How to generate B2B leads with LinkedIn Ads

B2B lead generation is recognized as a top challenge for marketers. While some lead generation strategies are more effective than others, LinkedIn ads are the one that actually works.

What is one advantage of advertising on LinkedIn? You can increase your reach using highly specific and accurate targeting by industry, job title, seniority, job experience, and other identifiers. It means that you generate high quality B2B leads that are eager to respond to your brand's message.

Lead generation vs conversion

Finding the right objective

When it comes to B2B lead generation strategies, the first step is setting your objective. Lead Generation and Website conversion are the best suited for your LinkedIn campaign.

LinkedIn B2B Lead Generation

Lead Generation is about getting customers to be sent to a lead form pre-populated with data from LinkedIn user profiles (if a user profile includes relevant information). This campaign goal is a great way to generate leads at a relatively low cost. Of course, the expenses can be higher depending on your targeted location and how specific your target audience is.

Automated bidding, cost-per-click (CPC), cost-per-thousand viewable impressions (CPM) are available in the Lead Generation campaign. If you use Target impression share correctly and track statistics in the Demographics report (countries/companies/job positions ads impressions are allocated to), it’s possible to achieve high quality of leads.

LinkedIn Website Conversions

LinkedIn website conversion ads also allow to generate B2B leads. However, they drive traffic directly to your website. We recommend setting this campaign goal if you are sure that your landing page conversion rate is high enough. Also, note that clicks on LinkedIn are much more expensive than clicks on other advertising platforms.

Ideal customer profile (ICP)

Targeting high quality leads is impossible without creating your ideal customer profile. Let's look at the most important steps when creating your ICP.

1. Specify demographic information
You need to know the age, gender, education, income level, marital status, and occupation of your ideal customer. These metrics are usually the easiest to define.

2. Identify psychographic factors
They are more complex and require a deeper understanding of customers. These metrics are based on values, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles. This data is more useful when working with leads rather than in the process of lead generation.

3. Give your ideal customer a name 
It will help you in humanizing your persona. If the target audience includes both men and women, you can pick a name that is suitable for both.

4. Visualize your ideal customer’s face
You can find stock images of people over the internet and pick those which are associated with your customer’s image the most. There are also online resources where you can generate a face profile manually.

5. Create a story of your customer
This story should tell about relationships between a customer and a company including its products/services. In the story, answer the following questions:

  • What was he/she thinking about before purchasing the product?
  • How did he/she feel?
  • Why did he/she feel this way?
  • What was he/she looking for?
  • How did he/she hope to solve his/her problem?
  • What did he/she want to achieve?
  • How did he/she find your company and what has he/she learned about it?
  • How did he/she feel after he bought the product/used the service?

This information can be very helpful when you create ads for generating B2B leads.

How to generate B2B leads

Targeting Guide

1. Navigate to the campaign settings. The first thing you can customize is Location.

b2b lead generation

If you plan to show ads to several countries, it’s recommended to split ads into several groups and campaigns. This campaign should include a list of countries with similar advertising expenses. For example, you can combine the following countries into one campaign: the Philippines, Bangladesh, Egypt, Thailand, South Africa, Poland, Turkey, Brazil, and Kenya.
Do not forget to exclude countries you don't want to target.

2. Select the language of the LinkedIn profile. If you are going to show ads in European countries, set your default language as English to increase your audience reach.

lead generation campaign

3. Now go to your target audience settings. LinkedIn offers the following options:

● Job title
● Job seniority
● Job function (department)
● Skills (on the profile)
● Groups
● Company size
● Company industry
● Company name (works both for inclusion and exclusion)
● Education
● Demographics (location)
● Years of experience (not recommended)
● Gender

If you don’t use Job Titles in targeting, make sure to exclude Sales, Marketing and Business Development related job titles.

Leave the following checkbox empty:

LinkedIn Ads

4. Choose the ad format. The most popular formats are Single image ads, Carousel image ads, and Video ads.

5. Navigate to the Placements field and select LinkedIn. LinkedIn Audience Network is used in exceptional cases when the audience size is too small.

6. Define the budget and rates
Depending on your advertising budget, we recommend you set a lifetime budget and let the LinkedIn algorithm calculate the necessary daily budget for you. Also, we recommend choosing an automated Maximum delivery bidding strategy.

Select Manual bidding only if you’ve already launched successful LinkedIn Ads campaigns, have a good understanding of the product being advertised, and want to control costs and bids yourself. In other cases, it is better to rely on the LinkedIn algorithm and choose automated Maximum Delivery.

lead generation strategies

Account-Based Marketing Approach

Let’s start with the definition of ABM. Account Based Marketing is a specialized approach in B2B that focuses the attention of marketing and sales teams on certain companies (accounts). In LinkedIn Ads, ABM is represented by displaying the most relevant ads to a list of companies that you have selected.

There are two ways to add company names:

- upload a list of companies to LinkedIn in CSV;
- add companies you want to target manually.

If you have more than 500 companies, prepare a list in a CSV file and upload it to LinkedIn. 
Here’s a detailed guide on how to upload a CSV file to LinkedIn:

1. Navigate to Plan and select Audience. Click Create audience -> Upload a list -> Company/Contact

b2b lead generation strategies

2. Upload a file with a list of companies in the next window. To increase the Match Rate, it’s better to include a company URL in the file. Also, note that LinkedIn can “recognize” around 60-70% of the companies on your list.

If you have less than 500 companies, we recommend you manually add them to the file. Then, you can upload the file in a similar way.

Account-based marketing on LinkedIn

Improve your strategy

We highly recommend that you conduct a competitive analysis to understand what approach your competitors use in LinkedIn Ads. This way you’ll be able to customize your message and feel your competitors’ trends. It should be noted that you will never know what your competitors are targeting for sure. However, they may use the same lists of companies that you do in Account Based Marketing. Here’s how you can see what advertisements your competitors do in LinkedIn ads:

1. Go to the competitor's LinkedIn profile.

2. Navigate to Posts.

3. Next, click Ads.

how to generate b2b leads

The Account Based Marketing approach works best when you show the ads to your audience in a targeted way. This means, uploading a list of companies is not enough. We recommend that you use LinkedIn's advanced targeting options. It will allow you to show ads to specific people from your list. The most effective combination is Company Lists and Job Titles. If your audience results are insufficient, try using company lists in combination with Job seniority.

What is an advertisement copy

Effective ad copy tips

The most important part that determines the success of all campaigns is ads content. You should try creating multiple ads with different texts in your campaign.

We recommend testing several types of content:

● a short version of the text;
● an announcement that starts with a question;
● a long text;
● a list of benefits and features of your offer.

Your text should capture users’ attention right away and evoke curiosity.

Writing Titles

Titles should not exceed 55-60 characters. It’s better to indicate the type of your offer in square brackets. For example, if you're promoting a free checklist, put [Checklist] in your title. This way your audience understand what they will get after submitting a form. This method proves to increase clickability. linkedin b2b lead generation

Best ad copy examples

Like on other advertising platforms, the visual content affects click-through rate (CTR) and the number of leads, which ultimately affects ROAS (return on ads spend).

You should keep in mind that there is no simple formula for success here - therefore, stick to best practices and test several techniques.

General recommendations:
● Use a large font size for your offer;
● Use captivating creatives;
● Select full face-photos;
● List the main benefits of the offer;
● If you are promoting an eBook, add a screenshot of the first page;
● Add a button with CTA on the ad image.

best ad copy examples


B2b leads with LinekdIn ads


LinkedIn Ads lead generation


Lead generations

Lead generation forms

CTR and Lead Conversion Rate depend on how you set up lead forms. It is important to note that even the best creatives and ads content do not ensure that your audience will convert into leads after clicking your ad. Let's go through the steps of creating a high-converting lead form.

To create a lead form, navigate to Assets and click Lead gen forms. Then, select Create form.

linkedin insight tag installation
1. Let’s start with a name of the lead form. It is recommened to indicate that the lead form belongs to LinkedIn. This way you will easily identify lead forms when you set up notifications or workflows in HubSpot.

2.Then, select the language. It must match the LinkedIn profile language in your campaign's targeting settings.

3. Type the title (it should not exceed 60 characters) and Offer Details information. We recommend you list only the most important information here so that users will recognize the main benefits of your offer.

4. Add the Privacy Policy URL and Privacy Policy Text if necessary.

lead generation forms

5. After that, fill in all the necessary fields in the form. There is one golden rule when it comes to preparing lead forms: the less we ask from people, the greater the chance of converting them into leads. Therefore, keep the most necessary fields and get rid of the rest. We recommend including the following fields: First Name, Last Name, LinkedIn profile URL, Company name, and Work email. These fields are pre-populated.

B2b lead gen

6.The final step is to set up Confirmation Message and Thank you page with a call-to-action.

B2b linkedin ads

LinkedIn Insight Tag Installation

Before setting up, make sure to install the Insight Tag on each page of the site where you want to track conversions.

To install the LinkedIn Insight Tag code, click the Analyze drop-down menu and select Conversion Tracking.

LinkedIn Ads for b2b

Then, select Data Sources, click Add source, and choose Insight tag. Create an Insight Tag.

B2b lead generation

Navigate to the Manage Insight Tag menu and select See tag.

b2b lead generation

Next, you can copy the generated code and forward it to web developers, or add it manually. If you want to do it yourself: paste the Insight Tag code below in your website's global footer, right above the closing HTML <body> tag.

LinkedIn Ads


The last but not least is the fact that currently LinkedIn is the main channel for generating leads in B2B. This is a professional network that allows you to gain the trust of potential buyers and build an extensive customer base. The main advantage of the LinkedIn platform is that a large number of people from various professional areas spend a lot of time on this platform. Using LinkedIn Ads advertisers can granularly target ads to specific users from different countries using professional characteristics such as Job Titles, Company Names, Skills and many others. LinkedIn popularity in the B2B industry is growing, and it is making more companies to invest their advertising budgets in this platform to see high ROAS and a large number of high-quality leads.

 Get a free consultation from Resonate, Microsoft Advertising Partner

Our LinkedIn Ads experts will help you generate high-quality leads that actually convert. Fill out our proposal form to talk to us.

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