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Show Transcript

Looking for a framework to evaluate the effectiveness of your LinkedIn Ad strategy? Get that quiver ready because we’re about to put some ammo in it 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! Like we said in the intro, today we’re talking about the ammo framework and how to evaluate the effectiveness of your LinkedIn Ad strategy. As a total sidenote, so much of the language that we use in advertising is related to weapons, things like of course, we talked about targeting or the shotgun approach, triggering a response, tactics being bulletproof, etc. And because so many in this world have been affected by gun violence, I really want to be sensitive here. So while this episode does revolve around the ammo framework, which would be short for ammunition, whenever we mentioned any of these metaphors, I would love for you to picture a bow and arrow rather than guns. I’m not personally offended by talk of firearms, but I want to be careful with my language for those of you who might. Sometimes I talk about LinkedIn Ads being a silver bullet, but I feel like that metaphor that’s for protecting yourself against a fictional werewolf. So I think firearms are a perfectly appropriate metaphor here. But I also occasionally talk about LinkedIn ads being a sniper rifle, while other forms of marketing are more like a shotgun. And I don’t have a better metaphor to use there. So anyone listening, if you have a better idea for that great, until then maybe just think of our Sniper as being like a dead eye archer. Not sure what to do with the shotgun, maybe an archery, there’s some kind of an arrow that spreads, would it hit the target? I don’t know, whatever.

Alright, I want to try something new. I want to ask you to message me on LinkedIn, or email us at And send us an audio file of just like a voice recording from you because rather than reading your reviews or questions that you may want covered, I want to play them here on the show so others can hear. So please do record yourself asking a question, or commenting on something from past episode, or whatever and I’ll aim to include it right here in the show.

Alright, with that being said, let’s hit it. Very first off, we have this framework that I’ve introduced to you as ammo, and that spelled A M O. And it stands for your audience, your message and your offer. In the past, I’ve introduced this concept as like the three pillars that every social ad needs. And this definitely applies to all social media. But I want to talk specifically about how we can use this actually, in your own campaigns. So first, we have A, our audience. And this is pretty self explanatory, I think. But this is the audience that we want to target the audience that we’re talking to specifically. And this is the reason why we come to LinkedIn Ads, and pay the premium we do is to get access to this audience. So I think this is going to make perfect sense to all of you,. The M is your message. Now your message includes, of course, your ad, copy, what you’re saying. But it also includes really the imagery that you’re using. Or maybe it’s video ads. You’re also going to be carrying a message to your audience by way of the ad format that you choose. So it’s really that combination of things. Your ad format, your copy, and your visuals. So it’s not just what you’re saying. But it’s how it’s delivered to your prospect. It’s how it’s viewed interacted with by your audience. Now the O here is offer. I think we have to talk about maybe some baggage that comes along with the term offer from the past. I think 10 years ago, if I would have said the word offer, it probably would have held with it the image in your mind of like a percent off, or buy now, or maybe even like a pitch man on an infomercial or something like that. But then in the last five years or so, I really feel like the word offer has been used in B2B Like, it really always should have been. But there is some additional baggage here because I went to go look at what HubSpot defined an offer as and this is, you know, like I said five years ago, and the definition they came up with was the offer itself is something that you are giving, ie an offering to your online visitors. It’s typically free, but an offer can be just about anything. Although the most popular type of offer is a downloadable PDF, like an ebook, white paper, or checklist. It could also be something less tangible, like a free 15 minute assessment or a search engine optimization audit. Now that definition was from about five years ago. We have one from about three years ago that says a marketing offer is any free product, service, or content given to a website visitor in exchange for them performing a specific action, like filling out a form. So if you’re reading this the same way I am, I’m imagining that HubSpot is calling these offers, is just another word for lead magnet. And that’s not how I see it at all. So we’re gonna redefine here what offer means, especially for us in B2B, I think we’ve improved upon the definition. My definition here for an offer is anything you’re promoting, plus the call to action that goes along with it. Now, this offer can be anything specifically, it’s anything that you are offering your audience in exchange for their attention. And of course, your offer can be a gated piece of content, that’s fine. But it can also be subscribable content where you’re asking someone with your call to action, subscribe. Your offer can even be a cool tip or trick with a call to action to learn more from the website. In short offers are at every stage of the customer journey, not just at the bottom or the middle. So there we go, we have our framework, it’s our ammo, audience message and offer, you need all three things because your message you won’t know what to write in your message, or what to put in your visuals, unless you have an offer that you’re actually describing in word and visuals form. And of course, if you don’t have an audience, you have no one to pitch this offer with a message to even. And there are certain metrics that you can apply here to figure out like when your ads are not being effective. Is it your audience, your message or your offer? And how to compare. So we’ll get into that definitely stick around to the end of the episode for that one.

So first, I think we have to ask, why do we need a framework like AMO. The reason why we came up with it is that marketing in general is about presenting the right message, to the right person, at the right time. And of course, with LinkedIn, or really any other display ad, we can’t really control whether it’s the right time to show an ad, because LinkedIn is a passive platform that doesn’t have search intent, like Google might. And then of course, our hope in display advertising, like we’re doing, is that when it’s the right time for the prospect to convert, then they’ll see it, it’ll still be top of mind for them. So why is this important? AMO really helps define the right person and the right message of that marketing fundamental. It’s a framework with accounts that we can apply, like I’ve talked about. And it’s also a helpful heuristic so that when there’s a problem, we can pinpoint exactly what the problem is, and then give us clues on how to actually go and fix it. Just a funny little story, I was presenting this concept of AMO A-M-O on a webinar that I was a guest on. And I actually said, I really wish I could come out with another M. So it would actually be AMMO, which would be short for ammunition, that would be a lot easier to remember. And it was so funny to me because someone actually who was involved in the webinar tagged me privately and said, Hey, there’s a person who is using ammo, AMMO. And they just introduced the concept to their followers. So I went and saw this LinkedIn post, they had coined the term ammo, AMMO. And what was so funny to me, as the M that they chose was marketing. So it was like audience message, marketing, and offer. Needless to say, I just commented on this person’s post and said, Hey, nice acronym, and I haven’t seen it around. My guess is no one’s out there actively trying to like, create this new coined term, but I had a good laugh about it. But needless to say, I haven’t incorporated the M of marketing in there, because I think this is all marketing. But whatever. If anyone can come up with a better one, please let me know. And maybe don’t try to steal it. Alright, here’s a quick sponsor break, and then we’ll come back and dive into exactly how we’ve used AMO in practice, and the results that we’ve seen from it.

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Alright, let’s jump into how we use AMO in practice here. There was one Pharma SAS company and biotech that we were working with. And they had these very specific relevant pieces of content. And they knew exactly who it was that they wanted to target. So what we did is we ended up taking all of these pieces of content and mapping out and designing what’s the message? And what’s the call to action along with each of them. Basically, how do we take an asset and turn it into an offer? Because we designed all of this like, which offer ends up at what part of the funnel, we ended up seeing a lot of success. That success spurred them on to scaling up their LinkedIn Ads considerably because of it. And then we ended up seeing a return on investment, it was actually a return on adspend of 5.5. Meaning for every dollar they put into their LinkedIn ads. We got $5.50 back, not too shabby. And beyond that they saw their increase in pipeline was huge. They ended up closing more deals than they were predicting. Very cool. And so our learnings here where it’s really important to understand and know your audience well. To learn more about this, go check out episode 86 that we did all about market research. But thank goodness, when this client came to us, they had done that they actually did know their audience extremely well. They knew the exact pain points that were keeping them up at night, they knew what they wanted and what they would respond to and what they wouldn’t. So when we arranged the offers and messaging just right to these audiences, it worked perfectly. They were all tuned to elicit the action that we wanted them to take and directed them right to the next phase.

Alright, here’s the actionable stuff. If you are not driving or lifting a weight right now, feel free to pick up your notepad and start taking notes. Let’s talk about the actual metrics, what you would see to let you know if your ammo was failing, or if you needed to sub any part of it back in. I’m actually going to start out of order here because I feel like the first thing we should talk about here is message. Because as a marketer, the message is the easiest thing for you to test. It’s so easy to write out a new piece of ad copy, or sub in a new image. That’s all describing the same offer. So let’s start here at message. First off, I think CTR is by far the best metric that you can use to determine whether your message is successful or not. If you’ve already been advertising, then it’s going to be your click through rate compared to past click through rates, or click through rates on other offers in your account. But if you’re brand new to this, you can just compare with a benchmark CTR, for whatever that particular ad format is. Our benchmark episode was episode 15 so it’s been a while back, but still totally relevant. Go check that one out. So I definitely think that click through rate is by far the best measure to tell you if your message is hitting or not. Because that’s our simple ratio that shows of the number of times that you’ve shown an ad, how often has someone taken action on it. Just be careful based on whichever objective that you’ve selected, your click through rate is going to measure different things. For instance, if you’re using the engagement objective, a click is going to be any kind of click engagement on that. That could be someone liking, commenting, or sharing, it could be visiting your company page, or it could be actually clicking on what it is you want them to do. So if you have a bunch of different campaign objectives running all at the same time, what I like to do is normalize all of them. Pick one click metric that you care about, maybe that’s all engagements, or maybe that’s just landing page clicks, or destination URL clicks. Whatever it is you choose, you can define your own click through rate. But now let’s say that we’re using video ads, because you don’t want to use your click through rate to tell you whether your video ad was good or not. So you can use view rate, but in my opinion, that’s pretty weak because of you is only two seconds. So we’re talking about the number of people who kept it on their screen for at least two seconds as they were scrolling by, it’s not a very accurate measure. So I really like to look at those metrics that are like the 50% completion, like what percentage of people watched to 50% of the video, even better, would be the percentage of people who last until 75%, or even those who went all the way to completion, which is technically anywhere past 97%. And for you, it could be really helpful to compare your 50% completions to your view rate and see if it actually acts as a real analogy to tell you if the rate something you should care about. It’s really different for every video campaign that I’ve seen. But it could be a good way for you to just quickly find one metric to care about, as you’re right inside of campaign manager and looking to quickly make changes. I also really like to chart the completions, the 50%, completions, 75% and the full completions, the 97%. I like to chart them and watch the drop off over time, I treat it kind of like the YouTube view duration, where you can exactly see where in your video more people tend to drop off and tend to replay. LinkedIn’s Video Ads, feedback is definitely not that good, but if I had a video that was lasting through like 50%, 75% really well, but then super dropped off before that 97% I might go look at the end of that video and see if there’s anything that I could cut or anything I could say more succinctly to try to keep their attention. So those are really the metrics that I care about when I’m evaluating the effectiveness of my message, the actual ads themselves. The next one I want to evaluate here is your offer. Now, like we talked about your offer can be anything you’re asking someone to do. So there’s not always going to be a conversion rate associated with it. But hear me out here. If your offer really is a piece of content, like let’s say it’s a lead magnet, then you really can look at your conversion rate to tell whether or not you’re doing a good job. Again, go compare that conversion rate to other conversion rates you have in your account. Or if you’re just barely getting started, then go check out episode 15 on benchmarks and go and compare against those benchmark conversion rates. But let’s operate off the assumption here that you don’t have a form that is blocking someone from converting. How then are you able to evaluate these offers that you’re asking someone to do? My favorite way to do this is actually what we discussed in Episode 105, all about using Google Analytics for events to tell us how people are actually interacting with our content. So very quickly, let’s say that our offer is go and read this blog post. Episode 105 taught us how to go and create events that fire when someone scrolls at least 50% of the way down the page. So there’s an event that fires when they get to 50%. There’s one that fires when they get to 70%. And then there’s one that fires when they get to 90% of the page. We also have the setup with time on site. So if someone sits on your landing page reading for a minute, that first event is going to fire if they reach three minutes or five minutes. Again, there’s an event that fires so we can go and look at the results of this campaign. We paid x amount to get traffic to that page. And now we can see like, oh, people are actually reading this content, or no, they’re getting to one minute, but they’re not getting to three. Could we spruce up or fix the beginning and make sure that more people are going to get more value out of the beginning. Those types of things.

A little known and appreciated way that you can check your offer is by growth of your retargeting audience. So let’s say for instance, that you’ve created a retargeting audience, just around website visitors. If you happen to not be driving traffic from a lot of different channels, and you’re able to look at your retargeting audience, and it’s growing from the traffic that you’re just sending from LinkedIn. That’s great. It’s not quite a direct metric, but it gives you some faith and hope going along. Another way that I like to evaluate this is by looking at the click through rates of the audiences who come after they’ve seen this content. So follow me here, you have this offer that you’re running, and then you’re retargeting anyone who engages with it. Then you look at the click through rates of your retargeting audience, and you compare them to your cold stage. When you see that your warm stage, click through rates are significantly higher than your cold stage, then I think you get to pat yourself on the back and say, yes, that offer worked.

Okay, taking a step back now to talk about your audience. This is where I think I get to give you permission to really take a guess, because LinkedIn has this incredible targeting that we get to use. But if you haven’t done the research, and you don’t actually know who it is, and your audience that’s going to get the most benefit out of your messaging and out of your offers, then you really do have to take a guess first, I think you can go sit down with sales and evaluate lead quality with their help. Show them the leads that are coming in and ask them like, what do you think is this kind of a lead worthwhile is this one disqualified in your eyes for some reason, you can of course, go and look at your ad demographics in campaign manager and see if there are any signals from them. Maybe certain industries are not clicking very much, or they’re industries that aren’t relevant at all. Maybe there’s job titles, I mean, whatever it is you find in there, you can add exclusions to take that traffic out. Don’t forget, when you’re building your campaigns to look at the segment breakdown, that’s over in the right rail. That one’s incredibly important. So often, I’ve been defining who an audience is. And then when I look in segment breakdown, I go, oh, there’s a whole class of people that I’ve been totally forgetting from, let’s say, the medical industry, let me adjust my targeting to make sure I keep those folks out, or whatever it is. The last thing we really like to do here with your audience is take a look at the profiles of the people who are liking and commenting on your ads. We’ve talked about before how not very many people tend to like and comment on ads. So the ones who do are a pretty good signal. I like to click on their profiles and go evaluate like, Oh, what is their job title? What industry? Are they? Do they reflect the right company size, all of that. So in math, we have this concept of order of operations. And I think this applies really well with our ammo framework. So here’s my order of operations, how you actually execute ammo in the right order. So very first off, we have audience and this is first for a reason, we don’t have feedback on who our audience is from sales. At this point, we kind of have to just put a stake in the ground and assume that our audience is great. If at this stage, if you have multiple offers to test, that’s fantastic. But let’s operate off the assumption here that we’re going to test a single offer with multiple messages. So what that means is, in a campaign, you only have one offer being represented. But let’s say there’s an AB test in your message portion. If I test an AB of this offer, and then performance is poor. I’m going to come back three to four more times and refresh that messaging to see if I can get good performance. If I’ve now tested this is between six to eight ads, and nothing has worked well. My assumption is then that the offer is bad or not necessarily bad, but at least to this audience, they aren’t liking it, they’re not showing that it’s actually solving a pain point for them. So then that kind of takes us to testing multiple offers. So let’s say that you’ve tested multiple offers, and each one has, you know, six to eight ads that describe it, and nothing has worked, then at that point, I would say, it’s probably your audience, that could be a good time to go back and look at the audience targeting and see if there’s anything you’ve messed up here. If you can’t, if you’re like, no, this is definitely the right audience. The problem is likely product market fit. If you want to learn more about that that was episode 90 on product market fit. Of course, that’s by far the option that we don’t want to see in our testing. But this is a methodical programmatic kinds of tests that you can do to actually figure out like, in the end, do I have product market fit? Or is my audience right? You’ll be able to see it in these metrics that we just talked about. 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 talked about in the episode, go listen to episode 86. about market research, if you want to understand more about how to find your ideal target audience. Go check out episode 15 on LinkedIn Ads benchmarks to figure out like, hey, how am I performing compared to my peers? Episode 105 was all about Google Analytics for and setting up those events to fire to show you how attractive and how useful your offers actually are. And then of course, Episode 90 all about product market fit. Go check that out. And then I have to ask you, are you looking to learn more about LinkedIn Ads and become an absolute LinkedIn Ads hero? You’ll want to go and join the fanatics community that’s This is the community with all of us LinkedIn Ads pros, where we can give you feedback on what you’re seeing and what’s working, what to test next. Plus, as a member of our community, you get access to all four of our courses that are set to train you to go all the way from a LinkedIn Ad zero to a LinkedIn Ads hero. So go check that out. A low monthly payment is all it takes to get in there. And you will absolutely level up your game. If this is your first time listening. welcome! We’re so excited to have you here. Make sure to hit that subscribe button. So you keep hearing from us. We love to keep you around. If this is not your first time, I want to remind you the very best way that you can say thank you for us putting together this hopefully very valuable content is to go and leave us a review, specifically on Apple podcasts, but anywhere that you listen that you can leave a review, we would absolutely love that. And of course I’m going to shout you out on air for that. With any questions, suggestions, or corrections, reach out to us at And with that being said, we’ll see you back here next week. I’m cheering you on in your LinkedIn Ads initiatives.