.

As it stands, aside from start dates, end dates, and time zones, LinkedIn does not support the ability to display ads at specific times. But why is the ability to schedule ads important? And what’s the real-life impact of ads scheduling? Answers to these questions and more in this edition of Factors Labs 🧑🔬

Linkedin Help Page

Ad Scheduling: Meaning & Importance

Ad scheduling, also known as day parting, is an ad strategy that involves specifying certain times (hours, days, etc) to display targeted ads. Typically, marketers opt to schedule ads for when the target audience is most active or likely to convert. This helps marketers allocate budgets efficiently and maximize the impact of their ad campaigns. Here’s why ad scheduling is important:

1. Optimize ad spend

By identifying peak times of audience engagement, marketers can optimize their budget by concentrating resources on periods when target accounts are most active. This helps avoid wasting resources during less productive times (Nights, weekends, holidays, etc)

2. Avoid ad fatigue

Ad scheduling also helps prevent the audience from experiencing ad fatigue by strategically spacing out the appearance of advertisements. This reduces the odds of overexposure and a poor customer experience

3. Optimizing for device usage

Advertisers can schedule ads based on the devices consumers are likely to use at different times. For example, mobile-focused ads may be scheduled during commuting hours when people are more likely to use smartphones.

Ad scheduling: Measuring the impact

Before inspecting LinkedIn ads performance, let's take a look at how Google search ads are affected in the absence of ad scheduling. The graphs below illustrates the impact on impressions and clicks when ads continue to run even on weekends, without any ad scheduling:

Google Ads, measuring the impact
Google Ads, measuring the impact

Over a period of three months, the red circles highlight impressions and clicks achieved over weekends. As is evident, both ad metrics take a big hit when ads continue to run in this time — all while these ads continue to sap away at budgets. 

Given that LinkedIn doesn’t support time scheduling, it’s challenging to compare LinkedIn ad performance with and without ad scheduling. Still, using Factors.ai, we observe a similar trend with LinkedIn ads. That is: dips in impressions and clicks during weekends.

KPI to analyse - Linkedin clicks and impressions

The impact of timing on ad performance is unequivocal across ad platforms. The bottom line is this: Marketers need control over ad scheduling (times, days, weeks, etc) to make efficient use of their ad budgets. While most ad platforms support this, LinkedIn does not. Even if the benefit of time scheduling is incremental, marketers should, at the very least, have an option to control this.

LinkedIn Ad Scheduling: Workarounds & next steps with Factors.ai

As it stands, LinkedIn does not have plans to support ad scheduling. Until they do, here are a couple of workarounds:

1. Manual scheduling 

The most straightforward, albeit tedious, way to schedule ads is to manually toggle your campaigns on and off. Is it annoying? Yes. But does it work? Also yes. 

Linkedin Campaign

2. Impactable’s ADP 

Impactable is a household name amongst LinkedIn ad agencies. They’ve built out their Account Data Platform (ADP) to automatically schedule ads. You can read more about it here.

Screenshot of the 'Schedule Ads' section within the Link & Learn advertising platform

3. Optimize LinkedIn ROI with Factors.ai

Factors works with over 500+ high-growth B2B teams to, amongst other things, improve LinkedIn ads performance. Reach out to learn more about how our product is building out support for time scheduling, impression capping and more to help optimize LinkedIn ROI.

LinkedIn Ad Scheduling: Best Practices

Here are a few quick tips and best practices to keep in mind when determining your LinkedIn ad schedule

1. Nights are a no-no

While many of us will be scrolling through social media later tonight, the data suggests that LinkedIn will not be one of them.

Heatmap titled 'LinkedIn Company Global Engagement' from Sprout Social, showing the levels of engagement throughout the week.

Sproutsocial crunched the numbers to create this graph on LInkedIn Company Global Engagement. It highlights that the majority of LinkedIn engagement occurs around 6AM-6PM, normalized for timezone etc. Accordingly, it’s best to avoid serving ads early in the morning or late at night. 

2. Weekends are iffy

This is a relatively contentious take. Some marketers believe that, like Facebook or Instagram, LinkedIn is a leisure app that will, if anything, be used all the more over the weekend. Unfortunately, the macro-data disagrees. LinkedIn engagement is at an all time low over the weekend, so we generally recommend turning the ad valve off during this time. That being said, every brand, audience, and industry is different. It’s worth experimenting to determine what works best for you. 

3. Some days are better than others

Even within the 5 working weekdays, there’s room for optimization. LinkedIn themselves suggest Tuesdays and Wednesdays to launch specific ad formats such as message ads. Most marketers recommend avoiding Mondays entirely and Friday evenings due to the platform receiving limited engagements during these time periods. 

Looking to make the most of your LinkedIn ads? Learn how Factors can help.

Want to make the most of your LinkedIn ads?

See how Factors can help

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