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Eight Secrets of Success With LinkedIn PPC Ads

by Elaine Marquis  |  
April 3, 2014

If your B2B marketing department is like most others nowadays, you are engaged in blogging, social media, SEO, email marketing, and much more; the sales department requires an ideal number of quality leads, after all. But limited resources and tight budgets in today's economy can make that a challenge for any marketing department.

If implemented correctly, LinkedIn pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can be a high-volume lead source at low cost per lead. It is similar to Google AdWords paid search, but it can be more targeted and it is more specific to B2B.

As an online marketer, I have spent tens of thousands of dollars and countless hours building LinkedIn PPC campaigns. In my experience, the following factors are essential to LinkedIn PPC success.

1. Make sure the audience is large enough

Advertise to a target audience of approximately 50,000 people minimum, with the ideal size even larger than that. Ads with a small audience are, of course, viewed less and receive fewer clicks than those with a large audience; there are simply fewer chances for your ad to be seen. If prospects don't see your ad, they can't click on it. If they can't click on it, they can't become a lead.

2. Make sure the audience is targeted sufficiently

Your audience must be large enough, but at the same time it should be specific enough. LinkedIn campaigns may be targeted according to location, company, industry, job title, seniority, skill set, age, and other choices. Take advantage of that powerful ability to share your ads with people who meet certain criteria. For example, a company selling software for Web developers may choose to show campaigns to LinkedIn members who list PHP, Python, HTML, JavaScript, or MySQL among their skills.

3. Bid more than the suggested bid range

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Elaine Marquis is an online marketer specializing in technology and B2B. She's senior online marketer for the Corporate Education Group and social media strategist for the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) Greater Boston Chapter.

LinkedIn: Elaine (Viscosi) Marquis

Twitter: @elaine_marquis

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  • by Lauren Thu Apr 3, 2014 via web

    Elaine, thanks for the great insight. We are a small company executing all of the marketing strategies you reference above and struggle with PPC ads for B2B. Google tells us that unless we have $1,500 a day to spend its not worth PPC ads. What is your thought on what should be budgeted to be effective with Linkedin PPC Ads?

  • by Elaine Marquis Thu Apr 3, 2014 via web

    Lauren, a budget of $1,500 per day translates into $45,000 per month or more than $500,000 per year. That is an extremely high PPC budget for any small company, never mind a medium-sized company. For Google AdWords, I recommend $3,500 per month minimum. For LinkedIn, you may need to spend a little more, but you can reach a much more specific, targeted audience than you can with Google. Good luck.

  • by Whitehall Suites Mon Dec 15, 2014 via web

    This is really good information. Thanks for writing this article!

  • by Elaine Marquis Tue Dec 16, 2014 via web

    You are most welcome.

  • by Will Lowrey Thu Dec 17, 2015 via web


    First off, thanks for putting this together. There are some good nuggets of information in here.

    There was one point that surprised me a bit. You talk about having an audience of 50,000 or larger. This seems to be relevant if the number of leads you are trying to reach is fairly high, but it seems to suggest a fairly low conversion rate. From my experience, PPC can definitely fall into the category of low conversion rates, but it doesn't have to be.

    Have you ever tried focusing on a much tighter market for a highly valuable lead? By having a highly targeted message and audience, you can immediately jump into very specific language within your ad, your landing page, your conversion goals, and your follow-up.

    In terms of your criteria, could you give some context for the type and value of leads you are generating when targeting an audience that size?

    Thanks so much and have a great day!

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