Celebrating the LinkedIn Marketing Awards 2018 Winners

Planning your entry for the 2019 LinkedIn Marketing Awards? Get inspiration from the winners and finalists of last year’s awards - and hear directly from the judges why they stood out

December 5, 2018

Announcing the winners for the 2018 LinkedIn Marketing Awards

In November last year, we locked our expert judges away at our LinkedIn offices, and asked them to bring their superb range of client and agency experience to bear on deciding the winners of 2018 LinkedIn Marketing Awards. After some fascinating discussions, here are the results: the campaigns that emerged from some very high-quality shortlists to land last year’s trophies.

The winning campaigns were exquisite examples of how clear thinking and creativity can leverage LinkedIn to deliver against a range of marketing objectives. But they are far from the only entries that impressed our judges. As our commendations for the finalists in each category show, intelligent and innovative use of LinkedIn is quickly becoming a mainstay of B2B marketing strategies. Our congratulations go to last year’s winners – and also to all of our finalists driving great results through exceptional marketing on LinkedIn.

Scroll down to review the winning campaigns and commended finalists from last year. Click on the video links for the judges’ insider views on what made them stand out, and to apply to your entry for the 2019 LinkedIn Marketing Awards so that it has every chance of being among this year’s winners:

Best Thought Leadership Content

Our judges were hugely impressed by the commitment to thought-leadership that businesses are showing, building the profile of executives and experts who are authentic, approachable and relevant to their audiences’ priorities.

And the winner was: Royal Philips

Credible, compelling LinkedIn posts on the issues setting the agenda in healthcare have established Philips’ Chief Innovation and Strategy Officer, Jeroen Tas, as a leading authority on the industry. Jeroen’s long-form LinkedIn posts have embodied the company’s transformation into a focused health technology business, playing a multi-faceted role in repositioning the brand, raising relevant brand awareness, attracting talent and engaging employees during a crucial period of transition. The first 18 months of the thought-leadership programme have established Jeroen as a LinkedIn Influencer, with follower numbers growing from 4,000 to 129,000. They’ve also secured a regular opinion column in the Dutch financial press, and grown his profile as a regular speaker at industry events.

Commendations go to:

Shell has built a compelling, credible and highly engaging thought-leadership strategy that features a range of voices from across the C-suite and shows bravery in tackling challenging issues for the energy sector head-on. Judges were impressed by the authenticity and openness of thought leaders like CEO Ben Van Beurden, Netherlands Country Chair Marjan Van Loon and Gas & New Energies director Maarten Wetselaar. Developed by Mediacom, the strategy leveraged their expertise over a range of different subjects while humanising Shell’s leadership. Sophisticated use of social listening and LinkedIn data for targeting helped to deliver relevant content to the right audiences, driving engagement and constructive conversation.

National Bank of Greece
The National Bank of Greece’s thought-leadership campaign was impressive for the sheer scope of its ambition. It set out to shift perceptions of the country’s economy through content, with well-defined KPIs to measure success, imaginative use of video, and a strongly written entry capturing the progress that was made.


Best B2B Video

The strength in depth of the B2B video category testified to the speed with which this format is taking on a pivotal role for marketing on LinkedIn. The shortlist demonstrated innovation and emotive impact across a range of different approaches: rich visuals, emotive storytelling, humour and smart editing:

And the winner was: ACCIONA

Thought-provoking and emotive with striking imagery, a strong call to action and an ongoing, immersive experience, ACCIONA’s phased video campaign challenged the investment community to pay greater consideration to sustainable energy and infrastructure. The films generated almost 1.5 million views across the brand’s five key target markets, with a view rate of 44.5% a video completion rate of 16.5%, and organic sharing doubling reach and impact among the target audience.

Commendations go to:

Mercedes-Benz Vans

The launch of the revolutionary new Sprinter van was perfectly adapted to the viewing experience of the LinkedIn feed, with humorous 20-second films showing how the vehicles’ sophisticated features were suited to the needs and personalities of their drivers. Judges loved the humour, the use of LinkedIn data to add relevance, and the spectacular view, completion and click-through rates.

Barclays Corporate Banking

Barclays’ inspiring video storytelling centred on a lifelong Swansea City fan who built a business around his hometown club, creating economic opportunity for the local area. It succeeded both in leveraging value from the brand’s Premier League sponsorship and in driving C-suite level engagement with Barclays’ corporate banking services.


Most Innovative

Innovation can take many different forms in B2B marketing. The finalists in this category demonstrated how it can be applied to a range of vital business objectives and deliver tangible results beyond the impact of a single campaign.

And the winner was: Dassault Systèmes

Integration and innovation went hand-in-hand as 3DEXPERIENCE company Dassault Systèmes, which provides businesses with virtual universes to imagine sustainable innovations, deftly aligned the full breadth of LinkedIn touchpoints to deliver a tailored audience experience. Most impressive of all was the innovative use of both sales and marketing tools to deliver a seamless customer journey. Dassault Systèmes’ content took its audience from discovery and awareness through to enhanced conversations with sales in the closing stages of deals. It successfully targeted key strategic accounts in the energy and utilities sector, transformed engagement levels and significantly grew the new business pipeline.

Commendations go to:

The container logistics business impressed with its creative approach to Account-Based Marketing, visualising the number of containers shipped for each customer over the past year through facts such as how high up Mount Everest they would reach, or how long it would take a cheetah to run the length of them. The campaign delivered spectacular engagement, with the highest ever levels of social media traffic for the business, and played a key role in strengthening customer relationships and demonstrating Maersk’s responsiveness.

Digital Marketing Institute
The Digital Marketing Institute demonstrated the innovation potential of LinkedIn data by creating bespoke segments based on analytics from its search advertising campaigns, and using them to execute a sophisticated lead generation strategy. The campaign delivered on all of its key objectives, aligning sales and marketing more closely and contributing a quarter of all leads for the organisation.


Best B2B Brand Impact (under 200 employees)

Building the brands of smaller businesses can throw up specific challenges: more focused audiences, tighter targeting requirements and potentially limited budgets. The finalists in this category show how these constraints can be overcome through energy, imagination and smart use of LinkedIn data.

And the winner was: Earth-i

The satellite data and analytics company leveraged the beauty of its own very high-resolution images, and the precision targeting capabilities of LinkedIn data, to achieve powerful reach across its tiny, specialist target audience. The campaign successfully engaged over a third of its addressable global audience, generating over 118,000 impressions, doubling traffic to the Earth-i website, and enabling the business to generate several hundred leads and significantly accelerate its buying cycle.

Commendations go to:

The one-man brand that is KÖNIGSKLASSE#1 shows how verve, irreverence and an unconventional approach to content can create an outsized impact on LinkedIn.  Interviews that incorporate juggling, bouncing on medicine balls and modelling sunglasses aren’t everyone’s idea of C-suite thought leadership, but they’ve helped to build a new type of content marketing agency and a new concept in B2B influencer video for KÖNIGSKLASSE#1’s founder and CEO Martin Grosse.

A combination of specialist thought-leadership and carefully targeted Sponsored Content helped Corvil to reach financial technology and compliance decision-makers at scale, and with a frequency that helped the business dominate the conversation in its category. Putting the business’s experts centre-stage in its video content helped to humanise a complex sector and build all-important trust and credibility. Corvil was able to use LinkedIn analytics to track the impact of this increasing familiarity on the quality of its business pipeline.


Best B2B Brand Impact (over 200 employees)

Open to a broad range of businesses from enterprise-level to larger SMBs, the finalists in this category showed how LinkedIn marketing has become central to brand strategy. Our judges were hugely impressed by the finalists’ grasp of the platform’s capabilities, the speed at which they are innovating, and the measurable results they’re achieving.

And the winner was: IDA Ireland

Ireland’s investment promotion and development agency transformed the profile of the country as an investment destination, through its deep understanding of LinkedIn’s capabilities as a branding platform. The campaign planning used a range of LinkedIn touchpoints to address key moments of truth in the consideration journey for investment decision-makers, demonstrating clear thinking around objectives, relevant KPIs, and the ways in which awareness and engagement could translate into high-quality conversations. Sponsored Content, video and personalised Dynamic Ads reached and nurtured over 800,000 relevant investment decision-makers and influencers, which represented 43% of IDA Ireland’s total target audience. The campaign drove a 25% rise in engagement, contributing to 237 decisions to invest and helping to create more than 20,000 jobs. 

Commendations go to:

The global leader in renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure management used LinkedIn to drive brand awareness across the investment community and other senior decision-makers through its ‘Business as Unusual’ campaign. Its video content asked the compelling question, “What if the smartest decision was to invest in the planet?” and delivered the message that, “there is another way of doing things.” Organic sharing dramatically increased the impact of the campaign across all of its key markets, and brand surveys demonstrated significant increases in awareness of ACCIONA’s business model, mission, vision and values.

Purina’s emotive, authentic video content built valuable brand equity for a business of pet lovers that does not invest in TV advertising. It also directly supported the brand’s mission of promoting a society more open to the emotional value of animals, by taking its message to a B2B audience. Targeting pet-loving employees and facilitators working in HR helped Purina drive engagement with the concept of brining dogs to work through a combination of Sponsored Content, Sponsored Video and organic engagement via its Showcase Page.


Best Lead Generation (over 200 employees)

The best lead generation strategies focus on more than just driving clicks and filling forms. In their different ways, each of our finalists showed the capabilities of LinkedIn for integrating relevant brand activity with compelling calls to action and highly effective sales enablement.

And the winner was: Dropbox for Business

An impressive strategy that linked brand activity with lead generation and sales enablement made Dropbox the stand-out entry in this category. Working with its agency Transmission (formerly Pulse), the business moved from short bursts of lead generation activity to an always-on approach. Its beautiful, impactful creative executions and custom targeting segments delivered on both the quantity and quality of leads, achieving 235% of its Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) targets. Sales and marketing alignment workshops played a key role in ensuring that lead generation flowed effectively through to impact on the bottom line, delivering a 29:1 Return on Investment (ROI).

Commendations go to:

For the pricing intelligence service RateGain, effective lead generation depended on engaging different elements of the Travel and Hospitality industry with the bottom-line benefits that its cloud-based solutions could provide. This campaign did so through an impactful combination of different LinkedIn touchpoints, including Display Ads, Dynamic Ads, Sponsored Content, video and Sponsored InMail. Integrating LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms and LinkedIn Sales Navigator helped to capture and nurture leads through to conversion.

Web Summit
Tailored content and bespoke LinkedIn targeting are driving the growth of Web Summit’s four global events for the technology and finance sectors. The business has succeeded in building distinct brands for each regional event while continually growing attendance amid a highly competitive market. Inspirational video content, intelligent optimisation on the back of LinkedIn Conversion Tracking, and smart integration of Sales Navigator to drive conversions, all contribute to this ongoing campaign’s success.

Best Lead Generation (under 200 employees)

When it comes to lead generation, smaller businesses must often balance budgetary pressures with a need for immediate results. The shortlisted campaigns proved that there is more than one way of doing so, from experiential content and video testimonials to carefully tailored case studies and highly focused calls to action.

And the winner was: Raconteur

The premium publisher took an elegant and highly effective approach to generating registrations for its thought-leadership Masterclass, with a flagship role for video content that immersed marketers in the experience of interactive learning. Testimonials from senior leaders across different businesses reinforced added up to a powerful call to action expressed through Sponsored Content and Carousel Ads. Raconteur’s clear strategy avoided pushy sales messages and focused instead on building a brand as a credible content marketing partner. The results? The campaign exceeded all lead generation goals, at a CPL costing 35% less than the target.

Commendations go to:

Apply Financial
The SaaS payment processing company used case study content tailored to specific pain points to spearhead its approach to banking industry decision-makers. Backing Sponsored Content with LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms, and leveraging paid and organic distribution to multiply the impact of its limited budget, ensured the campaign exceeded all MQL and SQL targets.

Radar Healthcare
A firm focus on customer benefits in its Sponsored Content copy helped Radar Healthcare make the most of its detailed targeting strategy and clear understanding of the addressable audience. The business used insights from sales meetings to identify the most likely prompts for healthcare compliance decision-makers to take action. LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms and Conversion Tracking then helped it to optimise around the strongest targeting and content approaches.

We will be announcing the details of the 2019 LinkedIn Marketing Awards soon.  Start now to think about those great marketing campaigns that drove measurable results and made you a hero in your business in the last twelve months  Stay tuned for more!  

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