Here were the resources we covered in the episode:
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Are you a LinkedIn Ads 1%er? I’m going to show you exactly what it takes to close the gap and become a LinkedIn Ads expert on this week’s episode, the 100th episode of the LinkedIn Ads Show.
Welcome to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Here’s your host, AJ Wilcox.
Hey there LinkedIn Ads fanatics! I’m so excited to tell you that this is the 100th episode of the LinkedIn Ads Show. You longtime listeners, thank you for sticking around and spending so much time with me. It’s absolutely an honor to know that I get to join you when you’re commuting, exercising, walking your dog, washing your dog, exercising your dog, anything you choose to do while listening to podcasts. If you’re new to the show, thank you forgiving me your ear as well. My mission with everything B2Linked does is to empower 20,000 companies advertising on LinkedIn to give them the best tips, tricks, strategies to get lower costs, better scale, and higher performance. And you are all part of this mission. Now I know many of you are already advanced advertisers. Some of you are primed and ready to go from zero to LinkedIn Ads hero. No matter where your starting point, this episode is what you’ll need to get you into the top 1%. In researching for this episode, we went back over the last three years, and we hand picked the topics that we’re going to be the most valuable to you. Of course, we would invite you to go back and listen to each of these episodes individually if you want to deep dive. But I’m going to touch on the top principles and topics that will really help you get the most traction. In the news, I have an announcement that I’m absolutely bursting at the seams to tell you. Because you are loyal listeners of the LinkedIn Ads Show, I wanted to give you an exclusive benefit here. For years I’ve been asked to put out courses. I’ve even partnered with LinkedIn Learning, and a couple others to create training content, but we never had our own. Candidly, this was 100% my fault that we didn’t put these courses out. It felt to me like an absolutely insurmountable task to build courses that I was proud of. And then to keep them updated over time, and to promote them along the way. I’ve talked to many course creators in my close network just to get their ideas and experiences and advice. When I do courses, I don’t want them to be like many of the useless courses I’ve taken over the years, I want them to be something special. Special to me doesn’t say paying a high price for one course or a package of courses that you never actually get around to taking. And real success comes from not only watching course content, but implementing it and taking part in the community. So for me courses from B2Linked would have to be so much more than this. Well, I’m actually shaking right now, as I’m telling you this, I am so excited to announce that this dream is finally a reality. Because as of today, the courses are live. We created a community for you LinkedIn Ads fanatics, where for not a huge one time fee, but for a low monthly fee, you get access to all four courses that range from beginner to expert presented specifically and designed by me. But that’s not all, you’ll get access to the whole community. My highly specialized and highly trained to be to link staff are in this community answering questions and sharing valuable platform updates. I’m in there answering questions as well. You’ll then have access to the combined knowledge and experience from all the other LinkedIn Ads fanatics in the community to bounce ideas off of and learn what’s been successful for them. We are calling this community the LinkedIn Ads Fanatics. I feel so strongly that the value has to be there for you learners, especially here at launch for you founding members who will be some of the first in the community. So we priced it specifically low. $79/month gets you access to all the courses, as well as the future courses and additional content, all updates, plus unlimited access to the community. Then we have a higher tier for you A plus students out there, we’re calling you super fanatics, you get access to everything that I’ve already talked about. Plus you get access to a weekly group workshop with me. And that’s for a total of $279/month. These are all month to month no contract cancel whenever you need or if you stop getting value out of it. But as a bonus for our founding members, the first ones in those of you who subscribe before July 16 of 2023, you’ll be grandfathered forever into the discounted rate of $59/month for the community and course access and $259/month for the higher tier super fanatics groups. So don’t delay get in now as one of the founding members so that when prices rise in the future, you’ll be cemented in at the lowest price that it will ever be. To go claim your spot as an official LinkedIn Ads fanatic and founding member go to fanatics.b2inked.com. And of course, you can always use the link in the show notes. if you can’t figure out how to spell fanatics. Don’t worry, I got you. But I can’t wait to see you in the fanatics community Highlighting an awesome review of the podcast, Anna Rice, who’s a digital growth marketing associate at Northern Trust Asset Management here in the US. She said, “Amazing insights. This show has become one of my go tos as a beginner turned expert in LinkedIn Ads. I discovered it at a B2B marketing conference when AJ held an expert session and I haven’t missed an episode since. This is such an amazing tool and resource to learn about and optimized LinkedIn ads 100% recommend.” Well, Anna, thank you so much. It’s wonderful to hear that our content has helped you on your way to becoming a LinkedIn ads expert. It’s so apropo considering that this episode is all about becoming an expert so you’ve really just lent a lot of credibility to the topic of the episode. Way to go. For all of you other listeners, please do go and leave us a review on Apple podcasts for the show. It’s by far the best way you can say thank you for all the content that we keep putting out. And I’m always excited to shout you out on the episodes as well. All right. With that being said, we’ve got to get to the topic at hand,. Let’s hit it!
I’m going to go over some of the topics that I feel are most important to master. Specifically, if you want to be a LinkedIn Ads expert. The first really is campaign setup and structure, you can go back to episode seven to get the full basis there. But it’s incredibly important to get a few things right here. First off, your campaigns need to be set up in an evergreen way. What I mean by that is your campaigns are here to stay. They’re named in a way that your account stays organized for a long period of time. And you’re not constantly creating a new campaign here, a new campaign there, and letting others fall to the wayside. The way that you do this is you name campaigns after the description of the audience, not the date you created it, or the content that you put in the ads, or anything like that. My theory here is that campaign names should describe the details about the campaign that won’t change, and then you just don’t go and change the things that can that means your campaign names should reflect the things that don’t change, like your targeting, like your ad format, like your objective. Now, don’t misunderstand me here, there are certain things about campaigns that you can and should adjust and change along the way. Most importantly, you should be adjusting your bids and budgets along the way.
Which brings us to our next point here that you need to master. This is one that the vast majority of LinkedIn advertisers that I talked to just don’t get. And that is your bidding and your budgeting, Episode 89, so a recent one, we went back and did a super deep dive into this with all the new objectives and everything. And there are a few things that you need to understand here at a basic level. The first is that LinkedIn’s default bidding method for traffic is called maximum delivery and this is by far the most expensive way to pay for your traffic 90% of the time. This type of bidding is literally handing your wallet to LinkedIn and saying take whatever out of it you want. And if I could be so bold to say, this type of bidding being the default is the reason that costs are rising so rapidly on LinkedIn. Too many advertisers are just taking the default and running their campaigns and then LinkedIn just gets to increase your bids as high as it needs to outbid someone else. And they just are throwing more and more money into their pocket. So don’t fall into this trap. Instead, start your campaigns by manual cost per click bidding, and bids significantly lower than what LinkedIn recommends. You can always increase those bids if you’re not getting enough traffic. Now, I did mention that maximum delivery is the most expensive way to pay 90% of the time. Well, what is that 10% of the time where it’s actually the best method? Well, that comes when your click through rates on your campaign are two and a half to three times the average click through rate for that ad format. So for instance, sponsored content has an average of .44% click through rates, and we find that we can switch to maximum delivery bidding when sponsored content is up over about a 1% click through rate. So when your click through rates are insanely high, that’s when you want to use maximum delivery, otherwise avoided like the plague. The next topic to master is campaign segmentation. We covered this really well in Episode 65 of the podcast. So make sure you go back and listen to that. But I highly recommend that you break up your audiences into campaigns that have an audience size between about 20,000 to 80,000. We find that audiences that are less than 20,000 You may have to run them for potentially months before you get enough data back To tell whether or not they’re working, and for your tests to become statistically significant. Now, if your audience sizes are much larger than 80,000, and in fact, LinkedIn themselves recommend over 300,000 in a lot of cases, we find that there’s usually some way that you can then break up that audience into two smaller pieces to learn more about it. I just find that when my audiences are over about 80,000, there’s usually something about that targeting that I can split into. Maybe I can break it up by company size, or seniority or something. And now these two smaller campaigns, they’re serving the same purpose, but they both act like little mini focus groups that you can then learn from them. Now, there are plenty of those out there who suggest Nope, just keep one large campaign, and then look at your ad demographics later and decide which segments are performing and which aren’t. But I will tell you, that is extremely limiting, you can’t see how each micro segment actually engages with specific ad creative unless you break them out into separate audiences. Plus, if you’re tracking parameters in your URLs, you need to actually be able to put those tracking URLs in ads that signal to you which ad and which campaign and audience they represent. The flip side of this is don’t break them out so small that each segment doesn’t get enough data. For budgeting purposes, we usually plan about one campaign per $750 to $1,000 per month in budget. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have smaller retargeting audiences, or ABM targeting, those are all fine, just don’t expect them to be pushing a whole lot of volume for you.
The next topic that you’ll need to master is offers. For us this is episode 10 goes into the kinds of offers that people are willing to engage in and convert on. But as a friendly reminder, cold traffic, yes, you can get them to fill out forms in order to access some of your content. But your conversion rate from MQL to SQL, like getting them on a meeting with your sales team is going to be near zero. Before you do this, you will have to do more nurture. But that episode is going to set you up really well for the kinds of content that work deeper down in the funnel. For any platform, you need to get comfortable actually in the platform, navigating around the user interface. Campaign manager is no different here, you have to have that experience, I recommend no matter what just getting in and messing around. Even if you don’t actually launch an ad, get practice by just navigating and setting things up. The courses that we just launched in the fanatics community. Course Number one is actually holding your hand and walking you through LinkedIn’s campaign manager. So I would highly suggest watching that course when you make it into the community.
There are a whole bunch of technical aspects to LinkedIn Ads as well, that might not come naturally to you if you come into the world of digital marketing through more of the creative side. Those three areas here are understanding the insight tag, setting up conversion tracking, and setting up retargeting. All three of these revolve around the Insight tag so check out the blog post that we published just a couple of weeks ago here on what is LinkedIn’s insight tag and how do you install it. Then episode 38 goes all into how to set up conversion tracking how to use it. And then those special cool what I would call ninja hacks and uses for it. Of course, it’s super important to set up retargeting. You almost can’t nurture traffic, and then expect meetings and demos without a retargeting setup. That’s episode 58 so go back and listen to that in more depth.
Alright, so you’re advertising. Things are up and running. How do you know if what you’re doing is working or not? I mean, for all, you know, if you haven’t compared yourself to anyone or anything, you could be doing a crappy job. Or maybe you’re doing amazing and you deserve a raise, but there’s no one to know. That’s why it’s so important to understand the benchmarks of what to expect on the LinkedIn Ads platform. Go back and listen to episode 15 all about the benchmarks. So you can compare and see if what you’re doing is working and if you’re doing a good job. And of course, if you’re not outperforming benchmark, don’t beat yourself up, just take that as a clue that there’s an area of the account that you need to now go and spend more time in. Now if your job is to manage everything around LinkedIn Ads, there are several skills that you need, or will at least need to be able to dabble in. There’s creative creation. We really like to get comfortable with Canva to create imagery. But I also recommend getting comfortable with video creation and editing. Even if you’re not going to do it professionally, just get enough experience that you know what goes into it. Spend time writing ad copy and other content even long form content. I know when I was in high school in college, I kept thinking, man, I can’t wait to be done with journalism and writing. Those are skills I’m never going to have to use again. And now I use them every day. Same with math If by the way, so get really comfortable creating. And of course, you can always use something like chatGPT to help you out. But don’t ever rely on and hand your job over to AI tool.
Another skill that oftentimes gets overlooked is your general marketing strategy. This means actually understanding your positioning and your value in the marketplace. How do you then communicate that value? And how do you picture and help your customers through their journey? What’s that holistic strategy? If you just go and become a LinkedIn Ads expert, you’re going to miss out on all the other platforms and channels, how they all fit into your holistic strategy, you’re gonna miss out on so much there. And yes, you can spend all day within campaign manager, but we’ve covered several things inside of campaign manager. But we’ve covered several things that you can’t do in campaign manager that you have to do by exporting your data out of campaign manager and getting it into Excel. In the shownotes, you’ll see a playlist that we put together on our YouTube channel, walking you through the creation of a whole bunch of Excel reports. Don’t sleep on Excel, guys, it’s not that hard, but can give you such a powerful lead over other marketers who are not willing to dive into the data. The two most powerful formulas that you should know in Excel are vlookup. And this isn’t really a formula, this is pivot tables. I use pivot tables every single day, don’t sleep on pivot tables, go learn them. And that YouTube playlist is going to help a lot because you’ll see all of those things in action. Okay, here’s a quick sponsor break, and then we’ll dive back into what you need in order to become a LinkedIn one percenter,
The LinkedIn Ads Show is proudly brought to you by B2Linked.com, the LinkedIn Ads experts.
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Alright, let’s jump back in here. We’ll go through the experience that you’ll actually need to navigate LinkedIn and to become an expert. I’m sure this isn’t news to you, but book learning will only get you so far. You actually need practical experience. It’s totally possible to take courses and learn as much as you possibly can, but still be absolutely clueless when it comes to jumping in the platform and doing something simple. From my experience, most of you listeners fit into one of two camps. You’re either a freelancer looking to learn, or an in house or agency marketer who’s actually doing this for clients or yourself. If you’re a freelancer looking to learn, I would highly recommend pick up a client that wants to advertise and is willing to give you a shot at actually running the thing for them. Your first one you could offer to do for free or cheap, it doesn’t matter, just something so you’re actually getting real world experience because the things that even you’ll learn in our courses, they won’t mean anything to you unless you have a real business purpose to actually apply them. So pick up that account and those accounts. And as you gain experience, you’ll get to charge more to future clients as you get that experience, and especially confidence that comes from knowing that you actually know what you’re talking about. If you’re in house or agency, you are actually getting the experience hands on, which is fantastic, but every single episode from this podcast, everything you read, it has to be applied so you can learn it. So try to take every episode, every blog post away, and apply it to what it is that you’re actually doing with your LinkedIn Ads account. That’s about the best advice I can think of for those two camps.
The next thing I think you need experience to understand is scaling and account. You don’t understand the scale on any platform. Unless you’ve actually worked with it. It becomes really simple to scale. We’ve worked with some very large spending accounts. And after a little while, it feels like just the same old numbers you’re used to dealing with just with a couple or a few zeros at the end, you get really comfortable with large accounts. And I hope all of you get the chance to scale a normal size account up to one that’s very large, just so you get the experience. You do have to be very careful as you do this, but I’m excited for you to get to try. Then there’s a skill that you have to get comfortable with because you’re gonna use this forever, and that is optimization skills. You just have to watch the account and make adjustments and then look at what the effects are. I like to keep what I call a testing journal. Every time I make an adjustment or run a test, I’m making a note of what date I ran, what my hypothesis was. And then I always have to go back a week or two or three a month, whatever and actually compare, okay, what was the result of that test? This gets into continued education that I would highly recommend. And that is, you have to always be running AB tests. Episode 36 was all about the AB testing procedure that we recommend. But you’ve got to learn which ads resonate with your audience. Which ad types produce what kinds of predictable results? What results do I get if I bid differently if I bid higher or lower, or on a different bidding model? What about if I tried different objectives? We do this a lot with video,. There’s three different ways that you can bid on video, you can bid by the impression, you can bid by the click or the view. And depending on your objective, depending on what it is you’re trying to do, any one of those could be much more effective than others. And you could save a lot of money. But you have to actually run these tests. You’ve got to test different audience features different targeting different members of the audience. And you’ve got to learn how your audiences respond to changes in your bids, seasonality, creatives. One test I really like to do with this is do a 20% bid increase. If I bid up by 20%, do I get 20% more impressions? If so that was a perfect linear scale. But what if I bid 20%? Higher, and I get 25% more impressions? Wow. Now I actually just got access to more scale, and what have I been up 20%, but I only get 15% more impressions? Well, now I know I’ve hit the edge of diminishing returns. And I know that if I try to bid up on this audience, I’m just going to get less and less efficient. These are tests you have to run, and every audience is going to act a little bit differently. So make sure you’ve built a culture internally of AB testing, it will save your bacon.
Throughout my career, it’s been so sad to me to see marketers who had a lot of promise, and I see them kind of peter out, they lose the fire, and they stop doing things that actually advance their learning. One of the best recommendations I can give you is to keep that hunger and keep following up to date resources. I’m gonna keep doing everything within my power to keep coming out with episodes of this podcast. So certainly keep listening to this show. But there are also especially just in the last year, there are some great LinkedIn Ads pros on LinkedIn sharing what they know. If you follow the LinkedIn Ads hashtag, you should see all of that. We’ve got a YouTube channel where we’re continuing to invest into more and better video. There are several other YouTube channels out there that cover LinkedIn Ads. So I highly recommend subscribing to them and watching them. Follow the B2Linked blog and our newsletter. Every week, we try to put something really good together that’s going to be helpful to your career. And of course, we just announced the LinkedIn Ads fanatics community that is launching the day this podcast goes live. So if you’re hearing this, it’s active, I can’t think of a better way for you to learn and grow and get experience and collaborate with others than joining the fanatics community. Again, that’s fanatics.B2Linked.com, go check that out. I also recommend finding a mentor someone who drives you and holds you accountable, someone that you like to explore with and share results with. To me it’s one of my good friends Mark Gustafson. I’ve mentioned him many times on the podcast. But I think everyone who’s striving to be better need someone like that. I will mention if you sign up on the upper tier of the LinkedIn Ads fanatics community, I’ll be personally mentoring you and meeting with you weekly, so I can help be a mentor to you as well. But if you don’t have some sort of a mentor that you can look to keep your eyes open and try to find that person. Alrght, I’ve got the episode resources for you coming right up, so stick around.
Thank you for listening to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Hungry for more? AJ Wilcox, take it away.
Like we mentioned in the episode, there are so many different episodes and resources for you to check out. They are right here in the show notes. But you’ll see the episode on campaign setup, bidding and budgeting, audience segmentation, offers that drive conversion. You’ll see the blog post all about how to install LinkedIn’s insight tag and what to do with it. The episodes on conversion tracking and retargeting and performance benchmarks to compare yourself against. There’s the playlist on YouTube for how to do complex Excel reporting made very simple. There’s the episode all about AB testing that I can’t recommend enough. You’ll see a link to B2Linked’s YouTube channel that you can keep getting free value from, as well as a link to our blog. I’ve shared before, but if you want to check out the community, go to fanatics.B2Linked.com. I still have the LinkedIn Learning course. So although it doesn’t cover nearly as much as the community, it’s still a great course. If this is your first time listening, I would highly recommend hitting that subscribe button so you hear more of our content when you’re mowing your lawn or commuting. But if you’ve been listening for a while, please do go and rate and review the podcast on Apple podcasts. It really is the best way that you can say thank you for all the research and work and cost that we put into this show. With any questions, suggestions, or corrections, reach out to us at Podcast@B2Linked.com. And with that being said, we’ll see you back here next week for episode 101. We’re cheering you on in your LinkedIn Ads initiatives.