LinkedIn PPC ads for B2B marketing

When most people think of LinkedIn, they think of it as a platform to find employees or employment, or to connect and network with colleagues in one’s field. It’s not readily known as a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising venue. Recently, however, LinkedIn has made significant advances as an advertising platform and this has huge implications for B2B marketers.

But don’t just take our word for it. In the 2016 State of B2B Digital Marketing, published by Demand Wave, they found that 92% of B2B marketers leverage LinkedIn over all other social platforms. LinkedIn Ads Benchmark Report: Q3 2015, published by Marketing Mojo, found that 79% of B2B marketers view LinkedIn as an effective source for generating B2B leads. Lastly, in the Audience Insight report 2015: Understanding Your Digital Audience, by Investis, they found that 46% of social media traffic coming to a company’s website comes from LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is unique because B2B marketers can reach the professional audiences that mean the most to their business by aligning content and targeting strategies.

Targeting with LinkedIn

Let’s start by reviewing the targeting capabilities LinkedIn offers:

  1. LinkedIn provides demographic data that is derived from the profiles of their members, such as Title, Company, Industry, Seniority, etc.
  2. LinkedIn allows you to target by interest, such as Groups members belong to, Skills members have listed, etc.
  3. LinkedIn has Personas they’ve developed, such as Opinion Leaders, Business Travelers, Job Searchers and more.
  4. LinkedIn allows you to leverage your own first-party data, such as Web browsing records, CRM records and other customer interactions you may have.

One last note about targeting: LinkedIn also has an Audience Expansion feature, so once you’re successfully targeting, you can use this tool to identify similar audiences on LinkedIn. This feature is similar to look-alike audiences you’ll find in other platforms like Facebook.

The importance of content

Good targeting has to be paired with good content. LinkedIn is a platform where people are coming to consume content for their professional development. So, your content must be useful to your target audiences, e.g., it should address their professional goals or wants/needs. Being self-serving and only talking about your brand, what you offer, or asking the targeted audience to get in touch with your company won’t cut it.

LinkedIn B2B Marketing SolutionsSo think about ways you can share your expertise and provide information that professionals can put to use. Here is an example of how LinkedIn has used their platform to publish relevant information to their targeted audience (see ad/image at right):

The ad drove visitors to a landing page with a short synopsis, and then asked them to “Download” the handbook. When the visitor clicked on the download, they were taken to a lead-generation page with a form. Upon filling out the form, the visitor immediately received the download.

Every B2B company wants to reach the right target audience and nurture prospects through the sales funnel in order to drive sales-ready leads and increase company revenue. As you can see, pairing LinkedIn’s smart and sophisticated targeting tools with useful content can be very effective in helping B2B companies reach the right target audience to generate qualified leads.

So remember:

  • Align your content and targeting strategy
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment
  • Don’t hyper-target at first
  • Try audience expansion

For more information about using LinkedIn as part of your PPC program, contact Susan McPherson at 612-677-2182 or email