Show Resources

Here were the resources we covered in the episode:

How to get high quality LI Ads traffic at steep discounts

Ultimate LinkedIn Ads Starting Checklist

Ultimate LinkedIn Ads Advanced Guide

Join the LinkedIn Ads Fanatics community and get access to our 4 courses to take you from beginner to expert

Follow AJ on LinkedIn

B2Linked’s YouTube Channel

LinkedIn Learning Course

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Show Notes: Episode Summary

Episode Title: What Do You Wish You’d Known When You First Started Advertising on LinkedIn?

In this episode of The LinkedIn Ads Show, host AJ Wilcox invites experienced LinkedIn advertisers to share the insights and tips they wish they had known when they first started. The discussion is packed with advanced advice suitable for both newcomers and seasoned professionals in the LinkedIn Ads space.

Key Discussion Points:

  1. Constant Testing:

    • Dan Bebb emphasizes the importance of continuous testing and evolving campaigns to keep up with the fast-paced digital marketing landscape.
  2. LinkedIn’s Unique Algorithms:

    • Nicholas Branda highlights how LinkedIn operates like a machine, advising on the careful interpretation of audience targeting and the valuable insights from demographic reports.
  3. B2B Sales Cycles:

    • Anthony Blatner discusses the long sales cycles in B2B marketing, stressing the importance of patience and long-term strategy.
  4. Creative and Messaging:

    • Mario Maier advises doubling the time spent on creatives and copy, leveraging CRM sync, and focusing on retargeting for better campaign results.
  5. Ad Format Experimentation:

    • Ava Yakub underscores the necessity of testing different ad formats and dimensions to find the most effective combinations.
  6. Higher CPL Justification:

    • Tanner Stolte explains that higher cost-per-lead (CPL) can be justified by the quality and ROI of LinkedIn leads compared to other platforms.
  7. Bidding Strategies:

    • Jacob Juan Carlos Lundy shares insights on proper bidding strategies to avoid overspending.
  8. Testing New Ad Formats:

    • Rob Drummond encourages advertisers to test new formats, integrate with organic strategies, and maintain a stoic mindset when offers fail.
  9. Avoiding LinkedIn Audience Network:

    • Muhammad Ali Shahzad and Marco Savo discuss the pitfalls of using the LinkedIn Audience Network and automated bidding suggestions.
  10. Strategic Planning and Customer Journey:

    • Clare Williams focuses on the importance of strategic planning, behavioral psychology, and understanding the entire customer journey.
  11. Time Zone Awareness:

    • Sarah Miller reminds advertisers to consider LinkedIn’s UTC operation when planning budgets and campaign schedules.
  12. Manual Bidding Control:

    • Jamie Taylor and Mathias Skove Onsby emphasize the value of manual bidding and the importance of frequency in ad exposure.

AJ Wilcox’s Reflections: AJ shares his own learnings, such as the importance of data analysis skills in Excel and the value of community learning through shared test results.

Call to Action: Listeners are encouraged to join the LinkedIn Ads Fanatics community for rapid learning and access to comprehensive LinkedIn Ads courses.

Review and Connect: New listeners are invited to subscribe, and loyal listeners are encouraged to leave reviews on Apple Podcasts. AJ is open to questions and suggestions via email and LinkedIn.

          This episode provides deep insights from LinkedIn advertising experts and enhance your campaign strategies with advanced tips and real-world experiences.


Show Transcript

What do you wish you’d known when you first started advertising on LinkedIn? Let’s take a reminiscing walk down memory lane to help newcomers to the industry 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. As he said, I’m AJ Wilcox, and I’m the host of the weekly podcast, The LinkedIn Ads Show. I’m thrilled to welcome you to the show for advanced B2B marketers who want to evolve and master LinkedIn Ads and achieve true pro status.

LinkedIn Ads are hotter than ever and more and more marketers are coming to the platform. I would argue that there’s a lot of bad advice out there right now that they’re unfortunately learning from. So I asked you, the LinkedIn Ads community, to share what you wish you’d known. And honestly, I expected a lot of simple tips, but ended up with much more on the advanced side than what I was expecting. So, stay tuned, even if you are an advanced LinkedIn Ads marketer, you’re probably going to learn something.

The LinkedIn Ads Show is proudly brought to you by, the LinkedIn Ads experts.

B2Linked is the ad agency 100 percent dedicated to LinkedIn Ads, and we have been ever since 2014. You know, back before it was cool. We build a custom strategy for every account that we work with. You get to work directly with me and my local team. You won’t get a cookie cutter approach or a standard account template from us. I’m a car guy, so I like this analogy. We provide Ferrari level results at the price of a Honda. So if you’d like to explore partnering with us for your LinkedIn Ads schedule your free discovery call at

Alright, I wanted to shout out a review here. Rocio Ochoa Aparicio. Who’s a marketing specialist at Xtremepush from Ireland. She said, “I’m so a fan of the podcast and have applied a few tips from it, and it has worked so well. The podcast is so informative and well explained. I really like it. I think it’s the best out there regarding LinkedIn tips.” Rocio, thanks so much for the kind words. I’m really glad that you’ve taken something away from the show that you’ve been able to implement and have success.

All right, to everyone else out there, do you have a question, feedback for the show or a review? You can message me on LinkedIn, or email us at You can attach a link to a voice recording from you if you want, and I’ll play them right here on the show. I’m happy to keep you anonymous, or share your details. And after you listen to this episode, I think you’ll actually believe me, that I want to feature you.

Alright, let’s hit it. One of our loyal listeners out of the UK messaged me with this idea for an episode. He said he’d really love to hear an episode about what I wish I’d known when I first started advertising on LinkedIn because he gets this question a lot. I thought it was a pretty good idea But, I wanted to take it a step further and ask the whole LinkedIn Ads fanatics community to get involved and bring more ideas. Because, honestly, at this point, you’ve probably heard plenty from me.

Naturally, because he was the inspiration for this episode, I asked Daniel Bebb, paid media specialist at PH.Creative, to share first.

“Hi AJ, Dan Bebb here from PH.Creative, a big fan of the show, long time listener. For me, it’s that you should never truly be happy with a campaign’s performance. You should, you always need to go back and test whether that’d be targeting, creative, and anything in between. Even those kind of new features which only just come out and you’re not sure if they’re going to be relevant for your campaign or not.”

This keeps both you and the campaigns you’re running evolving. And that’s so important when everything moves so fast in the realm of digital marketing.

Dan, this is really good advice. I admit that early on, I did a lot of testing, and I found certain things that worked, and certain things that didn’t work on the platform, and I found myself being very inflexible later about trying new things.

Over the last several years, I’ve been a lot more flexible in trying new things. I’ve been open to the idea that things can change, both on the platform, and user behavior can change. And of course, LinkedIn’s coming out with all kinds of new things here and there, gives us lots more technology to test. So Dan, thanks again for kicking this off. I’m sending you a big hello to Wrexham, England.

Next up is Nicholas Branda, Director of Demand Gen at cyberwhyze in Maryland.

“Hey, AJ. So this is in response to your question you posted asking what LinkedIn advertisers wish they knew earlier. And for me, I wish I understood much earlier that LinkedIn does not think like an advertiser. It thinks like a machine. And you have to really look out for all the ways that LinkedIn can misinterpret your audience targeting and adjust accordingly. You know, in LinkedIn’s mind, it’s going to do its best to fulfill exactly what you ask for. The other thing that I wish I knew sooner that I think will be of a lot of value to people is the demographic reports about how you can pull the reports and see the companies that are seeing your ads. Cause a lot of the times, it’s not who you initially think it might be. So use those demographic reports. It’ll save you a lot of ad spend.”

Nicholas, you gave us lots of good stuff here. Number one, LinkedIn thinks like a machine. I totally agree. As an example, I found that the LinkedIn audience network will spend the whole day’s budget in less than 20 minutes. I loved your advice to look for the ways that LinkedIn can misinterpret your audience targeting. As an example that kind of blew me away, I was looking at seniority targeting and thinking about things like, Hey, I bet attorneys and dentists, because they’re business owners, I bet they’re going to be in the CXO level of seniority for chiefs, because they’re running their own company. We can probably reach them with that targeting. And then I found out that LinkedIn categorizes them as director level for some reason.

Alright, our next expert here is Anthony Blatner. He’s the head of SpeedWork out of Austin, Texas.

“Hey fanatics, this is Anthony Blattner from Speedwork and what I wish I knew when I first started advertising on LinkedIn is just how long B2B sales can take. And the fact of the matter that no matter how good your marketing is, many businesses out there move slow and it’s really not until your prospect has a buying need arise that they’re going to buy. So don’t beat yourself up if your initial campaigns seem like they’re moving slow. If anything, expect it and think about the long term sales and marketing motion that you’re building and strategize how you can be top of mind and clearly the first choice with your ICP when that need arises. That’s how you’ll build a successful funnel.”

Anthony, spot on. I totally agree. B2B marketing takes time, and that’s pretty uncomfortable when you’re used to maybe B2C marketing where deals close much faster. You can’t force someone to be ready for a B2B sale. Well said. Our next advice here comes from Mario Maier from Igromo out of Austria.

“Hi AJ, this is Mario. So these are my three tips for LinkedIn Ads. First one, your technical ad optimization skills will never be as relevant for your campaign success as the right message and offering of your specific audience double the time you spend on your creatives and copy. Second one, use CRM sync to leverage the potential of your existing CRM contacts. Every dollar you spend on a warm contact relates to higher rewards afterward. And third, retargeting, retargeting, retargeting. About 80 percent of all hand raises we produce for our customers come from targeting campaigns. Thanks.”

Mario, I love getting really geeky with the platform optimization skills, but you’re totally right. No matter how much you know about the technical aspects of the platform, it will never make up for having terrible targeting, or an offer that just isn’t interesting to your audience. Also, retargeting is absolutely key. I know cold audiences aren’t ready to buy. And retargeting is the best method to make sure that you’re showing ads to warm audiences. Very good, Mario.

All right, our next expert is Ava Yakub. She’s the LinkedIn Ads Manager for Zapier out of Philadelphia.

“Something I wish I knew when I first started LinkedIn advertising was that it’s important to keep testing different kinds of ad formats and dimensions and that the same ad format or dimension won’t work the best all the time for every campaign.”

I know Ava personally and I can attest she’s big on testing. I love her attitude of testing everything you thought you knew, just in case it’s changed. The same thing that worked in one campaign may not be the highest performer in another, and if you’re not testing, you’ll just never know.

We also had quite a few people write in their tips as a response to a LinkedIn post that I put out there.

Tanner Stolte, Senior Strategist at Linked Selling out of Pennsylvania, he says, “Higher CPLs are okay. When you do the MQL math on LinkedIn leads versus something like Facebook, the numbers work themselves out while producing a better end result.” Thanks Tanner. Yes, I watch this scenario play out every month. LinkedIn Ads is oftentimes three times the price of meta. So, costs per lead look high? Then when you realize that the sales team has to throw out 90 percent of the leads that Meta generates, because it just doesn’t understand how to target professionals. And then you see that LinkedIn ends up with two times the return on investment. It’s pretty eye opening how important accurate targeting really is.

Then Jacob Juan Carlos Lundy, who’s growth marketing manager at Transect, he shared, “Going from novice to your inaugural person to receive your advanced LinkedIn ad certification, I wanted to know about proper bidding strategy that wasn’t automated. You saved me thousands of dollars in a short amount of time.”

Jacob, yes, thank you so much. Jacob has been one of our LinkedIn Ads super fanatics from very early on. For those of you who don’t know, the private LinkedIn Ads fanatics group, you can go to at It’s a private community and upgraded members hop on a weekly group call with me. And one of the perks that we offer here is an advanced LinkedIn Ads certification that’s included with being a super fanatic. Jacob was the first to be Advanced LinkedIn Ads Certified, and he’s absolutely awesome. If you’re on the fence about joining the fanatics community, let this be the little poke that you need to jump in.

So Jacob mentioned that proper bidding strategy is what we he wishes he would have known. And I 100 percent agree here. I think this is the topic that not understanding is making advertisers pay two to three times more than they need to be. And I really mean that. 2 to 3 x more than you need to be paying for LinkedIn Ads. If this is a topic that you don’t feel like you’re a master of yet, go back and listen to episode 89.

Alright, our next one is by Rob Drummond. He’s the founder of Rob cheated a little bit, and he gave us four pieces of advice. “Number one, don’t be a dinosaur. Test new ad formats. Number two, consider the increasing connection with your organic strategy, be thinking about Thought Leader Ads. Number three, test a wide range of copy and cull quickly. Take a lean approach to offer creation. And number four, don’t take it personally when an offer fails. Nurture a stoic mindset.”

Rob, I especially love not taking it personally when an offer fails. I’ve been doing LinkedIn ads for 14 years now. I’ve seen thousands of different ads and offers. And I can’t predict with certainty how anything is going to perform. I’ve had ads that I absolutely love turn out to be the worst performers. I’ve found offers that I’m very invested in being absolute flops. So if you feel this way, join the club. Realize that you aren’t your target audience, and the beauty of LinkedIn Ads is that we get fast feedback from our ideal target audience who will actually tell us what they like and what they don’t like. Excellent advice, Rob.

The next piece of advice here comes from Muhammad Ali Shahzad. He’s a digital marketing specialist in Islamabad, Pakistan. Muhammad shared, “LinkedIn Audience Network is not always the best option for every business.” Now, Muhammad, you put that very politically correct. I too wish that I would have invested less into testing the LinkedIn audience network. I’m finding a very small percentage of advertisers that are finding it helpful.

Now Ryan O from Refine Labs out of Madison, Wisconsin. He shared three things. “Number one, there’s more than one way to establish credibility. You don’t need to slap a G2 star rating on an ad to build your authority. Number two, balance your budget versus your audience. Most people can’t remember what they had for breakfast two days ago. So if you’re not being seen enough, you’re not being seen at all. And number three, when playing the long game, don’t be too quick to judge losers or ads with sucky click through rates based off of those early signals.” We’ve now heard this theme of the importance of frequency multiple times. This is good advice. Thanks, Ryan.

The next one comes from Matthew Palladino, Marketing Manager for Mackenzie Investments. He recommended using a beginner’s guide or checklist for people who are new to LinkedIn advertising.

Matthew, I agree about the importance of referencing good content when learning. For anyone looking for these resources, I’ve linked to our free LinkedIn Ads starting checklist and our free advanced guide in the show notes for super easy access.

Next, we have Julian Russi Diaz, Social Media Specialist of Americas at Kardex.

Julian suggests you can develop your KPIs based off of the ones that LinkedIn provides. There’s no need to limit yourself to report on reach or frequency to know how effective your brand awareness efforts are doing.

Julian makes a really good point here. I use several metrics to gauge ad performance that LinkedIn doesn’t even offer. And we have to calculate them ourselves. Two quick examples. Cost per 50 percent view is my absolute favorite metric to evaluate video campaigns. Also, cost per link click is especially telling when you’re using the engagement objective. If any of you have others that you really care about that LinkedIn doesn’t offer, please share. That’s probably actually even deserving of a whole episode in and of itself. So, be thinking about this and start sending us your custom metrics.

All right, next we have Marco Savo. Digital Content Strategist from Stand in the UK. Marco says, “Ignore most of the recommendations that pop up on the LinkedIn Ads dashboard, like use audience expansion, always include audience network, and above all, by disabling maximum delivery bidding, you’re missing out on X number of clicks and X percent lower CPC.” And he uses the poop emoji. Marco, all three of those points are some of the best advice that I could give to new advertisers. Bravo.

Our next advice comes from Clare Williams. Paid Social Strategist from Loxley, out of the UK. She shares, “It’s not really about how to run the ads, it’s the strategic planning, including the behavioral psychology and the whole customer journey that happens beforehand, And often PIVOTS, what actually directs success.” And then she said, “Oh, and invest in learning from the best.” With a winky face. Claire, great points about advertising being more about understanding the customer needs and psychology than it is about the geeky specifics of running ads. I’ll try to remember that. And a big thank you for that little point about learning from the best.

The next point of advice here comes from Sarah Miller, who’s in digital marketing at 3Cloud out of Denver, Colorado, right over the mountains. Hello friend. She said, " LinkedIn ad accounts operate in UTC, or Coordinated Universal Time, and advertisers need to keep this in mind, so they know when their new day starts, and when spend is going to start flowing again." Sarah absolutely agreed. This was one of those things that blew my mind when I very first found out why my small budgets could be totally depleted for the day before the target audience even woke up in the morning.

Next advice comes from Jamie Taylor, Digital Marketing Manager at Eaton out of Ohio. She shared, “The value of manually controlling your bidding versus auto bidding. I shudder to think of all the budget I wasted learning the ropes.” You and me both, Jamie, another nod to the importance of listening to and mastering episode 89 of the podcast.

Next advice comes from Mathias Skove Onsby, Paid Social Manager at LeapWork. He said, “Frequency is the key and how attribution software can’t measure everything from LinkedIn Ads because not every ad should result in a website click.”

Mathias, great points that you’re making. I’m getting more and more comfortable with this idea that LinkedIn can provide a cohesive experience for a prospect, and I don’t have to craft that a hundred percent by keeping them on the website and designing the experience there.

So for everyone who shared, thank you so much. As for the things that I wish I had known, you’ve all shared such incredible advice, and I really want to echo it.

Especially those talking about your bidding and budgeting and frequency. In addition to what’s already been said, I wish I had data analysis skills in Excel when I first started. I gained them over time, and Excel has really been crucial to my ability to not only see the data, but to actually understand it. I also really wish that I had advanced resources, or heck, any resources when I first started learning LinkedIn Ads. Now, we’re really blessed. There are lots of great advertisers sharing good advice. And I’m thrilled to be able to shout out many of you today. So my advice, learn from your community. No matter how many tests I run, I learn so much faster when everyone else is sharing their test results too. And if I can put in a little plug, I’m inspired by the sharing that I see in the LinkedIn Ads fanatics community. If that rapid learning is something you’d like to be a part of, I’d love to invite you to come participate at Being a part of the community also gets you access to all four of our courses that take you from LinkedIn Ads beginner to expert.

Now, if this is your first time listening, welcome, we’re excited to have you here. Make sure to hit the subscribe button so you can hear all of this great advanced LinkedIn ads content in your ears every week. But if this is not your first time listening, because you’re a loyal listener, well, welcome to you as well. We’re excited to always have you here, but make sure you go and review the podcast on Apple Podcasts. It’s by far the best way that you can say thank you for all the hard work that it takes to put these episodes together week after week. With any questions, suggestions, or corrections for us at the podcast, reach out at B2Linked. com, or you can message me on LinkedIn. I’m just a little slower to respond there, but my DMS are free and open. With that being said, we’ll see you back here next week. As always, I’m cheering you on in your LinkedIn Ads initiatives.