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Why Your B2B Company Needs to Use LinkedIn Advertising

Target Specific Companies, Job Titles, Industries, and More to Generate Leads with Ads on LinkedIn

July 22nd 2019 | by Sara Lopes

“We’re business to business…I don’t see why our company should use social media advertising”


When you think of social media advertising, which platforms first come to mind? You most likely thought about Facebook or Instagram, since these two platforms were heavily involved with pioneering social media ads in the very beginning. Whether you’ve had experience creating Facebook advertisements or not, you’ve most likely noticed that the majority of ads you see while browsing the feeds are mainly targeted towards consumers, not other businesses.


This is what makes LinkedIn different. While you can certainly advertise to other businesses on Facebook or Instagram, your odds of capturing higher qualified and specific leads through LinkedIn ads are much higher in comparison. This is because LinkedIn provides a unique targeting system that works extremely well for B2B companies who want to expand their reach and generate leads online, allowing you to target specific customers by company, region, city, job titles, and more.


But before we dive into the targeting details, let’s take a step back and explore the different kinds of ads that LinkedIn offers for advertising your business.

Types of LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn offers a variety of formats for ads. The ad format you choose depends on what you’re planning to advertise, who you’re trying to reach, and if it’s the best option for your business. Since there are quite a few options, we’re going to simply cover the most commonly used ad formats, and which one our team at 360 usually recommends.

Text Ad

Text based ads are the small advertisements you find either in the right column of your LinkedIn feed, or at the very top of every web page while browsing LinkedIn. These ads are brief and to the point, using much more limited characters than some of the other ad formats. These can be helpful if you want to highlight a quick call-to-action. Additionally, this option is usually slightly cheaper for cost per click compared to the other two, but it depends on your bid, budget, and targeting (which we’ll explain more later).

Message Ad (Sponsored InMail)

Have you ever received a message on LinkedIn that’s marked as sponsored? Those are from a message ad campaign. These sponsored messages allow you to send personalized messages to prospective leads in a space where users are most engaged. Messages are only delivered when the users are online, and an easy to use call to action button is always visible whether on a computer or on mobile. Due to the highly personalized nature of this form of advertising, this can be a more expensive option compared to the others. However, depending on your target audience and what you’re promoting, it can be a great opportunity to connect with potential leads.

Sponsored Content

In the new campaign creator interface that LinkedIn recently reformatted, the standard sponsored content ad format is now broken into the following categories and ad types:

  • Single image ad
  • Video ad
  • Carousel image ad (a set of images)

Essentially, sponsored content are ads that display within a user’s newsfeed, very similar to what you have seen on Facebook. These ads contain either an image, video, or a set of images, along with a quick informative caption, call to action, and a link to your website. These types of ads are what we usually recommend to our clients, because it’s a great option when your goal is to provide value to your target market. This can be achieved through linking your sponsored content to blogs, white papers, or other valuable information on your website.


The most impressive advantage when utilizing LinkedIn advertising for your B2B company is the advanced targeting capabilities. When you create a LinkedIn ad (whether using sponsored content, messaging, etc.) you are prompted to create a highly specific target audience that your campaign will promote to based on various parameters.

When you’re marketing to other businesses, some of the most beneficial targeting categories include:

  • Company
  • Job Title
  • Location

As an example, say you’re a graphic design agency and you want to target a specific company to create social media graphics. With LinkedIn ads, you can narrow down your target audience to employees in your desired company with the proper job titles to capture interest and open the conversation about working together.

You might be thinking, “What about Facebook? Can’t we do the same kind of targeting on there?”

While you technically can create specific target audiences on Facebook, LinkedIn’s difference is the fact that it’s a platform for professionals. Business professionals don’t log on to LinkedIn to look at videos of cute animals, but to learn about latest trends in business, find connections, and to expand their network. Plus, according to a study from Hubspot, LinkedIn has the highest lead-conversion rate of any social media channel at 2.74% (compared to Twitter at 0.69% and Facebook at 0.77%) When your company’s target market is other businesses and professionals, LinkedIn is the perfect place to start.


Setting up a budget for your LinkedIn campaigns can vary depending on your campaign’s objective. Some audiences may respond to certain content differently than others, causing varied results for cost-per-click (CPC) and number of impressions.

When you set up a LinkedIn budget for a campaign, you determine the following:

  • Daily Budget – The total amount that you want to spend on ads within one day, minimum budget being $10 a day.
  • Bid – The maximum amount you want to pay for each click on your ad. LinkedIn has automated bid settings with recommended amounts, but you can set your own as well.
  • Total Budget – You also have the option to set an overall budget for your campaign if you have a set amount you’d like dedicated for social media marketing.

Keep in mind that sometimes you may get charged 20% more than your daily and total budget, due to ads continuing to appear in feeds for a few extra days and receiving clicks even when the budget is complete or the campaign is over. This is standard for any CPC/PPC ad online.

LinkedIn Advertising Best Practices

When you’re ready to create your first LinkedIn campaign, we recommend the following practice in order to utilize the platform to the best of its ability:

  1. When using Sponsored Content, include the following:
    a. Compelling caption
    b. Call-to-action
    c. Link to what you’re promoting
    d. Eye-catching graphic or video
  2. Give your target audience something of value that will help solve a problem or teach them about something relevant to their business. Options can include white papers, blog posts, webinars, and much more.
  3. Include information about your services and how you can help them, even if it’s a brief mention at the end of a blog post.
  4. Send them to a page that includes a form they need to fill out in order to access this valuable information. This is how you can capture leads and move them through your sales funnel and become potential clients.
  5. Test your targeting and budget parameters and adjust accordingly. Every company is different, so you won’t immediately know whether the content you’re promoting or if your target audience and budget are optimized to the best of its ability until you’ve run through a few tests to see what produces the best results.

If you’re interested in adding LinkedIn advertising to your B2B digital marketing strategy to generate new leads and promote your business, contact our team. We can help you get started and manage your campaigns to help your business reach its goals.