Show Resources

Here were the resources we covered in the episode:

How to Analyze Your LinkedIn Ads in Excel

How to Evaluate Your LinkedIn Ads AB Tests in Excel

NEW LinkedIn Learning course about LinkedIn Ads by AJ Wilcox

Youtube Channel

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Show Transcript

Get ready for some killer LinkedIn Ads strategies, because we asked the community for their favorite LinkedIn Ads plays, and you delivered 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! We reached out to you, the LinkedIn Ads community, to ask you about your favorite LinkedIn ads plays. We’re looking for those strategies that you’re using daily to build and optimize for the best performance. In the news, I want to let you know about a couple of YouTube videos that we published. One is a full walkthrough within Excel on how to analyze your individual LinkedIn Ads, how your creative performance is. Another is all about how to evaluate your LinkedIn Ads AB tests within Excel. If you’re not already following our YouTube channel, go subscribe there. I put the links down below in the show notes. Because those are something that you can follow along with, right as you’re building the reports yourselves, and do better reporting better analysis for your company for your clients. They’re directly actionable, and I think you’re gonna love them. I’ve been asking, pleading for you marketers to leave reviews for the show, because I’m sure you know, the reviews are a big part about how people find out about the podcast. I wanted to give a huge thanks to several of you who stepped up and did it recently. I sincerely appreciate it. It makes the effort to design and create these episodes totally worthwhile. It’s pretty hard for me to look at someone’s Apple podcasts username, and try to figure out who they are. So feel free to reach out to me if I’m calling you out and you want me to let everyone know who you are. Okay, so Marketer Martina, she says, “Concrete actionable insights. I had been responsible for audience strategy and segmentation for years, but only recently started owning LinkedIn as a channel. When our results took a nosedive. I knew I needed to get more in depth insights into best practices than what LinkedIn is training courses offer. I found this podcast and it has been a lifesaver, offering easy to digest information with concrete actionable insights that can be immediately put into action. Thank you, AJ, for sharing all of your knowledge with us.” Martina, I really appreciate the kind words that’s exactly what we’re going for here. We also had Brandon Chesnutt from Identity. He left a review that said, “One of the best resources for b2b marketers. If you’re a B2B marketer looking to tap into the power of LinkedIn ads, don’t waste any more time and subscribe to the LinkedIn ad show right now. I have a regular rotation of awesome marketing and communication podcasts in my feed. And I’m always excited when a new episode of the LinkedIn Ads Show pops up. AJ does a fantastic job of taking important LinkedIn ad topics from the very broad to the very niche and breaking down digestible and actionable takeaways. I’m regularly sharing links to episodes in our agency Slack channels, and utilizing many of the best practices highlighted with our clients.” Thanks so much, Brandon, I really appreciate that. If this show is able to offer you up direct takeaways that you can go and put into action today. That’s my goal. Makes me very happy.

So back to LinkedIn Ads plays. Here’s the play that I shared to open up the conversation. I said, when launching ads start by manually bidding for clicks, then if your ads proved to consistently generate a click through rate that’s two to two and a half times the average then switch to bidding by impressions. The reason this works is because you’ve proven to the platform that you can generate clicks at a healthy rate. Switching to impressions bidding mass distributes your ads to maximize reach and click volume at your consistent click through rate, which can help decrease costs. Now I have a really cool YouTube video to share with all of you that’s going to be popping up here in the next couple of weeks. So again, make sure you’re following our YouTube channel. But in it, I actually go into the math whether it’s going to be cheaper to bid by cost per click or by the impression and how to figure out how competitive an audience really is. I also share the secrets to why it’s the click through rate that’s two to two and a half times the average. So you’re definitely not going to want to miss that. So then I finished up this post with what’s your favorite LinkedIn ads play? What’s worked well for you and what were the results. I’d love to feature you on an upcoming episode of the LinkedIn Ads Show to drop a comment below. And I’ll share your experience in the episode. Then we had so many of you sharing. We had shares across all social channels so we’ve compiled them here, and I’m going to share them right now.

We had Paul Fairbrother, who is a paid social specialist at HootSuite. And he shared, “I have a client where we weren’t getting anywhere with lead gen. The cost per click was averaging $35 Canadian. I think part of the issue was that it was a case study more suited to later in the funnel. So we added in a video as the first touch with prospects optimizing for video views. Then by building a 25% video view audience, I remarketed them with a case study and got the CPC down to under $2. LinkedIn now offers lots of options for building simple two step funnels. So it’s worth having a play with them if other strategies aren’t working.” You nailed it, Paul. I think LinkedIn is retargeting has become incredible in the last couple years, and I would highly suggest anyone to go follow Paul’s advice. Then we had Nayan Prakash, who runs all kinds of paid media at a company called GMR web team out of India, he shared two plays number one, running a sponsored message ad and layering it with an ABM strategy for Account Based Marketing. It’s one of my favorite plays in LinkedIn Ads. This ad type works best while using an existing database of target companies or contacts. And this campaign type won’t be very effective in generating bottom of funnel leads, but helps them in grabbing decent top of funnel leads with some lead bait. In our case, we use the free scanner tool, which he then uses to introduce more about the brand, which then leads to taking those warm leads to the drip funnel. Here’s what we basically did. First, we uploaded two different lists, one compatible for the company list, and another for the contact list. Then we segmented multiple campaigns based off of company sizes separately for both lists. That’s it, those segmented campaigns helped in assessing which one was giving fruitful results and continuing with that one. While in the testing phase, back in December of 2021, the cost per lead used to be around $100 to $110 without segmentation. After segmentation, it reduced to 60 to $70. The open rate used to roam around 35 to 45%. So Nayan, I like a lot about what you’re talking about. We found in a lot of cases sponsored message ads are very, very expensive. But when you’re going after a very specific kind of person, especially with lists like you’re doing and offering them something that feels like a personal invite, making them feel like a VIP, they really can perform quite well. His next play he said for sponsored single image ads. One thing that I personally love is retargeting those LinkedIn users who’ve already engaged with our other ad copy whether they liked the ad commented shared or clicked any of the links. LinkedIn will smartly chase them. And yes, I 100% agree with you AJ that this retargeting will be more accurate than website visits retargeting. Even the CPC ranges lesser when compared with the campaign having job title targeting. Not only this, but with retargeting, we start networking with engaged users through an organic approach, and a LinkedIn connection building strategy. We’ve seen a few assisted conversions while following this approach, and are still measuring the effectiveness of how far it will help. This strategy helped us to combine the paid and organic approach making the investment more worthwhile. In one case, one of our clients prospects got tired of seeing the retargeting ads of our clients brand, and finally ended up signing a contract with them. This literally made us laugh. So Nyan, I love this, especially love the retargeting aspect around single image ads. This is a new feature that we have. And I love the way that you’re combining it with an organic strategy. And we had Adam Dolan who’s the co-founder at First Spark Digital out of San Diego, California. And he said, “Love me some text ads. It’s an underutilized ad inventory on the platform makes it easy for small brands or larger to maintain brand awareness at a very low cost, in most cases free. Plus, when you do get a click, you typically get to see good intent. And he followed up with interesting strategy with the bidding switch from impressions to clicks. Thanks for sharing.” Adam, I 100% agree with you on text ads, they are hugely underrated and I love them, I would highly recommend running them alongside anything that you’re running on, especially sponsored content. Here’s a quick sponsor break and then we’ll dive into at least three more play.

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Alright, let’s jump into our next play. We had Alexander Krastev, and he’s the founder of a company called Bookmark out of Bulgaria. He responded to my play about first bidding by click and then switching to bidding by impressions when you get a high enough click through rate. And he said, “Great, I usually do a similar switch with the bidding strategy. First with maximize bid, and later if the max is too high with manual, but AJ, does the CTR remain relatively similar after you switched impressions?” So it sounds like Alexander does this the opposite way that I suggest. I start out by bidding by the click because that’s generally the cheapest And then I switch over to maximum delivery when I see high click through rates, but you can go the opposite way, just like Alexander was talking about. He brings up a good question here, does your click through rate remain relatively similar, regardless of how you bid? And the answer to that is usually yes. If your ads are performing really well, when you’re bidding by a cost per click, you generally have a good relevancy score associated with your ads with your campaign. And so LinkedIn is putting you in really good ad inventory, meaning usually higher up on the page. That way, when you switch to maximum delivery, you end up also getting really good inventory, because this is inventory that LinkedIn knows it’s getting paid for, regardless of how the ads perform. So it usually puts it high up on the page, especially because maximum delivery is a really aggressive bid. It basically bids as high as it can on CPM to fill your budget. Where I see this differ. If your ads, while you’re bidding by the click end up performing really poorly, let’s say at or below the benchmark, click through rate, then you may end up having your ads fall into bad inventory further down the page, in which case, maximum delivery would actually put you in better inventory. But you would also pay a heck of a lot more per click. So it’s definitely something you’d have to balance.

Then we had Adriaan Boot, from Impactful in the Netherlands. He shared, “We actually see text links work really well, when advertising on LinkedIn. Text links bring in very high quality clicks for a very reasonable cost per click.” And Adrian, what I’m imagining you’re talking about is using text ads, just like Adam was mentioning,. We see them perform really well as well, but I totally understand why other advertisers may avoid using them. Simply because when you put the campaign together, it’s not going to spend very much unless you have a pretty large audience. And so you might not think that there’s anything going on. But like Adam mentioned, it does a really good job of keeping your brand in front of people. And it costs next to nothing, because it’s the cheapest click that you can pay for on LinkedIn. At least in North America. We do see in some parts of the world text ads are actually more expensive than sponsored content.

Finally, we had Meiki Tanious. He is a growth hacker out of Boston for a company called Scalewhale. And he shared if you’re doing B2B, an underrated LinkedIn Ads play is to use the Microsoft ads integration that was released a couple years ago. You can actually target users on Microsoft ads based on their LinkedIn. So your next question might be well, who uses Bing? But a lot of enterprise companies might be forced to use it due to a full Microsoft setup by IT with Office 365 plus Azure. And then as you might imagine, Bing Ads CPCs are much cheaper than LinkedIn Ads. Meiki, I totally hear you there. I was really excited when I heard Microsoft was coming out with the integration. And last I checked, you could really only target by some really broad things. You do get company name, which is cool. But job function and industry, I think were the other two that you could target by. So a little difficult to get super targeted. But you’re right, the CPCs are so much lower. Meiki also mentioned, “Something else I’ve noticed that works really well is doing organic type targeting strategies. If you’re running ads on LinkedIn, you’re not reaching the same scale as the DTC meta campaign spending less and instead investing in OPS plus automation can make your ads way more effective. An example is instead of a lead form ad that everyone’s used to test viral ask posts speaking to the audience’s problem, like talking about how HIPAA is a pain in the butt and offer to DM people a free playbook or guide. If they wind up commenting on the post. Ask some people that you know, to comment and react to it to show engagement, then boom, you’ll get people commenting. Then have an ops person automate the message sent to each user with the lead magnet and use a CRM to manage the ensuing conversations.” Meiki, I absolutely love what you talked about with offering people content for commenting. This is something that we internally call comment gating. And it’s a lot of work, if you’re going to do it manually. Like you’re talking about if you’re using automation, that’s great. As a LinkedIn partner, though, I can’t recommend automation because it’s against their terms. But we have done this both for clients and for ourselves. Comment gating is really cool way of not only getting a lot of cheap leads, but also growing your network with a bunch of really interested and targeted people. I asked Meiki for a follow up and just said, Hey, how are these strategies working for you? And he responded, “The Microsoft ads integration has worked really well for me when targeting ads at large and enterprise sized businesses. CPCs can go below $2 For desirable keywords, which is huge compared to LinkedIn’s costs. Smaller B2B businesses I haven’t tested this with, but I’d imagine there’s not as much volume due to not being forced to use Bing. Then the organic strategy, he got to run for two different clients. It was massively successful compared to lead ads and landing pages in both instances. It comes from one of my greater philosophies, most people want an organic experience. If your ad doesn’t feel natural, your customers are trained to ignore it.” Meiki, I couldn’t have said it better. Well done. 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.

Okay, like we talked about in the episode, down in the show notes, you’ll see two links, going to the YouTube videos, where I walk you through exactly how to do certain types of reporting in Excel. You’re not going to want to miss that. You’ll also see the link to the YouTube channel, so you can make sure to subscribe. If you or anyone you know, is looking to do more with LinkedIn Ads, point them towards the course you’ll see the link to that as well. And this is the one that I did with LinkedIn Learning, all about LinkedIn Ads. It’s by far the highest quality and the lowest cost of any course I’ve found out there. It’s a really good value. If this is your first time listening to us, welcome. And do remember to hit that subscribe button if this hasn’t disappointed you. If this is not your first time listening, the biggest favor that you can do me personally for putting all these shows together is to go and rate and review the podcast on whatever podcast player you use. Usually it’s Apple podcasts, but if you find anywhere else, that would be great. With any questions, feedback, suggestions, anything like that, send them to us at And with that being said, we’ll see you back here next week. Cheering you on in your LinkedIn Ads initiatives!