Reaching prospects and generating leads can be difficult, especially if it’s been over a year since we’ve had an in-person meeting or attended an in-person event.
Digital alternatives like webinars and online-only conferencing have helped fill the gap somewhat, but reaching new prospects that your sales team would like to speak to can still be difficult.
For B2B marketers, LinkedIn Ads is a great way to find and nurture leads through Account Based Marketing (ABM).
ABM is best for larger companies that you know you want to reach out to, as well as warming up contacts who are already in the funnel.
What is Account Based Marketing (ABM)?
Account-based marketing is a targeted approach to B2B marketing in which the sales and marketing departments work together to identify key companies they want to attract as businesses.
This means building a list of organizations and decision makers and delivering the right content to them at the right time. Segmentation plays a crucial role in this. The multi-layered targeting options make LinkedIn Ads an excellent platform to incorporate into a broader ABM strategy.
Stand in front of cold lines
It’s important to make a good first impression. But what if your prospects have absolutely no idea who you are? How do you get their attention?
The most important metrics for a “cold” lead campaign are reach and engagement, especially if you’re selling a product or service with a long lead time. With ABM campaigns for LinkedIn Ads, you can target directly the companies you want to do business with and see if they are taking action.
Let’s say you have a company that offers a subscription-based SEO tool. The offer has tiered pricing based on the number of reports, users, and features. This makes it suitable for a one-man band, a medium-sized marketing agency or a company with a dedicated internal team.
That’s a pretty big audience. Demographics are very different for everyone, so messaging and approach must be different too.
They know that companies will take longer to convert, but the payout will be significantly higher if they do. That being said, lots of smaller wins are great too, and there is an opportunity to upsell as the business grows.
The way you set up campaigns for businesses and SMBs to get the best results can vary.
ABM strategy for corporate decision-makers
This approach is best for companies or companies with more than 1,000 employees. You can add up to 250 companies per audience.
Set up a campaign and choose one of the options shown under Consideration – Site Visits, Engagement, or Video Views. Next, add the list of companies.
If you know the job titles you want to target, add those as well. Note that this may make your audience too small.
If so, or if you are unsure of job titles, you can use a combination of job title and seniority, as well as member skills (if the audience is still too large) instead. This approach can sometimes work better than job titles if you’re not sure who the decision-makers are.
The reason this approach is best for larger companies is because the audience size is likely to be too small when targeting companies with fewer than 1,000 employees – even if you add 250 organizations. Aim for a minimum audience of 5,000. If it’s too small, add or remove targeting options. You can also change the AND rule to OR to expand the size of a target audience (i.e. job title OR member skills can be used together).
SME ABM strategy
This approach is best for SMBs or companies with fewer than 1,000 employees. Again, you can add up to 250 companies per audience.
As before, set up a campaign and choose one of the options shown under Consideration – Site Visits, Engagement, or Video Views. Next, add the list of companies.
Adding job titles can reduce the audience size too much. In this case, upgrading the skills of the members plus seniority is likely a better approach, as in a smaller company, there might be only one or two people running an entire marketing department.
Tip: Keep in mind that it’s almost impossible to target very small businesses (i.e., with fewer than 10 employees) by their company name on LinkedIn, as the audience size isn’t big enough for the campaign to run. In this case, you can use a combination of company industry, member skills, seniority, and company size to shorten the list.
Customize your messages
The next step is to write an ad copy that speaks to your target audience. Taking the SEO tool example, think about what’s most important to your prospects.
This could be function-driven:
- Extended real-time analysis
- Ready-made channel reports
- Customizable dashboards
- API connectivity with hundreds of websites and apps
- Follow up and analyze competitors
- Identify critical problems
- Actionable insights into performance
- Unlimited users
- Unlimited crawls
- Unlimited domains and locations
- Unlimited keyword tracking
- Backlink monitoring and reporting
- Dedicated account manager
- 24/7/365 support
- Free trial
- Prices from £ X per user
- 20% discount on the annual subscription
Or results led:
- Increase the ROI
- Increase the traffic
- Increase the registrations
- increase sales
- Increase organic visibility
- Increase the leads
- Increase the purchases
Try running a few campaigns with around 5 different ads for each campaign, e.g. B. one that focuses on features and one that focuses on results. In addition to very direct advertisements designed to spark people’s interest in the product or service, you can also introduce content that substantiates results, such as case studies, guides or whitepapers that position your company as an industry expert, or videos in which It explains who your company is and how their suggestion can help.
For SMEs, the characteristics / results are likely to be very similar to those of companies, but cost is more of a factor. So it can be helpful to include the pricing or let them know that they can get a free trial / cancellation at any time. The lead time can be shorter if a cheaper solution or a free trial is offered. However, introducing softer content that doesn’t match sales can still be beneficial.
The most important thing is to test the ad copy regularly. However, before evaluating ad performance, it is recommended that you have more than 25,000 impressions per campaign before making any changes. A click-through rate of more than 0.45% is considered above average for LinkedIn ads. So try to beat them. With video ads, make sure that the majority of users will see more than 50% of your video.
Tip: Try to keep video ads under 45 seconds, add subtitles, and get your point across as quickly as possible.
Warming up leads
You may already have a list of companies and people your sales team is talking to. Now that you know who you are, how can you keep track of things?
Make sure the marketing team is aware of the sales pipeline so they can further segment the ABM lists if necessary to provide even more targeted content.
Not only can you continue to test different campaigns with your target audiences, but there are a number of ways you can use LinkedIn ads to target prospects.
The LinkedIn Insights Tag must be installed to track conversions. However, it can also be used to build remarketing lists of website visitors. You can choose to target all website visitors or specific pages.
Once that’s set up and a campaign has been running for a while, you can view the demographic report to see if any of the companies on your ABM lists took action after seeing a remarketing ad.
Tip: If you want to identify a super engagement list, you can use a website remarketing list for a video campaign and after a while set up another campaign aimed at the users who viewed the video. These users are further down the funnel. So try adding more direct, sales-focused ads to the mix to see if they’re ready to convert.
There are also conversation ads to consider when you have a large list of leads. This can take the pressure off the sales team by delving into the news of the decision makers without them having to do it manually. Personally, I haven’t seen great results, but they may be worth a test.
What results have you seen from LinkedIn Ads? Let us know if they work for you (and if not, get in touch)!