If you aren’t using LinkedIn as part of your B2B outreach efforts – are you even prospecting?
When sales and LinkedIn are brought up in the same sentence, the conversation tends to veer towards social selling or networking. Yet, LinkedIn provides powerful paid options that very few seem to have mastered (and a lot of salespeople could benefit from).
On this episode of Evolved Sales LIVE, host Jonathan Fischer sits down with B2B marketing expert, Aaron Zakowski, to discuss the most powerful and profitable ways you can use paid marketing tools on LinkedIn to generate pipeline immediately.
Don't forget to follow us on LinkedIn for more engaging sales insights and discussions! Happy watching!
As the host of the SaaS Marketing Superstars Podcast and the founder of Zammo Digital Marketing, Aaron Zakowski has spent the last ten years helping leading B2B SaaS companies accelerate growth and achieve scale through highly effective Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn Ads. With their tested and proven approach to managing paid advertising campaigns, Aaron’s team specializes in helping SaaS companies to dramatically increase their monthly new user signups while significantly decreasing their average cost per acquisition.
Check out the transcription of this webinar episode below!
Jonathan Fischer 0:00
Hi. Welcome back. Thanks for joining us. I'm Jonathan Fisher. Well, there's no escaping it. LinkedIn is the number one place in the world to do b2b outreach. And the conversation here as elsewhere is usually centered around the social networking aspects of the platform for obvious reasons. But what about the powerful paid options for outreach on LinkedIn, very few seem to have mastered that. But one of the few is our guest today. Aaron's kowski is a b2b marketing expert. He's the podcast host of the SAS marketing superstars podcast. He's also the founder of the Zambo digital marketing firm. And there with his team, he has been working with businesses of all types for more than a decade, to help them accelerate their growth through highly effective Facebook, Google and LinkedIn ads. And today, Aaron is gonna share some of the most impactful and profitable ways you can use the paid marketing options on LinkedIn, to generate pipeline and massively increase your sales. Aaron, fantastic to have you on the show today. Welcome. Hey, Aaron.
Aaron Zakowski 1:03
Hey, Jonathan. Glad to be with you.
Jonathan Fischer 1:06
Yeah, I'm looking forward to the conversation. As I mentioned, there's not nearly enough insight out there for the paid tools inside LinkedIn. But by way of set up, tell us your background that's led you having sort of this expertise you'll be sharing today.
Aaron Zakowski 1:19
Yeah, absolutely. So I mean, my my digital marketing background started way back, you know, 2008 2009, primarily with Facebook ads. At the beginning, I was one of the early people involved, there was kind of freelancing getting involved, a bunch of stuff kind of got pegged as an early Facebook ads experts. And somewhere around 2014 2015 got connected with a guy named Clark valberg turned out to be the CEO and founder of Envision, who gave us the opportunity to manage ads for his company, I think many people probably know envision. And we had a great run with them for about two and a half years running ads over there, and just got me into the b2b SaaS world, got me into kind of lead gen, whether it's, you know, sales, lead, or product lead growth within the b2b and SaaS space, and kind of just continued down that path for the past. You know, seven, eight years now, we're primarily working on paid social for, for b2b and SaaS companies, then a ton of Facebook ads over there. But in the last year, or two, been getting a lot more involved in the LinkedIn landscape as well, because it's just such a natural fit for b2b marketers. The ability to target you know, your perfect ICP customer in there is really just unmatched by any other platform, even though Facebook, of course, still does work quite well, in many cases for b2b.
Jonathan Fischer 2:31
Well, and LinkedIn has actually evolved significantly as a marketing platform, it would seem, how has it evolved? And what do you see is its current role in the b2b business development space?
Aaron Zakowski 2:43
Yes, so I think for any company, that that's targeting a very specific b2b role be that a specific industry or job title or function with it within a company, especially when you're looking for slightly larger companies, you know, if you're looking for, you know, the small end of an SMB, you know, you know, entrepreneurs, single, single solopreneurs, up to, let's say, 1010, employees, you know, you're gonna find a whole lot of those over there on Facebook. But if you're looking for, you know, the big mid market to enterprise type of companies, you know, there's no better place than LinkedIn to reach those people in the decision makers within those people. I think the platform has evolved both as an organic content and networking platform, as it's, I think, you know, initially meant to be the number of people that are active there every day, the level of content that's, that's being shared there, the ability to reach so many people within a targeted audience over there within the the organic, you know, social level of a platform is just getting better all the time. And I think anybody that's serious about b2b needs to think about a strategy, you know, whether that's, that's outreach, whether that's posting content, and thought leadership and all that, or running ads, which has also been, you know, a very effective way to kind of put your your strategy on steroids and reach and make sure that you're hitting your ideal client persona, you know, on a broad on a broad level every day.
Jonathan Fischer 3:55
Well, looking forward to jumping in on some of the nuts and bolts. Before we get to that, for our live audience, a quick reminder, we are going to have our live q&a As always at the end of the show. So go ahead and start posting your questions in chat and whenever they occur to you. And here in just a little under a half an hour, you'll have live q&a with Aaron, and take it away and go make yourself some money for your company. So Aaron, when we're looking at LinkedIn, as I mentioned in the intro, we're usually thinking of that as the social media, you know, network platform platform that it is. The paid tools are far less well known. So I wonder if for the listener, you can start to enumerate what are some of the main paid options and marketing tools that may be less well known to marketers out there?
Aaron Zakowski 4:38
Yeah. So I think the main most important thing that people just make sure that they understand about the LinkedIn ads platform is just how powerful it is as a tool for reaching you know your exact target customer that that you're trying to go after in a b2b sense. It gives us the ability to target by industry by job title, by job function, by company size, whether it's based on on estimated revenue numbers, or based on employee headcount. as well as a number of other different targeting tools as well, but I think those are the core ones that the most companies are using. And if you've got a refined product, you've got, you know, a slightly higher ticket b2b product. So, you know, let's say, if you're selling something, you know, generally, I would say $10,000, annual contract value or more. LinkedIn can work really, really well for you. You know, I think people are familiar with the infeed ads, obviously, image ads, and video ads can be, you know, extremely effective. But they also have tools such as cover conversation ads, which allow you to drop messages directly into the people's inbox on the LinkedIn platform that could also be you know, very, very efficient. And what's been exciting to me lately is the idea of using video ads as top of the funnel just to to share thought leadership and thinking about things more of a blend of, you know, demand generation or branding for your company, combined with a direct response or lead generation platform as well.
Jonathan Fischer 5:54
So I wonder if you could kind of walk us through, let's unpack some of these and start to put some actionable steps in front of our listener, pick any one of those if you would, err, and maybe just kind of get us started? How would you begin to campaign?
Aaron Zakowski 6:06
Just Sure. I mean, what will make them take a step back and talk about maybe one of the challenges that that I know, a bunch of marketers have, and what are the hesitations people have within within LinkedIn ads? You know, one of them is clearly the idea that, you know, people think it's little bit too expensive, right? They think, you know, the, the CPM or cost per 1000 impressions is a little bit on the high side. And, and what might be true, I think people often get a bit short sighted when it comes to cost over there. And we're LinkedIn feels expensive, is maybe on the cost per lead, or the cost per click level, right. But when you think about the fact that you're reaching the right buyer that you're trying to reach, the cost per meeting, or sales opportunity can actually be much lower there than it might be on other platforms like Facebook, or Google ads, as well. So that's one thing to think about. And then the other challenge that we know a lot of companies have is they've tried LinkedIn ads, you know, they've generally they've used gentleman lead gen forms, which is a little organic form that pops up when you click the ad to generate a bunch of leads. And at first glance, those leads look like they're super high quality, you know, it's your, you hit the exact right company, because that's you've targeted, you've got the right job title within that company. So it looks like a really hot lead coming through. Now, the challenge is many cases is that with with your initial cold audiences, or top of funnel audiences that we might be targeting, those people don't quite know that much about your company or offer your service yet, right. And so while they filled out a lead gen form, they're not really coming in with very much intent, they don't really know much about you about your company yet. And what ends up happening is, and where a lot of marketers get frustrated, is those leads don't really turn into sales opportunities. Because the end of the day, that's really what we're looking for, in many cases, people might, you know, do a great job of nurturing those leads to eventually becoming customers. But you know, I know, that's one of the challenges that a lot of marketers have, and something we've been trying to put together some new strategies to overcome to a certain extent, and that and there is no one size fits all answer for any marketing solution for any company, because every company has got different nuances but but we've generally found is working a bit better these days is leading at the top of the funnel with a strategy of using video ads. Because in those video ads, you want to be having somebody in your company, you know, sharing your unique solution to solving the problems of your customers. So kind of thought leadership going ahead and and showing the personality behind behind your company right from the very beginning. And then what ends up happening is as you're sharing your unique perspectives and unique solutions for for solving your customers problems, is that the people who are interested and actually have that problem will very often watch your video. And by watching that video, they're kind of raising their hand and expressing your intent in showing that they're interested within the solutions that you have. And what's really great about that is LinkedIn gives you the ability to retarget, the people who have watched a significant amount of your video. And, and so what we're able to do then is at the top of the funnel, identify a within our target audience, the people who maybe have more attended have interest in the offer that we have. And then if someone's interested right away, and they want to convert right away, well, then we could link them straight over to a demo page, or we can consider at that stage using a lead gen form. But we don't want to be doing that aggressively. The goal isn't necessarily to expect a whole lot of leads at the top of the funnel right there, but rather to nurture those people through video content like that, and then drop them into a retargeting funnel. And then within that retargeting, we continue to nurture them until they're ready to want to talk with us rather than pushing them on our on our timeframe. So essentially, then on that retargeting level, the strategy you want to think about is testimonial ads, case studies, awards and recognition that your company might have won, continuing to show more thought leadership more contents, maybe send them some blog posts, or other solutions that let them learn more about your company. And then what happens just by consistently staying in front of those people who initially retargeting your ISP audience and then expressed interest by watching a video and now your retargeting for a longer period of time, maybe using a conversation as also dropping into their inbox which can be super effective. At that stage in the funnel. You're going to see Get a lot more, not just leads, but sales opportunities start coming over to your sales team like much more quickly. So it maybe takes a few months to ramp up before you start seeing those results. But what ends up happening is rather than forcing a bunch of people the top of the funnel into leads that don't end up converting, and everybody gets really frustrated, because, you know, maybe they didn't even schedule the meeting in the first place. And maybe they might, you know, show it. And even if they got on a call with your sales team, you know, maybe they weren't really that interested in the first place. So rather than forcing people that unproductive funnel, have a little bit more patience, move people through the retargeting, and they know that people on their own schedule will end up coming through and scheduling calls. Not because you you force them to at the top of the funnel, but rather because you've now nurtured them and created that demand where they actually want to talk to you. And those situations, just be quite surprised by how much your show up right on meetings increases, and your sales cycle is going to decrease, and you're going to see more revenue come from that.
Jonathan Fischer 10:54
It sounds really good. So are you against the idea of using Lead forms as an early effort and then just nurturing? Do you think that that shifts the energy in an unproductive way? You'd rather start with something that is more like a demand? Gen approach is? It's a great question.
Aaron Zakowski 11:06
Listen, the reality is, especially in the economy, as it is today, you know, our our CEOs and CMOS, and, you know, Chief Revenue officers and CFOs, you know, they want results in them often now. So we have to find that balance between going for the short term result, but also being patient and having a more productive campaign that we put together. So, you know, I'm not opposed to using lead gen forms, you know, at the top of the funnel, if we have to, you know, maybe in tandem with a video ads, you can run a video ad, right, that has that demand generation perspective. But then if somebody clicks the ad, they end up going into Legion form. So that's one thing you can consider. The reality is Legion forms do work better at capturing leads than then sending traffic to landing pages, you know, our experience. And I think most other LinkedIn advertisers have the experience that that for whatever reason, when LinkedIn user clicks on ads and goes over to a website, they don't convert very well, you got that same landing page to put it on on a Facebook ad. And people over there on a direct response level, they're going to convert on the landing page much, much better. But if for some reasons just doesn't work very well on LinkedIn. So those lead gen forms are often your best bet for for caption lead. Again, the challenge over that situation is that if you're talking about a cold audience who's never engaged with your brand, or your company or website before, right, they've seen an ad that got just a little bit of content from you. They click they clicked it, they open the form, they fill it out, they don't know much about your company at that stage in the game, right? They have very little context to want to speak with you as opposed to if they visited a landing page, you know, there's a lot more context they've read, the more of your coffee, they've seen maybe some case studies and testimonials and social proof and maybe an explainer video, all these kinds of things. That doesn't, that doesn't happen within a legion chord, right. So the intent is is a little bit lower. And that's why we like to rely more on the video ad to explain and talk a bit more. Now, a lot of people ignore those and not want to watch the video. But that person is probably not going to be your buyer anyways, right? The person who has more intent, ultimately your buyer is going to fall into that that smaller bucket of people who will watch the video, and then potentially clicking out or maybe just watch the video and go on with their day. And that's fine, because we're going to make sure that we've got aggressive and valuable retargeting hitting them up on a consistent basis. So that ultimately when they're ready, they will come through and book a demo or sales call, maybe refer you on maybe talk about you in the future, but build that brand affinity so that they become the solution that sticks in their mind. Because ultimately, you know, LinkedIn did a study recently, and they established that in any b2b market, you know, 95% of your ICP market and target audience is not, you know, doesn't have intent to buy anything at any given time. So that means that of all the people you're targeting, if you're lucky, 5% of those people are actually in the market for the thing you have, yet. Yeah, the other 95% might be in market at some point, you know, in the not too far off future. That might mean three months from now, that might be two years from now, right. But if you're building a business for the long term, you're looking for long term growth, you need to just continue to build that brand. You know, even at my agency, when we specialize in paid ads for for b2b and SaaS companies. We had a sales call that I took not too long ago, maybe was a year ago at this point, where the prospect came through onto the call with me and said, you know, hey, I downloaded, you know, an ebook that I put together several years ago, they had been sitting on my email list, you know, getting my newsletter periodically, for two years loving my content. And I had no idea that this person existed, they were just, you know, another person, you know, on my newsletter. But when I got them onto the sales call, they said, hey, you know, I love that perspective. You have, I've known for two years that, you know, we weren't ready to be running Facebook or LinkedIn ads yet. But when we were I wanted to come and work with you. Right? That's, that's the kind of nursery that we need to do with our content, get people into our communities, get people into our ecosystems that we can continue to nurture them till the time is right when they are ready to buy. And because there's always that balance of people who are interested now and people who will be interested, you know, later on.
Jonathan Fischer 14:51
Well, that's that those are good metrics. It's been cited for many years and seems to be validated every time it's re researched that number you you stated maybe Five 6% of a given market is going to do something right now, maybe with you. There's another potential maybe 25 or 35% of the market that could be educated to a place over time. So that's a very powerful thing to keep in mind. I think there's an awful lot of attention on that tip of the pyramid. The problem is you got this issue of budgeting and wanting to see some results. And so what what is the typical time horizon? is are there some I mean, I'm asking a very broad question, obviously. But are there some ways you can try to gauge what is a reasonable cycle from somebody who's never heard of you to where they're interested in having a conversation with you? Let's restrict ourselves to say, b2b tech or SAS solution type selling?
Aaron Zakowski 15:42
Yeah, so obviously, it really depends on the product category, if you're selling something that's considered a bit of a commodity, let's say you're selling HR software, CRM software or something like that, you know, the people who need software probably already have software, in most cases, getting them to change is a big hurdle to overcome, that's going to take a longer nurture cycle, where are you really able to push on the pain points of those people to why the solution they might be working with right now isn't as good, and why your solution might be better. So that's gonna take a much longer sales cycle. If you've got a more unique product, that's somebody that can solve people's problems that they might not even realize that they have, well, then that might be more of you know, what I'll call maybe an impulse buy where they might be interested, because they don't have a solution right now. But they might have a pain right now that they didn't even know there was a solution possible for in those situations, you might be more likely to get people coming through more quickly. And then also, you know, in terms of timeframe, other factors are going to play into is how do we alluded to the product market fit? You know, how, how trustworthy does your brand seem? Both from from a visual point of view, from, from a social proof point of view? How many testimonials do have a theory, do you have rankings on G to A Capterra, or other places like that, all these factors are going to go into the timeframe that you could expect, but in reality, you know, for a non technical enterprise type of software, you can start to see, you know, you might get some leads and sales come through even in the first month. That's great. When that happens, it doesn't always happen. But I think within the three to six month horizon is a reasonable timeframe, I think for a lot of companies to just start seeing some momentum and start seeing some some sales movement that comes through and again, depends on price points and product market fit and all those other elements. But I think it's realistic to say, you know, a little trickle the beginning, maybe you know, there is that 5% of people who who might be marketed at the given time when you decide that you've started to advertise. But before you start to see the momentum build, it's, it's, I'd say three to six months of, you know, organized retargeting and good content, that you're pushing out to those people to educate them, hopefully even entertain them a little bit, and to provide value for that.
Jonathan Fischer 17:49
So how do you feel about using lead magnets? Offering white papers or ebooks or the like? Would that be a good entry point, especially for a startup that no one's ever heard of? And has maybe an educational piece where they're trying to elbow their way into a crowded place? How do you feel about that as Yeah, absolutely.
Aaron Zakowski 18:04
So, you know, like some of the other things, it depends, right. I think content is a great way to lead. I think the question is, you know, when you're saying lead magnet, I think you imply by that you know, gated content where you require an email or something like that, in order to get the content? You know, it certainly can work well, I've seen many instances where it does, and I've seen many instances where it doesn't work? Well. I think we're, it's important to me to think about it is is one factor would be how strong is your your sales team, when it comes to consistent follow up? Right? A lot of times we see someone downloads, you know, they get their email, they download a PDF, maybe they will, or they won't even, you know, read that PDF, that's always a big question. And then how consistently is your sales team, going to continue to follow up over the long term with that person to make sure that they're continuing to reach out, make those multiple touchpoints and all those types of things, there's people that could teach the sales process much better than I can. So that's the one factor there that goes into it. And then I think the other really important thing to think about is, what is the nature of the content that you have in your lead magnet? You know, I think when we're doing you know, an industry report, an industry report often doesn't correlate to intention, your product, right, it's valuable, it can give value to the company, it can build the brand, you can get somebody into your email list so that you can nurture them and follow up. And there's a place for that for a company that's willing to be patient and has the infrastructure in place. But the lead magnets that I prefer to lead with if we're going on a content strategy is where the subject of lead magnet is very, very closely tied in to the pain that your target customer has, and the solution that your company is able to provide to alleviate that pain for the person. So you know, in my case, it might be you know, you know, a framework for running LinkedIn ads for b2b SaaS companies, right? If you're a b2b SaaS company that's interested in that you're going to download that that implies to me that you are interested in running LinkedIn ads for your company, right? It doesn't necessarily mean you want to do with me, but at least shows me you are interested in this solution and solving this problem right now. Whereas, you know, an industry report about the state of digital marketing within b2b doesn't indicate any intention to look for a solution that I'm happy providing. That makes sense. It does
Jonathan Fischer 20:13
make sense. I think the favorite radio station adage from years ago comes to mind wi I fm, everyone's favorite radio stations, what's in it for me, right? That's true on a corporate level as well. It's got to be it's got to really be a zinger. That means something in real, real real terms to your audience. I like that a lot. What the other thing that comes to mind when it comes to these marketing issues, so you think of like Google ads, you could, you could really create these wonderful dashboards. And you could have a really amazing view on attribution, from the first click to a purchase and even beyond. That's become more challenging in certain ways, even in Google and then in LinkedIn, is that a challenge? I'm on I'm a, I'm a one of the new people in the listenership today, when it comes to managing these campaigns inside of LinkedIn, talk, talk to us about that, if you will, the nuts and bolts,
Aaron Zakowski 21:05
absolutely attribution is every every marketers biggest headache, I think these days are one of our biggest headaches, I think we have to look at it is it's an art as much as a science these days, you know, certainly want to gather as much data as possible. And I'm an Excel geek, I want the data as much as anybody else and to capture all that data. But we also have to recognize that, you know, it's not always possible, you know, for example, you take the strategy that I said before, were you wanting to show videos at the top of the funnel, if you've targeted somebody with a LinkedIn ad, and they've watched a video, it's very, very difficult for you to attribute that if they don't click over and fill out, you know, a form on your website or fill out a lead gen form. You know, if someone clicks, and whether it's a lead gen form, you can capture that data going into your CRM, if they click over to your website and fill out a demo form, you can capture that that's great. But in so many situations, that's it's not that pretty, it's not that clean, someone's gonna watch a video, they might go over to your your company page, they might click from there over to see a couple key employees personal profiles, people click around all over the place. And that's actually another point, you know, it's really important to make sure that your company page and personal profiles of key team members are also important to make sure they're optimized quite well, in terms of the content that you're promoting there. But, but the buyer journey today is, you know, I said, messy, for lack of a better word, you know, people are going all over the place, you know, it's true, if someone clicks a Google ad, that attribution plays very nicely, but there's a lot of false reporting over there as well, in many cases, you know, we could find out that, you know, somebody discovered a company, because they initially saw a Facebook ad or a LinkedIn ad or something like that. And in the course of them doing a little bit of research, they went over to Google, and they Googled the name of the company, click the Google ad, that was their last touch. Now in most of their attribution, Google at Google Analytics or other places, on a large search basis, Google is going to take your credit for that for that sale. It could be you know, first of all, that might be false, certainly, from a point of view, should really get credit. There's the last touch assist maybe that Google had, but but I always think that the first touch in most cases should have the highest level attribution attributed to it. So so that that gets tricky. And oftentimes, you know, even if that first touching might be captured, most attribution doesn't really give enough credit there in that situation.
Jonathan Fischer 23:20
What additional tools do you like for marketing? So we got the video ads, there's paid in mail, I'm gonna guess from what you've said, you probably liked that better as a follow up and nurture piece than an initial entry point into funnel, maybe I'm wrong. What are your thoughts on that?
Aaron Zakowski 23:34
So in that is in that term, it's generally the one to one messages that we might sell through might send through a Sales Navigator or a paid LinkedIn account. And that's certainly a great way to be able to follow up with leads and such. On the ad side of it, like I said, there's conversation ads, and that can be done in much more bulk. So we could set up a retargeting campaign in that situation where anybody that visits our website, anybody who watches a video ad, anybody that opens a legion form, it doesn't actually complete that we can retarget those people were in message shows up in their inbox. The way that conversation ads work right now is you can't actually interact back and forth other than these CTA buttons that are there. And each one kind of does like a choose your own adventure story where you can have that, that that framework, and send people through messages ultimately with the intention of sending them towards, you know, a sales goal.
Jonathan Fischer 24:24
So and then, are there other misconceptions that our listenership may have about marketing on LinkedIn? I wanted to circle back on that you mentioned earlier that folks may have the idea that your cost of acquisition is going to go up. But you countered that, hey, so does the quality of the lead. What are some other myths you might debunk when it comes to marketing on LinkedIn?
Aaron Zakowski 24:43
Sure, I mean, definitely cost is one of the biggest ones that that I would think about. I think the other one might be the the speed in which people should expect to see results. You know, it's not I do not think of LinkedIn as a direct response platform, although there certainly are elements of that. And because branding and nurturing and demand generation, I think you need to plan to any successful campaign, you need to just have that patience. Like I said, don't expect to run some ads, get some leads, see some sales, you know, in the next 30 or 60 days, like I said, some might flow through, there might be a couple, but in reality, in order to really nurture people through, that's going to take quite a bit more time. And then, you know, I think that the the nurturing capability is also something quite important. You know, one, one little strategy I'll share with you that I know one of our clients is doing in terms of their flow is as people come through, and we generate leads off of LinkedIn ads, we're capturing in forums, at least when we use lead gen forms the LinkedIn profile your relevant user, so then we're using automation so that the CEO of the company, and salespeople are able to automatically send that prospect a connection request inside of LinkedIn, because they're writing a very relevant message then implies, hey, you know, you just signed up with our company, we'd love to connect and tell you more, the acceptance rates that they're getting of those people is actually quite high. And then those shortly after somebody accepts that, then they're hitting those people up with a message in their inbox on LinkedIn, to just try and continue that nurturing building that relationship. And I think that's a really another important tool that that people can using to to create a relatively automated flow, as soon as somebody you know, engages in a conversation, then you want a real life person getting in there and answering them. And I think that could be, you know, another tool to kind of get people moving through that that sales pipeline. And another one that I also really like, and again, that can be incorporated together with with messaging is, is using personalized video, where you just, you know, use a tool like bonjoro, I know there's a bunch of others that are out there, that that allow, you know, just open up your camera, your camera on your on your computer, or your phone, record a 32nd video, and just kind of send it over saying, you know, you know, Hi, here's who I am from the company, super excited to see you expressing some interest, really looking forward to getting on a call with you soon to tell you more, have a great day. That's all it takes. But it just creates that personal connection, that people are just more likely to want to speak with you.
Jonathan Fischer 27:01
I love that. I mean, we got to be more personal in this increasingly automated and AI driven world, that's an edge, especially if you can do it, do it at scale. Well, I wonder if you could give us about 90 seconds or so to the listener on let's say they haven't even begun to grapple with the paid marketing options inside of LinkedIn. What would you recommend recommendations be for where they should begin?
Aaron Zakowski 27:24
Where to begin? I mean, there's a lot to learn, I think, I think the key is, you know, kind of start small start paying attention to start paying attention to what tools are out there, you know, poke around inside of the account, you know, start to see what what the availability is, but, but, you know, run run small tests. I mean, I think I think there's a balance there. Because, you know, small is relative, you can't really spend too little money. You know, I think $1,000 a month is kind of the low low end, if you're just kind of doing a little bit of maybe retargeting. If you've got a little bit more budget than that you want to go towards, you know, some of the video, thought leadership type of pieces that we spoke about before. But it's, you know, it's trial and error next year dealing with segmentation makes you understand how the audiences work. But you know, there's a lot of great content, there's a lot of really smart people on LinkedIn that are talking about LinkedIn ads and giving advice. I think that's how many of us are working and learning is just, you know, sharing, sharing information on LinkedIn, there's a great community of people that are that are sharing that information. Unfortunately, don't have, you know, one good resource that they can send people to just say, you know, here's the place to go learn it. I think LinkedIn within their learning center does have some some courses over there, which might be a good starting point for a lot of people.
Jonathan Fischer 28:35
Well, awesome. Well, it's been a great conversation, Aaron, it always goes by so quickly. And I guarantee a lot of the listenership would want to go further with you and maybe take advantage of your expertise as they try to generate more leads on LinkedIn, how would they best follow up with you?
Aaron Zakowski 28:49
Yeah, well, I'd love to meet anybody who has any questions, whether that's, you know, helping you out on a deeper level, or just answering some of your questions about LinkedIn or Facebook ads, and b2b marketing, in general, best way to reach out to me would probably be to be you know, go find me on my LinkedIn profile, you know, connect with me over there, send me a message. And I would love to chat and maybe schedule a call and see whatever I can do to help you.
Jonathan Fischer 29:08
Excellent. And we will definitely put your LinkedIn URL there in the show notes. So if folks can follow up with you, Erin. Well, the time has arrived, we're gonna go ahead and jump into our live q&a. So if you haven't done so already, go ahead and post your questions in chat. This is asked me anything time with an expert. We're gonna restrict it, of course to LinkedIn lead generation, specifically the paid ads. And let's see what we've got here over in chat waiting for us. So here, here's actually one thing that I think is maybe let's let's talk about this one. So Michael Flauto says drive people to a discovery meeting, not a lead form. I'll just I don't know about that. I'm not sure if that's always correct, depending on what we mean by that. What are your thoughts? What would be the best initial action to drive people to I'm a fan of driving people towards something. It's a value to them. If I'm driving you to them meeting with me it feels like it's about me. That's my bias. What are your thoughts on that?
Aaron Zakowski 30:03
Yeah. So I mean, I guess the way I understand that question or that statement, you know, discovery meeting, the lead form can be used either for getting content, or it could also be used for, for for scheduling meeting, right? Again, we're not trying to force people into meetings until they're ready. That's definitely something that we've learned, and I think a lot of other marketers have, has made a similar mistake. Ultimately, we are trying to drive sales opportunities, not leads, right. If a discovery meeting is part of that, then that's what we want to do. But it's got to be ideally on the timeframe of the customer or the prospect, and not necessarily on the timeframe of a company who would love to have those, you know, whether they're leads or discovery meetings, wherever you want to call it. We want them today, right? That doesn't mean the customer is ready to buy or really speak with us today. So you know, kind of the strategy that I've been speaking about today, it's about allowing the customer to come to you for a discovery meeting, a demo meeting, whatever you want to call it on on their timeframe and lead forms. Again, if we're putting them there and retargeting so that someone can find them when they're ready, then then that makes a lot of sense to me if it's doing at the top of the funnel, just because we're trying to force people as that's the only solution that they can go with us with that I'm not as much of a fan of that.
Jonathan Fischer 31:15
Well, I understand. And I will ask the folks in the chat section not to spam our chat. Michael, don't do that, please. I'm sure you have a worthy offering. But I'm tempted to send all my friends to spam your event. But don't do that, please. Okay, moving right along. As the first as a first here on the eve envelope sales live, I have to call out somebody for spamming our q&a at the Interorbital
Aaron Zakowski 31:40
areas. What's that? You've arrived, you're big enough with your
Jonathan Fischer 31:43
platform. That's it. We're being spammed now. I love it. I love it. So now and lady actually shared my my thoughts on this one that we thought we spoke about earlier. But let's revisit briefly. Levy says I've heard the gated content works best when driving conversions. Would you agree with that?
Aaron Zakowski 32:02
I would say that good content works best for driving content for driving conversions. Right, gated or not gated, you know that, like I said before, there's a case for both, I think there's a great argument to be made for putting out that same lead magnet or just, you know, pillar piece of content that provides a ton of value that you've put effort into, and maybe not getting it, you know, if you've if you've put all that energy into creating something that you think delivers value, and that it will move people towards, you know, a stronger affinity towards your product and wanted to consider it with a really the goal should be to get as many relevant ICP targets to read that piece of content as possible. And by gating it, you're very severely limiting the amount of people that are actually going to consume that, that that piece of content that you put together so much. So the case for gating the case for case for not getting it, I guess I would say first is you're gonna get a whole lot more eyeballs on there and more consideration. Remember, you could always retarget anybody who sees an ungated, right? If you're sending people to let's say, a website, you know, that has your content on there. You can retarget everyone that visits that, you know, even if you want to make it as a PDF, you know, you can't retarget a PDF very well. But you know, you could offer that PDF for free on a landing page, and then everybody that visits a landing page and download the PDF, one. One thing I've also seen is, you know, you can give it for free on gated, but then give them an austere offer on the page that, you know, if you'd like to get a PDF version of this content, you can enter your information here. And that could work very well. Now the flip side of that, you know, the argument for getting it would be that you're capturing the person's contact information, and your sales team then has the opportunity to go and follow up. And in that situation, like I said, it can work very well for a lot of companies. But it also doesn't work for a lot of companies, I think you need to figure out what's right for you. And make sure first and foremost that your sales team has the process in place to be able to continuously nurture the people who have entered this into their their information into your gated form. Because you're gonna have a smaller number of people come through that, who you can follow up with versus much larger people in ungated content that will consume that content.
Jonathan Fischer 33:58
That makes sense, that makes sense. Here's a great question from Steve ROI Brown. Steve, I like that handle. He's asking what are the top three things you feel those who excel at using LinkedIn for business do compared to the rest who are struggling?
Aaron Zakowski 34:15
All right, great question. Three things. So I would say one of them. Make sure you have a great product market fit and sales process in place. If those things aren't there, then you know, no marketing is going to do terribly well. LinkedIn is really about educating consumers about building that demand through through content. So making sure the product is there. And then that you can do sales properly is important. I think the other one would be make sure you've got great content in place. And by content, I mean, it could be blog content that educates people it could be having the right testimonials and case studies and social proof in place. But all the things about ourselves and our buyer journey, all the things that we might want to see before we're going to pull the trigger on you know, a big purchase like you know, an expensive software or something like that. Makes sure that the brand is strong, the content is strong, we're educating people, we're using video to build brand, authority, thought leadership, all those things. And then the third thing I think, I would say for people to be successful is, are we going to get to four things here, patients, make sure that you don't expect to see results too quick, and you've got the budget and that your you and your leadership team within the company, have the patience to recognize we're going to work on this for at least six months, be invested in it with an expectation, we might not see results in the first three months, where we're going to hope to see kind of a, you know, get that flywheel spinning, so to speak, and starting to see an increase in results towards the end of the six months, which will only continue continue going on. And then the first thing I'm actually going to add to that list would just be curiosity, that as you're running campaigns, you're testing different things you're learning, you're you're you're segmenting your audience, as well, to make sure that you're seeing, you know, does targeting this job title versus that job title or job titles versus job functions, or, you know, companies, you know, larger companies versus smaller companies, which one works and converts the best and you can get the lowest cost, sales opportunity and ultimately, revenue that comes to your company. And then I think the way that I would measure the success to that, to the extent possible is what is your cost in ads per dollar of opportunity created? Or even better? What's your cost per $1 of revenue generated? I think those are the best metrics, you can be measuring the success of the campaign.
Jonathan Fischer 36:28
Excellent. Well, David giki has I hope I'm saying your last name correctly there, David, a good follow up question. I think he wants to tap into your wider expertise across the range of social media marketing. And he's asking what's your typical return on adspend? On versus on the meta properties? You know, LinkedIn versus meta? I guess so head to head? Are you seeing some maybe give a comparison if you would?
Aaron Zakowski 36:50
Yeah. That's a longer conversation Facebook ads versus meta ads. I'll say that the short version and honestly, I don't know if I'm in a situation to fully answer the row as question because working in an agency, we don't always have full vision into the full sales funnel to understand long term how many sales have been generated. What we do know is that our clients are often very happy and increasing our spend, and asking for more. But we don't always get to see really what's happening on the true. So if we should I can't fully answer that question for you. It's unlike e commerce where you know, $1, and today should be $2. Tomorrow, b2b sales cycle is being longer not being tracked by pixels, all these other things makes it much, much more difficult to test it to see that in a short run. I'd say the big difference that I see in meta versus LinkedIn, though, meta tends to be more of a direct response platform, we tend to be able to generate leads much more quickly over there. People will click an ad on Facebook or Instagram, they'll go to a landing page, they'll fill out a lead form, and they'll schedule the meeting much more quickly. For whatever reason on LinkedIn, like I said before, people don't really click from LinkedIn over to a landing page and convert very well it could happen, but you're gonna see the cost per lead to be quite a lot more than if you're losing using the Khadija form. For example, like I said, the big benefit, of course, though, on on, on LinkedIn is though the people you are capturing are higher quality, bigger company, leads or opportunities, not to say that we can't get those unmet as well, you know, we had a client that we were working with over the past year where they had a $85,000 annual contract value product, they were looking for companies with 10 million plus in revenue, which wouldn't be the typical thing you'd be expecting to find in Facebook or meta right. But you know, if people don't know that a year ago, Facebook rolled out what they call a b2b company size targeting. So they've got three different buckets of company sizes that you can target. And I think it goes from 10 to 200 employees, 200, to 500 employees and 500 plus employees. And by layering those on with our general interests and lookalikes and demographic things within Facebook, we've actually been able to generate a lot more leads from these larger, you know, mid tier companies that this company was looking for. And, you know, in this situation, it's true, most of the leads that came through were not qualified based on that criteria of 10 mil five or $10 million plus annual revenue, but you know, about 15 to 20% work. And the way that just worked out that the math ended up working out that their cost per meeting, even if it came out to you know, 1000 $1,500 and they were closing 10% Of those, let's say it was still a $15,000 sale, but an $85,000 annual contract value that was golden for them, right. And in that situation, you know, we spent about a million dollars over the course of a 12 month period, running ads for them. And I believe they kicked out about $4 million in annual recurring revenue on the back of that. So meta works great as well. But we know LinkedIn also can work phenomenally because you're just making sure you're only targeting the right people didn't exactly answer the question that you asked, but hopefully it was still beneficial. Yeah,
Jonathan Fischer 39:49
that's some great insight. And I was very surprised to hear you say that that could be effective in that space on Facebook so definitely could have a range of things going on. One penny agua is asking a great question here. What are what are some of the most important metrics your analytics businesses should focus on? When measuring the success of their LinkedIn marketing efforts? I mean, there's a lot to look at, can you maybe help them narrow their focus, and I kinda want to maybe want to pile on a little bit and say, especially for folks that are early on trying to get started, I'm assuming a lot of relationship may be in that spot.
Aaron Zakowski 40:20
Yeah. See early on is tricky. Because you might not have as much going on in terms of, you know, the more sophisticated setup, let's say, and your CRM or analytic software and things. But there's also for early on that sort of advantage of, you're probably not doing as many things yet. And therefore, you can kind of trust your gut a little bit. So let's say you're doing a little bit of SEO, and then you start running some LinkedIn ads, and you start getting some, some sales, or at least, you know, sales opportunities and meetings coming through, it shouldn't be too hard to get a sense by talking to people and maybe just asking for self attribution of like, Hey, how'd you find out about us on a sales call, or maybe including a question like that on your lead form, you should be able to start to tell a story or paint a picture of what's been working for you over there in terms of the quality of the leads, you know, entering that into your CRM, etc. So I think that's a lot easier when you're at an earlier stage, just because you're not doing as many things right. It does get trickier, of course, when you when you start having SEO, and Facebook ads, and Google ads, and LinkedIn ads, and outreach and all the other things. But as I mentioned before, I think one of the key metrics people should be looking for, obviously, making sure that we can at least get an estimate of attribution. Again, it's always imperfect, and then ultimately trying to calculate, like I said before, what's your cost per dollar of opportunity? And then even better, what's your cost per dollar of revenue? You know, if we know that we can generate, you know, for, you know, $1 of revenue for 85 cents? Well, you know, that's great, right? Because there's usually going to be some residual benefits that come out that aren't attributed as well. So the profitability is probably greater than 50%. So that that might indicate over there. Same thing that we're thinking about opportunities, you know, we've had clients who have come to us and said, you know, hit, here's your primary KPI, we want to generate, you know, $1 of opportunity, at 20 cents, because we know approximately what our close rates are going to be. And so then we've got a target over there to say, you know, and obviously, the clients got a good to do a good job of applying a unexpected opportunity value to every lead that comes through the CRM, but working together with them, you know, we would want to see, you know, how many leads came through from a given marketing platform or ad platform, and then tie those over opportunities and just, you know, become simple math at that point. And then you want to dig down deeper. So we're not just looking at it always at a, at a platform level, you know, LinkedIn ads as a whole, but maybe on the campaign level, or the audience level, or even ad creative level to understand which things are working better, what deserves more budget, what should be shut off, etc.
Jonathan Fischer 42:44
Yeah, excellent. Well, I'm gonna take a host privilege and close out q&a with a final question of my own. And I'm staying with that early on listener. And when it comes to LinkedIn marketing, maybe even also someone who's starting up. So we have a lot of sass company listeners. And it's pretty challenging to know how to budget, it's it's probably the question marketers themselves, like, like yourself, probably hate the worst, right? How much do I spend? What's my budget, but you're forced to give advice, and you've done it more than once? I can guarantee. So what was your good advice be to somebody who's trying to get rolling with this? They're making a six month commitment? What are some best practices on how they can even budget realistically around?
Aaron Zakowski 43:25
So I would say realistically, you know, you want to have at least five to $10,000 on the low end, you know, if you just want to run some retargeting, I was thinking, do you do less than that. But I would say, if you want to really get data, really test the platform, you know, with a sense of security, that you've done it right. Give yourself a solid five to 10,000 budget. I mean, that's on the low end really, for I think what most people should be doing on LinkedIn. But then the other piece of that is also just make sure you have somebody that's doing it that knows what they're doing, right? Because you know, you can go and run, you know, $10,000 a month for six months, you spent $60,000. But if the person who was actually organizing that and creating your strategy and day to day optimization didn't really understand the platform, well, well, then you're really not going to see better results. And that doesn't mean the platform didn't work. It just means you didn't do it very well. So I think it's important both to have a big enough budget so that you can really do it effectively and efficiently. But also to make sure that that there's a person there running it, who understands how LinkedIn works. And that, like we said before, you've got the patience to see it through and to give it the best chance of success, and then you've got the content of places we spoke about before.
Jonathan Fischer 44:34
Well, it's been a great conversation, you've added a ton of value to our listenership. Aaron, I'm grateful to you for that. Thanks so much for being on the show. Thanks for having a lot of fun. Well, and a big thanks to our listenership as well you folks make it what it is to be here on the Evolve sales leader and what a privilege I have to come and ride along with you learn so many amazing and great techniques for growing our businesses better than we had before. I want to thank You're being part of it and help us continue to grow. Bring your friend next time. We're here the same time, same station each week. And if you're enjoying the content that we provide, and want to check us out, anytime you needed a podcast to listen to while driving or working out, go to the Evolve sales leader, wherever you'd like to get your podcasts. Big shout out to our sponsor as well we're powered by overpass overpass.com The best place you could possibly go to get SDRs VDRs fullcycle sales professionals, anybody that you need to work the phones to help you grow. It's free to open your account and you don't pay a penny until you find 1235 or 10 rockstars to add to your team check them firstname.lastname@example.org That's gonna do it for this time. Once again, Jonathan Fisher, I'm signing off. We'll see you next time. Take care everybody