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Show Transcript

So you want to scale your LinkedIn Ads? Well, beware of the blocks and hurdles on your way. We’re discussing what’s keeping you from scaling your performance on this week’s episode of the LinkedIn Ads Show.

Welcome to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Here’s your host, AJ Wilcox.

Hey there LinkedIn Ads fanatics, you’ve certainly heard the phrase, nail it, then scale it. It’s referring to when you find something that works, and you want to take full advantage of it well, because of course in business and digital marketing, where things are moving so fast, something that worked well yesterday may not work at all tomorrow. This is almost always the goal that we have with LinkedIn Ads. Nail it at first, and then scale it up in the 1000s of advertising accounts that we’ve run and consulted on, we’ve seen about every possible combination of situations where a team is wanting to scale their successful efforts, we’ve seen about every possible combination of situations where a team is wanting to scale their successful efforts up, but there’s some blocker or hurdle in the way. So today, we’re gonna go through all the possible things that can hinder your ability to scale.

First in the news, one of our awesome B2Linked teammates, Landon Thorne noticed something new called group objectives on one of his accounts. And essentially what this is, when you go to create a new campaign group, LinkedIn says, if you’re willing to attach an objective to that campaign group, and have every single campaign under that campaign group share the same objective, then LinkedIn can do this dynamic budget optimization thing. And this is taken directly from meta over there. It’s called campaign budget optimization, or CBO. But essentially, you say, I have a whole bunch of different campaigns here, LinkedIn, I’m going to let you decide which campaign you give more budget to and which ones you give less to just optimize for whichever is performing best. Now, I’m imagining that this is something that’s going to be rolling out over the next several weeks, and we’ll start to see it in more accounts. Personally, I’m not in a huge hurry to try to use it simply because choosing an objective for a campaign is one of the levers that we have to test and get better performance. And so I feel like if I’m forced to choose the same objective within a campaign group, it’s constraining and could hold back my performance. But for those of you listening, I’d love to hear from you. Please reach out to us at podcast at If you’ve got a great use case for this, and especially if you find it to work especially well.

Alright, quickly highlighting a review, Exclusive8 on Apple podcasts from the UK says, “Thank you, I’m following you for nearly a year and all the tips and tricks that you and your team shares help, and they work 100% of the time. It gives me confidence and motivation to improve strategy regularly.” And the heading of that review was LinkedIn Ads Bible. Exclusive8 , I don’t know who you are, but I really appreciate you leaving a review. As that is the biggest compliment you can pay us. And I’m so glad that we’ve been helpful to you in your LinkedIn ads journey. And you, yes you, I want to feature you here on the podcast as well. So if you haven’t already, if you’re a regular listener, please do go and leave a review, especially on Apple podcasts. All right onto the topic at hand, let’s hit it.

First off the hurdles that keep us from scale. There are a whole bunch of different hurdles that you’ll come across at different times and in different ways. So these will be a no certain order, for sure. But we’ll go pretty deep into each of them. The first is audience size. So when you’re trying to scale your campaigns, and you want to turn the budget up and start getting more, if you don’t have a large enough audience size, you may realize that you try to turn that knob up, and nothing happens. Or what’s worse is when you turn that knob up, you start increasing your budgets, and you do start spending more, but it’s just your costs to increase. And it’s not actually your performance, you’re not reaching more people. And this is something you can test actually very easily with your current audiences. Try increasing your bids by 20%. And just see did your level of impressions and did your reach increase over that amount of time? If so, it means you probably haven’t hit that level of diminishing returns, which is great. That means you have some more ability to scale if you want it. But let’s say that you don’t have that that ability to scale, your audiences limited. Well, there are several ways that you can go out and try to increase your audience sizes and do that thoughtfully. Episode 22 of the podcast is all about how to scale and that would probably be a really good playbook for you to go and understand how to increase that audience size. Somewhat related is what about if your audience isn’t very active on the platform, and that’s part of the challenge that we have with LinkedIn is it tends to be a platform that we don’t go and use all all the time, well, maybe you and I do., but regular users are probably only on there three to four times a month. So you may notice if you’re targeting someone like dentists, for instance, maybe you see the audience there, there are enough people in your audience. But then when you’re actually advertising, it’s kind of hard to serve impressions, or spend any real kind of budget. In this case, sometimes you can’t really do anything about it, you can’t force people to come and be more active on the platform. But there are some things you can do to help. First, you could increase your audience size. And of course, thoughtfully, we don’t want to just open up the floodgates just because we want to spend, but you can also try to reach these people off of LinkedIn. And you can do that with LinkedIn Audience Network, or what we oftentimes call LAN. Now, we don’t always have the most success with LAN, it’s kind of hard to spot the quality signals in there, it leaves us doubting sometimes. But it can be a good way to reach these audiences all around the web, not just when we’re sitting around waiting for them to come back to LinkedIn every so often. You also may be able to find segments of the population that you’re not currently going after, that might be more active. Targeting like groups targeting tends to reach people who are little bit more active on the platform. So it might be worth to try that as well. The next big hurdle that we see is budget. And I know you’re thinking duh, AJ. But if you’re spending, let’s say, 10k a month on LinkedIn ads, and you want to spend more, but your boss is saying, nope, 10k it is, well, that’s a huge hurdle. And it’s probably not one that you’re gonna get over very easily, I would encourage you to go listen to episode 39 of the podcast, all about making the case for scaling on LinkedIn. I can’t tell your boss that they should give you more budget, but that episode has some great points that you could make a business case. Somewhat related would be the daily budgets that you’re actually putting in your campaigns. If you want to spend more and your budgets are in the way, this is a really easy way to say hey, I want to spend more. So I’m going to increase all my campaigns budgets by 10%, 20%, 50%. Somewhat related to budget is actually your bidding. Let’s say you’ve taken our advice from Episode 89, all about bidding. Well, good for you. One of the pieces of advice that we give is bidding lower than LinkedIn is recommended range. But in the case of scale, sometimes this advice can hinder you. So for instance, if you have a budget of let’s say, $5,000 a month, and you know, you can spend that entire $5,000 by bidding at the like $8 ranch per click. If you all of a sudden decide to increase your budget from $5,000 to $10,000 a month. At that same bid level, you might find that your budget moved, but your actual spend didn’t. And in that case, increasing your bids and becoming more competitive, reaching more of your existing target audience could be the ticket for you. When you scale this way by bidding, realize that let’s say you’re increasing your bid by 20%, it means your cost per click and your cost per lead are probably all going to scale up by 20%. So make sure you’ve communicated that clearly to your other stakeholders that if we scale this way, we are going to see our costs rise. Alright, here’s a quick sponsor break, and then we’ll dive into the sources of friction.

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Alright, let’s jump into the friction sources that can stand in between you and scale. I absolutely love the concept of friction in physics. And it’s there’s this constant drag that makes your formulas not quite work as well as you’d hoped. And I think this is a very apt metaphor for LinkedIn Ads, because there are little things that introduce friction into the system that drag us down and drag our performance down. And sometimes we don’t even know that it’s happening. Again, in no particular order. But one of the biggest sources of friction that keep you from scaling, or even performing well is having nonperformance ads. So let’s say for instance, when you’re advertising on LinkedIn with sponsored content ad formats, the average click through rate is about .44%. So let’s say you’re performing anywhere near that average at .44%, that’s less than one half of a percent of everyone who sees your ads actually clicks on it. And if you have a pretty small audience, it’s going to be hard to drive very many visits with that level of performance. Now, it depends on a lot of different factors. But it’s not too terribly difficult to launch an ad that gets over a 1% click through rate. So by launching these new ads, they may be going to the same call to action, it may be saying nearly the same thing. But you’ve made tweaks to make it stand out more and speak more to the pains that they might be feeling. And now 1%, so twice as many people are now willing and able to interact with your ads. So I hope I’ve painted for you this picture that if you have ads that aren’t performing super great, this can be a drag to your system. And no matter how much more you’re willing to pay for ads, you find trying to grow your account is like pulling teeth. By the way, the metaphor of pulling teeth is totally gross. I don’t know why I use that. It makes me feel like not going to the dentist anytime soon.

So related to non performing ads, I might suggest using a different ad format, because a different ad format sometimes gets access to new inventory. Or maybe it has the capability of performing much better than your original ads. What I would highly recommend to you is trying to run video ads, there will be an element of cannibalization if you’re running single image ads, for example. And then you launch video because those do take much of the same inventory, if not all, but you may find out that there’s a big contingent of your audience who wants to interact with your video ads, but they were never going to interact with your single image ads, or vice versa. So let’s say that you’re already using your sponsored content very well, well, when you launch a new ad format, like dynamic ads, or text ads, and I probably shouldn’t mention sponsored messaging, since that’s probably going to be a thing of the past here in the next, I don’t know, three, six months. And of course, I want this episode to be future proof. So yeah, I definitely won’t mentioned sponsored messaging. But as you tried new ad formats that use new inventory, that’s of course, a great way to scale, because now you’re filling slots that are not competing with your other ads.

So we’ve talked about ads that are maybe providing some friction, some drag by not being very performant. But we can also talk about having nonperformant or non compelling offers. And as a reminder, when I say offer, I don’t mean a percent off or a direct call to action, like buy my product. Now, what I mean is what we are offering our prospects in exchange for their attention, right. So an offer can be anything from read this blog post to buy something now. Well, whatever that offer is, if you have an offer that is not compelling to people, it doesn’t feel valuable. It’s not attention grabbing, the best copywriter and the best creative in the whole world could not create an ad that gets you a high click through rate. Although if any of you here want to challenge me on that, and we want to set up some kind of a test, I would love to watch that happen. So I would encourage you go look at the offers that you’re putting out there. Look at them with fresh eyes, pretend you’re one of your prospects, and you’ve never seen it before. Is it interesting? Is it helpful? Is it attention grabbing? And of course, you can test this, you can put three or four different ads, all pointing to a different offer to an audience and just see which one gets higher click through rates. Maybe that’ll tell you the two or three offers that you shouldn’t even bother running, or rethink and totally retool, and then come back when you think you’ve got something interesting. The next hurdle I want to talk about here is actually time. And what I mean by that is if you’re going to cold audiences who’ve never heard of you before, just because you’re willing to spend two times or three times more this month than what you were spending before, it doesn’t mean all of a sudden two to three times that number of people are going to want to buy your product or service. They still need time and they still need touchpoints by being nurtured so that they can come to get to know like and trust you. Now I don’t have a time machine, so there’s not too much I can do to help you out with time as being a hurdle, except just set your expectations properly. When you’re going to cold audiences, it may take 3, 6, 9 months to really get them thoroughly nurtured and warmed up. And then of course, once you start driving demos or discovery calls, you still have your whole sales cycle to worry about. Many of our clients are large B2B organizations with long sales cycles. And it certainly doesn’t make sense if you have an average sales cycle of let’s say, nine months or 12 months to expect that LinkedIn Ads is going to close any faster than that.

The next hurdle that I want us to go over is your business constraints. So maybe you’re in a situation where the sales team couldn’t keep up with additional leads if you were to generate them. Or if you scale very quickly. They’re not equipped to handle them at that scale. And in that case, you really need to prepare internally for scaling on LinkedIn Ads. That means don’t just say oh, as the marketing department, we’ve got more budget, we’re gonna scale up by 20%, or 100%, or whatever, and just not tell the sales team. They absolutely need to know. And of course, this goes for all channels, not just LinkedIn, if you’re going to scale up your Google or your meta, or whatever, please, please, please go talk to your sales team. Make sure everyone’s agreed and ready and prepared. Almost nothing makes you as a marketer look worse than when you start sending really high quality traffic to the sales team and they take weeks to get back to those prospects. Not a good look.

Another big business constraint is something that we talked about on Episode 90, it’s all about your product market fit. Now, I hate to suggest this to anyone, but it’s totally possible that the reason that you’re having a hard time scaling your LinkedIn Ads efforts, is your product doesn’t actually have product market fit. It’s not solving a big enough pain point to actually make people buy it. We go really deep into that on episode 90 so go listen to that.

Another hurdle here is actually your number of campaigns. Now, this is actually a pretty easy hurdle to get over. And it’s one that I’ve been jumping over on pogo sticks for the last many years. The concept here is that if you have any campaign that’s running on LinkedIn, it’s only going to be in the auctions and eligible to show a certain number of times or at a certain amount of scale. And sometimes when you increase your bids, increase your budgets on just that one campaign, it still fails to get as much reach and as many impressions as it could otherwise. So sometimes, you can just create another campaign, even with the same targeting, but I usually suggest vary your targeting a little bit. So if you’re targeting by something like job title, maybe try targeting by job function and seniority, or by skills with seniority, or groups with seniority, just something different. And now you’ll notice that those two campaigns, or maybe you go the extra mile, and you have four campaigns all targeting a similar audience. And now because you have a higher number of campaigns, it becomes much easier to spend on that audience. Plus, like we talked about regularly, you now have more data about what types of targeting are working to drive your best traffic. It acts like little private focus groups, giving you data on what people like and what they don’t like, and who likes it. Alright, 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.

Alright, like we mentioned in the Podcast, Episode 90 is all about product market fit. Episode 22 is all about how to actually scale your LinkedIn Ads. So in this episode, we went all through maybe different things that could stop you from scaling, we gave a couple little tips, but that’s the episode that’s going to go all the way and teach you how to actually plow over those hurdles. Now, if you want to be a member of the premier community for LinkedIn Ads experts, come join us at It’s a very low cost subscription and it gets you access to all four of my courses taking you from absolute LinkedIn Ads beginner to expert. Plus, you get access to the whole community of other LinkedIn Ads experts to be able to ask questions and bounce ideas off of. If this is your first time listening, welcome! We’re excited to have you here. Make sure to hit that subscribe button on whatever platform you’re listening on. Now, if this is not your first time listening, please do go and pay me the biggest favor that you could possibly do and that’s leave a review on the podcast. And of course, as you do, I’ll shout you out live here on the episodes. With any questions, suggestions or corrections because we are open to corrections, reach out to us at And with that being said, we’ll see you back here next week. Cheering you on in your LinkedIn Ads initiatives.