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Mastering LinkedIn Ads for B2B SaaS Marketing

Advertising on LinkedIn is a no-brainer for most B2B SaaS companies. LinkedIn is the best social media business platform, so it makes perfect sense for B2B companies to use their advertising platform. 

LinkedIn ads have great conversion rates on gated educational content, meaning more leads and fewer page bounces. Not only will you generate more leads, but you’ll generate more quality leads who match your ideal buyer profile. 

But these awesome results don’t just happen automatically. Creating quality LinkedIn ads that convert takes a little bit of time and testing. Here are the best practices you should implement in order to create stellar sponsored content ads.

Promote educational content

The key to generating more leads through LinkedIn ads is creating content that resonates with your audience. The best content is usually educational, not sales-related. Share an ebook, infographic, webinar or another similar offer that your audience would find useful but that does not directly promote your business. 

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Add images or videos 

Your image should visually demonstrate and display the value of the offer. If you’re using one image, sometimes simple is better. Design a visual with an image of your offer and a small amount of text (7 words or less is ideal to pass a glance test). LinkedIn recommends images with bright colors to catch the eye.

If you are leveraging video, make sure it’s 30 seconds or less; ideally, it should be under 10 seconds and highlight the benefits of your offer to drive conversion.

Note: Don’t use carousel ads—it’s too much work for not much more engagement.

Test different copy

Testing different wording (and different images) can help you determine what’s really resonating with your audience. By implementing an A/B testing strategy, you can apply your findings to future ads for even more success. 

Consider making the following tweaks to test your copy:

    • Using “you” language vs. “we” language
    • Calling out the type of offer in brackets (e.g., “[Ebook]”) vs. no brackets
    • Mentioning specific job titles vs. not mentioning them
    • Using numbers vs. full numerical values
    • Using different types of punctuation/symbols (!, @, #, $, %, &, (), etc.)

Include a strong call-to-action

The call-to-action (CTA) is last piece that will convince your audience to convert. Use actionable language like “Try,” “Download,” “Sign up,” “Subscribe,” “Learn” or “Request.” The ad should clearly direct the reader to the desired action so there is no confusion as to how to access your offer.

Leverage multiple areas of targeting

LinkedIn allows you to target your audience based on a variety of options. At a minimum, you should target your audience based on job title; however, targeting by job function and seniority allows for more conversions at a lower cost. Other targets include company size, industry, skills and location. Be sure to exclude customers and competitors.

Note: Best results occur when audience size is 20,000-80,000 for sponsored content.

Use a tracking link

Tracking links are unique URLs that you can add to your ad to determine exactly how many people visited your site by clicking on your ad. They allow you to connect ROI with your efforts. If you’re not using one, you can’t validate the success of your ads. Leverage free tools like the campaign URL builder in Google Analytics or tracking link generators in WordPress if you don’t already have one.

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Set a competitive but reasonable budget

Accelity (and many of our clients) spend around $100 a week on Linkedin ads. We recommend spending based on cost-per-click (CPC), as it’s more actionable than impressions. 

Typically, Accelity spends $5–7 on CPC, but as our audience shrinks, our CPC bid goes up. For example, if you have a smaller audience (20,000) you may need to spend more on your ads. This is because you are bidding against other businesses also vying for the attention of this smaller group of people.

Test your ads and track your CPC to see which ads perform best, but also look at the types of leads you receive from ads. If you have 10 leads come from an ad, but they aren’t a great fit for your business, was that ad truly as successful as one that brought in 5 quality leads? Probably not.

Bid smarter

Check your click-through-rate (CTR) daily to ensure you’re getting the most out of your bids. If your CTR is less than .35%, something went wrong. Try launching new ads or tweaking existing ads until your CTR increases. Above .35% and below 1% is good—you can bid down to get the lowest cost-per-click or higher to drive more traffic. A CTR of 1% or more is awesome! Change the bid type here to CPM and bid aggressively for big discounts. 

Note: Do not use LinkedIn auto-bid. 

Evaluate your performance and iterate

Keep track of your results so you can track your progress and see whether you’re hitting your benchmarks. Take note of what works, change what doesn’t and take stock of CPC and cost-per-lead. Make sure to set aside time for contacting all your new, quality leads—you’re going to need it!

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