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A B2B LinkedIn Ads Marketing Guide

A B2B LinkedIn Ads Marketing Guide

LinkedIn has more than 740 million users at the start of 2022. If your business isn’t leveraging LinkedIn for advertising, you’re missing out on many new opportunities. 

LinkedIn is the most trusted social network. Advertising on the platform could maximize your marketing results. 

The question isn’t should you use LinkedIn advertising; it’s why aren’t you already? LinkedIn is the place for professionals and many businesses. With 740 million users, think of the reach your ads could have! 

There are many advertising options with the platform, including B2B LinkedIn ads. Keep reading to understand more about LinkedIn marketing, and learn how to create your first ad.  

Why Do You Need Marketing on LinkedIn? 

Social selling has exploded in the past few years. With billions of users, not having your company selling to customers on social media sites is detrimental to your sales. 

Social selling allows companies to directly interact with their customers. They get instant feedback and insights in several areas: 

  • Demographics
  • Engagement
  • Impressions
  • Clicks 
  • Comments
  • Follows

Combined, these metrics can give you a clear picture of how well your efforts are doing. So, why do you need to market on LinkedIn? 

LinkedIn is a trusted, professional platform with millions of users. When you market on LinkedIn, you can make lasting connections and build your brand awareness. 

The key difference in this platform is that it is a professional platform. Others, such as Facebook or Snapchat, allow you to connect with audiences. LinkedIn takes it a step further and initiates conversations with the decision-makers for the companies you are targeting. 

Any business that sells to other businesses could benefit from LinkedIn advertising. You’ll not only reach audiences directly, but you’ll also get more quality leads. 

What Is B2B LinkedIn Ads Marketing?

B2B marketing involves business-to-business interactions. These transactions are between two companies, with one of them being the ideal customer. There are many industries with B2B transactions, including: 

  • Manufacturing
  • Cybersecurity
  • Web Design and Development 
  • SaaS Technologies
  • Suppliers

When you create a LinkedIn profile, you have the option to create a company page for your business. Creating a page allows you to develop ads to display to users across the platform. 

LinkedIn enables you to interact with company owners and decision-makers across all industries. You’ll be able to build stronger relationships and reach larger audiences with LinkedIn advertising. 

Before getting started with LinkedIn ads, it’s important to have a strategy and goal. As with any marketing campaign, you must understand who your ideal customer is and how to reach them. Here are a few things to ask before targeting: 

  1. Where does my customer spend their time online? 
  2. What do they search on search engines?
  3. Which social platform is their favorite?
  4. What events do they attend?
  5. How can you make your ads more attractive than competitors? 

Once you have your buyer persona and B2B strategy, you are ready to get started. 

Self-Service Advertising Option

LinkedIn’s self-service advertising option allows you to create and manage your own ads. You can create text ads, sponsored content, or sponsored InMail with this option. 

You should only choose this option if you understand how to create and manage ads. Can you read and optimize campaigns based on insights? Do you know how to create different kinds of ads based on your goal? 

This option is completely managed by you. You create the budget, the ad setup, the copy, everything. 

Advertising Partner Solution

LinkedIn has an extensive network of marketing partners to help companies and individuals with their advertising needs. This option will allow for all types of advertising, including: 

  • Text ads
  • Recommendation ads
  • Follow company ads
  • Display ads

There is a directory where you can find an advertising partner. These partners specialize in content, analytics, community management, and more. This would be the best route for those companies that don’t have a thorough understanding of LinkedIn advertising. 

Third-Party Expert

Of course, if neither of those options is what you had in mind, your company can always choose a third-party service provider. Service providers are marketing experts that offer a variety of services, such as: 

  • Audience research and targeting
  • Content development
  • Optimization
  • Campaign management

By choosing a service provider, you are partnering with a company that specializes in marketing. They already know the ins and outs of LinkedIn for B2B because they’ve done it for many companies before you. 

You can’t go wrong with this option. 

Types of B2B LinkedIn Ads + Terminology

LinkedIn offers a variety of advertising options. When creating ads, you should understand the following:

  • Single image ads
  • Carousel image ads
  • Sponsored content
  • Text
  • Sponsored InMail
  • Display ads
  • Dynamic ads
  • Video ads

There are many ways to create a LinkedIn ad. What you choose will be determined by your strategy and end goal. 

Your profile and company page should be well-developed before starting an ad on the platform. Read more about why this is important here

Each of the following sections will tell you more about the options you have when creating a LinkedIn ad. 

Sponsored content is an advertisement that shows up in your target audience’s feed. This type of ad can engage your audience while educating them or capturing their attention. 

This form of advertisement can generate leads, get downloads, or drive awareness of your brand. You can create the following types of sponsored content: 

  • Single image ads
  • Carousel image ads
  • Video ads
  • Event ads

You can use these ads to promote your products or services. You can also build awareness about your brand or an event. If you’re an industry leader, you can share thought leadership or other types of engaging posts to connect with readers. 

Single Image Ads

A single image ad is just what it says. You pick one engaging and impactful image to use across the platform. Everyone will see the same ad and graphic with this type of LinkedIn ad. 

Single image ads are great for when you need to advertise a single product, event, or topic. 

Carousel images allow you to use a series of images for your campaign. You can customize these ads with unique images, links, and ad copy. 

A carousel ad is great for companies that have a story to tell. This is a great way to capture your reader’s attention and get them interested in learning more about your company. 

Video Ads

A video ad is an ad that engages your audience through a short video. This type of ad allows you to position yourself as a thought leader in the industry. You can also tell a customer success story or share testimonials. 

Event Ads Breakdown

Have you ever created a LinkedIn event for your company? Maybe you hosted a webinar or offered a training session. 

With event ads, you can get more registrations and get your event in front of the right professionals. By creating a captivating advertisement, you’ll get people interested in learning more about you. 

This will encourage them to sign up for the event. 

Text

Text ads are a pay-per-click advertising option on LinkedIn. This type of ad is a great option when you want to connect directly with your audience to generate leads or drive traffic to a specific location. 

With these ads, you set your own guidelines and budget. You only pay for clicks or impressions, whichever you choose during setup, with text ads. 

This type of LinkedIn ad is one that connects you directly with your intended audience. You can deliver messages with a specific call to action. Or you can send a message with a lead generation form for them to fill out. 

Sponsored InMail is also a great way to build connections. When a message is directly sent to someone, they are more likely to open it and respond to the person messaging. 

You can use this option to increase registrations for your event or educate audiences on your products or services. You can also use it to alert audiences about ongoing promotions. 

Display Ads

LinkedIn display ads are much like Google or Facebook’s display ads. This is a great option if have clearly defined buyer persona guidelines. Once you set the ad parameters, they will show up to your audience. 

You can set these ads by persona or by intent. A display ad combines text, a graphic, and a URL to get the audience to do something. This could be learning more about your company, products, or services. 

There are a few different placement options with display ads:

  • The right-hand side of pages
  • Homepage
  • Profile page
  • Company page
  • Group page
  • Message page
  • The bottom of certain feeds
  • LinkedIn Today

Display ads can also build awareness. Or they can engage your audience in another way, like a game or getting them to sign up for a free opt-in. 

Dynamic Ads

Dynamic ads are a more personalized option to connect more deeply with your intended audience. You can use these ads to: 

  • Promote job openings
  • Encourage downloading content
  • Visit your company page
  • Learn more about a specific product or service

These ads come with templates or auto-translation to reach more audiences in a single ad setup. 

Company Recommendation Ads

This option is best if you have recommendations already on your page. These are from people who have used your product or service. This ad takes those recommendations and shows them to others. 

Follow Company Ads

This type of ad encourages the audience to follow your company page. This is a good way to build brand awareness.

It can also increase your followers, which means there are more people likely to see the content you post there. 

Group Ads

Did you know you can create groups on LinkedIn? These are great for companies to share information and content in a community space.

You can create ads to encourage audiences to join a group. This type of ad shows them a brief description of what the group is about and has a call to action to join it. 

This is great for increasing the number of members in your group. You should already have a solid strategy to increase engagement within it. 

How to Create a LinkedIn Ad

Creating a LinkedIn ad isn’t as simple as setting it up and forgetting about it. There are several steps you should take to prepare. And several more steps you need to do to effectively manage the ad. 

For maximum success with ads, it’s best to have a few different versions. 

Keep reading to learn more about how to prepare for LinkedIn advertising. And how to set up and manage ads. 

Create a Foundation

Before setting up your first LinkedIn ad, there are a few things you should do to ready yourself for success. First, you’ll want to read and understand the LinkedIn specifications and advertising guidelines. 

Next, you’ll want to make sure your LinkedIn company page is current and has engaging content for visitors. 

Place a LinkedIn Insight Tag on Your Website

Then, you might want to place a LinkedIn Insight Tag on your website. This is a way to gather information about visitors from your ads that go to your website. You can then use the data from it to better target your ads. 

Decide Content for Ads

You should also decide what type of content you are going to promote through ads. You have several options: 

  • Blog posts and articles
  • E-books
  • Videos
  • Tutorials
  • Infographics
  • Job openings
  • Case studies
  • Awards and accolades

The content you decide to use will vary on the types of ads you place. It will also vary depending on the industry and your intent. 

Upload an Existing Content List 

You can also upload a content list. This could be the subscribers to your newsletter or people who have signed up with your website. This also allows for more targeted advertising. 

LinkedIn also has a retargeting option so you can get back in front of people who have visited your ad or website before. 

Learn About Bidding

LinkedIn advertising offers several bidding strategies. It’s important you learn about them before placing an ad. Ads can quickly lose money if they aren’t set up correctly. 

You can set bids based on clicks, impressions or automatically let LinkedIn decide for you. When setting the bidding strategy, you can also put a daily or campaign limit on your budget. 

Choose Your Demographics

Before you create an ad, you should know who it’s for. With LinkedIn advertising, you can filter audiences by:

  • Job function
  • Company
  • Location
  • Gender
  • Industry

You should know which of these you will use to target your audience before you establish your ad. 

How to Set Up Your Ad

Now you understand the basics and how to create a strong foundation for your ads. So, how do you create one? Follow the steps below. 

Step 1

Once you are ready to start, you will go to the LinkedIn advertising platform. From there, you’ll select “create ad.” If you already have an advertising account, you can get started. 

If you don’t, you’ll have to create an account first. 

Step 2

You’ll pick a name for your campaign. And you can choose whether to include it in a new or existing group. Groups are a way to manage similar ads on the same topic or with the same goal. 

Step 3

In this step, you will define your objective. What’s the purpose of this ad? You can choose one of the following objectives: 

  • Engagement
  • Website traffic
  • Video views
  • Lead generation

Learn more about each below. 

Engagement

If you choose engagement, the purpose of the ad is to engage audiences. It allows them to engage with your content and usually results in more followers. 

Website Traffic

This option increases visits to your website. Increasing website visits is great for brand awareness. 

Video Views

This option increases the views on video ads. Your videos will be placed in front of the targeted audiences to get more views from the people you want. 

Lead Generation

This option is where LinkedIn creates a pre-filled lead generation form. This reaches your targeted audience and entices them to give you their information. 

Step 4

Next, you’ll choose your target audience. There are a lot of choices in this step, such as: 

  • Location
  • Language
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Job title
  • Company
  • Education
  • Interests

The more information you have about your intended audience, the more targeted this section can be. You can also choose to include more people like your intended audience during this step. 

Step 5

This is the section where you choose which type of ad you want to place. When in this area, you can choose to forecast numbers based on your settings. This allows you to see different scenarios for different ad placements. 

Step 6

In this part of the ad setup, you determine how long the ad will run. And you set your budget.

You must choose a start date. You have the option of choosing an end date or letting the ad run until you stop it. 

You’ll also choose between automated, pay per click, or pay per impressions bidding types. 

An optional addition during this section is to set up conversion tracking. This is useful when you want LinkedIn to take conversions into account when optimizing your campaign. 

Step 7

You are ready to place your ad! Now that all of the parameters are set, you can move on to the next step. Here, you will choose your text, image, and URL.

Once this information is in place, it’s time to make the ad live! 

How to Optimize LinkedIn Advertising

You’ve had your ad going for a few days now and it’s not getting that great of results. What do you do? You optimize! 

How you may ask? Well, there are a few ways. You will need to measure the campaign’s performance to understand how it is doing. 

  1. Are you reaching your full daily budget?
  2. Is your click rate over 0.6%? 
  3. How is your conversion rate? 

Most ads need a lot of tweaking and testing before they are profitable. The following metrics can be adjusted during testing. You should only change one thing at a time for the most accurate results. 

Targeting

If you don’t have a high conversion or click rate, you may be targeting the wrong audience. You can review the demographics of the people who are interacting with the ad. 

This will tell you who is likely to engage, and allow you to adjust accordingly. 

Bidding

Is your bidding strategy competitive? Or are other companies outbidding your ad? 

LinkedIn has a campaign quality score that is used with campaigns. You want to have a high score so your ad is sent to the maximum number of audience members. 

Higher quality scores also mean fewer bids are needed to get in front of people. 

Testing

The more ads you have, the better. You can set several different ads up with different parameters to see which works the best with audiences. Any great marketer already knows this. 

Get Started with LinkedIn Ads 

Is your business ready to get started with LinkedIn advertising? Does your marketing department need help to get campaigns started? 

Thumbstop Media has helped thousands of companies get started with B2B LinkedIn advertising. And helped them see massive results. 

Each campaign we create is carefully crafted based on industry research and market analysis. When you hire us, we’ll handle each step of the process, leaving you to focus on other operational areas while our campaigns increase opportunities. 

Get started with our B2B LinkedIn package today. Contact us if you have questions or need more information. 

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