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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image of Elaine Marquis

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