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 using 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 to generate quality leads is impossible without creating your ideal customer profile. Let's look at the most important attributes of your ICP.
1. Demographics You need to know exactly the age, gender, education, income level, marital status, occupation of your ideal customer. These metrics are usually the easiest to define.
2. Psychographic indicators. 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 than in the process of lead generation.
3. Giving a name to your ideal customer helps humanize the ICP profile. If the target audience includes both men and women, you can pick a name that fits both males and females.
4. Visual representation of your ideal customer’s face really helps. You can find stock images over the internet and pick those, which associates with your customer’s image the most. There are also online resources where you can generate a face profile manually.
5. Write a story about the client's portrait. This story should tell about the portrait's relationship with the company and its product/service. What was he thinking about before purchasing the product? How did he feel? Why did he feel this way? What was he looking for? How did he hope to solve his problem? What did he want to achieve? How did he find your company and what he has learned about it? How did he feel after he bought the product/used the service? This information can be very helpful when you create ads for generating B2b leads.
1. Navigate to the campaign settings. The first thing you can customize is Location.
If you plan to show ads to several countries, it’s recommended to split ads on several groups and campaigns. This campaign should include a list of countries with similar advertising expenses. For example, you can combine the following countries to one campaign: Philippines, Bangladesh, Egypt, Thailand, South Africa, Poland, Turkey, Brazil, Kenya. Also, do not forget to exclude countries, which you are not intended to show ads to.
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.
3. Now go to your target audience settings. LinkedIn offers the following options:
● Job title ● Level of seniority ● Job function (department) ● Skills (on the profile) ● Groups ● Company size ● Company industry ● Company name (both good for inclusion and exclusion) ● Education ● Demographics (location) ● Years of experience (not recommended) ● Gender
If you don’t use Job Titles in targeting, make sure exclude Sales, Marketing and Business Development related job titles.
Leave the following checkbox empty
4. Choose the ad format. The most popular formats are Single image ad, Carousel image ad and Video ad.
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.
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 specifically selected.
What is the best way to add company names? There are two ways: - upload a list of companies to LinkedIn in CSV; - add companies to targeting manually. If you have more than 500 companies, prepare a list in csv format and upload it to LinkedIn. This procedure can take up to 2-3 days from the LinkedIn side. Here’s a detailed guide on how to upload a CSV file to LinkedIn:
1. Navigate to the Plan section and select Audience. Click Create audience -> Upload a list -> Company/Contact
2. In the next window, upload a file with a list of companies. To increase the Match Rate, it’s better to include a company URL to the file. Also note that LinkedIn can “recognize” just 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 the similar way.
What can improve your ABM-strategy in LinkedIn Ads?
Conduct a competitive analysis. Try 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 (things that competitors pay attention in ads). It's important to understand that we will not know what your competitors are targeting. However, competitors may also 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 the Posts section.
3. Next, click on Ads
The Account Based Marketing approach works best when you show the ads to your audience in the most targeted way. Which 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 in getting too small, try using company lists in combination with Level of seniority.
How to write effective ad copies
The most important part that determines the success of all advertising campaigns is the ads content. Create multiple ads in your campaign with different text.
We recommend testing several types of content:
● short version of the text; ● an announcement that starts with a question; ● long text; ● list of benefits and features of your offer.
Your ads text should capture users’ attention from the first words and evoke a sense of curiosity.
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 will immediately get a certain understanding of what they will get in exchange for sending their data. This technique works well and affects clickability. Example:
Examples of effective advertisements
Like on other advertising platforms, the visual component of ads affects click-through rate and the number of leads, which ultimately affects ROAS (return on ads spend)
But you should understand that there is no ideal or 100% successful formula for success. That is why our recommendation is to stick to best practices and test several techniques.
General recommendations: ● Indicate the advertised offer in a large font. ● Use captivating creatives. ● For human faces, use images with straight look ● 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
Lead generation forms
The key to a high CTR and Lead Conversion Rate is a properly set up lead forms. It is important to understand that the best creatives and ads content do not guarantee that your audience will convert into leads after clicking on your ad. Let's go through the steps of creating a high converting lead form.
To create a lead form, navigate to the Assets section and click on Lead gen forms. Then click on Create form.
1. Let’s start with the proper name of the lead form. We recommend that you first 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. Remember, the language must match the LinkedIn profile language in your campaign's targeting settings.
3. Type the title (which should not exceed 60 characters) and Offer Details information. We recommend you to list only the most important information here, so that users will recognize the main benefits of your offer.
5. Then 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 to 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 progressively pre-populated.
6.The final step is to set up Confirmation Message and Thank you message call-to-action
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.
In order to install the LinkedIn Insight Tag code, click the Analyze drop-down menu and select Conversion Tracking.
Then select Data Sources, click on Add source, and choose Insight tag. Create an Insight Tag.
Navigate to the Manage Insight Tag menu and select See tag.
In the next step, 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.
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. LinkedIn Ads allows advertisers to granularly target ads to users from different countries using professional characteristics such as Job Titles, Company Names, Skills and many others for targeting. LinkedIn's 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.
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