Ever research top-performing ads for inspiration to crafting your own?


Marketing rarely ever works on the first try. So we tend to look to others to understand what’s proven to be successful and to help generate ideas.


That’s why we’re thrilled to share this blog post with you.


Our Founder and CEO, AJ Wilcox, recently came across a LinkedIn Ad from Gong. After analyzing it as a team, there was a lot to appreciate.


So we reached out to the marketing team at Gong to discuss the making of the ad and what they attribute to its success.


We’re sharing the highlights of that discussion here, along with insights you can take to craft your own top-performing LinkedIn Ads.


Let’s hit it!


The Story


First, a little background:


The team at Gong described the ad as “a simple visual idea.” They wanted to create a visual representation of the value Gong offers its customers.


The platform doesn’t just capture, analyze, and use AI to deliver insights, it guides you—It taps you on the shoulder, identifies risks, and offers solutions. The team envisioned salespeople actively using Gong, with the software presenting pop-up messages to guide them towards better close rates.


This image is what the team wanted to visualize. So they got to work.


Interestingly enough, the original goal was to create a video showcasing a new company product but the team soon realized that the content could be repurposed for much more.


They shot in San Francisco, positioning their camera in three different places around the office while their employees were at work. Footage was later woven together to create a video a couple minutes in length.


Bhavisha Oza, Performance Marketing Lead at Gong, explained that, following the initial video production, the team wanted to use it as part of a channel-agnostic, full-funnel video ad strategy.


The same footage was then reworked into a middle-of-funnel ad (with separate top-of-funnel and bottom-of-funnel ads as part of the strategy). The team then created 30-second and 15-second cuts to fit with the YouTube and LinkedIn platforms. They were accompanied with a voiceover and animation not seen in the original video.


The Ad


Beatrice Chang, Digital Marketing Manager at Gong, shared her strategy and setup of the ad on LinkedIn.


The goal from the beginning has been to generate demo requests. However, they knew this would be most effective if they were to target a warm audience.


So the ad is being displayed to a very tight retargeting audience of the most key decision makers in sales leadership.


This includes those who have visited key pages on Gong’s website, who have performed chargeable clicks on a demo ad, or who have opened a demo LinkedIn lead gen form (including form submissions).Targeting also excludes those that have submitted a demo request already.


The campaign objective Gong selected is Lead Generation, which has allowed them to leverage LinkedIn’s native Lead Gen Form Ads to collect demo requests with as little friction as possible.


What We Like


From our perspective (and we’ve been running LinkedIn Ads for 12 years), the ad has some key components that set it up for success on the platform. Here are some of the things we liked:


1/ Demo-Focused


Like we mentioned, the ad is primarily focused on generating demo requests (per the call-to-action at the end of the video), but it doesn’t feel super “in your face” as some other demo-focused ads tend to be.


The ad feels very low-friction and hands-off. Despite the high-friction CTA, the bulk of the ad is rooted in addressing a pain point and presenting a solution, which brings us to our next points…


2/ Emphasizes Pain


In the first few seconds of the video, we see a salesman sigh and lean back in his chair in discouragement as he loses yet another deal. This is where we hear the voiceover: “Selling is hard.”


Within seconds, Gong calls out a common pain point experienced by every salesperson—Getting and maintaining high close rates is not easy!


Much of a salesperson’s success hinges on closing deals. If they’re not closing deals, they’re not going to have a job for much longer. This pain, then, is directly tied to their livelihood. To say that it keeps them up at night is an understatement.


The ad hooks the viewer almost instantly. If you’re the one experiencing the pain, you’re biting tooth and nail for the solution, so you stick around to watch the full video.


3/ Communicates Value


It’s one thing to call out a pain point in your ad. Once you’ve got your reader/viewer hooked, you need to follow through.


Not surprisingly, Gong delivers.


The rest of the video portrays that initial idea the team envisioned, as we see salespeople being guided in real-time by the Gong platform to nurture leads into closed-won deals.


Not only does the ad present the solution to the aforementioned pain, but it also communicates value in just 15 seconds. 


People who log into LinkedIn don’t plan to stick around for long. So to communicate value so concisely isn’t only commendable, but vital to advertising on the platform.


4/ Low-Budget Production


We were surprised to learn that the ad (and, by extension, the original video) wasn’t a high-budget production.


In the team’s words, their filming crew knew what they were doing, but the project was “homespun.”


This context is significant to us because we’ve seen many advertisers shy away from leveraging video creative on LinkedIn Ads because they feel they don’t have the adequate resources to pull them off well enough.


What Gong has shown us is that video content doesn’t need to be expensive to be impactful.


Performance So Far


What we’ve talked about so far is really just theory. The question is, “How well is Gong’s ad actually performing?”


Well, we’re happy to report that results are looking promising so far.


The ad has only been running for a few weeks, so the team is just seeing early signs of success, but Beatrice shared that lead quality is spot on—and on a platform as expensive as LinkedIn, hitting the right target audience is essential.


We and the marketing team at Gong are confident that more qualified leads will continue to follow.


Brand Identity in B2B


Near the tail-end of our conversation with Gong, the team posed a thought-provoking question:


“Does Brand Identity matter in B2B?”


The answer, we all agreed, is an emphatical “yes.”


However, from our own observations, it’s very rare that we see it.


People likely won’t remember a brand after the first interaction, especially if it’s only seconds of exposure. But you can increase the likelihood of your audience remembering you when your ads are layered with the whimsical, bold, or other characteristics of your brand identity.


Not only that, but you can build a lot of trust with your audience when you stay true to your own branding. It’s that consistency and exposure over time that leads people to, not only recall your brand, but to take action.


At the end of the day, we’re humans selling to humans, and humans buy off of emotion. So there naturally needs to be an emotional connection in order for advertising to see success.


This is especially true in B2C because we’re often dealing with low-ticket products and purchase decisions that can be made on a whim. On the flipside, in B2B, we’re dealing with high-ticket products, long sales cycles, and multiple decision-makers, but we still buy based on emotion.


One team member (typically the end-user of a product or service) may convince the rest of the buying committee to make a purchase, but that want to buy is still rooted in an emotional response.


This is yet another aspect of Gong’s ad that the team has done exceptionally well: It hits on the emotion of the gut-wrenching feeling salespeople experience when they lose yet another deal.


Top-Tier Ads From Top Brands


Top brands like Gong can be a huge inspiration for advertisers to follow. This post isn’t sponsored in any way by Gong, we’re just big fans! We hope this deep dive of the company’s latest spot can act as a guide for you as you put together your own winning LinkedIn Ads.


What do you think of Gong’s new LinkedIn Ad? In addition to what we picked out, what do you like about it? What sets it up for success? Comment below!


For more on LinkedIn Ads, be sure to follow B2Linked to stay up-to-date on the latest tips, tricks, trends, and strategies.


Written by Eric Jones

Eric Jones - B2Linked