LinkedIn Ads Show podcast

LinkedIn Ads Show

AJ Wilcox

The LinkedIn Ads Show is your source for news, how-tos, and insights about the LinkedIn Ads platform. Hosted by LinkedIn Ads expert and partner, AJ Wilcox, you'll get up-to-date, actionable advice, as well as occasional interviews with LinkedIn's product that will make you a LinkedIn advertising rockstar.

50 épisodes

  • LinkedIn Ads Show podcast

    LinkedIn Ads Matched Audiences are the Greatest Feature - Ep 49


    Show Resources Here were the resources we covered in the episode: Article on LinkedIn Audience Network Measurement Error LinkedIn Ads Support Group NEW LinkedIn Learning course about LinkedIn Ads by AJ Wilcox Contact us at with ideas for what you'd like AJ to cover.   Show Transcript Matched audiences aren't new in social advertising. But LinkedIn gave us something special that no other platform has. What is it you ask? Listen, find out. Welcome to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Here's your host, AJ Wilcox. Hey there LinkedIn Ads fanatics! So Facebook blew us all away by offering custom audiences back in 2013. That allowed us to upload lists of individuals for targeting of ads. It also included website retargeting through the facebook pixel, which was very cool indeed. Then Google Ads released customer match in 2015, it was a lot more limited, but still pretty cool. Ever late to the game, LinkedIn released matched audiences in 2017, with very little fanfare, but this was the most epic release to date. Not only could we upload individuals, which was a total game changer, and we can of course do website retargeting. But we got a feature that no other platform can match, account matching, or company name, uploads, whatever you want to call it. Today, we're going to discuss why this is the most important feature you'll ever use on LinkedIn Ads. This month, I listened to a podcast by a woman named Lisanne Murphy. And it's called The Marketing Matrix podcast. It's really good. If you're into Facebook ads, it inspired me to do my episodes a little bit less like a Wikipedia article where I just toss everything out there that you could ever imagine about a topic and make it so you have to take tons and tons of notes, and instead focus more on individual features that you can walk away and focus on much smaller facets of the LinkedIn Ads platform. So I would love your feedback as you listen to the next few episodes. If this is a little bit easier to listen to a little bit less Wikipediaish. Or if you still found yourself scrambling for a pen. Lee Gannon, who's a friend of mine and a friend of the show, he found out something that was pointed out to him by LinkedIn support, he was asking about skills targeting and when he found the documentation that the support was referring to, it said something about how skills targeting is done. It reads, "skills include those explicitly added by members in their skill section, as well as keywords and phrases mentioned throughout their profile and summary." Okay, just capitalizing on what this means. This means not only are we targeting people with the skills listed in their skill section that they themselves added, but LinkedIn is also apparently looking for keywords and key phrases throughout the profile. I'm imagining in your about section, or maybe even in your headline or title. It goes on to say, "LinkedIn uses modeling to infer skills from a members job title and job description." Alright, this was a big shocker to me. And actually, one that I don't know is actually out there in the wild. I have a feeling that this is actually not something that has been rolled out yet, but probably will in the future. And the reason I say this is because when we have leads come in to one of our clients accounts that are of poor quality, we asked the client to bring us a link to the the client's profile, and we go figure out which campaign was targeting them, and what sort of targeting we were using. And every once in a while we will find skills targeting that brings in someone who was of lower quality, but we haven't yet experienced where when we look for the skill that we were targeting and we look down into their skills that that particular skill is not there. So that leads me to believe that this either happens very, very rarely, or it's just not happening yet. I would absolutely love it. If any of you listening, if you have any evidence of this happening, maybe a skills campaign was targeting someone that you cannot find that skill in their profile, please, please please reach out and let me know that would be really great to know. And then Rishabh Rastogi from India, he put in the LinkedIn Ads support group, which is a LinkedIn group. If you're not already a member of it, I highly recommend it. I'll link to that in the show notes. He pointed out an ad format that looks like a text ad, but it was actually in his newsfeed. And he provided a screenshot of it. It was in the newsfeed right in between two posts. And it was actually right above a promoted post, a sponsored content. And because we know sponsored content only goes at max one out of every five slots in the newsfeed and this was right above it. We know this wasn't sponsored content. So he reached out about it. And this one in particular, the headline says LinkedIn ads drive business results reach buyers with the power to act. And then it does have an image and it's around image and the call to action says Create Ad so this is obviously one that LinkedIn is using for themselves to market their own LinkedIn Marketing Solutions products. This was pretty interesting. And I would absolutely love it if we got this kind of an ad format in the future, because I don't know about you, but text ads are one of my favorite ad formats on LinkedIn. They're inexpensive, they're really good for branding, they do such a good job of propping up all the other ad formats that I'm running at the time. And the only problem is that because they're way over in the right rail, and they're on desktop only, so most users aren't seeing them that they get clicked on very, very little. So if I could have a text ad that was in the newsfeed, I think that would probably be really, really powerful. And then Tamas Banki from Budapest, he shot me a private message. He saw this new ad format and wondered what it was. So what it is, it's a sponsored content post that says it's from LinkedIn. And it does say promoted. And then it asks, How familiar are you with and then lists the company name. And then there's some, it's like a poll, like a sponsored poll where they can click very familiar, somewhat familiar, I've only heard the name, and not at all familiar. And he hadn't seen this anywhere. So he was wondering, is there any way that this is a new ad format. And the truth is, this is an ad format that everyone can get access to, if you're spending at least $90,000 per quarter. And maybe you've even seen it inside of campaign manager, there's a new heading right at the top there. It's right in between campaign performance and website demographics. And it's called testing. When you click it, it will come up with the ability to create a test. Now we've been able to run these tests if you are spending high budget and had a LinkedIn Rep for quite a while. But this is now right on the front end where anyone can run these. The way it works is if you're spending at least $90,000 per quarter, as you spend, LinkedIn is going to ask people questions about your brand. There are six different studies that you can run and if you want to run all six of them, you just have to make sure that you have a minimum budget of $270k for the 90 day period. So immediately the small spenders are out. But you large spenders, this is actually really fun to run. The first is a brand lift test. And then there's also an aided awareness test, a brand familiarity test, a brand favorability test, a brand recommendation test, and product consideration test. And what it does is as you are advertising at obviously high volumes, it's asking people how familiar they are with your brand. And by doing that, you'll get data back about how effective your ads are from a branding perspective. It's really cool. Next, just this week, LinkedIn started notifying their customers who were using the LinkedIn audience network. There was a measurement issue we had to do quite a bit of digging for because if you go to the Adweek article that LinkedIn published, there is like zero information about what actually happened. It just says that this mis measurement applied to roughly 8% of LinkedIn Marketing Solutions customers, and for 66% of them, the impact was less than $25. So of course, LinkedIn is crediting that back, some of our clients were getting refunds in the $1,000s of dollars, which obviously made us really curious about what caused this. So in doing a little bit of digging, a source at LinkedIn responded that the effective timeframe is a little over two years, with a heavier impact occurring during the two months leading up to the discovery of the issue. If you want to calculate the impact, basically, you look at the total number of LinkedIn audience network clicks, and basically discount 1.21% of them for any date that was from June of 2021 to before that. This is the average impact that could be on some smaller campaigns. They said this is the average impact so some accounts could see a much smaller effect, and some could be higher. And the effect was higher here in May and June. It seems like every time an ad platform comes out and admits that they had some kind of a mistake, and they go to credit their advertisers, which I think is really awesome because they could just as easily just not tell anyone and let it go. But they do they more or less fess up to it. They give people refunds, which I think is super honorable, but then some jerk or some set of jerks. always end up suing them over it. So please, please, please do not join a class action lawsuit against LinkedIn Marketing Solutions. I would reserve those kinds of actions for companies who do terrible things to you and then don't admit it and you have to find it out yourself. Okay, that's it for the news. Then we've got a couple of reviews that came in one by the user wixfi. It says, "The authority and LinkedIn ads. AJ is a great voice on running LinkedIn campaigns and doesn't hold back. He gives strategic and tactical tips on how you run the ROI positive campaigns for your business." Wixfi, thank you so much for saying that. I really do try to not hold back and just share everything I know. And of course, our goal is always ROI. And then Betsy Hyndman, from Nashville wrote, "AJ is the real deal. Great podcast, super guy, very knowledgeable. I've learned a ton from AJ generously sharing his deep expertise." Betsy, I'm glad to call you a friend. Thanks so much for leaving such a kind review. All right for you right now who are listening. Yes, you! You're listening, you haven't left a review, please go do it. Honestly, it helps the show a lot. It's going to get more people to listen to the show. And plus, I get to shout you out and tell people how awesome you are for saying such awesome stuff about us. So here we go. But honestly, please go do leave a review, I would love to feature you. Okay, with that being said, let's hit it. We're getting right into the meat of the show today. So we're talking about matched audiences. And my favorite part about matched audiences are the list uploads. And so there are two different kinds of list uploads you can do one is a contact list, which you think of as maybe email matching, but I'll tell you why that's not, it's a little bit of a misnomer. And the next one is the company name list upload or the account list. Sometimes you'll hear it referred to as the ABM account targeting list. It's important to understand that with all of these list uploads, there are three things that you can do with it. You can either include that list in your targeting, just targeting those who are on your list. You can exclude those from your targeting. And then you can also use that to create a look alike audience. As long as you're listening to this since 2019, you've been able to do that. So let's touch on the the individuals the contact list upload, there are so many different uses that you can have for uploading a list of individuals. You can use this to target individuals who've joined your email list, that's pretty cool. You can use it to exclude your current customers from seeing your ads. How awesome is that, that you can avoid showing ads to someone and having them pay or you know, charge you, to click on your ads when they're already a customer. So lots of different uses. Now, it's a little known fact that you don't actually need an email address for targeting here, more info on that later. Then you've got the company name list upload. And this is, like I said in the intro, my favorite part of LinkedIn Ads in general. What this allows us to do is upload lists of accounts for inclusion or for exclusion. So inclusion would be like if I had a list of companies on my account based marketing list, and I wanted to fire out some ground cover across those audiences so that when they see our next ads, they're much more likely to interact. They're one of our target accounts, we want them. You can also do the same thing of uploading a list of let's say, your competitors, the competitors by company name, and then you could exclude that list from all of your campaigns. And now all of a sudden, your competitors have no idea what you're advertising, you're flying completely under the radar. That's pretty cool. You can also exclude your current customer list, the companies they work at, or how about you could include a list of all of the companies who've become a lead for your organization, but haven't yet closed. So this becomes kind of a lead acceleration or a sales acceleration type of campaign. Alright, so why is this feature so sexy? Why is it my favorite part of LinkedIn Ads? Well, here's the reason. This is the one feature that no other platform can touch. Facebook, they allowed us to target for a long time people's organizations and their job titles, but guess what, so few people on Facebook ended up putting their professional information in. Facebook is just not the place where you have that kind of data. And so even if Facebook released the ability to target by company in bulk, it would just give you access to such a small percent of the population, it just wouldn't even be worth it. But hey, everyone on LinkedIn tends to list the company they work for. That's kind of the point. Add that to the fact that when you're doing account based marketing targeting, you're targeting a much smaller population. And what that means is, it's not going to allow you to spend as much money. This is a downside for the larger advertisers. But for the smaller advertisers, this is something really powerful you can do and it doesn't take much budget budget. I firmly believe that every B2B company on the planet should be doing this, targeting their absolutely ideal accounts that they want to go after. And it doesn't cost very much, just a few bucks here and there to reach your absolutely ideal audience so they know who you are. That's pretty awesome. Also in the LinkedIn Ads support group on LinkedIn, Jennifer Karos asked this question. She said, "Hey, guys quick question, we uploaded a list with roughly 12,000 contacts. The system recognized about 6,000 of them, but it says it matched 85%. Do you know how this inconsistency could be?" And then Joanna from LinkedIn came in and said, "Hi, Jennifer. I'm Joanna. from our Product Marketing Team at LinkedIn, we see this when we find a match to multiple inputs. For example, if a personal and business email was provided, and we found a single member match to both records, you would see a higher match rate versus the member count." So to put that into perspective, if you upload a list with let's say, first name, last name, company, and title, if it found a match with the company name, and the title on, let's say, half of everyone, it could still say 100% match, but you'd only end up with half of the contacts in your list being represented in your targeting. This was absolutely news to me. So thank you, Joanna, for explaining this to us. We'll come back to this for sure. The next is, it's really important to understand when you upload a list of any kind, it goes through a processing stage. If you've uploaded one of these, you'll see the words "your audience is currently building and may take up to 48 hours or on rare occasion longer to start delivery". One thing I really like about this is you can attach an audience to a campaign even before it's finished building. And what's going to happen is as soon as it's done building, it will immediately start serving the ads. So you don't have to be watching for the status to change, and then go and launch your own ads. Okay, so LinkedIn says right there in their documentation, "It may take up to 48 hours, or on rare occasion longer for a list of process." I call bs on this, I have never ever seen a list to finish processing in under 48 hours. Most of the time it goes to 72 hours and beyond. There's obviously not much I can do. But that's pretty disappointing. I would love to see LinkedIn do something about that. Okay, here's a quick sponsor break. And then we'll dive into some research about what I found that gets lists to match at a higher rate. The LinkedIn Ads Show is proudly brought to you by, the LinkedIn Ads experts. If the performance of your LinkedIn Ads is important to you B2Linked is the agency you'll want to work with. We've spent over $140 million dollars on LinkedIn Ads, and no one outperforms us on getting you the lowest cost per lead at the most scale. We're official LinkedIn partners, and you'll only deal with LinkedIn Ads experts from day one, Fill out the contact form on any page of to chat about your campaigns. We'd absolutely love to work with you. All right, let's jump into it. So I've been doing audience research now for years. And what I share with you this certainly isn't like a benchmark data by any means, but they should help you understand a little bit about how the matching algorithm works. So a couple years ago, when LinkedIn stopped including email addresses in our connections export, I exported all of my connections on LinkedIn without their email address, and then uploaded it to LinkedIn. This was so interesting, because it reported a 90 plus percent match rate, but then the resulting audience that it gave me was only a quarter of the size of my network. So that means there were a lot of those records matching on other things, but a whole bunch that matched on none, at least from what Joanna from LinkedIn shared. So then what I did is I uploaded a list of all of my followers, and this was just their first and last names. And I just wanted to see what it did. It matched it only 50%. But it did return about half the number of my followers. Because first and last names really aren't all that unique. I would not be surprised at all, if some of these were matching people who had the same name as my followers, but weren't actually the followers. I didn't actually advertise this audience. That would be, I don't know, I'm not very confident in that one. And then me and my team found out that you can get a much higher match rate by including in addition to first and last name, also job title and company name. By doing this, we ended up finding that we got a 90% plus match rate, which is awesome. And then just last week for fun, I uploaded my followers list again, my most updated one,, and I wanted to test two things. I included in both of them first name, last name, and company. But for the job title field, I wanted to see if LinkedIn pulled more from their actual job title in the experience section or if it was their headline. My hypothesis was actually that LinkedIn was going to pull more from their headline because more people use their headline I feel like, but boy was I wrong. When I use the headline as the job title, LinkedIn reported that it matched 85%. But it only matched just a little over 61% of the contacts that I uploaded. Okay, that's interesting 61%. Then I uploaded that same list, but with the job title field as the job title. LinkedIn reported this as matching at 90%, but it actually matched 75%. So that's 14 more percent of a match, just by using the job title field instead of the headline. That was really interesting to me. So the takeaway is here, the now what, when you go and upload individual lists, make sure you include first name, last name, job title, their actual job title would help, and their company name, that's going to help you get a much, much higher match rate. One thing you'll notice if you go in and export a list of connections from LinkedIn, if LinkedIn sees an @ in any other field, except for the email address field, it's going to fire off an error. So for instance, if someone has the @ in their headline, because they're saying, I'm the VP at this company, you're gonna have to get rid of that before the list will even validate to process. The way I do that is right inside of Excel, I just do a search and replace on every column except for email address, where I search for the app sign and replace it with nothing. Okay, I know the LinkedIn products team listens to the show. So I'm going to give you and everyone else here, my wish list for how LinkedIn can make their matched audiences product even better. The first is, like I mentioned before, faster processing. It really shouldn't take 72 hours to process lines of text, I would expect it to take that long, if there was a human in the background, like manually doing things in Excel before the list could be processed. That would make a lot more sense. If the list has 300,000 rows, which is the maximum, I could understand it going longer. But like I said, I've literally never seen any list finished processing under 72 hours. And most of the lists that we upload are in the 10,000 to 30,000 rows range so we're not maxing it out by any means. Something else I would absolutely love in the contact list. I want to be able to target by LinkedIn URL. Forget matching by first name, last name, company name, email, job title, if you have the LinkedIn URL for the person that you're going after, even better, I would much rather use that, it would match it 100%. Please LinkedIn give us that. Then back in 2017, when we got the matched audiences feature, I asked why LinkedIn just shows 90% or higher as a match rate for company names. Why can't they show us the actual if it's really 100%. And LinkedIn replied that it was because they were worried about privacy. Now I get it being a privacy issue, if you are showing an exact match for individuals for a contact list. But there is absolutely no privacy issue with company names and targeting. A company name is public. I just think that's totally a non issue here. So I would absolutely love it. If we got a real match rate for company match. Show us the exact percentage matched. Now recently, if you go into your your list uploads, there will be a tab for companies matched and companies not matched. And that's really cool. If I targeted let's say I was targeting IBM, and I typed in just the letters IBM, but LinkedIn was only going to match it if it was i dot b dot m dot, then if you go into that list, it will tell you that IBM did not match on your list. And that's pretty cool, you can fix it, but I just don't see why the general percentage match shouldn't reflect the exact match for company. And finally here, we've talked about this a little bit, but the match rate really should be based on the number of matches that occurred out of the total number of rows uploaded, I definitely shouldn't have LinkedIn reporting to me 85% match rate to do my own calculation and find out it's actually 61%. That one definitely seems like a product that was built by engineers, not advertisers, I would love to see that one fixed, or heck give us both metrics. Maybe one shows the number of rows that resulted in a match and another one that shows the strength of each match. That could be cool, but I'd want to see both. I don't want to just have the strength of the match shown to me instead of the raw number. Alright, I've got the episode resources coming right up for you. So stick around 25:01 Thank you for listening to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Hungry for more? AJ Wilcox, take it away. All right, first of all, there's that article that LinkedIn published about the LinkedIn Audience Network, and its measurement glitch. So I'll link to that it's on Just be prepared, the article says absolutely nothing, but you're welcome to take a look at it. Also, if you're trying to learn LinkedIn Ads better or have a colleague or a coworker who is make sure to point them towards the LinkedIn Learning course that I'm the the author of. It just got a refresh early this year and we added about 25 extra minutes of content plus updating everything. It's really good. If I don't say so myself. If this is your first time listening to the show, thanks for tuning in. please do hit that subscribe button on whatever podcast player you're listening with. Please do rate the podcast and like I said before, it really helps the show if you review. That's exactly how you can repay me for dropping all this knowledge, those are knowledge bombs. Okay, so if you want to reach out to us, give us any ideas or any feedback for the show hit us up at And with that being said, we'll see you back here next week. I sure hope. We're working on more consistency here. I'm cheering you on in your LinkedIn Ads initiatives.
  • LinkedIn Ads Show podcast

    LinkedIn Ads Hacks from the Community - Ep 48


    Show Resources Here were the resources we covered in the episode: Video Example of Green Headlines, reported by Mark Gustafson Georgiana Dumitru's Case Study NEW LinkedIn Learning course about LinkedIn Ads by AJ Wilcox Contact us at with ideas for what you'd like AJ to cover.   Show Transcript You love LinkedIn Ads hacks, I love LinkedIn Ads hacks. Heck, everyone loves LinkedIn Ads hacks. Buckle up. Welcome to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Here's your host, AJ Wilcox. Hey there LinkedIn Ads fanatics. So I posted out on LinkedIn asking for other advanced advertisers' favorite LinkedIn Ads hacks or strategies. And there were some really good ones. The post had over 20,000 views, and 149 comments last I checked. So for this episode, I'm going to be sharing the community's top strategies. And don't worry, I removed all the bad advice before recording the episode. In the news, we got something really cool that I've been excited about for a long time, we can now rename the default campaign group in an account. And we can pause it. So no promises here, it's rolled out to all of my accounts. But I did talk to a couple people who haven't seen it yet. So it may not be fully rolled out. This is so great because before this happened, we had this entity in there called default campaign group that we couldn't do anything with. It sat there and if we decided not to use it, it still took up space. So now we can pause it, we can rename it, and life is good. I also had a good friend reach out Mark Gustafson, who's the CEO of 900Kings, an agency that focuses just on paid social. You may remember I consulted with him for the Google Ads and the Facebook Ads episodes early on. He brought a really cool feature to my attention, he sent me a video of it, I'll link the video down below. And what we can see is on mobile, as you scroll down past an ad, the headline itself turns from the cream color that it starts out as to a light green. And this is really cool because it's going to bring more attention to ads. And it's not something that I would call very in your face, or gross or anything like that. I think this is a really good change. So it has rolled out to Mark's profile, but I don't have it yet. So I'm going to keep watching. And this could just be a test. Who knows LinkedIn might not be rolling this out forever. But boy, I liked it. And I hope it does roll out, I'd be really interested to see what sort of a difference it makes. I also want to apologize to all of you loyal listeners of the show for having so few episodes this year. In full transparency. I just went through a divorce, and it reduced me to a crumpled pile of human for more months than I'd like to admit. The good news is though, I'm back on the upswing, and I want to thank all of you sincerely who reached out to check on and see if everything was okay. I do have a whole slew of episode topics already planned. And my intent is to go back to getting out a weekly episode. So if I don't hit it here, in just the next few episodes, just know that that's the plan moving forward. That's what I want to start getting back to. There are a couple reviews I'd like to highlight. The first is from Phil Ilic, who's from Great Britain. He said, "This podcast is so valuable. There's so much wisdom in every single episode. Literally I cannot thank AJ enough for everything he has shared so generously with the LinkedIn Ads community. It has been a massive help." And Phil, thank you. I've enjoyed seeing your comments on the posts I put out and interaction with the podcast episodes. So thank you, that means the world to me. The next is from Steve SeeBerg here from the US. His review says, "Conversions through the roof. Based on AJ's insightful advice and his talented staffs AB testing suggestions. We've experienced conversion rates four to five times LinkedIn's benchmark. If you're interviewing LinkedIn Ad agencies, stop, I've tried a few and none can match B2Linked, actionable insights and bottom line results. AJ, you're the best." Steve, thank you so much for that unsolicited review. I'm so grateful for it. Awesome getting to work with you and your team. And I'm excited to get to keep working together to keep killing. Steve runs a mar tech company called NGAGGE and I'm going to spell it, it's n g a g g e, definitely check that out. It's a cool product and one that he's going to be keeping free to us marketers forever. If you're listening to this and you've gotten value out of the podcast, please please, please leave a review on whichever podcast player or portal that you use. I would love to feature you here. Okay, with that being said, in no particular order. Here is the community's favorite hacks and strategies. Let's hit it. Blake Prichard is a customer success manager at Through. And he said I'm not into marketing at the moment. But when I managed LinkedIn Ads, my favorite targeting method was building an audience by specific skills. You can get very targeted. For example, if you want to promote a webinar to people who are skilled in a specific web app, you can do that with the skills audience. And of course, you can select the level of seniority and experience level on top of that. Blake, I love what you shared. Because we found the same thing. A lot of times someone will have experience with a certain type of software or a certain area of business, that it's not important enough to make it to their their job title proper, but it is worth them adding to their skills. And in fact, on top of this, we found lots of times they'll go and join groups around that topic as well. So targeting people by both skill and group is awesome. Kristine Sergejeva, who is a friend and super loyal listener of the show, she runs SmartB2B. She said, my favorite LinkedIn Ads hack is to do the proper homework, the initial assessment, for each company. We find out if it's suitable for LinkedIn Ads, and what the unique opportunity is on LinkedIn among its competitors. Does the company have proper offers, and if not, which offers should they create, what can be done with possible target segments, etc. And for every offer, what types of campaigns would work best to which segments and which ads. I invest most of my time and efforts in the initial assessment phase, and then the implementation is very clear, easy, and bringing excellent results. I really like this because when you're spending money on LinkedIn Ads, it's inherently high risk because the costs are higher than other ad channels. So any research you can do ahead of time to find out what's going to be good, accepted by this audience, what's going to excite them, it's all going to be very useful. And then Yoel Israel, who's another LinkedIn Ads fanatic, he's based out of Israel, probably here in the next, I'd say six months, we're gonna have an episode where we interview him, he shared an account based marketing strategy. He said, account based targeting of accounts sales is trying to close. We make blogs that address the objections in the sales process, and we don't gate them. Click through rates are super high and this really helps the sales team close those super low funnel deals. We then sync this ABM list with HubSpot to make sure it's always up to date. I love account based marketing. Yoel, thanks so much for sharing such a cool tip. Colton Taylor, who's actually in my same state, he's here in Utah. He's the Sr. Demand / Digital Marketing Manager at MX. He said targeting is everything. Audience segmentation and sophisticated build out takes time. But the foundation for effective hyper growth scaling, for example, 200%, year over year budget increase, but is the foundation for effective hyper growth scaling. He follows this up by saying, "And always keep learning. The beauty of marketing is that it's ever evolving. And mastery is a journey." On the sophisticated account build out. I love this because when we build a really complex build out, we're essentially building a ton of small AB tests between audiences. And once we've been running ads for a while, we can then look back at all of those different segments. And it's going to teach us something. It's going to teach us which audience segments are going to be successful and which ones aren't. Who likes what, who responds to what? So Colton, absolutely, I love that comment. And then the bit about always keeping learning. That's my favorite part about digital marketing in general, is we can't ever sit back and rest on our laurels because it's always going to be changing. And those who try to sit back and not learn. They get found out pretty quick. Always keep testing. Always keep learning. Next is Lucy Kikuchi. She's a podcast host as well. And her advice was, "Listen to AJ Wilcox. That is my go to strategy. Assume nothing. Test everything. Test, optimize, test, optimize and give things time. Nothing happens overnight. There are no quick wins, and no one owes you that." Lucy, I laughed when I read that. Thanks for recommending people listen to this podcast, obviously. But I definitely agree with you. We need to approach LinkedIn Ads, like everything as a test. I know a lot about the platform, I have a lot of experience with it. And even still, I have tests that absolutely fail. If you approach it scientifically, it's going to be a lot better in the long run than just assuming that you can turn something on and it should be successful from day one. And sorry for slaughtering this name, but Vojtech Toulec from CDN77. His recommendation is, "Use Sales Navigator or recruiter to find the real profiles matching the ad targeting criteria and then optimize the targeting to cut off the non relevant audiences." I love this go and find examples of who the people are who your targeting would hit. You can do this with Sales Navigator. If you see profiles coming up that you're not happy with, you wouldn't want them to be in your target audience. You can then use exclusions. I love it. Cody Lee, who's a VP and growth marketing and digital advisor, he said, "Favorite quick one, call out your target audience in your copy, just like he did so well in this post." When I put out the post, I said, attention LinkedIn advertisers, I've definitely tested ads that do call out the audience to get their attention, and they really can be some quick wins. He also gave four other recommendations here and I'm going to run through all four of them because all four of them were great. He said, focus on adding value to your target audience with qualified content. Frame it more like news or a resource than an ad. Number two bidding, adjust your manual bid up or down depending on your click through rate. Better click through rate than benchmark, lower your bid. Targeting, upload target account lists. Make sure to use exclusions to not waste spend. And the fourth funnel, have a strategy throughout your prospects awareness journey from unaware to problem aware to solution aware to brand aware into pipeline. Remarket LinkedIn audiences on less expensive channels." Thanks, Cody. All good all the way through. Next, Maninder Paul, who again, is a great listener of the show, super active on LinkedIn. She's a paid social specialist at Bloom Mentor. She said, "Always test a single image ad. Keep creative, simple." I love this because we find so much of the time when we try to get complex, it slows us down and makes it so we can't test as much. So if you approach it with the very simplest test possible, you can at least get something out and start running data and find out what's going to work. She also recommends using a perspective company list, an ABM list, she said it's been successful for her clients, I will back that up. Zoltán Kozma, who if you remember right from Episode 44, he was actually one of the winners of the perfect ad performance contest. He's a digital marketer at CBRE Hungary. He said, "It's hard to choose, I love to use daily spend data to make sure I don't pay too much, while also staying competitive in the auction." What he's talking about is, if you look at your budget column, LinkedIn will show you a percentage of over the last however many days they calculate how much of the budget you've spent on a daily basis. So he likes to have that at least 80% of your daily budget. And this makes a lot of sense. If you go significantly under that, you've got to bid higher to spend more with that audience. And if you go too much above that, you're at risk of basically bidding too much and blowing your budget for the day on those days when you actually do spend the whole budget. He also says, "For further fine tuning. I like applying the learnings from the campaign demographics to find the best engaging audiences, these often helped to push cost per lead down." And then he adds, "Another great one is the engagement objective hack to trick the algorithm that I learned from you, AJ". And this one, if you've caught it before, what we find is because the floor price for engagement objective ads, because it's 35% cheaper, you can find when you're running ads, where less than 35% of the interactions come from social, then you can switch from website visits to the engagement objective and essentially save some cash. Here's a quick sponsor break. The LinkedIn Ads Show is proudly brought to you by, the LinkedIn Ads experts. 13:38 If the performance of your LinkedIn Ads is important to you, B2Linked is the agency you'll want to work with. We've spent over $140 million on LinkedIn Ads, and no one outperforms us on getting you the lowest cost per lead and the best scale. We're official LinkedIn partners, and you'll deal only with LinkedIn Ads experts from day one. Fill out the contact form on any page of to chat about your campaigns. We'd love to help explore with you and work with you. Ben Evans, who's the President at Auditec Solutions, he said, "Hi, AJ, this is more of a relationship building strategy. But what I find when I first make a new connection with a new contact, I send them a personalized video message through the mobile app introducing myself." I know this isn't specifically ads related. But Ben, you're absolutely right. The more something feels personal to us, like someone went out of their way to make us feel special. The more indebted we're going to feel to them. Whether you're doing organic or ads. This is a great way to help make that relationship strong. And then Vishnu Prashanth, he's a performance marketer. He says, "Spy on the job listings posted by your target account lists and find out the right job title that matches with your products pain point and use them in targeting." Yeah, if they're trying to hire for it, chances are there is a pain point that they're looking to solve. That's pretty cool. And David Planchot, Growth Marketing atiAdvize, he said, "Using smart links on your LinkedIn ads." For those of you who don't know what smart links are, when you're using Sales Navigator, the upgraded license on LinkedIn, which I just barely started using the other day,it's fun. You can create one link that has a whole bunch of different calls to action or different resources there. And then when someone downloads or accesses something, you get the data from them opting in. And it's a cool way to have conversion tracking without nearly as much friction as you'd have in specifically having them fill out a form. He even included a really cool screenshot of a workflow, where he shows how he automates the smart links and gets them into HubSpot. Pretty dang cool. Georgiana Dumitru. She's in B2B demand generation. And she said, "As I see it with LinkedIn ads, it's crucial to first win the view, the attention, and then worry about the click. The battle on the feet is fierce, and we must get noticed first, so I put all my money on crafting highly effective ads, making the best ad copy and image. At some point I started to use the journalistic approach. Have my ad copy answer the what, where, when, and why questions that make the ad sound like news rather than a salesy message. And it worked." She even links to a case study she created about writing better ad copy. And Michael Bennington, who's a marketing specialist at Edelstein & Company, he says, "Creating a bid by click that is the minimum instead of what they recommend. Learned it from you during your 2020 inbound presentation." Michael, thanks for pointing that one out. It's amazing to me how many people look at the ranges that LinkedIn recommends for a manual CPC bid and they just take whatever the recommendation is that LinkedIn provides. Those recommendations might be accurate if you're spending six figures a month or more. But for accounts with lower budgets, absolutely, you can start by bidding a heck of a lot less. Raphael Yarish, who's the co founder of which spoiler alert, I think we're probably going to have an episode specifically mentioning this one coming up. But he said, "Here are my three favorite insights. Number one, using user generated content instead of stock images to stand out from the feed and get higher click through rates. Include text on the image or video, a free placement for copy that really pops. And finally, use day parting having specific times when you should run your LinkedIn Ads for optimal performance." Raphael, I think those are totally spot on. The next is Ricardo Ghekiereand I've been on his podcast before. He's the head of paid social at Upthrust. He said, "sking for the LinkedIn URL in your lead gen form, instead of bombarding people with questions, then scrape the API, and then scrape the profiles to get all the information that you would have asked for, then upload into a CRM, and then automate a relevant connection request from your sales department based on the call to action that you provided, and then have a message based follow up." Now, Ricardo, I think this is great. I love the system. I can't recommend scraping LinkedIn because as a partner, I probably wouldn't be in very good standing if I did. But I love the line of thinking here. Lee Gannon, who is the head of paid social at Receptional, he said, "With a primary strategy of lead gen forms, I like running some follow up retargeting based on the form engagement." He also recommends running text ads as a complimentary ad format, alongside the sponsored content, especially for targeting account lists for cheap brand awareness. He said, "Learned that from the master AJ Wilcox". Well, I'm glad you picked it up with what I shared it. I think it's fantastic. Claire Williams who is apaid social strategist, a woman that I've gotten the chance to, to train on LinkedIn Ads. She's amazing. She says, "Manual bidding. Not sure that that's a hack, really, but it's super important." And I totally agree with that. As soon as LinkedIn started making auto bidding, the default I got to watch LinkedIn's average CPC is just climb and climb and climb. It was probably like 30 to 50% increases in costs per click. Just because LinkedIn rolled that out. I'm sure they're patting themselves on the back getting lots and lots more money. But the fact of the matter is for advertisers, the vast majority of them are probably paying way too much for clicks. So I agree. Manual bidding is a great way to go. This one's pretty self serving, but Andrew Tull, who's a great marketer here in the US, he said, "My key resources letting AJ Wilcox guide me, lol. Oh, in the day parting and automation magic provided by" Thanks, Andrew. I appreciate it. Your checks in the mail. Next, Ryan Gervais is a Demand Generation & Paid Media Strategist at Deloitte. He said, "Strategic usage of account exclusion lists. For example, competitors, vertical based, pipeline, etc." I love using exclusions. Thanks, Ryan. Theresa Sturm is a digital consultant at Via Digital. She says, "Working on badass creative and copy. A good click through rate is key to high quality score." I totally agree Teresa. We tend to bag on marketers who care too much about click through rates. But the fact of the matter is, getting a good click through rate really is key to getting high performance. They have to go hand in hand, Matthew Sciannella, he has a great recommendation here about targeting audiences that don't always fit in neat, firmographic target. So he says, "I try to go and find LinkedIn groups for these niche industries. And I target them as a seed audience. And then I look in LinkedIn's demographic data, to look at their industries, function, job titles, etc." And he also actually looks at some specific members profiles to look at their skills and that gives them more data to create skills targeting. Love it Matthew. Simon L. who's a Director of Marketing at Acodis. He says, "Build your target group, and then focus on frequent contributors as they are much more likely to interact." Ah, I thought this was super cool. If you look in the additional targeting traits, you'll see that there is a way to layer on frequent contributors. If you target them, they are much more likely to be active on LinkedIn. And I would imagine that means that they're going to click at a higher rate. Simon, I'm going to go test that. Alexandra Wittmaier from GBTEC, she said, "Use an optional checkbox in the lead gen form for subscribing to the newsletter. Yeah, if you're going to get people signing up for an asset, you might as well get them into the newsletter as well and have it be compliant." Alright, let's jump into the rest of the recommendations. Kris Selway says, "Running 55 second video ads on cost per view, building up a low cost remarketing list, and targeting all those that viewed the video for at least 25% of the duration with a more commercially focused ad." I love it, Chris, anything we can do with warming up cold audiences and running them through a funnel is awesome by me. Michael Ham says, "Using work email address as a custom field in your lead gen forms rather than just the default email address. So people type their work emails, surprisingly, most people do." Great advice, Michael. We know that in working with a lot of sales teams, they really prefer having a work email address. And of course, it's hard with the lead gen forms because you can't force someone to put in something that isn't like a gmail, but when you specify it, you will get more people doingit. Márcio Miranda gives three different strategies. The first is put UTM parameters on your URL, and then retarget on your other social media networks based off of the parameters in the URL. I think this is awesome. I've been an advocate of that for a long time. The next thing the companies that interact with my ad, and then go on YouTube and play a TrueView ad in that company channel. This is what I haven't experienced, I'm not sure how to get the ad interactions on LinkedIn over onto YouTube to get the TrueView ad to trigger. This is one I haven't fully wrapped my head around. So my understanding here is that Márcio will go and look at the companies who by name who've interacted with the ads, and then go and find their YouTube channel and then play a TrueView ad in that company's channel. It sure sounds interesting. And then finally, on the lead gen form ads put the last URL after the submission with a link to direct scheduling platform like calendly. I think this is super cool. If you're going to push people right after they've converted right to something like a calendly link. Oh, rad. Diana Leyton recommends targeting based on LinkedIn group membership. If you choose the right ones, I generally find it's the best ways to find a captive intent based audience. And then Jordan Lapendry says, "I tried many iterations to test my audience format and content. I've seen that most of the time. The classic works well for acquisition and then video ads have good performance on retargeting." Thanks again so much for everyone who contributed. This was awesome. So much gold in one LinkedIn thread. I just couldn't wait to share it. All right, I've got the episode resources coming up right away. So stick around. Thank you for listening to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Hungry for more? AJ Wilcox, take it away. 24:40 All right, here's some cool resources. Like we mentioned earlier, Mark Gustafson submitted a video showing the green highlights on the LinkedIn Ads headline. So down below in the show notes we've linked to that video so you can see for yourself. And then we also have a link to Georgiana Dumitru's post where she has a case study about LinkedIn ad copy. Don't forget the newly updated LinkedIn Learning course that I have the link down below for that one. I am the author. So I'm a little bit biased. But by far, this is the best LinkedIn Ads course. If you've enjoyed the episode today and you want more insights like this, definitely hit subscribe in whatever podcast player you're listening on right now. Please rate the podcast when you're in there. And please also do leave a review. I shout out everyone here on the podcast. And then if you have any recommendations, any questions, any feedback for the show, please email us at And with that being said, we'll see you back here next week. Cheering you on in your LinkedIn Ads initiatives. ​
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    How Sales Has Changed Since Covid with Sean Callahan - Ep 47


    Show Resources Here were the resources we covered in the episode: Here were the resources we covered in the episode: Global State of Sales Report 2021 Sean Callahan LinkedIn Learning course about LinkedIn Ads by AJ Wilcox NEW LinkedIn Learning course about LinkedIn Ads by AJ Wilcox Certifications   Contact us at with ideas for what you'd like AJ to cover. Show Transcript:   AJ Wilcox LinkedIn released the state of sales in 2021 report, and I can confirm, it's fire! Welcome to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Here's your host, AJ Wilcox. AJ Wilcox Hey there, LinkedIn Ads fanatics, I have a confession for you. I am a marketer. I'm a marketer through and through. And I don't consider myself a salesperson. In fact, I consider myself to be the furthest thing from a salesperson. But after years of internal debate, and reconciling the image of the sleazy used car salesman with what I do, I finally come to admit to myself that sales performance is deeply and undeniably connected with my LinkedIn Ads efforts, it's absolutely not uncommon for us to be absolutely slaying it for a client and getting incredible costs and results and low cost per lead. But then just to find out that their sales team doesn't know how to handle the leads, they don't close any, and it makes us look bad. Or the other way around. We can be doing decently, but maybe we haven't quite hit our stride with optimizations yet. And then sales happens to close something. And suddenly, we look like rock stars. No matter which way you slice it. We as marketers live and die by the performance of our sales counterparts. Because of this connection. I'm pleased to have Sean Callahan from LinkedIn as our guest this week. I've gotten to collaborate with him on many projects, I'm lucky to call him a friend. And his team has recently released the state of sales report. And I know you're going to find it fascinating, as well as it will help you become a better marketer. First in the news, in May, LinkedIn released several new features. So let's walk through those. The first is boosting posts, basically, like a really simple version of campaign manager for maybe a social marketer who doesn't do much on the paid side to be able to boost their posts to target audiences. I'm not very excited about this, I kind of think, meh, because I would much rather use campaign manager. But maybe you've got folks on your social team, or maybe even organic team that would be interested to know about this. Next, LinkedIn officially released their event ads. And on the roadmap episodes in the past, we've talked several times about event ads and what they're going to be in my testing, I haven't found them to outperform a single image sponsored content ads when promoting an event. But it's definitely worth testing to see if you can get them to help perform. One thing of note in our testing is that you can't have multiple copies of the event for like individual campaign tracking. So it's kind of like boosting posts, you pretty much create one event, and then share it into multiple campaigns. I don't like that for attribution. So I hope we'll have a little bit more control over attribution for event and in the future. The next one I am really excited about this is we're now able to go live on LinkedIn live without a third party app. So I absolutely love using They're my favorite streaming platform. But every single time I go live on LinkedIn, I always have some sort of a technical hurdle. Because I'm trying to run through, you know, three or four different applications, it runs my laptop so hard, that it's just you know, the fan is screaming. And so now we get to do this by broadcasting directly through something like zoom or a WebEx that you might already be using to go live. It simplifies things. And it's going to give me a lot more confidence when going live. And hopefully, you'll be able to see me go live a little bit more often. We also got some beefed up event analytics. So these are more insights into your LinkedIn events, which is something we're super grateful for. We've really wanted this ever since events came out. Every time LinkedIn releases a new feature, we want to you'll have all kinds of insights into whether or not it's working. And now we actually have that for events. In the same release, LinkedIn also released mobile page insights. So if you've ever wanted to see how your LinkedIn page was performing, but you were on the go, you were just pretty much out of luck. Well, now LinkedIn have released the ability to see your page analytics, right from the LinkedIn mobile app. And this is fantastic. I applaud anytime we get more control and insight in the mobile app. Something else really exciting. I've been asked about this for years and years, LinkedIn just released their official certifications. And not only are they free, but if you get certified within the next 30 days. It's probably like the next 20 days after this podcast goes live. But you'll get one of the like bragging rights of being one of the very first people to be certified. So check the notes down below. In the show notes, you'll see a link right to the certifications. There are two that you can take right now and get them attached to your LinkedIn profile to show off that you rock at LinkedIn Ads. And our last piece of news here something I'm really, really excited. In many of the last episodes, I've kind of hinted and teased about this. But as of this week, the official LinkedIn Ads course update is now live. So to give you an idea, I recorded the last LinkedIn Learning course about LinkedIn Ads. It's been several years now. And the content was about an hour and five minutes long. And I've been collecting feedback and questions, and you know, all kinds of different insights over the last several years. And I've now gotten to put that into the update. So if you've taken the course in the past, I would highly recommend go and take the updated course, I think it's about an hour and 45 minutes long, and it is chockfull. I couldn't be more proud of the information and the learnings that you'll have within the course. So hit the link in the show notes, go to LinkedIn Learning, and take the course you'll be absolutely pleased you did. Popping into recent reviews, first of all, a huge thank you to the one person who rated this podcast with one star and didn't even leave a review. I don't know what I did to piss you off. But feel free to reach out to me to discuss what I could be doing better on the show or how we can better support you. We had a review from Max in Thailand, and he says, "This is Max. I'm an Italian living in Thailand, I just want to drop a note to say thank you for your work, and really appreciate the level of details in your podcast. I'm not a podcast listener, and I stumbled in your channel by chance. But I have found this to be one of the best free radio sources I have ever seen. Congratulations, and thanks again." Max, thank you so much. It means the world to me that someone who's not into podcasts would become a podcast listener because of this show. So thanks so much. And on behalf of the medium of podcasting, I hope you find lots of other valuable stuff here too. We also had David leave a review who said, "I'm an intern, and our founder has assigned to me with finding the absolute best podcast. So I had to reach out to you because the LinkedIn Ads Show podcast is absolutely amazing. Our company is focused on providing the necessary tools and knowledge to our customers to fill their calendars with demos through cold emails and LinkedIn." David, thanks so much for sharing those experiences. First of all, I'm glad that the show showed up in your searches, as you were out trying to find this for the CEO, and boy, glad to have you as a listener. Okay, with that being said, I want to feature you all of you here in the reviews highlight. So make sure you go to whatever podcast player or hub and leave us a review on the podcast. Of course, I would prefer not leaving one star reviews. Especially not saying why. But certainly, please leave a review. Let us know what you think of the show and we'll shout you out. Okay, I'm so excited to have Sean Callahan. Let's jump right to the interview. All right, Sean Callahan. Welcome to the show. Sean is a Senior Content Manager at LinkedIn. He works out of the Chicago office. Personally, he's the author of several children's books, including the most recent Voting with a Porpoise. He helped create LinkedIn's latest state of sales reports. Sean and I go way back. We met at CES several years back. We've gotten to collaborate on a bunch of different projects and things. And now I'm really excited to get to talk to you about this latest report. So welcome to the show. Sean Callahan 8:25 Hey, thanks for having me on. AJ, it's great to connect again. AJ Wilcox 8:29 Always, always fun pleasure for me. So first of all, tell us about the state of sales report. And why you and your team decided to take it on, how long it's been running, all those goodies. Sean Callahan 8:40 Yeah, well, this is a this is a report. This is the fifth time we've done this state of sales report. It's a survey of what's going on in sales. We're trying to talk to our customers for the LinkedIn Sales Navigator product and the LinkedIn Sales Insights product about where sales is headed. We're just trying to be useful to the marketplace. And this report is pretty extensive. So it's global in nature. We interviewed or we surveyed more than 7500 people in 10 countries, the US and Canada, Netherlands, Germany, France, UK, Brazil, Mexico, Singapore, Australia and India. And I think that's actually 11 because we did have the Netherlands this year. And we asked them a huge battery of questions. It's buyers and sellers were asking, so we're getting both sides of the sales process. And we also use LinkedIn data for this. You know, on our platform, we're able to tell through Sales Navigator analyzing actions by salespeople, what actions work and what don't. We find generally that if you share content on a regular basis, but not overly sharing that you do better, same with sending emails, we've got some data on that. And we also interviewed 30 to 40 sales experts and sales leaders for this version of the report, which was something new. So we brought in different perspectives from the industry, not only in the US and Canada, but around the globe, Latin America, EMEA, and APAC and got their points of views and included those in the reports, there's a global version of the report that's coming out in a month, we have already released a US version, UK version, a version for France just came out this week. We have Brazil and Mexico already out and a version of the Netherlands in English out and the other reports will be coming out over the next several weeks. So it's a pretty extensive project. And and again, we're just trying to be useful for the sales industry and and talk about what's happening, I can go into the seven trends that we found here, I'll just list them we'll talk in more detail, I think as we go along in this conversation. But number one was virtual selling is good for sellers and even better for buyers. Number two is sales organizations and managers must adjust to a remote working world and the just now, sales organizations are preventing sellers from putting buyers first I think this is a really interesting one and I can go into detail on that as we dive in a little deeper. We found six sales behaviors in particular that are killing deals. We found that sales technology provides, especially in this virtual selling world, a key pathway to building trust. Number six was for sales organizations, data is more crucial than ever. And number seven was buyers and sellers are ramping up their use of LinkedIn. AJ Wilcox 11:35 Oh, so first of all super interesting trends. I loved reading all of them. What I really like about this report is it really is an amalgamation of so many important things. Of course, there's the survey. So you're getting data from your customers, but then you brought in experts. And my favorite part is you're actually using LinkedIn data. I can't imagine anyone else who has more insights about what sales folks are doing than LinkedIn. And so I'm so glad that you've gotten to bring that to the table. Sean Callahan 12:03 Yeah, I think it makes our report unique, and gives us a view of the sales world that is almost impossible to replicate. AJ Wilcox 12:12 Oh, yeah. So because our listeners are for the vast majority, LinkedIn Ads professionals, mostly in the marketing job function. I'm really curious, what sort of impact do you think this data and these findings will have on us as marketers? And what insights can we take from it? Sean Callahan 12:30 Yeah, well, I think one of the key things is that marketers should just understand that sales is in a period of change right now. And I think that may help as a marketer myself, and working with a bunch of salespeople. I understand, you know, and throughout my career, that marketing and sales don't always work together, as well as they probably should have, or as well as certainly as well as we want them to. But I think understanding that there's a huge shift happening in sales right now, with virtual selling technology coming on, remote work coming into play, I think it's important for marketers to understand that that's number one. Number two, I think there's some interesting stuff in this report about the power of brand for salespeople. And it can give marketers sort of a leg up in explaining to salespeople the power of marketing for them. You know, I think sometimes it's hard for salespeople to appreciate what marketers can do for them. And this helps, because, for instance, in the six behaviors that are immediate deal killers, and this is all data from the US Canada report. One of the top behaviors that is seen as a deal killer by buyers is that the salesperson is affiliated with a brand that I don't trust. So putting money behind branding is something that is going to help salespeople gain the trust of buyers. I think that's an interesting, you know, thing that I think sometimes it's hard for marketers to communicate that and here we have it. In our survey, we also had buyers rank the factors that are important in influencing the purchase of a product or service. And number one was trust in the brand of product or service, like it had nothing to do with the salesperson, you know that number one thing is about the brand of the product or service. And I think that speaks to how marketers can begin to talk to salespeople about what marketing and investment in marketing brings to the table for salespeople and helping to close deals, meet their quota, etc. AJ Wilcox 14:42 Oh, I like it. Okay, so that leads me to another question here. What can we do to strengthen our sales teams with the findings from this report? Is this as simple as like forward it to the sales team and you try to get them to read it? Like do you have any tips for us as marketers to help our sales teams act on this? Sean Callahan 14:59 Yeah. I think talking about brand is important. And I think salespeople understand it in their gut, you know that if they walk into a customer, or if they're emailing a customer, the brand in, you know, is one that they're confident that the customer, the prospect is going to recognize and has as a good feeling about. I think that's very powerful and seeing it come from not a marketer saying this, but buyers saying this, you know, I think that's very valuable from the marketing point of view. It's kind of a recapitulation of the idea that no one ever got fired for buying IBM. Buyers, like the comfort of a brand that they recognize. And marketers can use this to argue for more investment in brand, which ultimately is not helping the marketer, but helping the salesperson and helping the salesperson close deals. AJ Wilcox 15:54 So true. And we find this time after time, anytime that we're running an account based marketing or an ABM campaign, if our clients are doing active outreach from their sales departments to their buyer, we find that as soon as we start advertising, our advertising gets a lot more efficient. And their success rates get a lot more efficient, just because these people now if heard of you, they know who you are, they assume there's some legitimacy to your brand. And so I definitely second that branding is super valuable to what we do. Sean Callahan 16:25 Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I'm partial to the phrase or the slogan that if they don't get into the top of the funnel, you're not going to get them to the bottom of the funnel. AJ Wilcox 16:34 Oh, yeah. So without spoiling the exciting stuff in the report, can you talk about what went in to finding these trends? And maybe a little bit about what may have surprised you? Sean Callahan 16:44 Yeah, one of the surprising things is this concept of buyer first is interesting to me. And it's interesting that in what we found is 65% of sellers say they always put the buyer first. And only 23% of buyers agree. So it's about 1/3 of buyers, but there's more closeness in there, then you would think so what we found is that it's it's kind of a necessity to put the buyer first, especially in the first days of COVID happening, you didn't even know whether your buyer was, you know, in business anymore. So you really had to think buyer first, you know, some companies were doing very well like say Netflix or Peloton in the first days of the of the pandemic, they were doing well. And so maybe they were going to buy products. But then there were other at the other end of the spectrum, there were companies in the travel industry, let's say where they were probably completely on hold and that and not going to buy buy anything. So So we found that but this buyer first thing is very interesting with sales people sort of wanting to be buyer first. And buyers obviously wanting salespeople to be buyer first. But there's a disconnect in whether it's actually happening. And we found, we identified that we had six behaviors that we said, okay, these behaviors are inarguably buyer first. And some of them, for example, are providing free and easy access to product reviews and other content, that's a buyer first behavior. Staying actively engaged after the sale, to ensure value delivery, being completely transparent about pricing. All those are what we would call buyer first behaviors in the sales process. What we found is that both buyers and sellers totally agreed that these were important in the buying process. So we found that there was total agreement on that, but where we found the disagreement was, you know, buyers saying that sellers practice these behaviors all the time was, you know, around 30%. So similar to the number that said that, you know, sellers are putting buyers first. But we also found that individual sales people are saying like I put the buyer first. But, then they were also saying that we asked them about whether their organization puts the buyer first. And they said kind of they said no. They said I am, but my organization doesn't my organization put the buyer first all of the time. And the you know, for these buyer first behaviors that we were talking about providing free and easy access to product reviews and other content, staying actively engaged etc, was around 40% of the time they said that their organization put these behaviors into practice all the time. And so I think what that speaks to is that there are barriers in the organization to being buyer first and we found some of these barriers are kind of obvious, right like emphasis on short term sales or revenue goals. limited budgets, maybe limited commitment to training or inadequate coaching. Maybe it's just the organizational culture, or the lack of the right skill set among existing sales talent, because we know sales has gotten much more complex, especially in, say, the technology industry or you know, even old smokestack industries like manufacturing, etc, are relying more and more on technology. And so the sales process has become more complicated. But organizations aren't adjusting, and they're making it more difficult than it should be for the average salesperson to place the buyer first. And that's what we found. I think that's like one of the key takeaways from the state of sales report. AJ Wilcox 20:45 It sounds like the sales reps are ready for this change. They're creating the groundswell. And now it's the organization's time to catch up to come and do the right thing. Sean Callahan 20:55 I think largely, that's true. I mean, I think some sales organizations are well ahead of the curve. But yeah, I think sales managers and sales executives, you know, they need to take a look at their organization and kind of assess whether they are enabling their salespeople to do what they need to do to, you know, really, to sell in this current environment. And I don't think this current environment is going to change very much. I think remote work is kind of here to stay and virtual selling is going to continue to remain important. But there probably will be a hybrid as the pandemic begins to recede, where you're doing some in person along with virtual selling, and you're probably going to need to be skilled at both to be successful. AJ Wilcox 21:40 Oh, totally agreed. How do you think COVID has impacted virtual selling? And I know you already said this, but what do you think in the future? Why do you see that this is a change that that is so permanent? What makes you think that the world can't just go back to where we were pre-COVID? Sean Callahan 21:58 Yeah, I think that's a really interesting question. I was listening, we just happen to have a live event, live virtual event today where we were talking about this very thing. And it was a sales expert, Alejandro Cabral, he works in Argentina, for Kimberly Clark Professional. He said that evolution never goes backwards. And he was referring to you adapt these sales technologies, and they become de facto how you how business gets done. So the technologies that enabled salespeople to sell virtually in the pandemic, companies saw that, you know, hey we can close deals without getting in front of customers, we can reduce our travel and entertainment budgets, and still close deals. Buyers told us in this report that 50% of them in the US and even more globally said that buying became easier when they did it virtually. And they were working remotely. And buyers said by huge numbers that they would love to work more than, you know, I think it was something like 60 some percent wanted to work remotely more than 50% of the time. So this this remote work, which kind of requires a virtual selling approach is not going away. Companies see it as valuable, their employees like it, not only from the personal standpoint, but from the business standpoint, in fact that it makes buying easier. So I don't think any of this stuff is going away. I mean, obviously we're going to start to go back to conferences and meeting people as the vaccination levels go up. And the disease begins to recede. But these changes are permanent to a large degree. And it's in some way, because these changes were already happening with sales technology, enabling a lot of this virtual selling and closing deals without ever actually shaking hands with a person in the flesh. AJ Wilcox 24:03 Yeah, I agree with that. It's more like it didn't change the way that we do business. It just accelerated the change that was already in the works. And now we're living the way that Yeah, we probably naturally would have within three or four years, but COVID sure accelerated us towards it Sean Callahan 24:20 Yeah, accelerated is the word. I mean, this was coming. But it made it happen much faster in something that you know, your marketing audience might remember is like, I think 2008, 2009 that downturn really had an impact on the adoption of online advertising. I think online advertising was something that companies were doing, but in that downturn, they understood that it was cheaper, and they could prove immediately whether it was working or not. And in that era where there was such tight money, companies really move towards that much faster than they would have normally. And they moved away from things like print where it was harder to prove the value to online advertising. And that changed, you know, the value of advertising online like almost overnight. AJ Wilcox 25:13 And what a beautiful change that was. Yes, for you. It was a great, great change. True! You said something earlier that made me think of a quote that was actually in the report. I absolutely loved this quote. It's by the CEO of Flockjay, Help me with his last name, it's Shaan Hathiramani, is that close? Enough? Sean Callahan 25:32 Close enough AJ Wilcox 25:33 Okay, cool. He says the digital world is here to stay. The inefficiency of travel of in person business meetings, late night dinner appointments will make face to face meetings less common and not necessary. In many cases, organizations will use more data, more video more telesales? I don't think that we will go back to the world that was Sean Callahan 25:53 Yes. I totally agree with Shaan. I think that's he's absolutely right in everything. And I think we're seeing right, I don't think anything, you could argue with any aspect of that, quote. AJ Wilcox 26:06 Yeah. So it'll be interesting to see. Because there's, there's a lot of this stuff that was in person that was really annoying. And we wish we could do it remotely. And then there was a whole bunch of things like events and conferences, where, you know, we did a lot of that, for fun and for work. And I'm interested to see if that comes back, you know, raging. People have been locked inside for a year and a half or two years. Now, I can't wait to get out and meet people again. Or if people are just gonna say, oh, I found that I really liked being in my house. I don't think I need to do conferences anymore. Do you have any insights into maybe what can happen there with public events? Sean Callahan 26:41 Yeah, I think events will come back. And we talked about this hybrid idea, right? I think it's going to be harder to meet individually, like a buyer at our office, for instance, I think that's going to be hard, especially in the near term. Because I don't think companies want people from the outside coming into the office, it's just, you know, they're not sure it's safe yet. But I think that these conferences, especially the best ones, are going to thrive, because people still in this hybrid model are going to want to get together. And it's going to be maybe even more important than it was in the past. Someone was telling me a long time ago about why they thought that the events business would thrive in B2B, where publications might not. And this is, I think turned out to be true, is that events are the only thing that Google can't do. You know, in person, it's something that the online world doesn't enable us to do. But these events, you get to meet people meet new people, shake hands, go out to dinner, have a drink, whatever, that stuff is going to be more important at these events, because it's kind of going to be at least in the, say, foreseeable future, the only place you can do it. AJ Wilcox 28:00 I totally agree with that. My thought is, you know, so many of us are so burned out by zoom, we've participated in so many virtual events. And really, no matter how you slice it, the type of learning that you do in a virtual event is significantly different than the type of learning that you would do in person. And so I think people will be excited to get back to that level of learning where they're not multitasking. And yeah, thanks during that. Sean Callahan 28:25 Yeah, I mean, I'd love virtual events. And I think virtual events are here to stay. But the one thing that they lack, to the degree that an in person has is, you know, the aisles, the conference hallways where you meet people and talk to you know, that's an important part of a conference. And I think that's something that we're going to crave. AJ Wilcox 28:44 Yeah, good point, someone's gonna find a solution for that. Sean Callahan 28:47 Yes. Well, there are like, you know, there's sort of, you know, you got breakout rooms that virtual events and you have the chat down the side. But they're trying to approximate I think, the conference aisle-ways in hallways, AJ Wilcox 29:02 Yeah, you get some of the serendipity and meeting with those types of things. Boy, it's gonna be hard to replicate the I was just randomly standing behind this person that, you know, at a food truck, or we were both in line to ask a speaker a question and ended up striking the conversation. I hope we get to preserve those kinds of things. Okay, here's the quick sponsor break, and then we'll dive into the rest of the interview. The LinkedIn Ads Show is proudly brought to you by, the LinkedIn Ads experts. AJ Wilcox 29:34 If the performance of your LinkedIn Ads is important to you B2Linked is the agency you'll want to work with. We've spent over $135 million on LinkedIn Ads, and no one. I mean, no one outperforms us on getting you the lowest cost per lead. We're official LinkedIn partners, and you'll deal only with LinkedIn experts from day one. Fill out the contact form on any page of to chat about your campaigns. We'd love to work with you. And definitely let us know that the podcast sent you. Alright, let's go ahead and jump right back into the interview. Out of curiosity, we've talked a little bit about how COVID really affected selling. But tell me how you think COVID affected the buying of the buyer side of all this? Sean Callahan 30:17 Yeah, well, I talked a little bit about the the remote work. And I think that's part of what's going on here that buyers 50% of buyers say that working remotely has made the purchasing process easier. That's from our survey data. And we also found that remote job postings, they're not going away, they've increased by more than 5x globally since the start of the pandemic. And that's, that's LinkedIn data, LinkedIn platform data, 64% of buyers in North America are working remotely more than half of the time. Again, that's our survey data and 70% of buyers want to continue working remote they have for more of the time in the future. So that's really transformational, I think. And for selling, it's huge that, you know, how we work in offices is going to change forever. I'm lucky or odd in that I've worked from home on 1, 2, 3, like five straight jobs. I've had a home office job since 1998. I've been working. But I think more and more people are going to be like that. Working from home all the time, we found that it's doable. There are obviously downsides like your resume, fatigue is a real thing. And people want to have connection with people. That's why conferences are going to continue to work. But there has been a definite shift. Like I said before, that that idea that evolution doesn't go backwards is real too. We're not going to be able to walk this back, the genie is out of the bottle. AJ Wilcox 31:49 I love that example you shared about the 2008 downturn and the adoption of online advertising. I hadn't considered that before. And I've been wondering like, ooh, is the world going to go back to the way it was? I think you just cemented in my mind that no, it's not this, this is an evolution. Sean Callahan 32:08 I really think so. Because that we didn't really go back to print advertising, you know, it hasn't really recovered AJ Wilcox 32:16 Oh yeah. Alright, so shifting gears here a little bit? How are sales organizations using data? Sean Callahan 32:21 Well, I do know that sales organizations are using tons of data and more all the time. And one of the key things is their metrics, how they measure success. And that has changed over the past few years. You know, the cliche is that sales organizations measure quota, individual quota and team quota. And what we're finding is that customer satisfaction, and customer retention are two of the top metrics for sales organizations, rather than individual quota and team quota. Those are still important. But they are not what they used to be as far as like far and away, what organizations are measuring organizations are taking a longer term view of the world. That's an important thing to take note of. They're also using a lot of data in how they go about identifying customers. They use it to identify accounts they can go after, industries they can go after, geographies they can go after. And you know, LinkedIn, frankly, is one place where you can find that kind of data. And that stuff is becoming more and more important. And one of the quotes in the state of sales is that you know, data for sales organizations has become table stakes. If you don't have data, you're sort of driving without your headlights. AJ Wilcox 33:56 Oh, beautiful.That was an amazing answer to a question I didn't think through very well before I just read it off. So let me ask you this one, how are sales organizations using the data from this report? Sean Callahan 34:10 Well, I hope they're they're using it to look at where they're headed, where this industry is headed. I think what this report does is there are several key insights about how to become a buyer first sales organization. And I think that's crucial. And I think the report also works to confirm what I think sales leaders understand in their gut, that remote working is here to stay. The virtual selling is a skill that you are going to need to succeed. And those kind of insights, I think this report can help sales organizations to prove to the rest of their company that there are certain changes that need to be made AJ Wilcox 34:59 Wonderful. Because we've talked about this report, it's obviously awesome is the furthest thing from a fluff piece that we've ever seen from from anyone. Where can we go and find this report? Where can our listeners go to, to actually, you know, search through these insights themselves? Sean Callahan 35:13 Yeah, we have a short length. That is, well, it could be shorter. Let's put it that way. But it's So it's AJ Wilcox 35:31 Perfect. And we'll throw that in the show notes as well, for those of you who don't have a pen around or just want to scroll down from your podcast player and hit that link. And, Shawn, and this can be either for you, business life or personal life. What are you most excited about that's coming up? Sean Callahan 35:50 Well, I'll do a business one, I've been talking about state of sales, this whole thing, we've got a little piece of state of sales, that's going to come out a little later in the year. It's what top performers do differently. So in the state of sales survey, we're able to identify sellers who met 125% or more of quota, and compare them to others who took the survey, and were able to identify certain things that these sellers do differently. And I'll give you a couple examples. To whet your appetite for this piece. It's top performers do more research, they actually spend a little bit less time selling than average performers. And they do their research those they're totally prepared when they they have a call. They by about 15 to 20 percentage points, they do more kind of things like look up person's LinkedIn profile, visit the company website, find out who's on the buying committee through Sales Navigator. They do those kinds of things, more than average performers. There's some other material in there, too. That's very interesting. But it's that that research piece and that total preparation piece that top performers have. And I will also tell you that this may be coming out after this, but I have the entire week from July 5 through July 9 off, and I'm looking forward to that. AJ Wilcox 37:12 Oh, very cool. Without divulging too much. Is there anything on vacation that you're really looking forward to? Or you're you're gonna make sure you do. Sean Callahan 37:20 I waste a lot of time in my life playing golf, and I will probably do that over that period of time. AJ Wilcox 37:27 Cool. I love it. Well, I'm super excited for that next report because that sounds exactly what we want to share with all of our clients and their sales teams. Let's get more of those 125% of quota folks out there. So Shawn, if people want to connect with you, what's the best place to do it? Sean Callahan 37:44 Well, you can always look at my LinkedIn profile. Or you can send me an email and my LinkedIn address, which is I would love to talk to anybody who wants to talk state of sales. AJ Wilcox 37:57 Love it. All right. Sean, thanks so much for joining us. We'd love to have you back again, sometime here soon. Maybe even talk about the what top performers do differently piece. So anyway, stay in touch. And thanks so much for coming on. Sean Callahan 38:09 Hey, thanks for having me. AJ really enjoyed it. Talk with you soon. AJ Wilcox 38:13 All right. See ya! Sean Callahan 38:14 Alright, I've got the episode resources for you coming right up. So stick around. Thank you for listening to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Hungry for more? AJ Wilcox, take it away. AJ Wilcox 38:35 All right, I've got some great resources for you today. First of all, there's a link to the state of sales report down in the show notes. That's It's a little bit long. But yeah, just go click the link. Next is Sean Callahan. He mentioned his email address is scallahan. So that's And there's also going to be a link to his LinkedIn profile, he'd love to connect with you all. I've also got a link to the new LinkedIn Ads certifications. So make sure you level up your own resume and go and get those ASAP. And I've also got a link to the new LinkedIn Ads course that I told you about. I'm super proud of it. Of course, I want you to take it, but certainly if you have anyone in your organization who is trying to level up or learn LinkedIn Ads, point them towards this course. It is by far the best resource out there. If you have any suggestions, any questions about the podcast, anything like that, reach out to us at Please do look down at whatever podcast player you're listening to right now. And rate us you know, subscribe. And definitely leave us a review as well. We'd love to shout you out. All right, with all of that. We'll see you back here next week, I hope. Cheering you on in your LinkedIn Ads initiatives.
  • LinkedIn Ads Show podcast

    LinkedIn Organic, Ads, and Sales Navigator - Oh my! - Ep 46


    Show Resources Here were the resources we covered in the episode: Phil Gerbyshak on LinkedIn Free 60-day trial of Sales Navigator LinkedIn Sales Navigator Course with Phil Grab time with Phil to chat LinkedIn Ads Effect of iOS14 on LinkedIn Ads Amazing podcast episode from Phil Graham - Next Level FB Ads Podcast Metadata benchmarks report LinkedIn Learning course about LinkedIn Ads by AJ Wilcox: LinkedIn Advertising Course Contact us at with ideas for what you'd like AJ to cover. Show Transcript: You've heard about LinkedIn Sales Navigator, but you're not sure if you should be using it instead of ads or in combination with them. Well buckle up, it's time for the full scoop. Welcome to the LinkedIn Ads Show - here's your host, AJ Wilcox.Hey there LinkedIn Ads fanatics. So Sales Navigator is one of those topics that comes up a lot in LinkedIn circles. So I got one of the top organic LinkedIn pros to come on and share his wisdom with you. Phil Gerbyshak is one of the most well connected people I've ever met. He's provided sales training for everyone from the Fortune 500, all the way down to small business owners, and everything in between. We're going to talk about everything from what Sales Navigator is to who in your organization should be using it, as well as how it will complement your ad strategy. First in the news, my apologies for the last several months with no episodes at all. I've got a ton of great episodes and a bunch of great content planned, but they may come sporadically for the next little bit while I'm dealing with some personal and family issues. But so much has happened with LinkedIn Ads since the last episode. So let's run through some of them. The first is the Twitter user @DannyGavin, who's a VP of Marketing for an agency. He brought to my attention when his rep sent him an actual document of the types of things that LinkedIn expects to be affected when iOS 14 rolls out. And of course, by this point, we already have iOS 14.5. But it's a cool graphic that I'll share with you. Then a few weeks later, one of my own account reps send it to me as well, but Danny gets props for getting it to me before my reps. So thanks for that. We're, of course going to have a whole episode all about the cookie-geddon and the effect on LinkedIn Ads. But for right now I'll just say LinkedIn has this available, ask your rep. And I'll go deeper into it in a future episode. Next, I want to point you to towards one of the best podcast episodes I've ever heard. So there's a podcast about Facebook ads specifically and it's called Next Level Facebook Ads Podcast hosted by Phil Graham. And specifically, the episode that I want all of you to go and listen to is Episode 196. How I'd spend $20 per day on Facebook Ads. The whole goal of of his podcast episode is just to talk about like running low budgets and testing. But what he ended up doing was showing a masterclass on how to approach testing and optimization, AB testing, how to strategically test through your your content. So I'll link to that in the show notes. I highly recommend going to listen to that episode, I absolutely could not have said it better myself. Then I was really excited by something I saw in my inbox. This been a couple months ago, but LinkedIn started sending out new emails with a subject line that says you have a new comment for review. This was back at the beginning of March of 2021. When I got my first one. And I was so excited by this because if you've talked to me about comment moderation inside of sponsored content, you've probably gotten an earful about how, how difficult it is, as a company to moderate and plan and understand the comments that are coming in. So with this one, some of our clients started getting emails that says, "hey, you got a new comment, click here to see it". Now there's a whole lot I wish we got with these emails. I wish it would give us like the text of the comment with, you know, quick actions like like or respond or something. But at least for right now, we're getting something. I'm sure this is not rolled out to all accounts yet, because I'm assuming I would get inundated with these on like an every few minutes basis. But at least some of our accounts did I think probably three or four accounts have access to this so far. So watch for that in the future. And I'm excited to keep watching LinkedIn roll this stuff out. Next, the company released their own benchmarks report from LinkedIn Ads. And I'll link to it in the show notes down below. But it's entitled What We Learned From $15 million in Spend on Facebook and LinkedIn. And you can see the data directly, they put it into like a nice Google Data Studio report. And they also say get the report. So definitely worth checking out in quite a few cases, the benchmarks that we see versus what Metadata sees are quite different. And I know plenty of the Metadata folks, and I have a good understanding of their strategy as to why we might see differences there. But it's definitely worth checking out to see what other people are seeing in the world of LinkedIn Ads. Okay, I wanted to highlight a couple of reviews for the podcast. Rudeboyj on Apple Podcasts says, "AJ, the hero of LinkedIn marketing, I love love, love AJ, his LinkedIn Ads podcast, so much valuable information and as an agency owner, this is the best place for me to get insider information, tips and tricks that LinkedIn won't tell you about directly. Amazing content. Well worth a listen. Kind regards, Rudy." Rudy, thanks so much for leaving such an awesome review for me. I really appreciate it. Then we have nandogevers from Apple Podcasts. Sorry if I mispronounced the the handle there. But they say learn from the best. "I listened to a ton of business podcasts, it is hit or miss. The LinkedIn Ad podcast might however be the best I've ever heard. No generic nonsense, but actionable points. Keep it up." Absolutely. Thank you so much. That's exactly why we create this. I love to share, okay, and I want all of you to go and leave a review to so that I can shout you out. I want to feature you here. So please let me know what you think of the show. Alright, with that being said, let's hit it. Okay, everyone, I'm super excited to have Phil Gerbyshak here. He is not only the VP of Partnerships for us here at He's also the chief Revenue Officer of Process and Results, his company, Phil, so excited to have you on the podcast, this is Phil Gerbyshak and tell us what's new in your world. Phil Gerbyshak 6:21 Oh, boy. So lots of stuff, AJ, with all the changes that's happening with the different ad formats and stuff. You know, LinkedIn is hotter than ever, especially for those self employed folks. And we're seeing a lot of action there. In my world, you know, a lot more engagement in some spots, less engagement and others, and automation still not working on LinkedIn. Funny, right? How that works, sending 1000 connections a day doesn't work. In fact, many of the groups that I'm in say that LinkedIn has shrunk that down to be 100 connections a week. So it's even more important to find the right people to start the right conversations so that you can possibly work with them. AJ Wilcox And we used to get something like 75 per day. So this is a big restriction. Phil Gerbyshak Yeah, yeah, for sure. Huge. AJ Wilcox Lots of people getting their profiles. temp band, I guess will say Phil Gerbyshak Yeah, or shadow banned are not able to send connection requests, or oh my gosh, right, you've reached a commercial limit, because all you do is search, search, search and you never add any value to the network. I mean, lots of things contribute to that, which I'm grateful for. I really think that's an awesome opportunity for all the relationship sales and relationship marketing folks that are listening to this podcast. AJ Wilcox 7:31 Oh, yeah. And we've talked before about the spam problem on LinkedIn, just from so many people doing it wrong. I'm usually not a fan of LinkedIn cracking down on things. But this is one I'm really glad they're cracking down on. Phil Gerbyshak Yeah, AJ Wilcox I obviously have you on here to talk about the sales side about Sales Navigator, about organic. Tell us about your background. Why are you the one that I brought on here? Phil Gerbyshak Well, you know, years ago, when LinkedIn was really infantile, and it was six degrees of Kevin Bacon, I get started with it. And I worked in financial services and my advisors would be like, hey, is this actually something that people actually care about the internet? And this is a long time ago, obviously. And I was like, yeah, I think so. I think so. Right? And I showed them how they could use it. And then, you know, over time, I quit my my day job as a VP of IT, working with financial advisors to learn technology, and moved into my own consultancy. And I started seeing, hey, LinkedIn is thinking about this additional offering that offers more search capability, more opportunity to kind of segregate between an organic user and a paid user, and offer just more and more power. So I started using it, you know, people started asking questions, I started coaching sales teams, I ended up being a VP of sales training at a software company in Tampa, Florida for about a year and a half. I mean, it just naturally happened. And it just totally makes sense. Because really, just about every day that I'm on LinkedIn, I'm looking at Sales Navigator, because I've got 14,000 connections, but I'm like, well, who I just want to focus on Who are those 100, 200, 500 people that I want to pay attention to this week, and Sales Navigator just makes that so much simpler. So I've trained a lot of self employed folks on how to leverage it. And I've been leveraging myself pretty much since Sales Navigator rolled out. AJ Wilcox 9:20 Oh, that's awesome. Well, so glad we got the Sales Navigator pro on here. So the big question I get from people, and I don't quite know how to answer it, which is, hey, AJ, you're the ads guy, but we've also heard about organic LinkedIn, and we know people are doing outreach and we've heard about Sales Navigator. And they asked, you know, what should we prioritize? What should we be doing with LinkedIn? What's your response there? How would you answer that? Phil Gerbyshak Well, the answer is all of the above. Organic Sales Navigator and sponsored for sure. When you think about organic everybody in the organization should be organically using LinkedIn. Should be building their network, should have a good profile, right, should be an ambassador for the organization, sharing content, you know, doing things just like they would in the office as an on matter of course, right? I mean, people want to work with you if you're a company that's welcoming, so be a company that's welcoming, right? I mean, be that way. Get all your employees using organic for sure. And frankly, there's a lot of things that are only available in the organic version of LinkedIn that show that you're not dead, right? Posting to LinkedIn, building your actual network, not just sending in mails, things like that. So organic, for sure. When we think about sponsored, that's the marketer side, that's the brand side, that's the opportunity to build brand awareness, and in many ways to make better offers that if your sales team made may or may not resonate all that well, because they're just kind of blasting it out there. They're not gonna, they're not going to really hone in on the exact target. Not that they mean to, I'll tell you, right, as a sales guy, of course I mean to. But I'm not just connected to the right people, and frankly, putting it in front of them at the right time. Well, I can't always do that. I send out when I have time, not necessarily when is the best time or when LinkedIn knows that they're on. So sponsored, helps with that, and then Sales Navigator for the sales team, for those heavy duty recruiters. Absolutely. Sales Navigator is great, because all just about all of the search features that we use to target on advertisement on the sponsored side are available on Sales Navigator. So if you think about Sales Navigator, it's almost like advertising for one on one results. And sometimes if you already connected or your second degree connected, this is why you gotta use organic side and get connected, right? You can send a message hyperfocus that says, hey, AJ, are you interested in learning how to increase your revenue with LinkedIn advertising? And if he says yes, well, then we have a conversation here. And I can send a link to maybe sign up for that same webinar that the sponsored posts are, save the ad dollar, and sometimes get an even better target, but not always, because we're not always connected to everybody that could benefit from our products or services. AJ Wilcox 12:03 Absolutely. All right. So I may have jumped the gun a little bit. Can you define Sales Navigator for us? Like, what is the product, you've kind of told us a little bit about what it does? Phil Gerbyshak Sure. So LinkedIn Sales Navigator is their most premium sales solution. LinkedIn premium is an option as well, I would tell you that it's it's about 10% as effective as Sales Navigator, so I'd focus on Sales Navigator Sales Navigator is a separate sign up, it costs anywhere between $80 a month, if you go month to month, or $65 or so if you go out for a year at a time. And it is an awesome laser focus search tool that allows you to save leads and save people that you want to work with in different lists so that you can review them. And it allows us to see, oh, are there lead updates? Meaning did Phil's profile post anything new. Or account updates, did Process and Results, did B2Linked post anything new on LinkedIn. Have both of those things. And then it's also an opportunity to interface with the CRM, that's a more premium tool, but you can interface with Salesforce, or with Microsoft Dynamics and some of the other tools to interface so that you capture every interaction so that if I go on vacation, an agent needs to pick up my accounts, he can see that interaction, but only if the company pays for the team solution of Sales Navigator. AJ Wilcox Ah, okay, so this is like the power tool for sales folks. Phil Gerbyshak Absolutely. AJ Wilcox Yeah, cool. And I love this because between 65 and 80 bucks a month, that puts it at about twice the cost or maybe a little bit more than like LinkedIn premium, but it has so many more features that has basically like a little mini CRM. And anyway, that feels like a really, really good value to me. Phil Gerbyshak 14:00 I think so right? I mean, if your leads to close, right, if it takes you let's say 10 or 15 people to get there at $65 a month. And let's say that's all one of your sales people gets. Well that's $6.50 a lead. If you turn that into one meeting, which turns into one, SQL or MQL right, depending on how you target that. Well, heck, I think that's a pretty fair price. And your salespeople have to do outreach, right. I'd love to tell you that just marketing is enough, but it's not. We see all the time that folks that advertise with us, they may not have a great sales process at the end of that. And then they're like, Well, hey, people are magically spitting money at me. It's like, well, no kidding. If you don't have a sales process, it just, it frankly, doesn't work. So you need a sales team that's using that and you combine the two, right? It's like if you remember the old superfriends right wonder twin powers activate form of revenue. It's pretty cool. AJ Wilcox Perfect. Well, so we here at B2Linked, we do, obviously, a lot of advertising. And the strategy in our advertising is generally trying to get a cold audience from our ideal market to identify themselves and make it so we can start nurturing up and following up and starting a relationship. But I would gather that the approach with both organic and Sales Navigator as an extension could be quite different than how we're approaching it. So tell us about the difference in strategy and audiences there. Phil Gerbyshak 15:33 Sure, well, first of all, organic and Sales Navigator are really meant to be one to one tools, more than one to many tools, those certainly when you post something, your status, I mean, you're hoping your whole network sees it, you're hoping it goes viral, let's let's be honest here that that's the hope. But it's hard to know if it did anything valuable when you don't get any engagement. So what I would say is, if you think about using the organic side, and you post something, whoever then comments, whoever likes, whoever shares, whoever, you know, does something interacts, get some engagement, then the sales team should follow up with them and try to see there's an opportunity for a conversation. Well, on the sponsored side, we run an advertisement. And, you know, they might have never heard of the company before. But hopefully, you're posting something in the sponsored content that solves a problem or illuminates a problem. Or sometimes, you know, that offers a vitamin to make things even better for you. You know, those are the three reasons we run sponsored. And you're hyper focused on who you're talking to, right, you have that audience really dialed in, you've got those facets dialed in, but you don't know their name. So to personalize, you have to go Sales Navigator organic, because I have to see your name. But on the sponsored side, you're really more demographically targeting them plus some company size and things like that. So again, right, you have to think about, okay, organic is mass network. 5000 10,000 50,000 people, right, depending on how big you've grown your network, sometimes less. But then we've got the Sales Navigator, which is super targeted at an individual one at a time. And then the sponsored content, which is super targeted at the persona that we're having, but yet we don't know their name, who I love three prongs, all important. AJ Wilcox 17:27 So one thing we've noticed is that when we are running ads for a client, and the client is also like their sales team is engaged in in outreach, we find that they really supercharge each other. Like when someone has been seeing our ads for a month or two. They're a lot more likely to respond when someone reaches out. Because they're like, oh, I've heard of your company before you guys must be legit. Like, let's talk. Phil Gerbyshak Yeah, it seems so obvious when you say that, AJ but let's break that down. Right? Let's, let's talk a little smaller. Right? So I've never heard of your company before and you cold call me. And then I email you. And then I send you a LinkedIn inmail. And maybe I follow you on LinkedIn. And maybe you happen to find me on Twitter and maybe engage with you on Instagram and okay, so I email you. So I did 6, 12, 15, 20 touches, Still nothing. Now imagine instead, if they knew your business name, and they knew that you solve problems they do. Even if they don't know it. They know it right. It's here. It's here. It's in the back of their head. And they think Oh, interesting. So B2Linked does LinkedIn advertising. Oh, that's cool. And then me the sales guy calls up and says ring ring. Hey, AJ, Hey, buddy. I was wondering, do you, you know, do you need some LinkedIn advertising? And he might say no, I'm good. Or he might say, oh, yeah, I've heard of you guys. That's pretty cool. Well, again, supercharge those by combining streams, get them together because building awareness, though, that you don't really want to pay for awareness. It's important, right? I mean, you want to pay for results. Let's be clear. But that awareness is a nice byproduct of what happens for people who don't necessarily click the ad that you can't retarget that don't sign up for you because they're like, oh, I've heard of you. Especially if you do a good job of the company's marketing. It helps your sales team just so much. Oh my gosh. AJ Wilcox 19:16 Oh, yeah. And one thing I really wish LinkedIn would have taken across the finish line. A couple years ago, they had a beta, where a sales team could add leads in Sales Navigator. This was called Project Stereo, by the way, and as soon as they added it, they were tagging those leads, then the marketing team could pick this up for direct targeting. And so you could really target the exact individuals that the sales team cared about. And we had several clients who were part of the beta. It worked great. And then we heard that they sunset it, it was probably just too much work to upkeep Phil Gerbyshak Or it's super creepy, right? I mean, that's the challenge, right? I mean, sometimes we get super creepy I mean that that is sometimes a challenge. So I think that's why you have to do all of them even more because that Stereo project. It's interesting, right? If I just talk to you, and then I pop up, I mean, what do we Facebook here? Come on AJ? AJ Wilcox Sometimes I wish. Phil Gerbyshak Right. AJ Wilcox Alright. So obviously, the LinkedIn advertising is oftentimes handled by the marketing department. But we see that outreach, even handling of Sales Navigator is oftentimes over on the sales side. And there's a definite divide there. So when you work together with these strategies with these different effectively channels, how do you do that? And who owns what leads? How do you kind of heal the divide? Phil Gerbyshak 20:41 Sure. So if you think about sales development, and business development, that's a marketing function, and a backup sales function, meaning when I make a phone call, if I'm, you know, not shy about sharing my company name, I'm aiding in awareness of the company that I work with. Well, we might say, well, oh, that's Phil, that's marketing. Okay. But it's a phone call. So you might say, well, Phil, that sales? And the answer is it's both. So here's what you want to do, right? It to heal that divide is you need to meet together, you need to spend some time together and say, Hey, here's the 3, 5, 7, 10 campaigns, we're going to run. And sales team wants to run behind this. And as you're talking to people, you could just ask, Hey, have you heard about XYZ campaign? Now they might say no. And that's perfectly fine. Not a problem, right? But if they say yes, well, now we've got a conversation path. Now we've got something to do. And this is really important, because what gets measured gets repeated. Okay, understand this, right? So if you measure the fact that the sales team put in there, oh, yeah, they're aware of one of these 10 campaigns. Now, marketing says, oh, cool, right? We're, it's a marketing attributed lead. That's fantastic. The work we're doing is actually helping the sales team. But a lot of times, we worry so much that if marketing helped us, we're not going to get full credit for that deal, for that lead, for that conversion. That I'm not going to put it in there. I'm just going to say, Yeah, they were totally cold. And marketing might say, well, if I tell them, well, they're never going to tell me back. So why should I do that. So I want to encourage you, if you're, you're listening to this, even if you have a marketing team and a sales team of one each, to spend some time together, talk about those campaigns, really heal that. And then make sure that it gets measured, make sure that gets put into your CRM, make sure you know even if you have a simple CRM, like a spreadsheet, just put it in there. Oh, yeah, this customer heard about, and then gently let the marketing team know hey, by the way, gang, thanks so much. This week, six of our leads came through, and we're aware of that campaign that you had. Now they might not have clicked it, they might not have filled it out, they might not be in your CRM from the marketing side. But they absolutely should be from your sales side. And they can partner up because then you know what works. Now you got feedback. Now you keep that feedback loop going. Do more of what works, less than what doesn't, invest in the winners, ditch the losers. AJ Wilcox 23:18 I can't impress on everyone enough how important this is for marketers to play the sales enablement role. And for sales to play the marketing enablement role. That communication is absolutely crucial. Phil, something else you mentioned, that is really interesting to me. You mentioned how Sales Navigator has a lot of the same targeting criteria that ads do. So what that makes me think is me as the advertiser, I could go to the sales team, and I could say, hey, here is the exact way we're targeting here are the audiences we're going after. And then someone from sales could say, perfect, I'm going to go and run searches with exactly the same parameters. And that's how I'm going to start my outrage. Is there value there? Phil Gerbyshak Yeah, well, there's huge value there because you can set that up as a default search criteria. So you can search inside that universe. So let's say the marketing team is going to target you know, this much of the universe, they might target 100,000 people. Well, each salesperson might only really responsible. Say you got 10 salespeople, everybody's response for 10,000. How do you slice that up? Well, it could be by industry, so they add one parameter, industry. Okay, add another, location. Now, let's also not forget, and many sales people do, they broaden it out to everybody on LinkedIn, instead of shrinking it down first, and going first and secondary connection that people you already know. And the friends of people that you already know. I mean, folks, if I drop AJ Wilcox's name with a prospect that has heard of loves AJ Wilcox, they are going to open right up and we're going to get to have a real conversation about what's going on. On the other hand, I cold call and I pretend like I don't know AJ. That AJ is an oh, who's that? I don't know. Well, that's not going to open it up and it's gonna be harder. Now replace the word AJ Wilcox with your company name. Replace that with B2Linked, replace that with Process and Results. Replace that with your company name. And if they're aware of it, now they're going to open up. Oh, yeah, I've seen that. So you have to row together? Absolutely. And let's not forget, sales team can feedback. You know what, I appreciate that you gave me those seven criteria. But you know, what I found really helpful is when we include X, Y, or Z, you know, maybe it's people who've only been on LinkedIn, you know, less than 30 days or 90 days. Or maybe it's people who've changed jobs in the last, you know, in the last 90 days, something like that, that sometimes the marketers forget is available, so they can dial it in even more. Okay, here's a quick sponsor break. And then we'll dive into more on Sales Navigator, and specifically how we can make your job with this easier. Unknown Speaker The LinkedIn Ads Show is proudly brought to you by B2Linkedcom, the LinkedIn Ads experts. AJ Wilcox If the performance of your LinkedIn Ads is important to you be to B2Linked is the agency you'll want to work with. We've spent over $135 million on LinkedIn Ads, and no one outperforms us on getting the lowest cost per lead. We're official LinkedIn partners, and you'll only deal with LinkedIn experts from day one. Fill out the contact form on any page of And we'd love to chat about your campaigns. Alright, let's jump into it here, Phil, tell me because there are a lot of people doing things really wrong on LinkedIn organically? What are the common mistakes that you see with organic? And then what are some of the common mistakes you see with Sales Navigator? Phil Gerbyshak 26:51 Well, with organic, a lot of your people look dead. They haven't posted in a while they haven't gotten any updates in a while they haven't done anything to their profile. And it still maybe lists their old job, it lists things that they're no longer doing. Or they don't take the time to even copy and paste the job description that you provided them. So work with HR to actually build out your team's profile, make sure that profiles are strong. And then make sure that you tell your sales team, hey, here's content that you can share as often as you want. And don't forget, please add some of your personality. Because here's here's the truth, right? Everybody interacts more with you, if you're just talking about stuff, if you're talking just about work. If you're in a networking event, you're like, come on, man, that's horrible. So share some of that personality share some of the stuff outside of work. Yes, I understand marketers, you want them to push your webinar, your white paper, all that sponsored content. But don't forget to encourage them to be them selves. That's a big miss that I see with a lot of these folks on incomplete profiles or out of date profiles or dead profiles, and then not sharing enough. And then frankly, I'm going to give you one other big mistake on organic and then I'll shift to navigator and that is they don't connect with everybody inside the organization. I can tell you right now, most of your higher level associates on the team, whether they're whether you're a big company, and you have CEOs and C-stars, or whether you're a smaller company of an owner, it doesn't matter. You as the owner, as the C-star likely have more reach and more connections, then anybody in the organization. You should be sharing those with your sales team. your sales team should be able to see oh, look, AJ is connected to this person. I should mention AJ now they might not know AJ, because AJ might be willing to connect to anybody. Or AJ might be super tight with his networking and not connected anybody that he doesn't know. If it's the latter, and I drop AJ's name. The person's like, Oh, yeah, I saw AJ at this event or that event, or we work together at this thing, or we went to church, or we are part of this group, or that group. That is an opportunity for your sales team to immediately build rapport. But your executives, your leadership team has to connect to the sales team. Because otherwise, that's an opportunity lost. Okay, so what are some of the big mistakes with Sales Navigator? First, they set it up terribly. Or they don't set it up at all right? Then the marketing team doesn't give them any of the criteria. They need to be successful in that they just say, Oh, yeah, we'll just use a persona. Really, what's the marketing campaign that you're working on that you want me to focus on for this 30 days because I can change it. Sales Navigator is not static. So that's another big mistake folks make. They change their target, but they forget to change in Sales Navigator. Now that doesn't mean they change their profile, it could, in fact that encourage them to right to really focus on who are they trying to be a resource for, but they might forget to change our targeting which saves them or will cost them some keystrokes, every keystroke saved is one or two extra calls that can be made today, so that it's way easier to reach your quota. So they don't do that. The other thing that they don't do, they don't set it up, they don't change. The last thing they don't do is they don't actually save anything inside of Sales Navigator. Tthey don't save leads, they don't save accounts, they don't do anything with that stuff. And when you don't do that what happens is LinkedIn is automated, artificial intelligence doesn't help you. I think you should combine all these forces. You should throw them all in a blender and use them all. Because when you do them all, organic, sponsored, and Sales Navigator, marketing and sales can sing together and make beautiful music. And when you don't, well, you're almost fighting against each other. AJ Wilcox 31:05 Oh, yeah, I'd much rather be singing Kumbaya and fighting a sales department. What about measuring success, because on the advertising side, it's so easy to measure the success. If you're tracking your leads into your CRM, you can literally know at the individual ad level, what your cost per marketing qualified lead is or your cost per sales accepted lead or sales qualified lead, cost per proposal given, cost per close. And so we thrive off of the metrics. But when it comes to the organic, sometimes it's a lot harder to determine is what you're doing being successful. So how are you going to measure that success? Phil Gerbyshak Well, first, how many of the leads that are in the pipeline? Have LinkedIn profiles associated with them? If you're using Salesforce, if you're sing dynamics, many of them do just automatically. They pop up. But here's the thing, is your sales team actually doing anything with those? One of the things that you could use to measure success is LinkedIn's own social selling index. They're talking, they've talked for, actually, for at least the last three years,"We're doing away with the SSI score." I don't think they are, they might call it something else. Right? Because social selling is a total misnomer. That's a whole other episode. But social selling? Nobody sells on social, they sell with social, let's be super clear. Totally different episode, but just be aware of that. Okay, so how do you measure that right? Is your team is their SSI score? Are they looking at profiles, you can see that, again, if you have an organizational account, you can see are they viewing profiles? Are they doing searches? Are they investing their inmail? Right? Are they actually taking those inmails? 20, 30, 50 emails a month. And are they sending them? That is almost like a direct line to the right person that they're wasting? Imagine if you provided them with 1000 direct dial phone numbers of every person that they want to talk to him of their ideal target customer, and they didn't call them and instead, they're like, oh, well, I didn't know that was valuable. Come on. So sales team, use your inmails. Use your inmails. So you measure those and then you measure some of that engagement. Did they did they put anything back into the CRM? Because otherwise, what happens is, the salesperson keeps the connection, it never makes it to the CRM, and there's never any connectivity, and you just wasted $80 a month because you can't measure anything. So that's how I would do that. And then again, you know, periodically look at their profiles. Don't just use LinkedIn's SSI score, but actually look at them. Right? Spend some time every quarter train, retrain your sales team, get them hey, what are some best practices? What are you doing? How has this helped you get them to share that I would say at least a quarter, probably once a month, though. Just don't do it at the end of the quarter and the end of the month, because you want to tick off a salesperson forced them to get quota. And then don't let them work at the end of the quarter because they're busy on training. Don't do that. AJ Wilcox 34:06 Great. Great point. Yeah, let the sales guys fly free for the last week of every month. All right. So if someone wants to get started with advertising, obviously, like listening to this podcast is a great place to start. But if you want to get started on the organic side, Phil, can you tell us like what are some simple things, some simple steps that you can use to get started? Phil Gerbyshak 34:27 Sure. So first, I can't get dressed before you get busy. Get your profile up to speed. First, most important thing, second, get connected, right? Connect to the people that you know that you need to know that you want to know. Third, get sharing, share some content, get some stuff out there. And fourth, do it every single day. Real simple process there. Just four little steps, get dressed before you get busy, get connected, get sharing, and then get out there more often. AJ Wilcox Great. And then what about Sales Navigator? If someone's listening to you? And they're like, yes, this would be the ideal step for my organization. How do they get started with Sales Navigator? Phil Gerbyshak Sure. So we're going to put a link here in the show notes for you so that you can get a free 60 day trial. If you've never used Sales Navigator before. Sign up, that seems obvious, but sign up, right actually input your credit card information and sign up. Secondly, set it up, like actually go through and be mindful about that stuff. You might have to partner with the marketing team, you might have to ask yourself, whatever that is, and then show up, get there all the time be frequent. Again, just like on the organic side, you can't expect Sales Navigator is just going to work magic for you if you don't work the tool. AJ Wilcox Beautiful. Okay, so it sounds like a lot like running a company that runs LinkedIn Ads is already hard enough. And it's a little bit scary, a little bit daunting to think about okay, great strategies, I need to add these onto my plate. How can people get started without losing all their hair? And you know going crazy? Phil Gerbyshak 35:57 Oh, my gosh, yeah. You know, I mean, some some people believe bald is beautiful. And that's perfectly cool, right? I'm great with that. But you know what, we created just a little course, for you the Sales Navigator jumpstart for busy business owners and teams, it is really simple. If you sign up by the fourth of June, we're gonna make it just $97. If you sign up for that, it's $147. But it's gonna be some zoom calls, just like any other meeting that you're used to where you can ask them questions, but it'll be facilitated by yours truly, we're going to go through that. And we're going to share lots of stuff. So that's the Sales Navigator Jumpstart for those busy business owners, for those self employed folks, and for salespeople. AJ Wilcox Can give us a little sneak peek on what's going to be in the course what people are going to actually learn. Phil Gerbyshak Yeah, absolutely. So first, you know, you're going to learn a little bit more about what is Sales Navigator some of the ways that I've used it, I'm going to share with you, we're gonna talk about some best practices for setting it up. So you can be successful, right from the jump, super important, what you use it for, how should you use it, some of those tools who should be responsible for this? Sometimes you might send one of your sales people and they might say, Well, you know what, this isn't really for me. So let's talk about that, we're going to talk about some of those things that you're going to discover. We're also going to talk about augmenting navigator with advertising and advertising with navigator. So if you've got some ads that you're running, you can send your sales team with that. We're going to show you some of the things that people do wrong when I actually do use it. And then some of those daily habits so that you can actually maximize your efforts and get the jumpstart you need so you can actually use Sales Navigator as a lever instead of just one more expense. AJ Wilcox And a little sneak peek I'll be making a guest entrance on the topic about the ad side about how to use Sales Nav and sponsored ads together so anyway, I hopefully that doesn't push anyone away. Who's this best for? Is this for sales teams? Is this for business owners? Is this for individuals? Who is gonna get the best use out of it? Phil Gerbyshak 37:59 Yeah, well first you know self employed folks right they're responsible for making them rain a lot of times, driving the business for their for your business. So if you're a busy self employed business owner you should certainly attend. If you're a sales team and each person on that team has a individual Sales Navigator license well that's another great opportunity to take part of this and if you're responsible at all for lead generation or revenue generation, you're someone that definitely could benefit from this Sales Navigator jumpstart. AJ Wilcox Okay, awesome. And even if you don't make the early bird $147 for all this information is a total no brainer. So I would highly encourage everyone to check it out. Where do we find the course? Phil Gerbyshak Yeah, so the course is found at That's It's going to be held the week of June 22. And we would love to see you there. You can sign up when you're listening to this Sign up it's $97 by June 4, or until the week of the 21st that will be $147. AJ Wilcox 39:14 Beautiful. Alright, so we'll obviously have a link to that down in the show notes. You can navigate directly all that. Alright Phil, you are a rock star. Thank you so much for coming on here. Where can people find you and connect with you? Phil Gerbyshak Well, if you want to talk about LinkedIn Ads with me you can go to And you can certainly sign up to talk about LinkedIn Ads. I'm on the ads team. We talked about that stuff. I can get you signed up, send your proposal. Whatever it is that you need there, answer questions. Always going to add value to you there and of course finally on LinkedIn, Phil Geryshak. Tell me you heard me on the LinkedIn Ads podcast. Tell me that you know AJ or that you don't let me know and let's connect AJ Wilcox And tell him that you like short walks on the beach because sand gets everywhere on long walks, just saying. Phil Gerbyshak That's it. AJ Wilcox 40:07 Alright Phil, thanks so much for joining us. And I'm sure we'll be hearing from you here again soon. Phil Gerbyshak Thanks, AJ. AJ Wilcox All right, I've got the episode resources for you coming right up. So stick around. Thank you for listening to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Hungry for more? AJ Wilcox, take it away. AJ Wilcox 40:33 If you want to connect with Phil on LinkedIn, you can go to or just search for Phil Gerbyshak, he's gonna be the only one that shows up. He is definitely one in a million. You'll also see that link down below in the show notes. You'll also find the link for the free Sales Navigator 60 day trial. They offer a 30 day trial by default. But we were lucky enough to get a free 60 day link. So wanted to share that with everyone. You'll also find the link to the Sales Navigator jumpstart course. As Phil mentioned, it's But of course, it's always easier to just hit that link. And if you want to meet with Phil, because he's actually the one who's going to talk to you if you want to do business with B2Linked, you can go to and book a time directly with him. He's awesome. Like we talked about in the new section, we have that graphic showing the effects on LinkedIn Ads of cookie-geddon, iOS 14 update. So you can check that out. Open that up, you can also see a link to the Phil Graham digital podcast episode that I thought was so amazing, as well as a link to the metadata benchmarks report that we talked about. And of course, if you are trying to uplevel your LinkedIn Ads or have someone in your organization who needs to check out the course, it's linked down below in the show notes. And it's the LinkedIn Learning course on LinkedIn Ads. Definitely valuable, and Hint, Hint. Watch here in the next, I would say month or two to see the update to that course coming out. So check that out. Also, be sure to subscribe. If you've liked this content, you want to hear more of it, make sure you subscribe in your player. And then please do go and review the podcast. I would love to shout you out. And thank you for whatever kind words you have to share. It definitely helps other people find the show. So we will take any rating and review that you've got. If you have any topics that you'd like us to cover or questions related to anything we've talked about. You can email us at And with that being said, we'll see you back here next week. Cheering you on in your LinkedIn Ads initiatives.
  • LinkedIn Ads Show podcast

    LinkedIn's Product Pages and What it Means for Marketers - Featuring Ryan Macinnis - Ep 45


    Show Resources Here were the resources we covered in the episode: LinkedIn Learning course about LinkedIn Ads by AJ Wilcox: LinkedIn Advertising Course Contact us at with ideas for what you'd like AJ to cover. Show Transcript: LinkedIn product pages just launched. And we've got some great news about what it means for marketers coming right up on the LinkedIn Ads Show. Welcome to the LinkedIn Ad show. Here's your host, AJ Wilcox. Hey there LinkedIn Ads fanatics. You may have heard about LinkedIn rolling out product pages since about the summer of 2020. We brought a friend of the show Ryan Macinnis back. And you might remember him if you listen to Episode 31. He is the Product Marketing Manager at LinkedIn who's over the products marketplace. He reached out to me a couple months ago and let me know about some really cool functionality that's coming to LinkedIn. And I had to keep it a secret from all of you. Sometimes we have to do hard things. And now we finally get to spill the beans about some really cool revelations with these new product pages. But first we highlight a couple reviews. Tom Tigwell from Great Britain says, "A trusted advisor. Without a shadow of a doubt, AJ is a trusted advisor for those interested in optimizing their LinkedIn ads to deliver high quality leads. Every podcast drops value and we appreciate your wisdom. Keep it up." Thanks, Tom. You are a total stud. And then we have Alessandra from Italy. She says, "Fantastico! Just what I needed to do a professional job in setting up a campaign for a customer. Great episodes, good insights and tips, useful resources, keep them coming. And I'm listening to all the episodes and taking notes, Grazie mille, as we say here, a thousand thanks. Alessandra from Italy." You're amazing. Hello, Alessandra, thanks so much for leaving such a kind review. And it's been a little while since I've been to Italy, but boy do I miss it. Everyone who's listening I want to feature you. So definitely go to whatever platform that you listen to podcasts on and give us a rating and review and I'll totally shout you out. Okay, with that being said, let's hit it. Ryan Macinnis is a Product Marketing Manager at LinkedIn over the products marketplace, which is a really exciting area of focus for LinkedIn. He's a marketer just like us. And we're excited to feature his insight. Ryan MacInnis, super excited to have you on again. Thanks so much for coming back. Thanks for having me. Oh, anytime. So obviously, we've had you on a previous episode, where we were talking about the Brand and Demand Playbook. Tell us what's new with you what's changed, and what you're working on now? Sure. So the Brand and Demand Playbook, which we launched back in September, was obviously a huge hit. And you obviously gave me the opportunity to talk about it here on your podcast. Since then, I've moved over from the sponsored messaging world where I was the product marketer for my first year at LinkedIn. And I've transitioned over to the pages team. So within the pages, ecosystem, all of the free tools that we know and love to help us expand our reach within our employee, community, or grow all of the advocacy work we're doing within our external facing communities. I joined that team at the end of last year, and I've been working on our new newest feature product pages. 3:08 Oh, yeah. So tell us first of all about product pages, what's LinkedIn's intent? And then how should we as marketers be thinking about how to leverage them and and be using them even already? 3:18 Sure. So product pages, at their core, are a new tab that companies will see that help them showcase the best of their products. And so for a long time, especially for larger companies, it's been really hard to separate your brand from your product. When you think about voice on a company page, company pages are top of funnel, maybe you're trying to share a response to something that's happening in the world or an update of what it's like to work at that company, there's really not a great place for you to spotlight and showcase products. And so if you think about product pages, this is our bottom of the funnel, pages offering, company pages, showcase pages, product pages, that give companies the ability to take all this work they've done growing their community organic community on LinkedIn, and channel that into product interest, and ultimately lead gen. That is our goal. So cultivating a product community and ultimately turning that interest into customers. And so I like to call it the digital storefront for your brand, which you know, it's kind of the greatest hits of all of your different assets on LinkedIn and on your website. So you can really showcase users that are using your product, rich media, how to use the product, as well as featured customers. Somebody like me is interested in using the product. I can see companies that aspirationally I'd like to be like and know, okay, directionally, they're using this tool to help them do what they do at that level. That's really exciting for me. So that's what it is. Our intent with it is to really give marketers one more tool in their tool belt, so they can take advantage of all of these things for free at the bottom of the funnel. And when you think about competitively smaller companies, it's really hard for them to stand out in the crowd when you're competing. In a market that has a really large incumbent, maybe you're in a noisy market, product pages are actually a great way to be discovered. So if you're a smaller company, in a space, like marketing automation, if you're looking at a competitor that has a really large following is really well known. That discovery aspect of seeing other products in that category gives you a fighting chance to be discovered and, and to showcase what you can offer to a prospective buyer. So that is our intent is to make it really easy for people who use the product to be advocates for it. And then people are interested in buying it or in the market have a really easy way to do that in correspond with the brand. And so that is some context of product pages. 5:40 Cool. Well, I don't think you'll find any marketer who's disappointed with this. This is obviously everyone wants leads, everyone wants more interaction for their products and services. So that's great. And just out of curiosity, because I know that the product pages have really been launching over here over the last few months, who's doing a really good job with their product pages. Who should we look at as an example or for advice? Yeah, that's a great question. And so first of all start with what the experience has been like over the past year. So we've really tried to understand what does it take to provide a new page that page admins find value in that marketers are really excited about, and make sure that we're doing it in a way that also members on LinkedIn, see as valuable. So at the end of last year, we shared that more than 10,000 products are now live, they have their own pages on LinkedIn. And it's really exciting. What we're doing now is we're rolling that out to new companies within the B2B software space. So that is a large amount of companies that you'll see over the next couple months, they're gonna get access to this. And so along the way, we've seen some really great examples, a couple that I mentioned, aside from LinkedIn campaign manager tool, which I know that you've left a review on, which was great, GitHub has a really great product page. Atlassian, generally, within their products that they have, I think they do a fantastic job. listing the ideal roles that are great fits for products, I think that's another highlight of product pages is when I land as a prospective buyer on a product page, I want to relate to the problem that this company or this product is solving, and to make me feel that I'm part of a community even if I'm not already a customer. So that's another good example. And I think Asana does a great job, from a project management perspective, another example of a noisy space, and then trying to find ways to really elevate your community to be advocates for you. I think those are three examples that I would highlight, Okay, we'll go check those out and see if we can build something similar. So from the perspective of a marketer, how do product pages help drive traffic and interest to us? Yeah, so product pages are one of the first things that you'll see if a company has one when they land on your company page. So it's really cool that this concept of a highlight reel, or most of what's new on your product page, or products are going to be one of the first things you'll see whether it's a company has added a new product page, or somebody left a new review. That is what gets surfaced pretty high up on someone's company page. So that's really exciting. In the long term, we're always looking for ways that we're going to drive additional sources of traffic to these pages. But I think in the short term, there are so many interesting ways that you can drive traffic to this page. We've had companies like Twilio say that they've actually included this in their internal employee advocacy platform, to say, "Hey, everyone, these are the tools that we work on every single day, we just got a product page, it's really cool. Share it on LinkedIn, tell everybody to go check out this product that you're really proud of." And so that's a really interesting way to drive traffic. And we've had other companies try to figure out how they can plug this into their LinkedIn ad strategy. So I know, that was one of the things that you and I talked about previously. But within even conversation ads, if somebody is going through that flow of evaluating whether or not they'd be a good fit for a product, it's a great way to keep them on LinkedIn without sending them to your website, and potentially losing that lead when they go to a different experience. So that's how marketers today I've been driving driving traffic to these pages. And like I mentioned, we're evaluating new ways to get more eyeballs on these pages as we roll it out more. 9:12 Oh, I love that. Just out of curiosity on the reviews because people can leave reviews. Is there an opportunity for moderating or responding to maybe like lower rated one? Yeah, it's a good question. Today, we're we're getting feedback from companies and how they'd like to interact with those who are leaving reviews. One of the things I'm personally most proud of is the very small amount of negative reviews or malicious reviews that we've seen on the platform. And I do think that there's an element of accountability that comes in your profile is tied to a person as opposed to maybe some anonymous individual that can speak differently when there's no accountability involved. And so we'll remove reviews if they're malicious and in any way they violate our terms of service, obviously or if they're false. So an example we use is, you know, LinkedIn doesn't work in New York, or there's just something that's not true. We have the tools to make sure that those are reviewed and removed if that's the case. And then we're working with page admins and marketers to understand how you'd like to respond. Do you want to be able to encourage people to upvote? reviews, make sure that the most helpful ones are first? Or would you like to go ahead and respond to the ones that are most pressing, maybe constructive, that can influence your product roadmap. So today, there's no opportunity to do that. But it's definitely something we're looking to do is to give these moderation tools an opportunity to be more involved and engaging with the community. Because at the end of the day, that's why people leave reviews because their customers, they're passionate about whatever that product is, or the problem that they solve. And we want to give marketers the ability to interact with them. 10:50 Oh, I love it. And then what about if we're marketing a certain product? Is there value in us? I think you said Asana sent out internally. Or maybe that was Twilio sent out internally, like, "Hey, everyone come in, like hop on the page and follow it." Is there value there in like, as many people as you can show that are using your product, or experts with it, to try to organically get more people seeing and exposed to the product? Is there like organic benefit there? Yeah, there's organic benefit in a really interesting and cool way. As somebody, we just rolled this out over the last couple months, this concept of being able to see who in your network is using a certain products. So if I were to go to JIRA, because I'm on the product team, I have a lot of product managers in my network, I think I have 113 connections that use JIRA in their day to day jobs. And so as a prospective buyer of JIRA, that makes me feel awesome, it makes me feel that I know that I've kind of come to the place where my network has told me, you know, this is a form of social proof and validation that we get when buying a car or asking a friend or recommendation on something. So when you get your network to share with customers, hey, we just launched this page, please go and you know, maybe add this product as a skill to your profile, it benefits you long term, because if a prospective buyer goes to that page, and sees that folks in their network, use that product that makes them feel a lot more comfortable, maybe presenting that product to their manager, or even bringing it on themselves to go ahead and become a customer. So there's a huge opportunity there. Oh, yeah. And I'm even thinking from an ads perspective. If someone wants to target let's say, Salesforce users. Right now, the way we have it is like Salesforce groups or Salesforce skills. It would be amazing in the future, if we had the ability to say, hey, let's target people who we know our users like they're certified users of the software. So I could definitely see how that could play into our ads targeting the future. So Ryan, before we hopped on, you were telling me about something that I thought was really exciting, which was lead gen forms on product pages. This is like being able to use the lead gen form function for something organic dealing with the company page, something that's not paid by ads. Tell us about this, like, how did you come to it? And how does it work? 13:07 Yeah, so as I mentioned earlier, product pages are great for bottom of the funnel conversion. But if you think about it from a buyer perspective, putting your website as the main CTA just feels like a lot of additional steps that someone would have to take to express interest. Like by being on a product page, you're showing a level of intent, where somebody as a marketer just would say, hey, this is pretty much as bottom of the funnel as it gets, if they go from awareness from a company page, or maybe they attended a webinar to now they're physically on the product page, looking at, you know, customer examples, and reading reviews like this is where we want to convert them. And so we were, in our mind thinking, if lead gen forms were on this page, the barrier to convert would be so low, that we would start providing a ton of value for a lot of these companies to start really promoting their product pages to start growing these communities a lot faster. And so lead gen forms on this page to your point, we've only had lead gen forms available through campaign manager for advertising platform, or if you're using it from an events perspective for from a registration point of view. And by having it on product pages, it's a really great way to expose a ton of marketers to something maybe they didn't have access to before. You know, maybe they maybe they're at a startup, they're at a company that isn't doing a ton with LinkedIn right now. They see this functionality, and it's a great way for them to say, product pages are providing a ton of great value for me today, what are ways that I can amplify this down the road, maybe I can put a product page as a carousel ad as somebody who's going through the experience of what does this page look like in the feed, or as I mentioned earlier on a conversation as if a sender is from a sales rep trying to get you to schedule a demo, and you know that maybe they're not going to do that within the first CTA product pages are a great way to evaluate that offer more. And then the Legion forum is just a great way to make sure that they within the LinkedIn ecosystem can take that action you want them to and you're still providing a ton of value while that barrier and that friction is very low. Great, are we going to have to have a campaign manager account? to set that up? Like, is that still gonna live within campaign manager? Or will lead gen forms be available right from the company page? 15:11 Yeah, they're gonna be available right from the company page. So you would be able to download leads, right from the admin view. And you'd be able to have a lead gen form behind one of your calls to action on a product page. So yeah, it's super easy. They're gonna even be able to download them right from the admin, admin view. And then you can upload them to your marketing automation software or your CRM. But we're essentially trying to make this as easy as possible and as transparent as possible, right. I'm a page admin, and I'm really excited about the team is doing it's so exciting to see leads are coming through a page, right? It's not something that you have to have a certain skill set to have access to what the lead gen number is, or a report that's generated, so it's going to be really accessible. Oh, and I'm assuming same partners, like you can still push right into your CRM. If you're Marketo, HubSpot, like those probably still use Zapier. Yeah, today, when we're launching lead gen forms, we're really focused on getting feedback. So today, the main functionality will be just the download capability. And from there, within our iteration of that, it will be working with partners to make this available within how it is today and campaign manager. But we wanted to find the lightest weight way to provide value. And just to start to build that behavior, where, you know, folks know that lead gen forms are a thing, here's what their value is, maybe somebody's never heard of lead gen forms on LinkedIn before, if they've only had a company page, and then from there, start to plug into the ways that they've used lead generation and other platforms. So that's the plan. 16:36 Yeah, that seems like such a no brainer, you're already getting leads from LinkedIn organically. And it's the same experience. Of course, you're gonna say, let me start wanting to promote some things that were added. Thank you. The other thing that I'll share that has been really cool for me to see is that many marketers, we talked to who managed company pages are different than those who run advertising campaigns on LinkedIn. So there's an opportunity for us to actually bring together marketers internally, to work on a shared objective, like if you think about historically, maybe the role of a company page or a showcase page, it's been around awareness, or it's been around trying to really grow a community at the middle to top of funnel. But a lot of these marketers really haven't had a way to contribute to a bottom of the funnel conversion metric like they would if you're running paid ads. And so we're seeing this really cool convergence, if you will, of personas within larger companies come together and actually collaborate and say, Hey, this is what what kind of messaging has worked really well on my ads, maybe you should use this in the description of a product page, or somebody who's built the product page says, Hey, we're really getting a lot of good traction on this page traffic point of view, you should think about promoting this in a piece of sponsored content or whatnot. So it's really been cool to see how those barriers have been knocked down even internally within these companies. Oh, yeah, that interplay? I mean, you're bringing marketing teams together, which is fantastic. Everyone should be doing that. And of course, I'm going to be curious about the interplay between product pages and ads. So how can we bridge those two worlds and be able to start promoting through campaign manager? I'm assuming because it's lead gen forms, there will be like a solid interplay between the two where you could maybe promote something that you've already been running organically or vice versa? How do we think about that? Yeah. So today, essentially, what the interplay is between campaign manager and product pages is using a product page like he would a website URL. In the early days of product pages, we're focused on two things. One is getting it to the scale that we can provide value, not only to companies but to members on LinkedIn. And then in the second act of this, trying to understand how we can make it even easier to amplify these pages. So I like to talk about the grocery store analogy, because I spent four years of my life working at a grocery store, where you want to make sure the grocery store is stocked before you go ahead, and you try to get people to even come. And then you open the doors when you're ready, you think okay, this has things for everyone. And then before you start to hand out flyers, you want to make sure that the grocery store is at least successful. And so well, I used to work for a grocery store that did flyers. So the flyer example might not be prominent anymore. But then from there, billboards, flyers, that sort of thing. So that's what really focuses product pages is today, we're working with a lot of marketers to view that URL as a way that they can plug into it, like a website URL, like they're doing a conversation ads, carousel ads, things like that. And then the other thing that's really cool about product pages, too, if you were to go to a product page and hit the share button, you can actually share that product page in the feed. So there's a little caption that will come up a little preview screen about that product. And it's a great way for you even organically as a company to share the things you're really excited about. But to answer your question. That's where we're focused on first is trying to get people excited about the organic offering, then making sure that there's a really easy way to think about how they would promote one through campaign manager and then from there, evaluating Let's figure out where we go from there. 20:01 And that seems to me like just such a no brainer when when I'm saying, Okay, do I spend all this time sending a request over to it to build me a new landing page or app, let's just send them to the existing product page on LinkedIn. Lincoln's already made sure this looks good on both desktop and mobile, it has everything I want. It's got, you know, customer stories and ratings. And all that definitely seems like a shortcut for marketers to start sending right there. And when can everyone expect to have product pages for their companies? What does that roll out look like? Also super excited if there's anything you can share about when some of these capabilities will kind of creep into campaign manager. And as advertisers can start to look forward to them? Yeah, I can't share anything on the campaign manager front, but you'll be one of the first to know when i when i do have more information on that. But what I will say is that we're starting very slow with product pages, because as I mentioned, we want to make sure we get the experience, right. So over the summer, we conducted a ton of interviews, we rolled out an alpha and a beta, just trying to make sure that the page was as we would call it, the greatest hits of your company, we want to make sure that it's kind of the skinny version of your website, so that it has everything you want, that you found helpful when it comes to converting prospective buyers, we can have that there. And so we had just over 10,000 product pages live by the end of December, which is really exciting. And this quarter, we're rolling it out to many, many more B2B software companies. And so it's probably 2030 fold the amount of companies they'll have access to. And our goal by the end of this quarter is every B2B software company will have access to a product page. And we're starting with B2B software for a couple of reasons. One, members on LinkedIn are already talking about these products every single day, like they've had, they've never really had a place where these can all come together so that that information can be accessible to everybody. So if I'm really skilled in campaign manager, and I have that as a skill on my profile, and I've been talking about it in the feed, how do we get everybody to make sure that you know who in your network is using this and you can reach out to them if you want to do that. So we're focused on b2b software. It's the most amount of, of products that the members associated with today, and it's a great way for us to understand at that scale, what works really well within this marketplace before we start to bring it to other use cases and verticals. But that's where we're really focused today. Great. And if someone is in B2B software, but somehow maybe they just didn't have it on their website properly, or anything. Is there an application process? Is there a way that someone can can start one? Or do they just have to publicize it nicely on the website and wait for LinkedIn to come crawl? 22:43 That's a good question. So and this happens, where, you know, maybe they see a week lag between a competitor in this space having access, and then it's, we are rolling it out slowly, they can reach out to me directly if they'd like to. It's . Or we have an alias that they can they can email that's product And both of those will actually get routed to me. So I try to respond to almost every single one. And we'll evaluate it if it is a product and a software product. Indeed, we'll we'll do that, but I think one of the most interesting things is it's caused a lot of marketers to ask themselves, am I a product or my service? And you know, is this a feature or is this a product? And as a marketer, I would think it's a very good thought experiment, even to think about our own positioning to go back to our team and say, "Hey, we should really think about how we can play in this space, because this is what's going on here." So they can reach out there if they are indeed a B2B software company. Fantastic. All right, I'll put your the product email address in the show notes that way people aren't like bombarding you personally. Sounds good. Okay, that sounds great. Another question I've got, how should marketers think about product pages in terms of their overall marketing strategy? At what point would you say this is super valuable for someone to pay attention to their product page, and maybe put something else on the shelf? 24:03 Yeah, so one of the most interesting stats, and I'm sure it's higher now is that more than 70% of buyers are completing the buyer journey in a digital only environment in a digital only setting, which means that the likelihood you talk to a sales rep before making a purchase is very slim. And so as marketers, we should think about how we can use this to empower our teams at all aspects of the funnel. And so the reason why I say you should use it as much as possible as one, it's free, you can create one at any time, it's free to use. Two, it really has everything that you would want to look at, if you're trying to convince someone that this is a good product for them. So maybe there's already people in their network that use it. And if you're a sales rep, you've already identified what that messaging is. You can also see the companies they use a product and there's also an opportunity for the brand to showcase product tutorial videos, rich media of what certain dashboards or features may look like. And so if I'm being prospected into, and I see all of these things on day one on LinkedIn, that's a really interesting way to get my attention. So it's new, it's exciting, not a ton of companies are doing it. As I mentioned, we're slowly rolling this out, it's a good way stand up. And it's different than just sending somebody to your website, and hoping that this landing page, you've optimized for other channels is going to go ahead and get their attention and get them to convert, which means that you're gonna have to send them a five to seven touch email to get them to come back around. So as a marketer, I would say, because this is such a lightweight thing for you to stand up, you should be using this at all stages. And then give it to your team, so your customer success team should be asking your customers to add this product as a skill to their profile to leave a review, if they'd be so inclined. And your sales team should be using it maybe as their footer for email outreach, or even just to say, Hey, we were a part of something really new and exciting that LinkedIn is rolling out, we think it would be a really good way for you to get to know our products get to know our brand a bit more, you should check it out. So I think it presents a ton of new opportunities for marketers to really differentiate themselves and help other teams 26:05 along the way. I love it. Okay. And obviously, before we go off to the product, I'm going to ask about you like, personally, professionally next, but anything else that you want to share with us? Anything you're really excited about with product pages, or anything else that we haven't covered that you'd want people to know? No, I think that I would just say, I'm really excited about this. I always think about this, as Ryan, the marketer before joining LinkedIn. Ryan as somebody who's always struggling to differentiate myself from the competition. And it's really hard if you don't have the same budget, if you don't have the same market notoriety to really play on the same playing field. And product pages, as I mentioned, they give a ton of great opportunities for marketers to be on the same playing field from a discovery point of view, and to see what other products are in similar categories. And so we're always going to keep that in mind of like, how do we make this a true marketplace where people can go and find the right products for them. And then at the end of the day, make this really valuable, not only for the companies, but for the members, people who are coming to these pages, who are either users to say, here's what I love about the products, or as a prospective buyer to say, hey, this is what i'd love more information on. We're always going to be evolving these pages. But I'm really excited about how they turned up as a start. So cool. Ryan, thanks so much for sharing that. And my last question for you is basically what are you most excited about either, personally, professionally, or you can list one for both. But what what's in your world that you're excited about? 27:32 Sure. So I'll list one for both because I'm selfish. So today, I finally I have a puppy, a three month old puppy, my dog finally was able to use the bathroom outside today. We've been trying to get him to do that over the last couple weeks. He's gotten used to going to the bathroom inside. And so this is big news, what a way to start the week off. So that's what's exciting me personally, I feel like I'm making progress on my dog. What's exciting me professionally, is I think that the way that teams are working together marketing teams, during this time, where everybody is at home, is really exciting. I think we were nervous about it at the beginning of the pandemic. And there are so many great ways for us to stay involved to stay connected from a marketer, using the LinkedIn pages ecosystem, for example, there's so many great things, both internally and externally to really bring your company together. And I actually think that a lot of the success that marketers are seeing is going to influence how companies go back to work. And so that's what's exciting me professionally. Oh, that's cool. Seems a little bit what we'd expect that by forcing ourselves to be separate, it brings us together, but I think you're absolutely correct there. Well, Ryan, I'm super excited to have you on for round two. So I definitely hope there's around three. Thanks for sharing such awesome news with us. Do you want just share again, like if people want to follow you? People want to reach out and give product feedback? How can they do that? Sure. I would say the easiest way to reach out to me is my email. I'm totally fine. Giving that out. It's if you want to connect with me, also great place to share feedback there. And if you're on Twitter, I'm @rkmac 29:14 @rkmac? @rkmac. Okay, beautiful. All right, everyone listening make sure you go follow Ryan. Keep him in mind as your as you have feedback from a marketing perspective. Remember, he was a marketer before he was a LinkedIn Product Manager. So excited to have you on our side and building great stuff for us. Thanks so much, Ryan. Thanks for having me, AJ. I've got the episode resources for you coming up. So stick around. Thank you for listening to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Hungry for more? AJ Wilcox, take it away. Okay, I promised you some great episode resources. So here they are. In the show notes below. You'll see a link to Ryan Macinnis his profile on LinkedIn, give him a follow connect with him. There's also his email address if you want to reach out and give him any feedback, also a link to his Twitter. Now I've got some fun news. I've talked to you a lot about the course that I did with LinkedIn Learning. And it is, of course, the best resource if you or someone on your team is looking to learn LinkedIn Ads, you should definitely check it out. But I've got some exciting news that within the next couple or few months, the course is going to be fully updated. We're working on that now. So I'm super excited to have you see all the new updated material. So check that out. Please look down on whatever podcast player you're using right now and hit subscribe if you want to hear me in your ear holes. And like we mentioned at the top of the episode, make sure to rate and review and I would love to shout you out. With any topics on your wish list or ideas or for feedback, whatever. Email us at And with that being said, we'll see you back here next week. Cheering you on in your LinkedIn Ads initiatives.
  • LinkedIn Ads Show podcast

    How to Create High-Performing LinkedIn Ads - Ep 44


    Congratulations to the LinkedIn Ads Show contest winners! It's fortunate that this week's episode is all about creating the perfect ad, when we also get to reveal the 3 winning ads in our performance contest! We had so many incredible submissions, showing us examples on how to be rockstar marketers on LinkedIn.  Here were the winners (in no particular order because they're all rockstars) along with their high-performing ads and landing pages: Winner #1: Highest CTR and Lowest CPC Zoltan Kozma from CBRE Hungary CTR: 5.60% & CPC: €0.14 Why so Amazing? LinkedIn's average Click Through Rate for Sponsored Content is ~.4% and Cost Per Click is in the $8-12 range. That's why getting a CTR that was 14 times higher than average is excellent. With a CTR that is 14X the average, paying by CPM, Zoltan found himself paying a tiny fraction of what competitors would be paying. It's targeted to an audience who had already been really responsive on a past campaign, so he knew he was setting the company up for success. It's an organic company Page post that he boosted, so it had good social proof from the start, which helps. It also leads to an article on Forbes Hungary, which helps increase trust. Not only did he find that the article was getting tons of cheap traffic, but he also noticed ~35 new followers from the effort over a short period of time.  Well done Zoltan!   Winner #2: Highest Landing Page Conversion Rate Alex Panchuk from Conversion Rate: 62.14% Why so Amazing? We call any offer on LinkedIn that gets over a 15% conversion rate a "Rockstar Offer." Alex ran this video creative(traditionally harder to get good performance from) to a cold audience, with an external landing page (think of how much higher the conversion rate would have been if it were a Lead Gen Form Ad), and on top of that, they required a Business Email, and it still got a 62% conversion rate! It pushed 65 unique downloads, plus a couple of view-through conversions for good measure. Obviously the high conversion rate has so much to do with the offer and the landing page, so check that out here: Nice Work Alex!   WINNER #3: HIGHEST CONVERSION RATE Eric Southwell from SupremeOpti Conversion Rate: 65.40%   Why so Amazing? We would have guessed that the highest-converting winner would be through a LinkedIn Lead Gen Form ad (On average, they convert 10-50% better than landing pages) but this blew us away. This is a 65% conversion rate, on an ad and offer that has been running for 7 MONTHS now to a cold audience! Most ads on LinkedIn wear out their audience after ~1 month, but this ad/offer is like a fine wine and performance has actually continued to improve over time. UNHEARD OF! On top of the leads it generated, it also drove 9 CONVERSIONS, which is likely from viral signups that wouldn't have been served the Lead Gen Form. Eric, you slayed it!   Honorable Mention: Highest Conversion Rate Lindsay Beaulieu from Worcester Polytechnic Institute Conversion Rate 325%! When we saw Lindsay's submissions, we had to take a double-take. It's ultra-rare (I dare say, impossible) to get a conversion rate over 100%. When we looked into it, we found it was a Text Ad, and the vast majority of the conversions were view-through conversions. Ok, so you might say "LinkedIn wasn't responsible for those conversions since they were view-through," but this is a testament to me that Lindsay's team is targeting the right audience across multiple channels. The huge amount of view-through conversions on Text Ads (which show a ton of impressions) is proof that her other channels are targeting excellently and we see those reflected in LinkedIn's metrics. Thanks for teaching us Lindsay!   Show Resources Here were the resources we covered in the episode: DRIVE Sales: The 5 Secrets to Increase Your Sales by 400% by Woody Woodward   LinkedIn Learning course about LinkedIn Ads by AJ Wilcox: LinkedIn Advertising Course Contact us at with ideas for what you'd like AJ to cover. Show Transcript: We've created the formula for the perfect LinkedIn Ad. And of course, we're going to share it with you because we're not the type to hold back. This is the LinkedIn Ads Show. Welcome to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Here's your host, AJ Wilcox. Hey there LinkedIn Ads fanatics. So writing ads is an incredibly involved task, it doesn't seem overly difficult because you have some characters that you have to stay within. And then you kind of get to write or put whatever you want. But then, of course, you have to keep in mind who your audience is. And then what's interesting to them. And of course, you have to communicate what you have to offer them. But without asking too much, so they get overwhelmed, and you have to stay within the character limits. That's a lot to keep balanced. So today, I'm going to walk you through our ad creation process, and let you in on a little bit of the B2Linked secret sauce for how we create high performing ads. First of all, I'm sure many of you notice that this is our first episode in a couple months. And thank you to so many of you who emailed and messaged asking if I'm doing okay. That means a ton to me. So what originally happened is around the holiday of Thanksgiving here in the US, I ended up getting knee surgery. Right near the beginning of COVID, I ended up having a lot of knee pain after some hiking. And I love hiking, I do a lot of it. But that pain didn't go away for a long time. So I finally went to go see a doctor. We did everything we could and eventually we decided it had to be surgery. Without getting too graphic here. My meniscus, which is like the padding in between my knees, what takes all the impact as I'm running downhill, it was torn into places, my cartilage was messed up and needed to be kind of burred down. And my knee cap was too far over to one side, so they released it so it would go more in track. I expected this to be something very simple and I would be just back at work the next day. But boy, it it really sidelined me. For like a week I was on medication and laying down in bed just trying to get work done. So podcast had to go on hold. Plus, around that time we had the holidays, which present their own little bits of complication, as we have family all around and you know, four kids and all that. Plus, I worked on two giant audits for Fortune 500 companies. And as a company, we just moved into bigger offices, we just hired six new people, and now we're training them. And then something I think you might find really exciting. I'm in the process of working with LinkedIn Learning to update our LinkedIn Learning course that I talked about every episode. So with all of that going on, basically this is the first episode in a little while. Where we left off, there was a contest running for a LinkedIn Ads performance contest. And I'm so excited to announce the winners and tell you what they did that was so amazing, and how you can replicate it to get better performance for your own ads. I wanted to give a quick shout out to any of you who are listening from the Instazone site. We were recently featured on there so thanks so much for those of you who are joining us potentially for the first time here. So getting here into the contest, thank you to everyone who submitted. There were so many entries. We had some amazing entries and it took a lot of work by me and my team, but we did go through and select three winners. For those of you who aren't up to speed, in November, I announced a LinkedIn Ads performance contest. And I promised that the prize would be awesome and super unique, but I couldn't share with you what it was. Well, the time has come, I finally get to share with you what the prize is. Because LinkedIn doesn't have hourly reporting, we know that there are certain times of the day where performance is going to be better than others, but we can't prove it because there's no hourly reporting. Well, what we've figured out is we can go into an account, and we can have our team go in and take all of the performance every hour, and then just subtract it from the total. So we're getting only the performance during that hour. This is of course a lot of work. But we've put together a really cool dashboard, where you can look at it in your own time zone, you can see what times of day, and which days of the week perform better than others. So for you three winners, congratulations! You're about to get something that we've been really excited about internally. And it will give you insights like what time of day your audience wakes up, and when they go to lunch, and all of that good stuff. Okay, so how we selected the winners. It was a contest to see who could show us what gets the best click through rates, the lowest costs per click, and then the highest conversion rates, which of course leads to the lowest cost per conversion. We selected the winners by analyzing all of the top submissions, and then we reached out and actually verified, we got account access, we verified that all the metrics were what they looked like. We took into account the competitiveness of the geographies that were targeted, and the strategy being used. And then more than anything, I wanted to just highlight these amazing marketers and what they're doing so that you can learn from them and improve your own strategies. So without further ado, here are the three winners in no particular order. We have Alex Panchuk from, who he happens to live in the Ukraine and I lived in the Ukraine for a couple years. So it's very near and dear to my heart, Alex, congratulations. Then we have Zoltan Kozma, from CBRE Hungary in Hungary. And then finally, we have Eric Southwell is the Chief Marketing Officer of Supreme Optimization and he's a total globetrotter. I love following everything he's doing. And I do have one honorable mention, I couldn't make this a fourth winner, but Lindsay Beaulieu, who's the Digital Marketing Specialist at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts. She did something amazing that I think is really good for us to hear about. So we'll highlight a little bit of her strategy here, as well, all four of you, thank you for being loyal listeners. Thank you for just being rockstars and showing the rest of us marketers how to do what we do better. Alex PanchukSo starting with Alex Panchuk from His entry had a conversion rate of 62.14%, which is amazing. Candidly, the highest conversion rates that we've ever seen have been 59%. So he absolutely blew even my records away, which I'm ecstatic about. And of course, you'll be able to go down into the show notes and take a look at the ads themselves, like a screenshot, you can see the landing pages that were really high converting where applicable. So go and check these out and learn from them. Some things that Alex did really well, as well as some of the things that made this truly impressive. First, he required business emails, and we know that when you make it a little bit more difficult for people, then we see conversion rates come down. So this is an amazing conversion rate of 62%, when they're still requiring business email. Plus, there was an additional question in there. And this was right when square video on LinkedIn Ads came out and so very few did it. And I think that helped it stand out quite a bit. So Alex, congratulations, everyone, go check out his ad and his landing page, so you can learn more about it. 7:29 Zoltan Kozma And next, Zoltan Kozma. And I'm so sorry for anyone that I'm butchering your name, he won for having both the highest click through rate and because of that the lowest cost per click is click through rate was 5.6%. And his cost per click came out to 14 cents. What was so amazing about this is that it was created to look native. It goes to an external site and so there's there's nothing gated. This was pure value to create awareness. And it was an interview article. And one that actually started out as an organic post from the company page and then it was boosted once it had 122 likes and some comments. What Zoltan did to get this is he went and found an audience that he'd already targeted earlier who happened to be really responsive. He released this content that was really easy to consume, there wasn't any jargon. And it sure doesn't hurt that the page that it's going to was actually Forbes. And then with click through rates that were so high, you know, over 5%, my recommendation would be to use either auto bidding, or bid CPM really high to make sure you're always showing up in the top position. But this blew me away. It was a manual CPM bid, but it was bidding below the recommendation. Which generally produces pretty poor results, but in this case, it rocked. So in addition to getting really good ad performance, they also got 30 to 40 new followers. So that was a happy byproduct of these ads. It was created in the engagement objective. So I wanted to look in and see okay, you know, which were actual clicks on the article, and then which ones were engaging with the ad like, likes, comments, visiting the company page, following the company page, etc. And 3% click through rate was actual clicking through to the article, so that's amazing. And then the rest were followers and likes and comments, therefore helping it go out viral. Zoltan, nice work. I'm super excited for you. It was really impressive. Even though it was outside the US where it's quite a bit less competitive, this was still amazing, and I had to give it to you. 9:43 Eric Southwell Next is Eric Southwell from Supreme Optimization. Eric's team absolutely destroyed with a 65% conversion rate. So that's even higher than Reply.os', but what's even more impressive to me is that these ads have been running for six plus months, they still have a 65% conversion rate, even after six months of running the same offer. That was totally legit, I loved it. And as I looked over time, cost per lead has actually been going down over time. Now, this was 65% conversion rate on native lead gen forms, which makes sense. I totally thought the conversion rate winners would be using lead gen forms, but what I also liked is that not only did they have leads from the lead gen form, they also had conversions coming through so that was people who weren't even part of the target audience who were seeing the post and going and actually completing the form on the site. It averaged $5.18 cost per click. And they were not bidding the absolute minimum cost per click here. And the vast majority of that traffic, those conversions were coming from the US. Eric, super impressive. Congratulations, got to hand it to you. 10:58 Lindsay Beaulieu And then we had Lindsay Beaulieu, who is our honorable mention. Now, when she submitted, it was an over 100% conversion rate. And so I got really excited, like, what in the world would cause an over 100% conversion rate. When I dug into the account, I saw that it was a text ad. And I know that text ads get shown to a lot of people, a lot of times at high frequency. So immediately, I went to go look at the conversions. And the vast majority of conversions were coming through as view through conversions. And so for purposes of this contest, I wasn't counting view through conversions as being like real conversions here. But I wanted to use this as an example, because all of us could and should be using text ads to just very expensively cover your audience, your ideal target audience. So they're seeing your ads, they're seeing your brand. And then of course, when they're converting on other channels, we can see that yes, LinkedIn is contributing here. So Lindsay, nice work. Thanks so much for sharing such an awesome example with us. 12:04 Reviews HighlightsA quick highlight on reviews that we've gotten on the podcast. Lea Pica shares, "Where deep passion, expertise, and value divinely connect. AJ is one of the digital marketing industry's best love speakers for good reason. His massive knowledge base in a platform that is otherwise to disdain allows him to deliver insane value in a truly actionable way. Don't walk away from getting started with LinkedIn Ads without giving him a good listen." Lea, thank you so much for leaving that you are awesome. For those of you who don't know, Lea Pica is the host of the Present Beyond Measure podcast and she is absolutely amazing. If you want to learn anything about data storytelling, or data visualization, you have to check out what she does, and her show, of course. And then Dan Marzullo, from Marzullo Associates, he shared, "Highly recommended. If you're getting started with LinkedIn Ads, AJ is your guy." Dan, thanks so much. Dan is the founder of Podcast Bloggers, so he knows a thing or two about podcasts. So a huge thanks to you for being a listener of ours. And of course, everyone who's listening, I want to feature you. So definitely, wherever you're able to review, and I totally want to feature you. Okay, with that being said, let's hit it. 13:15 LinkedIn Users Are In a Hurry Some things that you definitely want to keep in mind about writing ad copy, and creating ads on LinkedIn is that in general, LinkedIn users are in a hurry. It means you've got to cut right to the chase, and front load everything with value. When I know that people are in a hurry, and I need to catch their attention in just a split second, I'm probably going to lead the ad was something like, Hey, did you know that x&y, or people like you are losing out. The really attention grabbing statements right at the beginning are the best thing to do. You don't want to lead with our brand name does such and such in the industry, that will just get ignored. Imagery And then of course, you have a visual component to your ads as well. Most of the time, we're using static ads. But of course, you can use video as well. The rules that you want to follow with imagery is realize that LinkedIn, when you look at the whole color palette, when someone's there, they see a lot of blues, grays and whites. And so if you ask a designer, what do you need in order to stand out from blues, grays and whites, they'll point you towards the color wheel, and they'll say, go and find whatever is opposite of blue on that color wheel. And of course, that takes us to orange. So one of the best tips I can give you is use lots of orange, reds, greens in your ads, because that will stand out from the rest of the fluff that's on LinkedIn. I also follow the billboard rule. Those of you who are Facebook, advertisers will probably know the 20% rule that I've heard isn't getting anyone punished anymore. But it used to be that on Facebook, you couldn't show an ad that had more than 20% I have the image as being text, and then for a long while, you could put it in the image, but then it would stunt the performance of your ads. LinkedIn has never had anything like the 20% rule, which is fantastic. We've always been able to put as much text in an image as we want. But we've also found that the more text in an image, the less likely people are to read it. It looks like a giant wall of text to them and so they're disincentivized, from even starting to read. So because of that, we follow the billboard rule. So don't try to sell with copy in your image. That's not the images job, the job of the image is just to be a thumb stopper, it's just to get them to stop scrolling, so that they'll read your ad copy. So the billboard rule for those of you who don't know, is use seven or fewer words, because that's all the time that you're going to get from someone as they pass by your billboard on the freeway is get a good six or seven words in. Video Video is a little bit different. So with video, depending on their connection speed, there's going to be just a split second, or maybe even several seconds while your video is starting to load. And that's really important time because that's time where people are scrolling past, and they may not get a chance to see what it is that you're showing. So with video, I like to make sure that within the first two seconds, there is some kind of action happening. So don't start with a black screen fading to your logo and waste several seconds, you'll lose your entire audience with that, you need to show them something that's exciting, interesting, and worth their time. And then also make sure that you put a thumbnail in there because the thumbnail is what's going to show up in the videos place while it's loading on their screen. So have a really cool visual, something that gets their attention. And then of course, LinkedIn video, it's the same as all the other social video, it's going to play autoplay, but muted. And so you need to make sure that you have subtitles on that video so that 80 plus percent of people who are going to watch it without sound can still get drawn in and follow along. I like to suggest keeping videos really short, like 15 to 25 seconds short. But of course, depending on your video creative, you could probably make a 10 minute long video work really well, just depending on how creative and how attention grabbing it is. 17:20 Alright, here's a quick sponsor break. And then we'll dive into some of the secret sauce, along with our formula on how you create the perfect ad. The LinkedIn Ads Show is proudly brought to you by, the LinkedIn Ads experts. If the performance of your LinkedIn Ads is important to you B2Linked is the agency you'll want to work with. We've spent over $135 million on LinkedIn Ads, and no one outperforms us on getting you the lowest cost per lead. We're official LinkedIn partners, and you deal only with LinkedIn experts from day one. So fill out the contact form on any page of to chat about your campaigns. We'd love to work with you. 18:03 DRIVE All right, let's jump into creating the perfect ad. What we've learned over time is that your motivation to convert or engage is incredibly important. It's one of the most important things there is. And so one of our secret sauces as an agency is writing compelling ad copy. And the reason that we're so good at this is because of the book and teachings by someone by the name of Woody Woodward. And his book is called Drive Sales Secrets. I've put links to the book and links to his website down below in the show notes. But the gist is that the entire population breaks down into five different kinds of motivations. And the first letter actually spells out the word drive. DRIVE. The D stands for director. And this is someone who cares about freedom and creativity. Then the R in DRIVE is a relator. Someone who cares about relationships. The I is for intellectual. This is someone who cares about systems and processes and blueprints. The V stands for validator, this is someone who cares about recognition and appreciation. And then finally, the E is for executive. And this is someone who cares about proof and crushing the competition and winning. So the concept in the way that we use this is that people have a natural inclination towards a certain type of motivation. And there are some professions where people have similar drives tend to aggregate. For instance, the majority of the CEOs of the Fortune 500 are executives. They are win at all costs, crush the competition. Proof is what wins. And then when you look at the accounting industry, the majority of accountants are intellectuals. They love systems processes. That's what convinces them. So if you know what's likely to drive your ideal persona, you can start to write really compelling ad copy that caters to them. I know this is very high level. This is hard to follow on a podcast. But I'll share just a brief example of how I might customize ad copy to each of these drives. 20:09 So if I were writing ads to directors, and let's say we're trying to sell some kind of software, remember that directors are those who are really excited by freedom and creativity, I might say something like, "This will help free up time to give you freedom." With relators, who again, are super interested in their relationships, I might say something like, "It will strengthen your relationship with your CFO to have this software" or to be on top of this processs. With intellectuals, those who are really interested in systems and processes and blueprints. I might say, "This software contains the complete blueprint on how to drive your goals." With validators, those who are really interested in recognition and appreciation and praise, I might say, "This software will make you the hero." And with executives, again, those are those who care about proof and crushing the competition, I might say, "This software will get you out in front of your competition, you'll be on the bleeding edge, check out these ratings and testimonials." In so many of our tests around different drives. What we do is we come up with a hypothesis of which drive or drives are likely found in this target audience and then we run some ad copy tests to see what the lift in click through rate looks like. And that gives us how effective this drive ad copy is. And this has been fantastic for us, so I highly recommend, go get Woody's book, find out what drive you are, and find out what drives you're trying to cater to. 21:39 Anatomy of the Perfect Ad So the next bit of secret sauce here, we have what we call the anatomy of the perfect ad. And we're going to use sponsored content as our example here, because it's the most common ad format. What we have in a sponsored content ad, we have an intro, it's the text that comes above the image or video. Then we have the headline, which is the text that goes below the image or the video. And then of course, we have the image or the video, we'll pretend this is a static image, and that you've already followed my rules from the previous section where the image has seven or fewer words, and relies a lot on the oranges, reds, greens, purples to help it stand out. So then we go to the most important part of this ad, which is the intro. In all of our testing, we have found that changes to the intro sway ad performance the most. More than image changes, more than headline changes. The intro is super valuable. We try to keep this under 135 characters because the shorter the better here. And we like to include two different pieces. The first thing that all of our sponsored content ads contain is why you should pay attention some kind of pain point or benefit. Remember, this is what we're using to get their attention. So if they're scrolling and you say, hey, do you have this pain point, they're likely to read on and say, ooh, does this person have a solution for me. That's going to make up the majority of that 135 characters. And then what comes after is the second piece that's required here is the call to action. So this is where we will include a succinct short call to action that strong. So it might be download our FREE eBook today, or join the webinar to learn how to do this yourself, something like that. So intros, keep them short. The two pieces you want are number one, why you should pay attention and number two, your call to action. Then we get down to the headlines and headlines we found to make the next most biggest difference. So if you're testing things, I would test intro first and then headline second. Try to keep your headline under about 55 characters if you can. And the two pieces that we like to include here are number one, and we do this in square brackets, which many of you may have already seen something like within square brackets. We tell them what to expect what the asset type is. So if I'm doing a webinar in square brackets at the beginning of the headline, I might say free webinar or free guide, something like that. And then the second piece you want to include here is actually the title of the asset. So I'm sure you and your marketing team worked really hard to come up with a great title for this asset. This is where you get to show it off. And as you're writing ad copy, and this applies to every network out there. But remember, you're not writing ad copy for yourself based off of the benefit that it brings you. You're writing to the benefit of someone else. So I keep in mind the acronym WIIFM, I call it everyone's favorite radio station. It stands for what's in it for me. As you're writing ad copy, make sure you are crystal clear about what's in it for the prospect. In order for them to want to see it, click on it, and then convert. All right here come the episode resources, so stick around. 25:08 ResourcesThank you for listening to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Hungry for more? AJ Wilcox, take it away. In the shownotes, you'll see the winners of the contest their ads, their landing pages, where applicable, definitely go and check those out and learn from them. I also have the links to Woody Woodward's book and the website where you can learn more about the drive sales process. And if you're just getting started with LinkedIn Ads, or maybe you have a colleague who is let them know about the course, the LinkedIn Ads course on LinkedIn Learning. The link is right down below. And also, if you watch over the next couple months, you'll see that we're in the middle of updating that so there should be a new version of the course to get excited about so keep an eye on that. If you're not already subscribed, look at your podcast player right now and hit that subscribe button. We'd love to have you listening on future episodes. And please do rate and review the podcast. It really helps other LinkedIn Ads marketers find us and want to listen and share with us. If you have any tips, questions, or anything you'd love to see featured on the show, reach out to us at And with that being said, we'll see you back here next week, cheering you on in your LinkedIn Ads initiatives.
  • LinkedIn Ads Show podcast

    Gen Z's Usage of LinkedIn: Original Research - Ep 43


    Show Resources Enter the Contest! LinkedIn fixing false metrics Writeup of the GenZ research Free chapter of Instabrain: LinkedIn Learning course about LinkedIn Ads by AJ Wilcox: LinkedIn Advertising Course Contact us at with ideas for what you'd like AJ to cover. Show Transcript: Generation Z is coming into the workforce in droves. How are they using LinkedIn? And how will you market to them? Stay tuned, we'll find out. This is the LinkedIn Ads Show. Welcome to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Here's your host, AJ Wilcox. Hey there LinkedIn Ads fanatics, as many of you may know, Generation Z is the massive and up and coming generation. They're shaping popular culture. And they're beginning to graduate out of school and into the workforce. We here at B2inked really wanted to know how the coming generation both thought about and uses LinkedIn so we can see what the future of LinkedIn ads platform might look like. So we've partnered with a good friend of mine, Sarah Weise, who happens to be the CEO of the market research firm, Bixa research. I'm not sure how much I'm able to disclose. But let's just say that her firm is amazing at research. Since she gets to work with brands like a search engine that starts with the letter G, and a payment processor that rhymes with Hey Pal, we went out and interviewed a bunch of Gen Z members. And the results were pretty surprising. We'll dig into our findings, as well as ideas on how you can better relate to them. In the news, the big thing this week was the announcement that LinkedIn was misreporting some of their metrics. And they're going to be issuing some refunds out to their clients. In the article that LinkedIn shared on their marketing solutions blog by someone amazing that I have a lot of respect for Gyanda Sachdeva, we discovered two measurement issues. Here's how we're making it right. And you may have received some emails this week, or maybe it's an email, I don't know, where they're letting you know that some of the accounts that you're on may have had misrepresented impressions or video stats. In the article Gyanda mentions that in August, their engineering team found and then fixed two measurement issues that were causing to over report impressions and video views. She says that these issues potentially impacted about 418,000 customers over a two plus year period. So this sounds pretty serious. But then she goes on to say that more than 90% of the customers who had an impact equated to less than $25 US. So they said that they're committed to making it right, which is awesome. And I remember the same thing happened with Facebook a few years ago, when they were miscalculating video impressions. And I just kept thinking it would have been so easy for LinkedIn to just brush this under the rug and move on. And I absolutely admire the LinkedIn leadership so much for deciding to make this announcement public. If you're anything like me, you read the emails and went, huh. So I'm still waiting to understand more of what they mean and what the process for reimbursement is going to be like. Because I received several emails the first week that said that we need to contact support for the ad credits for every account. And then I got another email this week that was a little bit different, and made it seem a bit more like the credits would be given automatically. And I sure hope so because I have no desire to go and file like 100 different support tickets with LinkedIn just to get less than $25 back. Of course, if you manage a large spending account, the sum could be significantly more. And it could be worth filing a ticket if that's what we need to do. So I'll let you know as I find out. And then if you've been listening to the last few episodes, our contest, our ad performance contest is in full swing. If you go to, you'll see the link down below in the show notes. And from now until December 11 at midnight Pacific time US, you can go on and submit a screenshot of an ad, or a campaign, or a campaign group that has really good performance. We're looking for either a ridiculously high click through rate, or a super high conversion rate, or a really low cost per click. And heck, you could submit for all three categories. The winner in each category, though, is going to win something that is absolutely amazing. And I can't tell you what it is yet, but I'm going to tell you all about it when I announced the winners. And if you're a LinkedIn advertiser, be aware that this is something that no other advertiser has, this is going to give you a serious leg up on competition. So if you're looking for ammo to bust ahead of your competition, definitely find a way to submit and win this contest. So go jump into your account now and look for those high click through rates, high conversion rates, and low costs per click. So get it submitted now and I'll help to have your prize given out by Christmas or New Year's, and I can't wait to reveal to you what you're going to be winning. So highlighting a review. Jose Bormey, who's a marketing manager, he said, "I love this podcast. There's an extremely helpful tip on the most recent podcast episode to avoid high cost per click in Q4 and instead use the budget for a big bang to kick off the new year. Cybersecurity in itself is extremely competitive, and these podcasts have helped save me a fortune. Looking forward to 2021 inbound spotlight once again." Thanks, Jose. I speak at the inbound conference every year, and I speak on advanced LinkedIn Ads. And Jose, it sounds like you've gotten to attend one or more of those presentations. So if it's going to be in person in 2021, I'd absolutely love to get to meet you in real life. So thanks so much for the kind words, and I'm so glad that we've helped you save some cash in such a competitive industry. And you, yes, you! I want to feature you. So go and leave a review. Let us know what you like, what's helped you in your jobs or ads management? I'd love to give you a shout out here. Okay, with that being said, let's hit it. Well, everyone, my name is AJ Wilcox, I run We're an ad agency that literally LinkedIn Ads is all we do. Obviously, a huge fan of LinkedIn. And I'm super excited to be with Sarah Weise today who has a great friend. And she is the author of Instabrain, which is the predominant So this is the predominant book for learning about how Gen Z interacts with social media, and how their purchasing which is obviously going to be really important for you. If it's not already, it will be in the in the coming years. Sara, like I said, longtime friend, we speak in a lot of the same conferences, and we actually got together in person before the COVID thing happened, we got a chance to do a lot of like original research, interviewing students, members of the Gen Z community live. And I am so excited to be here today. Sarah, take us away, tell us about the study, and kind of lead us into the discussion. So I think the study started because as I was going to conferences, and I was presenting about all the social media that Gen Z uses, there was always a question after the conference, like, Hey, I noticed you didn't talk about LinkedIn. Why didn't you talk about LinkedIn? And I would always say things like, Well, it's because it just didn't come up when we were talking to Gen Z. I mean, we did almost two years of research on Gen Z, before I started speaking about it, and I mean, it was all sorts of research, qualitative research and quantitative research and in home ethnography pre COVID, where we would actually go into people's homes and, and hang out with teenagers, they literally spent a year and a half hanging out with teenagers. And I mean, that was fun. And what's really interesting was that it just the topic of LinkedIn never came up. And most of these interviews were fairly open ended, like, show me how you use technology. How are you using technology to do your homework today? Walk me through it. Or like, what are you researching right now? Like, oh, you you're into guitar, and you're into rock music, like, tell me about that. And show me what you're doing and how you're doing that? Oh, you're into this video game? Tell me about it. You know, where do you go to find information on this and watching them switch between devices and between social media apps and diving deep into topics and things like that. But LinkedIn never came up. And even with the kind of older Gen Z's who are now entering the workforce, they would say things like, Oh, I'm looking for a job. And we'd be like, oh, show me how you do that. And they would go to indeed, or they would go to other places, or some of them were using LinkedIn, but it was with like, surgical precision. So they would go in there and they would be like, yep, I'm going to search for a job. Okay, I found something. Okay, I'm getting out now. And it was like, as fast as they could get out of LinkedIn, they were doing that. And so when we got together, AJ, I think I approached you because I was like, Okay, I don't get this. People keep asking about it. I need to have an answer. Let's figure out what you know what's going on. And I forgot to mention that you are the CEO of a market research company. So just to be very clear here. It was definitely you who approached me, because it never came on my radar to think, hey, I should go and do an original study. Like, definitely not in my wheelhouse. Yeah, I mean, it originated because we were doing market research on Gen Z for big companies like Google. And some, let's see some large banks and things like that. And what what happened was that we started asking the question to like, how do your new employees like find you? Where are you putting your job posts up and seeing the most Gen Z applicants and we were starting to ask those questions. And LinkedIn was just not coming up that often. And so anyway, so we started digging into it, and we started doing our own research. And what we found was really interesting, it was really surprising because what we found is that over 50% of Gen Z's and you know, across the country, they have a LinkedIn account. I mean, most colleges and universities I would say older Gen Z's like 18 and up, they have a LinkedIn account. In large part because most universities as a part of a career class or a requirement for some sort of career services, tell their students, you need to download LinkedIn, you need to create an account and so they have been asked to create account in some cases required to create a LinkedIn account, and so over 50% have a LinkedIn account, but only something like 4% were using it. I think it was 96% of the people we talked with. And these were Gen Z's across the country in the older Gen Z age range. So from about 18 years old to 24 years old. So really like in college, getting their first job, you know, applying for those entry level jobs. They were saying, This is not something we use. 10:25 What I love is, when we were in person, we were actually interviewing students on the campus of University of Utah. And I think we interviewed like 12 or 13 people before finally someone said, Oh, yeah, I have LinkedIn. And we're like, oh, good, but they show us how you use it. Yeah, yeah. They're like, Oh, I created an account one time, I can't even figure out my password. So it was like those who have it. They're certainly at least not yet not using it. Yeah. It's interesting, because this is a group that this is, first of all, this is like the largest living generation right now with a big deal type of group, especially for any sort of digital platform that wants to be, you know, a digital platform five years from now, they need to be marketing to and meeting the needs of this younger generation. And especially for for LinkedIn, which is a platform that enables people to find jobs. This is a generation that is entering the workforce now. And for some reason, there is a breakdown between what LinkedIn offers and the perception of that in the minds of Gen Z. And so I almost will say that I think that LinkedIn is failing, its Gen Z customers, because it's not giving them the information they need, maybe the tools they need, the features they need, and telling them about them and educating them on it. Because the Gen Z's we talked to they didn't even see LinkedIn as a social media platform. It was the same as indeed, it was the same exact thing as anywhere else that they would look for jobs. Yeah. And on top of that, we talked to several students who were actively looking for a job. And so we asked them, like, Hey, how are you looking? Would you consider LinkedIn? And they had this reaction to it like, Oh, well, the kinds of jobs I'm looking for, aren't there, so I'm not even gonna try. Yeah. And some of the jobs were like internships, like, oh, I need a professional internship. And we were like, Oh, my gosh, that kind of stuff is on LinkedIn. Like, of course, we couldn't say this, because we were conducting like, very third party neutral interviews. But in our minds, we were like, ooh, interesting feedback. AJ was telling himself like namaste, just keep calm. Expert in all things LinkedIn Haha! Yes. It was very sad. So yeah, tell us more about like, what are the findings? What really surprised you as you were going through this research? 12:54 I think what surprised me the most is that they don't see LinkedIn as a social media site. Like it is not in their heads anywhere close to what an Instagram is, or even a Facebook is like. They're not using Facebook, as much as say, an older demographics. But they certainly understand that Facebook is a social media platform, they're just not seeing LinkedIn as a social media platform. And they're definitely not seeing it as something that they would use. Yeah. And this is so surprising to me, because LinkedIn stopped being a job search platform to me back in like 2012. And it's been an actual social media for communicating ever since then. So it seems like LinkedIn is either not branding themselves or not reaching Gen Z with the proper messaging so they even know what the platform is and why they would want to use it. Yeah. Especially because we were asking questions too, about like, Oh, do you ever like go to the news feed? Do you ever look at articles in your field? Or do you ever communicate with people? Do you try to establish connection with that hiring manager? I mean, they tell you who the hiring manager is, who are you trying to connect with them and start conversations with them in any sort of way? And they just had no idea that that was even a possibility. 14:14 Yeah. Do you have any more insights you want to share? Or should we start going into like the prescriptive stuff like let's Let's dig into it because I think the biggest finding here is that LinkedIn is not working for this generation, so I want to hear from you AJ, LinkedIn expert, like what features are really would be really helpful to this generation who is looking for a job. And I guess I should add to that, especially now that this is we're in COVID, where months into this, it is really hard for a young person, an older Gen Z, who was just out of college to find an entry level job. Like it is extremely difficult because those entry level jobs, they're being filled by people who are overqualified for them. There. filled by people with many years of experience, who are accepting a lower salary and taking that job because unemployment is high. I mean, really, it's a really strange time because we went from this kind of the one of the largest economic booms in history to just crash bang, people are unemployed don't have jobs, like record levels of unemployment, people are just taking whatever they can find. And that made it so much harder all of a sudden to find jobs. And so I would have assumed that because of that, a young Gen Z, who is extremely digitally savvy, would be like, oh, let me hop on LinkedIn and see what there is to offer. And we're just not seeing that. Yeah. And first of all, Gen Z, I totally feel for you. I graduated in 2008. And I came out going, yes, can't wait to attack the world and go get a massive salary. And I found every single company was on hiring freeze due to the big economic downturn, 16:00 I love that you're talking to Gen Z, like they're on LinkedIn, posting this on LinkedIn. And you're, I think that's the thing. If you are watching this on LinkedIn right now, you're probably not Gen Z. Or if you are, you're one of the only ones and you should be very proud. And I absolutely understand what they're going through right now. Because it was tough. I mean, I had a year of digital marketing experience when I first graduated, and it took me three months to find a job for like, $14 an hour. And if you look at the numbers of Gen Z's right now who are moving back in with their parents, it is just off the charts, astronomical, especially, even if they're still in college, or they're, they've extended their college because they're like, I can't find a job right now so I'm going to like, you know, go for another semester and see what happens. Especially because it's, it's, um, you know, all virtual now. And I think a lot of them are also helping their parents out with their parents' jobs and things that are going on with their parents' lives, too. That's awesome. That just strikes me is actually really, really intelligent. It might be like, just necessity is the mother of invention. But I'm like, yeah, if I had a Gen Z son or daughter who was getting ready to enter the workforce, that's exactly like the hustle II'd want to see from them. Just figure out anything you can, it is a hustle. I mean, I interviewed one Gen Zer recently who said that he had, like, moved. He actually was in LA, trying to like start his career and then had moved back home to New Jersey to help out his parents power washing company, and was doing a ton of like, just manual labor power washing, because that's what his family needed. 17:40 That's fantastic. Good for those people. I know, I'm not talking to you, because you're not here, but good for you. Never gonna see that. He's not, it's not on LinkedIn. But if we posted on Instagram, he probably would. Oh, totally repost it just a little 30 second snippets. Haha! Snackable content. Haha! Yes, we'll break down only the most valuable stuff, just obviously, all of it. So we can kind of get prescriptive here, we can talk about the things that we think Gen Z could do, which obviously, we're not talking to you Gen Z, but maybe parents of Gen Z are watching. These are the things that you can help your your children understand and kind of give them a boost into the workforce. So I think the first thing that I would point out that I think is like the biggest no brainer about it, is if you have a son or daughter who is looking for a job right now in a really competitive environment, and they're not on LinkedIn, the ability to go viral on LinkedIn organically right now is insane. Um, basically what happens is anytime someone hits, like, comment, or share on your post, It then goes to a portion of their followers. And so the more people that are liking and engaging, the more people LinkedIn, start showing it to that aren't even in your network. So that's so big because being an influencer is like the be all end all for many in this generation. Like that is the goal, to get their ideas and their brand, because they really do think of themselves as an online brand to get that out into the world. Yeah, I don't think that they understand how, how easy it is to be a thought leader. And, and organically grow on LinkedIn. 19:22 And that's my point really, for for this is like, I mean, you think about the kinds of thought leaders who are bubbling to the top on LinkedIn. I mean, there's 30, I could name off who are HR experts, there are 50, who are sales experts who are just sharing stuff and trying to become well known. I don't know any Gen Zers, who are talking about the experiences they're having being authentic. I mean, for a generation who totally understands the value of becoming an influencer, the landscape here is totally ripe, for someone of this generation to come in and run it on LinkedIn. It's a lot different than the social media that they have right now because a lot of them are maybe doing YouTube videos or on Instagram, or you know even doing TikTok little 15 second TikTok things. And that's happening on video. And LinkedIn platform is just not set up for many. I mean, even doing this interview alone, we had so many tech difficulties getting Restream to work and getting like LinkedIn video platform to, to play nice with the LinkedIn live on an interview with two videos connecting, like to the point where we're just like, screw it, let's do this on a zoom video. And we'll post it afterwards, which defeats the whole purpose of LinkedIn Live. And I also think that LinkedIn needs to take some responsibility here and say, our features are not set up for the types of video sharing that Gen Z wants to do, that they are accustomed to doing on other platforms. 20:55 Oh, yeah. And the way that video works on LinkedIn, if you don't already know, you can attach video to it. So we could upload this as a native video, which I'll probably do, if it's less than 30 minutes, I think that's the limit for uploading video. For going live, they don't have a very, there's not a native ability to just like, hit it and go live, you have to use a third party, which means you're looping in all of these other technology issues, which is why we are not doing this live right now. So it adds a lot of complexity to it. Where this is a generation who is just there used to just hold up your phone, start recording yourself. We even tell when we do market research for companies, when we're doing product research for companies, we will even tell them if Gen Z can see your technology or notices your technology you're doing something wrong. Because it needs to be invisible. Like it needs to feel completely seamless, like oh, yeah, I just pushed the button. And yeah, of course that worked. So this whole let's let's connect through a third party thing. And I have to figure that out. I need an account. So I have a phone call with somebody at Restream. They don't hop on the phone. So I mean, just all of this contributes to like not a great experience for this generation. Yeah. And no knock on Restream. Because I actually love Restream. 22:17 Yeah, I think Restream is great. I think the reason that it didn't work for us is because you were trying to you've got like a computer, a DSLR hooked up, wires connecting, and there was some sort of delay with the video and audio. So I don't think this is a knock on Restream at all. I think this is a knock on LinkedIn, not natively offering the ability to just like, plug and play, like put a zoom conversation or do some sort of thing. Like I almost feel like they should have a studio in LinkedIn, LinkedIn platform, you can put two people in there and have a conversation like we're having right now and do it live? Like, why are we doing this on Zoom and Restream even just to get it into LinkedIn live, And the same solution that they could create, that's just two people talking, they could create a zoom competitor, where it's like, hey, don't even log into zoom, have all of your meetings on LinkedIn with your colleagues, like seems like a missed opportunity here. Yeah, and and that's a perfect platform to do it on. Because people are on LinkedIn for work. It's not like they're on Facebook all day like while they're working. You're trying to close down Facebook as much as you can, or, or Instagram or anything else for especially for older people. LinkedIn is the professional network that that I think most people over over 25 years or just people in general use for professional reasons. Yeah, totally. And so if you are the parent of a Gen Z, who's looking to go into the workforce, maybe you can help convince, I know, Gen Z may not want to be convinced of this. But you can help convince them like, yeah, the video stuff is harder, but because no one is doing it, there's a huge opportunity for you to cut through the clutter and become an influencer quicker, and be comfortable with text like you're comfortable sharing text and pictures as well, until video gets comfortable with where you're at. 24:10 I think one of the other findings that we saw that kind of surprised me. I mean, I guess once I thought about it, it was not surprising at all. But it was the fact that the real one of the reasons that Gen Z struggles with LinkedIn is that they go on LinkedIn. They see all these thought leaders, they see these people with great resumes because they've got 20 years in the industry or whatever it is. And they're like, Oh, my resume doesn't look like that. Like my summer internship where I got coffee for people or my like, I was a checkout person at a grocery store or I was a camp counselor. Like they're not seeing their experience as relevant to their resume. And that's in large part because of how they think of social media accounts. So they do think of it, you know that like most Gen Z's have five or six Instagram accounts. And a lot of people think that they're fake Instagrams and not real Instagrams, but they're not. They're actually, like, they're all real, legitimate accounts. They're just for different slices of their personality. And they're curating these little pockets, these little brands for themselves within each account. So if you're a Gen Xer and you're into photography, you might have a photography account, where you just follow photography and post photography, things. And you might also be into like a YouTube celebrity, so you're gonna have a fan account for them. And then you're gonna have your normal account, your school account where all your friends go, and then you're going to have like a separate account called you called your spam account, where like, it's just for your close friends, where you can be a little more real, because none of these are fully real. It's all just like little like curated slivers of their themselves. And so when you translate that to a job, they're going, Oh, I want to get a job in marketing, or that I'm wanting to get a job in HR, I want to get a job in this field, whatever the field is, and they're saying, none of my past experience tells that curated story to get me that job. And they're not seeing the connection between hey, the fact that I was a camp counselor actually taught me a lot of teamwork, because I'm planning and project management because I had to coordinate with other counselors, and I had to plan activities for the kids. And I had to do this, and I had to do that. And they taught me responsibility, and like, they're not seeing the connections between what those early jobs actually teach them, and how that is actually very relevant to a future career and an entry level position. I mean, if I see an entry level person who has had a job, as a grocery store, checkout, I know that they have good people skills, I know that they have good customer service skills, I know that they could basically make small talk with anybody, and that they listen, and they take directions and like, you know, just a lot about them based on an entry level job, even if it is not applicable to the job that they're applying for. But they don't see it that way. And they can make change. Yeah, absolutely. Mental math. Sure. Maybe. I don't know, with all the cash registers that just give it for you now. But yeah, I mean, I think that we also have to do a better job as you know, as parents and you know, as parents who are listening to this and talking to your, your Gen Z kids about, you know, when they put their resume on LinkedIn, or even if you're a school and listening to this and saying, what am I going to teach to the students in this career class, one of the things is, please list everything, it is relevant. And the fact that they can distill if they can say, I learned teamwork skills, because I did this, this and this at that job, that's even better. And also, like, I wish that they could do some sort of video resume or something instead, oh, yeah. Again, back to the video, because Gen Z's will talk about themselves and their goals and what they want to find in a job very quickly on video. Writing is another whole thing. Oh, yeah. Yeah, if you can read a resume written out of emojis, like, Gen Z is gonna do great. I don't know. Haha! 28:25 Yeah, writing skills, probably not quite there yet. But I just, I learned how to spell a word right last week. So we can still keep learning. So if you've got a Gen Zer, you can help them you can help them understand. First of all, like, hey, being an influencer is possible on LinkedIn, no one else is doing it. And here's how you have to do it on LinkedIn. So I know this is a little bit less comfortable for you in the rest of the social media use, but it's writing things and sharing things, and leveraging video that may not work quite as smoothly. If you can help them with that, that's fantastic. Transcribing the video on and then putting it out there. Yes, and then help them understand help them think through past experience. If they look at LinkedIn and go, man, all these other people have like CEO of this and 18 years of experience in that I'm not worthy with my grocery store checkout profile, help them understand like, point towards the skills that were built, and not necessarily what they think of like, you know, oh, the job title of ice cream scooper. Sorry, I'm not worthy. You are worthy! Figure out the skills that make you interesting, especially to those who are hiring for the entry level positions. 29:38 I think also there's a lot of kind of partnerships that I see for LinkedIn, with colleges and universities, because these colleges and universities are already telling their kids, hey, you are required to or you should create a LinkedIn account and they're doing it. I mean, the numbers show that they're doing it because they're being asked to do it. So why isn't there subsequent education that says, okay, now that you have an account, this is how you do it. And it's almost on LinkedIn to like, LinkedIn should know, based on the profile, how old the person is, like the personalized profile, they should know to show a video on how to customize your profile, instead of just walking them through like, the little checklist of your 80% complete, or whatever it is like they should actually do a video series maybe on LinkedIn learning or something like that, that's free to anybody who is in a certain age range, looking for an entry level position, and has recently opened an account to follow up and actually get that going. Yeah, maybe even consider, like some kinds of suggestions where someone puts like, common titles like grocery store clerk or babysitting, it might pop up recommendations and say, other people who have this experience have phrased it like this and have used these points from skills they've learned. So you'll maybe even consider some of those. If it's not a video, maybe it's dynamic pop ups. Yeah. And also, the email is one thing we found in our in just couple years of Gen Z researches that email marketing is not dead for this generation. I mean, a lot of people think that this generation, they assume that this generation doesn't check the email, but they're actively checking email. So an email campaign from LinkedIn to people in this generation would work like where it's like, hey, you know, for the next week, every day, we're going to give you like a five minute task to do on your LinkedIn profile to make it better, that would work. And make sure to appeal to their egos, because every child of this generation has been told that they are made of gold. They are special. I love it. And I love the idea of of the college partnerships, I mean, for LinkedIn, to go into junior colleges or state universities, and work to make sure that not half of all students end up leaving with a profile, but 100% have them. They have a presence on campus, they have events they've put on together and sponsored together to help educate people like not only create an account, this is how you can use it. I mean, it's not going to reflect on next quarter's stock results. But it will like four or five years from now, I'm sure it'll do massive things. 32:29 And imagine if you started your LinkedIn profile, and like started recording the project, you worked on everything when you were 20, instead of when you started the company, when you're 30 or 35. I mean, just just imagine that like, how much more like meatier your profile would be? Yeah. And when I was searching for a job in the middle of a recession, no one was hiring. I was ashamed. And I didn't want to talk or share anything about it. Because I thought like it was a reflection on me as a failure. But especially with this generation, who has watched influencers, they understand the value of being authentic. And maybe it's offensive, but at least they see that there's value in showing your authentic self, someone who goes through and starts, like cataloging and showing what their experience is of like, hey, I'm job searching like this. Oh, man, I guarantee you would find a job so fast, when people are are seeing the hustle that you're putting in, and your control over media. 33:27 Yes, and the documentation of it and stuff like that. If I saw somebody who could really do that, and was hustling like that, I would immediately think, wow, they will hustle for my company if I hire them. Absolutely. And that's what you want. Like, that's the only thing I'm looking when I hire for someone, I just want to see drive. If you are driven and hungry, I can teach you anything about LinkedIn Ads. Generation is hungry to begin with. I mean, remember that, unlike Millennials, who grew up in a boom, this generation grew up in a recession. These are post 9/11 kids. I mean, they grew up in a time of war and recession, and they are hungry for work to begin with. I mean, these are kids that with millennials, they were like, oh, I'll take a year off and explore Europe and backpack and find myself and, and that we're not seeing that in Gen Z, like this is a generation who has entrepreneurial. 61% want to start their own businesses when they come out of high school. And it's amazing to me. In addition to that, they're valuing traditional education and they understand, okay, I want to start my own business, but I have a lot to learn to do that, which is a really interesting finding that they they're entrepreneurial, but value traditional education as well. It's not the tradition. It's not that entrepreneur, that millennial entrepreneur, like, Ah, forget this college. I'm just gonna drop out and I'm pretty smart. So I'll make it. Yeah. other entrepreneurs have done it. 33:48 Is there like something we pin on this generation that feels negative? Like do we talk about Gen Z like they are because I'm on the elder side of being a Millennial, but I very side with Millennials. And I was afraid to admit I was a millennial for years because everything I read was Millennials are lazy and entitled. And they eat too much avocado toast and they can't buy a house. Yeah, there's all of that too. And I'm with you, AJ, I'm a few years older than you. When you said when you graduated? I was like, I'm older, but yeah, I'm in this. I'm actually a microgeneration between we talked about this this microgeneration between Millennials and Gen X, where we didn't grow up with high speed internet in our homes. So we actually behave more similarly to Gen X than we do to millennials. And it's kind of an interesting microgeneration. And I wonder if there's gonna be some sort of microgeneration here now, that's like the COVID generation or something like that. I mean, they call that micro-generation the Oregon Trail generation because they're the kids that like, grew up with the big floppy disks where you're like sharing a computer at school with like three or four other kids and you're like walking across the country and dying of dysentery, shooting squirrels, you know, I ran out of ammo again. No, somebody stole my horse! My oxen. Haha! I loved Oregon Trail. 36:16 So I mean, I wonder if there's going to be a similar microgeneration here of like the kids who are the young adults who were trying to find a job during COVID. Yeah. Oh, I totally think there will be. I am so glad, just as an aside, I'm so glad that I was alive for COVID. Because if you would have told me like 10 years later, or 10 years earlier, like there's this thing that we live through, and the whole world stopped, and everyone started wearing masks like, I would not believe you. So I'm glad we experienced this. And for people to have their formative years during it. I can't even imagine what that's like. Yeah, I'm interested in too. And how this is affecting Gen alpha, which are the kids who are under 13, who today are for the first time like I'm sorry, you can't be in school. 37:05 Yeah, you can't be in school, you have to homeschool and we don't have a device for you, but figure it out kids. And depending on what here you are as an alpha, like, I've got four alphas in my house. And there's a whole year that they pretty much took off of school. Like it wasn't the same curriculum. Like, are we going to have a whole generation where this year knows nothing about geography? I think? Yeah, I absolutely think we will. I mean, that happened to my daughter at the end of last year, when we started homeschooling, I realized in the summer, because we did it like a math assessment for her like, Oh, these are the things you should have learned in third grade. And she missed math, basically, all the things that you learned at the end of third grade math, she just was really weak on them. And I was like I was there I was homeschooling you. I know you did this, I know you learn how to convert fractions. And yet, and yet she was really weak in it. And I think that there's gonna be a really big gap to between kids who were at a public school, where they were had to be home for a whole year, and the kids who started back this year, in private school, like there's gonna be a huge gap in terms of the kids who don't have just missed a whole longer period of time than the kids who were in private schools and able to go back in person because they were small class sizes. Oh, incredible. This will be so much fun to watch. I know we need to wrap up. We're out of time. But thank you so much for getting together, cooperating on the study together. This is amazing. I will say all the research we'll post a link to it, but it is posted on the Bixa Research blog. So if you want to see the the findings of the research, the major findings, it's all written out and handed like in a story. Yes. With bullet point findings so that you can actually go ahead and get some of this data and use it. And you know, if you're creating your own products, too, I mean, even if you're in marketing somewhere else, it's super helpful to understand what we're critiquing LinkedIn for here related to Gen Z. And I bet there are some similarities with your company, too. Oh, yeah. And if you're listening to this on the LinkedIn Ads Show podcast, we'll put it in the show notes below, taking you right to So Sarah, thank you so much for doing this. This is amazing. I am in awe of information that you so effortlessly throw out there every time we talk. 39:28 Oh, and let me give you a freebie too! Okay, so if you would like a free chapter of Insta brain, you can go to It'll be in the show notes or in the comments if this is being posted to LinkedIn And you'll get a free chapter of Instabrain, the new rules to marketing to Gen Z and you'll also get a PDF of the like top ways we do research for Gen Z. So if you're thinking about really getting to know this audience, which you should be because it is the last just living generation right now and they're entering the workforce and they contribute to $655 billion a year in purchase power. So you should be thinking about them as your customers, as your employees, everywhere. They will make you not go out of business! So, you know, when you are ready to do research, this PDF will tell you like the techniques that are really working for them right now. 40:24 Awesome. Thanks so much for running the study. This information was incredible. I know everyone listening you're gonna love the article. It the in depth research. The data behind it, Sarah was the mastermind and I was merely a contributor. Oh, he's not getting and giving himself enough credit for that. I never do. Also, thanks so much, Sarah. And thanks for everyone for watching slash listening. Oh, are you a waiver? I recently read a study on people who waive versus not waive on zoom calls at the end. Really? So what's the difference? Like what does it mean something about your personality? Yeah, it's like people, some people are just totally over zoom. And they're like goodbye. Yeah, so yeah, that was your little easter egg, then do your podcast random. Waiting bowl. Do you wave or do you not, you'll notice it about yourself next time you're on zoom. So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed our banter on the findings from this research. I've got the episode resources for you coming right up. So stick around. Thank you for listening to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Hungry for more? AJ Wilcox, take it away. 41:45 All right. So here's some great resources. First of all, the link to the contest, bit.lylinkedinadscontest. All in lowercase. That's where you can go and submit to hopefully win this contest. Again, so excited to tell you about what you're going to win The article that LinkedIn published from Gyanda there about how it's fixing the ads over reporting, the links right down there in the show notes, you can go and read that for yourself. And then of course, the actual write up all the original research, you can find on The link right to that blog post is down below as well. If you're just getting started on LinkedIn ads, or you have a colleague or someone who is check out our ads course on LinkedIn Learning the links right down below for that. And it is by far the cheapest and the most complete training on LinkedIn Ads that there is out there at the moment. So check it out. super inexpensive, again, a lot cheaper than hiring me to come and train your team. Definitely hit subscribe on your podcast player right now. Please give us a rating and I'm hoping you'll give us five stars. But if not tell us why. And then definitely leave a review. I'd love to give you a shout out here. With any questions, any feedback, any thoughts, topics, and anything you want to discuss. Hit us up at And with that being said, we'll see you back here next week. Cheering you on in your LinkedIn Ads initiatives.
  • LinkedIn Ads Show podcast

    How to Get Started with LinkedIn Ads Right - Ep 42


    Show Resources Enter the Contest! Download the B2Linked Onboarding Checklist: New Company Page: Episode 02 - Targeting Strategies Episode 10 - Offers that Convert Episode 17 - Lead Gen Form Ads Episode 38 - LinkedIn Insight Tag LinkedIn Learning course about LinkedIn Ads by AJ Wilcox: LinkedIn Advertising Course Contact us at with ideas for what you'd like AJ to cover. Show Transcript: Looking to get started with LinkedIn Ads, but just don't know where to start? I got you. This is the LinkedIn Ads Show. Welcome to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Here's your host, AJ Wilcox. Hey there, LinkedIn Ads fanatics. Every new ad channel I dive into feels super daunting to me. There's so much familiar, but there's so many other things that are proprietary to just that platform. And it brings me so much anxiety. So when I started advertising on LinkedIn back in, like 2011, I did about everything wrong. And I wasted a bunch of time and a bunch of money. And I wanted to give you guys the resource that I wish I had. When we bring on a new client, we give them our eight point checklist that contains everything that we need in order to get started advertising. On this episode, I'm going to walk you through that checklist, along with full explanations of the what and why for each of them. In the news, our high performing ads contest is totally in full swing, you guys and gals have some amazing campaigns and results. So please keep the entries coming. This is incredible. Of course, the link to enter with all the rules is down in the show notes, you can just click that link, but it's For those of you who don't know, here's the contest. From now until December 11, 2020 at midnight Pacific time, you can go on and submit a screenshot of an ad, campaign, or a campaign group even that has really good performance. We're looking for either really high click through rates, or conversion rates, or a really low cost per click. The winner in each category will receive something amazing. And if you're a LinkedIn advertiser, I know you're going to find this to be fascinating, but I just can't tell you what it is yet. I do promise that it's going to be something that no other advertiser has, you'll be totally unique. And you'll be armed with something that you know your competitors don't have. So go right now, I know you're probably on a run, at the gym, in the car, but go right now. Pull over if you need to and go and start checking out your account and see if you have some ridiculously high click through rates, high conversion rates, or low cost per click. Submit now and I hope to have you your gift by Christmas or New Year's, and I just can't wait to reveal what you'll be winning. For our reviews highlight. Lindsey Danielle says, "AJ is a LinkedIn ads wizard. The most informative and actionable digital ads podcast for those looking to advance their expertise, skill set, and test new strategies on the platform. AJ is down to earth, conversational, and truly cares about helping you improve your LinkedIn Ads. He tells you how it is in a digestible fashion. So you leave with truly actionable insights to optimize your campaigns. Highly recommend I wish I had started listening sooner." Lindsay Danielle, thanks so much for the awesome review and the kind words, I do wish you'd started listening earlier too. But now you've got a whole ton of episodes to binge. You're welcome. 3:03 And to everyone else. You! Yes, you. I want to feature you here. So leave a review for the podcast on any podcast reviewer thing that you find. And I would love to give you a shout out. All right. With that being said, let's hit it. 3:17 Account Now to start a LinkedIn Ads account. The first thing you're going to need is an account. It sounds pretty obvious here. But you may already have an account out there that you need to get access to. Or you might have to create one from scratch. So here's how that works. If you already have an account, you'll just need to get access from someone who's an admin on the account. And if that person has what are called account manager permissions, they can add you by going to the gear icon in the upper right hand corner of campaign manager. They click on manage access, then edit, then add user to account. Then type in your name, select your level of access, and then hit save changes. And it's that simple. And now you'll have access to the account. For this person to grant you access, you don't need to be connected to that person. And there are five kinds of access that you can give someone. The first is account manager. And this is full administrative access, where you can create, edit pretty much anything in the account. That means campaign groups, campaigns, and ads, along with the added bonus here that you can either add or remove or change rights for anyone else on the account. The next is called campaign manager access. And this person, you're an editor basically, you can create and edit pretty much everything in the account, except you can't do anything with the other users on the account, so you can't add or remove someone or change their rights. The next is called a creative manager. and creative managers can't edit or change anything to deal with a campaign, but they can create new ads. So this might be what you want to give someone who's not actively managing the ads, but maybe they're launching and creating new creative for you. The next is viewer. And a viewer can see everything in the account. They can see the targeting, bidding, the ads, even the performance metrics, but they just can't make any changes. Even something as simple as hitting pause on a campaign, a viewer can't do. And the fifth and final level here is basically an account manager, it's a full admin. But one admin of an account is the billing admin. Here, you have all the same rights as a full account manager, you can edit, change, view, whatever you need to, but you also get the one added privilege of updating or changing the payment details in the account. And usually, that just means the credit card. What's interesting here with the billing is that if you change the credit card at all in the account, if you add a new one, replace it, or switch who the billing admin is, instantly your campaigns all shut off, and it goes down like there's no payment. So anytime you make a change like this, be ready for it. And you've got to go and pop that new credit card right back in there. So that's if you already have an account. But what if you don't have one already? Well, you'll want to go to This is the easiest way I found to get there, you click on the button that says create ads, and then you follow the prompts to create the account. And then you can follow the instructions we talked about before for granting access to others. You can also access your campaign manager by just going to and look in the upper right hand corner on desktop. Sometimes you'll see an icon that says advertise. And sometimes you just click on the I think it's the nine dots button that shows all the stuff to deal with work and advertise may be in there. Once you've got your account, and you get to the dashboard. My recommendation is to bookmark that page and stick it right in like your browser toolbar. So it's easy to access. Because there's nothing worse than coming in and doing exactly the same three clicks a whole bunch of typing to get there, when you should just be one click away. 7:02 Company Page Alright, the next thing that you need is when you create an ads account, it'll ask you which company page you can attach your ads to. And this is because sponsored content ads, which is the halo ad format, as I call it, it's where most people should start, those ads live on the company page. And that means that if you don't have a company page, you can still advertise, but you'll only be able to use the text ads and sponsored messaging ad formats. And I believe you might still be able to run dynamic ads, the ones that are called spotlight ads, but definitely not follower ads. Don't quote me on that, though. But because sponsored content ads are so good. Of course, I'm assuming here that you'll want to use them. So that means you'll either need to create a company page or get access from someone if you already have one set up and you just need it. So creating a new company page, the link is down below in the show notes. But it's And you just go through and answer a few questions. And sure enough, you'll have a company page. But what if you already have one, but you just need access. So for this one, you do need to be connected to this person on LinkedIn in order to pass access. So make sure you go and connect with that person first, then they're going to actually navigate to the company page. And the easiest way if you don't bookmark this is go and search for the company name in LinkedIn. And it'll pop up as a suggestion. Or if there's too many like it, then you may need to go ahead and run the search, maybe even select it down to just searching by companies, but then you'll usually be able to find it. Then this person's going to click on admin tools, and then manage admins, and then search for your name there underneath the section of designated admins, you just start typing their name, and it should pop right up. If you just recently connected, you might need to refresh this page in order for you to show up. Now I am telling you to get added as a page admin and your boss or client might be uncomfortable granting you a full admin access here, but I'm going to explain why you actually need this. You can still create ads with a lesser right. And that right is called sponsored content posters. But once you create an ad and you make it active, it's going to go into a review queue. And as soon as it hits the review queue, you can't do anything to pause, activate, anything like that. Basically, the only thing you can do is pause the campaign it's in. It's basically wanting to sit there until LinkedIn approves it. And then you can do something with it. And of course, currently, there's no notification when an ad actually gets approved. And so you might be sitting there every half hour hitting refresh, trying to catch this thing. A couple times I've hit publish on an ad and then went, oh crap, there's a spelling error in there, and I've got to stop it. And if you're just a sponsored content poster, then you can't do anything about that that thing is going and it gonna spend some money unless you catch it real fast. There's a little known trick, though that we use. If you're an actual page admin, you can actually go in and delete the ad. And when you delete the ad from the company page, it totally pulls the rug out from underneath that ad in campaign manager, it'll just say ad deleted. And you don't have to worry about it actually going live. To do this little trick. As a page admin, you'll go to your company page, and you'll scroll down to the section called updates. And it'll say filter by, and it defaults to filter by page updates. But if you click that, you can tell it to do direct sponsored content. And then that will show you all of your ads that are not visible to the company page followers. When you find the offending ad, you can click the three little dots in the upper right, and then just click delete update, and then it's gone. And you can go and fix your mistake and relaunch. So I get asked all the time about the difference between direct sponsored content, and a sponsor company page post. I think I can illustrate the difference here by telling you a story about when sponsored content very first came out. I was running an account with 600 campaigns. And I'm sure you all know my strategy, we always launch an AB test in every campaign. So it meant I had to launch 1200 sponsored content, one at a time, it was terrible. And I did it in the middle of the night, because what would happen is when you create a sponsored content, at least back then, you were publishing it as an organic page post and sponsoring it at the same time. And so we had a bunch of company page followers, who if they were following us, they might be really annoyed by watching 1200, nearly identical ads come across their screen. So that's why I did it in the middle of the night. And I just pleaded with LinkedIn, please, please, please let us do the equivalent of what people on Facebook had as dark posts. And this is where you get to create ads that your company page followers don't get to see. And then within a year, they released direct sponsored content. And I can't tell you how excited I was for this. I was actually the first person to ever use the direct sponsored content because I was willing to stay late on a Friday night, because I've been waiting for this thing for so long. So what they are, they're sponsored content ads that are hidden from your company page followers, nothing more, nothing less. So don't overcomplicate what direct sponsored content is just because the name direct sponsored content is way too complicated. Alright, so let's say that you can't get rights to your company page. But you still really want to run sponsored content ads? Well, one thing you can do, you don't even need any sort of access to the company page for this, you can sponsor existing company page content. On Facebook, we call this boosting posts. And as an aside here on Facebook boosting posts is fantastic. What you can do is you can take the ad ID of an organic post that already has some social proof, some likes and comments. And then you can go and create an ad out of it with a unique tracking URL. And it keeps all the social proof. So really, you get the best of both worlds, you have your social proof. Plus, you have the ability to track all the way down to the individual ad level. It's amazing. On LinkedIn, it's a little bit tougher though, because when you go to create an ad, it always starts with zero. On LinkedIn, it's a little bit different and you really have to weigh your pros and cons here. You can create a direct sponsored content post with its own unique tracking URL. And this will allow you to do tracking all the way down to the ad level, which is amazing. But of course, it starts with zero social proof, no likes no comments, it looks brand spanking new. On the other hand, you can go and boost a company page post. And maybe it's already got some likes and comments from just running organically on the company page. But then you can't customize the URL. And so once those leads get into your CRM, you actually can't tell whether that person came from an ad, or from your company page followers or maybe even virally. So you get to make the choice between having a good tracking URL for proper attribution, or having social proof that you know is going to help boost the ad a little bit. Me personally, I go with the tracking URL, proper tracking and attribution is paramount to us showing our value to our clients. And so we give up that social proof. But man, I hope LinkedIn at some point rolls out the same kind of thing that advertisers get on Facebook. And every so often will talk to a client who has a company page, but the person who created it is no longer with the company or they're not on good terms and they can't get access. If this is the case for you. You can just go right to LinkedIn support, you let them know, they'll basically email you on your company email so they can tell that you actually do work there, and then they'll give you access. Here's a quick sponsor break and then we'll dive into the rest of what you need to do in order to get your account off the ground. 14:58 The LinkedIn Ads Show is proudly brought to you by The LinkedIn Ads experts. 15:08 If the performance of your LinkedIn Ads is important to you than B2Linked is the agency you want to work with. We've spent over $130 million on LinkedIn Ads, and no one outperforms us on getting you the lowest cost per lead. We're official LinkedIn partners and you'll only deal with a LinkedIn ads expert from day one. Fill out the contact form on any page of, to chat about your campaigns. And we'd love to work with you. All right, jumping right back into the other pieces that you need to actually launch your LinkedIn Ads. And some of these things are going to be optional, but I'm going to dictate to you based on an optimal launch, and recommend that you do all these things. 15:45 Tags So once you have an ads account, the first thing that you should do is go and get your LinkedIn insight tag from the account and get it installed on every page of your website. Go back and listen to Episode 38 to go into a lot more detail on this tag, what it does, and what benefit it brings. Audiences Then, as soon as you have this tag on your website, you can go into account assets matched audiences, and then set up a retargeting audience so it's building. Because even if you're not going to want to immediately run retargeting, you really are going to want to have an audience when you do want to. One note here, Facebook builds audiences retroactively. So you can install the pixel today and then up to 30 days later, you can go and set up an audience and Facebook will remember who visited the page in the last 30 days and add them to that audience. LinkedIn does not do this. LinkedIn is only going to match audiences once the insight tag is there. And you've set up a rule you've set up a retargeting audience, so it can start collecting. So get that early, get it now. The next thing is you're going to want to figure out how you're going to track your conversions. And there are really three different ways to do this. If you have the insight tag installed, you can set up conversion tracking, so that when someone lands on your thank you page, it will fire a conversion there. And this is by far my favorite way. But if you don't have a thank you page, and you want to track an event, like a button click, you can still do that, it requires someone with some JavaScript prowess. But when you go to set up a conversion, you can select it as an event conversion. And then follow the instructions to get that affixed to a button or whatever. But if you don't want to send the traffic to your own website, maybe you don't have a good landing page for this or maybe your website isn't great for mobile traffic and you know a lot is going to come from LinkedIn, you can use LinkedIn lead generation forms. And that's right within the ad itself. When someone interacts with it, a form appears with pretty much everything that LinkedIn knows about them auto filled prefilled. And all they have to do is just hit submit, which is pretty awesome. But of course, you'll want to make sure you set up an integration with your CRM, or marketing automation platform. So those leads go immediately into a system and you can take action on them quickly. Check out Episode 17, where we go really deep into the use of lead generation forms. But, if your CRM or marketing automation system isn't HubSpot, Eloqua, Marketo, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, then your lifesaver is going to be the $20 per month plan, because it can handle pretty reliably leads coming from LinkedIn and pushing them into about any system that you've got. The next thing you want to do is have a good idea of who your ideal target audience is. Because if you don't know that, you're going to be a little bit aimless, as you go through all the targeting options and wonder what to choose. The way I like to do this is I'll go and pull up like five to 10 LinkedIn profiles for my ideal customers. And maybe I'll go pull up three to five ideal company pages. And I'm going to look for commonalities like similar titles, or skills, groups. And then on the company page, I'm going to look for similar company sizes or similar industries. And this is going to help me define my targeting. When you actually go to start building this targeting, go back and listen to Episode Two on our B2Linked targeting strategies, as it's pure gold, if I do say so myself. Imagery/Video And of course, to create an ad, you'll have to have some imagery, or maybe you're running video ads, so you'll need that video asset. If it's imagery, you want to make sure you've got 1200 pixels wide by 627 tall and stay away from the blue colors. If you look at the opposite of blue on the color wheel, it's orange, so stick to oranges, greens, reds, anything that is going to make your ad stand out. And if you're running video, make sure you use subtitles because the vast majority of people who see the ad and watch it are going to watch it with the sound off. And please do keep it short. If the ads too long, no one will stick around to the end. It sure doesn't hurt to have an idea of what you might share in an ad what you might say. And one of the next few episodes that we come out with Here is going to be an episode on how to write the perfect ad. So listen for that for sure, but have in mind something that maybe some points that you want to write. And that's going to make your job a lot easier when you actually go to stick that image on there that you already have, and write some ad copy. 20:15 Your Offer But now we go on to by far the most important choice that you'll make in advertising on LinkedIn. And this is your offer, your call to action, what your ads are actually going to ask someone to do. Go back and listen to Episode 10 on offers and calls to action that work on LinkedIn. This is one of our most if not the most downloaded episode. It's a classic and it hasn't aged a bit. GA & Other Analytics/Tech Tags Then there's some additional tech that you're probably going to want to have installed on your site to make the best use of this traffic. So the first is Google Analytics or some kind of analytics package. And analytics package is so nice because it can tell you so much more about your ads, then you can learn by just looking at the initial stats. I would also suggest installing the Facebook custom audiences retargeting tag, the Google remarketing tag. And if you're feeling really ambitious, check out things like Korra and Twitter for retargeting, they can be quite good as well. I recently heard about Microsoft Clarities product from Mark Gustafson of, so Mark, thanks for the tip. And that one's really cool. It's like a Microsoft addition to your Google Analytics. And it's got some really cool data it shows. And of course, it's free, so check that one out. And of course, for installing all these tags, you can have your web developer, do them all one by one, or you can install a tag manager like Adobe or Google Tag Manager. And that'll give you one web interface where you can just paste all of these tags, and then publish them right to the website. I love tag managers. Lists And one of the most amazing things about LinkedIn ads platform is the lists upload, what they call matched audiences. And this is where you can upload lists of either company names or individuals that you either want to target or exclude. Now, right at the beginning of a campaign, the first thing that you want to do is go and get those lists created and uploaded. Because LinkedIn says they take 24 to 48 hours, but realistically, a lot of them take 48 to 72 hours. So if you want to launch quickly, get those lists uploaded ASAP, so that by the time they're done finishing baking, then your ads can launch. Credit Card If it's a brand new account, you'll see a nag bar at the top of every screen that lets you know that your credit card isn't entered and so you won't be able to advertise yet. So you'll first want to go in, just follow the navbar or go into the gear and then billing center and just follow the instructions there. But then in order for your ads to actually go live, you have to have a campaign where you've fully activated, that means the credit cards in, you've gone through the launch process, it shows you a recap of the of the whole campaign, you approve it. And then it shows a little rocket ship launching. As part of that process, you need to create an ad and you actually submit the ad to go live. And then we found that most ads take an average of three to six hours for approval from LinkedIn. So you may hit launch, but you might not see any stats, it might not actually be running for, you know, three to six hours, maybe even up to 24 hours. And then of course, once your ads are launched, go listen to our other episodes, binge them over a weekend if you need to. But of course all the other episodes, we're teaching you how to actually set your bids and budgets, how to run AB tests, and how to think about targeting and optimizations. All right, I've got the episode resources for you coming right up. So stick around. 23:52 Thank you for listening to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Hungry for more? AJ Wilcox, take it away. Resources I mentioned at the beginning of the episode that B2Linked sends out a LinkedIn startup checklist to our clients. We actually put together a pretty PDF of this. And so here in the shownotes, if you scroll down, you can click on and you can download the free checklist there. Also in the show notes, you'll see the link there for how to create a new company page, along with several of the other episodes that I mentioned here as being ancillary. But I really want to point out the contest here, please go click on the link for the LinkedIn ads contest and submit screenshots of your best performing ads or campaigns. We've got some great entries so far, but you can still win. And I've got awesome things to share with you. And I just can't tell you about them yet. But I'm so excited. I'm brimming. And of course, if you are just getting started with LinkedIn ads, go check out the course that I did with LinkedIn learning and the links right there in the show notes. It's ultra cheap. It's one of the best courses out there. You just can't go wrong. And if you've liked what you've heard today, click on the subscribe button on your podcast player and make sure that you're hearing all of the new episodes because we've got some killer episodes coming up for you and I couldn't be more excited about it. And if you found value, please do rate and review the podcast. If you leave a review, I'll totally shout you out here. And then of course, with any ideas or questions, reach out to us at Podcast@ And we'd love to hear from you. We always love feedback from our loyal listeners. All right, with that being said, we'll see you back here next week. Cheering you on in your LinkedIn Ads initiatives.
  • LinkedIn Ads Show podcast

    Costs are rising on LinkedIn Ads! Here's how to beat it. - Ep 41


    Show Resources Episode 02 - Targeting Strategies Episode 06 - Bidding Episode 26 - Why so expensive? Episode 29 - Saturation Episode 32 - Covid Episode 37 - Seasonality LinkedIn Learning course about LinkedIn Ads by AJ Wilcox: LinkedIn Advertising Course Contact us at with ideas for what you'd like AJ to cover. Show Transcript: You're watching as your costs keep climbing and climbing on LinkedIn Ads. And you're like, "Oh, come on!". I'm going to tell you how to combat it and even reverse it. This is the LinkedIn Ads Show. Welcome to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Here's your host, AJ Wilcox. Hey there LinkedIn Ads fanatics. So you're just advertising along minding your own business. And every month, you're watching your efficiency decrease. You hate reporting to your boss, or your client that your performance is just declining month over month. The platform is definitely going to keep getting more and more competitive, so you've got to do something totally different to get off of that train of just declining performance. But there is hope. There are things that you can do to fight that drag on your performance and even reverse it. So that's what we'll be covering today. In the news, there are a lot of changes afoot, and I'm super excited. Eliot Shiner from Bind Media. He tagged me on LinkedIn, about LinkedIn releasing bulk tools, which is super cool. In the post that he shared, he was looking at an account that had these bulk ads features. And certainly not everyone has it yet. This is probably very early in the rollout. But watch for it, he said that you can do applying saved audiences across multiple campaigns. So that's pretty cool. You can change campaign bids and budgets in bulk. You can download audience strings to build new audience combinations. And the last thing he shouted out was you can adjust campaign settings such as audience expansion or the audience network. How cool would that be to be able to go into an account and just bulk unassign audience expansion from every campaign and just instantly fix an account. Elliott, thanks so much for tagging me in that one. Another really cool improvement was brought to my attention by David Rosendahl from Southern California. And, David, I know you're a listener. So thanks so much for bringing this to my attention. He found out that LinkedIn rolled out and a way message that you can set in your messaging on the app. And this is only available to premium users on LinkedIn, so you got to be paying for a profile to get this. And we definitely see more and more features rolling out like this. And they're trying to dangle as bait to get someone to upgrade their profile. And of course, LinkedIn had to roll this out a week after I got back from vacation, so I didn't even get a chance to use it. I have an out of office set on my email when I'm gone. But people on LinkedIn, just think I'm a jerk that doesn't respond from what I can tell everyone with premium has this option in their app. So check it out and see, I can't wait to go on vacation again and set an out of office on my LinkedIn messaging as well. This week, LinkedIn also released something really freaking cool. This is a feature that I've just been calling the ABM dashboard. But LinkedIn actually released this to a portion of accounts. And they're calling it the company engagement report. Most don't have it yet. But it's like most rollouts, where it's probably rolling out weekly, for a quarter or a sixth of the population every week. And we checked a bunch of our accounts that are running ABM, and we only had two accounts so far that had access to this. And you can read the official news about this release by just checking in the show notes down below, I have the link to the official release. But I had to hunt around a little bit to see if I even had it in my accounts. So here's what you do. Inside of campaign manager, you go to account assets, and then matched audiences. And then from your list of matched audiences, any of your company match lists that have a hyperlink on them, click on it. If you don't have access to this yet, it will just go into like an edit of the list itself. But if you do have it, it'll take you right to the company engagement report. And this is so cool. What it shows is all of the companies who've engaged with your ads, they give a basic engagement level. So like from low to very high or unavailable if that account hasn't interacted with you at all. There's a column for the number of members that were targeted by your ads who belong to that company, a column for the number of campaigns, I'm guessing the number of campaigns that would target someone from one of these organizations, the impressions, the ad engagements, the organic engagement, and the website visits that resulted from each of these companies that you're going after in your ABM list, the time range is stuck at the last 90 days. What I love is there is a company name search field. So let's say that you have thousands of people on your ABM lists, and you're curious just to see one like, hey, I want to see if JP Morgan visited our website or interacted with our ads. You could type in JP and then it automatically filters everything for you. You can also change the columns. So by default, it's going to drop you into engagement. But you can change that to details. And then it gives you basically a rundown of each of these accounts. It'll tell you their name, what industry they're part of, what company size they are, and the date that they were added to this list. The report is paginated. And it looks like about 50 will fit on each page. So I'm curious if any of you have access to this. And let's say you've uploaded a list that hits their maximum of 300,000 company names. If you have 50 at a time, are you going to have pagination out to, you know, the hundreds, it'll be interesting to see if they have a limit on the number of companies they can give you feedback for. And Jay, one of the product managers at LinkedIn who actually was responsible for this rollout, he mentioned to me in a comment that much of this was driven by the insight tag. So this is really cool to see the combination of metrics that LinkedIn can see from campaigns you're actively running, and accounts that they recognize how they're interacting on your website. So if you don't have this yet, watch for it over the next, let's say four to six weeks until all of us have it. And you can get ready for this by uploading an ABM list whether or not you plan on advertising to them, because I think there's still going to be value here organically. And then make sure that the LinkedIn insight tag is on your site. 6:03 In personal news, I'm doing a deep reorganization of my office right now, you guys all hear the stuff that comes out of my brain, but you hear it after I've spent three plus hours organizing it. So imagine how cluttered it is up there. My office organization mirrors the organization of my mind, I feel like the classic mad scientist, but instead of beakers all over my laboratory, I have 113 browser tabs open in Chrome and piles of stuff in my office that I keep below the sight line of my webcam. Okay, so AJ is telling you something about his organization? Why does that matter? Well, I'm redesigning my office to be a studio. And the reason why we have a YouTube channel, and I've put out some videos that I'm really proud of. But to create those videos, takes literally hundreds of hours. I'm a little bit of a perfectionist, and I hate putting something out there that I don't love, and doesn't have all the most amazing animations. When I go to create a video. The problem is I'm spending so many hours setting up cameras and setting up lighting equipment, and trying to make sure everything's perfect that I run out of time, and I can't create the content. So the thought here is that I'm going to be able to create video content very quickly, I have the lighting and camera set up in my office as a studio. And you guys, there is so much that I'm excited to share with you. But because it takes so long to create video content I haven't been able to before. But I'm hoping now even if it's like quick three or four minute YouTube videos where I show you something, I just want to get it out. And stay tuned, we'll even try an episode or two of the LinkedIn ads show as a video podcast to see how that works. 7:40 Contest! And like we talked about last week, we're running a contest. And thanks everyone who made suggestions about the kind of contest, you guys gave us some great ideas. Now this contest is live as of the release of this episode. So go and do this today. Scroll down to the show notes. Or if you don't have show notes on your podcast player, you can just go to the URL, all lowercase. Okay, so I've told you how to get in. But I didn't tell you what the contest is all about. So here's the contest for now, when you're listening to this, hopefully it's not too much later for now until December 11, 2020 at midnight, Pacific time. And now I made it myself, I put it in Pacific time. But because we're LinkedIn advertisers, I totally should have made it in the UTC timezone. So this is an ad performance contest, you can go on and submit a screenshot of an ad, a campaign, or a campaign group that has particularly great performance. We're looking for either a ridiculously high click through rate, or a crazy low cost per click, or a mammoth conversion rate, you can submit multiple times. So if you have multiple clients you want to submit for, go for it. And the winner in each category will win something truly amazing. If you're a LinkedIn advertiser, I know you're gonna find this fascinating. I can't tell you what it is just yet. I'm not going to spoil the surprise. But I can promise you, it's something that no other advertiser has, you'll be armed with something that your competitors do not have, you'll have a major leg up on them. Okay, that's all the hints I'm going to give. So get it on your to do list or your calendar or whatever it's going to take to do this, but go and jump into your account or accounts and look for those high click through rates, high conversion rates, or low cost per click. So submit that now. And then I will have your gift to you before Christmas or New Year's this year. Guys, I'm so excited about this, but I'm going to shut up about it now. The last little piece of news here. There are more changes in campaign manager coming and you probably don't have them already. But watch for them in the coming weeks or months. There's functionality coming like being able to share audiences between accounts, which is really cool. Especially for those large companies who have multiple ad accounts running, maybe different business units within. And a huge thanks to Mark Gustafson from for pointing that one out. And a huge thank you to Dominik Hemeli for this review, he left on the podcast, he says, "Just listened to the episode about LinkedIn campaign goals and I think I learned more about LinkedIn advertisement listening to that compared to any conference or workshop in all of 2020. Simply amazing, and I will test all of the recommended hacks, keep it up and stay safe -DOM. That's what we're going for Dominic, all value and no fluff. So thanks so much for getting value out of it and continuing to be a listener, keep the reviews coming, guys, I would love to feature you. Okay, with that being said, let's hit it. 10:44 Costs are Rising on LinkedIn Ads Costs are rising on LinkedIn Ads. And from the very beginning back in 2007, they started really high, they've always been high, but they're going to keep getting higher. This is the nature of all ad platforms. They're all based on competition. And at the beginning, when not everyone has adopted them, yet, competition is going to be lower. Like when I started advertising on Google, the floor bid was five cents. And that dates me a little bit. But what happened is people got on and tried it, the early adopters, and it worked so well and it produced a return on their investment. So they went and told their friends, and then they all tried it. And then as the cycle happens, adoption continues to roll out until prices go up. And those prices will rise until the platform starts pricing some people out of the market. Because I guarantee you, there are some law firms out there who are saying, Man, I'm just getting started on Google and I have to pay $320 for a click, ah, I'm gonna go and advertise elsewhere. With LinkedIn specifically, it's always been a platform for the sophisticated advertiser. Costs per click are high, they started high. And so marketers who didn't have visibility into the actual lead quality, the marketing qualified lead stage, the sales qualified lead stage, or whatever you call it, they see that their costs per lead are really high compared to other channels and then they quit. But sophisticated marketers, on the other hand, I'm guessing everyone listening here is one of these, you're not just watching your cost per lead, but you understand that there is value in targeting only the most highly qualified prospects. And because the quality of the prospect on LinkedIn is so much higher than other channels, you guys find that it's worth it to continue advertising, and then even scale up those efforts even if at the very top engagement level, it looks expensive. Back in 2011, when I was brand new to LinkedIn Ads, the majority of marketers didn't rely on closing the loop with their CRM, we didn't even have conversion tracking back then it was going to take a lot of years before we got that, but then synching with your CRM, this was technical, and in a lot of cases, it was prohibitively expensive. But now in 2020, it's really rare to come across a B2B marketer who isn't at least moderately armed with a tech stack and an understanding of lead quality. Marketers are getting more sophisticated, we're catching up, which is amazing. And more people coming to the platform to advertise, it introduces additional competition. But this competition can be balanced out, as long as more LinkedIn members come and spend more time on the platform and that creates new inventory, it tends to balance out. And that's really how it was from like 2014 to 2018, cost per click on the platform stayed about the same that whole time. But currently, we're seeing that for most audiences. advertiser demand is outpacing the growth of LinkedIn audience and their usage. And just an idea here, maybe it's because of all the mass organic outreach spam, it's making people not want to spend as much time on LinkedIn. If you're doing it, please stop, it's hurting everyone. If you haven't listened to Episode 26, on why LinkedIn Ads are so expensive, make that a high priority. Get that into your "to listen" list. So let's say that you're advertising on LinkedIn, minding your own business, and you start to notice your costs are continuing to rise. There could be a lot of reasons for this. Of course, we've spent a lot of time talking about competition, it could be competition on the platform. And you have to picture this competition as a force like inflation is. It's going to keep going steadily, and you just have to plan ahead for it. And here in the US, we plan on inflation being a little over 3% per year in the US dollar. So what that means is if you have money today, and you hide it in your safe or in your mattress, that money is going to be worth 3% less every single year because of inflation. It's the same principle with advertising. If you keep doing the same thing that you've always done, it'll perform progressively worse as time goes on. But it might not all be about competition, there could be an element of saturation in there. Saturation is when your audience has already seen your ads or your offers before and so now they're less likely to click on it. Check out Episode 29, where we went way deep into saturation and how to stop it. It could also be a lack of novelty, I guarantee the first person to ever advertise a free consultation was probably inundated with cheap leads. But after that caught on and everyone started offering a free consultation, it really lost its novelty. And now you just assume that everyone has a free consultation. So you stop acting on ads where that's the call to action. So this just goes to show if you're still using the exact same tactics, or offers or approach to ad creative that you were using last year, or even the year before, that could be the reason of rising costs and dropping performance. 15:55 And that dovetails nicely here into the next one, which is you're probably getting lower performance, because you're getting lower click through rates. For whatever reason, people are losing interest in your ads. What happens is they stop clicking on your ads or engaging with them. So your click through rate drops a little bit. And then LinkedIn sees that people are less interested and they then award you a lower relevancy score. So now you have a worse relevancy score, which means every auction for an impression that you go to approach, you're at a disadvantage now. With the same bids, you're going to win fewer auctions, so you'll see less traffic, and you'll also pay more for that traffic. But if your boss or your client is telling you that they want to see performance continue to increase. Well, now you have to bid higher to compete. Again, we go a lot more into depth about that on the Episode 26, Why is LinkedIn Ads so expensive? And like we talked about, just recently on the seasonality episode in Episode 29, if you're advertising in the end of November, or during December, and you're saying, man, why are these North American audiences performing so poorly? or why do I have to pay so much for them, there could be seasonality happening and then if you just wait and be patient until January, or even pull back and then reinvest the money that you would have spent in January, which is what I recommend, then just that knowledge will help you perform better. Something else that's driving competition is that as you learned from Episode 32, where we talked about the COVID report, people are bidding wrong, and they're bidding too high. And what that's doing is it's driving up competition for everyone at an exponential rate. This isn't a problem with the listeners of this podcast, because you've heard me on so many episodes talk about bidding correctly. And that's episode six. By the way, if you want to go back and learn deep on that. But in short, don't use auto bidding unless there's a good reason to like your click through rate is really high, or you need to force getting traffic, because auto bidding is really just max bidding, it's giving LinkedIn your wallet and saying take whatever out of it you think you'll need. And when you are using max CPC bidding, don't follow LinkedIn's bid recommendations unless you've tested lower and you need to increase in order to get enough traffic. 99% of the time, you should start bidding significantly below the range that they recommend. Okay, here's a quick sponsor break. And then we'll dive into what you can actually do about rising competition. 18:23 The LinkedIn Ads Show is proudly brought to you by, the LinkedIn Ads experts. 18:33 If the performance of your LinkedIn Ads is important to you, B2Linked is the agency you'll want to work with. We've spent over $130 million on LinkedIn Ads, and no one outperforms us on getting you the lowest cost per lead. We're official LinkedIn partners and you'll only deal with LinkedIn Ads experts from day one. Fill out the contact form on any page of to chat about your campaigns. We'd absolutely love to work with you. 18:58 What To Do About It All right, let's jump into what you can do to combat or even reverse this increasing competition that slowly and painfully killing your LinkedIn Ads channel. Keep in mind that sometimes it's the little things that make a difference. So look for these small advantages that you can build and they'll add up. For instance, something so simple as making ad copy improvements, we find through ad copy testing, that we can increase or decrease performance by five to 15%. So let's say you spend some time testing ad copy, and you find that you can raise the click through rates by 15%. It may not be massive, but it's going to do something for you. And those efforts will add up. For your ad cop, remember that people on LinkedIn are valuable people, and they're in a hurry, and that this is interruptive advertising. You need to get right to the point and get to the value as fast as possible. Having your value right front loaded at the beginning of the ad is going to do wonders for you and you might be able to see your click through rates. increased by 30, 50, 100%. And a different example here, I once had an ad that was getting a 1.2% click through rate. And another one in the same campaign was getting a point 7%. So almost half. And this was the same offer, but radically different approach to messaging. I looked at that and said, Okay, I'm going to pause the lower performer, because obviously people don't care about it. That is, until I saw that the lower performer was only costing $1 more per click, but was converting it over twice the rate. So I ended up reversing, I paused the better performer by click through rate, and ended up letting the poor performer go and take all of the impressions. So click through rates are certainly not the end all be all, and you'll need to pay attention to how they affect conversions, but this can help. Generally, a higher click through rate is going to reduce your costs. And win you more impressions at those lower costs. We mentioned episode six about bidding more efficiently. If you're bidding correctly, you're bidding the right way to minimize your costs on LinkedIn, you can pay less for every click, or every impression, or every view, every send. You'll naturally get more clicks and leads for your same budget. And like we mentioned, there are so many people who are bidding incorrectly, that they're pushing costs up for everyone. So please tell your friends. Something else you could try, maybe you're targeting mostly by one type of targeting, and you could test some additional alternative targeting. Maybe you're testing by job title. Well, did you know that job title clicks are some of the most competitive on the platform and that campaign manager only understands about 30% of job titles. What this means is you may be able to use an alternative form of targeting going after this exact same audience. And you might find the ability to either scale or reduce costs by adding that in. If you're only using job title, consider using some additional targeting like job function with seniority skills with seniority and groups, maybe Episode Two goes into our whole targeting strategy. So check that one out. And of course, if you can find additional targeting that gives you more reach for less money, that will give you a nice bump in your performance. And we've talked here before and especially in Episode 10, about how so much of your performance relies on how attractive your offer is. Now, I know that it's significant effort for you as a marketer to create a new offer, but it can make all the difference in the performance of your ads. A good lead magnet will increase your click through rate and decrease your cost per click and increase your conversion rate. These are all three amazing things that will culminate in a much better report to your uppers or your clients. Honestly, the offer can make the difference between fighting to get leads, or having so many that you end up lowering your budget so the sales team can catch up. But because offers are so hard to create, sometimes it helps to know that you don't even have to change the offer, you might be able to just change the title. For example, here, let's say that you have a guide that's really valuable. And I'll make something up here. Like we'll call it the buyer's guide to more effective SAS software. And you're targeting it towards IT managers. Your ads might be playing to the fact that it's a buyers guide, and it's going to help them make better decisions on the software that they decide to purchase. So you end up getting click through rates that are kind of ho hum, like, let's say 0.5%. And maybe your conversion rate is okay at around 10%. So you as a sophisticated marketer, you dive into this guide, and you find a stat in there. And I'm totally making this up. So this is not a real stat. But it says 26% of companies replace their SAS software within three weeks after buying for a competitive product. So you say that's interesting. And you go and change the title of this guide to 26% of SAS purchases end in regret. And then you change the copy on the ads to focus more on this interesting stat. And you're focusing on a different motivation here, all you had to do was change the copy on the PDF, and maybe change some wording on an image in your ad. And that's it. And these are small changes, but now your click through rates could be over 1%. And your conversion rate may spike to 15% or higher. So you'll see why I love this strategy, so much. Simple changes to just repurpose the same piece of content in a different way or to a different motivation. Something else you can do is you can refresh your creative more often. And so much of the time we see that little creative refreshes here and there will give you a temporary bump for a few days. And I don't know how to describe why this is. Maybe it's just because there are more people who are interested in seeing something that they haven't seen before, something that's new and novel. And of course you can always cut inefficiently spending audiences offers or ads If you do if you cut the worst performers, this will, of course, leave more of your budget for the high performers and give you a nice performance bump that I'm sure you'll appreciate come reporting time. And for the love of everything that is good and holy, please disable audience expansion on every campaign, you control. We've talked about this so many times over the last 40 episodes, but it's poison, and you should avoid it like COVID-19 without a mask. 25:27 These next two suggestions are a little bit more strategic. But follow me on this. The first is get ahead of your competition, whatever they're doing, try something different, and even drastically different. If you can get ahead of your competitors, you will easily outperform competition as it continues to rise. In fact, you will contribute to the competition getting harder, and their costs continuing to rise because your ads will have pushed them lower in the auction because you're doing something innovative. And that dovetails nicely into my other suggestion here of push the envelope, try new things. I'll never forget one of our first clients that had an image that was a comic strip. And I insisted to him that it was totally unprofessional, and it wouldn't play well on LinkedIn. It's not the right audience. Well, the client insisted that we should try it. And so I did it begrudgingly. And boy did that shut me up. It ended up being one of the best performing ads that I had ever seen to that point. I've seen similar things with ads that are maybe cartoons or other visuals that quote aren't a fit for LinkedIn. And that's really the point. If something stands out from the rest of the content on LinkedIn, it will get an outsized amount of attention. And as an advertiser, you are rewarded by increasing the attention you get on your ads. Alright, I've got the episode resources coming right up for you, so stick around. 26:57 Thank you for listening to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Hungry for more? AJ Wilcox, take it away. 27:08 Resources First off in the show notes, you have to click that contest link. It's, all lowercase. Go down, hit it, and submit those high performers, because I guarantee you're gonna love the gift. There's also links to the episode that we mentioned in here, Episode 29 about saturation, Episode 26 about why LinkedIn ads are so expensive, Episode 37 just a few ago, on the seasonality of LinkedIn, why some months cost more and perform less than others, Episode 32 about the effect of COVID on LinkedIn pricing, Episode Two on targeting better, and Episode Six all about pricing and how to bid right on LinkedIn and not increase competition for yourself. And of course, we're very proud of this podcast. The B2Linked team works very hard to do this. But we also realize that a course might be interesting for someone who doesn't want to binge listen to 41 episodes. So check out the link to our LinkedIn Learning course. It is by far the best and cheapest course out there for helping someone get up to speed quickly on LinkedIn Ads. Look down at your podcasting app right now and hit the subscribe button. Make sure that it's lit up because I want you to hear us the next episode that comes out. And of course, please rate the podcast. I would love it if you give it five stars. But if you don't, just tell me why. And please do leave a review on whatever podcast player or service you use. I would love to read those. My heart is just warm every time I read someone who's getting value out of this. And of course I want to shout you out and return the favor. With any questions, suggestions, or even just to say hi, reach out to us at And with that being said, we'll see you back here next week. Cheering you on in your LinkedIn Ads initiatives.
  • LinkedIn Ads Show podcast

    How to Get LinkedIn Ads Coupon Codes - Ep 40


    Show Resources Episode 06 - Bidding Episode  10 - Calls to Action LinkedIn Learning course about LinkedIn Ads by AJ Wilcox: LinkedIn Advertising Course Contact us at with ideas for what you'd like AJ to cover. Show Transcript: You got a coupon code for a $50 or $100 free advertising credit on LinkedIn. And you want to know how to maximize it. I got you. This is the LinkedIn Ads Show.Welcome to the LinkedIn Ads show. Here's your host, AJ Wilcox. Hey there LinkedIn Ads fanatics! We've all seen coupon codes appear from time to time for LinkedIn Ads. Today, we're going to talk about how to get them, how to use them, and then, of course, how to spend that money effectively. In the news, our agency B2Linked just turned six years old. And I'm so proud and excited. In business years, we're no longer a toddler. So that's cool. I'm so proud of our B2Linked team who will stop at nothing to ensure that our clients have success on LinkedIn ads. We also just hired four new account managers here in our Utah office. And we're excited to grow with them. No joke, we got the best and brightest. And I'm honored that they'd see the vision and would agree to join us on our mission to help companies save money on their LinkedIn Ads, and get more leads than they ever thought possible. To celebrate, I have something really cool to give away. So we're going to be doing a contest in the coming weeks. So make sure you're subscribed and pay attention. On a completely unrelated note, if any of you have an idea for a contest, that would be rad for a bunch of LinkedIn Ads fanatics, please email us with ideas. No, but seriously, I've got something really cool to give away. And I can only give away a few. So I definitely want your ideas, we're going to have an awesome contest. I also love to just share things with you that I've found during the week about LinkedIn Ads, and just geek out with you. So I hope you appreciate this. One of our clients showed us a trick this week to delete campaigns from campaign manager, and I was absolutely floored. Now, this is definitely a bug. And as soon as I get a chance to reproduce it in several accounts, and figure out when it works and when it doesn't and see if there's differences by ad formats, I'll tell you all about it. But for right now, I'll just tell you, it's possible, it's a bug, and it's super cool. This week, I also came across the first ad account where text ads were more expensive than sponsored content. Now, because text ads floor is always $2. If you've chosen the US dollar as your currency, but in less competitive markets, because the sponsored content floor is variable, it can go even lower than $2. In this case, the sponsored content floor was $1.10. And text ads were $2. So it's sad, but we ended up shutting off all the text ads, and completely invested all the budget in sponsored content. It was way weird that it worked out that way, but it totally did. I want to shout out a podcast review here. Jadin Press, who's a phenomenal social marketer, as well as developer, he said, "I've periodically found and read numerous blog posts by AJ since I started running LinkedIn ads two years ago, and have more recently been listening to the LinkedIn ads show podcast and can confirm it is fire." Jaden, I'm so glad that you've been getting the value out of this that I'm putting into it and intending. So thank you for being a listener. And I'm so stoked to see what you end up creating. And you, yes, you I want to feature you. So go and leave a review on any podcast service you can find and I would love to shout you out. With that being said, let's hit it. 3:36 Coupon Codes Dan Gingiss, who is a friend and a speaker at many of the same conferences that I speak at. He's the host of the Experience This podcast, which is all about user experience. And he just asked me recently, "so I got an ad from LinkedIn for a free $50 in ad spend coupon and I took it because hey, it's 50 free bucks. So here's my million dollar question for the expert on LinkedIn Ads, "How should I spend the $50 to result in the greatest possibility of me wanting to invest more in LinkedIn Ads?" Dan, this is a fantastic question and I can't wait to go deep on this. For those of you who may not know, occasionally LinkedIn will send out offers or promotional codes. And of course, this isn't unique, as Google has been giving away free money for Google Ads since I think before I was born. But with LinkedIn, the challenge with these coupon codes is that because the clicks are so expensive. If you're not following the strategy I shared in episode six on bidding and budgeting, you'll only get a handful of clicks for your budget, and it really won't teach you anything. That being said, it's certainly not life changing money or anything, but money is money. And at the very least if you chase down one of these codes and apply it in your account, your boss or client will likely appreciate your interest in saving them a few bucks. So how do you get them? Well, I asked a couple friends at LinkedIn to see if there were any channels that I had missed and there are a few ways to get these coupon codes. Of course, Dan, who asked this question, he ended up seeing this in an ad. So it looks like LinkedIn is advertising to some professionals about this free coupon code. So that's one way of getting it. So the most common that I hear recently are because LinkedIn Marketing Solutions is an advertiser on a lot of podcasts. And I've heard these promotions on shows like The Tim Ferriss show, and a whole bunch of others. And as part of this promotion, they offer a coupon code for free advertising. And I would imagine with some clever Google searches, you could find mentions of this in podcast, show notes pages, and find the link in there. When you click on the promotional link, it usually goes to a web page where you enter in your email, and then shortly, LinkedIn will send you a coupon code, and then you can go and apply that in your account. LinkedIn also said that they offer a promo code in what they call global acquisition email campaigns, who are targeting prospective customers. So I think you have to ask yourself, how do you get on LinkedIn's radar as a prospective customer. A few ways I can think of and of course, I don't know this for sure. But maybe consider creating a company page for a company that isn't yet attached to an ad account. Maybe you could sign up for a webinar from the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions team, and list an email that isn't currently attached to an ads account. Maybe you could even fill out a lead form on LinkedIn somewhere, I don't know, but it certainly could be worth poking around a bit to see if you can get on one of those campaigns. And this is one I didn't know, they said that in the EMEA region or Europe, Middle East and Africa, LinkedIn reps can offer coupon codes to existing customers to incentivize them to try new features. So if you're in the EMEA region, ask your rep and see if there's anything cool coming up that you could use a coupon code for. All right, we're gonna take a quick sponsor break, and then we'll dive into the best strategies for how to actually spend that sweet, sweet coupon cash. 7:04 The LinkedIn Ads show is proudly brought to you by, the LinkedIn Ads experts. If the performance of your LinkedIn ads is important to you, B2Linked is the agency you'll want to work with. We've spent over $130 million on LinkedIn Ads, and no one outperforms us on getting you the lowest cost per lead. We're official LinkedIn partners, and we don't have a sales team so you'll deal only with the LinkedIn Ads expert from day one. Fill out the contact form on any page of, to chat about your campaigns. Or heck, just let your MLM downline know. No matter how you get in touch, we'd love to work with you. 7:45 Redeeming the Coupons Alright, let's jump into redeeming the coupons and actually how to use them. In the past, to enter a coupon code, you had to be the billing admin of the account, but that since changed. So what you do is you log in to campaign manager, and then you click on the little gear icon in the upper right hand corner of your screen, and then click on billing center. Then about halfway down the page, you'll see three tabs. The second tab says coupons and credits. Once you select that, you'll see a button that says redeem coupons. When you click that it will pop up a box that lets you enter in a coupon code and as soon as you select it, it will then spend that money first and then it will continue spending your credit card. Now if you're already advertising on LinkedIn, of course, you're just going to keep advertising and you'll use this coupon code to just augment what you're already doing. But let's say that you're not already advertising. And you're like Dan, who just got this coupon code and wants to give LinkedIn Ads a shot. So this is the strategy I would recommend. First of all, create a new campaign that's using the website visits objective. And then when you get down to the ad formats, choose text ads as your ad format. And this is of course, because text ads have the lowest bid floor. So what you want to do is bid by max cost per click and bid all the way down to the $2 minimum floor. And what this will do is it will stretch your $50 or $100 coupon code the furthest it will go. That means with a $50 coupon code, you'll get 25 clicks out of it and $100 coupon code you'll get 50 clicks out of it. And whether this takes one day to spend that or two months, just let it ride until it finishes. Obviously with a $2 bid when you're bidding all the way at the floor, you're not bidding very competitively. So LinkedIn is not going to want to show your ads a whole ton unless they perform really well. And then as for the offer, you'll want to point these ads towards something that you know has the highest conversion rate that you own. And that will give you the highest probability of actually getting some conversions from these 25 or 50 clicks. Think about things like guides, ebooks, checklists, and go and listen to Episode 10, all about offers and calls to action, to look for some ideas. If after a few days, you find your click through rates are over .085%. That's a good clue that you could switch your bidding to CPM and it will stretch even further. If you do this, you'll see your cost per click actually drops below $2. That sounds like a win to me. And for your targeting, you'll want to make your targeting as tight around your absolute ideal target audience as possible. And this is because when you see these leads come in, it would sure be nice to see some golden prospects in there, people representing companies that you would absolutely love to work with. That could mean using an account based marketing audience where you're specifying a company list. It could be using tight targeting like job title, or even groups targeting, maybe groups with seniority. And of course, if you haven't heard it before, make sure you uncheck the box that says enable audience expansion. It's absolute poison, and you should avoid it like COVID-19. And voila, if you get two to four conversions from this $50 coupon code, and they are from your absolute ideal target audience, chances are that you'll want to put your credit card in permanently and keep going and you'll want to scale up. And just as a little insurance policy for you, you might want to set a lifetime budget of $50 or $100 on that campaign. And that way, you'll ensure that it doesn't continue spending on your credit card more until you're absolutely good and ready. So that's my suggested strategy on how to best utilize a very small amount of free ad credit. I'd love to hear how you'd use it, though. So email us at and share with us your strategy. The biggest limitation of these coupon codes that we found is that most are only one use per ad account. So once you've redeemed one in your account, you won't be able to use another one later on. So of course you can be a great guy or gal and hand one of these codes to a co worker or a friend or a fellow business owner. Or you can open up a new ad account. Either way, that's how you'll want to work around those limitations. All right, I've got the episode resources for you coming up. So stick around. 12:30 Thank you for listening to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Hungry for more? AJ Wilcox, take it away. Resources All right, two of the episodes we mentioned during this podcast, you'll want to listen to episode six on bidding and budgeting. If you look down in the show notes, you'll see a link right to that. And then Episode 10, we mentioned all about your calls to action and offers. Those are two of our most popular episodes and if you haven't listened already, you'll definitely want to listen to those. They are not outdated. If you or anyone you're working with is actively looking to learn LinkedIn Ads, check out the link in the show notes to our course on LinkedIn Learning, all about LinkedIn advertising. It's one of the best LinkedIn Ads courses out there and the price is right. It is just a small fraction of what it would cost to hire me to come and train your team, so it's definitely worthwhile. And then when you're done, you'll get the certification to add to your LinkedIn profile, saying that you finished the course. Make sure you subscribe to the podcast. So you're hearing us in your earholes every week. And then please do look down at your podcast player and rate and leave a review for the podcast. If you review us all shout you out here on the podcast so I'd absolutely love to do that. And please tell a fellow LinkedIn Ads fanatic about the podcast, if they haven't heard about it already. Of course, I'd love for this podcast to be your secret weapon, but don't let it be too secret. Share it around. With any suggestions for topics or questions for us, reach out to us at And remember to send ideas for a contest we could run because I really want to give you guys something way cool. All right, with that being said, we'll see you back here next week. Cheering you on in your LinkedIn Ads initiatives.

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