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Episode 176: LinkedIn Ads: How To Get Started – April Beach and AJ Wilcox

AJ Wilcox SweetLife Entrepreneur Podcast April Beach

This episode is for those in Phase 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 of the Lifestyle Entrepreneur Roadmap™ Not sure what Phase your business is in?

 

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Who This Episode is Great For:

New and established businesses who want to learn if LinkedIn is the right platform to reach your ideal audience. 

Summary:

You’ve been thinking about advertising on LinkedIn but you’re not sure where to start, or if it’s a wise choice for your business. LinkedIn is a powerful ad platform, but it’s unlike others and you need to be sure you’re spending your marketing money for the ROI you expect. 
 
In this episode my friend and LinkedIn Ads Expert, AJ Wilcox, founder of B2Linked.com covers what types of companies benefit from LinkedIn Ads, the 3 components of successful ad strategies and basic steps to get started. You’ll leave knowing if LinkedIn is the right platform for your business and what types of ads you can start running now.

Highlights:

  1. Decide if your company should be advertising on LinkedIn
  2. Learn how LinkedIn ads work
  3. Know the 3 components of a profitable LinkedIn Ad strategy 

Resources Mentioned:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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Full Show Transcript:

You’re listening to the suede life entrepreneur podcast, simplified strategies to grow your service business and launch a life you love faster with business, mental and entrepreneur activator a probate. Hey Darren, welcome back to the Sweetlife entrepreneur in business podcast. This is episode number 176 and I’m April leech if we don’t know each other yet. I’m a business development strategist for companies who are looking to launch and scale online and develop online programs,
offers and services to increase your profit and everything we talk about on the show is giving you tools and strategies that you can take to the bank is a matter of fact. If this is your first time here, you will soon know that the business trainings we deliver here on this podcast, a lot of coaches and consulting firms charge thousands of dollars for, so it’s all for you.
It’s our mission in order to grow small businesses and it’s our commitment to do this week after week. So thank you for joining us today on the show is part one of a two part series and I’ve invited my friend AIJ Wilcox to come back and chat with us on this show. We’re talking to those of you guys who have businesses and you want to learn if LinkedIn is a right platform to reach your ideal audience.
So you might’ve been thinking about advertising on LinkedIn, but you’re not sure where to start or if that’s even the right platform for you to advertise in. You know LinkedIn is a really powerful ad platform, but what you’ll learn in this episode is there a lot of businesses that are showing up and putting money into LinkedIn that it’s not really the right fit for you.
And then there are other companies who are showing up in you don’t have the ad strategy or you might’ve been actually spending your money incorrectly on the wrong type of ads. So this is part one of a two part series where Aja and I are diving into, you know who should be on LinkedIn. And at the end of this episode you are going to decide if your company should be advertising on LinkedIn.
You’re going to know how LinkedIn ads work and you’re going to know the three components have a profitable LinkedIn ads strategy. So without further ado, let’s go ahead and bring AGA onto the show and everything we’re talking about can be found@sweetlifepodcast.com forward slash one seven six All right, here we go, you guys. This is episode number 176 and I am so excited because my friend AIJ Wilcox is here with me now.
AAJ has been a guest on this show. It’s been about two years. I hunted him down because I wanted to know more about LinkedIn ads, but the honest truth is I have done nothing with the strategies he me because our business, our ad dollar was focused on Facebook and Instagram. But the truth of the matter is is you know we’re a business to business company and we need to be advertising on LinkedIn.
And so I had to hunt him down again and say, Hey, listen my friend, I need to know where to get started again. And I have so many clients that I believe need to be putting their marketing money into LinkedIn ads and we don’t even know where to start. So who do we call our Ghostbusters friend J Wilcox. So Aja, thank you so much for being back on the show.
Um, reintroduce yourself to our audience so they know who you are. Sure thing. April, I’m excited to be back. Name as a, you know, a J Wilcox. I run an ad agency called B to linked.com and we are a very small, there’s only eight of us, but we’re an agency that specializes only in advertising on LinkedIn. So we go crazy deep.
Everything from teaching people how to run their own accounts, consulting, training, all the way to managing the accounts or are you to get your best performance from the buck. Because as we know from the last episode, LinkedIn ads are incredibly expensive. And so any mistake you make or any learning curve you go through, it has to be financial consequences we’ll say.
So working with a team who understands what works and what doesn’t and kind of cut through all that has been really good for our clients. So that’s what we do. And uh, I think we’ve grown a little bit since we talked last. I think when we talked before we only had two people on the team. I think you have to, yeah,
I’ve seen you all over the place. I think when we talked your kids were little in the background, which they’re probably still a little way littler than mine and you are just like, yes. You know, we’re getting started with this. And even when we talked though, even with just two of you, you were telling me how your agency was handling huge ad accounts for people on LinkedIn with like crazy results.
So let’s kind of start there with just answering the question. Who right now should be advertising on LinkedIn? Yeah. So I think there are three categories of companies that I think are a really good fit. So the first is if you’re doing lead generation of any kind with a high lifetime value, and so in my mind, that’s when you close a customer.
If they’re going to be worth $15,000 or more to you, then it’s pretty much a no brainer. So that’s B2B or even there’s some B to C lead gen that can get in that arena. But most of what we do is B to B. The next is higher education. Things like MBA programs who are recruiting the educational targeting that LinkedIn gives us is really good for those kinds of folks.
And then finally, as you’d imagine with LinkedIn recruiting works really well, just white collar hiring someone. So if you’re looking for a new sales manager, you can target people who already have the title of sales manager in your area and ask them if they’d be interested in applying it if you look interesting to them. And those are the three categories that make a lot of sense on LinkedIn.
Okay. So now that you’ve answered that, I feel like I need to take us a little bit of a step backwards. Is LinkedIn still this place where it’s ideal to use this platform to find a job more of like an online resume platform? Or are we finally starting to see a change in LinkedIn to become more of a social platform? You know,
why are people on LinkedIn? Yeah. If you would’ve asked me before 2014 I would have told you, yep, it’s a job searching platform, but since then, you know, you log in and there’s a newsfeed and then for entrepreneurs like you and me, we love the organic newsfeed because it’s so easy for our content to go viral. We’re able to reach people in the right mindset in ways that you just never could on Facebook or Instagram where competition’s higher.
Right. So yeah, it’s a fantastic platform for communicating right now. Not everyone has adopted and figured that out, but I think that is good for those of us who are ahead of the curve. Yeah, for sure. And I know that’s something we’re diving into more as a company and that’s a whole nother show is chatting about that. So let’s kind of get back to B to B,
diving into client or I should say business type number one. So high value ROI. And so that brings us back to the next question of how do you even get started with LinkedIn ads? Is this something that if somebody says, Hey listen, I have a program or I have a product that I want to sell to this company, this corporation, and I want this corporation to be a longterm client of mine.
Is this the ideal type of business that should be diving into LinkedIn? Yeah. So when you start thinking about like even before you decide which platform you want to go after, I keep an acronym in my mind called ammo ammo. And it’s the three things you need for any sort of social promotion. So the first is a is audience, the M is your message and the O is your offer.
So LinkedIn is so good at targeting the right audience if it’s in B2B specifically because we can target people by all kinds of great things, job titles, seniority, what groups, they’re members of skills, they have company size industry. All of that. So you have that in mind. If you know LinkedIn is a good fit for your audience, then you move on to the acronym letter at the end.
Oh, it’s the offering. We know if you put an ad up that just says, click here to talk to our sales rep, or click here for a demo or click here to buy something. You’re not giving anyone any reason to actually interact with your ad. No one will click. Or if they do, it’ll cost a lot per click. So you gotta have something that’s actually media and interesting so that they’ll have a reason to interact with you.
And then once you know what that, Oh, your offer is the message of what is actually being shown to the customer is really easy to figure out. You’re picking a couple lines of and an image, and once you have all three of those things, it’s really easy to go into the LinkedIn ads platform and build your first campaign and ads, but plan out your ammo beforehand.
Got it. I love that acronym. All right. And so when we’re talking about actually what type of ads do well on LinkedIn, we know for example, on Facebook it’s video, everybody wants video. Is LinkedIn the same? I mean, can we get the same click through rate or whatever LinkedIn calls it for a static image as we could with running a video ad?
Can we run video ads on LinkedIn? Yes. So LinkedIn does have video ads, but I don’t recommend them yet. They’re not quite the silver bullet on LinkedIn like they are on Facebook. And I think it’s mainly a pricing concern. On Facebook, you’ll pay one to 2 cents per person who watches at least three seconds of a video on LinkedIn, it’s 10 to 20 times that.
So we oftentimes see 10 15 20 cents per view, which is just quite frankly more than I think people should be paying. So if you have great video creative and you’ve tested on other platforms, absolutely bring it over to LinkedIn and test it. But I would say for your very first dipping your toe in the water of LinkedIn, start with a static image.
Make it as simple as possible. So that you can read the results. If video ad is kind of hard to troubleshoot, you don’t know if it was your ad copy that didn’t perform or the video or a combination of the two. But if it’s just a static image, you know, it was either your text or your image and if there’s a problem you can fix it very quickly and try it again.
Okay. Thank you for that. That is so interesting. Yeah, we’re getting a, you know, even most recently you and I recording this podcast here real time, it’s not prerecorded. More meeting. This one’s going to drop just in about nine days. So real time. As we’re speaking right now, our video ads on Facebook are at 1 cent.
I mean, they’ve never been cheaper, but you’re right, like the static image ads, you know, we’re seeing, you know, conversions, $2 $3 a conversion. And so we stopped doing those because I just think that’s ridiculous to pay. So good to know that that is a flip because I think for people that are getting started with ads, especially companies that are doing their own ads,
when we throw into them all these other techie things, they have to figure out like you got to do a dynamic video and maybe it should have some music in it and we need to put some text over the video. It just becomes so daunting. I think that entrepreneurs are so busy, they’re like, I’m out. I’m just not even doing that.
And those are the things that we’re telling them and they have to do on other ad platforms. So I love that LinkedIn isn’t that way yet. It’s much easier to get them started. So a question for you now about the static image. Does LinkedIn have rules about the images like Facebook does? For example, there can’t be so much text over an image.
Do people seem to be responding more to just an actual picture or is it a picture with texting? Graphics? Yes and no. So the issue here is that I like probably the rest of you absolutely hate the 20% rule. On Facebook. Yeah, the restriction that, Oh, you put too much text in your image. So Facebook’s not going to show it.
LinkedIn doesn’t have that. But what we find is time and time again in all of our testing is the more text we put in an image that we’re set performs. So I like the freedom that LinkedIn gives you. They’re not going to penalize you for it because we have found some instances where text on the image data improve performance. So definitely test. But I would say keep it in mind that the whole purpose of your image is just to get people to stop scrolling so that they will read your ad copy.
So don’t try to convert someone from the image, make sure the image is bright and colorful and contrasting so that they’ll stop and actually read your thoughtful ad copy that will convert. Okay. Thank you for that. Alright, so now let’s kind of switch back a little bit to my original questions about targeting. So many of our clients, many of our customers,
they have programs that they want to sell. They’re either coaches or service providers. Quite a few of them have corporate programs and so they’re trying to reach the internal champion of that. The one that says, Oh my gosh, look at this. That just came through from the Sweetlife company or whatever. I want to take this to my decision maker. And so one of the problems is finding that internal champion.
So when we’re talking about how to target ads on LinkedIn, like who to run the ads to, you mentioned we can break up ads by title and educational level. Talk to us about really how hyper-focused we can get with direct targeting to specific people to find either the champion or the decision maker that initiated the interest in a company or a program. Oh,
I love this question. So here’s what we can do. If you know the individual title or role that you’re trying to go after, then you can build a campaign targeting just people of that title and role in that company size, in that type of industry. And you can go all the way down to the minimum audience size of 300 so I like to use the example because it’s so easy to picture.
If you want to target just the CEOs of the fortune 500 you can do that. You can target job title of CEO at this list of 500 companies and you can hit them all the way down to an audience size of just 300 so I like to kind of break an audience up into two different levels. There’s the person who’s actually feeling the pain. Then you have maybe the influence,
maybe not the influencers, maybe the actual signers, the decision makers, and depending on what stage of that process you’re trying hit, you could target one or the other or both at the same time. So if I’m going after marketers, for instance, because I am a marketer, I think like this, if I’m selling a an advertising tool, I might show an ad to the individual contributor level,
the person who’s actually pulling the buttons and turning the switches. I guess you can’t really turn a switch, but you get the idea. Yeah, I can target them with an ad about, Hey, wouldn’t this make your life easier if you could do this faster and more accurately? And then I might target more of like the manager and above or director and above maybe just the VP level with messages like save money by your employees,
being more, uh, more efficient at building ads quicker. And you have that freedom because you can break them up into two different camps or five different camps if you want and show them all different creative messaging. Yeah, so smart. Okay, next question. Can we geotarget ads? So if I only want to run ads here in Colorado, can I do that on LinkedIn?
Yes, you can. So up until about three months ago, LinkedIn’s GOs were really limited. They were only like Metro areas. So for instance, in Colorado you might have like Denver Metro and you’re like, Oh, well what about just like a specific zip code? You couldn’t do it. But since then LinkedIn has integrated their geo targeting with the being Microsoft data.
Very cool. Yes. If you’ve ever used Bing ads, it’s a great platform. Rivals, Google ads. And about every way you can think of. And it’s half the cost. So they’ve merged those data sets. So now you as a marketer, you can target all the way down to an individual city level. We’re not zip code, we’re not radius yet like you can do on Facebook and Google,
but it’s a lot more specific. Okay, I have a million questions for you. Ha. You’re my favorite. My favorite person right now. Okay. So when we’re actually for those people that are listening, we’re actually going to break this podcast episode into two because we know you guys are short on time and so we’re going to have to really short,
hard-hitting full of information episodes for you. So when you’re listening to now 176 and next week’s episode one 77 and next week’s episode, I want to talk about ad spend budget strategy. Wrapping up here, we’ve talked about a lot of things. So we, you have mentioned the three types of businesses that are really great candidates to advertise on LinkedIn. The first one you said B2B,
so lead generation for high lifetime value. So if what they’re selling is over 15,000 lifetime or greater, you also said higher education MBA. So let’s kind of jam on that for a little bit. What type of businesses would fall into that category? The higher education? Yeah. Are you actually talking about institutions advertising or people who want to reach individuals connected institutions?
I just don’t know that I’m understanding that correctly. Oh, I gotcha. Yeah. At the institution itself. So you imagine like a local university to you who they have an MBA program that they’d like to fill up with students. LinkedIn would let you target and obviously customize for your own organization, but you can say, I want to target anyone who has a bachelor’s but doesn’t yet have a master’s or PhD who got their degree in English or journalism and has at least five years of experience in the workforce.
Oh, wow. Yeah, I can see how powerful that, that would be. A hundred percent. Okay. And then, um, along those same lines, there are many companies that are educational platforms. So, you know, we talk about the knowledge commerce industry. You and I were both in that industry. You know, sharing knowledge, teaching individuals how to up their game,
increase their skills. So could this also apply to platforms, online platforms and online companies that are teaching skills to individuals who also then need to target or want to target people who are already at a certain educational level who might not be, you know, an official institution. Oh, for sure. Yeah. And the targeting on LinkedIn is so great for so many people.
What it usually comes down to though is the cost. Yeah. Because last time we talked, I think the average cost per click on LinkedIn was six to $9. It’s now eight to 11 because you know, increased competition over time. Interesting. Okay. So it’s going up. Okay. Yeah. And I want to talk about that more in the next show too.
Okay. So, um, and then the third person obviously is recruiting, hiring. That’s an easy no brainer. So those are the three types of businesses that are really ideal to advertise on LinkedIn. We dove into your acronym, your audience message, offer your ammo acronym and making sure that as a business you have all of those nailed down before you start your ad campaign.
You talked about the importance of having like simple ads, not these fancy video ads, simple ads with images that are thumb stopping images with. Great copy. Before we kind of wrap up here, because I literally, I have so many questions for your age and I just appreciate you so much, so much being on the show and just allowing me to ask my completely uneducated LinkedIn advertising questions to you and I know there are so many people like me that just want to know more and so I’m thrilled about this before somebody starts even thinking about advertising on LinkedIn.
And just to kind of wrap up this first episode, can you just explain to us what they really need to have set up in place as far as a profile or a company page? You know what I mean? I mean, so I know we have a, we just actually started our Sweetlife company page. I’ve had my LinkedIn personal profile for, I don’t even know as long as I could have had it,
you know, years over a decade for sure. What do you need to have in place before you can even dive into this or what do you recommend? Yes, excellent question. So there are four different ad formats that you can use on LinkedIn. The main ad format that shows up in the newsfeed, that’s the one that I recommend everyone start with.
That’s the only one that requires a company page to be associated with it. The rest, you can use any of them, not in your newsfeed types of ads without a page. But what’s so interesting to me is you don’t have to make sure your pages rockstar for your ads to perform well. The only things that people see from your company page in your ad are the company name,
the logo, and the number of followers. So as long as your number of followers is not like an embarrassingly low number like ours, I’m looking at mine right now, it has 732 followers and I might go, okay, I might try to get that up before I really start hitting for the fences or anything, but as long as you’re not embarrassed by that number,
you can show ads and the vast majority of people won’t ever come to your page to check out anything else you’ve shared or really anything else about your company. They’ll do what your ad is asking them to do, which is come to my landing page and fill out my form. So don’t sweat too much over what is on your company page. Just fill it out with the basics and make sure it doesn’t look embarrassing to you and then then your ads will perform as you create the ads.
Got it. Okay, so that means I shouldn’t be running ads probably yet from my company page because I think we have three followers. Yeah, your 700 is embarrassing them by three. Well, the nice thing is you can cheat a little bit because LinkedIn released about six months ago. The ability to invite your connections so every day you can go in and invite up to,
I think it’s 25 of your connections to follow your company page every day. Go in, invite 25 people that you know are great for your target audience or just good friends. Invite them and start padding that number over time and that way you wouldn’t be embarrassed about. That’s so funny. My assistant Kelly, she’s my assistant Kelly there. Let’s just add that to your daily job tests every day.
She’s literally rolling her eyes right now while she listens to this show. She’s like, great, thanks April, but what? What I’m hearing is you don’t have to have a business page. You can still run LinkedIn ads without having a company page set up. Yup, yup. You can still run message ads which go to their inbox and on the desktop you can run both ad formats that are just hanging out over in the right rail.
One’s called text ads and one’s called dynamic ads, but you probably will want a page four, the main ad format just because it’s the best ad format for most people, but you could theoretically without, Okay. Yeah, for sure. I want to type for many more questions about that in the next show. And then just the profile in general, like a general everybody’s general LinkedIn profile.
You said few people actually come to either check out the company or the actual profile of the person running the ad, so it doesn’t seem like we have to have this rockstar profile in place either. So somebody who’s relatively new to LinkedIn or who’s really never taken the time to grow their LinkedIn connection could from what you’re saying is is correct. Do real well with ads,
just basically because that doesn’t seem to be a deciding factor on how the ads convert. Yes, and in addition to that, you can’t actually even link to the profile of the person creating the ads. So quite often we’ll have a client who they personally don’t have a profile and so to work together they set one up and it’s bare bones, I mean no picture,
barely their name, but we can still run ads for them because their company page is okay or even run some of those other ad formats that don’t require the page. So yeah, don’t let that stuff stop you from being able to run ads. Awesome. Thank you so much AIJ for being here. This is sweet life business podcast, episode number 176 all of the show notes can be found by visiting Sweetlife podcast.com
forward slash one 76 and for you guys to connect with AIG AIG, tell people where they can find you if they already know they want to dive into this. They don’t want to deal with figuring this out on their own as much information as we’re giving them here. It isn’t like having you hold their hand. Where can everybody find you? Awesome. Well,
because you are all listening to a podcast right now. I’m excited to announce. I actually just launched my own podcast about four months ago, so if you’re interested in going super deep into LinkedIn ads, just searching whatever podcast player you’re listening to right now, the LinkedIn ads show, and you’ll see a a bright chubby ginger point now yet or something. That’s how you’ll know it’s may and of course I’m really easy to find.
If you go to<inaudible> dot com our business website, if you fill out the form on any of those pages, you don’t go to a sales rep and you don’t get put into our newsletter. It just goes directly to my inbox and I’m not a sales guy, so feel free to reach out and I’m happy to email back and forth. Dude, you’re awesome.
Thank you so much, JJ. All right, you guys, thanks for listening. Screenshot this episode. If it helped you and uploaded to LinkedIn tag Aja, tag me in it. Let us know what you took away from this, what you benefited the most are white, you know what you learned. We really appreciate your feedback and sharing this show,
and we will talk to you again next week. Thanks for being here