Show Resources

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Episode 02 – Targeting Strategies

Episode 10 – Offers that Convert

Episode 17 – Lead Gen Form Ads

Episode 38 – LinkedIn Insight Tag

LinkedIn Learning course about LinkedIn Ads by AJ Wilcox: LinkedIn Advertising Course

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Show Transcript:

Looking to get started with LinkedIn Ads, but just don’t know where to start? I got you. This is the LinkedIn Ads Show.

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

Hey there, LinkedIn Ads fanatics. Every new ad channel I dive into feels super daunting to me. There’s so much familiar, but there’s so many other things that are proprietary to just that platform. And it brings me so much anxiety. So when I started advertising on LinkedIn back in, like 2011, I did about everything wrong. And I wasted a bunch of time and a bunch of money. And I wanted to give you guys the resource that I wish I had. When we bring on a new client, we give them our eight point checklist that contains everything that we need in order to get started advertising. On this episode, I’m going to walk you through that checklist, along with full explanations of the what and why for each of them. In the news, our high performing ads contest is totally in full swing, you guys and gals have some amazing campaigns and results. So please keep the entries coming. This is incredible. Of course, the link to enter with all the rules is down in the show notes, you can just click that link, but it’s For those of you who don’t know, here’s the contest. From now until December 11, 2020 at midnight Pacific time, you can go on and submit a screenshot of an ad, campaign, or a campaign group even that has really good performance. We’re looking for either really high click through rates, or conversion rates, or a really low cost per click. The winner in each category will receive something amazing. And if you’re a LinkedIn advertiser, I know you’re going to find this to be fascinating, but I just can’t tell you what it is yet. I do promise that it’s going to be something that no other advertiser has, you’ll be totally unique. And you’ll be armed with something that you know your competitors don’t have. So go right now, I know you’re probably on a run, at the gym, in the car, but go right now. Pull over if you need to and go and start checking out your account and see if you have some ridiculously high click through rates, high conversion rates, or low cost per click. Submit now and I hope to have you your gift by Christmas or New Year’s, and I just can’t wait to reveal what you’ll be winning. For our reviews highlight. Lindsey Danielle says, “AJ is a LinkedIn ads wizard. The most informative and actionable digital ads podcast for those looking to advance their expertise, skill set, and test new strategies on the platform. AJ is down to earth, conversational, and truly cares about helping you improve your LinkedIn Ads. He tells you how it is in a digestible fashion. So you leave with truly actionable insights to optimize your campaigns. Highly recommend I wish I had started listening sooner.” Lindsay Danielle, thanks so much for the awesome review and the kind words, I do wish you’d started listening earlier too. But now you’ve got a whole ton of episodes to binge. You’re welcome.

And to everyone else. You! Yes, you. I want to feature you here. So leave a review for the podcast on any podcast reviewer thing that you find. And I would love to give you a shout out. All right. With that being said, let’s hit it.


Now to start a LinkedIn Ads account. The first thing you’re going to need is an account. It sounds pretty obvious here. But you may already have an account out there that you need to get access to. Or you might have to create one from scratch. So here’s how that works. If you already have an account, you’ll just need to get access from someone who’s an admin on the account. And if that person has what are called account manager permissions, they can add you by going to the gear icon in the upper right hand corner of campaign manager. They click on manage access, then edit, then add user to account. Then type in your name, select your level of access, and then hit save changes. And it’s that simple. And now you’ll have access to the account. For this person to grant you access, you don’t need to be connected to that person. And there are five kinds of access that you can give someone. The first is account manager. And this is full administrative access, where you can create, edit pretty much anything in the account. That means campaign groups, campaigns, and ads, along with the added bonus here that you can either add or remove or change rights for anyone else on the account. The next is called campaign manager access. And this person, you’re an editor basically, you can create and edit pretty much everything in the account, except you can’t do anything with the other users on the account, so you can’t add or remove someone or change their rights. The next is called a creative manager. and creative managers can’t edit or change anything to deal with a campaign, but they can create new ads. So this might be what you want to give someone who’s not actively managing the ads, but maybe they’re launching and creating new creative for you. The next is viewer. And a viewer can see everything in the account. They can see the targeting, bidding, the ads, even the performance metrics, but they just can’t make any changes. Even something as simple as hitting pause on a campaign, a viewer can’t do. And the fifth and final level here is basically an account manager, it’s a full admin. But one admin of an account is the billing admin. Here, you have all the same rights as a full account manager, you can edit, change, view, whatever you need to, but you also get the one added privilege of updating or changing the payment details in the account. And usually, that just means the credit card. What’s interesting here with the billing is that if you change the credit card at all in the account, if you add a new one, replace it, or switch who the billing admin is, instantly your campaigns all shut off, and it goes down like there’s no payment. So anytime you make a change like this, be ready for it. And you’ve got to go and pop that new credit card right back in there. So that’s if you already have an account. But what if you don’t have one already? Well, you’ll want to go to This is the easiest way I found to get there, you click on the button that says create ads, and then you follow the prompts to create the account. And then you can follow the instructions we talked about before for granting access to others. You can also access your campaign manager by just going to and look in the upper right hand corner on desktop. Sometimes you’ll see an icon that says advertise. And sometimes you just click on the I think it’s the nine dots button that shows all the stuff to deal with work and advertise may be in there. Once you’ve got your account, and you get to the dashboard. My recommendation is to bookmark that page and stick it right in like your browser toolbar. So it’s easy to access. Because there’s nothing worse than coming in and doing exactly the same three clicks a whole bunch of typing to get there, when you should just be one click away.

Company Page

Alright, the next thing that you need is when you create an ads account, it’ll ask you which company page you can attach your ads to. And this is because sponsored content ads, which is the halo ad format, as I call it, it’s where most people should start, those ads live on the company page. And that means that if you don’t have a company page, you can still advertise, but you’ll only be able to use the text ads and sponsored messaging ad formats. And I believe you might still be able to run dynamic ads, the ones that are called spotlight ads, but definitely not follower ads. Don’t quote me on that, though. But because sponsored content ads are so good. Of course, I’m assuming here that you’ll want to use them. So that means you’ll either need to create a company page or get access from someone if you already have one set up and you just need it. So creating a new company page, the link is down below in the show notes. But it’s And you just go through and answer a few questions. And sure enough, you’ll have a company page. But what if you already have one, but you just need access. So for this one, you do need to be connected to this person on LinkedIn in order to pass access. So make sure you go and connect with that person first, then they’re going to actually navigate to the company page. And the easiest way if you don’t bookmark this is go and search for the company name in LinkedIn. And it’ll pop up as a suggestion. Or if there’s too many like it, then you may need to go ahead and run the search, maybe even select it down to just searching by companies, but then you’ll usually be able to find it. Then this person’s going to click on admin tools, and then manage admins, and then search for your name there underneath the section of designated admins, you just start typing their name, and it should pop right up. If you just recently connected, you might need to refresh this page in order for you to show up. Now I am telling you to get added as a page admin and your boss or client might be uncomfortable granting you a full admin access here, but I’m going to explain why you actually need this. You can still create ads with a lesser right. And that right is called sponsored content posters. But once you create an ad and you make it active, it’s going to go into a review queue. And as soon as it hits the review queue, you can’t do anything to pause, activate, anything like that. Basically, the only thing you can do is pause the campaign it’s in. It’s basically wanting to sit there until LinkedIn approves it. And then you can do something with it. And of course, currently, there’s no notification when an ad actually gets approved. And so you might be sitting there every half hour hitting refresh, trying to catch this thing. A couple times I’ve hit publish on an ad and then went, oh crap, there’s a spelling error in there, and I’ve got to stop it. And if you’re just a sponsored content poster, then you can’t do anything about that that thing is going and it gonna spend some money unless you catch it real fast. There’s a little known trick, though that we use. If you’re an actual page admin, you can actually go in and delete the ad. And when you delete the ad from the company page, it totally pulls the rug out from underneath that ad in campaign manager, it’ll just say ad deleted. And you don’t have to worry about it actually going live. To do this little trick. As a page admin, you’ll go to your company page, and you’ll scroll down to the section called updates. And it’ll say filter by, and it defaults to filter by page updates. But if you click that, you can tell it to do direct sponsored content. And then that will show you all of your ads that are not visible to the company page followers. When you find the offending ad, you can click the three little dots in the upper right, and then just click delete update, and then it’s gone. And you can go and fix your mistake and relaunch. So I get asked all the time about the difference between direct sponsored content, and a sponsor company page post. I think I can illustrate the difference here by telling you a story about when sponsored content very first came out. I was running an account with 600 campaigns. And I’m sure you all know my strategy, we always launch an AB test in every campaign. So it meant I had to launch 1200 sponsored content, one at a time, it was terrible. And I did it in the middle of the night, because what would happen is when you create a sponsored content, at least back then, you were publishing it as an organic page post and sponsoring it at the same time. And so we had a bunch of company page followers, who if they were following us, they might be really annoyed by watching 1200, nearly identical ads come across their screen. So that’s why I did it in the middle of the night. And I just pleaded with LinkedIn, please, please, please let us do the equivalent of what people on Facebook had as dark posts. And this is where you get to create ads that your company page followers don’t get to see. And then within a year, they released direct sponsored content. And I can’t tell you how excited I was for this. I was actually the first person to ever use the direct sponsored content because I was willing to stay late on a Friday night, because I’ve been waiting for this thing for so long. So what they are, they’re sponsored content ads that are hidden from your company page followers, nothing more, nothing less. So don’t overcomplicate what direct sponsored content is just because the name direct sponsored content is way too complicated. Alright, so let’s say that you can’t get rights to your company page. But you still really want to run sponsored content ads? Well, one thing you can do, you don’t even need any sort of access to the company page for this, you can sponsor existing company page content. On Facebook, we call this boosting posts. And as an aside here on Facebook boosting posts is fantastic. What you can do is you can take the ad ID of an organic post that already has some social proof, some likes and comments. And then you can go and create an ad out of it with a unique tracking URL. And it keeps all the social proof. So really, you get the best of both worlds, you have your social proof. Plus, you have the ability to track all the way down to the individual ad level. It’s amazing. On LinkedIn, it’s a little bit tougher though, because when you go to create an ad, it always starts with zero. On LinkedIn, it’s a little bit different and you really have to weigh your pros and cons here. You can create a direct sponsored content post with its own unique tracking URL. And this will allow you to do tracking all the way down to the ad level, which is amazing. But of course, it starts with zero social proof, no likes no comments, it looks brand spanking new. On the other hand, you can go and boost a company page post. And maybe it’s already got some likes and comments from just running organically on the company page. But then you can’t customize the URL. And so once those leads get into your CRM, you actually can’t tell whether that person came from an ad, or from your company page followers or maybe even virally. So you get to make the choice between having a good tracking URL for proper attribution, or having social proof that you know is going to help boost the ad a little bit. Me personally, I go with the tracking URL, proper tracking and attribution is paramount to us showing our value to our clients. And so we give up that social proof. But man, I hope LinkedIn at some point rolls out the same kind of thing that advertisers get on Facebook. And every so often will talk to a client who has a company page, but the person who created it is no longer with the company or they’re not on good terms and they can’t get access. If this is the case for you. You can just go right to LinkedIn support, you let them know, they’ll basically email you on your company email so they can tell that you actually do work there, and then they’ll give you access. Here’s a quick sponsor break and then we’ll dive into the rest of what you need to do in order to get your account off the ground.

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

If the performance of your LinkedIn Ads is important to you than B2Linked is the agency you want to work with. We’ve spent over $130 million on LinkedIn Ads, and no one outperforms us on getting you the lowest cost per lead. We’re official LinkedIn partners and you’ll only deal with a LinkedIn ads expert from day one. Fill out the contact form on any page of, to chat about your campaigns. And we’d love to work with you. All right, jumping right back into the other pieces that you need to actually launch your LinkedIn Ads. And some of these things are going to be optional, but I’m going to dictate to you based on an optimal launch, and recommend that you do all these things.


So once you have an ads account, the first thing that you should do is go and get your LinkedIn insight tag from the account and get it installed on every page of your website. Go back and listen to Episode 38 to go into a lot more detail on this tag, what it does, and what benefit it brings.


Then, as soon as you have this tag on your website, you can go into account assets matched audiences, and then set up a retargeting audience so it’s building. Because even if you’re not going to want to immediately run retargeting, you really are going to want to have an audience when you do want to. One note here, Facebook builds audiences retroactively. So you can install the pixel today and then up to 30 days later, you can go and set up an audience and Facebook will remember who visited the page in the last 30 days and add them to that audience. LinkedIn does not do this. LinkedIn is only going to match audiences once the insight tag is there. And you’ve set up a rule you’ve set up a retargeting audience, so it can start collecting. So get that early, get it now. The next thing is you’re going to want to figure out how you’re going to track your conversions. And there are really three different ways to do this. If you have the insight tag installed, you can set up conversion tracking, so that when someone lands on your thank you page, it will fire a conversion there. And this is by far my favorite way. But if you don’t have a thank you page, and you want to track an event, like a button click, you can still do that, it requires someone with some JavaScript prowess. But when you go to set up a conversion, you can select it as an event conversion. And then follow the instructions to get that affixed to a button or whatever. But if you don’t want to send the traffic to your own website, maybe you don’t have a good landing page for this or maybe your website isn’t great for mobile traffic and you know a lot is going to come from LinkedIn, you can use LinkedIn lead generation forms. And that’s right within the ad itself. When someone interacts with it, a form appears with pretty much everything that LinkedIn knows about them auto filled prefilled. And all they have to do is just hit submit, which is pretty awesome. But of course, you’ll want to make sure you set up an integration with your CRM, or marketing automation platform. So those leads go immediately into a system and you can take action on them quickly. Check out Episode 17, where we go really deep into the use of lead generation forms. But, if your CRM or marketing automation system isn’t HubSpot, Eloqua, Marketo, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, then your lifesaver is going to be the $20 per month plan, because it can handle pretty reliably leads coming from LinkedIn and pushing them into about any system that you’ve got. The next thing you want to do is have a good idea of who your ideal target audience is. Because if you don’t know that, you’re going to be a little bit aimless, as you go through all the targeting options and wonder what to choose. The way I like to do this is I’ll go and pull up like five to 10 LinkedIn profiles for my ideal customers. And maybe I’ll go pull up three to five ideal company pages. And I’m going to look for commonalities like similar titles, or skills, groups. And then on the company page, I’m going to look for similar company sizes or similar industries. And this is going to help me define my targeting. When you actually go to start building this targeting, go back and listen to Episode Two on our B2Linked targeting strategies, as it’s pure gold, if I do say so myself.


And of course, to create an ad, you’ll have to have some imagery, or maybe you’re running video ads, so you’ll need that video asset. If it’s imagery, you want to make sure you’ve got 1200 pixels wide by 627 tall and stay away from the blue colors. If you look at the opposite of blue on the color wheel, it’s orange, so stick to oranges, greens, reds, anything that is going to make your ad stand out. And if you’re running video, make sure you use subtitles because the vast majority of people who see the ad and watch it are going to watch it with the sound off. And please do keep it short. If the ads too long, no one will stick around to the end. It sure doesn’t hurt to have an idea of what you might share in an ad what you might say. And one of the next few episodes that we come out with Here is going to be an episode on how to write the perfect ad. So listen for that for sure, but have in mind something that maybe some points that you want to write. And that’s going to make your job a lot easier when you actually go to stick that image on there that you already have, and write some ad copy.

Your Offer

But now we go on to by far the most important choice that you’ll make in advertising on LinkedIn. And this is your offer, your call to action, what your ads are actually going to ask someone to do. Go back and listen to Episode 10 on offers and calls to action that work on LinkedIn. This is one of our most if not the most downloaded episode. It’s a classic and it hasn’t aged a bit.

GA & Other Analytics/Tech Tags

Then there’s some additional tech that you’re probably going to want to have installed on your site to make the best use of this traffic. So the first is Google Analytics or some kind of analytics package. And analytics package is so nice because it can tell you so much more about your ads, then you can learn by just looking at the initial stats. I would also suggest installing the Facebook custom audiences retargeting tag, the Google remarketing tag. And if you’re feeling really ambitious, check out things like Korra and Twitter for retargeting, they can be quite good as well. I recently heard about Microsoft Clarities product from Mark Gustafson of, so Mark, thanks for the tip. And that one’s really cool. It’s like a Microsoft addition to your Google Analytics. And it’s got some really cool data it shows. And of course, it’s free, so check that one out. And of course, for installing all these tags, you can have your web developer, do them all one by one, or you can install a tag manager like Adobe or Google Tag Manager. And that’ll give you one web interface where you can just paste all of these tags, and then publish them right to the website. I love tag managers.


And one of the most amazing things about LinkedIn ads platform is the lists upload, what they call matched audiences. And this is where you can upload lists of either company names or individuals that you either want to target or exclude. Now, right at the beginning of a campaign, the first thing that you want to do is go and get those lists created and uploaded. Because LinkedIn says they take 24 to 48 hours, but realistically, a lot of them take 48 to 72 hours. So if you want to launch quickly, get those lists uploaded ASAP, so that by the time they’re done finishing baking, then your ads can launch.

Credit Card

If it’s a brand new account, you’ll see a nag bar at the top of every screen that lets you know that your credit card isn’t entered and so you won’t be able to advertise yet. So you’ll first want to go in, just follow the navbar or go into the gear and then billing center and just follow the instructions there. But then in order for your ads to actually go live, you have to have a campaign where you’ve fully activated, that means the credit cards in, you’ve gone through the launch process, it shows you a recap of the of the whole campaign, you approve it. And then it shows a little rocket ship launching. As part of that process, you need to create an ad and you actually submit the ad to go live. And then we found that most ads take an average of three to six hours for approval from LinkedIn. So you may hit launch, but you might not see any stats, it might not actually be running for, you know, three to six hours, maybe even up to 24 hours. And then of course, once your ads are launched, go listen to our other episodes, binge them over a weekend if you need to. But of course all the other episodes, we’re teaching you how to actually set your bids and budgets, how to run AB tests, and how to think about targeting and optimizations. All right, 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.


I mentioned at the beginning of the episode that B2Linked sends out a LinkedIn startup checklist to our clients. We actually put together a pretty PDF of this. And so here in the shownotes, if you scroll down, you can click on and you can download the free checklist there. Also in the show notes, you’ll see the link there for how to create a new company page, along with several of the other episodes that I mentioned here as being ancillary. But I really want to point out the contest here, please go click on the link for the LinkedIn ads contest and submit screenshots of your best performing ads or campaigns. We’ve got some great entries so far, but you can still win. And I’ve got awesome things to share with you. And I just can’t tell you about them yet. But I’m so excited. I’m brimming. And of course, if you are just getting started with LinkedIn ads, go check out the course that I did with LinkedIn learning and the links right there in the show notes. It’s ultra cheap. It’s one of the best courses out there. You just can’t go wrong. And if you’ve liked what you’ve heard today, click on the subscribe button on your podcast player and make sure that you’re hearing all of the new episodes because we’ve got some killer episodes coming up for you and I couldn’t be more excited about it. And if you found value, please do rate and review the podcast. If you leave a review, I’ll totally shout you out here. And then of course, with any ideas or questions, reach out to us at Podcast@ And we’d love to hear from you. We always love feedback from our loyal listeners. All right, with that being said, we’ll see you back here next week. Cheering you on in your LinkedIn Ads initiatives.