LinkedIn Ads Cost

How Much Do LinkedIn Ads Cost?

LinkedIn Ads Cost

It’s a simple truth that success in business requires success in advertising. As the market presence of eCommerce continues to explode, online advertising becomes more important with each passing day. For many business owners, online advertising begins and ends with Google Ads and Facebook Ads. However, while LinkedIn Ads cost more, savvy marketing professionals recognize the specialized benefits this platform offers.

If you need a new channel to generate leads and traffic, LinkedIn can present an ideal solution. What’s more, if you work in the B2B space, LinkedIn offers a veritable goldmine of potential customers. According to data collected in 2018, 65 percent of B2B marketers have found a successful return on their LinkedIn Ads cost. 

LinkedIn also continues to grow at an exceptional pace. In its Q3 2020 report, Microsoft states that LinkedIn has ballooned to 690 million members, with more than a 25% growth in user sessions for a new record in terms of engagement. What does this mean for you? Exposure to an active and professional audience on a platform with clear dominance in the world of B2B eCommerce.

LinkedIn Ads Cost: Is It Worth It?

Though LinkedIn stands as a juggernaut in the world of B2B commerce, its advertising opportunities can provide clear benefits for practically any company. Whether you own or market for a university, nonprofit, or another type of organization, you can utilize LinkedIn for targeted goals to achieve success. 

Also, keep in mind that the ROI on your LinkedIn Ads cost is not only apparent in new customers, but also in potential employees. Any savvy business owner knows that finding the right applicant is less about dangling a hook, and more about finding the right spot and casting a net.

That said, B2B companies do represent the standard candidates for LinkedIn advertising. Before you commit resources to the platform, ask yourself whether a career-minded professional would have an interest in your service, product, or offer. If your answer is “yes,” then LinkedIn likely offers a good avenue for you to follow. 

Remember, people join and engage with LinkedIn to further their careers, network with other professionals, establish business contacts, and find new jobs. Whatever your offer or message, it needs to appeal to people engaged in these activities. 

How Do LinkedIn Ads Work?

Though LinkedIn advertisements do not appear as obvious as ads through other platforms, an engaged user will encounter them on a daily basis. As typical with online advertising, LinkedIn Ads cost different amounts and exist in different forms. If you decide to advertise on this platform, you can choose between Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail, Text Ads, and Dynamic Ads.

Sponsored Content

The native advertisements users see most frequently, Sponsored Content operates on the LinkedIn Ads cost-bidding structure to surface in users’ news feeds. When it appears, a piece of Sponsored Content will look similar to any typical LinkedIn post. You can create Sponsored Content in a few different formats. 

Single image ads are typical feed ads composed of a single image paired with some text. A video ad allows you to substitute a short clip for the static image. Lastly, carousel ads consist of a swipeable series of images that allow advertisers to tell a story, display multiple offers, or provide an audience with business insights.

Sponsored InMail

With Sponsored InMail, you use LinkedIn Messaging to send advertisements to specified prospects. This program only targets people who engage with LinkedIn frequently. It also comes with delivery caps that increase the chance your messages actually get read. Sponsored InMail is ideal for a few types of goals, including:

  • Boosted registrations for events or webinars through personalized invites
  • More conversions for service promotions and targeted product advertising
  • Promoted downloads of white papers, infographics, and eBooks

Text Ads

Text ads appear on a desktop in LinkedIn’s right column area. You can choose between four formats for these ads: horizontal, long, tall, and square. With text ads, you can directly target a premium audience to derive top-quality leads. Text ads also allow for tight control of how much your LinkedIn Ads cost. For example, this type of ad has no contract or commitment requirement. You only pay for ads that work via clicks or impressions.

Dynamic Ads

These ads capture immediate attention. Dynamic ads feature a LinkedIn member’s own profile data, including company name, profile data, job title, a photo, and more. Thanks to automation, you can launch dynamic campaigns quickly with individually populated ads across the LinkedIn desktop. 

What Is the LinkedIn Ads Cost Breakdown?

With LinkedIn, you customize the amount you spend and bid on ads. This means that LinkedIn Ads cost different amounts from campaign to campaign. Typically, advertisers on Linkedin pay a median price of $3.99 for every click. Keep in mind, however, that this number is generated through s blended analysis of all advertisers. In reality, the average cost-per-click (CPC) on LinkedIn lands closer to $5. 

LinkedIn requires a minimum bid of $2 for CPC and cost-per-impression (CPM) campaigns. This results in averages of $5.26 for the clicks and $6.59 for every 1000 impressions your ads generate. Sponsored InMail presents the most expensive option, with an average of around $.80 for each send in the campaign.

One company that has worked with LinkedIn often, HubSpot, has raised the curtain on its experience with the advertising platform. According to HubSpot, prices for ads averaged $5.74 per click and had a conversion rate of 6.1%. If you apply these numbers to a budget of $1,000, you will pay for 174 total clicks and 11 conversions. Break this down, and you’ll find that you’ve spent about $90 for a conversion through LinkedIn.

Your actual LinkedIn Ads cost will depend on three factors

Target Audience

Advertising on LinkedIn centers on competition between advertisers for a target audience. If you want to go after a high-demand audience, you will pay more for your campaign. There are two reasons for this: the audience’s perceived value, along with the the number of competitors for their attention.

Bid Amount

Of course, the amount of your bid also influences your LinkedIn Ads cost. Though you will never pay higher than your bid amount, you will pay some percentage of it. This occurs because LinkedIn’s advertising auctions requires the winner to pay one cent more than the runner-up bid.

Ad Relevance Scores

The relevance and value of your ad plays a huge factor in your LinkedIn Ads cost. If you achieve a high score in regards to relevance, your expenses will actually decrease. This occurs because LinkedIn actively wants to provide engaging ad content to its users.

Your Budget and Bidding Options

LinkedIn Analytics

Advertisers on LinkedIn have three options for the control of an advertising budget. 

Total Budget: You set a total budget for the entire ad campaign. This works best for those who want to quickly deliver a campaign for a set amount of money. The minimum you can spend is $10 per campaign.

Daily Budget: Another type of budget with a $10 minimum, the daily budget suits those who want to design a campaign that runs on a continuous basis.

Setting Bids: As discussed above, setting a bid means that you identify the maximum amount you will spend for impressions, clicks, or sends. You will never pay more than your bid. For this option, LinkedIn has established a $2 minimum for every click.

You have three options when you bid for LinkedIn Ads. The first is cost-per-click (CPC). This means that you pay when users click on your ad. If you want to drive traffic to a website or generate leads, this presents a great bidding option.

Cost-per-impression (CPM) ads are the second bidding option. With these, you spend money each time your ad generates 1000 impressions. An impression means that someone has seen your ad, but not necessarily interacted with it. This bidding option typically appeals to companies who want to increase brand awareness.

The final bidding option, cost-per-send (CPS) applies only to those engaged with Sponsored InMail. When you bid CPS, you set the maximum price you will pay for every user that receives your Sponsored InMail advertisement. Since this lands advertising directly in a user’s mailbox, it works best for companies who wish to target specific users with a product or service.

How Do LinkedIn Ads Compare to Other Platforms?

Put simply, LinkedIn Ads cost more than advertising on other platforms. For example, one study showed that the median CPC for Facebook Ads comes in at $0.51. The same study pinned LinkedIn at $5.61 CPC. Though this represents nearly a 10x multiplier, however, the leads found through LinkedIn tend to generate much more value. 

In addition to higher-quality leads and a better ROI, LinkedIn clicks are 500% more likely to generate quality conversions. If you operate in B2B sales or an industry that targets high-value professionals, these lucrative, quality conversions are exactly what you want. 

As for Google Ads, LinkedIn again proves its superiority for more targeted, niche marketing. In terms of costs, Google Ads cost between $1 and $2. However, this price can increase a great deal if you need to compete for popular keywords. Google Ads is also best utilized for intent-driven searches. This means that it delivers ads to users who search for a specific thing. 

LinkedIn, on the other hand, can catch people before they have shown intent. In other words, with LinkedIn, you can target potential consumers before they know they need your services or products. Since you establish audience criteria as part of your campaign, you benefit from refined targeting that exposes your business to entirely new markets.

Though LinkedIn Ads cost more than other outlets, they stand out on the strength of their audience. Furthermore, LinkedIn’s unrivaled options for specific targeting make each of its ad formats highly effective investments. No one wants to feel as if their advertising budget has gone to waste. If you know your market and are willing to spend some money, LinkedIn Ads will not disappoint. 

top linkedin lead gen strategies

Top LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategies (+1 Bonus Lead Gen Experiment)

LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategies

As a business owner, chances are good that you have some type of familiarity with the LinkedIn platform. Maybe you’ve used the world’s most famous business networking website to meet more leaders and experts in your space, as a recruitment tool for finding top talent or to share a piece of content about your business. But what’s your record like with LinkedIn lead generation strategies? Have you dabbled with getting in front of your target audience through LinkedIn’s display advertising options, lead gen forms, or sponsored inmail? 

For those of you not fortunate enough to have applied a portion of your ad budget to LinkedIn, an assessment of the channel should be on your list. It provides you with a great way to get in front of your target audience to introduce your brand and generate quality leads.

However, it is important that you know a few things about LinkedIn Advertising before you start building campaigns and developing ads. One top of mind aspect of LinkedIn Advertising should be that it is not a cheap platform to use. The expensive aspect of LinkedIn ensures that not all your competitors will be using it for lead generation, but it also requires that you be very well positioned to on LinkedIn before you even start advertising. 

Is LinkedIn Lead Generation Right For Your Business? 

At Tuff, our clients have seen the most success with LinkedIn lead generation strategies when they’ve had three things nailed down. Here’s a step-by-step guide to determine whether this type of advertising channel makes sense for your business:

     1. Is LinkedIn Lead Generation right for you from a business model perspective? 

As mentioned, LinkedIn is expensive. Expect to see extremely high CPMs not to mention CPCs. Given the high barrier of entry for LinkedIn Advertising, you need to figure out if your business model is even right for LinkedIn. What space are you in? Our clients who see the most success with LinkedIn lead generation strategies are ones in the B2B space with multi-thousand dollar lifetime values from their customers. 

     2. Does your LinkedIn Business Page contain regularly posted organic content?

You can’t kick off a well-coordinated and strategic LinkedIn advertising campaign unless the lights are on in your LinkedIn Business Page. More than little signs of life, you need to have a big presence on your page to make sure your LinkedIn ads perform well. If you’re prospecting, users will want to learn more about you before they head to your website or fill out a lead form. 

 

 

Your organic LinkedIn posting strategy needs to involve information about your business, your current clients, and your culture. One agency that we think has done an exceptional job at their LinkedIn organic presence is Directive. Check out the video above to see their LinkedIn page and notice how much different content in various formats they have posted to their page!

    3. Do you already know your target audience? 

Knowing your audience is incredibly important on LinkedIn (as it is with other channels, but even more so with LinkedIn). With other advertising platforms like Google and Facebook, you can set up tests to figure out what the audience will respond best to your advertising. We highly recommend not doing this on LinkedIn, it’s not an audience research phase-type platform unless you can afford it. 

Given the cost, you’ll waste large amounts of money doing audience research on LinkedIn, which is why it’s so important that you know your audience before you start your LinkedIn strategy. 

A great example of this is from one of our clients, Thalamus, who is the premier GME interview management platform that connects residency and fellowship applicants and programs. 

Their target audience is residency coordinators or program directors at academic medical centers and hospital systems throughout the US & Canada, which is exactly who we targeted on LinkedIn. 

Strategy #1: Leverage Lookalike Audiences 

You might be familiar with Lookalike Audiences from running Facebook advertising campaigns. If not, there’s nothing complicated about understanding them. As the name implies, they are lookalikes of an existing customer audience that has already interacted with your business. 

For example, a common first Lookalike audience that we create for our clients is one based on your current customers. You can also create a Lookalike audience based on users who have taken a specific action on your site (tracked by the LinkedIn Insight Tag).

A great way to leverage this in a LinkedIn Campaign is to use a Lookalike as your base audience, then layer in other demographic or job-specific targeting options specific to your target audience. 

Strategy #2: Optimize for higher in the funnel

Another great LinkedIn lead generation strategy has to do with how you position LinkedIn in your overall advertising strategy. 

In a very, very rare circumstance will LinkedIn be a sustainable way for you to scale your business. What’s more likely is that LinkedIn Ads will provide your business with a method for introducing specific people to your business, piece of content, and if your budget allows you to drive them to your website. 

Since LinkedIn has a higher cost associated with running ads on it than other platforms, we suggest optimizing your ads for goals that are higher in the funnel and planning your advertising strategy accordingly for those higher objectives. 

For example, you might want to run an ad with a lead gen form that you optimize for engagement. You’re essentially telling LinkedIn that you want to get your ad in front of as many people as possible that will engage with your ad and will give those a way to get in touch with you with a CTA linking to a lead form should engagers want to learn more about your business. 

Experiment #1: Influencer marketing lead generation  

Finally, we’d like to suggest a theoretical lead generation experiment that we’ve been developing at Tuff for LinkedIn. In full transparency, we don’t have any evidence to support that this works, because we haven’t had a chance to try it out on any of our current campaigns. 

To start generating leads for your business without needing to allocate enough budget resources to a paid LinkedIn campaign, we recommend this strategy which utilizes Influencer Marketing

The first part of this strategy is to have one of your customers, a business acquaintance, or other business influencers make a written post on LinkedIn that advocates for your business – make sure the post doesn’t include any links because LinkedIn wants to keep their users on LinkedIn as much as possible so they keep posts with outbound links from getting as much organic traction as ones without links. 

The second part of this strategy is to then have other customers or influencers like and share the post with their network on LinkedIn. Eventually, you should be able to get a snowball effect going with your post to cause it to go viral. When done right this type of strategy should help you get in front of your target audience without needing to pay steep LinkedIn advertising costs. 

 

Man typing on his computer.

15 LinkedIn Advertising Stats to Get You Started Today

Man typing on his computer.

Whether it’s Twitter, Youtube, Snapchat, or Facebook, each major social media outlet has its own audience, targeting, ad formats, and process.  

As a business owner or marketer, one of the most important choices you can make is identifying the right channel and tactic for your audience. Exposure in the world of paid acquisition does not come cheap, and you must make sure that your advertising reaches the right audience. For businesses that wish to target business professionals or promote B2B content, LinkedIn advertising stands as a preeminent choice. 

Why LinkedIn Advertising?

The venerable LinkedIn launched at the end of 2002, more than a year before Facebook. Since then, it has grown tremendously to become one of the leading social media platforms in the world. It has also carved out a unique niche for itself. While sites like Facebook and Twitter cater to any use whatsoever, LinkedIn remains dedicated to a professional network. As a result, it has a clearly defined user base that relies upon the site for important things like job searches and professional development. 

Despite these qualities, LinkedIn’s advertising opportunities often get overlooked. This can represent an egregious oversight on the part of a marketer, as LinkedIn advertising can prove massively successful for the right type of business. Its large membership aside, LinkedIn offers several benefits that clearly distinguish it from other channels.

Let’s take a look! 

The Benefits of Advertising on LinkedIn

Many people use social media almost exclusively to share their personal information. Whether it’s vacation photos, or your personal opinions on the future of democracy, sites like Facebook offer a forum where users broadcast a steady stream of personal data. LinkedIn offers a singular advantage in this regard. Though users on other platforms share insights into their personalities, daily lives, beliefs, habits, and preferences, they rarely reveal their work history or place of employment. In fact, many people actively keep their career and social media presence squarely separate.

With LinkedIn Ads, your company gets access to accurate data about a sizable professional audience. Among other things, LinkedIn shares info about location, work position, prior work experience, professional skills, and education. This sort of information is a goldmine for savvy marketers, as it allows them to identify specific demographics for the effective placement of ads and content. When you launch a LinkedIn advertising campaign, you can choose among targeting options that include:

  • Location
  • Job Title
  • Company Name
  • Industry
  • Degree
  • Professional Interests
  • And more

LinkedIn also allows for variability in content. LinkedIn’s ad options allow you to choose between the best type of media to engage your audience, whether it’s text, video, or images. LinkedIn advertising also offers a variety of formats, including email and carousel ads.

For proof of LinkedIn’s success as a marketing forum, you need simply look at the statistics. These 15 LinkedIn advertising stats not only showcase the potential of this social media mainstay, but also whether it represents the right choice for your investment.

Vast Exposure

LinkedIn’s membership is massive. The social networking giant has over 660 million users, about half of which access the site regularly. Of that number, 40 percent use LinkedIn on a daily basis. Many users visit the site multiple times a day for content, messaging, networking, job searches, profile management, and other purposes. In addition to its individual users, LinkedIn also has membership from 30 million companies. The vast size of this network means that ads on LinkedIn can reach a staggering 12 percent of the world’s entire population.

The Promise of Growth

Since 2003, LinkedIn has grown at an astronomical pace. The site started off well, and amassed 1.6 million members shortly after its launch. In 2011, when LinkedIn had 160 million members, it went public. This lured a massive influx of new sign-ups, and the LinkedIn user base nearly tripled. As for continued growth, consider this: for every second that you spend reading this sentence, LinkedIn has acquired more than two new members. That works out to nearly 173,000 new users each and every day, and 62 million additions every year. 

A Professional Audience

Of this user base, the 303 million who use LinkedIn regularly are active and engaged professionals. When you consider that a major purpose of LinkedIn is to connect business professionals for career development, it’s not surprising that the site’s users tend to be mature, accomplished adults. 

Danielle Hollembaek is a marketing professional for Minute Suites, which offers air travelers private retreats in terminals around the country. She has used LinkedIn Ads to great success in the growth of her business.

“We have really focused on growing our LinkedIn audience. Through the use of LinkedIn advertising, we expanded our reach almost 1,000 followers in less than 6 months,” says Hollembaek. “Frequent flyers, business travelers, and business professionals were our main targets. With an investment of $1,000, we saw almost 223,000 impressions and 950 clicks to our website.”

The Cream of the Crop

If you break down LinkedIn’s membership, you’ll see that most users are over the age of 35. The most common age falls between 46 and 55, a range that should capture the focus of almost any advertiser. This is the age when many people attain the pinnacle of their professional achievement. If you analyze the income of U.S. adults organized into 5-year age groups, people between 50 and 54 make more money than anyone else. What’s more, the average CEO of a Fortune 500 company is 58. In other words, if you want to aim your marketing at people who have some money to spend, LinkedIn advertising is the way to go.

The Go-Getters

While most LinkedIn users are older, that doesn’t mean millennials consider the site irrelevant. Users between the ages of 25 and 34 represent one of the most rapidly growing segments of LinkedIn’s membership. This is another excellent demographic for marketing, as young professionals have a lot of purchasing power and room to grow in their careers. As of 2020, millennials count for an astonishing 50 percent of the U.S. workforce. As the engine of our economy, this age group presents a gold mine of prospects readily accessible through LinkedIn advertising.

A Trusted Source

Advertising does much better when it appears in a respected forum. Among 91 percent of marketing executives, LinkedIn rules the roost as the most trusted source for quality content. Twitter, on the other hand, only gets approval from 29 percent of marketing executives, while Facebook inspires confidence among only 27 percent. 

Equal Opportunity Advertising

If you want to reach a general audience reflective of the actual population, LinkedIn once again presents a way. Many social media sites skew toward men or women. For example, Facebook has more female users than male, while most YouTube users are men. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is split right down the middle, with virtually identical numbers of male and female members.

Influence the Influencers

Advertising on LinkedIn reaches a very different audience than on other social media platforms. An incredible one-third of LinkedIn’s users have positions of authority and count as upper management in the place of their employment. In 2019, LinkedIn could count among its users 90 million influencers of senior-level position, 63 million decision makers, 17 million industry opinion leaders, 40 million mass affluent professionals, and 10 million C-level executives.

The Dominant Channel for Content Distribution

LinkedIn has proven so successful for B2B marketers, that nearly every professional in the fields employs it for content distribution. An incredible 97 percent of B2B marketers use LinkedIn as their main outlet channel. This number, calculated in 2018, represented a 3 percent increase from the previous year. The second-most popular platform for B2B content, Twitter, actually saw a 2 percent decline over that same period of time.

High Returns for B2B

Among B2B marketing professionals, 58 percent identify LinkedIn Ads as producing a high return on investment. Emarketer’s ROI stats show that, along with Facebook, LinkedIn represents the top choice among social media platforms for value derived from paid advertising. Twitter comes in at third in this regard. According to this research, YouTube, despite its massive number of users, is four times less effective than LinkedIn for B2B marketing.

The B2B Social Media Leader

Another B2B-related statistic concerns LinkenIn’s dominance among social media leads. LinkedIn not only has a high lead conversion rate, but also accounts for an incredible 80 percent of all B2B social media leads. Facebook, by comparison, generates a paltry 6.73 percent of B2B leads.

The Top Choice for Content Marketing

If you plan to create and distribute B2B-related content, LinkedIn advertising is an indispensable forum. The vast majority of professional B2B marketers, nearly 80 percent of them, identify LinkedIn as the most effective choice for content marketing across social media. This puts LinkedIn far ahead of its rivals Facebook and Twitter, which respectively see use from only 42 and 48 percent of B2B marketers.

Global Traction

While the United States represents LinkedIn’s biggest individual market, 70 percent of the network’s total users live elsewhere in the world. This type of global reach is indispensable in the world of ecommerce. In addition to its 167 million users who reside in the U.S., LinkedIn boasts 211 million European members and 179 million from Asia-Pacific. Available in 24 languages, LinkedIn advertising allows marketers to reach across borders into practically any market they want.

The Impact of InMail

Anyone who does email marketing knows that most people will simply ignore their message. LinkedIn’s InMail, however, has a remarkable open rate of nearly 52 percent. How does this compare to normal email campaigns? According to data from MailChimp, only 21.3 percent of email advertisements garner so much as a glance. InMail, on the other hand, connects more than half the time. This type of LinkedIn advertising can prove particularly effective among the busy decision-makers in companies and sectors you want to target.  

Carol Li is the growth marketer and co-founder of CocoFax, a secure and reliable online fax service. She has seen great success with the use of InMail.

“Sponsored InMail is highly personalized, due to the fact that you are sending a direct message to a LinkedIn user who is in your target audience,” says Li. “With LinkedIn, you can do this to reach high-quality audiences such as target influencers, decision-makers, and business executives.”

LinkedIn Advertising Will Only Get Better

As of 2019, the steady growth of LinkedIn, along with its proven ROI for advertising, led 42 percent of marketing professionals to increase their investment in the service. This showcases a great deal of confidence in LinkedIn advertising, along with faith that returns will continue to grow in pace with the network’s community of users.  

One final thing: money matters in advertising. You need your marketing investment to generate a measurable return, and every dollar spent ineffectually can represent untold amounts of lost revenue. 

 

Man walking into building.

LinkedIn Advertising in 2020: LinkedIn Ad Examples From Tuff Clients

Man walking into building.

LinkedIn advertising has been quickly gaining momentum as a critical tactic for our clients at Tuff —and for good reason.

Unlike Facebook, Twitter, and Google, with LinkedIn advertising, you can connect with granular, business-oriented audiences with targeted copy and creative. It’s no wonder advertising on LinkedIn expanded 36.5% to $1.58 billion in 2019. The LinkedIn ad stats are, to say the least, very impressive. 

At Tuff, we’ve known the value of a comprehensive LinkedIn ad strategy for the last couple of years. We ran our first LinkedIn advertising campaign back in March 2017 and are still actively running campaigns for clients today. 

Example of a LinkedIn ad.

This is the first campaign we ran (ever!) on LinkedIn. It looks a little out-dated now but back then it was CUTTING-EDGE stuff.

We’re also willing to bet that LinkedIn will continue to grow throughout 2020 and beyond, especially as LinkedIn advertising features continue to improve and advance to match the same level of sophistication as other paid acquisitions channels. 

That’s why we recommend LinkedIn display ads to a variety of our partners, B2B, SaaS, and eCommerce, especially those with valuable content, brand awareness goals, or leads to collect.  

In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the LinkedIn ad campaigns we have run so far in 2020 alongside our partners. 

Follower Growth for CITI Program

CITI Program offers research ethics and compliance training for organizations like Harvard University, as well as ad hoc courses for individuals. When an organization subscribes to CITI Program, the annual base fee starts at $4,500 and scales from there. 

Example of a LinkedIn ad

We’ve been working with their team since October 2019 — and our focus has been on running campaigns and testing new channels to drive traffic and get more organizations to subscribe on their website. Our core channel mix includes Bing, Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn. 

For LinkedIn, we’ve leveraged the Sponsored Content ad format with a focus on three core objectives: 

  • Generating leads by sending highly targeted traffic to a landing page 
  • Increasing qualified traffic to posts or pages
  • Boosting follower total

For CITI, our best results have come from our campaigns that focus on follower count, which to be honest, was surprising to our entire team. Out of all the paid channels, LinkedIn is the most expensive, which means if you’re going to put your ad dollars here you typically need solid ROI numbers and last-click attribution data that signals this channel is worth the high sticker price. 

Follower ad on LinkedIn

Optimizing campaigns for followers works well for CITI because the buying cycle is long, sometimes up to 6+ months. With very specific job titles and email list uploads, we can grow the brand’s followers on LinkedIn with highly-targeted leads. From there, the sales team at CITI can develop a relationship with these followers and slowly move them down the funnel.  

For these LinkedIn lead gen campaigns to be successful, we knew it was important to nail the targeting. We were able to serve ads to key employees of target institutions that were not yet CITI Program subscribers. For these campaigns, we tested three different types of targeting: 

  • Saved Audiences: Company,  job seniority, job title, Groups
  • Lookalike Audiences- build audiences that look like your current customers
  • Nudge people in the funnel; Email List – Institutional contacts not yet subscribed 

Audience targeting options on LinkedIn.

This isn’t a strategy that is applicable to everyone (we’re paying almost $5 per quality follower!) but for CITI, it’s been one of their best performing campaign types.  

Demos for ThalamusGME

ThalamusGME is a digital interviewing software specifically designed for application to graduate medical education (GME) training programs. 

We’ve been working with their team since March 2019 and our focus has been on running campaigns that drive more demo sign-ups on the websites. Our core channel mix includes Bing, Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn. 

Example of a LinkedIn ad.

For Thalamus, we’ve seen the most success with Sponsored Content campaigns with a “Book Demo” CTA – and similar to CITI Program, the keys to our success have been in the targeting. For Thalamus LinkedIn ads, unlike Facebook or Google, we can target Residency Coordinators and key Program Managers at specific hospitals, making this a key channel for us.

Example of LinkedIn Ads reporting.

With these particular campaigns, we’ve experimented with optimizing for demos as well as landing page views and the results are almost identical. This screengrab from the ad account is a 7 day period – the top campaign was optimized for demos and the bottom for landing page views. The landing page views campaign was slightly cheaper ($1.21 per visit vs $1.34) but the onsite metrics (time on site, pages viewed, bounce rate) were almost identical. As of now, we’re still experimenting with both optimization objectives. 

LinkedIn Lead Generation for Xendoo 

Xendoo is a small business bookkeeping and accounting service. We’ve been working with this team for over three years and testing campaigns on almost every single platform. 

For the last two years, we’ve intermittently run campaigns on LinkedIn with a variety of objectives. We promoted webinars, boosted posts for engagement, grew the follower count, and sent sponsored in-mail for more direct lead generation. 

Out of all our campaigns, one of the areas we’ve seen the best success is with Sponsored In-Mail. This can work well for B2B and SaaS if you’ve already seen success with cold email outreach or if you have a specific, well-defined list of prospects. 

LinkedIn lead gen ad example.

When it comes to Sponsored In-Mail it takes a few weeks to really find traction. We ran this particular campaign (see above) for 30 days. Here’s what the stats looked like: 

  • Spend:$500 
  • Clicks: 271
  • CPC: $1.85
  • CTR: 43.71%

The key to Sponsored In Mail, like cold email, is the message. We had tested a variety of different CTAs on the website (and in other ads) and knew that the ‘Free Consultation’ was the most popular. We honed in on Xendoo’s USP and really channeled their target audience to craft the right message, which is why the CTR was so high.  

We love experimenting on LinkedIn to get results for our clients and are excited to see the channel continue to grow. 

It’s important to note that with these three examples, the clients all have higher acceptable CACs (in the $250-500 range) with over $3k LTVs. When it comes to LinkedIn advertising, you need big budgets, higher LTV, and an acceptable CAC above $300. It’s expensive, tricky, and is an easy place to waste money, especially if you’re a bootstrapped startup. This isn’t where you want to invest a bunch of resources if you haven’t already tested on other channels. 

That said, with the right targeting and ad budgets, we’ve seen consistent results with LinkedIn.