LinkedIn Ad Strategies to Increase B2B Sales

Determining Your LinkedIn Ad Budget 

Before we dive into determining your LinkedIn ad strategies and budget, you first need to determine if your business is right for LinkedIn ads. There are three business types that do well using LinkedIn ads, and it is best to see if your business is one of them. 
Please see my previous blog post here where I highlight exactly what type of business performs well with LinkedIn ads. 
If you have done your research and decided that LinkedIn ads are a good fit for your marketing strategy, then I strongly recommend that you decide on your ad format. 
When I say ad format I am speaking to whether you are going to run Sponsored ads, Message ads, Text ads, or Dynamic ads. And keep in mind that the type of ad format you choose to run on LinkedIn will definitely depend upon your goals and your budget. 

Sponsored Content Ads 

These are native ads that appear in your target audience’s news feed. These come in two forms: static images and video. 
  1. I recommend starting with static images as they are easy to troubleshoot should issues arise. Also, sticking to a basic, simple format such as a static image will pay off in the long run. It will allow you to spend less time and money on ads as you can determine what works, and thus meet your marketing goals that much quicker. 
  2.  Video ads are expensive and can definitely pose some negative. This type of sponsored content cannot be re-purposed so if your ad copy or video is not getting results, you would need to start from scratch. Starting from scratch means creating a whole new video, which can be expensive if you are hiring a video creator. Not to mention, you will need to start a new ad campaign for the new video. 
Conversion Pages and Lead Generation
Another factor that will affect your ad budget is your conversion page. If you are running ads for lead generation, more than likely you would be would directing your leads to a landing page or website. This can equate to an additional cost. 
However, a great feature that most people are not aware of (and it exists not just on LinkedIn but other social media platforms) is a lead generation form. This is a form that you can affix to your native ad. The best part about this form is that you can convert on your ad without potential clients leaving the LinkedIn platform. 
So there is no need for expensive landing pages or a website if you don’t already have one. The lead generation form is really easy to use as it is pre-filled with all the information from your LinkedIn page so all you need to do is affix the form to your ad and hit submit.  
The Downside
A point to note with lead generation forms is that even though they tend to increase your conversion rate it somewhat lowers the quality of the lead. Due to how easy it is for these leads to fill out your lead generation form, they aren’t required to make the effort to know your business or your service.  
What does this mean? These leads might not be as interested in your product or even remember filling out the form. So even though your cost per lead has decreased so has the potential quality of your lead. This is definitely something to factor in when deciding on your LinkedIn budget. 

Message Ads

The second ad format that we will look at is a Message ad. There are two types of Message ads; one is called a message ad and the other is called a conversation ad. 
  1. Message ads are ads that are sent directly to the LinkedIn mailbox of your target audience. People can choose to respond to your ad or not; however, you will still be charged for delivering the message to people's mailbox no matter the action they take or don’t take. This really cuts into your budget as you may spend a lot delivering the messages without the guarantee of a lead as opposed to pay per click (PPC) where you only pay for the people that click on your ad. 
  1. The conversation ad is like a chat bot in which you can ask someone a question and then, based on the response given, a different sequence of questions are asked. The most interesting part is that you do not need to be connected to these individuals in order to send Message ads. 

Text Ads

Text ads only show up in the right rail on LinkedIn. However, you need to be aware that this ad type can only be seen by the someone on a computer so this will definitely affect the number of people who can see your ad. 
This is a great ad format for beginners as it is very low-risk. In fact, it is LinkedIn’s lowest-priced ad format. On the downside, the engagement on this ad type is the lowest of all the ad formats, but given that you are paying per click, then this won’t cut into your budget too terribly. This ad format is by far the best way to test a new audience or offer without really spending much money

Dynamic Ads

The fourth type of ad format you need to consider before formulating your budget is called a dynamic ad. These ads are not too expensive, in fact they are a little cheaper than Sponsored Content ads. 
With this ad, it takes the profile picture of your target customer and places it in the ad. This is great to draw the attention of a person scrolling through their feed as they will be curious to find out why their face is in that ad. Do note that the engagement and click-through rate on these ads are also low. 

Ad Spend Based on Your Marketing Goals 

Now let’s look at the actual budget spend. In order to actually get any real results from any ad campaign you need to ensure you have a big enough budget. Using a budget that’s only going to get you a few clicks will not be sufficient because this will not provide enough data. 
If you only have the budget right now for a few clicks, I would recommend that you delay your ad campaign a bit and save until you have a bigger budget. It is a hard pill to swallow, but there is no point in spending on a campaign in which you will learn nothing. 
Also, note that the goal of your campaign will also affect the ad spend budget. For example, if you just want to find out what ad copy people are going to click on, you can do that with about $1,000. 
However, let’s say your campaign goal is to find out what offer converts better whether a free guide or a free webinar, your ad spend would need to be closer to $5000. And this makes sense if the ideal business is selling products worth $15,000 or more. 
If your ad budget is $5000 based on your marketing goals, it does not mean that the $5000 ad spend has to be done all at once. It can span over a period of days, weeks, or even months. This will give those people who need more time the ability to test without spending the $5000 upfront. 
The most interesting fact about this is that whether the ad campaign lasts for a few days or a few months, the results are pretty much the same. My only recommendation is that if you are going to do testing over, let’s say a span of three (3) months, you should factor in certain details such as quarters and seasonality. 

Tracking Opportunities

Whether Linked in ads are in your budget now or if you need to hold off for a while, LinkedIn has a free,  “big brother” option that everyone needs to take advantage of.
So whether you spend a dime on LinkedIn ads or not, you can go and open up an account and install the insight tag on your website for the following reasons:
The first thing is similar to what Facebook does with re-targeting. If you have this insight tag on your website, you could eventually go into LinkedIn ads and show people ads who visited your website in the last 90 days or a similar time span.
Secondly, you get access to free website analytics from LinkedIn. Once that tag is on your website you can then go look at LinkedIn, and see the demographic breakdown: 
  • What's the job titles that people tend to have who visit my website? 
  • What companies have visited my website?   
  • What industry do people who visit my website tend to be?  

There’s a lot to consider here.

I’ve share a ton of information here, and I’ve tried to be as honest as possible when it comes to LinkedIn ads, what works, what doesn’t, and finally…the truth about budget.  
My intent is to always present the facts with transparency and the brutal honesty that is warranted.  For example, LinkedIn ads may definitely not be for you depending on what you are selling and the lifetime value of your potential customers.
Marketing is never something to address passively.  Knowing details upfront will potentially cut months and thousands of dollars off of your learning curve and eliminate the marketing guessing game of will something work or will it not work.

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