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Inbound Success Podcast

What do the most successful inbound marketers do to get great results?

You’ve heard the stories about companies using inbound marketing to dramatically increase sales, grow their business, and transform their customer relationships, but not everyone who practices inbound marketing knocks it out of the park.

If you want to know what goes into building a world class inbound marketing campaign that gets real, measurable results, check out the Inbound Success podcast. Every week, host Kathleen Booth interviews marketing folks who are rolling up their sleeves, doing the work, and getting the kinds of results we all hope to achieve.

The goal is to “peel back the onion” and learn what works, what doesn’t and what you need to do to really move the needle with your inbound marketing efforts. This isn’t just about big picture strategy – it’s about getting actionable tips and insights that you can use immediately in your own marketing.

May 25, 2020

What role should LinkedIn play in your overall paid advertising strategy, and how can use it to drive highly qualified leads for your business?

This week on The Inbound Success Podcast, Modern Media Advertising Director Anthony Blatner shares his LinkedIn advertising strategies.

From how LinkedIn should be used in combination with other channels as part of a holistic paid advertising strategy, to what ad formats perform best and how to work with your sales team to ensure any leads you get are being followed up with, Anthony covers everything he does to help Modern Media's clients get killer results from LinkedIn.

Highlights from my conversation with Anthony include:

  • LinkedIn is great for targeting niche audiences at scale.
  • The cost per click on LinkedIn is higher than it is on other platforms, so it's important that you have a strategy for following up on any leads you get from LinkedIn.
  • In Anthony's experience, LinkedIn ads work well for company's with a customer lifetime value of $10,000 or more.
  • Whereas the cost per click on Facebook is generally around $2, on LinkedIn, it starts at $4.50 and goes up from there.
  • LinkedIn is best for top of the funnel advertising, where you can attract a new audience and then retarget and nurture that audience on other, less expensive platforms.
  • Anthony has found that LinkedIn lead forms work well for his clients. They tend to have a higher conversion rate because prospects don't have to leave LinkedIn to convert, but when you use a lead form, you sacrifice the ability to cookie a contact. 
  • If you are concerned about GDPR compliance, there are a number of ways to use lead forms to secure explicit consent and stay GDPR compliant.
  • Another LinkedIn ad format that works well are newsfeed ads. Whereas on Facebook, video works well for this format, Anthony recommends using images on LinkedIn because you are being charged by the click and not the impression (which is how Facebook works).
  • There is a new LinkedIn ad format that uses chatbot-like functionality called conversation ads that is also worth checking out.
  • Anthony says sponsored InMail can be an effective way to get more conversions for ads that are already tested and proving successful in the newsfeed.
  • With many marketers cutting their ad spend due to budget restrictions relating to COVID, Anthony says the cost per click on LinkedIn is down 30 to 40 percent.
  • He recommends setting a maximum cost per click when advertising on LinkedIn, and then playing around with lowering that number to see how little you can spend and still see results.
  • If you are doing LinkedIn ads and not seeing great results, it is most likely due to your targeting. Anthony recommends that you go back and revisit your targeting strategy to see if that helps. 
  • The minimum number of emails you can target on LinkedIn is 300.

Resources from this episode:

Listen to the podcast to learn how the top LinkedIn ads experts are using the platform to drive leads, and how can, too.


Kathleen Booth (Host): Welcome back to the Inbound Success Podcast.

I'm your host Kathleen Booth and today my guest is Anthony Blatner who is the advertising director at Modern Media. Welcome Anthony.

Anthony Blatner (Guest): Hey Kathleen. Thanks for having me on the show.

Anthony Blatner and Kathleen Booth
Anthony and Kathleen recording this episode.

Kathleen: Yeah, I'm looking forward to getting into it with you today, talking about some LinkedIn ads. But before we start, can you please tell my listeners a little bit about yourself and about modern media and about really just how you wound up doing what you're doing today?

About Anthony Blatner and Modern Media

Anthony: Yeah, absolutely. So modern media, we are a LinkedIn ads focused agency. We do a lot of B2B lead generation and all of our focuses on LinkedIn ads.

The way that I got to being here is I actually come at it from the tech and software development world. I originally started my career working at IBM, working on their consulting teams, working on big eCommerce stores. Really enjoyed that, got to travel around a lot.

I live in Austin, Texas and I also got involved with the startup community while I was here and ended up falling in love with that. So after a few years at IBM, I spun off to start my own mobile app development consulting company who would build mobile apps for for a variety of other companies, a lot of startups, some other like larger tech companies that we would partner with.

And when I was doing that, I saw that we were building all these apps and like some of these companies would actually have startups with build an app and launch and like do very well. And we had a number of clients that went on to get acquired or like Stallard technology.

And then we also work with some bigger partners who may have already had a customer network and they launched their app and it goes up to that customer network and does very well out of the gates.

Then you would have other companies who would spend all this time and money developing app their software and then they would launch it and without a good marketing plan in place, it would just sit on the app store. No one would download it. And you'd see how much time and effort these teams are putting into this.

And without, you know, without that marketing plan afterwards, then it was just, you know, it was dead in the water.

So I saw it, I saw the need for it and then we naturally got pulled into doing it, helping out with a lot of those. So from doing marketing for my own agency and for a lot of clients I ended up just really loving the marketing that I was doing, so a few years ago, transitioned to focusing solely on marketing.

So now Modern Media focuses on marketing. B2B lead-generation solely using LinkedIn ads.

Kathleen: I love how focused you guys are because I mean, I come from an agency background. I owned an agency for 11 years and you know, I think that's the big conversation in the agency community, right? Like it's easy to try to be all things to all people, especially when you're chasing dollars. But there's really something to be said for niching down and becoming, you know, the best expert in the world on the thing that you want to do, you know, and focus on. So I think that's great.

Anthony: No, it wasn't easy to get here. You know, it's a lot of trial and error along the way to where getting into the marketing. A lot of the apps that we started by marketing, no, sometimes we did start with like Facebook ads and Google ads.

So like I've, I've done a lot of all of that kind of advertising over the years. And just with my background and with the type of clientele we had, LinkedIn was just repeatedly becoming the best platform to market them on.

So we had done a lot of Facebook, done a lot of Google. I'll tell you a story of probably the first one that really stuck out for me. They were, they were, this was a company that we were taking on to do marketing. They were at big data, but they are the big data platform. They sell their tools made for enterprise companies. It's like thousands of dollars a year.

They were doing the traditional Facebook and Google marketing. But as we audited their account and looked at their lead list, a lot of the leads that were coming in from Google were like people looking for jobs, searching for jobs or students looking for research.

And they were, you know, they were following best practices for keywords and negatives and all that stuff, but you still get a lot of leads coming in. And then on Facebook it'd be a lot of people who are maybe clicking on the ad cause it had like a pretty picture in it or something that was attention grabbing. But a lot of those leads that were signing up were just not good fits. Their sales team was complaining that they were wasting a lot of time calling out these people and they just weren't qualified to buy.

They didn't have the budgets to buy the software. So we took him over to LinkedIn and you know, targeted like CTOs, data scientists at specific types of companies who would be had the, their platform was made for a few different industries. So chose those industries, chose companies I think like a hundred people and above and just right out the gates.

Those leads that were signing up were like the perfect fit for them and they're just like, this is night and day. Like the clear differentiator there. And since then it's just been like, I'm just an advocate of LinkedIn now for, for B2B for these industries that that's our focus now.

Who is LinkedIn advertising right for?

Kathleen: That's great. Now I feel like when people think about online advertising, they have a lot of choices these days. You mentioned a number of platforms just, and you know, in the last few minutes I guess my first question for you is really who is LinkedIn advertising right for and where does it fit within that big mix of different options?

Anthony: That is a good question. That is a very important question to ask. So it's not, it isn't a good fit for everybody. I'll tell you a few things about it is LinkedIn is great for targeting niche decision makers at scale.

It is a more expensive ads platform to use than a lot of the other ones out there. So it's good for companies that have the resources to go work those leads that they acquire. It's going to be more expensive to acquire those leads than like most other channels.

So, you know, they're higher value leads need to work them when people are signing up. It is more expensive to acquire them. So you, your offer, your LTV for your customers should be high enough to make sense. What we'd like to see is an LTV of about 10k for that ROI to make sense.

You know, if your sales and marketing engine is very honed in, you can be less than that and still make an ROI. But that's a good rule of thumb.

If you're on Facebook ads, you can get CPCs under a buck, you know, they might be a dollar to $2 on average. On LinkedIn the minimum is about $4.50 in the US so right out of the gate, that's their floor and you're just going up from there.

And if you're targeting CEO's only, you know, that's gonna be even higher than that.

So just be prepared for higher acquisition costs.

And that leads to how it fits in with the ecosystem. LinkedIn is great for starting the conversation and for acquiring very high quality traffic. Once you acquire it, you know, you want to then nurture it on other cheaper channels or more cost efficient channels.

So once somebody signs up to be a lead, you know, follow up over email, outbound calling oftentimes we retarget with Facebook and Google ads. So we acquired traffic on LinkedIn and then well, retarget on Facebook and Google because it's a lot cheaper.

And you know, retarget those ads, retarget those leads to, we're doing lead generation on LinkedIn, and then retargeting them to maybe book a call on Facebook or Google.

Kathleen: Got it. So it sounds like from what you're saying, focused lists you know, not kind of throwing a bunch of darts at the wall and hoping one sticks. It's like if you know exactly who you want to target and you have some good targeting parameters around whether that's job title, what have you, and then the budget to be able to support a larger, potentially larger per lead ad spend the team in place to follow up on those leads. And then really from an expectation standpoint, using it at the top of the funnel.

Understanding LinkedIn ad formats

Kathleen: So then knowing that if somebody is listening and they're thinking, okay, check, check, check, you know, all of these things I have, can you talk a little bit about LinkedIn ad formats and what you find performs really well? So like, what do you need to have in order to advertise effectively on LinkedIn?

Anthony: Yeah, so a few things. So approaching the LinkedIn campaign is a few things and I'll kind of tell you about our most common campaign we'll do for people is a lead generation campaign on LinkedIn using lead magnets.

So a lead magnet is some asset of value that your target market would be interested in. So a guide, a PDF, a checklist or something like that. Linkedin, like I said, this is starting a conversation with somebody, your target market.

So offering people guides and easy downloadables is the best way to start the conversation to get them interested. Most, you know, unless you're a major brand, most people have not heard about your company. So leading with like buy now or contact us isn't gonna do as well. We're gonna have a much higher cost per lead. So on LinkedIn use lead magnets to start.

As far as ad formats, we do often use the LinkedIn lead forms. They will auto-populate with the person's information. So the lead form is a little form when you click on the ad that'll open up right inside of LinkedIn, just like a Facebook lead form.

They work very similarly. But on LinkedIn you can auto fill that with information from the user's profile and it comes with information from your profile. While you know on Facebook it's usually personal email addresses. In LinkedIn you do get number of personal email addresses, but you also get like work email addresses as well.

I find that data quality is very high coming off of LinkedIn. And we also often use like job title and company name so we know who are these leads that are signing up. Or using the LinkedIn profile.

You are also going to look up those leads afterwards and you know that that gives you a lot, a lot more richer information about your lead. So you can see, okay, who is this person, where do they work? And understand, you know, understand where your leads are coming from.

Usually, you're setting those targeting criteria up front. So you know, people coming into your campaign are going to be part of that audience. But our average campaign or our most helpful one is, is using the LinkedIn lead forms, your lead generation offering a lead magnets to, to your audience.

Kathleen: So this is an interesting topic to me because I've heard this, that lead forms are more effective than trying to get somebody to like go to your website and convert. But I guess my question is really if you're using a lead form, What are you sacrificing?

I use HubSpot and so I can't, if I use a lead form, I can't cookie somebody. If I can't cookie them, then I am giving up the ability to see all that rich data about their behavior on my site, et cetera and things like that. But then you had mentioned also using LinkedIn leads or ads rather to then retarget those people on other platforms.

Can you do that if you're using a lead form? Because at that point, you're not having a tracking pixel firing on your website.

Anthony: Right. At that point we retarget based on the email.

Kathleen: Okay. So if, but if there...

Anthony: You lose some data you know, that is, it is different than going to the landing page and opting in. So we do often use both, but most common is using the lead forms. The conversion rate is just much higher.

Typically using the lead forms the quantity you're going to get is going to make sense. You will see a lower conversion rate for pushing people to your landing page.

But I do say, you know, there are times where maybe you don't have the sales team available to call all those leads. So it is more important for you to get fewer, more higher intent leads. And then at that point maybe a landing page is a better one for you to use.

Because we do have accounts where like, you know, if they have a large budget they can be driving a lot of leads through there. And if you don't have the sales team to contact all those leads, like, Hey, I'd rather have higher intent leads. So landing page opt ins would then be better with them.

LinkedIn ads and GDPR compliance

Kathleen: Yeah. Now the other question I have about lead forms is, it relates to GDPR. So if you're driving somebody to your site, you have a lot of control. If you're trying to be GDPR compliant, you have a lot of control over how you structure, you know, your opt-ins and your GDPR language, et cetera.

I don't have a lot of experience with LinkedIn lead forms. So can you talk a little bit about, if somebody is trying to adhere to GDPR, can they use LinkedIn lead forms and if so, what kind of control do you have over being able to document that opt-in?

Anthony: Yeah good question. So we haven't seen too many issues with that on LinkedIn.

Two things with lead form that you can include is number one, you were actually required to include a link to the company's privacy policy. So usually you use the privacy policy which will cover, you know, all those terms.

You can also include a little blurb at the bottom of the lead form. Anything else that you want to make clear to the user as they're signing up.

So those two inputs as far as that we usually get involved, you know, we're, we'll use the privacy policy from the company. And any other information on the lead form that needs to be,

Kathleen: So am I correct that there's no explicit checkbox built in that would say, for example, I agree to receive other communications from company X,

Anthony: You can add a custom checkbox to do that.

Kathleen: You can, okay. Okay. So that would presumably then solve that issue if somebody was really being strict about how they complied with GDPR? Yeah. Great.

When should you use a LinkedIn lead form?

Kathleen: So yes, there's this trade off then with lead ads and it sounds like it's important to understand your goals.

What I'm hearing, or at least what I'm taking away from what you said, is that if your intent is to really have a laser focus on your certain market or your leads that you want to attract and, and your goal if they do convert is to really follow up with a phone call from your sales team, then it doesn't really matter if you're driving them to your website and having them fill out a form because the goal is to get the sales team call them and or, and, or reach out by email. And so, you know, having a lead form would make sense there.

But then it sounds like if your goal is to either put them into, you know, a full funnel nurturing sequence where you're retargeting on Facebook or something or where you're going to do mass emails then maybe it might make sense to not use a lead form and instead to direct them to a form on your site. Is that accurate, would you say?

Anthony: Yeah, we've got the best results that we see are when we, when we use lead forms to drive the higher volume of leads and then the client usually has a sales team who's on top of those leads right away calling them, you know, it's like they say like the five minute after submission rules, like the best practice, you know, contact them soon afterwards.

But five minutes is very fast. But if it, Hey, if you're on top of your leads, call them right away. Like, that's where we should have the best results. The sales team do work those leads. If someone signed up, they've indicated interest and if you position your lead magnet the right way, then they should be very open to like a sales conversation or at least that introductory like discovery. Hey, how can we help you in conversation

Kathleen: Do you give your clients any coaching as far as how to follow up on those leads? Because I think the one thing I've noticed is that there can, there's the potential for a big mismatch. Like somebody fills out a form on LinkedIn to get a white paper there. They might not be expecting to get a phone call. So how do you advise your clients to follow up?

Anthony: Yes, good question. So LinkedIn is great for starting the conversation. It is top of funnel.

Be aware that these leads, this is probably the first time that they're seeing your company, they probably opted in to get your lead magnet. So yeah, I kind of joke about the five minute rule thing. I would say that it's very fast to contact them at the point where they have just for the first time seeing your logo and heard about your company. They probably haven't even come to it, had time to read that lead magnet yet.

So I, you know, I don't say within five minutes, contact them soon. But you know, some of it is like you want that lead magnet to help do some of the education and warming up with them. It might take a little bit of time for somebody to receive that email, to click through to read it or to receive that email and then go read it.

And then yeah, follow up with them, have them on an email sequence, follow up with them shortly after that and then have the retargeting funnel in place. So that's you know, if they sign up via email, if they click through and pixel them, then you can retarget them with ads afterwards.

So we do recommend like a multi-channel approach afterwards as many touch points as you can, you know, shortly afterwards, while while it is still top of mind for them.

And then there's a lot that goes into the lead magnet strategy as far as, you know, how do I pick the best asset? How do I create the best asset that's going to work here?

For companies and brands and topics, services, that's they are, that are, it's like the levels of awareness thing pyramid. If they are not very aware of what your solution is and you work that you want to focus on their pain points and make the topic about them. If they are more aware, maybe if you are a well known brand and maybe you can make the topic about yourself if there's something that they're interested in.

So for lower levels of awareness, keep in mind that this is the part of the first time the senior company. So that call, the way I coach people about that call is that needs to be very introductory, very discovery. How can we help you get focused?

Other LinkedIn ad formats

Kathleen: Yeah, that makes sense. Now we talked a lot about lead ads. Can you talk through what are some of the other ad format options on LinkedIn and for each of them, you know, when would you use it and, and how does it generally perform?

Anthony: Sure. so the next, so as far as specific ad units in the newsfeed, so that's a sponsored content and you have image ads and you have a video ad there, you also carousel ads. And they work just like Facebook carousel ads essentially.

We actually start with image ads most of the time. So I know, you know, on Facebook everyone's about video and like video performance better on LinkedIn to start, we often, we always start with, we almost always start with image ads in the beginning because we find on LinkedIn you're usually paying per click. Whereas on Facebook, usually paying costs, CPM by impression.

So on LinkedIn you want to reduce the chance of any irrelevant clicks to your ads. So that in one way that is don't be misleading.

You know, on Facebook people tend to be very curiosity invoking of like drawing the click in. That could be flashy videos, that could be vague copy that's just curiosity invoking. On LinkedIn you want to be very direct about what's what it is you're offering, who you are, who you're targeting because you don't want people to just curiosity click, okay,

Kathleen: You're paying for that. Yeah, that's an expensive click. Especially when five bucks is your minimum. You could have bought yourself a latte at Starbucks.

Anthony: So, we're usually starting with image ads because you can instantly, somebody can consume images rather than watching a video.

We usually find, to start, videos tend to be flashy and like eye catching and they draw the click more often. So in the beginning we see images perform better. And then once you prove your audience, which audience you should be split testing a number of audiences, once you prove which audience is the best, which ad angle, which imagery is the best, then we can then go turn that into a video or create a video similar to that.

And then, at that point we do see often video can outperform images. So in in the newsfeed you have images, video next format that we most commonly use is probably sponsored InMail.

Sponsored InMail can be great. It can be expensive as well. So it's mostly InMail charges you per send. I think the minimum 5 cents per send. It doesn't sound like a lot, but it is a lot when you add it up over the size of an audience.

Sponsored InMail is great because we do see very high open rates of those messages. Keep in mind a lot of people that are opening those are probably just clearing out the notification. So the offers that work best in sponsored InMail are the ones that are like the, if you have a very appealing offer.

So usually we'll start by testing in the newsfeed and if an ad does very well there, then we will take that and go turn into a sponsored InMail ad. Because if it's performing really well in the newsfeed then that means the offer's proven and that we can go take and put in as much with InMail.

Sponsored InMail, you know, it's a one, it seems like a one on one conversation and if it's like, if it feels like a personal offer that you're making to somebody usually, you know, sometimes offer a free consultation there or like free gifts there are, do, do better. But it's, it's a good ad format to try out.

Next, Linkedin just released conversation ads, which are kind of the next evolution of sponsored email ads. This gets more to be more chat bot like so we do see LinkedIn does follow. It's tends to follow Facebook and a lot of different ways. And you know, we've seen how Facebook has evolved with the last few years. We've seen Facebook Lives, we've seen chat bots and stuff like that. Linkedin is kind of following along the same steps.

Kathleen: So can you actually explain how that would work? Cause I haven't seen that at all. I'm super curious about it. The chatbots.

Anthony: So it's not, it's not a chatbot, but I think LinkedIn's on their way to getting more towards this.

But conversation ads, you will create a chat flow. So instead of just a sponsored InMail message that you send to somebody, it is similar to that. You send the message, but then they have a few options that they can choose from and you can create a, a tree from there. So that if somebody clicks on option a, you know, essentially you can offer them multiple different things in the app.

So the reason why we've seen performance improve from it, because you can offer people, you can make multiple offers,

Kathleen: Right? It's like a choose your own adventure kind of a thing. Now, does that appear as a direct message in their inbox or how does that appear?

Anthony: Yes.

Kathleen: Interesting. I haven't seen that. I'm going to have to now search for it, find it in the wild. So, so many different options.

Who is finding success with LinkedIn ads?

Kathleen: I know you work with a lot of clients. Can you share any examples of, you know, campaigns or companies that you've worked with who are using LinkedIn ads really successfully?

Anthony: Sure. so right now, well, just in general the HR space always does very well on LinkedIn. So I'd say for any space, any campaigns that I would highlight, like it's probably gonna be an HR campaign.

The biggest categories on LinkedIn are like, I think IT is number one. And I think HR is number two, and then it's like the rest of the tech software world and then like financial services.

So if you're in one of those categories, those are the biggest audiences. So those are probably gonna be great campaigns for LinkedIn.

I'm always surprised when somebody gives me a very niche audience to target how many people I'm able to find on LinkedIn. So, and pretty much any niche decision maker, any niche B2B targeting, go scope out what the audience sizes. And I'm always surprised how many people I can find in the different niches.

But to highlight any campaigns, HR, I'd say just in the last, especially in the last couple months since we've all been quarantined and at home, the HR category has been very active on LinkedIn. So not only have ad prices gone way down the last few weeks, they're down about like 30 to 40% in a lot of cases.

Kathleen: Now, I've heard that. I've heard that also for Facebook. And is that on LinkedIn? Is that because basically so many companies have cut their marketing spend and so the demand side if you will, has gone down

Anthony: Exactly. LinkedIn is an auction, just like Facebook.

Kathleen: Yup. Okay.

Anthony: So less, well, it's a combination of less advertisers and then also more eyeballs. Supply and demand there where we're all stuck at home. So everyone's spending a lot more time online.

Kathleen: Yeah, I've heard, I've heard a ton of people say they're spending way more time on LinkedIn these days.

How to structure your bidding strategy for LinkedIn ads

Anthony: A random tip is I always recommend bidding max CPC. Do not use auto-bid on LinkedIn because you just, you say go spend wherever you want it and LinkedIn will go whatever it wants. Set max CPCs for most of your campaigns.

We've noticed that we can drop that max CPC all the way down, nearly all the way down to the floor. Each audience in each geography has its own floor so go test in the tool and see what yours is, but we dropped it nearly down to the floor for a lot of campaigns and I'm seeing cost per lead improve a lot.

Kathleen: Wow. That's awesome. Okay, so sorry, I interrupted you. You were talking about examples and you talked about HR. Any particular campaigns that you can think of that have done really well lately?

Examples of successful LinkedIn ad campaigns

Anthony: Yeah, so there's two very specific HR ones I'm thinking about right now that, especially in the last few weeks, that they've done very well.

I mentioned how like lead magnet strategy is very important. They both release lead magnets that speak to kind of what's going on right now, how to hire in tough times and how to support your people during tough times.

And, you know, COVID messaging might be getting stale now, but especially over the last couple of months, it's been performing super well. So where they were traditionally between a 40 to $60 cost per lead, they're down below $30 per lead.

And then the other campaign, they were a little bit more cause they were targeting a higher level of HR people. And they're down below 50 bucks per lead.

So yeah, we've seen lead costs like almost cut in half in a lot of cases. And just like HR activities, you know, through the roof. So those ones have done really well.

Attracting high quality leads on LinkedIn

Kathleen: And then would you say the quality of the leads - I know you mentioned doing almost the opposite approach from Facebook where you're trying not to be click baity cause you're paying by the click. And I'm interested specifically, because you talked about one example that was targeting very senior level people. That's an audience that's usually really hard to get in front of.

So can you talk a little bit about what your experience has been if somebody is going after like a C level audience, what are some good tips for being successful with that on LinkedIn?

Anthony: Absolutely. That's why you use LinkedIn. Cause a lot of these upper level people, there's just no other place or way to target them without, without buying an email list. Yeah, there's no other place. Linkedin is the best place with that kind of data at scale.

And LinkedIn's always the first place that people update their profile when they get a new job or get a promotion. So it's very high quality data and that's the only place, a lot of times, you'll see these people.

As far as targeting goes, the LinkedIn audience approach is the opposite of Facebook, I guess. Again, with Facebook you give it, you know, you tend to give it a big audience and you let the AI algorithm go find the best people for you and that audience. On LinkedIn you want to do the opposite because, because you are paying cost per click, you want to exclude any irrelevant ones.

So you want to be very niche, very laser focused on who you want to target.

As far as lead quality goes, you know, you're setting up your targeting in the beginning. What are the job titles I want, what are the functions with the seniorities? So if you're not getting those leads, the right leads coming through your funnel, go back to your targeting and tweak that up.

You don't usually have a problem with lead quality. The quality is always clients. It's always funny, like a client that has run Facebook ads in the past and like, we'll have like our lead tracker set up and they'll see the job titles and company names coming in and they're just like, perfect, perfect, perfect. And sometimes we'll get feedback of like, Oh, this title was a little bit off maybe because you said this, so let's go add this exclusion and then we'll go work that back in.

But, well, yeah you know, if your leads that come through on LinkedIn aren't a great fit, then just tweak your targeting a little bit. But you can set the specific job titles in specific industries and company size you want. So lead quality is usually awesome.

What is the minimum audience size for a LinkedIn ad?

Kathleen: Yeah. now one of the things I've always been interested in and I feel like it's changed, what is the minimum audience size that you can target on LinkedIn because there are some crazy opportunities with LinkedIn ads. I love the idea of you're submitting a proposal to do something for a company and how few people can you target in that company with your ad?

Anthony: 300 is the minimum. It Is a little bit bigger of a minimum than Facebook. I want to say Facebook is a hundred for a minimum.

So in two cases is yes, it is hard to be that laser targeted in some cases. It's also a challenge when you want to retarget cause if you are building a lead list, you're gonna have to wait until you have at least 300 leads to go retarget them using the email method.

So maybe a simple alternative that is go connect with those people on LinkedIn and send them a message via your chat.

Anthony's tips for anyone getting started with LinkedIn ads

Kathleen: Yeah. Yeah. That's great. Well, what tips do you have if somebody is listening and they're thinking they want to get started with LinkedIn ads? Is there anything you wish you knew that would have helped you avoid some mistakes?

Anthony: Hmm. Anything that I wish I knew. So I have a number of tips that I usually talk about, so I'll give some of those.

Well I'd say the biggest thing I wish, like even if I would have told myself this a year ago I probably wouldn't have listened, is don't ask for too much information from your lead in the beginning. You know, you're starting the conversation. They don't have any reason to trust you yet. Keep it as minimal as possible. And that's going to maximize your conversion rate.

You know, I go check out a lot of their ads just because I'm always interested to see, what are they advertising? What are they asking for? What does the lead form look like?

I opened some of these companies' lead forms. I'm just like, you have seven imports.Is anybody submitting this form? Questions and stuff like that. I'm like, I should reach out to you and be like, Hey, I know your cost per lead is terrible. Do you want some help?

That's the biggest thing is these people don't know you. They don't have any reason to trust you yet. Only ask for the information you need, which is usually like email address to send them the guide and then continue the conversation from there.

Various other tips.

I'd say the image thing is a big one. We get a lot of people who wanted to just have a folder of videos and like let's use these. Let's start with images first and then get those converting and then move to video afterwards.

Some other tips are I mentioned the don't auto-bid. Start with max CPC and bid low and then crank it up slowly until you find the sweet spot.

Short and direct copy usually works the best. So now on Facebook, a lot of people write these long copy and a lot of emojis and stuff like that. Short copy tends to do best. Keep it shorter than about 150 characters and won't trigger the "see more" button.

Most people don't click the "see more" button. I'm kind of, I advocate in both cases where you want your CTA, you want it to be standalone above the "see more". If somebody doesn't click the "see more" it should still be just as appealing. But for the people that do click the "see more", here's a tip that clicking the "see more" button does not charge you. So there's no harm in having more copy than the rest of your ad for the people that do click that "see more" button.

So split test both short and long. I do say, I will say we do see shorter, usually performs better. But there is usually no downside to having more copy there.

Kathleen: And then with images, I know Facebook has a limitation of how much copy can you have on your image? Are there any limitations like that in LinkedIn?

Anthony: Nope. Actually we use a lot more copy and images.

Kathleen: Okay. And then the other thing I've heard with Facebook is that you should have a very active page where you're posting often to sort of like warm up your audience, which I think is interesting cause I feel like nobody ever sees any Facebook page posts, but that's a different conversation for another time.

So do you ever, what kind of advice do you give people regarding their LinkedIn company page? Not their ads, but the page itself as far as how that should be used to support a good LinkedIn ad strategy?

Anthony: Yeah, good question. So you want to have the basics covered.

LinkedIn company pages people tend to have more, more connections and more followers on their personal page. So I'd say put most of your focus there, but you know, if you are running a company page, you should have that company page fully filled out. It should look nice and professional and polished and it should have some activity on there.

If you were gonna go hire a social media person to manage your profile, I'd say have them manage your personal profile because you'll have more activity there. Because you have more connections in your personal than typically a company page.

But have all the information filled out, have good imagery there, have all your links filled out.

And then, to bring back the lead magnets again, a lot of times in the headline or in the about section of the body copy, I recommend putting that called to action there. Download our guide. And while that link won't be explicitly clickable, we do see a lot of people will copy and paste it. Make it a simple URL. and then they'll go there and get it.

Kathleen's two questions

Kathleen: That makes sense. Great.

Well, shifting gears I have two questions. I always ask my guests and I'd love to hear what you have to say.

First one is, is there a particular company or individual that you think is really killing it right now with inbound marketing?

Anthony: So the company that has been advertising to me the most is So they're a pretty well known company out there, but they just, they must spend a lot on their ads because every time I log into LinkedIn I see them there and I'm always like, that's a good ad. I like that ad.

So I'd say that they do a very good job. I think I've probably signed up for a few of their lead magnets because I always scope out what other people are doing. Their content's good and their ads are good quality.

And if I was to give people any tip, it's you can go see the ads run by any LinkedIn page out there just like you can on Facebook by going to that company page. On the left hand side, on desktop, there's a little navigation bar on the bottom it says ads and it'll show you those, the ads being run by that company page.

So for whatever your industry is, go scope out what your competitors are doing and maybe similar offerings are new.

Kathleen: That's a great suggestion.

Second question, marketers tend to have a common pain point, which is that so much is changing so quickly. LinkedIn is a great example. I feel like just when you feel like, you know how it works, something big changes and it's, you know, you almost have to start over.

How do you personally stay up to date and keep yourself educated about

Anthony: In the world of digital marketing? For LinkedIn specifically? I'd say I see there's not much content out there about LinkedIn ads. So the surprising thing, like as I've learned this over the years there's so much out there about, about Facebook and Google ads, like the huge communities and stuff like that, of courses, everything. There's not much about LinkedIn ads.

So I've gotten the most by joining a number of different groups and like asking questions to people there and like, and like, just like working one on one with other people who are active advertisers.

Kathleen: Any particular groups that come to mind?

Anthony: LinkedIn Official Advertisers, a group on LinkedIn. That's a group on LinkedIn. Yeah. I have a small one that I started recently. It's called, this is on Facebook, LinkedIn advertising strategies.

Kathleen: And you said that is or is not on Facebook?

Anthony: That is on Facebook. Yeah. Okay. Got it. LinkedIn groups overall are still,

Kathleen: Yeah, they've kind of like died on the vine a little bit.

Anthony: I hope that they put more effort or like, you know, improve them because I think there's a lot of potential. Like we've seen how Facebook has put so much focus on groups and how they've been, like a number of groups that I'm in are super active and super valuable. I hope that it does the same there.

Kathleen: So yeah, I was going to ask you about that. It's funny, I'm glad you brought it up cause it is, it used to be so great and then it just, was it just, Ugh. I mean I don't spend any time in LinkedIn groups these days, but I used to spend a ton.

How to connect with Anthony

Kathleen: So okay, well we're coming to the top of our time. So if somebody is interested in learning more or they want to reach out to you and ask a question, what is the best way for them to connect with you?

Anthony: So the best way to connect with me is on LinkedIn. I think I'm the only Anthony Blatner on there. So go look me up. Connect with me and send me a little message in the add now and the add connection requests because we all get tons of them.

You can find me at my email is and then our website's

If you're looking to learn more about LinkedIn ads or understand strategy, I have tried to put out a lot of content as I've learned over the past few years, knowing that there's not much out there. I've tried to put out more content to share with others. So we have a number of blog posts about funnel strategy, lead generation strategy and then specifically LinkedIn ads, tips and best practices. We got one about lead magnets and then we have one about all the tips around copy and creative. What works the best.

You know what to do next...

Kathleen: Awesome. Well, I'll put those links in the show notes so that people can go check that out.

And if you're listening and you have learned something new today, which I certainly have, head to Apple Podcasts and please consider leaving the podcast a five star review. That's how other folks find us.

And if you know somebody else who's doing amazing inbound marketing work, tweet me @workmommywork, because I would love to make them my next guest.

Thank you so much, Anthony. This was great.

Anthony: Thanks for having me.