Guide to Scaling a B2B Company With LinkedIn Ads

by | Mar 26, 2024

Why LinkedIn for B2B Marketing?

LinkedIn ads are a go-to choice for many top B2B marketers and companies looking to scale their business. As the world’s largest professional social network, LinkedIn provides many targeting options based on the job and company data users voluntarily share in their profiles. No other platform has a job title, job function, company name and data, and so many other professional audience details as a B2B LinkedIn Ads audience.

This makes it an ideal platform for reaching decision-makers and influencers at your various target audiences’ accounts.

However, B2B LinkedIn ads come with a higher price tag compared to other social media platforms as:

  • Cost per lead can range from $100 to $800
  • Cost per click can be as high as $50

To make LinkedIn ads work for your B2B company, you need to have:

  • A high estimated lifetime value (LTV) per customer, typically at least $3,000
  • A sales team that can effectively follow up on the leads generated from your LinkedIn ad campaigns

What Should You Promote with B2B LinkedIn Ads?

One of the most common questions B2B advertisers face is what type of offers to promote on LinkedIn. The answer depends on several factors, including your sales team structure, content assets, and your lead generation and nurturing capabilities.

Content Offers for Top-of-Funnel Leads

Content offers like guides, checklists, templates, and third-party reports tend to work best for your marketing efforts and generating top-of-funnel leads on LinkedIn. While these leads may not be as far along in the buying process as demo requests, they are much more scalable. The key is to provide genuinely valuable content that addresses your target audience’s pain points and challenges.

To make content offers work, you need:

  • A strong outbound sales team that can qualify and convert content leads into opportunities
  • High-quality, relevant content assets that provide real value to your target audience
  • Solid lead nurturing and marketing automation to move leads down the funnel over time
  • Dynamic ads that are relevant to different audience segments

Demo Offers for Bottom-of-Funnel Leads

Promoting demo offers on LinkedIn can generate high-intent leads, but they are harder to scale than content offers. To make demo ads work, you need:

  • A narrowly defined target audience that closely matches your ideal customer profile (ICP)
  • Compelling ad creative and copy that clearly communicates the value of your product
  • A streamlined demo request and scheduling process
  • Sales development reps (SDRs) who can quickly follow up on demo requests and qualify them

Finding Your Ideal Customer Profile on LinkedIn

Building a targeted audience on LinkedIn is relatively straightforward once you know your ICP. Here’s a simple process to follow:

  1. Select the company size range that aligns with your target market (e.g. 11-500 employees for SMBs)
  2. Choose the job functions that match your buyer personas (e.g., HR for an HR software company); also, consider job title, level, member skills, interests, and other criteria, as well as LinkedIn-matched audiences.
  3. Set the seniority levels where your decision-makers and influencers sit (e.g. Manager and above)
  4. Exclude any irrelevant industries, company sizes, or job titles to refine your audience further

Choosing the Right Offer and Creative: Crafting Irresistible LinkedIn Ads

Even with a perfectly targeted professional audience already, your LinkedIn ads will fall flat without a compelling offer and eye-catching creative. The key to success with social ads is understanding your audience’s needs and presenting them with an offer they can’t refuse. Here are some tips to help you create LinkedIn ads that drive results:

Offer Types: Aligning Your Offer with Your Marketing Funnel

  • Gated content (guides, checklists, templates, etc.) for top-of-funnel leads: When targeting prospects who are just beginning to explore their options, consider offering valuable content that addresses their pain points and helps them make informed decisions. By gating this content behind a lead form, you can capture their contact information and nurture them through the funnel.
  • Incentivized demos (e.g. gift card for attending) for bottom-of-funnel leads: For prospects who are closer to making a purchase decision, offering an incentive to attend a product demo can be a powerful motivator. Consider offering a gift card or other reward to encourage attendance and show that you value their time.
  • Free trials for product-led growth models: If your product is designed for self-service, offering a free trial can be an effective way to let prospects experience the value of your product firsthand. Be sure to clearly communicate the benefits of your product and provide resources to help them get started.

Creative Best Practices: Designing LinkedIn Ads That Stand Out

In addition to a compelling offer, your LinkedIn ads need eye-catching creative that grabs attention and communicates your message clearly. Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

  • Use high-quality images that are relevant to your offer and audience
  • Keep text concise and focused on the benefits of your offer
  • Use a clear and prominent call-to-action (CTA) button
  • Test different ad formats (e.g. single image, carousel, video) to see what performs best

By combining a targeted audience, compelling offer, and eye-catching creative, you can create LinkedIn ads that drive real results for your business. Don’t be afraid to experiment and iterate until you find the winning formula for your unique niche audience and marketing goals here.

LinkedIn Ad Formats: Choosing the Right One for Your Campaign

LinkedIn offers several ad formats to help you reach your target audience and achieve your marketing goals. Here’s a breakdown of the main ad formats and when to use each one:

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content ads appear directly in users’ LinkedIn feeds, alongside organic posts from their connections and followed pages. These ads can be single images, carousels, or videos, and are ideal for:

  • Increasing brand awareness and engagement
  • Promoting thought leadership content
  • Driving traffic to your website or landing pages

Sponsored Messaging

Sponsored Messaging lets you send personalized messages directly to users’ LinkedIn inboxes. It’s one of the most overlooked LinkedIn Advertising campaigns. There are two types of Sponsored Messaging ads:

  1. Message Ads: These are single, personalized messages that can include a CTA button to drive traffic to your website or landing page. Message Ads are best for:
    • Promoting content offers or events
    • Driving conversions with targeted, personalized messaging
    • Reaching users who have engaged with your brand before
  2. Conversation Ads: These are multi-step, interactive messages that allow users to choose their own path based on their interests and needs. Conversation Ads are ideal for:
    • Qualifying leads with branching logic and questions
    • Providing personalized recommendations or solutions
    • Boosting engagement with a more interactive experience

Text Ads

Text Ads are simple, PPC ads that appear in the right-hand column of LinkedIn pages. They include a headline, brief text, and a small square image. Text Ads are best for:

  • Driving traffic to your website or landing pages
  • Promoting specific products, services, or offers
  • Targeting a narrow, specific audience

Dynamic Ads

Dynamic Ads are personalized ads that are automatically generated based on a user’s LinkedIn profile data. There are three types of Dynamic Ads:

  1. Follower Ads: These ads are designed to help you grow your LinkedIn Page following by showing users a CTA to follow your page. Follower Ads are best for:
    • Increasing your LinkedIn Page’s visibility and reach
    • Building a community of engaged followers
    • Promoting your brand to a targeted audience
  2. Spotlight Ads: These ads are designed to drive traffic to a specific page on your website, such as a product page or blog post. Spotlight Ads are ideal for:
    • Promoting specific products, services, or content
    • Driving targeted traffic to your website
    • Increasing conversions with personalized messaging
  3. Jobs Ads: These ads are designed to help you promote job openings and attract qualified candidates. Jobs Ads are best for:
    • Recruiting top talent for your company
    • Increasing visibility of your job openings
    • Targeting candidates with specific skills or experience

By choosing the right ad format for your specific goals and target audience, you can create LinkedIn ad campaigns that drive real results for your business. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different formats and see what works best for your unique needs.

LinkedIn Ad Campaign Checklist

Use this checklist to ensure you’ve covered all the key steps in creating and optimizing your LinkedIn ad campaigns:

  1. Define your target audience
    • [ ] Identify your ideal customer profile (ICP)
    • [ ] Select relevant company sizes, job functions, and seniority levels
    • [ ] Exclude any irrelevant industries, company sizes, or job titles
  2. Choose your offer
    • [ ] Align your offer with your marketing funnel (e.g. gated content for top-of-funnel, demos for bottom-of-funnel)
    • [ ] Ensure your offer provides genuine value to your target audience
    • [ ] Clearly communicate the benefits of your offer in your ad copy
  3. Create compelling ad creative
    • [ ] Use high-quality, relevant images or videos
    • [ ] Keep text concise and focused on the benefits of your offer
    • [ ] Include a clear and prominent call-to-action (CTA) button
    • [ ] Test different ad formats to see what performs best
  4. Set up your campaign
    • [ ] Choose the appropriate campaign objective based on your goals
    • [ ] Set your budget and bid strategy
    • [ ] Select your target audience using the criteria defined in step 1
    • [ ] Create your ad variants using the creative assets from step 3
  5. Monitor and optimize your campaign
    • [ ] Regularly check your campaign performance metrics (e.g. click-through rate, conversion rate, cost per lead)
    • [ ] A/B test different ad creative, copy, and targeting options to improve performance
    • [ ] Adjust your budget and bids based on performance data
    • [ ] Pause or remove any underperforming ad variants or targeting segments

By following this checklist, you can ensure that your LinkedIn ad campaigns are set up for success and optimized for maximum performance. Remember to continually monitor and adjust your campaigns based on data to achieve the best possible results.

B2B LinkedIn Ads Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How much should I expect to spend on LinkedIn ads for B2B marketing?

A: The cost of LinkedIn ads can vary widely based on your targeting, ad format, and industry. Generally, you can expect a cost per lead to range from $100 to $800 and a cost per click up to $50. To justify these costs, having a high estimated lifetime value (LTV) per customer is important. LinkedIn Ads campaign manager has a tool to estimate audience size and cost in advance of launching.

Q: What type of content display advertising works best for LinkedIn B2B ads?

A: For top-of-funnel leads, content offers like guides, checklists, and templates are effective. For bottom-of-funnel leads, demo offers or incentivized demos can work well. The key is to align your content with the stage of the buyer’s journey and provide real value. Expect ads to raise brand awareness as a side benefit in your B2B marketing goals. LinkedIn display advertising supports your sales and marketing teams goals by staying in front of your prospects with ad campaigns.

Q: How do I target the right audience on LinkedIn for my B2B ads?

A: To target the right audience, define your ideal customer profile (ICP) by selecting relevant company sizes, job functions, and seniority levels. To refine your audience further, exclude any irrelevant criteria such as unqualified job titles or competitors. Also, include retargeting ads in the LinkedIn Ad format in your account for lead generation in the LinkedIn feed.

Q: Can I offer free trials in LinkedIn ads for B2B companies?

A: Offering free trials can be an effective strategy for generating leads, especially for product-led growth models. Ensure you communicate the benefits clearly and provide resources to help prospects get started.

Q: How often should I monitor and optimize my LinkedIn ad campaigns?

A: It’s crucial to regularly monitor your campaign performance metrics, such as click-through rate, conversion rate, and cost per lead. Continuously A/B test different ad creatives, copy, and targeting options, and adjust your budget and bids based on performance data.

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Ryder Meehan

Ryder has been on a 16-year journey to master digital marketing from every aspect. His resume includes Razorfish, Slighshot, Fossil, Samsung Mobile and Tatcha before launching Upgrow. Ryder is the acting CEO, heading business development and account services. He has been featured as a digital marketing leader on Forbes, PRNews, Business.com, Workamajig, Databox, Fit Small Biz and other outlets.

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