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#015: Avoid these 3 Mistakes I Made with LinkedIn Ads

G’day you B2B folks! 

LinkedIn Ads is EXPENSIVE – but for many of you there’s no better platform to easily reach B2B buyers.

So you need to make it work. 

And as someone who has spent millions of $$ in the past as a performance marketer, I carried over some bad habits to LinkedIn Ads.

So today I want to save you the time and pain I went through and share the 3 mistakes you should avoid when running ads in B2B (plus what you should do instead).

P.S. Want us to get you set up on LinkedIn ads or manage them for you? See how we can help you here

You should be able to read today’s issue in 5 minutes or less.

💡 3 Mistakes To Avoid Running LinkedIn B2B Ads

1) Don’t View Ads As The Main Acquisition Channel

Coming from a performance marketing background, I used to view paid advertising as the primary way of acquiring new customers.

If we had more customers, well done to me!
If we had less customers, bad boy George!

This led to me using direct response advertising that worked so well in the B2C world.

And (as I learned later), it really only worked because the B2C brands were so strong already…

… so all I was really doing was closing existing demand.

BUT NOW, here’s how I view using PAID ADVERTISING:


You’re using it to:

  • educate and entertain buyers in your ICP
  • usher them through through the 5 stages of awareness
  • be helpful

2) Don’t Replace Customer Research With A/B Testing:

We always used to say when it came to our ads:

“Let’s let the data guide us on what works”

What we now do: real customer research, so we’re no longer guessing what will resonate.

(P.S. check out our guide to customer research here).

3) Don’t Make Your Ads Look Like Ads:

If something looks like an ad, it’s more likely to be ignored by the person seeing it.

So now we test all of our content organically on social first, before boosting it or making the ad look similar to it.

This results in ads with much higher:

  • engagement rates
  • tagging from friends / colleagues within an ICP
  • consumption of the message

✏️ Doodle of the Week

Companies can’t allocate all their budget to creating demand or they’ll go broke. Start by capturing in-market demand, and over time reinvest that into creating demand and building affinity for it. You need to invest in demand creation if your company wants to scale sustainably. 

📖 3 Articles and Resources

1) Go from Zero to Demand Generation in 12 weeks: We give you the strategy, templates & tools you need to drive more pipeline and revenue for your brand. It’s the exact framework we use to grow our clients and our own business. Check it out now!

2) Here’s the document we use before launching our LinkedIn Ads: It goes through setup, how to measure success, what we’re tracking, what ads we’re running – and much, much more! 

3) Demand Gen metrics you should be measuring: Not sure how to measure if Demand Gen is working? We give you the 3 tiers of metrics to look out for, so you can go from: “yes it’s on track”, to “hey look there’s pipeline”, to “there’s marketing sourced revenue”. 

Thanks for reading!

P.S. Don’t forget to subscribe to The B2B Playbook podcast.

I'm George, and I'm an embarrassingly passionate B2B marketer.

But it wasn't always that way. When I first got into B2B marketing, I actually found it so confusing. There was conflicting advice - and I kept pursuing the promise of "the one thing" that would work - with varying success.

With my own agency and working in-house, I tested different strategies and tactics to see:
(a) which ones could be done by a small marketing team
(b) which ones actually resulted in REVENUE for the business

We then turned the stuff that works into one cohesive strategy that I follow when I consult with B2B clients.

It's called our 5 BEs Framework.

And now we're dedicated to sharing it, right here, on The B2B Playbook.

We're giving away our 5 BEs Framework step-by-step, and creating the resource I wish I had when I first fell in love with B2B marketing.

When I say step-by-step - I mean it! Start the podcast at Episode 1, and work your way through.

If that sounds like too much, we give you the strategy, templates & tools in our 12 week program - The B2B Incubator.

Check it out here:

I'm also extremely active and share much of our framework on LinkedIn - so please feel free to connect with me there and say hi!

Further reading