How to Sell Your LinkedIn Ad Campaign to the C-Suite

April 6, 2017

Wouldn’t it be great if you had an infinite marketing budget? You could pursue promising new channels and increase the spend on existing platforms, too. You could run massive experiments, optimize with insights from an enormous dataset, and always have enough in the budget to go another round. You wouldn’t even need to keep track of results, either. Who cares about proving ROI when you have infinite resources?

It’s a lovely daydream. But nobody we know has an infinite budget—far from it. For the most part, we’re challenged to make the most of limited resources.  We have to make a case for each new channel, and show results to justify continued investment.

We know LinkedIn marketing gets results. And we hope our fellow marketers know it, too. But there are plenty of people outside of the marketing department who still need convincing.

This guide will help you pitch LinkedIn as an advertising channel, and provide the metrics you need to prove ROI.

Proof that Your Audience is on LinkedIn

Let’s start with the easy question. Are the people you’re trying to reach using our platform? Short answer: Yes, your audience is on LinkedIn. There are nearly 500 million professionals on the platform. That includes 61 million senior-level influencers and 40 million decision makers.

The professionals who invest time in LinkedIn are here for one big reason: to consume content that will help them advance in their career. If your goal is to engage decision makers in your target audience with valuable content, LinkedIn is the place to be.

Proof that LinkedIn Ads Can Drive Leads

LinkedIn ads excel at top-of-funnel efforts, too, but they’re purpose-built to make it easy to drive leads. 80% of B2B marketing leads sourced through social media come from LinkedIn. So it makes sense that 92% of B2B marketers make LinkedIn the tentpole of their social media strategy. Fifty-nine percent of marketers said they generate leads from LinkedIn, versus 28% for the next most popular platform.

Proof that LinkedIn Ads Beat Other Channels

Not only can LinkedIn capture leads, the platform’s targeting capabilities mean you can get more qualified leads at a lower cost. LinkedIn consistently sees a 28% lower cost per lead than Google AdWords. Some companies have seen up to 75% lower cost per lead compared to AdWords.

These leads tend to be higher-quality, as well. Some companies see as many as 94% of leads generated through LinkedIn become sales-accepted leads. Leads from LinkedIn Sponsored Content convert 3x higher than leads from Google AdWords. Software companies as a vertical see 2x the revenue per lead on LinkedIn versus AdWords, with some seeing up to 6x the ROI.

Proof that Companies Succeed on LinkedIn

All of the above statistics can help you make a case, but success stories from specific companies are even more compelling.

For Display Ads, innovative marketing company MarketShare has a great success story. Their display ad campaign had a clickthrough rate that doubled their benchmark expectations and acquired leads in new high-value verticals. MarketShare’s Andrew Hahn described the result: “We’d never seen such a high-quality response before. We brought in brand-new leads from companies that didn’t know about us, and they were interested in what we had to say…and they’ve continued down the sales funnel.”

Kinvey, a Backend-as-a-Service provider for enterprise mobile apps, saw striking results with Sponsored Content. Their campaign generated 38% more leads than other social channels, at a 65% lower cost. Kinvey’s Digital Marketing Manager Lauren Pedigo describes how the campaign warranted continued increases in budget: “We slowly tested and grew our investment each month, and the results speak for themselves,” she says.

Sponsored InMail, with 100% guaranteed deliverability, also generates impressive results for business across industries. Duke University used a Sponsored InMail campaign to recruit working professionals into their global MBA program. The campaign achieved a 68% open rate and a 400% increase in conversions compared to a previous campaign. In addition, their sales closure speed increased 300%.

Prove your ROI with Linkedin Campaign Manager Analytics

Once you have your initial investment, plan your campaign around revenue-related goals. The sales department can help assign a dollar value to marketing and sales qualified leads. Your initial campaign should focus on lower-funnel, easily-attributable actions like asset downloads and demo requests.

It’s easy to measure your LinkedIn ad results. LinkedIn Conversion Tracking enables you to see the impact of your LinkedIn ads on actions taken on your own site, including lead gen forms, subscriptions, and other valuable actions:

Conversion Tracking is part of your Campaign Manager analytics, a robust research and reporting system that tracks your conversion count, cost-per-conversion, conversion rate, and overall ROI. Set up conversions for each meaningful action you want your audience to take, and you will be well-equipped to demonstrate how your LinkedIn ads delivered value.

No one has an infinite marketing budget. But LinkedIn can help you make the most of the budget you do have. Better still, every campaign will generate data you can use to optimize the next one, continually making your investment more effective. Your budget may not be infinite, but the opportunities to generate and prove ROI are truly limitless.

To learn our team’s best-kept secrets for succeeding at marketing on LinkedIn, download The Secret Sauce: How LinkedIn Uses LinkedIn for Marketing.