Show Resources

Here were the resources we covered in the episode:

Video Example of Green Headlines, reported by Mark Gustafson

Georgiana Dumitru’s Case Study

NEW LinkedIn Learning course about LinkedIn Ads by AJ Wilcox

Contact us at with ideas for what you’d like AJ to cover.


Show Transcript

You love LinkedIn Ads hacks, I love LinkedIn Ads hacks. Heck, everyone loves LinkedIn Ads hacks. Buckle up.

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

Hey there LinkedIn Ads fanatics. So I posted out on LinkedIn asking for other advanced advertisers’ favorite LinkedIn Ads hacks or strategies. And there were some really good ones. The post had over 20,000 views, and 149 comments last I checked. So for this episode, I’m going to be sharing the community’s top strategies. And don’t worry, I removed all the bad advice before recording the episode. In the news, we got something really cool that I’ve been excited about for a long time, we can now rename the default campaign group in an account. And we can pause it. So no promises here, it’s rolled out to all of my accounts. But I did talk to a couple people who haven’t seen it yet. So it may not be fully rolled out. This is so great because before this happened, we had this entity in there called default campaign group that we couldn’t do anything with. It sat there and if we decided not to use it, it still took up space. So now we can pause it, we can rename it, and life is good. I also had a good friend reach out Mark Gustafson, who’s the CEO of 900Kings, an agency that focuses just on paid social. You may remember I consulted with him for the Google Ads and the Facebook Ads episodes early on. He brought a really cool feature to my attention, he sent me a video of it, I’ll link the video down below. And what we can see is on mobile, as you scroll down past an ad, the headline itself turns from the cream color that it starts out as to a light green. And this is really cool because it’s going to bring more attention to ads. And it’s not something that I would call very in your face, or gross or anything like that. I think this is a really good change. So it has rolled out to Mark’s profile, but I don’t have it yet. So I’m going to keep watching. And this could just be a test. Who knows LinkedIn might not be rolling this out forever. But boy, I liked it. And I hope it does roll out, I’d be really interested to see what sort of a difference it makes. I also want to apologize to all of you loyal listeners of the show for having so few episodes this year. In full transparency. I just went through a divorce, and it reduced me to a crumpled pile of human for more months than I’d like to admit. The good news is though, I’m back on the upswing, and I want to thank all of you sincerely who reached out to check on and see if everything was okay. I do have a whole slew of episode topics already planned. And my intent is to go back to getting out a weekly episode. So if I don’t hit it here, in just the next few episodes, just know that that’s the plan moving forward. That’s what I want to start getting back to. There are a couple reviews I’d like to highlight. The first is from Phil Ilic, who’s from Great Britain. He said, “This podcast is so valuable. There’s so much wisdom in every single episode. Literally I cannot thank AJ enough for everything he has shared so generously with the LinkedIn Ads community. It has been a massive help.” And Phil, thank you. I’ve enjoyed seeing your comments on the posts I put out and interaction with the podcast episodes. So thank you, that means the world to me. The next is from Steve SeeBerg here from the US. His review says, “Conversions through the roof. Based on AJ’s insightful advice and his talented staffs AB testing suggestions. We’ve experienced conversion rates four to five times LinkedIn’s benchmark. If you’re interviewing LinkedIn Ad agencies, stop, I’ve tried a few and none can match B2Linked, actionable insights and bottom line results. AJ, you’re the best.” Steve, thank you so much for that unsolicited review. I’m so grateful for it. Awesome getting to work with you and your team. And I’m excited to get to keep working together to keep killing. Steve runs a mar tech company called NGAGGE and I’m going to spell it, it’s n g a g g e, definitely check that out. It’s a cool product and one that he’s going to be keeping free to us marketers forever. If you’re listening to this and you’ve gotten value out of the podcast, please please, please leave a review on whichever podcast player or portal that you use. I would love to feature you here. Okay, with that being said, in no particular order. Here is the community’s favorite hacks and strategies. Let’s hit it.

Blake Prichard is a customer success manager at Through. And he said I’m not into marketing at the moment. But when I managed LinkedIn Ads, my favorite targeting method was building an audience by specific skills. You can get very targeted. For example, if you want to promote a webinar to people who are skilled in a specific web app, you can do that with the skills audience. And of course, you can select the level of seniority and experience level on top of that. Blake, I love what you shared. Because we found the same thing. A lot of times someone will have experience with a certain type of software or a certain area of business, that it’s not important enough to make it to their their job title proper, but it is worth them adding to their skills. And in fact, on top of this, we found lots of times they’ll go and join groups around that topic as well. So targeting people by both skill and group is awesome. Kristine Sergejeva, who is a friend and super loyal listener of the show, she runs SmartB2B. She said, my favorite LinkedIn Ads hack is to do the proper homework, the initial assessment, for each company. We find out if it’s suitable for LinkedIn Ads, and what the unique opportunity is on LinkedIn among its competitors. Does the company have proper offers, and if not, which offers should they create, what can be done with possible target segments, etc. And for every offer, what types of campaigns would work best to which segments and which ads. I invest most of my time and efforts in the initial assessment phase, and then the implementation is very clear, easy, and bringing excellent results. I really like this because when you’re spending money on LinkedIn Ads, it’s inherently high risk because the costs are higher than other ad channels. So any research you can do ahead of time to find out what’s going to be good, accepted by this audience, what’s going to excite them, it’s all going to be very useful.

And then Yoel Israel, who’s another LinkedIn Ads fanatic, he’s based out of Israel, probably here in the next, I’d say six months, we’re gonna have an episode where we interview him, he shared an account based marketing strategy. He said, account based targeting of accounts sales is trying to close. We make blogs that address the objections in the sales process, and we don’t gate them. Click through rates are super high and this really helps the sales team close those super low funnel deals. We then sync this ABM list with HubSpot to make sure it’s always up to date. I love account based marketing. Yoel, thanks so much for sharing such a cool tip.

Colton Taylor, who’s actually in my same state, he’s here in Utah. He’s the Sr. Demand / Digital Marketing Manager at MX. He said targeting is everything. Audience segmentation and sophisticated build out takes time. But the foundation for effective hyper growth scaling, for example, 200%, year over year budget increase, but is the foundation for effective hyper growth scaling. He follows this up by saying, “And always keep learning. The beauty of marketing is that it’s ever evolving. And mastery is a journey.” On the sophisticated account build out. I love this because when we build a really complex build out, we’re essentially building a ton of small AB tests between audiences. And once we’ve been running ads for a while, we can then look back at all of those different segments. And it’s going to teach us something. It’s going to teach us which audience segments are going to be successful and which ones aren’t. Who likes what, who responds to what? So Colton, absolutely, I love that comment. And then the bit about always keeping learning. That’s my favorite part about digital marketing in general, is we can’t ever sit back and rest on our laurels because it’s always going to be changing. And those who try to sit back and not learn. They get found out pretty quick. Always keep testing. Always keep learning.

Next is Lucy Kikuchi. She’s a podcast host as well. And her advice was, “Listen to AJ Wilcox. That is my go to strategy. Assume nothing. Test everything. Test, optimize, test, optimize and give things time. Nothing happens overnight. There are no quick wins, and no one owes you that.” Lucy, I laughed when I read that. Thanks for recommending people listen to this podcast, obviously. But I definitely agree with you. We need to approach LinkedIn Ads, like everything as a test. I know a lot about the platform, I have a lot of experience with it. And even still, I have tests that absolutely fail. If you approach it scientifically, it’s going to be a lot better in the long run than just assuming that you can turn something on and it should be successful from day one.

And sorry for slaughtering this name, but Vojtech Toulec from CDN77. His recommendation is, “Use Sales Navigator or recruiter to find the real profiles matching the ad targeting criteria and then optimize the targeting to cut off the non relevant audiences.” I love this go and find examples of who the people are who your targeting would hit. You can do this with Sales Navigator. If you see profiles coming up that you’re not happy with, you wouldn’t want them to be in your target audience. You can then use exclusions. I love it.

Cody Lee, who’s a VP and growth marketing and digital advisor, he said, “Favorite quick one, call out your target audience in your copy, just like he did so well in this post.” When I put out the post, I said, attention LinkedIn advertisers, I’ve definitely tested ads that do call out the audience to get their attention, and they really can be some quick wins. He also gave four other recommendations here and I’m going to run through all four of them because all four of them were great. He said, focus on adding value to your target audience with qualified content. Frame it more like news or a resource than an ad. Number two bidding, adjust your manual bid up or down depending on your click through rate. Better click through rate than benchmark, lower your bid. Targeting, upload target account lists. Make sure to use exclusions to not waste spend. And the fourth funnel, have a strategy throughout your prospects awareness journey from unaware to problem aware to solution aware to brand aware into pipeline. Remarket LinkedIn audiences on less expensive channels.” Thanks, Cody. All good all the way through.

Next, Maninder Paul, who again, is a great listener of the show, super active on LinkedIn. She’s a paid social specialist at Bloom Mentor. She said, “Always test a single image ad. Keep creative, simple.” I love this because we find so much of the time when we try to get complex, it slows us down and makes it so we can’t test as much. So if you approach it with the very simplest test possible, you can at least get something out and start running data and find out what’s going to work. She also recommends using a perspective company list, an ABM list, she said it’s been successful for her clients, I will back that up.

Zoltán Kozma, who if you remember right from Episode 44, he was actually one of the winners of the perfect ad performance contest. He’s a digital marketer at CBRE Hungary. He said, “It’s hard to choose, I love to use daily spend data to make sure I don’t pay too much, while also staying competitive in the auction.” What he’s talking about is, if you look at your budget column, LinkedIn will show you a percentage of over the last however many days they calculate how much of the budget you’ve spent on a daily basis. So he likes to have that at least 80% of your daily budget. And this makes a lot of sense. If you go significantly under that, you’ve got to bid higher to spend more with that audience. And if you go too much above that, you’re at risk of basically bidding too much and blowing your budget for the day on those days when you actually do spend the whole budget. He also says, “For further fine tuning. I like applying the learnings from the campaign demographics to find the best engaging audiences, these often helped to push cost per lead down.” And then he adds, “Another great one is the engagement objective hack to trick the algorithm that I learned from you, AJ”. And this one, if you’ve caught it before, what we find is because the floor price for engagement objective ads, because it’s 35% cheaper, you can find when you’re running ads, where less than 35% of the interactions come from social, then you can switch from website visits to the engagement objective and essentially save some cash. Here’s a quick sponsor break.

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Ben Evans, who’s the President at Auditec Solutions, he said, “Hi, AJ, this is more of a relationship building strategy. But what I find when I first make a new connection with a new contact, I send them a personalized video message through the mobile app introducing myself.” I know this isn’t specifically ads related. But Ben, you’re absolutely right. The more something feels personal to us, like someone went out of their way to make us feel special. The more indebted we’re going to feel to them. Whether you’re doing organic or ads. This is a great way to help make that relationship strong.

And then Vishnu Prashanth, he’s a performance marketer. He says, “Spy on the job listings posted by your target account lists and find out the right job title that matches with your products pain point and use them in targeting.” Yeah, if they’re trying to hire for it, chances are there is a pain point that they’re looking to solve. That’s pretty cool.

And David Planchot, Growth Marketing atiAdvize, he said, “Using smart links on your LinkedIn ads.” For those of you who don’t know what smart links are, when you’re using Sales Navigator, the upgraded license on LinkedIn, which I just barely started using the other day,it’s fun. You can create one link that has a whole bunch of different calls to action or different resources there. And then when someone downloads or accesses something, you get the data from them opting in. And it’s a cool way to have conversion tracking without nearly as much friction as you’d have in specifically having them fill out a form. He even included a really cool screenshot of a workflow, where he shows how he automates the smart links and gets them into HubSpot. Pretty dang cool.

Georgiana Dumitru. She’s in B2B demand generation. And she said, “As I see it with LinkedIn ads, it’s crucial to first win the view, the attention, and then worry about the click. The battle on the feet is fierce, and we must get noticed first, so I put all my money on crafting highly effective ads, making the best ad copy and image. At some point I started to use the journalistic approach. Have my ad copy answer the what, where, when, and why questions that make the ad sound like news rather than a salesy message. And it worked.” She even links to a case study she created about writing better ad copy.

And Michael Bennington, who’s a marketing specialist at Edelstein & Company, he says, “Creating a bid by click that is the minimum instead of what they recommend. Learned it from you during your 2020 inbound presentation.” Michael, thanks for pointing that one out. It’s amazing to me how many people look at the ranges that LinkedIn recommends for a manual CPC bid and they just take whatever the recommendation is that LinkedIn provides. Those recommendations might be accurate if you’re spending six figures a month or more. But for accounts with lower budgets, absolutely, you can start by bidding a heck of a lot less.

Raphael Yarish, who’s the co founder of which spoiler alert, I think we’re probably going to have an episode specifically mentioning this one coming up. But he said, “Here are my three favorite insights. Number one, using user generated content instead of stock images to stand out from the feed and get higher click through rates. Include text on the image or video, a free placement for copy that really pops. And finally, use day parting having specific times when you should run your LinkedIn Ads for optimal performance.” Raphael, I think those are totally spot on.

The next is Ricardo Ghekiereand I’ve been on his podcast before. He’s the head of paid social at Upthrust. He said, “sking for the LinkedIn URL in your lead gen form, instead of bombarding people with questions, then scrape the API, and then scrape the profiles to get all the information that you would have asked for, then upload into a CRM, and then automate a relevant connection request from your sales department based on the call to action that you provided, and then have a message based follow up.” Now, Ricardo, I think this is great. I love the system. I can’t recommend scraping LinkedIn because as a partner, I probably wouldn’t be in very good standing if I did. But I love the line of thinking here.

Lee Gannon, who is the head of paid social at Receptional, he said, “With a primary strategy of lead gen forms, I like running some follow up retargeting based on the form engagement.” He also recommends running text ads as a complimentary ad format, alongside the sponsored content, especially for targeting account lists for cheap brand awareness. He said, “Learned that from the master AJ Wilcox”. Well, I’m glad you picked it up with what I shared it. I think it’s fantastic.

Claire Williams who is apaid social strategist, a woman that I’ve gotten the chance to, to train on LinkedIn Ads. She’s amazing. She says, “Manual bidding. Not sure that that’s a hack, really, but it’s super important.” And I totally agree with that. As soon as LinkedIn started making auto bidding, the default I got to watch LinkedIn’s average CPC is just climb and climb and climb. It was probably like 30 to 50% increases in costs per click. Just because LinkedIn rolled that out. I’m sure they’re patting themselves on the back getting lots and lots more money. But the fact of the matter is for advertisers, the vast majority of them are probably paying way too much for clicks. So I agree. Manual bidding is a great way to go.

This one’s pretty self serving, but Andrew Tull, who’s a great marketer here in the US, he said, “My key resources letting AJ Wilcox guide me, lol. Oh, in the day parting and automation magic provided by” Thanks, Andrew. I appreciate it. Your checks in the mail.

Next, Ryan Gervais is a Demand Generation & Paid Media Strategist at Deloitte. He said, “Strategic usage of account exclusion lists. For example, competitors, vertical based, pipeline, etc.” I love using exclusions. Thanks, Ryan.

Theresa Sturm is a digital consultant at Via Digital. She says, “Working on badass creative and copy. A good click through rate is key to high quality score.” I totally agree Teresa. We tend to bag on marketers who care too much about click through rates. But the fact of the matter is, getting a good click through rate really is key to getting high performance. They have to go hand in hand,

Matthew Sciannella, he has a great recommendation here about targeting audiences that don’t always fit in neat, firmographic target. So he says, “I try to go and find LinkedIn groups for these niche industries. And I target them as a seed audience. And then I look in LinkedIn’s demographic data, to look at their industries, function, job titles, etc.” And he also actually looks at some specific members profiles to look at their skills and that gives them more data to create skills targeting. Love it Matthew.

Simon L. who’s a Director of Marketing at Acodis. He says, “Build your target group, and then focus on frequent contributors as they are much more likely to interact.” Ah, I thought this was super cool. If you look in the additional targeting traits, you’ll see that there is a way to layer on frequent contributors. If you target them, they are much more likely to be active on LinkedIn. And I would imagine that means that they’re going to click at a higher rate. Simon, I’m going to go test that.

Alexandra Wittmaier from GBTEC, she said, “Use an optional checkbox in the lead gen form for subscribing to the newsletter. Yeah, if you’re going to get people signing up for an asset, you might as well get them into the newsletter as well and have it be compliant.”

Alright, let’s jump into the rest of the recommendations. Kris Selway says, “Running 55 second video ads on cost per view, building up a low cost remarketing list, and targeting all those that viewed the video for at least 25% of the duration with a more commercially focused ad.” I love it, Chris, anything we can do with warming up cold audiences and running them through a funnel is awesome by me.

Michael Ham says, “Using work email address as a custom field in your lead gen forms rather than just the default email address. So people type their work emails, surprisingly, most people do.” Great advice, Michael. We know that in working with a lot of sales teams, they really prefer having a work email address. And of course, it’s hard with the lead gen forms because you can’t force someone to put in something that isn’t like a gmail, but when you specify it, you will get more people doingit.

Márcio Miranda gives three different strategies. The first is put UTM parameters on your URL, and then retarget on your other social media networks based off of the parameters in the URL. I think this is awesome. I’ve been an advocate of that for a long time. The next thing the companies that interact with my ad, and then go on YouTube and play a TrueView ad in that company channel. This is what I haven’t experienced, I’m not sure how to get the ad interactions on LinkedIn over onto YouTube to get the TrueView ad to trigger. This is one I haven’t fully wrapped my head around. So my understanding here is that Márcio will go and look at the companies who by name who’ve interacted with the ads, and then go and find their YouTube channel and then play a TrueView ad in that company’s channel. It sure sounds interesting. And then finally, on the lead gen form ads put the last URL after the submission with a link to direct scheduling platform like calendly. I think this is super cool. If you’re going to push people right after they’ve converted right to something like a calendly link. Oh, rad.

Diana Leyton recommends targeting based on LinkedIn group membership. If you choose the right ones, I generally find it’s the best ways to find a captive intent based audience.

And then Jordan Lapendry says, “I tried many iterations to test my audience format and content. I’ve seen that most of the time. The classic works well for acquisition and then video ads have good performance on retargeting.”

Thanks again so much for everyone who contributed. This was awesome. So much gold in one LinkedIn thread. I just couldn’t wait to share it. All right, I’ve got the episode resources coming up right away. So stick around.

Thank you for listening to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Hungry for more? AJ Wilcox, take it away.

All right, here’s some cool resources. Like we mentioned earlier, Mark Gustafson submitted a video showing the green highlights on the LinkedIn Ads headline. So down below in the show notes we’ve linked to that video so you can see for yourself. And then we also have a link to Georgiana Dumitru’s post where she has a case study about LinkedIn ad copy. Don’t forget the newly updated LinkedIn Learning course that I have the link down below for that one. I am the author. So I’m a little bit biased. But by far, this is the best LinkedIn Ads course. If you’ve enjoyed the episode today and you want more insights like this, definitely hit subscribe in whatever podcast player you’re listening on right now. Please rate the podcast when you’re in there. And please also do leave a review. I shout out everyone here on the podcast. And then if you have any recommendations, any questions, any feedback for the show, please email us at And with that being said, we’ll see you back here next week. Cheering you on in your LinkedIn Ads initiatives.