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Benchmark Episode

Slide of benchmarks and hurdles

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Show Transcript

One of the most important skills that you can learn as you’re managing LinkedIn Ads campaigns. That’s right. We’re talking about troubleshooting your ad performance. Let’s do it.

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

Hey there LinkedIn Ads fanatics. I’m really excited about the topic today. And I have a special guest that I want to introduce you to. But before that, a quick story about why this topic is so important to me. So back while I was working on my undergrad at Brigham Young University here in Utah, I got a job doing tech support. And it was like second level tech support. So a little bit techier than what I was used to. And I was responsible for internet connections and servers for 30,000 or more locations. I’ve always been really good with computers, but the topic of internet and modems and networks was all new to me at this point. So I went through the training process and I did my best to do what I could which was memorizing the different tactics of ways you can fix things. And you techies will probably appreciate this part. I found that it was pretty common to reboot the router or the modem and that would work to restore their internet connection.

Have you tried turning it off and on again? Hello, IT? Have you tried turning it off and on again?

AJ Wilcox 3:09
I also found that sometimes computers had proxy settings erroneously set up in the browsers. On one of my first calls that I ever had with a customer, unbeknownst to me, my manager was listening to the call, I was super nervous and I was asking the customer to try everything. We were rebooting modems and routers, we were checking proxy settings, we were all over the board. My manager right after the call, he called me into his office, and he taught me a principle that would serve me my entire life. He taught me that throwing every tactic I knew at the problem was super inefficient. And that the much better way to do this would be to systematically test through the system. In the case of computer networking, he taught me that you can either work from the outside to the inside, which would be like checking the internet connection to the building first, and then moving to the router to see if it’s working, and then to each computer. Or you can work from the inside to the outside. So check the computer status first, and then move to the router, then move to the modem. And he taught me that it didn’t matter which direction you started from, but that the most important thing was ruling out the tactics that wouldn’t be useful and helpful to try in our troubleshooting. That skill of systematic testing is something that I took with me into digital marketing and I count it as being one of the most important skills that I could have had and I would recommend that any other marketer can have. Today’s guest is going to teach us how to apply these same troubleshooting and testing strategies to your marketing which will make you an infinitely better advertising professional, especially on LinkedIn where the stakes are just quite honestly higher due to the high costs. Let’s hit it.

Alright everyone, I’m super excited to introduce you to Parker Williams, who’s on our team. He is one of B2Linked’s most senior account managers. He’s built and sold his own company. He grew a startup software company from zero to 1 million in ARR, he’s married with two kids, lives in Mesa, Arizona, and if he’s not working, he’s either mountain biking or riding his dirt bike. Parker, so excited to have you here. Thanks for coming on.

Parker Williams 5:13
Man, it’s a pleasure, AJ. Happy to be here.

AJ Wilcox 5:16
Alright, so maybe give us the backstory here. The topic that we’re talking about today is troubleshooting. Why did you feel like this was such an important topic? And why did you volunteer to hop on to get grilled by me?

Parker Williams 5:27
Yeah, no, that’s a great question. I feel like my career in marketing or as a marketer really pivoted when I started to understand the process of troubleshooting because, you know, I think back to early days, when I got into marketing, marketing my own company when things went wrong, which they always do, I always approached it with a process of like, throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks which to some people that might work, but it didn’t work for me. I would freak out, I get nervous or running advertising campaigns, like, you kind of panic, and you start making decisions that are not good when things don’t go right. And so I feel like once I understood the process of troubleshooting an ad campaign, sales campaign, it was pivotal for my career as a marketer, I started to excel and started to find areas to improve, and I started to see success faster than previously. So I feel like it’s crucial, very crucial.

AJ Wilcox 6:29
I totally agree. I think as a marketer, you really can advance. You can have great positions by just throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks, right? My personal feeling on it is, if you actually understand the process right from beginning to end, you understand what makes a difference where, you’re thinking more strategically as a marketer, and less tactics focused. And I think ultimately, that makes us a much better marketer because you can see the whole picture.

Parker Williams 6:56
Yeah, exactly. It becomes an engineering and science game versus like, a guessing game, you know, you know exactly what to do to improve an ad campaign or not necessarily know what to do, but you know what to focus on next. And because it didn’t work, doesn’t mean it’s not going to work. And so being able to troubleshoot something it’s way better. It’s just so much more, it’s more fun to me when you approach it that way.

AJ Wilcox 7:26
Same here, I’ve said this before, but basically, every time I run a test, doing something with LinkedIn Ads, despite the fact that I’ve got 10 plus years of experience, I feel like I’m really good and comfortable on the platform, I still am going to fail half the time, right? And most of us don’t want to admit that, but everything we do in marketing is a test. So if you’re going to be testing things, but you don’t know what your inputs are, what your levers are, you’re probably going to be running some pretty risky campaigns.

Parker Williams 7:56
Right? I heard an advertiser I think was Frank Kern. He’s like a big time advertiser, marketer. He mentioned one time, like if if marketing worked every time like we’d all be, it would be easy. Everybody would be millionaires, and super rich, and like, we would never have any issues. But this is not the case with marketing. It never works the first time. Sometimes it does, but it rarely does. And like being able to troubleshoot things that don’t work, like that’s a game changer. That’s a huge game changer.

AJ Wilcox 8:30
It is. It takes it from an art where only a few people are skilled and turns it into a science where right anyone can follow a repeatable process. I love that. So maybe share with us a specific experience where you had to troubleshoot and walk us through that process. What you thought about what it took.

Parker Williams 8:47
Yeah, that’s a great question. So you know, initially, when I came on and started helping manage ad accounts at B2Linked, one of the things that was stressful to me was, click through rates. Getting click through rates above our benchmark, which was 0.4%. And I remember I was assigned a client, they’re called Asahi Kasei, they’re a big Japanese company. Our click through rates were a bit low and I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to get him up. AJ actually gave a training on troubleshooting and showed the process of how to fix problems or solve problems in advertising. He presented us levers that you can pull at certain points or certain hurdles that you’re experiencing. And so in this case, my click through rates were low. And I knew from that training that I had certain levers I could pull to improve that click through rate and so one of the things we tested was the headlines and the intro text or they were text ads in this case. And so we started to tailor our ad copy to be more industry specific and we saw a dramatic increase in our our click through rates. I think we went from like, they were text ads, so they were less than .04 percent. We were like .01, .02 percent like really low, but our average click through rates went up above .04 percent, which was a game winner for their ads.

AJ Wilcox 10:10
And for the uninitiated, that is basically it’s almost two times the average for text ads. So we took something that was performing below benchmark, and then doubled LinkedIn to benchmark with it. That’s pretty awesome. Right? So this might sound a little bit silly, but why did you decide based on knowing that the click through rates were having an issue? Why didn’t you go and make changes to the landing page or recommend a different offer? Or, you know, why did you go right for the headline in the description?

Parker Williams 10:38
Yeah, so I think that goes to kind of the process of, you know, troubleshooting, what is it? And how do you prioritize what things you need to fix? And so, you know, I chose click through rate initially, because that was our first hurdle. And then I had listed from that training, different levers we could pull to improve it, or improve or overcome that hurdle. And I prioritized ad copy because that was the initial contact point. And so I knew that that would be the priority. The landing page, in this case, it was a follower ad. So there wasn’t really a landing page, but if there was a landing page, like it wouldn’t improve that click through rate, it wouldn’t impact it. So I chose the headline, because that’s what people are engaging with, or the audience was engaging with. I knew it would impact it more than changing the audience. I guess that was another lever, like before changing the audience, which is a lot of work. We could test something minor and quick. So that was a big reason.

AJ Wilcox 11:44
Yeah. So it sounds like a silly question. But those are the kinds of things you might do as a marketer, if you didn’t know what levers you could pull to get better performance, you might just say, Oh, I I know how to make landing pages convert better. I have a poor click through rate here, but let me go and work on the landing page and try to get better performance, when that’s really not your pain. Can you walk us through? What are the hurdles that we face as advertisers? And maybe what are the levers that you can pull if we’re stumbling over one of those hurdles?

Parker Williams 12:14
Yeah, absolutely. Back to the point of which hurdles we pull on advertising, there’s two main ones, which is click through rate and conversion rates. There’s levers for each one. And a lot of times, they’re very similar levers, like ad copy, or messaging, or audience or your call to action. Those are some examples of levers you can pull. The click through rate, we can discuss what those levers are and then we can discuss what the conversion rate levers are next. So the first levers I usually look at when it comes to click through rate is ad copy. So your intro text, your headline, or your image text, right, your image ad copy. The next thing I’ll look at or consider is the image, you know, is the image engaging. Is it interesting? Does it look too ad-ish? Does it capture people’s attention? So that’s the next thing I’ll usually test. The other library you have is that you can pull is the offer, the actual offer that you’re advertising. So if you’re advertising an E-book or a white paper, what exactly is that offer? Is it enticing enough to get your individual, your audience to engage with you? I don’t usually go to that offer, or I don’t go to that level until I’ve tested everything because to change an offer, that’s a lot of work. So before changing the offer, I’ll even test the audience. Maybe our audiences just slightly off, maybe we’re not targeted enough. Or maybe we’re too broad. So those are the levers I typically pull when it comes to click through rates. Conversion rates, they’re going to be similar.

AJ Wilcox 13:50
Actually, let’s stop right there. What is the punishment you receive as an advertiser if your click through rates aren’t great?

Parker Williams 13:57
Yeah, that’s a great question. To answer that question, it can be pretty in depth or it can be pretty simple. If your click through rate is low, let’s say 0%. You’re not getting any clicks. Right? That’s the first terrible thing that can happen. But if you are getting clicks, let’s say you’re getting .2% click through rate. And from that same ad, targeting that same audience if you double that, so let’s say .2 and a half percent if you double that, it’s 5.5% click through rate, you just doubled your clicks from the same amount of impressions. And so your efficiency just doubled with that one ad. We can go into depth on that, but it’s it’s pretty simple at the same time, like poor click through rate like your gate to the ad performance is not opened all the way. It’s like not performing at all.

AJ Wilcox 15:00
And then I think if you are bidding by the impression, let’s say you are using LinkedIn to auto bidding, literally, you just reach twice the number of people for the same cost. I mean, literally, when you say you doubled efficiency, it’s true. But if you are bidding by the click, you’re basically like trying to bribe LinkedIn to get them to show your ads. If you have a .2% click through rate. It’s like, alright, LinkedIn then I’ll try bidding $15, will you show me then? What if I bid $20. And on the other hand, if you’ve doubled that, and now you’re at like the .5%, you can bid down significantly, you’re paying so much less for the traffic. And of course, it matters in your scale, and it matters in your ads efficiency. So I think that’s a really good example.

Parker Williams 15:45
It’s also kind of like a faucet, like everyone uses a faucet everyday when they brush their teeth, right? If you turn on your faucet, just a tiny bit, and you had drips coming out, that’s kind of like a 0.1% click through rate, and you got to wash off your toothbrush, like you can’t do that with drips. And so if you increase that click through rate, and you open your faucet more, you’re gonna get more clicks, and it’s going to achieve your goal faster, you’re gonna be able to test faster, you’re going to be able to prove your offer faster, you’re going to be able to, you’re gonna have way more data to work with. So I always think of faucets when I think of click through rate, like, that’s your faucet to your funnel. So if your click through rates are low, like, you’re not gonna have any data for conversions, which is the next hurdle.

AJ Wilcox 16:27
Oh, so true. And I love that metaphor, because I can imagine, if you’re trying to wash your toothbrush out with drips, think of how many toothbrushes you can wash when the faucets going full blast, I mean, several can be under there, that could be a whole bunch of different tests around. That leaves us really, really nicely to the second hurdle. So tell us about the second hurdle and tell us why it’s important. And maybe what levers you’d be trying to pull to, to effect a change there.

Parker Williams 16:53
Yeah, absolutely. So that the next hurdle is conversion rates. This can change quite a bit depending on where you’re sending traffic to. I know there’s a lot of native forums on LinkedIn now, even other platforms as well. If you’re running traffic to like a lead form, the levers are going to be a little different. If you’re running traffic to a landing page, the levers are going to be a little little different, but it’s the same hurdle. And so let’s just use the example of running traffic to a landing page. The levers you’re going to pull there are going to be similar to click through rates. The first thing I like to check or prioritize is my ad copy on the landing page. Now, what is the messaging? Is it congruent with the ad, for example, if you’re running an ad campaign for like the ultimate guide to LinkedIn advertising, and that’s in your ad, and they come to a landing page, that’s like the ultimate guide to Google advertising? What do you think’s going to happen to that conversion rate, it’s going to not be that great, because people that clicked on the ad came the landing page with the expectation to be served the Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn advertising. So messaging needs to be congruent with your ads to see good conversion rates. So that’s usually what I like to test first, is the messaging on the landing page. The other lever that I moved to next is traffic, is the traffic clean that we’re sending to the landing page. Is it the right audience, that’s an easy lever to pull, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to pull that. So the other lever is going to be your offer? Is your offer back to the ad campaign? Is it something that’s irresistible to your audience? Are they going to be stupid for not saying yes to this offer, basically. So those are the typical levers we pull, you know, there are little tactical things, but I don’t think those last they work and change all the time. But really, it’s your offer, message, and audience that you need to focus on.

AJ Wilcox 18:48
And what I want everyone to get out of this, if you’ve listened to me for any amount of time, you’ve heard me say that the offer is everything. Notice how when Parker was talking, the offer was actually a piece of the troubleshooting and the performance for both improving the click through rate and improving the conversion rate. Literally, it feels like you’re pulling teeth, trying to get traffic on LinkedIn, your performance really sucks. Take a hard look at your offer. Because more often than not, when you’ve tested everything, and you just can’t figure out like why are my ads not working? It’s because the offer isn’t attractive enough. Think of it from the perspective of your prospect. If they look at it, just like Parker said, is it irresistible? They would be stupid not to put their their information in to get this or is it something super high friction, like sign up for a trial or hop on the phone with a sales rep where it’s scaring them away active,

Parker Williams 19:43
Your audience temperature can play a big part in that too. And that’s that goes to the to what you said earlier, like maybe the offer isn’t positioned at the right time for that audience. So if you’re targeting, like a LinkedIn Ad campaign we’ll use that as an example. If you’re targeting cold audience like, let’s say your offers a free trial 30 day trial, no one knows likes or trust you, you’re probably gonna have low conversion rates with with something like that. But if this audience has engaged with your content, they’ve raised their hand to other pieces of content that’s created demand for your product or service. retargeting those people or putting uploading a list of those people and targeting them with a 30 day trial, you probably see higher conversion rates than you would with a cold audience.

AJ Wilcox 20:35
Oh, very true. That know, like, and trust factor is ultra important. And if someone already knows likes and trusts you, they’ll be open to a really high friction offer. But I think you have to earn that trust, you have to earn that like and so much of what we do, I think in terms of cold traffic, because so much of what we do on LinkedIn is reaching new audiences we haven’t reached before. That’s really really insightful. Here’s a quick sponsor break, and then we’ll dive into the rest of the interview,

Speaker 4 21:02
the LinkedIn Ads Show is proudly brought to you by, the LinkedIn Ads experts.

AJ Wilcox 21:12
If the performance of your LinkedIn Ads is important to you B2Linked is the agency you’ll want to work with. We spent over $140 million on LinkedIn ads, and no one outperforms us on getting you the lowest cost per lead and the maximum scale of your campaigns. We’re official LinkedIn partners, and you’ll only deal with LinkedIn Ads experts from day one, fill out the contact form on any page of to chat about your campaigns. We’d absolutely love to work with you.

All right, let’s jump right back into the interview with Parker.

So Parker, walk us through when you’re inside of a LinkedIn account, you’re inside of campaign manager, and you’re looking to analyze some of these things, and decide what to test what to troubleshoot. Where are you looking? What are you doing? Teach us so that we can follow along?

Parker Williams 21:57
Yeah, absolutely. I’ll tell a story about this. So one of my responsibilities and B2Linked is consulting or helping. You can purchase consulting time with a director. And so I’ve had the opportunity to do that and one of the first things I do when someone asked me to take a look at their account is I pull up the campaign, or I go into the ad campaign group that we’re running ads in, that we’re wanting to focus on and improve. And I make sure that my timeframe is set to either 30 days or 90 days, I want as much data as I can initially to analyze the performance of the campaigns we’re focusing on. And then depending on what offer, how you have your campaigns set up, I’ll make sure that those campaigns are selected. And then the first thing I’m looking at is my click through rate. So back to troubleshooting, I’m going to I’m going to be in the campaign level, looking at all the campaigns. And looking at the average of the click through rate. Let’s say it’s one specific campaign, though, that we’re wanting to look at, I’ll make sure that I select that one campaign, so it pops it up in the the header bar, the campaign manager view. And that’s usually where I go initially. And then, depending on your objective, if you’re trying to get leads, if you’re trying to get downloads, if you’re trying to get followers, then I’ll look at that conversion rate. And sometimes you’ll have to export that data to be able to analyze that, depending on that objective. So that’s kind of where I go initially. If I want to get into more information and a deeper dive, I’ll export it to an Excel sheet, and then I’ll run like pivot tables, and I’ll do a little bit more digging so I can analyze the ad copy, the ad imagery, maybe the offers, if you’ve ran multiple offers.

AJ Wilcox 23:52
I really, really liked what you said, I follow the same process, I will export from LinkedIn, and I will export specifically the ad data. But when I get it into Excel, I build my pivot table by campaign name. And that way I can look down the list and see, like you said, any campaign that sticks out as being a really poor performer, that’s really what troubleshooting is looking for the poor performers right, then once I found a campaign, I’ll break that campaign down to see the ads that make that up. And really often I’ll find that there might be two ads or maybe four ads that have run inside that campaign. And one of them is actually doing really well but the other one or the other three are the actual poor performers. And so one quick thing we can do is just pause the poor performers and turn the best one backup or or back on if it were off.

Parker Williams 24:46
After listening to you talk about that. I think there’s a few key ingredients to troubleshooting that we need to discuss which would one of the first ones would be benchmarks, knowing your benchmarks and what to compare to troubleshooting is pretty useless if you don’t have any benchmarks.

AJ Wilcox 25:04
Great point, for those of you listening, Episode 15 of the podcast, and we’ll link to it down below in the show notes. Episode 15 is all about benchmarks. And if you go and listen to that, you can compare your own performance against benchmarks to see where we are. Okay, keep going.

Parker Williams 25:20
Yeah, so I feel like benchmarks are a key ingredient. And then we’ve talked about this already identifying being very specific on your hurdle, that’s one of the other ingredients is knowing your hurdles. And the other key ingredients is, are the levers which we’ve discussed. So I just wanted to hit on making sure that you know your benchmarks, and you know your hurdles, and you know, your levers you can pull. And you’ve identified them, and you’ve listed them. I’ve got a noted document in my computer, I used to have it on a piece of paper, but I refer to it all the time. What are my hurdles? What are my benchmarks? And what’s cool about this process is, it doesn’t only work for LinkedIn Ads, but this also works for everything else you do in business, and even sometimes in life, which not to get off of the topic of LinkedIn Ads. But I’ve found myself with clients, I’ve had situations where I’ve, we’ve had great performing campaigns, like our front end is working really well, we’re producing really good leads, we’re producing really good click through rates. And it gets to the sales team. And they’re coming back to us and saying, hey, we’re not converting any of these. Well, before we point fingers at advertising and saying, hey, advertising is not working, because we’re leads aren’t converting. What’s that next hurdle? And sometimes I can advise the sales team on what are the hurdles, what’s the next thing that you’re sending them? Is it an email or calling them like? I’m able to help them identify their next hurdle that they’re dealing with. So if you’re a marketer have a small team or a big team, being able to provide advice or direction for the sales team is also beneficial, and build your value that you add to the company, not just in advertising.

AJ Wilcox 27:11
So true, you could be the very best LinkedIn Ads professional on the planet, and still totally fail if sales doesn’t know how to how to handle your leads. Or if you don’t have a good enough offer to advertise. I’ve said before, but you can only put so much lipstick on a pig and it’s not getting any prettier. Right? I thought it’d be interesting to interject here. For those looking to troubleshoot the conversion rate hurdle. If you are running lead generation form campaigns, then what I like to do is, you will have a lead form open rate that’s can be interesting. But more often than not, I’m just taking the number of leads and dividing it by the number of clicks to get a conversion rate. And that’s really simple, but when you’re running like a website visits campaign, for instance, or an engagement campaign, and you’re running the conversion tracking on the website, LinkedIn’s metrics won’t tell you the whole picture though. They will seek to tell more of a picture than what it deserves. If you just look at the conversions column, it will show you a number of conversions. But if you go into your like leads and conversions view of campaign manager, you’ll see that that number is actually made up of two different metrics. One is last click conversions, and one is view through conversions. And if you ask me, it’s not right for LinkedIn to claim the view through conversions. Those are basically conversions that occurred from a different marketing channel of yours that LinkedIn knows that that member saw at least one of your ads in the last, you know, 30 days or seven days, whatever you set your window to. So anytime I’m doing this analysis, I don’t use LinkedIn’s conversions column, I specifically pull the column that is last click conversions. Those will tell you the ones the conversions that actually came because of clicking one of your ads.

Parker Williams 29:05
I love it. The data LinkedIn provides is a little skewed sometimes. That’s another key ingredient to troubleshooting is making sure you’re you’re pulling the right clicks. Because LinkedIn, we’ve learned this, LinkedIn says if you look at the original view and campaign manager and you look at clicks, those are all clicks to your landing page. They’re not all clicks to your lead form. Sometimes they’re clicking share, like, or the see more if your text is long. So that’s not actually true click through rate. So making sure, like initially when I look at an account, I just quickly glance at that click through rate. But if I want to really know what the number is, I’m exporting the data into an Excel sheet and looking at it that way.

AJ Wilcox 29:53
I so agree. Knowing the definitions of what each of the metrics mean is really really important. Case in point, if you’re running any of the sponsored messaging ad formats, LinkedIn, in so many different views inside of campaign manager, they will tell you that you have a click through rate that is like 55% or higher. But when you really look at it, you’ll realize, oh, every time that LinkedIn sees the word click there saying an open of that message was a click, I mean, we have to change our definitions, we have to pull that data out and recalculate our own click through rate of the like sponsored message, or message ad clicks, divided by the number of opens, just punctuating your point, we really do need to know the definitions super valuable. Alright, so last question for you. What advice would you have to give to a marketer who wanted to get better at troubleshooting and testing?

Parker Williams 30:49
Yeah, I think I’ve kind of mentioned it already. But just being super clear on your hurdles, and your levers you can pull when it comes to the ad campaign you’re running. Whether it’s on LinkedIn, Google, Facebook, or even your landing page, just being clear on those hurdles. And those levers is a game changer to me. And I feel like, you can go deep with those levers, too. So it’s messaging is broad. Right? Like just saying, hey, are levers in messaging Well, what does that mean? Like? It’s the ad copy. But like, what do you change in the ad copy? Sometimes there’s only so much you can change about an E-book, like at least being clear that, hey, the messaging is what we need to fix. But like, what are the things you could pull off of your tool bag when it comes to messaging? Like, what different types of ad copy like what kind of emotions? Should we use fear? Should we use novelty? Should we use…? What types of influence should we use this messaging to hopefully try and improve click through rate? Should we talk to more of their pain points, or the benefits of the the E book? So when we say lever messaging, like, we actually mean a little bit more than just messaging.

AJ Wilcox 32:04
Yeah, I totally agree with that, I find that in troubleshooting, we’re oftentimes looking for the largest pain point. So if we take a look at an ad, and we go, the imagery isn’t great, but it sure looks like the ad copy is, is really terrible. Let’s take a swipe at that, we may not have to redesign the image yet, we’re going to do something with the message. And let’s say we fix that and click through rate doubles, we might come back and see an image and say, oh, let’s make a change here and maybe we can improve another 10%. And then we’ll find another, like optimization we can make, and maybe we can get an additional 5% performance. And so we’re alleviating the biggest pain that we see from an ad and then making marginally better decisions about how to optimize it. So at first, you’ll make big, big pieces of difference. And then later on down the road, you’ll find that every change you makes a smaller difference. That’s okay. That is the process of optimization.

Parker Williams 33:06
Yeah. And one thing to add to the question you asked about, you know, what do you need to do to be successful at troubleshooting and outside of identifying hurdles and levers, being able to prioritize those hurdles, and then prioritize those levers is very crucial, because to your point, let’s say the click through rate is poor. And that’s the hurdle you’re first focusing on. And you pull the offer lever before you even touch messaging, you just wasted a lot of time and potential resources, like just changing the author may not change the performance of the ad, like it could. The messaging, which is yes, it has a big impact. But it’s a quick, like, advertising is all about being fast. And failing fast. I never understood that before, when people would say that, but I do now, with understanding troubleshooting, like, if you fell fast to advertising, you’re going to be really good at it. And being able to prioritize where you need to fail next, basically is, is kind of the key.

AJ Wilcox 34:09
And every failure teaches us something. That’s why we call it testing and not necessarily failing. Yeah, even if something is an absolute failure, it still taught us something that we never want to do, again, in the future, in that campaign or with that messaging. And that’s valuable. The longer we do it, and the more tests we run, then the better marketers we’re gonna get, it breaks my heart when companies are making these super dramatic changes to ads, and they don’t have a set AB testing strategy, because you can move things around and get better performance, but you didn’t learn anything along the way. And you paid for those learnings, you might as well claim them.

Parker Williams 34:48
Yeah, you just brought up a great point to AJ. In advertising there are variables everywhere. Advertising, marketing, sales, there are variables everywhere and if you want to be good troubleshooting and solving problems, solving hurdles that you deal with along that sales funnel, limiting your variables is huge. I can’t tell you how many times when it comes to consulting or helping a new account that we’re taking over or looking at. They’re running like five different ads, there’s different images, there’s different intros, there’s different headlines, that data is useless. Because we don’t know what actually influenced that specific ad or that campaign. But if we had all the same images, all the same headlines, and a difference was the intro. We’d be able to say, with confidence that the intro is what’s impacting that and we would know where our hurdle really is. Maybe it’s not the image maybe it’s not the headline. Right now we’re focusing on the intro, and that’s what we’re trying to improve. So limiting your variables with the data’s is also another key ingredient.

AJ Wilcox 36:00
So true, it makes the test. Well, Parker, thanks so much for coming on, and teaching us an ultra valuable principle. And being an in full transparency one that I didn’t know I wanted to cover in a podcast episode. And Parker came to me and said, hey, there’s this really important principle, I think it’d be good to have an episode on so Parker, thanks so much for driving that, I really think there’s been a ton of value here. Anything else you’d leave the guests with,

Parker Williams 36:24
I’ll just have fun. doing marketing, have fun. troubleshooting. won’t matter if you’re not having fun, at the end of the day. If you don’t enjoy marketing, like go somewhere else. This is what I’ve learned as a marketer, as sales. Like, if you’re not having fun doing it, then you’re probably not in the right place.

AJ Wilcox 36:42
I agree. If you’re not excited about learning, the results of the last test that you ran, and you’re eager to start another one, you can still do your job, but you’re not going to be fueled by what else can I learn? What else can I do? And it’s my firm belief that marketers who approach it, like you said that they are excited they want to learn and to approach it as a scientist and not necessarily as an artist. I think your career is going to be much greener. Awesome. Well, Parker, thanks so much for joining us. Just for everyone here, I have a couple slides that I share. One is specifically like helping you visualize where the hurdles are. And then another slide that’s all about benchmarks. So make sure if that’s interesting to you, go check those out. I’ve got the episode resources for you coming right up. So stick around.

Speaker 4 37:36
Thank you for listening to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Hungry for more? AJ Wilcox, take it away.

AJ Wilcox 37:47
As promised, here are the episodes resources. We made mention of the benchmarking episode so go back and listen to that. That’s Episode 15. Plus, you’ll find the link down below. I also included the slides, the benchmark slides, and the hurdles slide that we made reference to during the episode. So check the link out for that. These are slides for my actual presentations that I give. These are advanced LinkedIn tactics slides. So definitely check them out if that was interesting to you. And if you are just learning LinkedIn Ads, or you have a colleague or a friend who’s looking to learn, definitely check out the course that I did with LinkedIn Learning, you’ll see the link for it down below in the show notes. But this is everything that you’ll need in order to become a solid starting advertiser. And because it’s on LinkedIn Learning, it’s so so cheap, so definitely check that out. Also, whatever podcast player you’re listening on right now, look down and hit that subscribe button, of course, only if you want to have more of me in your ears. But yeah, hit it. And please do rate and review the podcast. It helps other LinkedIn Ads professionals to find out about the show. And you’d be doing me the biggest favor you can do. With any feedback for the show, hit us up at Let us know any feedback you have for the show or topics you’d love for us to cover. I love to hear from our listeners. All right, with that being said, we’ll see you back here next week. cheering you on in your LinkedIn Ads initiative.