Did you know that mastering LinkedIn Ads doesn’t have to be complex?
To show you, we’ve interviewed three LinkedIn Ads experts to give you their opinion and viewpoint on how to be successful with LinkedIn Ads.
From scaling to fine tuning, we hope you enjoy this deep dive.
Subscribe to BoostSauce to learn even more marketing and sales knowledge, faster…
When it comes to LinkedIn Ads, there are only a few people we turn to for amazing advice that works across the board for different goals.
Whether you’re in SaaS, eCommerce, or lead gen, you’ll be excited to learn that the recipes these experts will share will all help you hit your goals faster.
In Order Of Guests Below:
Since founding B2Linked, AJ has been honored to be invited to speak at 60+ conventions, such as Social Media Marketing World, HeroConf, Inbound, Search Marketing Expo, Pubcon, and Content Marketing Conference. He’s also proud to be featured on many great podcasts, such as Entrepreneur on Fire with John Lee Dumas, and Social Media Marketing Podcast with Michael Stelzner.
Nuggets Dropped x54
“ If you have a customer lifetime value of somewhere around $15,000 or more, LinkedIn ads seems to be an absolute no-brainer.”
Alex is passionate about social media and the power it has to connect and inspire people around the globe. Today she helps manage Global Content & Social Media Strategy at LinkedIn, elevating the brand to marketers looking to grow their business and careers.
Nuggets Dropped x41
“We just want to get the most bang for our buck in terms of what’s resonating with the audience and then double downing on the creatives that are working well”
Ty is the Global Lead for Market Development for the Marketing Solutions group at LinkedIn, the former President of LinkedIn’s Black Inclusion Group (BIG) and the Co-Founder of LinkedIn’s annual TransformHER conference. She is also a contributing author in the recently published books “The Professional Black Woman” as well as the “Black Female Leader” and full author of “Marketers of Tomorrow: A Step by Step Toolkit for Inbound Marketing“.
Nuggets Dropped x36
“Sales and marketing should sit down and talk to each other, you should all talk to each other more.”
LinkedIn Ads With AJ Wilcox
AJ: Go for AJ.
Johnathan: AJ, this is Jonathan and Matt over here at Boost Sauce, how are you?
AJ: I’m doing great, great to talk to you guys.
Johnathan: Awesome, hey, we’re the ones super, super thankful for this. We’ve been following you for awhile, I know you’re one of the premiere experts on LinkedIn advertising, so super, super thankful that you’re gonna be helping share some nuggets with our audience.
I have with me our Director of Paid Social Matt Nelson here too, so if you’re okay with it, we’re gonna start with some questions and kinda see where this goes, is that okay with you?
AJ: Bring it on.
Johnathan: Awesome, so if you’re a brand new advertiser to LinkedIn, some of the common, I think, misconceptions that we see is that we, you know obviously, hear that LinkedIn advertising is expensive, you better sell something of very, very high margin in order to actually make it work.
Can you kinda get us started with you know, some of the objections that you might have when you’re talking to people who are thinking about LinkedIn advertising and how you basically solve those?
AJ: Absolutely, so here’s the thing, is that when people are thinking about LinkedIn ads, they automatically gravitate to targeting, ’cause the targeting is amazing for B2B.
We can target by job title, by department, by seniority, skills, groups, company name, company size, company industry, and that’s probably only about a fifth of what’s available.
AJ: It’s extremely powerful.
AJ: So everyone’s interested in that targeting if you’re in B2B.
Johnathan: For sure.
AJ: It’s a big challenge that, you mentioned that everyone seems to know about LinkedIn ads is boy, they’re expensive. I mean, the average cost per click is somewhere between about six and nine dollars, U.S.
AJ: And because of that, LinkedIn has priced themselves out of the market for certain types of business.
So immediately what I tell people is, of course you want the targeting ’cause you’re B2B, but realize because it costs more upfront, you need more of a payoff on the back end to make sure that you see a return on your investment.
AJ: So we find an average of, if you have a customer lifetime value of somewhere around $15,000 or more, LinkedIn ads seems to be an absolute no-brainer.
We’ve seen people make it work with less, and that just means that you’ve gotta be a little bit more efficient than your competition.
AJ: But you can make it work. That’s what we try to start people with is, now make sure you’ve got a budget between about three and 5K a month to start.
AJ: So that you can actually see the business impact, and it’s usually between those amount of spend where your data down to the conversion rate becomes statistically significant.
Johnathan: Got it, got it.
AJ: It’s pretty awesome by the end of, like a month to be able to say, yeah, we know that this is working, let’s scale it.
AJ: Or no, this is crap, we should cut it.
Johnathan: All right, so I’m gonna give you two nuggets right there.
The first one that you basically said was in regards to the starting budget of 3,000-5,000 and the second one, which is another nugget, is gonna be in regards to the average lifetime value, what you said about 15,000 or higher, right? So if you’re not within
Johnathan: that ballpark already, you know maybe it’s not the best thing to get started because you do need an average, you know, pay-to-play kind of in this LinkedIn ads game, in order to see any type of traction.
AJ: Absolutely, and of course with it, you can make it work with less, but what it means is you’ve gotta be really buttoned up. You’ve got to have an amazing sales, follow-up nurture kind of sequence.
AJ: And you gotta have the right content for it.
Johnathan: Got it.
AJ: So we’ll dive into that here a little bit later, I’m sure.
Johnathan: Okay, awesome. So let’s say that we basically fit that criteria, we have the budget, our lifetime values are that or higher. The first type of campaign that you would recommend getting started with, like what would that be?
AJ: For the vast majority of advertisers, I suggest starting with sponsored content.
AJ: This is the ad that appears right in your newsfeed. It came out in 2013, and you can expect to pay somewhere between about six and nine dollars per click.
But because they’re in the newsfeed, they get so much more traction than the vast majority of other ads, meaning that with a very small audience, you can still actually drive traffic.
So we get super, super targeted, and we still get enough data to show for it. And expect about eighty plus percent of your traffic to come from mobile, just because people are in their timeline from the mobile app quite a bit.
Johnathan: Got it, okay. So basically, for the people who are unaware right now, in our world when Matt and I are talking about setting things up for our clients, whether it be LinkedIn ads or other type of platforms, there’s basically three things that we think are part of this.
There’s the audience, so whether it’s remarketing or direct, like you said, job roles, titles, seniority. There’s the ad itself, and then there’s like the offer, the call to action, right? So you just talked about the type of campaign. Is there anything from a priority standpoint that you see in regards to the type of audience that you should start with as well?
AJ: Yeah, so this is actually really interesting that you bring this up. We use an acronym to describe exactly what you just shared, And we call it AMO, and it stands for audience, message, and offer.
So from a message perspective, yeah, the image you use, the ad copy you use, it’s the ad format you use. And that’s all pretty easy to figure out. The audience, we just talked about, obviously there’s a targeting, that’s why we go to LinkedIn. But, oh, the offer is by far the most important part of any LinkedIn ad campaign.
Johnathan: I’m gonna give you a nugget for that.
AJ: Oh, thank you, sounds great, I love the immediate feedback.
But yeah, if you send someone to an ad that basically just says, “Click Here to Talk to Our High-Pressure Sales Rep.” No one’s gonna click that ad. So you’ll end up with poor relevancy scores, and your ad will just shut off.
And if you send someone to the very top of the funnel, like here’s a blog post. Obviously, there’s very little friction there, but you’re still gonna pay six to nine dollars to send someone to something that doesn’t have a strong call to action.
And, eventually, you’ll have to go and tell someone, “Hey, it’s the boss, or the CEO, or the board. “Hey, we’re averaging like $1000 per conversion here.” Someone’s gonna say shut it down.
So what you wanna do is land somewhere in the middle, like take all the data content, something like a free guide, or a checklist, or a webinar, a free eBook, a free in-person event, something like that that’s of a lot of value to get them to be willing to engage with you.
Johnathan: Got it, okay. Do you have a question?
Matt: Yeah, AJ, I’m sure you’ve ran into this frequently, and we do here as well, where, say a B2B software company comes to you, and they go, hey, when you ask them what their offer is, and all they say is, “Oh, I have a free demo.”
You just mentioned that the middle of the funnel is very, very important. When you run into situations like that when they’re like, “Well, all I have is a free demo.” What’s your approach to trying to get them to you know, expand their product offering, or you know, add some white papers, or free guides, or anything like that?
AJ: Well, there are a couple things that you can do with just a demo. They’re usually not very scalable, but they’re worth testing.
So the first would be just go ahead and try sending ads straight to the demo, and it’s about 95% of the time that fails, but about 5% of the time, the client actually has a product or a service that is so disruptive, people have been waiting for it, and they’re actually willing to engage.
Johnathan: Got it.
AJ: On a limited basis.
Johnathan: Got it.
AJ: And because you’re only paying when someone clicks, oh, nice.
Johnathan: Another nugget.
AJ: Because you only pay when someone clicks, obviously there’s not a whole lot of risk. They put the ad out there and no one clicks on it, it’s not attractive, well, then the worst thing is that we’re out, simply our So, pretty good.
And then the other thing is if they already have good traffic on their website, and to their , if it’s just a demo, we can start by just doing LinkedIn retargeting and having that kind of aid their Google and Facebook retargeting as well. And that can be a good place to start, ’cause they’re not willing to invest in content yet.
Johnathan: For sure. So, it sounds like, basically, the acronym AMO, which is missing one M, right? It’s just A-M-O. Is that correct?
AJ: Yes, that’s correct.
Johnathan: So, we just talked about the offer and how important that is to not come across as like something that’s like a high-pressure sales team, like a demo, or a quote, or a consultation, it sounds like. Which is very similar to what we call the PPC temperatures of all advertising platforms and like how that’s set up.
Now, you mentioned something really interesting in regards to… You may get more luck or better performance if you start with remarketing, or what people also call retargeting.
Can you explain to the people listening what that kind of audience is, and why that can be outperforming, maybe not volume-wise, but at least like a cost-per-acquisition wise compared to other audiences out there?
AJ: Yeah, the nice thing is, with LinkedIn’s retargeting, it is a little bit of a discount over just a cold on. So on a cold audience, we expect we’re gonna pay six to nine dollars a click, but if you’re approaching a retargeting audience, or, and this is special, a LISK upload audience, where you bring your own data, those audiences cost less.
AJ: There’s less competition around them, and you can get a discount on your CPC.
AJ: So, start out with warm traffic, people who already know, “I can trust you,” and of course performance is going to be better anyway, down to the conversions, plus you’ll pay less per click.
Johnathan: And is that something to do in regards to that there’s also higher engagement, and because there’s higher engagement, that means the cost per clicks will be reduced too, or is that completely different?
AJ: Yeah, it definitely contributes to it. So, that’s one side, and then the other side is if you bring data to LinkedIn and say, just target these people, whether it’s website audiences you’ve delivered, or an email list…
AJ: …or a company name list, you go to them and say, essentially, just target this list. They didn’t have to apply very many audience segments on top of that, so they end up not having your bidding floor start as high.
Johnathan: Got it.
AJ: So, for most audiences, our bidding floor starts at $450-525. So, you pay, the lowest you pay is $450 or $525 for a click.
AJ: But you bring your own data and all of a sudden, LinkedIn will let you bid like $300-350 sometimes.
Johnathan: Interesting, so there’s a way to circumvent that. I’m gonna give you another nugget for that, that was pretty interesting too. I didn’t know that.
Because, when we began the conversation, it was like six to nine dollars on average, but that sounds like, if you’re using LinkedIn’s own data, not your own that you’re bringing to the table, it’s kind of like a potluck.
AJ: Yeah, exactly! And, especially if your ads get really high engagement rates, then you end up getting really high relevancy scores, and then LinkedIn’s gonna show your ads more often.
Johnathan: Got it.
AJ: So, you end up getting more volume, and a lower cost. It’s pretty beautiful when you can nail that.
Matt: So, it seems like to me that it would be kind of a no-brainer for any advertiser for that matter just to launch remarketing campaigns on LinkedIn. Just because, just do those cost benefits.
‘Cause, in Facebook for example, they don’t give you those types of cost benefits. Typically, the cost per clicks are significantly more to head tier marketing audiences, so I think that should be a no-brainer for any advertiser then. Just to simply go into LinkedIn and at least launch some remarketing campaigns.
Johnathan: Yeah, cool.
AJ: Wow, that’s a great point! Now, I definitely should follow this conversation up with a little note on the limitations of LinkedIn’s retargeting because it’s a little bit nuanced here. It’s totally reliant on a cookie, and, of course, we know that about half of our traffic is gonna come from cookieless browsers that are IOS devices, so iPhone and iPad.
So, be aware that anyone who’s on one of those devices won’t ever make it into one of your audiences on LinkedIn, but it probably will on both Facebook and Google.
Johnathan: Got it.
AJ: So, the other thing is that cookie pool only lives for 90 days, so that means you’ve gotta have a pretty solid amount of traffic to keep that pool full of people, ’cause it’s gonna recycle every 90 days.
Johnathan: Yeah, that’s interesting though too. I’m gonna give another nugget for that. So, when we talk about audiences, let’s go in that order actually. That makes it very very simple to follow.
Now, if we say that we recommend starting with remarketing, what would you then say is next from an audience perspective?
AJ: I think, you know, starting out with just warm audiences that are already on your website. What you know about them is that they are familiar with you in some format. What you don’t know is who they are professionally.
AJ: So, something that you could do to start segmenting them is say, “We’re going to create an audience from everyone who’s hit our website, and then we’re only going to show retargeting ads to people from that audience who are, let’s say, manager and above, or director and above, or sea level, and maybe just the people who are in the marketing department.
AJ: So, you can start actually segmenting to that audience; that’s pretty cool. And then, of course, if it’s just not worth your time at that point because you’re working with a pretty small audience and it doesn’t make sense to manage a whole channel if you’re only gonna spend you know, $50 or $100 a month.
AJ: Then you can start really navigating LinkedIn’s native targeting, and trying to reach cold audiences.
Johnathan: Okay. Are there any insights from your remarketing audience, like with Facebook too, where we can see that your remarketing audience, people who have been on your site, or you know you have your email address, they’re composed of these job titles, seniorities, or types of businesses with a minimum employee count.
Is there anything that you can extrapolate from that, but then go to the colder audiences with that information?
AJ: I sure think so. I mean, it’s a little bit like causation and… correlation does not prove causation. So, if you create a retargeting audience of, let’s say, everyone who’s hit one of your landing pages or pages.
AJ: So you know these are people who are actually pretty serious to place an offer. And you go and build an audience around them because you know these are the people who tend to convert.
AJ: What you might extrapolate from that is, “Wow, everyone who converts with us is in marketing and they’re a decision maker.” But, what you might not understand is that you drove that traffic from some other format, or they’re still finding you from some other channel.
Johnathan: Mm. Got it.
AJ: And so you might say, “Oh, those are our customers,” when really, you’re talking about customers you already have, not the ones you could potentially have.
AJ: Here’s something cool that I think everyone can do, whether or not you’re gonna spend a dime on LinkedIn ads. Is if you just install the pixel on your website, install it on every page.
AJ: You go and open a LinkedIn ads account. Like I said, you don’t pay a cent for this.
AJ: And you go into your audience demographics, I think it’s called “website demographics tab,” and you’re going to have LinkedIn data on all of your professional audience data.
AJ: On everyone who visits your website, whether you’re paying for it or not from LinkedIn.
AJ: And, of course, what they want you to see is like, “Hey, wow, we’re getting the vast majority of our traffic is from people who are not decision makers.” We know we do better with decision makers.
AJ: Obviously, they want you to go and then start buying ads to reach more of the people you want.
AJ: But this is really cool from a just, company demographics. So, if I were you, I would go right now and create a segment, just around the people who convert on your site, and then start getting website demographics around you know, what’s the professional makeup of the people who tend to convert.
AJ: And then, just see. Are these the right people that you wanna work with? Or are they the wrong people?
Johnathan: That is amazing. I’m gonna end this podcast right now and do– Just kidding I won’t do that, but that is something that we’re gonna do right after.
I’m gonna give you another nugget for that too. That is quite, quite impressive.
Now, when you then, so, basically, we can take that understanding and maybe help that highlight which other audiences we wanna target after we do the remarketing. Is that kinda how you would recommend going about it?
Or, you mentioned earlier too that there might not be, like, correlation does not equal causation. Is there other types of audiences that are better for types of messaging or ads or offers? Or, is it kinda like a combo of all things you wanna make sure are all considered?
AJ: Ooh, that’s a really good question. The way I like to picture it is, right now we have combinations of offers and audiences, and what we’re trying to find out is the right combination, the offer that best fits the needs of the audience that we wanna attract.
AJ: So, initially, retargeting might be a good place to start if you’re really budget conscious.
AJ: But if you’re just trying to test audiences and you know that you’re a good fit for LinkedIn, you know a little bit of the budget, then what I would do is go out and create in what I call micro segments.
All the little pieces of audience that you think are a really good fit for you. So, a good example might be, if you’re targeting people who are marketing decision makers, for instance, I would go and create a campaign just around marketing managers, a separate one for marketing directors, a separate one for.
Johnathan: Interesting. I like that.
AJ: And I’m gonna launch the same two ads to all four of those audiences, and what I’m going to learn from running these is, hey, after you know, three or four days, we can already start to see, “Wow, CMOs really like this content, and managers don’t give a crap.”
AJ: just by making sure that they’re all segmented.
Johnathan: Interesting, so would you say of the acronym that you have of AMO, the audience and the offer sound like those are the two most important ones where the messaging is different, like that is not as vital. Is that the correct assumption?
AJ: Yes, I agree.
AJ: If you just said we have an audience set and we have an offer set, and your job as an agency is just to run through messaging, and try to increase performance, I know that we can play with that all day long.
AJ: And probably only increase performance 5-10%.
AJ: Whereas, if you told me you’ve got free reign of an offer, interview the sales team, interview our customers, create an amazing offer that we know is gonna solve the pinpoints that we are going after.
AJ: If I create the right piece of content, I can increase my conversion rate.
AJ: So, yeah, it’s definitely offer is where you wanna concentrate on, I think audience is a given…
AJ: …for your audience, for your company, and then the message really comes down to how you’re messaging whatever the offer is. And you can be a little bit creative there, but it’s not gonna make a big difference.
Johnathan: I love that, that is amazing. So, in regards to what you can prioritize when you are live with your campaigns, let’s just assume you are. The first step is looking at the offer and what you can change there.
The second one is then the audience and the third one is then the actual messaging.
I think a lot of people, and correct me if I’m wrong AJ, they spend a ton of time within the messaging and the ad component itself, which, like you just said, won’t really warrant enough lift in regards to what they’re hoping to achieve.
And they might then shut off LinkedIn ads and say, “Hey, this doesn’t work for us.” But the truth is, it absolutely could. They just didn’t focus correctly. Is that right?
AJ: I think so. If you start with a really solid offer, I mean, you could have the poop emoji.
You could have misspellings . It’s still gonna solve their problems, and still gonna be really attractive and have a high conversion rate.
AJ: However, where we’ve seen playing with the messaging really help, is that just like any other social ad, if you’re running something on LinkedIn, you’re showing the audiences who aren’t actively searching for you.
AJ: And so over time, they’re going to to it, and then it’ll become saturated.
AJ: So what we’ve found is that saturation point on LinkedIn is usually between about 27 and 33 days.
AJ: So that means you can pretty much run the same ad copy for 27-33 days, about a month, before you start to see your click through rates tank.
AJ: And so you know it’s time to refresh.
Johnathan: So you said-
AJ: So if you know that-
Johnathan: Did you say 27-33 days on average?
AJ: Yes, 27-33 days.
Johnathan: Alright. Another nugget, I’m gonna give you that. Keep going, sorry.
AJ: And, the whole reason behind that, I mean obviously if you know Facebook ads well, you know that that saturation point is actually sometimes more like a week or a week and a half.
AJ: And the reason why is because people check into Facebook 10 times a day on average.
AJ: But on LinkedIn, they’re only checking once or twice a month on average. Obviously, we have some very active users.
AJ: So just keep that in mind. So just make sure you’re playing with your messaging enough to keep things fresh, but realize that the offer is actually what’s going to convert.
Johnathan: That’s awesome. You can’t see this AJ, but Matt basically has poop emoji stickers on his laptop from our first talk at the conference.
So you must have known that, or something like that, ’cause that’s exactly the type of offer that we would launch here at boost. No, that’s super cool.
Okay, so, we basically took it through in regards to the ad fatigue that you just mentioned to the focus in regards to the offers first, audiences second, and then the messaging and the ads third. Is there anything you’ve seen different in regards to ad type performance?
Meaning, carousels, images, or videos for that matter, too. Or even the lead form ads that don’t even allow somebody to go all the way through the website but collects information in LinkedIn. Any nuggets you can share with us there?
AJ: Oh, yeah I have nuggets for every single one.
AJ: So, just stop me so we don’t go too deep into any one.
AJ: Let’s start with lead gen forms. So for anyone who’s not kinda informed on this, lead gen forms are similar to Facebook’s lead ads, where you’re able to fill out forms directly within the ad and not ever leave LinkedIn security.
AJ: This is especially helpful for people who don’t have a really good landing page for mobile, or maybe they don’t have landing pages at all, and they just want to leverage targeting.
So, these work really, really well for probably about half of our clients, and about half continue to use their own landing pages.
AJ: So here’s why you’d want to avoid, and then, why you might want to accept. So, you avoid them, if you want the traffic on your website so that you can retarget it.
AJ: You’ve obviously, if it stays on LinkedIn, you can’t retarget the traffic.
Johnathan: Mm-hmm, right.
AJ: You also want it if, or you don’t want it if you track everything with UTM parameters, ’cause obviously analytics, you can’t pick up traffic if it’s not on your own site.
AJ: And, it’s also kind of hard to get that traffic or the leads out of LinkedIn. You’ve gotta use one of their approved partners, where they appear to pipe that lead out.
AJ: Otherwise, you’re logging in once a day to download the CSBs, which totally sucks.
Johnathan: And human involvement makes that super slow too, and there’s gonna be mistakes made. I’m only speaking from experience.
AJ: Exactly, and we test that. On the other hand, the reason why lead gen forms are so good is because you’re going to see a much higher conversion rate on average. It’s 10-50% lift on your conversion rate.
AJ: So, if volume is what you need, then yeah, you’re gonna want these lead gen forms even if you can’t track or retarget the traffic, and even if it’s kinda hard to get the leads out.
Matt: And AJ, when it comes to lead gen forms, I know you mentioned that you get a lot better, you know, volume from that. What do you hear from your clients as far as the quality of those leads in comparison to a lead that came from a landing page?
AJ: Very similar to what you might have heard from Facebook, the same kind of deal. We’re asking people to do less, there’s less friction, and because of that, the lead’s quality tends to dip a little bit.
AJ: If you have really solid targeting, then of course you’re going to be getting the right people. But sometimes you’ll get people who, you know, the sales team will reach out to them and they’ll say, “I don’t even remember filling out a form with you guys.”
AJ: “I haven’t heard of you before.”
AJ: So they’ve submitted, they actually did it, but it was just such a simple process. They just clicked, clicked on the ads that, “Ooh, that looks interesting” and hit submit with all of their information autofilled. And now they don’t even remember.
AJ: The other thing is that they didn’t land on your landing page and learn more about what you’re trying to talk them through. They decided to convert after reading 150 characters at the top of an ad.
AJ: So just, it doesn’t make quite the same impression on their mind.
Johnathan: Got it. That’s another nugget. Appreciate that. Okay. So next ad type, what do you think?
AJ: Alright, so those lead gen forms you can actually attach to two different kinds of ads on LinkedIn. There are four different ads.
You can attach them to sponsored content, which are right in the newsfeed, or you can attach them to sponsored Inmail which come right to your messaging box, your LinkedIn inbox. So keep that in mind. The other flavors of sponsored content, just like you mentioned, we have carousel, we have video ads.
AJ: And those are kind of interesting. The video is just… you can’t retarget based off of how much of the video someone’s watched. I think that’s probably coming in the next quarter or two.
AJ: Because they don’t have that, and video ads are pretty expensive. They start at six cents per two second view.
AJ: Which is already three to ten times more expensive than Facebook for video.
AJ: So because of that, I don’t love video yet, but it might get better in the future with retargeting. And then carousel ads, like it seems like a pretty direct copy of Facebook.
Just because, you know, it doesn’t hurt to have. But, for the most part, if we launched carousel ads, it’s not like we’d see a giant boost in performance, it just means that now we need, you know, three, four, five landing pages and three, four, five images from a client.
AJ: And so often times, it just slows down our process.
AJ: So we don’t love carousel, but you could sure make a case for it.
Johnathan: If you have the you know, assets and the ability to create all the different types of ads, would you recommend that, having that in the campaigns, too?
Or is there something where you say, hey, don’t put so many ads in there that you’re spreading the data and diluting it too much? Or, what’s your take on that?
AJ: Oh, I love it. So, we always launch only two ads creatives per campaign. Okay.
AJ: And the reason why, and this is very similar on other types of platforms as well, but on LinkedIn if you launch four, let’s say four ads in the same campaign, one is gonna get the majority of the impressions, one is gonna do okay, and then two are gonna get completely ignored.
AJ: Like, might get less than 100 impressions.
AJ: And so, if I’m gonna go through the effort of you know, building four different ads, I want them all to see the light of day and I want to know whether or not LinkedIn likes them, and people like them. And if they end up with two or three impressions before they get shut off, that was just a total waste.
AJ: So for any campaign, I say start with two ad creatives. And then when one of them wins, pause the loser, and then launch a new .
Johnathan: Got it. Got it. So, are you, are you saying to make a variation off the winning ad so it’s almost like a smaller tweak, or do you introduce like a brand new ad type and also messaging potential?
AJ: Yeah, it depends a little bit on what your strategy is and what you’re trying to test. For a lot of our clients, we’re testing different offers.
AJ: They come to us and they say, “We’ve got three different offers, so we’re gonna launch one ad per offer for two separate offers. And when one of those loses, we’re going to assume that the losing ad was the losing offer.”
AJ: “And so now we wanna test, okay, how about the third offer that we had? And so, we wanna launch one ad for each of them.”
Johnathan: Oh, okay, that makes sense. I like that, okay.
AJ: But on the other hand, if you’re starting with just one offer, and your messaging is just different motivations for why someone might want that offer, then, yeah, if you know that making them feel like a hero is more advantageous than trying to cause fear, then great. Try another variation that is more aspirational.
Johnathan: Right. Okay, awesome. Is there anything we’re missing AJ in regards to you know, the silver bullets, or, you know, you’ve done and learned through much, much hard work and a lot of data and a lot of dollars of ads spent.
Anything that we’re missing from this conversation so far?
AJ: So, let’s talk about the other two ad formats.
Johnathan: Oh, yeah.
AJ: Because there might be some nuggets here. So, the very first ad format that LinkedIn ever had that they released back in 2007 was called “Text Ads.” And they sit over on the right rail only on desktop.
AJ: And so, they get looked over a lot. And the reason we know they get looked over a lot because they have a click-through rate on average of .025 percent.
AJ: So, that’s 2.5 people clicking out of every 10,000 times these are shown.
Johnathan: Dang, okay.
AJ: So these are pretty much the definition of blindness, right?
AJ: But, on the other hand, don’t look past them because, first of all, the traffic only comes from desktop. So if you have a poor mobile experience, or maybe you’re asking for so many fields that people just won’t fill out on mobile.
AJ: Like, you just need that information, then this might be the ad unit for you. And then also realize that they’re LinkedIn’s cheapest ad format. You can bid all the way down to $2 a click for them. But most people are paying three to five.
Johnathan: Okay, awesome.
AJ: And then, we mentioned it a little bit- sponsored Inmail. So sponsored Inmail is really insanely expensive on average. And the reason why is because you pay per send, not per click.
AJ: So if you send an Inmail message to someone and it just feels like spam, it doesn’t feel like anything special, then it’s going to get ignored and you just paid 35 to 85 cents to send someone something that they were just going to ignore.
AJ: So it’s quite a bit more risky than something like sponsored content or text ads, that we just talked about, where you only pay when someone clicks.
Johnathan: Right, right, right.
AJ: So what this requires is a very special kind of offer. So if he’s thinking, if I got this as an email, would it feel like spam? Or does it feel like a personal invitation?
AJ: Because if it feels like a personal invitation, it’s probably going to perform very well. If not, it’ll feel like spam.
AJ: So examples of offers that tend to work really well like this are free events, job offers, maybe something like because of who you are in the industry, we wanna give you early access, or a sneak peak, special VIP treatment.
An offer like that, sponsored Inmail will work great.
AJ: Everything else, just avoid. ‘Cause you’re gonna pay 35-85 cents to send it to someone, you’ll have a 50 percent open rate, and now only a three percent click through rate.
AJ: Based on that. So you do the math, and you end up at like $26 a click.
AJ: On average, that sucks. But if you have a special offer, you’re gonna be way above average.
Johnathan: Sure. So, it sounds like you just dropped three nuggets, and to not to annoy our listeners with a lot of clucking, I wanted to ask you real quick on that note.
Is there basically, have you seen advertisers out there that can basically take advantage of all the advertising formats in LinkedIn pretty well? Even if, like you said, they have to be creative in regards to, like, the Inmail ads that you just mentioned. Is that possible? Can people have that expectation if their execution is correct?
AJ: Yeah, there are certain kinds of offers, or, companies and offers, that just can do no wrong. And those are things like recruiting messages.
AJ: So if you show an ad to someone saying, “Hey, you look qualified, we wanna talk to you and potentially offer you something.” Who’s not gonna click on that?
AJ: It’s crazy interaction rates, meaning your cost comes down super low per click, and then of course it’s really attractive, so you have a really high conversion rate.
AJ: So you can pretty much use any type of ad format as you’re doing recruiting, and this could be even something that KlienttBoost does. When you’re looking for a new marketing manager,
AJ: throw an ad out there in any ad format, target people who have the title of marketing manager in your area, and then just wait for applications to roll in and it’s very good.
But on the whole, I would say that the majority of other companies, depending on what that offer is. If it’s aided content, I’m always gonna suggest sponsored content. If it’s an in person event, I’m gonna say sponsored content plus Inmail. If it’s a demo request, I’m always gonna say text ads.
AJ: So, it just depends a little bit on the flavor of each one.
Johnathan: That’s amazing. If we wanted to recruit new clients, not people we wanna hire, maybe we can swing the creativity that way. I’m not sure, it sounds like it’s gonna be pretty tough. Well, this is super, super awesome AJ.
Very, very thankful for what you’re telling us. Is there any last tidbits you wanna leave our listeners off with, or do you think we’ve covered everything?
AJ: We mentioned a little bit early on about how to microsegment audiences.
AJ: So that you can learn more about the different seniorities. What I would also add to that, is, for any type of person that you’re trying to reach on LinkedIn, there’s going to probably be four separate ways that you could reach them.
And then, just realize that because of LinkedIn’s system and some things that they know about some people and some things they don’t.
AJ: It really helps to overlap your targeting and try to make sure you catch everyone.
AJ: So those four targeting types are: target by job title, which everyone does, so it becomes more expensive per click.
AJ: Because it’s pretty targeted. You have job function plus seniority, so the department they work in and their level of seniority. You have skills plus seniority, and groups plus seniority.
AJ: So if you were trying to reach marketing managers, you might have four separate campaigns. You can reach them by job title, by function, by skill, and by group.
AJ: And if you have all four of those different types of targeting all running separately, you’ll start to notice little efficiencies pop up here and there, like, “Ooh job function targeting is less expensive,” and because of that we can get a lower cost per lead.
Or, job title targeting brings us better quality leads, so we’re happy to pay a buck more per click for that. That kind of thing.
Johnathan: Got it. Those are some crazy nuggets too. So it sounds like you’re basically recommending focusing on granularity when it comes to your campaigns, because when you do that, you can see the individual performance, and then kind of navigate where you want to go after that.
AJ: Man, I couldn’t have said it like that! That was great!
Johnathan: Well, it’s amazing talking to you because we have kind of set up our own recipes and rules, and we’ve done it so often with a lot of clients across platforms that we feel like they’re almost becoming like laws.
And it’s really interesting to hear from you because you and I have never spoken about this before, and so to hear the similarities are pretty, pretty amazing to hear, and also exciting that a lot of this falls just very, very solid fundamentals and amazing execution at the same time. And again, knowing what to prioritize once you’re live as well.
AJ: That’s right, and you know, marketing- it’s all the same principles and it always has been because people buy the same way. It’s just different approaches. So, I’m not surprised that our strategies have really reinforced each other.
Johnathan: That is awesome. You and I will have another episode where we’re gonna basically advertise on trash cans and see what we can do as long as execution’s correct. We’ll figure it out!
AJ: Love it!
Johnathan: AJ, AJ, thank you so, so much for your time. We really appreciate that, we’re excited. We’re gonna have some questions coming through the audience too, so if anything is applicable to you, we’ll send it your way. And hopefully we can get some answers to the questions.
AJ: Awesome, well that’s awesome Matt. Party on! Thanks so much for having me.
Johnathan: Thank you sir.
Matt: Awesome, thanks AJ.
LinkedIn Ads With Alex Rynne
Alex: Hi Jonathan!
Johnathan: Hello Alex and thank you so much for being with us on Boost Sauce. How are you?
Alex: Of course, I’m fantastic, just living the LinkedIn dream, how are you?
Johnathan: Doing great, I’m actually standing here by myself today. I usually have a co-host, but they abandoned me, so it’s just myself that you’re gonna be talking to.
Alex: Oh, okay, well that’s totally cool.
I’m confident that you’ll carry it for the team.
Johnathan: I’ll try, I’ll try. But basically, I wanted to introduce to you and also to our listeners, Alex, you are basically, I looked at this on LinkedIn so tell me if I’m wrong, but it seems like it’s correct.
An award winning global content creator and the content marketing manager at LinkedIn. Is that correct?
Alex: Yes, you’re gonna make me blush, but yeah.
That is true. Yeah I’ve been at LinkedIn for almost five years now.
Alex: So I’m basically like a relic around here.
Alex: Our company has grown so quickly.
Alex: Which is amazing. But yeah, so I’m basically kind of like the higher level strategy at creating campaigns, that runs the marketing solutions, and actually the sales solutions business as well.
Alex: So building those broader campaigns, thinking through the strategies, the distribution all of that good stuff we’re reporting obviously.
Johnathan: That’s so cool. So basically, you know that this episode is about LinkedIn ads and how content can kind of influence that. And we’re basically gonna be talking about how LinkedIn uses LinkedIn for marketing purposes.
Alex: Yeah, I mean that sounds great. We definitely, I actually co-authored an ebook on this exact topic.
Alex: With my partner and then the partner as well. I’ll be a shameless plug but it’s called “Secret Sauce.”
Alex: So it’s essentially how LinkedIn marketing solutions, how we kind of like drink our own Kool-Aid.
Alex: Through AV testing and seeing like what products work best together and all that great stuff.
Johnathan: So what’s kind of crazy is that the name of this podcast is “Boost Sauce,” and you literally published something called the “Secret Sauce,” so it couldn’t be more perfect of a joint partnership here that we’re talking about today.
So, I wanna start off and basically, you’re gonna have a lot of data to support everything that you’re mentioning too. Let’s talk about sponsored content.
So basically sponsored content ads. There’s a lot of things that I found out there in regards to like best practices. You know that this podcast is about dropping nuggets, like what would you say for somebody getting started with LinkedIn advertising, and especially the sponsored content site?
Alex: Yeah, so sponsored content is made of advertising product and it’s probably still like our most popular, though video ads are definitely like making it in fact too.
So things to think about with sponsored content, I think a lot of people are curious of like what to share on sponsored content.
Alex: So I’d say you could do links to your latest and greatest eBooks, you could do case studies, you could do industry articles, that really helpful how-to content.
Alex: I think something to think about as well or one of the many things to think about is that visual is definitely like the new headline, so that’s what we like to say on our team anyway.
Johnathan: Interesting, okay. That’s a nugget.
Alex: That your image is kind of like the thumb-stopper in the feed, because I see too many people that, their content is so great, but then the visual that accompanies it is kind of like an afterthought.
Alex: So making sure that you definitely move beyond stock photos, make sure the image matches the messaging. And then also, actually 80% of sponsored content engagement comes from mobile devices,
Alex: so you wanna make sure that your website or your landing page design is super responsive.
Johnathan: Of course, that makes sense. Now, when you guys do anything that you guys see on the back end from a sponsored content, like you mentioned it could be your own blog post, it could be an eBook, a case study, statistics you mentioned too.
Is there any type of difference between, let’s say, bottom of funnel, or mid-funnel or top funnel, or is there like what can people learn from in regards to that if they want to drive that direct response success on LinkedIn.
Alex: Yeah, I mean I think with any campaign, like you definitely wanna think about your objectives and back into that.
Alex: So the main objective that we’re basically trying to achieve with sponsored content would be brand awareness, regeneration, thought leadership, event registration. Although, if you wanna drive event registration, I would highly recommend using our Inmail products.
Alex: But yeah, so, I think you need to think through like what you’re trying to achieve with it, and I definitely think it’s important to have a mix of sponsoring all the way through the funnel.
Alex: So not just the bottom of the funnel like super demand focus stuff,
Alex: But the top of the funnel stuff, I think some companies are a little bit more hesitant to do that because maybe they don’t see the leads that they’re trying to generate or the numbers that they’re looking for right away, but I think it’s so important to have that top of the funnel content.
Because, as you know, I think buyers now, like they attract between 8-10 different pieces of content before they even raise their hand to talk to anyone in sales.
Alex: So it’s super important
Johnathan: Sorry, keep going.
Alex: so yeah, it’s super important to make sure that your content is out there, make sure it’s not all just case studies.
Alex: It can be more top of the funnel stuff too just to build your brand awareness and your audience.
Johnathan: Okay, cool, that’s amazing. And I read too, in one of your articles, and it might be either the Secret Sauce or the Tactical guide that you sent me, I forget what it was.
But basically, you say, run at least four different creatives against one target audience, optimized for highest performance.
Now this is interesting. In the other segment, and this is what I also love about this episode too, is that we’ll have different opinions, but most of the time, the data’s gonna win out.
Now, AJ Wilcox told us that he only has two creatives per targeting and I’m guessing it’s because he wants to learn quicker. So when you have four creatives, is that something that you guys found work really well? Is that because of the audience size supporting that, like what do you think?
Alex: I think that we just want to get the most bang for our buck in terms of what’s resonating with the audience and then double downing on the creatives that are working well.
So if you just set it to like auto rotate, then you can get a good sense of what your audience is into, and then you know, make in the middle of your campaign to make it even better and more engaging.
Johnathan: Okay, cool. And then I also noticed that it said that if your sponsored content update actually includes a statistic, like in the actual like written portion of the actual text of the ad, there was a 37% higher click through rate and 162% more impressions.
Is there anything in addition to statistics that you found have a lift on those, you know, what we would call micro metrics, but that actually support, you know, lowering your cost per conversion?
Alex: Yeah, for sure. So, our team we have the model “always be testing” and we are always AV testing all of our, all of our content, all of our campaigns, because we want to optimize and make them better and better.
So yeah, we found including a stat, either within the like, the company header copy or on the actual image itself, you’ll see a higher CPR.
Alex: If you have maybe like a quote. People love those like those stackable little nuggets, so like quotes and stats
Alex: So if you really
Alex: Yeah, and then, with rich media images there’s a 38% higher click through rate then without the thumbnail image preview.
Alex: We’ve also found that you want to keep your accompanying header copy kind of like short and sweet and precise, so that would mean about 150 characters or less is typically what we would suggest.
Johnathan: Okay, nice.
Alex: All I hear is that chicken. Yeah and what else? In regards to the header copy too, you definitely want to have a CPA at the end of it that’s actual, your guide, or register today or yeah, yeah sorry, it’s called action.
Johnathan: That’s fine. Cool.
Alex: Marketing jargin.
Johnathan: Yeah, you mentioned rich media images. What the heck is a rich media image?
Alex: So I mean like, when you, when you post an update including an image that’s 1200×1627 pixels, that’s the graphic size that we use here. So that’s kind of like the optimal size.
Johnathan: That’s considered a rich media?
Alex: Yeah, that you place in the ad rather than just having it populate like whatever image that might be there.
Johnathan: Got it. And I saw, ’cause I thought for a second it was like the more money you can put into the actual visual, the better.
Alex: But that’s not the case at all. The more expensive images, no.
Johnathan: That Bugatti, that makes sense.
Alex: No, that’s, yeah, no that’s not the case at all.
In fact, like, we’ve gotten pretty scrappy on our team here, where we were kind of sick of seeing the same top photos over and over again that like everyone uses. So we had an internal photo shoot with our marketers here.
So you’ll see in a lot of our sponsored content ads and other parts of our campaign, you actually are seeing the marketers that work here, including yours truly and my manager.
Johnathan: Oh wow, all right.
Alex: Her face has a great click through rate.
Johnathan: We’re gonna have to get that one and put it in the show notes and we’ll have some examples of that. So you guys are basically making your own stock photos it sounds like.
Alex: Kind of, but they’re not stock photos because they’re more visually interesting, Jonathan.
Johnathan: Okay, sorry. ‘Cause you had a Bugatti next to you, I forgot about that. Okay, moving on.
Johnathan: But basically, the rich media images, the stat that I saw, was basically has a 38% higher click through rate than the thumbnail image preview that you mentioned, which is pretty, pretty impressive.
Now one other thing I noticed is that when it comes to the bits, one thing I saw, and I don’t know if you recall this but I’m just making things up, just kidding – I actually read this.
It says that if you set the bids 10% higher than the maximum suggested bid, there is a 15% lift and click through rate and a 27% lift and conversions.
That’s impressive. How come the maximum suggested bid doesn’t just automatically get 10% higher then?
Alex: You know what, I think you read that in Secret Sauce and I actually can’t really speak to that confidently because that was my ad up manager who saw that.
Johnathan: Got it. So they could be lying to us. We won’t, we won’t nugget that.
Okay, well, moving on. So when you have basically, and I guess this is not just necessarily for sponsored content, it can be a lot of the ads too, like a lot of these best practices and nuggets that you’re sharing, can be used for you know, other parts of what you guys do, like the other types of ads, but also Inmail.
One thing I noticed too, I actually read your social media examiner post is that you have the four different creators that you want to test against each other for one target audience. That you want to test one variable at a time. Is that true?
Alex: Yeah, I mean it’s like any experiment that you have, if you have too many different elements going on, like you’re not going to find a conclusive answer of why one works over the other.
So, I would definitely recommend choosing one variable first, and then, yeah going from there.
Johnathan: Okay, awesome. And then you also mentioned to run tests for at least two weeks. Is that to get enough time from a variance standpoint or is it also like confidence levels you’re trying to measure? What set the two week mark? What was that for?
Alex: Yeah, I actually think, I might’ve said two weeks, I actually think it should be at least three weeks.
Johnathan: Three weeks? Okay.
Alex: To gain enough data, yeah, to gain enough data and then like make changes from there. Just so that you have like, significantly significant enough results.
Johnathan: Right, okay.
Alex: So yeah, probably three weeks to let it run and then you can make some changes from there. If you’re seeing like some like crazy results like you’re testing something and one image is doing way better than the other,
Alex: Then yeah, you can just make that change on the fly. But, typically, I think three weeks is sufficient.
Johnathan: Okay, cool. And then, basically you have different rotation settings for the ads. Which do you prefer and why?
Alex: Yeah, I don’t think, I don’t think I can speak to that, sorry.
Johnathan: All right, we’ll skip on that one. basically our best practice that we’ve seen, and it’s not just coming from LinkedIn ads, but if you have the option to set things to rotate evenly, it allows the different ad creatives to have enough impressions and of course, enough data to then when the three weeks are over, you don’t have two ads that are stealing all the impressions and then two other ads that don’t have anything. So, I’ll
Alex: Right, right.
Johnathan: I’ll add that nugget myself there we go. Cool. So, is…
Alex: Yeah, actually, so I’m not a campaign manager setting up these campaigns, but I do know that we rotate them evenly.
Alex: But yeah. The other thing I wanted to mention really quickly. I know I talked about the video before, but LinkedIn members are spending so much time creating video and publishing video and it’s actually the most likely content to start conversations on the platform.
Alex: In fact, like in comparison to sponsored content, so LinkedIn members spend almost three times more time watching video ads compared to time spent with data sponsored content images.
So, all those filtered contents fill a very, very important, you know, our product and continued views. And it’s really effective. I think it’s just considering video ads as well.
Johnathan: There’s a lot of things that show that like engagement, even though it might not be the metrics that you care about from a direct response world, lead to the improvement of the other metrics like click through rate, conversion rate, you know, cost per conversion too.
What’s really interesting, that I like yawn and roll my eyes of, is that people are like oh my God, it’s your video but that’s been like the case for the last three years it seems like.
But to actually have data support that like they’re spending three times as much time basically, watching those versus interacting with the regular traditional sponsored content updates, is quite impressive, but also gives a reason for why people would wanna care and invest in better video. It sounds like.
Alex: Yeah, 100%. It’s definitely like fastest growing type of continental platform and in fact video ads are in 30% more comments per impression than non video ads in the feed. So just another reason to select video.
Johnathan: All right, I’m gonna prepare you for this one, because this is a different type of cluck cluck chicken sound, but it’s a bit of the more impressive ones, because that was a big nugget you just dropped.
So here it is. See. We have three different versions. Now I’m only learning about which ones are better for which type of nuggets. And so you just got that one. That’s really, really cool.
Alex: Okay, cool.
Johnathan: Now, you’re world is more on the, obviously the content side which is what we call the organic side, right? Is there anything that you’ve seen from like sponsoring different types of let’s say, native posts on LinkedIn, where they’re not taken off LinkedIn.
Is there anything from there that you’ve seen or is there anything I’m missing in regards to asking questions about how the organic influences the paid?
Alex: Yeah, so we actually, we have a whole another e-book, that talks about our recommended or suggested organic clips e-book that’s featured on LinkedIn marketing solutions blog.
Johnathan: We’ll share that. Yeah, no, keep doing them.
Alex: and it basically says that like, they kind of need to like work together, so you’re organic strategy kind of fuels your paid and you just look and see what’s performing well organically and then put paid behind it. That’s typically, you know, how we do it.
Johnathan: That makes sense.
Alex: It’s also like a great, organic is just a great testing bed to see what’s gonna resinate before you wanna invest more in something. So like, we will publish, we’ll think about if we wanna do a campaign on something.
But first, we’ll publish a couple of updates or publish, or post on the blog about it or something like that. And then, just see what kind of engagement that, that guests help us kind of guide our content strategy.
Johnathan: Yeah. Now that I’m listening to what you’re saying, there’s so much opportunity where people are like, “Oh man, I’m just having a hard time keeping my own blog up to date.” And let alone, like updating blog posts that have them be more relevant.
There’s a whole another piece to this which is like, the content that you have on LinkedIn, is another platform that if you really want to be holistic about having better performing LinkedIn ads, you need to highly consider that, it sounds like.
Alex: Yeah, I mean, I think, you know step one, building a compelling organic presence. Step two, boost your reach and engagement via paid using the paid solutions on the platform so like under content the new ads to your Inmail.
Alex: And then, step 3 is like the measure of learn and optimize to drive more impact which we should probably have a whole different conversation on that because the website demographics and campaign demographics, like retargeting and all that good stuff.
But yeah, I think that the kind of the bread and the butter is organic so you kind of need to see which one is making the forward jumping into ads, I think.
Johnathan: For sure. So we talked a lot about the sponsored content you know, ads and the updates that we can do there.
Is there anything in regards to, you mentioned carousel ads, there’s the lead ads, there’s also Inmail. What kind of things can you share with us in other types of ad formats or targeting that might be relevant to our listeners?
Alex: Yeah, so I mean for carousel ads you can really tell a complete brand’s story and, I mean, you probably know what it is but the future applicable series in a single ad can tell that story, so multiple offerings will provide insight for your audience.
You can actually include 6-10 images but our team only typically does like four to five, just because we found that’s kind of like the sweet spot.
Johnathan: Yeah. For the carousel ads?
Alex: Yeah, for the carousel ads But when you first actually, 75% of data advertisers actually said that they will use carousel ads in their next sponsored content campaign. And that’s largely due to seeing increasing engagement and click through rates as well.
Johnathan: Interesting, interesting. Can you have, and I, this is completely like I don’t know the answer to this, and I don’t know if you do, but, are you able to use video within your carousel ads? Or do they always have to be static images?
Alex: No, not yet.
Johnathan: Not yet? ‘Cause that would seem like the overarching man, there’s good engagement on the video ad and there’s good engagement on the carousel ad. Let’s combine the two and see what happens.
Alex: Right. Yeah, I totally get that. I think that that’s a great idea. I cannot confirm or deny that some of the products are not available yet.
Johnathan: Quick question I just thought of. Oh, sorry, go ahead.
Alex: Yeah, yeah, no I was just gonna say like for others, you were talking about sponsored content earlier.
Sponsored Inmail is all about sending precise messages and works really, really well for us for reaching a higher caliber audience. So CMO’s and getting them to register for webinars.
Alex: But also customers who use multiple LinkedIn ads so let’s together see improved performance so when our team actually launched a sponsored content sponsored Inmail campaign together, for the same marketing campaign, we saw a 42% lift in a click through rate, and 40% increase in engagement rates.
So, don’t be afraid to kind of mix and match and compare our ad formats together when you’re launching a larger campaign.
Johnathan: That seems, you actually beat me to the punch because I was just gonna ask about that and like the combo of like that venn diagram, you know, additional performance that you can squeeze out of it.
It’s almost like completely unfair compared to other marketing platforms or advertising platforms where you have the ability to do this account base marketing.
Because your target audience is already defined. So, you can just clone that over for your Inmail, and see if you can actually get the ripple effect of, you know, quicker action I would assume, which is basically the metrics you just shared.
Alex: Yeah, 100%. And then, I don’t know if you’re into other kind of sponsored Inmails from our team,
Johnathan: Heck Yeah.
Alex: But we typically, the same theory with sponsored content and keeping the copy short and sweet. But our team typically keeps the copy under 1000 characters.
Alex: We use the image, we always use an image because visual’s the new headline, but the image size for Inmail is 300×250.
Alex: And actually, when we’ve done when we’ve done tons of Inmail to audiences, and it’s like from LinkedIn marketing solutions versus from me or from someone on the team, or whoever’s posting the webinars, you see better open rates that way.
So, sending from a person versus a company is probably a good idea. Sending, including the member’s name in the greeting, that’s also one of our best practices.
And then, always including body hyperlinks earlier in the message induce click performance. I think people typically wait for like the end to be like, register now, but not everyone’s gonna make it, not everoyne’s gonna make it to the end of your Inmail.
Alex: They might just read the first like two sentences and then, you know, jump on to the next thing that they have to do. So, it’s important to kind of don’t wait ’til the end for the action button.
Johnathan: That’s so interesting. I would like literally non stop be hitting the chicken button right here from a nugget perspective, but I’m not gonna annoy our listeners because you just dropped too many nuggets right there.
So, basically, when you guys go about creating like, these quote on quote, like checklists, because you guys had the best practices and you have the connection of all this data you can look at.
If somebody really wanted to go like full force, would you ever recommend that they do sponsored content updates, LinkedIn text ads, Inmail? Like is there a way to kind of overkill, or is there a point where like, you know, not enough is enough?
Alex: I mean, yeah, you definitely don’t want to oversaturate your audience with these messages so I don’t know if I would go like all in on everything at once. But I also think that there are different solutions and paid products kind of to use different objectives.
So, like, sponsored content is more like region focused and like Inmail is typically more, probably, probably more like event registration, text size is like brand awareness.
So, it’s different and it’s actually I don’t know, the whole campaign manager experience is changing, so now like in the past we’ve been very product forward, and now it’s like what do you wanna achieve today? What objective do you wanna achieve?
And then it’s basically, the objective based advertising experience which we didn’t have before on the platform. But it will make it easier for advertisers to like, come on and just to know which product to use, something in the past that people have been confused about.
Alex: People have been confused about what to use for what objective.
Johnathan: No, that’s always smart. Alex, I have no more questions. Is there anything I’m missing from my end that you can think of? If not, I wanna thank you so much for your time, but let me know.
Alex: Yeah, I mean I think, I think that’s pretty much it. We covered a lot of ground for sure. So, yeah, that’s it from my end.
Johnathan: That’s it.
Alex: Thank you so much for having me.
Johnathan: We’re wrapping it up. Thank you. I’ll give you one more cluck cluck for the road here. Thank you for dropping so many nuggets with us. We’re super appreciative.
There’s a really good chance we’re gonna talk about the LinkedIn organic side, and hopefully you can be a guest on that too. But with all that, we’re super thankful and thank you so much for your time.
Alex: Yeah, thank you. I’m happy to talk about organic, too.
Johnathan: All right, thanks Alex.
Alex: All right, thank you. Bye.
LinkedIn Ads With Ty Heath
Ty: Hi, can you hear me all right?
Johnathan: Yeah, loud and clear. Hi, Ty, how are you?
Ty: I’m well, how are you doing?
Johnathan: I’m pumped to talk to you. I’m doing really well. I’m excited.
This is the first episode that we’re actually recording today, so all my energy is with you and then I’ll sleep on the next one. Does that sound good?
Ty: No, I feel bad for the next person so I have to leave you with some energy or give you some extra energy.
Johnathan: It’s all good, I appreciate that. Maybe you can give me some audio caffeine or something that. We’ll figure that out.
Ty: Yes, yes.
Johnathan: Well, I’m super pumped because when we reached out, like – one, the fact that you work at LinkedIn is awesome and so there’s natural authority, natural thought leadership, and then for the sake of this episode because we’re talking about different aspects of like LinkedIn advertising, I wanted to dive deep into like account based marketing, which I feel like a lot of companies wanna do and try to do, but they might not be the best at it.
And so, from a B2B perspective, like, if we can take you and help us guide through that journey, we would love to learn more from you. Does that sound okay?
Ty: Sounds great.
Ty: Yes, ABM, account based marketing is so hot right now.
Johnathan: it’s so hot, so hot.
Ty: I’m excited to talk about it.
Johnathan: Okay, cool.
So, yeah. I mean give us, give us the foundation, like let’s break it down. What is account based marketing when it comes to, you know, ABM, so to speak through LinkedIn?
Ty: Yeah, yeah. Well first let me start by saying that account based marketing is not a new thing.
Ty: So, it’s something that we’ve been doing as marketers for years. And like concept marketing, there’s a respect in traditional practice, it’s just that more recently, account based marketing or ABM has been supercharged with technology.
Ty: So when we think of artificial intelligence and data integration, it’s had a resurgence now I think because of the technology. So at its core, some people call ABM the flip funnel approach or flattening of the funnel.
Ty: But, simply put, it’s more about aiming at a more well defined area of the fine journey.
So you’re looking at your best buyers and you’re treating those buyers in a much more personal way while focusing on the cap as a whole. You can imagine marketers have been doing that for years.
Ty: That we’re able to supercharge that with technology. So now you can, instead of tracking a wide net with just regeneration, marketers are using account based marketing to identify the prospect and tailor customized programs and messages to the buying team within those target accounts.
Johnathan: Got it.
Ty: So, a quick example is you know, you’re selling a software to service product or a consulting service, rather than taking a blanket approach, you might start by focusing on those accounts and that base at the highest move and the budget.
So, in other words you can go and target like let’s say the marketing team within another company, or an individual within that marketing team, so the scope, like your target size is a lot smaller, more defined, more precise, and therefore ABM can also be more effective.
But, it could also be used in conjunction with your blanket approach too, I imagine. Right?
Ty: So, one of the things I want to zero in on is what you just brought up.
So, it’s not just about the accounts themselves, but it’s also about the fine circle.
So, as you brought up, there are individuals within those accounts, that you want to talk to. And that’s why account based marketing is not just about what your marketing team’s doing, it’s how you approach the overall strategy with your sales team.
Ty: So you know, from a buyer’s perspective to be better about that.
So when you think about those accounts, you have to think about the personal interest and the people that work within those businesses, and make sure that you’re not just looking at the account, but each and every person that you’re looking to reach is in that actual account.
Ty: So whether it’s the CIO, the CMO, the CFO or the various people within that committee making decisions. So it’s a multi layered thing.
Johnathan: Okay. Got it.
So if you’re going after, let’s say, you know, everybody knows that ABM is so hot right now, they want to get on the bandwagon, and they want to use LinkedIn for that, too. From an audience perspective, you mentioned like job titles for example.
Is there a certain size, and we’ll get into the tactical of like how you then go about setting it and like doing all the plumbing. Is there a certain size of audience or anything like that, but also like the messaging that you found work really well? Like how do they get started on that?
So just from a LinkedIn perspective, overall we’ve got 610 million professionals and growing and over 8 million . So that’s why I think it’s important to think of LinkedIn as a place you can weekly take on your account based marketing approach.
So within that 610 million, what should you know about the audience to target?
So, I’m gonna give you this answer: it depends. So, the point of ABM, right, is you want to focus on a select number of accounts.
Ty: And considering the needs of your business, you might have an account list of anywhere from 300 to 30,000.
Ty: The way to begin
Johnathan: It was the first one, keep going.
Ty: Oh yeah, the way to begin is to first make sure that you’re getting the list right.
Ty: Because if you’re not getting that list right in the first place, you might miss some big revenue opportunities and you also can waste valuable time and resources.
Ty: So what we found is that some marketers will provide such a massive list of prospects,
Ty: That their ABM may not be beneficial. And it may be better to just do their standard industry targeting option.
Ty: And then other marketers provide a list of far too narrow, to allow the scale.
Ty: So, the reason why I say that it depends, is that we’re not out here trying to waste advertising dollars. We have to balance that targeting strategy, and learn the details about the prospects,
Ty: When the journey is to identify where it makes sense to target.
Johnathan: Sure, sure.
Ty: And how many it makes sense to target.
So for the sake of our listeners, or watchers, or readers, ’cause this will be omitted from forms of content, let’s say that we are a software company and we want to generate demos, for example. Or, trials, for that matter.
We’re more on the enterprise side and we then found that there are probably, let’s say, 1000 prospects that are within the title and our target area that we want to go after. Is that size of a list enough?
Because obviously not everybody will say yes and raise their hand to want to do work with you. What would you say to that?
Ty: Yeah, and so again, I think it just depends. You always want to test that because your industry comes into play-
Ty: As well. So, there’s some considerations there. But the way it actually works is that you’re gonna list a CFV file of those names.
Ty: And then we’re gonna go ahead and cross reference that target list of accounts with the copy pages and the eco system.
Ty: And, so, depending on what you see in terms of the match that you get, because also keep in mind that with that broad list, you can then tailor it down and I’ll share a little bit more about that in just a second.
Ty: But, you can run target campaigns focusing on people up to 30,000 companies at once. Let me just break it down tactically of how you might think about it.
Johnathan: Go for it.
Ty: Right. So, one, as you get started with ABM, you may want to first create broad awareness across the company, because maybe you’re not sure who’s gonna influence the field. You start with a bigger list, or a broader targeting approach.
Ty: And then you put more resources behind the tactics, to zero in on the key people within that account. And your sales people are there learning along the way.
Ty: And engaging with them.
Ty: And then once you identify the players in the account, you’re then mapping that eco system to understand who’s engaged and what they care about.
Ty: So, overall, it’s best to start broad and then tailor down as you go.
Johnathan: There you go.
That was like, the first wave approach is what you’re basically saying right now and then take us to the next level.
Ty: Exactly. Exactly.
And I think, I’m really excited about some of the cool stuff that we’re doing here because with technology predictive analytics and
Ty: You can start to get a really good sense over time of who your best customers are going to be.
Ty: And so, even just as a thoughtful approach as you sit down and again, like sales and marketing should sit down and talk to each other, you should all talk to each other more.
You want to talk about existing accounts that have shown openness to expand in your company. You’re gonna want to think about does the account have an urgent need that we can address?
Ty: Would they have budget? And, once you get the matches, then you can further narrow down the targeting with that additional criteria and you use LinkedIn for and job function.
Ty: So that’s how you’re gonna, over time, create a custom target audience you can use.
Johnathan: Got it, got it. Okay, cool. And is there any other things?
So, obviously, marketing and sales being closely intertwined, giving feedback to each other as to what works and what doesn’t, a lot of people obviously know the value of not having silos, but still a lot of people don’t put that into practice.
So, in this world, it sounds like that’s extremely important.
Ty: Incredibly important
Ty: And if we’re being really real about it,
Johnathan: Let’s do that.
Ty: Let’s do that. So we’re talking about like this is a customer experience. That’s all marketing is.
And so when you think about how you can be best in service of a customer experience, it’s marketing, it’s sales, it’s product, it’s individual contributors.
So, you wanna be thinking about how you engage your employees and empower them in service of that. Marketing is usually the best source to kind of be accountable and manage that.
But, the initiative and we’ve seen it perform best when companies take that approach of it as not just marketing, in the game here, it’s really everyone contributing to it.
Johnathan: Yeah. Got it. That makes sense.
Now, is there a certain combination of the advertising products that LinkedIn offers that, ’cause I kind of know the answer already so I’m giving you a little bit of a layup. But it’s okay.
Is there anything in regards to the combo of advertising types within LinkedIn or things like that that you’ve seen work better when it comes to ABM and things that you’ve seen not work as well?
Ty: Yes, absolutely. First, I think it’s important to start with saying that it may seem like a massive departure from a lead generation strategy, but overall, you can bring a lot of the same principles that drive that inbound generation to a job in marketing.
Ty: So, to succeed, you’re gonna want to think about how you can create, run, and analyze this program, and how your team collaborates.
But, overall, the LinkedIn team, our marketing team, uses other content. We use displays.
Johnathan: Okay, yeah.
Ty: We also use sponsored Inmail.
Ty: So, you can use a lot of the same techniques, and in fact, you know, it’s not just online that you can use, you can use some of the same account based marketing offline approaches as you do outreach to your account.
Ty: And the accounts that you’re interested in as well.
Ty: So, you know, sponsored content is untrue to the nature, appears from the feed, and it’s right up to open the door to attract attention.
Inmail is excellent to open the door for prospects as well for new accounts.
And, some of the sales standpoints. I know we’re talking about marketing, and our advertising goal along with helping which target customers.
Ty: But, if it doesn’t get you the full way, you know, sales people can use Inmail as well to contact directly.
Ty: So, with LinkedIn Premimum, you can send a certain number of messages to people you’re not already connected to with Inmail.
Ty: So that starts to bring in the sales navigator in addition to our campaign manager.
Ty: So over time, I think what you’ll see, is that we’re gonna continue to invest in bringing our tools together.
The campaign manager, the sales navigator, to make it easier for teams to work together in that way.
We’ve been running a pilot for some time where we had the integration between the campaign manager and sales navigator, where sales people can say, “these are leads that are important to me.”
Ty: And they get gorded into campaign manager where then marketers to target, so it’s leads that sales says is important. And that’s really powerful.
Johnathan: Yeah, I was gonna ask. Let’s stop for a quick second ’cause that venn diagram that you just imagined where you have your advertising targeting basically, which is the campaign manager.
By the way, you’re doing a lot of pitching your own products on this show, I’ve just realized.
Johnathan: I’m just messing, that’s the point of it. I have a Coca Cola bottle on my desk right now. I don’t, I’m just kidding. This is not American Idol. Or, I think, it might be Dunkin Donuts they’re using these days.
Johnathan: But, you mentioned the campaign manager on the ad side and then you mentioned the Inmail.
So, what I’ve heard outside of LinkedIn, is that when you do both, meaning, like cold e-mail for example, and display, you know, targeting of the ads, you have this ripple effect. And, the venn diagram actually produces results faster for you.
So, now this is a perfect example of how marketing and sales people need to work together because the marketing people are not the ones, you know, reaching out via Inmail, sponsored Inmail for example.
They’re the ones behind the scenes on the ad side for example. So, do you guys have any data showing that doing both at the same time? Because, I’m just thinking about our listeners and the people watching.
You know, if they only do one thing, but if they did both, they would be able to be more successful. Do you have any data on that?
Ty: Yeah, absolutely. So, on your first point, you know, pairing products together, we 100% have data that says that there’s an uplift when you use more than one product.
Ty: It’s the, you know, getting accustomed to your brand message and obviously bringing that leadership
Ty: To it as well because it’s very important. But the other piece of it is research being done that shows that the teams that work together most closely – so where there is sales and marketing alignment, we see better results.
So, in one study my wheelhouse advisors, they said there’s a 208% uplift of revenue contributed by marketing. And that seems like a big number.
Ty: But when you think about it, if sales and marketing are working together, you’re able to get into more accounts. In those accounts, you’re able to close more deals, and then the lifetime value of customers is greater.
So if you add all those things together, it contributes to a larger overall uplift.
Ty: So it’s not just about the products you use together, it’s the way that you work together,
Ty: To serve the customer and get in front of the customer.
Johnathan: Yeah. Makes a ton of sense. And it seems like a no brainer. And the fact that we have to say this to people is kind of sad, but the opportunity is also pretty great at the same time.
Ty: Right, right.
Johnathan: So this interesting.
So, I get a decent amount of connection requests. And, I also know that a decent amount of those connection requests on LinkedIn are people coming pitching, right? So, me having no idea who they are, not looking to buy, and the first impression that I get is that they’re like, “hey, you know, grab a time on my calendar because I want to sell you something,” is very off putting.
So, I was like, the volume of people that I’m getting, you know, of these requests is astounding. Let me see if it works for me. And so I then do it, and I hear nothing but crickets which I actually think is one of my buttons I can play on my pad here, but I’m afraid because I might hit the wrong one and then I can’t turn it off.
But, so, basically I changed my method and I said, “Look. So, if I were to receive something that is of interest to me or something that could be of value, I’m gonna change my pitch.” I’m not gonna go for the jugular right away, I wanna court people a little bit.
So, I then changed the, you know, go straight for the throat and see if you can get a sale, to, “hey,” and this is because we’re obviously a marketing agency. So the way that I reached out was like, “hey, you know, person’s name, I just took a look at your company and found some opportunities and some holes that you might be missing in like your marketing execution. Are you the right person to send these to?” Question mark.
And, so, I went from like, I don’t think it was like, more than like a 0.05% reply rate to probably like a 10% reply rate. And the truth is, I didn’t have, you know, those things ready to share with them yet, but only if they actually replied that they were interested, was I gonna go find and I was, you know, gonna make sure that I actually found something. Because I already defined my audience.
Johnathan: That worked a lot better. And so, I’m really curious if you have any insights, thoughts, or even data about like when you do reach out, or whatever like, the offer is or the call to action, like I’m trying to build conversation first before I expect anybody to wave their credit card at me. This seems more logical.
What are your thoughts on that?
Ty: Right on, right on. I admire your approach.
Johnathan: Thank you.
Ty: I think from a marketing and sales standpoint, with talking to marketers first, like marketers .
Ty: So it’s efficient, you know, I get that. There’s so much benefit to it. But when we overuse it, it can mean mass alienation.
Ty: Rather than automation. And from a sales standpoint, you know, we’re still cold calling, we’re still sending e-mails that are relevant. Marketing is doing the same thing. It’s really time for us to restate that. Because, our customers expect different.
Ty: And they expect, especially with account based marketing, there’s a level of personalization and thoughtfulness that you have to take on.
Ty: And so, you know, it’s a complex world. And our, the folks that we want to work with are hungry for knowledge to help navigate this landscape.
So I think one of the most important things, and this goes back to the relationship that we have, is that we need to spend more time and effort. Time being, like what are the problems? The pain points that are constant to solve. And that’s really the entry point.
Ty: Because getting someone in that account who’s actually engaged in a real way and not be irritated,
Ty: Has that interaction largely hinges on how well that content can do it’s job. And also the amount of effort you put in sort of building a relationship.
Ty: And that’s why I’m saying you know, again, sales and marketing can work more closely together because sales is on the ground, they know what those pain points are.
Ty: Marketing can create the powerful content to help respond to those questions and then, I love sales navigators because you can see on a day to day basis what type of content someone’s sharing.
Ty: And they changed the job, if their company is hiring. You can get a sense of what challenges they’re going through and respond in a timely way,
Ty: and in a way that actually is supportive. Now, in terms of the overall types of content that we’ve seen perform well, thought leadership is creating high quality content that goes deep into these problems. But we’ve found terms like such better effort, valuable consulting, education, tools.
We think ranked high in terms of what in terms of what buyers want to see from vendors, but you know, we need to spend a little more time getting to know customers.
Johnathan: Got it.
Ty: And not so much on like, click here to talk to a sales rep. people are not really wanting to do that.
Johnathan: You basically, yeah, you just gave me the idea that if I’m gonna sell LinkedIn ads management, from an ABM perspective, I’m gonna use this episode and I’m gonna send that as a thought leadership link in the Inmail message that I’m about to send to them, and be like, sucker, I just spoke to somebody from LinkedIn.
You better hire me. Let’s see how that works. Couldn’t be more thought leadership-ish, I think. I mean, I guess we could do some other things, but it’s a good start at least. I like that.
Johnathan: Well, this is super super cool. I think a lot of it comes down to too, like, we know this from a lot of other types of marketing too is that the cool thing is that you’re able to split test this stuff.
So, the audience size, the messaging that you’re coming with, the approach of like, the first message, and like, how much value are you bringing or how much curiosity are you triggering in the prospect, is really important that we found out obviously with the little example that I showed earlier too.
And then, figuring out how like you can speed this up. Because I know, a lot of people complain, like, oh LinkedIn is so expensive.
But, again, if you are the type of business, where lifetime values are decently good, it’s an absolute no brainer. And there’s so much opportunity you can do. And I think just somebody running LinkedIn ads for the sake of running LinkedIn ads, is not even scratching the surface of what’s possible.
Ty: Right on.
Johnathan: I should be your hype man over there at LinkedIn. I’d get a lot of people to sign up.
Ty: Yeah, I just need to put you on the stage with me, like let’s do this.
Johnathan: Deal, deal. Super, super cool. Is there anything I didn’t ask about anything that I missed or anything you think is important?
Ty: Yeah, I mean, I just wanna talk really quickly ’cause I think there are a couple key areas that are foundational to folks getting started in account based marketing and maybe like one, one little thing to leave folks with.
So, I mean, we found like four key areas where, that are foundational to people being successful.
Ty: And so one is just making sure the foundational level, you just start to communicate more across your businesses, in particular in marketing and sales.
Ty: So, having regular stand up meetings to talk about how things are going, learn more about customer insights. Another thing is to have a common way of measuring success.
So, a common KTI’s that you can share between marketing and sales so you’re speaking the same language. Understanding together what that high quality looks like. And then, you know, continuing to use other data to help enrich that successful prospecting.
Ty: So we’ve got some tools to help you do that, website demographics, is pretty cool, use LinkedIn to get more insights on people visiting your website. You can hone in, among other things.
And, I guess I could just leave people with one last thing to get started is it may seem daunting, but if you just take one small step of even just starting to talk with your sales team. That small incremental step could make a world of a difference.
So don’t feel as if you have to go from 0-100 on your ABM plan.
Ty: Just take one small step, that’s that incremental step and is incredibly helpful in getting started.
Johnathan: Cool. That is awesome. Don’t come in Yosemite Sam and start shooting and getting too excited. It is exciting. I mean, that’s my mentality and even if you tell me to go slow, I try to go 110 miles instead, so.
Hopefully people will take that advice, that’s so awesome. Ty, you are amazing. So many nuggets that we dropped already in regards to getting started. Really, really appreciate you.
This is gonna be a really great segment within the whole episode, and so, we hope a lot of people are gonna get a ton of value and you know, there’s definitely gonna be opportunities for you to come back and we can talk about other things, too.
Ty: I would love that.
Ty: Thank you so much for having me.
Johnathan: Of course, take care, thank you so much.