Marketing Hacks

How to use LinkedIn sponsored ads to generate quality leads

Luke Rose-Smith
January 19, 2023

If you work in B2B you’ll know LinkedIn is a prospecting goldmine. LinkedIn has 500 million active users across the globe, with each profile curated personally with accurate job data.

Done well, LinkedIn can form a powerful part of your multi-channel paid media strategy and take your B2B marketing strategy to the next level.

Whether you are new to the world of LinkedIn ads or you’ve tried it with no success, check out our comprehensive summary of how to use LinkedIn ads to generate high quality leads.

Start with a good offer

Too many times I see an ad for a company I've never heard of offering a free demo of their platform. Newsflash, I’m not interested and neither are your customers. Unless users have previously been exposed to your brand and are ready to convert, they’re not going to take you up on a demo offer — even if it’s free. 

Your audience could be killer but if you don’t have an offer or CTA (call to action) which appeals to your potential prospects they’ll scroll right past, or worse, click on your LinkedIn ad and jump straight off, costing you money.

Instead, why not create a piece of content that provides value to your audience and addresses their pain points. For example, we recently ran a LinkedIn campaign for our client, TrafficGuard, to make performance marketers aware of the issue surrounding ad fraud in their PPC campaigns.

We call this a ‘lead magnet’.

With the right sales enablement and nurture process, those that download the lead magnet can be turned into clients.

Ensure you have solid foundations

So you’ve got great content, but what goes on behind the scenes?

A good LinkedIn campaign structure follows your lead’s buyer journey while targeting them at multiple points along the way.

Firstly, you want to make sure that each of your buyer personas have a separate campaign group. For example if your service offers software solutions to HR & Finance leaders, you’ll want to split these two up into separate campaign groups so you can tailor your messaging to each department's pain points. Like we did here with Docuware, who provider enterprise document management solutions. 

Once you have your campaign groups set up, next you need to create individual campaigns for each stage of the funnel. 

Use your lead magnet to target top and middle of the funnel groups such as broader audiences targeting HR job titles.

Next you want to set up retargeting audiences, this is where you can offer your sales call or platform demo. Here you want to leverage users who have previously downloaded content or engaged with your website. These users are already clued up on what you offer, so now is the time to re-engage them.

Target the people that matter most to your business with LinkedIn audiences

Arguably the most important part of your B2B marketing strategy; who do you want to target?

As suggested in our campaign section, your lead magnet campaigns should target broader audiences. I would suggest starting with just a couple as you will need to split your budget between the both (of course, if you have lots of budget to play around with (lucky thing), go ahead and add more).

The buyer personas and campaign groups you have created will have a big say in the audiences you wish to target. Going back to our HR software example, I want to target decision makers within HR departments, how would we do this? Well there are a few options…

  • An audience targeting specific job titles, i.e head of human resources, human resources director.
  • Target the HR job function with a seniority overlaid, for example Human Resources + Director, VP & Manager.
  • Use a 3rd party data source to build a list of ideal contacts. See our top tips on how to use Linkedin sales navigator.
  • Find groups or skills that your audience share in common and target the profiles within these groups.

Did you know that targeting only job titles limits your audience by 45%. That’s why we say broader is better! Having a broader audience, like the function plus seniority, means you won’t miss out on the more niche job titles and allows for more scalability.

Then of course you need your retargeting audiences, this gives you a change to target those people who already know about your brand such as:

  • Website visitors
  • Company page followers
  • Lead magnet downloads

We could talk forever about audiences, for now we will leave it at that…

Maximise the ROI from your Linkedin ads

Test. Test. Test.

You’ll have heard PPC marketers sing this before, but for good reason! Your campaigns may be performing well, but how do you know results couldn’t be even better without testing?

At Radial Path, we have devised a six-round testing plan which can be run over the course of 12 weeks to ensure that all aspects of your Linkedin ads are running to their maximum potential.

The testing roadmap is in two week sprints, which is the minimum learning time we recommend, and each sprint tests a different part of your LinkedIn campaign.

Ding-Ding 🔔

Round 1 - The Offer

Round 2 - The Creatives

Round 3 - The Audience

Round 4 - Ad Formats

Round 5 - Bidding Strategies

Round 6 - Landing Pages

Knockout. 🥊

Turn good prospects into leads

While all this is great, it’s pointless unless you have a good B2B sales enablement and nurture process.

Yes, that involves marketing and sales working together. 😱

First step, connect your LinkedIn account to your CRM so all leads from LinkedIn lead generation forms are automatically added to your sales funnel. Hubspot makes it really easy to do this.

Once you’ve made a seamless connection for your lead data, now you ought to create an email campaign which will nurture your prospects over the finish line.

Here are some really cool tips on how to create a solid lead nurturing strategy.

Can a LinkedIn ads agency help me?

In short, yes.

We’ve thrown over a lot of information and you may be feeling overwhelmed. That’s what we’re here for!

We have crafted these strategies from years of performance marketing experience, working with a number of market-leading companies in the tech and telco space.

Drop us a message, and see how we can help you generate top quality leads from LinkedIn ads.

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