It goes without saying that LinkedIn Ads were made for B2B marketers. The capability to target based on criteria like job title, level of seniority, years of experience, company industry, etc. is unmatched.
But it’s not for everyone.
In our experience, there are 4 things an advertiser needs in order to find success through LinkedIn Ads. Let’s talk about it.
1/ A Monthly Ad Budget of ~$5K
Despite costs per SQL being half that of other social ad platforms, like Facebook, costs per click typically range between 5 – 8X higher on LinkedIn than Facebook.
They’re worth it down-funnel, but LinkedIn Ads are expensive on the front end.
So, for those advertising to North America, we’ve found that a monthly budget of $5,000 is a good place to start.
That said, we understand that not all are going to have a budget that’s this large, and that’s okay.
If you’re working with a smaller budget, doing things like cutting down the number of campaigns you’re running or advertising for a longer period of time in order to gather a sufficient amount of data to make informed decisions are examples of ways you can compensate.
2/ A Lifetime Value of ~$15K
This point ties in closely with the first point.
Because LinkedIn Ads are more expensive on the front end, you need to make sure you have enough money to cover ad spend, sales commissions, and any other expenses, and still make a positive ROI.
Again, if you’re advertising to North America, we’ve found that a customer lifetime value of $15,000 fits that description.
So if you have a CLV at least this high, LinkedIn Ads could be a good fit for you.
3/ High-Value Offers
Aside from costs, there are other ways LinkedIn differs from other ad platforms.
For example, users log in to LinkedIn to find answers to their questions, to network and collaborate with peers, and to learn something new.
They’re not there for leisure and they’re not ready to buy your $10K – $100K products or services after seeing one ad from you.
Seeing a positive ROI from LinkedIn Ads takes time.
It also takes educating and nurturing your audience, so they better get to know, like, and trust you as the only reasonable solution to their problems. One of the best ways to do this is through content offers.
This is just one piece of a holistic LinkedIn Ads strategy, but an important one. Because your audience is searching for ways to solve their problems when they log in to LinkedIn, but aren’t ready to invest in you just yet, you need to start small.
Content offers empower you with a way to solve their problems in the short-term, while also introducing them to your brand.
Some examples of good offers you could promote are podcasts, blogs, newsletters, eBooks, webinars, online communities, etc.
If you need some additional help sparking ideas, check out this post for which offers tend to work well on LinkedIn Ads.
4/ A Clearly Defined Target Audience
LinkedIn’s targeting is where the platform shines. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the data LinkedIn has available to target is something you just can’t get anywhere else.
But to be able to leverage LinkedIn’s targeting to the fullest, you need to be able to clearly define who your audience is.
If you already know the type of persona you service best, define your audience further by answering these questions related to LinkedIn’s targeting criteria:
- What job title(s) do my prospects have?
- What department(s) do they work in at their company?
- What level of seniority do they have?
- What skills do they have?
- What LinkedIn groups might they belong to?
- What company industry do they work in?
- How big are the companies they work for?
- Where in the world are my prospects located?
Answering these questions will help you better know how to set up your LinkedIn Ad campaigns and which micro-segments might be worth testing for efficiencies.
Bonus: Be In It For the Long-Haul
As mentioned in the third point, seeing a positive ROI from LinkedIn Ads takes time, but don’t expect, just because you’re targeting the right people and promoting the right offers, that advertising on LinkedIn is going to magically reduce your sales cycle.
If you’re just starting in LinkedIn Ads and your sales cycle is typically 5 months, don’t pause after a month because “it’s not working.”
Advertising on LinkedIn could help in reducing sales cycle length, but don’t bank on it.
Instead, if you want to test the waters a bit before fully committing, be willing to at least test the platform for the length of your sales cycle.
As a minimum, we would recommend 3 months, and that’s if you’re also hitting on the previous 4 points.
There are no shortcuts in marketing. Be in it for the long-haul.
But what do you think? Do you agree with this list? Has your experience been different? Comment below!
And if you want to generate more sales conversations with your ideal prospects, apply to work with our team at B2Linked. We’ll help you craft and execute a custom-tailored LinkedIn Ads strategy that’s fit to meeting your unique goals for the platform.
Written by Eric Jones