The majority of those who book a call with us report that they first heard about us from a mix of organic content and paid ads on LinkedIn (roughly 38% of all leads). Google Search and Referrals/Word of Mouth are reported as the second and third top sources.
As an agency dedicated strictly to helping B2B marketers optimize and scale on LinkedIn Ads, we love all that the platform has to offer, but recognize that LinkedIn Ads efforts can be supercharged when additional channels are utilized.
For the past year, we’ve doubled down on our content strategy in tandem with our LinkedIn Ads strategy. Here are some of the top lessons we’ve learned as we’ve leveraged both marketing tactics to increase our own pipeline.
The Benefits of Running Both Paid Ads & Organic Content
As mentioned before, about 38% of all our leads are sourced from a combination of paid and organic channels. These include YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn Organic (both content published from our Company Page and from our Founder/CEO, AJ Wilcox’s, personal account), and LinkedIn Ads. This also includes channels we own, such as our podcast, The LinkedIn Ads Show.
Interesting enough, Google Search as our second highest source of leads could also be influenced by our organic content, since SEO is bolstered when content is regularly published to your website. Google Search-sourced leads can’t directly be attributed to organic content, but it certainly could have an influence.
But why were LinkedIn Ads and content channels listed as the number one source of leads? Here’s what we’ve observed:
1/ LinkedIn Ads and LinkedIn organic are supplements to each other.
For example, you can boost brand credibility when running both in tandem. By publishing content regularly to our Company Page, we naturally increased our page following over time.
Note that it’s not just the act of publishing content that increases your Company Page following. The content you share needs to be of value to your target audience and you need to post regularly so your audience has a reason to follow you for more (more on all this later).
Regarding credibility, your brand can appear more credible the greater your Company Page following. As consumers, we’re much more likely to trust a company that others similar to us also like.
This ties in with LinkedIn Ads because your Company Page following is visible from almost every ad type you run and your page can be clicked to from most ad types, as well. This adds a whole other layer of trust.
In addition, your ads have the potential to perform better if your audience has been nurtured by your organic content first. Instead of advertising to a cold audience that has never heard of your brand before, you’re advertising to an audience that has been following your brand for some time. After seeing your ads, they may be much more willing to accept your call-to-action (CTA) because they already know, like, and trust you.
Another way LinkedIn Ads and organic content can supplement each other is through boosting, which is sponsoring an existing piece of content and running it as an ad. If content is regularly being published to your Company Page and you’re receiving engagement (i.e. likes, comments, shares), you can extend your reach by boosting that content.
Again, we tend to like things that others similar to us also like. So content that already has a lot of engagement or social proof tends to create a snowball effect when that content is boosted.
Check out this post for more on boosting on LinkedIn Ads.
2/ Between 2021 and 2022, 41% of Americans reported having a negative viewpoint of digital ads. 60% reported that they disliked seeing ads in online videos and 47% reported they disliked seeing ads on webpages.
We live in an ever-increasing ad-averse world. But the good news is that content is a great way to remain top-of-mind among your target audience. Why? Because it often comes off as more authentic and less salesy.
Mimi Turner also shared at LinkedIn’s B2Believe event in November of last year that 80 – 90% of buyers already have brands in mind to buy from before doing any research. So you want to make sure your brand is top-of-mind for your audience before they go into research mode.
That said, if your ads are focused on adding value, similar to your content, your audience may be much more receptive to your ads. It also helps to have value-packed content. Those who consume your content are much more likely to trust you when they see your ads.
What Type of Content Performs Best?
In our experience, here are the types of content that have performed best for us:
1/ Tips and expertise
We’ve already talked a lot about how your content should add value. That’s because it’s what your audience wants! Publish content that helps them solve a major pain point, teaches them something new, or helps them in their job somehow.
What this does is builds trust with your audience and positions your brand as the authority figure on a specific topic.
2/ Content that evokes an emotional response
Some of our top performing content has been memes. People find them funny, so they naturally get shared and engaged with. But it’s not just the meme itself that makes this content great.
With every meme, we still try to offer value in some way. For example, the post below included a meme that caught people’s attention, but it also referenced some upcoming offerings LinkedIn was planning to release on its ad platform. This post generated 78 new Company Page followers in 2 days after going live (which is about 4x the volume we usually see).
Whatever emotion you want your content to evoke, it’s a good way to elicit action and extend your reach.
3/ Subscription-based content
For us, this has been our podcast and LinkedIn newsletter. The reason this type of content has been so successful is because it allows us to nurture and educate our audience over time.
One high-value post is good, but consistent high-value posts over time can make a big impact.
Long-Form vs Short-Form Content
We’ve heard this debate time and time again. From what we’ve experienced, it really doesn’t matter whether your content is short-form or long-form, as long as it’s (wait for it) adding value.
Here are two posts that AJ published to his personal profile. The first was 284 characters. The second was 1,632 characters. Both performed extremely well.
Though content length might not be a big deal, making sure your content has a good hook can make or break your content even being consumed. Make your first sentence about something that would catch your audience’s attention or pique their interest in some way.
LinkedIn Ads on its own is a powerful tool, but can be supercharged when supplemented by organic content.
Is there anything you would add? What benefits have you seen from combining LinkedIn Ads and content strategies? Leave a comment below!
And if you want to turn your LinkedIn Ads into a B2B marketing machine, consider booking a discovery call with us. LinkedIn Ads is all we do and (after 11 years) we’re masters at our craft.
With our expertise, unique data collection strategies, proper testing methodologies, and in-house bulk ads management and scheduling tools, we’ll help you optimize and scale your LinkedIn Ads for efficiency.
Written by Eric Jones