Linkedin Ad Benchmarks 2021 – An Always Up-to-date Guide

Are my ads performing well? How are my ads performing against my peers? Is it time to optimise my campaigns? What’s a good ad benchmark?

If you’ve ever asked these questions, then this article is for you.

Here are the common benchmarks that are essential for Linkedin advertisers.

  • Click-through rate 
  • Cost per click 
  • Cost per impression
  • Cost per lead
  • Lead gen form fill completion rate 
  • Conversion rate
  • Cost per conversion
  • Engagement rate
  • Linkedin message ads / Inmail benchmarks
  • Linkedin video ad benchmarks

Is every benchmark important? Short answer: No 

It depends on what your ad objective is and which ad formats you’re using

In this article, we will breakdown what these key benchmarks mean and when to look out for them. 

Ready? Keep scrolling.

Related: How to run a Linkedin Ads in 2021 – A Definitive Guide to Advertising on Linkedin

What is a good CTR for Your Linkedin Ad?

CTR refers to the number of chargeable clicks divided by impressions.

Yes, you saw that right. Not all clicks on Linkedin ads are chargeable. So the average CTR in Linkedin only takes chargeable clicks into account. 

The global average CTR for sponsored content is between 0.44% – 0.65%. Now this varies drastically based on countries or regions. Developing countries tend to have higher CTR averages as compared to the developed nations. 

Within each ad format, there’s a slight difference in Click-through rate (CTR).

  • Sponsored Content (Single Image): 0.56%
  • Sponsored Content (Carousel): 0.40%
  • Sponsored Content (Video): 0.44%
  • Message Ads: 3% with open rates at 30%
  • Dynamic Ads Standard: 0.06%
  • Dynamic Ads Dynamic: 0.08%
  • Text Ads: 0.02%

Getting familiar with the different Linkedin ad formats is key to understanding why the benchmarks differ so much.

Based on sponsored content, these are the CTR benchmark based on seniority

  • Global CTR average for Senior decision-makers: 0.55%
  • Global CTR average for Junior employees: 0.60%
Click-Through Rate by Seniority

Senior decision-makers refer to anyone above the level of Manager (For example, Vice presidents, Directors, Seniors, Owners, Partners).

What about functions? Here’s some useful benchmarks based on job functions

  • Accounting: 0.60%
  • Business Development: 0.65%
  • Education: 0.65%
  • Engineering: 0.57%
  • Finance: 0.60%
  • Human Resources: 0.62%
  • Informational Technology: 0.57%
  • Marketing: 0.60%
  • Media and Communications: 0.63%
  • Operations: 0.55%
  • Product Management: 0.54%
  • Sales: 0.58%
Click-through rate by job functions

Here’s also a breakdown of the CTRs from different regions. 

  • NAMER: 0.5%
  • APAC: 0.8%
  • EMEA: 0.6%
  • LATAM: 0.7%
Click-through rate by regions

What are the CTR Benchmarks by industry then? Here are some of the common industry benchmarks.

  • Software & Internet : 0.39%
  • Finance Services, Insurance & Banking: 0.49%
  • Education: 0.42%
  • Hardware & Networking: 0.40%
  • Healthcare: 0.58%
  • Manufacturing: 0.49%
  • Media & Communication: 0.42%
  • Retail: 0.8%
  • Public Administration: 0.46%
  • Consumer Goods: 0.6%
  • Transportation & Logistics: 0.67%
  • Corporate Services: 0.5%
Click-through Rate by Industries

These CTRs are meant to be directional cues.

If you’re mixing other targeting facets, then use the global CTR average of 0.40% – 0.60%. If you’re working with a Linkedin rep, you may ask them for the CTR average for your specific set of audience in your campaign.

Why is CTR useful? 

It’s the best way to get a pulse on your ad creative performance.

If you have a low CTR, it means that your ads are not resonating with your audience. If that’s the case, consider testing new creatives or audiences

Are Linkedin Ads Still Working?

What is the cost per click (CPC) Benchmark?

This refers to how much you’re being charged per click.

Different ad formats and objectives have different CPCs.

CPCs are generally not within your control. Linkedin’s auction decides what the cost will be depending on the available inventory. 

The CPC benchmark for Linkedin is $5.58 globally.

Other CPC benchmarks that you might find useful:

  • Senior decision-makers: $6.40
  • Junior employees: $4.40

For CPC benchmarks by job functions, you may use:

  • Accounting: $5.00
  • Business Development: $6.30
  • Education: $4.90
  • Engineering: $5.10
  • Finance: $6.90
  • Human Resources: $6.00
  • information Technology: $7.90
  • Marketing: $6.80
  • Media and Communications: $5.60
  • Operations: $5.70
  • Product Management: $7.30
  • Sales: $5.40
Cost Per Click by Job Functions on Linkedin

These are the most common job functions that marketers target on Linkedin

But you should use the forecasting tool in the campaign manager to get a more accurate CPC for your region/audience.

What is the Cost per impression (CPM) Benchmark?

To calculate this, use your total ad spend divided by the average total impressions that the forecasting tool provides. Let’s say your total ad spend is $10,000, and the total forecasted impressions are 150,000 – 200,000. You would take $10,000 divided by 175 (A middle ground between 150,000 – 200,000 impressions). This results in an est $57 CPM.

Pro tip: Remember that CPM are measured in 1,000 impressions. Meaning if the total forecasted impressions are 175,000, you’ll need to divide is by 1,000 first to calculate the CPM.

The CPM average on Linkedin: $33.80 per 1000 impressions. 

We seldom use this unless we’re running brand awareness campaigns where the only bidding option is CPM. 

Also, you’ll notice other reports saying that CPM is around $8.50 on Linkedin. That’s only true if you target the entire world. In most situations, you will not be targeting the entire world, so this metric is not accurate.

The majority of the time, advertisers will be particular with their targeting, especially for B2B businesses. For example, they won’t target an entire country. Instead, they might target by industry or job functions (among other filters).

This causes the CPM to spike high.

What is the Cost per lead (CPL) Benchmark?

Cost per lead is simply the cost an advertiser is paying to capture a lead. This metric is extremely important if you’re running lead generation campaigns. 

The bad news: There isn’t a benchmark. The best benchmark is your own is historical data.

CPL ranges from $15 to $350.

This huge variation is caused by audience type, offer, creatives. 

CPL metric makes or breaks your lead-focused campaigns. So watch it like a hawk. 

Cost Per Lead by Regions

Here are some cost per lead averages across all different regional campaigns we’re running. This is data derived from a total of $1M USD ad spend 6 months, across multiple ad accounts targeting different regions. We think at this level of ad spend, this would be a decent estimate.

NAMER: $230
APAC: $80
EMEA: $120
LATAM: $60

Cost Per Lead By Region for Linkedin Ads

To reiterate, CPL can vary so much as it depends on offer, targeting and company’s brand strength.

Cost Per Lead by Industries

Based on the same $1M ad spend across, these are some of the findings for cost per lead when segmented by industries.

Software & IT: $125
Finance: $100
Education: $64
Hardware & Networking: $150
Healthcare: $125
Manufacturing: $100
Media & Communications: $65
Retail: $80
Public Administration: $85
Consumer Goods: $89
Transportation & Logistics: $130
Corporate Services: $60

Cost Per Lead By Industries on Linkedin Advertising

What is the Lead Gen Form Completion rate?

What is Lead gen form (LGF) completion rate? 

LGF completion rate is a percentage of open forms that were submitted (Form submissions divided by total number of form opens). 

When you have low lead gen form completion rate, it means members are opening your forms without completing it. 

This happens commonly when:

  • The lead gen form details are not enticing enough 
  • It does not reflect the same promise of the front ad they clicked on. 
  • The target audience is not correct

Linkedin Lead gen form completion rate benchmark: 10%

Anything above the 10% mark is good. Use this Lead Gen Form benchmarks only when you’re doing Lead generation campaigns.

What is a Good Conversion Rate on Linkedin?

If your goal is to get a conversion on your site, then high CTRs are not enough. 

Conversion rate refers to the percentage of conversions relative to the number of clicks. 

Benchmark for Conversion Rate on Linkedin: 5% – 15%

The variance is huge. 

This is because many companies define their conversions differently. Some advertisers define a conversion as someone who clicked on a specific button on their site. 

Others might define a conversion as a form-fill on site.

Even with a website form field, different offers would have different conversion rates. For example, the conversion rate for an eBook download should be higher than a demo request form fill. There is a lot less friction and anxiety to download an eBook compared to getting a cold call from a sales rep. So the conversion rates would reflect this difference as well. 

What is a Good Cost Per Conversion benchmark?

It’s the average amount of dollars you spent per conversion. A conversion can be any action defined by the advertiser. This makes benchmarking this metric tricky. It will not be accurate. Best to benchmark this against your historical data.

Ask yourself: “How much is an action or conversion worth to you”? 

Let say the conversion happened on a “Request a Demo” form, how much is that form fill worth? 

For example: Out of 10 demo requests, your sales teams are able to close 1 at $5,000. That means you have a positive ROI for anything below $500 cost per conversion. 

When Marketers hear a $500 cost per conversion as compared to Facebook’s cheap $50-90 per conversion, it will make Linkedin seem expensive. But that’s not accurate.

Most miss out on the whole point of B2B marketing.

You’re selling a high-value enterprise product/service. What you need is high-quality leads, not cheap low-quality leads. 

There’s no point in churning out hundreds of low quality leads from Facebook and making your sales team busy with rubbish leads.  

 It will backfire and marketing will lose the seat at the decision-making table. 

Engagement Rate Benchmark on Linkedin

Engagement rate measures the number of times people engage with your ad (Total paid + free click divided by total impressions)

What is this useful for? 

It’s mainly a brand awareness measure. Building hype to your brand and providing air cover for your sales team is just as important. 

Here are the engagement rate benchmarks: 

  • Non-video Sponsored Content: 0.5%
  • Video Sponsored Content: 1.6%

Pro Tip: Take note these how Linkedin charges these clicks and engagements are different based on the objectives. For the benchmarks below, we’ll be using traffic

Engagement Rate for Sponsored Content by Regions

Important note: The engagement rate benchmark is based on the engagement objective. Similar to the other benchmarks above, you’ll select a campaign objective that aligns with your goal, or these benchmarks will not be accurate to use. Reach out to us if you still need help.

Engagement Rate by Regions on Linkedin Ads

Engagement Rate for Sponsored Content by Industries

These are engagement rates of some industries. We’ve captured all of the most common industries running Linkedin ads.

Another caveat: Industry segmentation of a company is self-reported. Meaning, when creating a Linkedin company page, companies will have to select which industry they’re in.

As you can imagine, some companies might not select properly which could skew the data. But that said, the majority of companies would have input their industries correctly (It would be embarrassing if Microsoft accidentally put their industry as Healthcare right? Similarly, many marketers would be careful or would have corrected their industry if it wasn’t correct).

Engagement Rate by Industries on Linkedin advertising

Message Ad / Inmail Benchmarks 

Message ad metrics are unique. It doesn’t follow the standard sponsored content metrics because the ad format is totally different. 

How people interact with Message ads is also different. Which is why you need a separate message ad benchmark

Here’s what you need to look out for: 

  • Message ad / Inmail CTR: 3.6%
  • Message ad / Inmail Open rates: 38%
  • Linkedin’s Conversation Ad CTR: 12%
  • Linkedin’s Conversation Ad Open Rate: 50%

CTR of message ads refers to the percentage of people who clicked a link within the message after opening up a message ad. 

Open rates are the number of opens divided by the total number of messages sent. Your messages can be sent but audiences might not open. 

Linkedin Video Ad Benchmarks

Video is not the next upcoming thing in digital marketing, it is THE CURRENT hot format in digital marketing. 

Video Ad Spending

Marketers love video and consumers are engaging more with video content too. 

But how exactly do you measure the effectiveness of video ads? What’s the hype all about if advertisers can’t measure this against their marketing objectives. 

On LinkedIn, these are the video ad benchmarks to see if your video ads are working: 

– View-through rate is 29.5%
– Engagement rate is about 1.8%

The view-through rate refers to the percentage of views over total impressions. 

What is considered a “View” on Linkedin video ad? A view is considered counted when there are 2 or more seconds of playback while the video is at least within 50% on the screen, or a click to action. Whichever comes first. 

Which are the best benchmarks? What should advertisers do with them?  How to measure success with Linkedin?

The best benchmarks are your own historical benchmarks. Every ad you launch should have better metrics than the last one.

While platform benchmarks are useful for a start, always refer back to your historical data first. 

Start creating and launching your ads next. We’ve also compiled 141 best Linkedin ads to inspire better creatives. 

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10 comments
  1. Do you have sources you can provide for any of this data? Would love to better understand your sample size, geographic and industry breakdowns, etc. Thanks!

    1. Hi Lisi, Great question.

      The sources are manually extracted from Linkedin’s internal forecasting tool. We combine that with the current average data we see from the campaigns we run for our clients (Mostly Fortune 500 companies). The variance is mostly +/- 10% of the forecasting tool’s result. These data points are updated monthly to keep it fresh.

      Also, we’ve just compiled these 140+ best linkedin ad examples. You might find it useful together with this article.
      https://www.theb2bhouse.com/linkedin-ad-examples/

      Cheers,
      Dom

  2. Hello! Thanks for writing this great article. It has so much detailed information. I was wondering if you have any information/data for B2C in regard to ctr for sponsored updates, engagement rates, etc.

    1. Thanks for the question Kristen. Not at the moment, these are more B2B data. However, there are companies like Amazon that are included in these benchmarks. They’re considered large B2C in a way. What are you referring to when you say “B2C”? Perhaps some examples will help me clarify this better.

  3. A really great article. Very useful to anyone considering or currently advertising on Linkedin.

    The point about the difference between Linkedin ad costs vs. Facebook is very important!

    1. Thanks Martin! Glad it was useful. Are you running Linkedin ads? Are there other Linkedin ad topics you’d be interested in? Let me know and we’d be happy to share more insights on it 🙂

  4. Thanks for this information. Do you have any more video benchmarks, particularly video completion rates broken down by 15 second videos, 30 second videos and 60 second videos?

    1. Hi Rachele, Not at the moment you can assume the completion rate will be faster for shorter videos. Got to test it out.

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