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March 18, 2024

Improving B2B LinkedIn Ads with JD Garcia

Learn how to improve your B2B LinkedIn ads from JD Garcia, Head of Strategy at Impactable

It’s no secret that LinkedIn is the best place to run ads for B2B companies. 80% of B2B marketers vouch for LinkedIn and say it’s one of the best channels to find high-quality leads.

But running ads can be tricky, right? If you’re looking for tips on improving your LinkedIn ads strategy and saving ad spend, you’ve come to the right place.

We spoke to JD Garcia, Head of Strategy at Impactable, to uncover what works in the world of B2B LinkedIn ads and how you can leverage LinkedIn to find and attract best-fit prospects. 


  • Before running B2B LinkedIn ads, consider if LinkedIn is the right platform and if you have achieved product-market fit. 
  • Choose the suitable ad format based on your objectives, and for smaller audiences, implement a "flip the funnel" approach. 
  • Optimize ad spend by refining audience targeting and running multiple campaigns. 
  • Measure attribution to understand the impact of your ads and use a tool to track LinkedIn intent data. 

What to Keep in Mind When Running B2B LinkedIn Ads

Launching an ad campaign without a clear strategy is like walking into a battlefield with no armor. You need to answer these questions before you consider using LinkedIn ads:

  1. Is LinkedIn the right platform? Before you dive head-first into creating ads, you need to understand if your target audience is present on LinkedIn and whether they’re active on the platform.

For instance, if you’re selling software to medical professionals, even though they are present on LinkedIn, only a few are active online. 

  1. Have you achieved PMF? If you’re a startup introducing a new product into the market without testing it out, running LinkedIn ads is an expensive lesson

💡If you’re an early-stage startup contemplating running ads, check out our piece on LinkedIn Ads For Early-Stage Teams.

  1. Will this give you significant ROI? Seems like a no-brainer question, but it’s important to note that “getting ROI” here doesn’t just mean generating leads. 

You monitor 2 metrics, Average deal size, and LTV, to determine whether LinkedIn will make you money. For instance, if your average deal size is $10-20K, there’s no doubt you can earn the money back. 

Finding the Right Ad Format

With LinkedIn offering a plethora of choices for ad formats, it can be confusing to pick one for your campaign. Make sure you choose a suitable format based on your campaign objective. Single-image sponsored content and video ads are optimal if you’re running ads in the cold layer and want to build brand awareness. 

As you move toward the bottom of the funnel, you can personalize your approach and launch spotlight ads explaining how you stand out and the results you’ve brought your customers.

If you’re on a tight budget, you can leverage text ads since they’re cost-effective and the simplest format for marketers to implement. 

Running B2B LinkedIn Ads for a Small Audience

When running ads for a small audience (say ≤ 10K), building out a traditional funnel would be tricky depending on the number of people active on the platform. 

Instead of running cold campaigns that pull your audience into your middle-of-funnel campaign, you can implement a “flip the funnel” approach where you run multiple cold-layer campaigns in parallel to constrict the audience. Here’s the breakdown ⬇️

  • Let’s say you run a sponsored content campaign; you add a variety of 5-10 ads within the campaign at a higher ad frequency. The objective can be to educate prospects on why your solution is the right choice or how you stand out from the competition. 
  • You can simultaneously run thought leader ads to increase engagement or video ads to garner video views. The goal is to avoid causing ad fatigue for your audience while ensuring they have enough awareness about your product. 
  • When running ads for a smaller audience, it’s best to build a target account list and import the same into campaign manager for refined retargeting efforts. With Factors, you can segment audiences based on firmographics and engagement, directing ad budgets toward the accounts that match your criteria. 

Optimizing Ad Spend

The adage “you need to spend money to make money” rings true when running LinkedIn ads, but how do you ensure you have a low CPM?

LinkedIn typically provides a range of manual bidding options and a recommended bid when running ads. Your aim must be to stay at par or below the recommended bid's lower end. 

Since CPM is based on competition over a particular audience, you must refine your audience targeting. This means critically evaluating demographic options and segmenting specific job titles and industries.

LinkedIn has certain drawbacks here because it sometimes incorrectly identifies people’s positions and industries when multiple positions are listed in their profile, thereby feeding wrong data into Sales Navigator. 

💡Learn more about how LinkedIn industry tags work 

Marketers should run at least 3-5 campaigns using different formats to get accurate data on their ad performance. You can replicate what works and stop running campaigns that don’t yield results. 

Doing so also impacts your campaign quality score, and a higher score implies you pay relatively less for the bid.

Here’s a quick look at how you can run ads with a minimal budget

how you can run ads with a minimal budget

Measuring LinkedIn Attribution

As mentioned earlier, proving ROI is key when running LinkedIn ads. You need to have a solid process in place that tells you how your ad campaigns contribute to building a pipeline. 

Every action a user takes when interacting with your ad has value. For instance, when a prospect enters their email to download a whitepaper, it creates the potential for a new customer. 

Here’s an example of a LinkedIn journey:

  1. Clicks on a sponsored post offering an eBook 
  2. Fills out a form on your website to access the download
  3. Get entered into a nurture sequence to receive further information from your team 
  4. Agrees to a demo call to learn more
  5. Becomes a customer as the result of the call

As you can see, this journey has multiple touchpoints from prospect to customer. While the final conversion happened after a demo call, the connection may not have happened without the LinkedIn Ad. 

You can set up tracking to attribute these first touch point to sales. Once you do that, you can estimate the monetary value of each action, whether it’s a click, download, or video view, based on % progression through to sale. 

You can use the LinkedIn insight tag/LinkedIn pixel to track campaign performance, but if you want deeper insights into how you align your ads to your prospect’s preference, you must leverage LinkedIn intent data to get the complete picture.

Thought Leader Ads: are they right for you? 

Everyone must’ve heard about thought leader ads and have seen them crop up on their feed looking like this ⬇️

LinkedIn post by Justin Rowe about a 6-month LinkedIn Ads Master Framework with engagement statistics

To put it simply – it’s the same as running ad campaigns but through an individual’s profile rather than the company profile. You can run these ads with two objectives:

  • Brand awareness
  • Engagement 

You can run thought leader ads with an engagement objective since they serve the larger goal of earning revenue. However, it’s important to note that clicking on a website link doesn’t equal a user clicking “see more” on the post.

Here’s a hack by JD that can help you gain website visits along with engagement on your thought leader ads: 

“To ensure you get the most out of thought leader ads, you want to go back into that post a week later and add a URL at the bottom to increase website visits and engagement.”

Since thought leader ads look similar to organic in-feed content, your ad content must be optimized for reach and relevance while enticing users to take action with a compelling CTA. 

For instance, if you’re a sales leader marketing a sales tech software – your thought leader ads can consist of you sharing results your customers obtained when using your platform. 

Here’s an example:

LinkedIn post by Justin Rowe sharing ad spends ROI with conversion tracking and tips

Wrapping Up

Running LinkedIn ads is a high-risk, high-reward game, but when you have the right software and strategy, it is a goldmine to win high-ticket deals. To learn more about JD Garcia, check out his LinkedIn and his work at Impactable.

If you want to know how to use Factors to make the most of your LinkedIn presence, speak with our team today.

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