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Playbook

How to Measure LinkedIn True ROI With Factors

LinkedIn Sponsored Content is by far the most widely used ad campaign type on LinkedIn today. As it stands, Sponsored Content supports a range of ad formats, including:

  • Single image ads
  • Document ads
  • Video ads
  • Carousel ads
  • Thought Leader Ads

While each of these ad formats serve different purposes, you might notice a commonality between them: at their core, they’re all display ads. That is, they’re ads that are displayed within a target audience’s LinkedIn feed, showcased in between every couple of organic posts. In a way, they’re similar to TV commercials: brief interpolations between regularly scheduled programming. And as with TV commercials, it wouldn’t make much sense to measure LinkedIn ads performance based on clicks alone. 

In measuring LinkedIn ads performance based on clicks alone, the larger influence of LinkedIn ads as a display channel is severely underestimated. This results in inflated costs per opportunity and fewer deals attributed to Linkedin ads. Not. Cool. 

So what’s a better alternative to this click-through LinkedIn attribution? Well, given that LinkedIn is primarily a display ads channel, capturing accounts that view your ads and then proceed to become an opportunity should be the way to go. In other words: view-through attribution

🧑‍🔬LinkedIn Labs: We crunched real-life LinkedIn ads performance data over a period of one month to highlight this discrepancy. We’ve summarized the findings below but here’s the full report on Click vs View through Attribution

Bar chart showing LinkedIn Ads with 1 click-through and 11 view-through opportunities.
Bar graph comparing high click-through ($4,348) to low view-through ($395) cost per opportunity.

The data highlights that based on click-through attribution, only a single opportunity worth $1,800 is attributed to LinkedIn ads, resulting in a cost per opportunity of $4,348. With view-through attribution, on the other hand, a whopping 11 opportunities are attributed to LinkedIn, resulting in a Cost per Opportunity of $395.

It’s clear that LinkedIn’s influence reaches far beyond ad clicks and sign-ups. To capture this influence, LinkedIn True ROI may be measured by evaluating LinkedIn’s performance based on ad views or view-through attribution instead. The remainder of this playbook explores how to do the same with Factors.ai

How to measure LinkedIn True ROI with Factors.ai

Factors.ai’s unique partnership with LinkedIn empowers users to identify anonymous companies that view LinkedIn ads. This data may then be tied to account-level engagement on your website as well as accounts, people, and most importantly, deals  in your CRM to connect the dots across channels and measure LinkedIn True ROI. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Integrate Factors

The first step is to integrate Factors.ai with your LinkedIn ad manager, website, and CRM. This shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes. Simply, sign-in to the product, head to the Integrations page under Settings, and integrate LinkedIn, your CRM, and any other platform or data source you care about. 

Screenshot of factors.ai integrations settings with options for Facebook, LinkedIn, and G2.

Next, head over to the Javascript SDK section and follow the simple instructions to integrate your website via Google Tag Manager. 

Screenshot of Javascript SDK setup instructions using Google Tag Manager.

And that’s it! Head back home to the Accounts section and you’ll soon (at most 48 hours) start to see de-anonymized accounts visiting your website and engaging with your LinkedIn ads. 

We’re all set for Step 2!

Interface showing a list of accounts engaged on LinkedIn with engagement scores.

Step 2: Create funnel reports

The idea with view-through attribution is to identify accounts that view your LinkedIn ads, and then eventually proceed to become opportunities or deals in your pipeline. Accordingly, the foundation of view-through attribution relies on this intuitive two-step funnel from “Ad view” captured from LinkedIn to “Contact Update” in your CRM. 

Contacts may be updated to MQL, SQL, Opportunity, Customer, etc based on your company’s preferred nomenclature — and broken down by deal amount to capture LinkedIn True ROI. Here’s how it works:

First, click on Dashboards under the Reports tab. Then, under a dashboard of your choice (or under Drafts), click on + New Report and select Funnel Report from the dropdown menu.

Analytics dashboard interface with an option to create a new report.
Dropdown menu for selecting types of reports including a Funnel Report.

Next, select + Add First Event, and select LinkedIn Ad Viewed under LinkedIn Company Engagement. This is the first stage of the funnel.

Two screenshots of a funnel analysis tool showing event options for LinkedIn and HubSpot.

You may further filter these ad views down to specific ad or campaign groups. In this case, we’ve selected the “TDD_Remarketing” campaign group.

The image shows a user interface with steps for event analysis, indicating a LinkedIn Ad viewed and a contact updated in HubSpot.

The next stage of the funnel will depend on your CRM and deal stage naming conventions, but the principal remains the same. In our case, via HubSpot CRM, we select “Contact Updated” filtered by HubSpot Contact Lifecycle Stage equals Customer, Opportunity, or SQL.

To complete the query select breakdown and choose Deal Name and Deal Amount and hit Run Analysis. Boom! You now have complete visibility into the deals and the pipeline value of opportunities that were actually influenced by your LinkedIn ads. This report also highlights the conversion rates and sales velocity between stages — it's certainly more nuanced than LinkedIn ad clicks and lead gen forms alone.

A CRM funnel analysis interface with event filters and breakdown by deal name and amount.
A CRM funnel analysis interface with event filters and breakdown by deal name and amount.

This is the foundation upon which far more granular LinkedIn view-through attribution and analysis may be conducted via Factors.ai. More on this in Step 3. 

Step 3: Dive deeper with stages, filters, and breakdowns

It’s widely recognized that B2B customer journey stages can be lengthy and nonlinear. It’s not always going to be the case that a buyer views your LinkedIn ad and immediately sign-up to become a customer. More often, upon seeing an ad, buyers would visit your pricing page, view your customer reviews, read a few case-studies on your website and only then schedule a demo, start a free trial, or become customers. This could take several weeks, if not months to take place. Still, the influence of Linkedin ads is present.

It’s worth analyzing a variety of funnels to pin-point conversions from say, an ad view to a G2 page view or a pricing page view and so on. You could either continue with a two-stage funnel or add additional funnel stages to flesh out your analysis:

CRM interface showing a sequence of events: LinkedIn Ad viewed, webpage visited, and deal created.

Step 4: Achieve a bird’s eye view

In addition to the funnel report, another great way to capture LinkedIn’s influence on a buying journey is via TImeline and Birdview. Simply head back over to the Accounts section and search and click on an account you care about to explore a chronological timeline of their touchpoints across ad channels, website, G2, sales touchpoints, CRM, and more.

A CRM account activity timeline with LinkedIn ad views and website visits logged.

This provides an intuitive understanding of how customers are progressing from one stage of the funnel to the next, influenced by a myriad of marketing and sales efforts — including your LinkedIn ads. 

And there you have it! LinkedIn ads, if measured and attributed accurately, could in fact be one of your best performing channels. Rather than settle for irrelevant metrics such as clicks and form submissions, evaluate LinkedIn on the basis of the display channel that it is to capture real influence. Factors’ unique partnership with LinkedIn empowers users to capture ad views and tie this data back to engagement from your website and pipeline figures from your CRM to complete the circle. 

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