Forefront Communications

Lessons from INBOUND 2023: How B2B Fintech CMOs Can Get the Most Out of LinkedIn Ads

Amanda Perrucci

Amanda Perrucci,

According to recent research from Forrester, B2B consumers average 17 meaningful interactions with a brand before completing a purchase. If you aren’t executing a comprehensive marketing program, how are you hitting those critical touchpoints?

One of the many ways to reach your future clients is by leveraging LinkedIn ads. Marketers are always looking for ways to maximize the impact of their ads to generate the qualified leads their sales teams demand. One of the most enlightening sessions at INBOUND 2023, HubSpot’s annual event for marketing, sales and customer service professionals, came from the LinkedIn advertising agency B2Linked. Founder AJ Wilcox and LinkedIn Ads Consultant Parker Williams held a 90-minute session unpacking how CMOs should be using LinkedIn ads.

For B2B fintechs considering LinkedIn ads, AJ shared two ways to determine if the tactic is right for your business. Consider:

1.) Are you signing large deals? More than $10k per deal?

2.) Is your sales cycle weeks or months long?

If you answered yes to one or both of the above, then LinkedIn ads are a must. Why? LinkedIn provides the best platform for reaching B2B users at scale. The data on these professionals is always up to date as they rely on their profiles for career advancement. Also, LinkedIn is a business-focused space and its users are focused on their jobs, so they are in the right headspace to interact with your brand when using the platform. Lastly, compared to other social platforms, LinkedIn yields the highest-quality leads.

But how do you get the most out of your LinkedIn spend?

First, B2Linked recommends an investment of $5k to $8k a month and 6-12 months of consistent ad campaigns. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the goal should be constant connection to your target audience over an extended period of time. A single ad impression will very rarely give you a quality lead. Firms should plan to advertise for 3-6 months before they are able to pinpoint the optimal audiences, identify the appropriate contacts to retarget and convert LinkedIn users. If you’re a firm with a new or understated brand presence, the first few months are critical for building awareness. Quality leads don’t happen overnight, and you won’t get them from a cold audience.

Next, AJ and Parker recommend being intentional about which ad formats you use. The ad objective is important, but certain ad types can have significantly more impact. With tighter budgets, every dollar counts. According to B2Linked, you can’t go wrong with news feed, video or text ads, but conversation, dynamic, carousel, events and document ads* are often unnecessary. It takes too long to build and observe performance with these ad types, so they are simply not worth the investment.

Lastly, AJ and Parker shared some common pitfalls to avoid when leveraging LinkedIn ads:

Never use the LinkedIn Audience Expansion – This brings unrelated people into your targeting and wastes your money on unqualified clicks. AJ and Parker strongly recommend turning this off for every campaign.

Be thoughtful when using the LinkedIn Audience Network (LAN) – This functionality serves your ads on LinkedIn partner websites and even in apps with a cheaper cost-per-click (CPC). However, B2Linked has found that having LAN enabled can lead to lower traffic quality and more rapid depletion of the budget. The lower price point means it can make sense in some cases, but it is generally not impactful.

Skip “Maximum Delivery” bidding – LinkedIn sets up campaigns with a default “maximum bid” delivery. It’s deceiving and costs you more money. If you’re price-conscious, consider the manual CPC bidding option. It takes a bit more work to get it right, but it will save you money in the end.

At Forefront, we run LinkedIn ad campaigns for our clients as part of a holistic, integrated marketing and communications strategy. Firms that recognize the power of an orchestra of marketing tactics are the ones that benefit the most from LinkedIn ads, as they create more opportunities for prospective clients to see, learn and engage with their content. LinkedIn ads are a long-term investment that, when done properly, can accelerate a company’s visibility in remarkable ways.

*For more information on the different types of ad formats available, visit LinkedIn’s Ads Guide here.