LinkedIn Advertising for B2B
LinkedIn is by far the most expensive channel available to advertisers, and most likely produces the low performance in terms of vanity metrics such as CTR (Click through rate) and CPM (Impressions). However, there is a huge potential to generate huge ROI from LinkedIn.
You can achieve huge ROI by utilising LinkedIn targeting, create compelling offers and fine-tune your sales funnel.
Whilst I'll be sharing some top tips I picked up on the course, CXL Institute goes into depth in LinkedIn advertising which allows you to:
Craft an offer that stands out on the platform
Create and manage ad audiences
Scale your audience, avoiding competition & customers
Don't bother if your B2C.
Simply, if there is anything to take away from this course is ONE clear rule. LinkedIn is made for B2B and only if you have a high lifetime value as a service/product £10K+.
B2B can be tricky for a digital marketer
B2B is a little harder than B2C because:
There are a lot of offline conversion events MQL > SQL so it's hard to track because prospects don't have a pixel.
Delayed sales cycles could be anywhere between 6 -24 month
How does LinkedIn compare to other channels:
Pros of using LinkedIn Ads
People on LinkedIn constantly update their information.
Robust targeting related to businesses and not personal. Individuals on the platform have their professional hat on.
LinkedIn Ads tend to bring in the biggest deals.
High cost from anywhere between $6-9 for a click
No dayparting (which seems ridiculous)
No device-level bidding
Not exposed relevancy
Five Ad formats on LinkedIn
Like most advertising platforms, LinkedIn offers five different formats each with varying degrees of objectives and benefits.
1. Right Rail
50x50 px means images of peoples faces work best. Company logos do occur but see poorer results
0.03% CTR is considered good. So this is not a lead generation tool. However, excellent for branding as people rarely click, your company may be in a person's view for a while.
25 character headlines
75 character ad line
2. Ads sponsored content
Takes up a lot of real estate 1200x627
Appears in the newsfeed
128 char intro
70% mobile users
0.4 CTR is considered average
This format seems great for exposure of blogs, webinars.
3. InMail sponsored
Yep, I shudder when I see and InMail, but do they work?
Cost per send model (30-80p) not cost per click
8% may become a lead so that's like $24 cost per lead
When you have something special to offer someone it can work as it makes them feel exclusive.
4. Ad Unit Lead gen
The LinkedIn version of Facebooks leads gen unit. Works, in the same way, the form is held on the LinkedIn platform.
Pros - high conversion 10-30% conversion rate
Cons - Difficult to track, pay the same for traffic but never hit landing page, so no retargeting.
Integrates with Salesforce, Eloqua, enterprise tools, if you are a smaller business you can use Zapier
Questionable lead quality, because they are so frictionless, people don't remember filling them out.
5. Video Ads
Charged 3 second view starting 0.06-0.014p
They play muted, therefore you will want to hardcode subtitles
B2B Audience Targeting
Here is where LinkedIn is on another level vs Facebook & Google Ads.
You can target and individual by:
Level of seniority
Equally, you can target companies by
How to Target the individual
Job function + seniority
Skills + seniority
A job title can be really specific to the company, so LinkedIn may not understand it. LinkedIn recognises about 40%.
When targeting skills or groups
Exclude sales/bizdev/ marketing job functions to keep out folks who are trying to sell into these audiences. This keeps out competitors
When targeting SMBs
Rather than include only 1-50, use excludes the larger companies so includes undeclared companies
Use seniority instead of age or years experience
Seniority is based on title/industry, not age or experience. People don’t list all previous or irrelevant jobs
TOP TIP: Avoid audience expansion - just don’t do it
Its automatically enabled, so be sure to enable. It says to LinkedIn, target these people and anyone else you think. Well, LinkedIn wants you to spend and it won't find you the best match.
Bidding for performance
This is a test and learn process. A J Wilcox recommends starting low and work up. This way you'll learn when you get a decent amount of clicks and conversions vs cost.
If your budget expired before the end of the day, you paid too much for you clicks
Don’t use LinkedIn advice (ever)
If your CTR is < 0.35% try testing your ad copy and image
If your CTR is Between 0.35% and <1% Bid down to get the lowest CPCs, or bid higher for more traffic
If CTR>1% change bid type to CPM and bid aggressively for big discounts from LinkedIn. This means we are getting 3x network avg.
Name campaign after audience & Ad type
Bad - 2018 webinar or whitepaper - doesn’t give you anything
Good - Name the audience - ‘Sponsored content SC - title - company size - geography. Keeps account organised
LinkedIn is not on the same scale as Google Ads and Facebook custom audiences.
Target net new customers
2 step funnel - create a retargeting campaign of landing page visitors
Exclude this audience from campaigns
Some audiences to get you started
Sales dream account - talk to the sales team and asked them who they’d love to do business with them
Exclude Competitors - upload a list of competitors, you want to exclude these guys
Exclude Customer - they are already paying so no need to target them
Product updates to current customers
Why use LinkedIn
LinkedIn won't be the first channel you try, and to be honest nor should it. However, do explore if you are:
Using search and maxed out search volume
Using Facebook ads for B2B but hit the limits of scales and the sales team complains about lead quality
This is where LinkedIn is the place
The course does have a practical session in LinkedIn and is well worth it if you are not familiar with the platform.
Get hands-on with LinkedIn Advertising