B2B businesses looking to generate specific account leads can utilise LinkedIn Account Targeting to create an account target segment, which allows marketing teams or consultants to choose which specific company/companies to target (which can be up to one hundred organisations – providing they’re on LinkedIn) in order to encourage growth and increased revenue. In this complete guide, we’ll go beyond the best LinkedIn targeting strategies for ABM used by our LinkedIn Ads agency and show you exactly how to do it right and where to put your resources and efforts.
1 – The Benefits of LinkedIn Ads for ABM
If you’re wondering what the benefits of LinkedIn ads for ABM (account-based marketing) is, it’s simple: LinkedIn Account Targeting takes the process of standard account-based marketing and makes it ten times easier.
A company’s marketing team or agent can liaise with a LinkedIn account team member and match the business’s key account list with the database of existing LinkedIn Company Pages to home in on a more thorough, desirable lead list.
As of 2022, LinkedIn has more than 8 million Company Pages, which allows users to directly identify their target audience; meaning ABM has never been easier. To add to this, LinkedIn even allows users to upload an unlimited amount of target companies in a CSV spreadsheet.
Once the matched target audience is identified, marketers can then further reign in the target group by classifying additional LinkedIn user information criteria, such as seniority, company size, job function, and so on.
This helps a marketer generate a custom-targeted audience for LinkedIn advertising campaigns. This also helps a sales team (who may already be working in conjunction with the marketing team) to identify the desired companies’ key decision makers to then target and convert.
2 – Different Ways to Target Accounts With LinkedIn
2.1- Build a Targeted Prospect List with Sales Navigator
The secret to success with any ABM strategy is to implement an up-to-date, exact target account list – and LinkedIn will make this easier.
With each targeted account, you’ll need to identify the key decision-makers and prospects that you want to engage with – and again, LinkedIn will make this easier too.
If your company has a LinkedIn Sales Navigator subscription (recommended), this will also help you carve out a highly-targeted, significant prospect list. One of the Sales Navigator’s benefits is it provides real-time alerts that notify you whenever a prospect engages with your content.
These alerts provide the data needed to secure leads and see how engaged various targeted decision-makers are within their accounts.
2.2 – Reach Decision-Makers with InMail
InMail, if used correctly, can be a game-changer for your whole ABM campaign.
Benefit number one of utilising InMail in your LinkedIn/AMB campaign is that you can use it in conjunction with real-time alerts. How it works is when an account lead engages with your content (these engagements are known as ‘impressions’), you can connect directly with them over InMail. They’ll understand who you are, and the connection will provide you the opportunity to communicate.
It’s important to avoid spammy, impersonal messages when approaching your target. This will come across as lazy and off-putting, so make sure your InMail messages are both contextual and friendly. Use first names too. It’s crucial you come across as approachable.
2.3 – Use Account Targeting to Identify & Reach Decision Makers at Target Accounts
Did you know that LinkedIn boasts more than 13 million LinkedIn Pages for companies? This is why it works so well with ABM. Account Targeting on LinkedIn enables you to match your target accounts against this list of companies, thus producing ideal accounts to pursue quickly, easily, and on a large scale.
Once you’ve begun, Account Targeting will further help you to refine your desired account list purely based on who’s engaging with your content, and what about the ad campaign is working.
How to begin reaching out to your desired accounts using LinkedIn:
– Import your existing email list to find your contacts on LinkedIn and seamlessly incorporate them into your ABM campaign.
– Upload a list of accounts, which will automatically seek out similar LinkedIn profiles. This will help you build your list quickly and effortlessly.
– Start using website retargeting to identify, nurture, and re-engage key contacts throughout the ad campaign lifespan.
2.4 – ABM & ‘Interest Targeting’ on LinkedIn
For those unfamiliar, this is how LinkedIn Interest Targeting works: LinkedIn’s data identifies the type of content that its users regularly engage with (impressions), which then displays over two hundred professional interest categories. This helps you to narrow down the types of accounts you really want to hit, giving you the information you need to make your campaigns specific, precise, and highly-relevant to the accounts.
Using Interest Targeting helps you identify the subjects your leads are most interested in, and therefore, gives you what you need to create a Sponsored Content campaign that speaks to them specifically with content designed for them based on these subjects.
3 – Creating Highly-Relevant Content
Create highly-relevant content by implementing thought leadership. How to do this: you need to create a content library before you begin running your campaign. This content will be specifically designed for your targets with the purpose of converting them.
A good place to begin here is to identify what they want (that you can give them) and create content that specifies why they need your company’s products/services. Avoid salesy and hyperbolic language. Creating an in-depth and precise value proposition will also help you understand your leads better.
Good thought leadership questions to ask:
– “What should my company be doing to keep up with both our competitors and peers?”
– “What do we need to know to keep up with both our competitors and peers?”
– “Is there anything we are missing out on when it comes to current value, cost-saving, or future planning? And if so, how can we remedy this?”
– “What changes can our industry expect between now and five years?”
– “How can we be well-prepared for these changes?”
The best organisations will have thought leadership as their number-one priority when it comes to growth. When they think in terms of the bigger picture, this gives them the insights needed to create their own marketing content that is compelling, thought-provoking, and unique. This is why it is important for marketers to implement thought leadership when heading a campaign.
4 – Optimise Campaigns for the Best Results
Creating a killer campaign that smashes your ABM targets isn’t an overnight process, and your campaign – however well-designed it may be – isn’t a guarantee for success. It’s also vital that campaigns aren’t left to their own devices once launched. They will need observing and possibly some tweaks and nurturing too. But to help you on the path to (quicker) campaign success, there are a few things you can do to optimise your campaign for the best results:
A/B testing (user experience research) should be implemented throughout your campaign to monitor its success. It’ll also indicate any areas of the campaign that may need tweaking. LinkedIn gives you the freedom to make amendments to the text in one version of your ad, while leaving the other as it is. This’ll then give you an insight into which is more successful in garnering impressions or conversions. Monitor these results and make any changes as needed.
The trick to successful ABM marketing is to garner the most success while spending the least amount of money. A way of optimising your ads is to use LinkedIn’s bidding tools to expand your ad campaign. To do this you’ll need to use either cost-per-click or cost-per-impression optimisation – and set a realistic budget.
As the primary focus of ABM is lead generation, your best option here is to use cost-per-click, which increases the chance of you only needing to pay for clicks which then go on to become sustainable, reliable, and profitable leads.
The great thing about ad campaigns on LinkedIn is that the platform allows ads to be published with almost any budget; although it’s worth noting that the amount you spend will control how much money you’re able to bid.
When you’re just getting started with your campaign, it can be wise to start small with your ad spending, and gradually move in the direction of a larger budget once your ad campaign has taken off, and you have a better idea of how it’s performing. That’s where your A/B testing will come in handy. Once you’ve checked the success data, you can then define the best options going forward for smashing your lead generation goals.
ABM is a successful tactic for B2B companies to target specific accounts to convert into clients. And incorporating LinkedIn into this strategy is the cherry on top.
LinkedIn is a social media networking site designed specifically for increasing your professional network, and LinkedIn’s demographic-searching is much more career/industry-specific than other social media channels. This makes it ideal for extremely specific targeted lead generation.
You can up your ABM game by working with your marketing and sales team (or outsourcing external consultants). Utilising thought leadership on LinkedIn allows you to micro-target the key decision-makers of the desired accounts, learn about them and their company, and then create targeted content designed to convert them into profitable clients.
If you’d like to learn more about how we help B2B SaaS and Tech companies grow their MRR through LinkedIn advertising, contact us online or send us an email today at firstname.lastname@example.org to speak with someone on our team.