- Rveal’s website: rveal.media
- Rveal’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/rvealmedia/
- Rveal’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC69p14R2ccMdyUbbmdlWCEw
Kap Chatfield 00:20
Hey guys, welcome back to B2B Podcasting. Today, we're going to be going deep into LinkedIn ad strategy. We have the one the only AJ Wilcox. He's the sound CEO and founder of B2Linked, and he's also the host of the LinkedIn Ad Show. And I'm telling you, there's no, there's no better expert to get on the show, to talk about to talk about LinkedIn ad strategy and how to use LinkedIn in a strategic way and a promotional way to build your business and how you can also use a LinkedIn ad strategy with your own B2B podcast. AJ, so glad to have you on the show today.
AJ Wilcox 00:53
Kap, I'm so excited to be here. Thanks for such a kind intro, I'm already feeling pretty good about myself.
Kap Chatfield 00:59
You should feel good about yourself. We've had a lot of fun chatting together. And I already call you a friend. So it's good to have you. Good to have you on the show to just to nerd out, talk about B2B marketing and sales and how LinkedIn is like such a critical platform, not just for organic content, but for paid media. And so let's just go into that real quick. You obviously have a very, very specific laser focused niche in the marketing world. LinkedIn advertising, not just LinkedIn in general, but how to do LinkedIn ads well. And I think it's really needed, because I don't see a lot of great LinkedIn ads out there. So glad you do what you do. I'm curious, tell us the story about how you got into such a specific area of the market?
AJ Wilcox 01:40
Yeah, well, I started out as a search engine optimization guy, and a Google Ads guy. This has been, you know, 14 years ago. And what happened is I went to go work at a b2b company, this is, you know, seven years into my career. And on my very first day, I'm talking to the CMO, my new boss, and I laid out all of my marketing strategies that I wanted to pursue. And I remember her saying, "oh, all that sounds great, go ahead and execute it. But just so you know, we started a pilot with LinkedIn ads about two weeks before you got here. So see what you can do with it". And I saluted and said, "Yes, ma'am. Absolutely". And walked out of her office and went, "what is the LinkedIn ads?" But I, I, I didn't want to look stupid to my new boss. So I dove into the platform and started trying to figure it out. And about two weeks later, this is when I got my first clue that something cool was happening with it. The sales, like one of the sales guys came up to introduce himself. And he was like, "Hey, by the way, we are fighting over your leads over here, whatever you're doing, it's working, keep it up." And I kind of went, "What are you talking about?" I went and logged into our CRM, I looked at the leads that he was talking about that he'd been dispositioning. And every single one of them had come from LinkedIn ads. And it was not the only ad channel I was running at that point. So I went, "Oh, the the sales team likes these leads. There's something to it." And over the course of the next two and a half years, I ended up growing that to become Lincoln's largest spending Ads account. And so I go access to all of the, Yeah, I got access to all the product team. They all wanted to hear what I thought of the product. Yeah, that they became friends. And it was at that point, I realized that, wow, no one else is doing anything around LinkedIn ads, and I'm in a unique position to be able to offer that.
Kap Chatfield 03:21
That's really cool. So you basically got like VIP access to their team, because they're like, dude, this guy, he's spending a ton of money with us. And so you got to really understand how how that product works in a in a really unique way. That's amazing. I'm curious, because you said you were running other ads on different platforms as well. And LinkedIn just happened to be like the goldmine for your sales team. What do you think was the reason why it was so much more effective than any other platform?
AJ Wilcox 03:49
Well, and this is still the case today, even you know what it's been nine years later, or whatever. They LinkedIn ads lets you target people by who they are professionally. And as you know, in business to business, we are, there's a very narrow segment of the population who would be our ideal customer. So when I'm running LinkedIn ads, I can say, hey, if you sell a product to to people in HR, let's say it's like a, an HRIS system, I can target only those who are in HR, who have a seniority of, of maybe director and above, at tech companies with at least 500 employees. And so every lead that comes through is going to be a perfect high quality lead. Whereas from Google, for instance, people are searching by the keyword that they're looking for. But there's no way to vet who they are professionally. They could be a secretary, they could be a janitor. It doesn't matter. And Facebook kind of the same deal. You can target by what someone is interested in. And Facebook will take a guess at who they think it is. But your sales team's gonna end up throwing out, you know, 85, 90% of all of the leads that come in from from Facebook and Google. But LinkedIn you pretty much get to keep 100%, they're all qualified.
Kap Chatfield 05:05
And you obviously have to pay a little bit of a premium for that. I know like the CPM, the cost per 1000 impressions on LinkedIn is is way higher than it is on Facebook, but particularly for what you're doing, you're helping, you're helping your employer, now you're helping other clients, you're helping them position their product or their service amongst a very specific audience that's already highly qualified to buy. So it's a lot more valuable that that group that would actually be checking out your ad.
AJ Wilcox 05:34
Oh, so valuable. You know, when I very first started with LinkedIn ads, the average cost per click was between about $6 to $9. And it's continued to grow. And I've continued watching what people say about LinkedIn ads. Ever since the beginning, when the cost per click was like $2. People would always say it's too expensive. Well, what happens is marketers are we're getting more, more tech savvy, more data savvy, and the tech platforms, the CRMs, are allowing us to see that, like, the, the impact, we're having further down the sales cycle. And so what's happening is people are saying, Oh, well, I'm paying five times more for every click on LinkedIn than I was on Facebook. But by the time we get to calculate a cost per lead, say sales qualified lead, all of a sudden, the cost per sales qualified lead is half for LinkedIn what it is for Facebook. And it just goes to show its quality. And since we all have a good, we all have tech platforms that are helping, like feed that data to us. Now you're seeing people who are saying, Oh, I can afford to pay 15 or 20, or $30 per click on LinkedIn, because it still works out.
Kap Chatfield 06:47
Because it's yeah, you know that that click is actually going to mean something rather than somebody that has would not fit your ICP at all. So that makes a lot of sense. Now, obviously, with LinkedIn ads, just like any other ad platform, there's a lot of different ways that you could do an ad. You could do a display ad, you could do a video you could do, you can do a handful of different things. What are some of the let's get like really nitty gritty and tactical here--What are some things that you, that a company or b2b brand that's just starting to get into LinkedIn ads, what are some of the things that they should definitely move towards? If they're just getting started? And what are some things they should avoid?
AJ Wilcox 07:24
Kap, this is a super good question. Because people get super confused when they log in for the first time. And they see 12 different ad formats they can use. The one that I would absolutely recommend everyone starts with, it's the simplest, it's called a single image sponsored content. It shows up right in the newsfeed. And if you just go and open LinkedIn right now, either on your mobile or on desktop, if you look at the second item in your newsfeed, it'll say "promoted", and it'll likely be a single image. Could be video, could be carousel, you know, something like that. But even though that was one of the ad formats that was released back in, like 2013, it's old, but boy, it's still 95% of what we recommend.
Kap Chatfield 08:05
Whoa, why do you think it's so effective?
AJ Wilcox 08:08
Um, well, for me, as a marketer, it's really effective because I can test faster. There's very little to it. If I'm doing video, I have to go and like, oh, let's have a thumbnail created. Oh, and let's go and create the subtitles file. Because we know subtitles are going to be important. And if we see poor performance, we don't know if it's the ad copy, or the thumbnail, or the video creative itself. But with a single image ad, you have 150 characters of text up above, you have a big, beautiful image, and like 55 characters down below. And so it's a lot easier to tell, like, if performance is good or bad, what it is that's causing it and pivot very quickly to test.
Kap Chatfield 08:50
That, okay, that's really helpful, because obviously, you test that out to see what audience are we really resonating with the most? What language or what copy are we using that's, you know, the most engaging? Or, you know, getting getting us the right leads? That that makes sense. I'm curious, along with the that type of ad, what sort of objective campaign objective and I know like there's, you know, top of funnel kind of brand awareness sort of objectives, middle funnel consideration, and bottom of funnel conversions. Obviously, we all want conversions. But what site, what type of campaign objective would you recommend kicking it off?
AJ Wilcox 09:29
So I can geek out a little bit on this. And when I start to complain, I'm not I don't think it was good for LinkedIn to come out with objectives. I know they released it because Facebook ads has objectives and they're exactly the same. And so they thought, oh, to capture all of those advertisers who understand Facebook, we need an interface that speaks to them. But the objectives they don't do what you'd expect them to do. For instance, if you see the brand awareness objective that is it's super locked down, I don't recommend anyone use it. It forces you to bid by CPM, meaning that you can't bid by cost per click, and bidding by cost per click is the is the cheapest way to get traffic on LinkedIn 90% of the time. And so just by saying, Oh, I, "I want brand awareness so obviously, that means I'm going to be bidding by the impression". No, what you want to do is bid whichever way gets you the lowest cost per impression and lowest cost per click, whether the objective is just for someone to see it, or to convert. So I start out with two different objectives, depending on what I want to do. If I want to send traffic to a website, I use website visits. Don't use conversions, because LinkedIn doesn't have nearly enough conversion data to, to interpret that, and optimize towards it. And if I want to keep the traffic on LinkedIn, but just have people fill out forms that are right within the ad itself, I use the lead generation objective. And of course, there are others that I'll test into later, depending on what seems to be performing. But those are the two that I would start with.
Kap Chatfield 11:08
When do you see the lead generation? Because basically what that looks like for someone who's never done a LinkedIn ad before, is it it's like a an ad where there's this, you know, a button that says "click to apply", or whatever. And then it can be like pre populate their key information, their name, their email. So it's it's embedded within LinkedIn, it's very native to the experience of LinkedIn. But obviously, you're going to get less results, quote, unquote, for that objective than you would just for website traffic. So what would be like the key difference of what you want? Or maybe what type of business you do, for you to do the lead generation versus the website traffic?
AJ Wilcox 11:50
Yeah, I'll give you a little spoiler here. 70% of our clients use the lead generation objective exclusively, just because it's performed so well. So going back a little bit in history, LinkedIn was they were listening to their advertisers. And the advertisers would say, "Hey, I'm getting traffic to my website, but it's not converting, it must be bad traffic. And LinkedIn's like, well, "we didn't build your landing page, we didn't build that experience. We don't know what's going on. Like, you can't blame us for that". And so what they figured out is, and the same thing that came from Facebook, Facebook's lead ads, very similar concept. And it'd say, "Hey, we're going to have a form show up like inside of a drawer inside the ad. And we're going to auto-populate, just like you said, we're going to autofill all of the information that we know about a prospect to make it so dead easy, all they have to do is just hit the submit button, if you're only asking for information that LinkedIn that's on their LinkedIn profile. And what we get by that, we remove a whole lot of the friction. There's no waiting for the landing page to load there, because it's instant. There's no "do I trust this company or not?" Because you're on LinkedIn, you you're obviously like, trusting of the brand if you're there and interacting. And so the chief complaint I'll hear about these kinds of ads from the sales team is, oh, they're a little bit lower of quality. Well, on average, they increase your conversion rate by 10 to 50%. So if lead, yeah, if lead quality takes a 5% or a 10% hit, but you're getting 40%, more or 50%, more then it still works out. And the lead quality is only lower, because we took some of the friction away. And so some of those who wouldn't have filled out the form on the landing page are now like, Okay, I'll take a flyer on this.
Kap Chatfield 13:42
First of all, I feel like I am getting some information that I'd otherwise have to pay for. So this is so good. Thank you so much for being willing to share all this. And this is a, I know, our audience is gonna really, you know, get some value out of this. I know I'm getting value out of this. So this is this is really helpful. Thanks for that. Another question that I have, back to the video stuff. So when you're doing a video ad, is there a place for video ads on LinkedIn? Or do you recommend that people just stay away from them?
AJ Wilcox 14:14
In general, I recommend stay away from them. I find that just the video inventory is about 20% more expensive than the single image inventory. And so if your goal in running LinkedIn ads is to get the lowest cost per lead, for instance, then the cheapest way to do that is going to be single image ads and avoid the video. What I find in general is that when people are on LinkedIn, they're in a hurry. And so your video ad unless you have a lot of action happening in the first two seconds. People aren't going to stick around and wait and watch it. I really hope that that there's an exception to that rule. I would love to see like funny viral videos that we see on other platforms for business, but the fact of the matter is when I run video ads costs are higher, and engagements lower. So unless my goal is specifically just getting people to like, make a stronger impression on them with my brand, video can do that really well. But it's going to be more expensive.
Kap Chatfield 15:12
That's a good to know. I'm curious, as I've been messing around with LinkedIn ads, I've discovered that you can only do ads on a company page, you can't do them on a personal page. Which would kind of be different from the experience that you have with Facebook and Instagram, where you could kind of create like a personal brand, business page, quote, unquote, or creator page. And then you can run ads from like that personal brand account. Now, obviously, what we're seeing with LinkedIn, and we could have probably, you know, you don't have to be a psychic to to have seen that LinkedIn was moving into a personal brand direction with a lot of the content creation capabilities that you have. And people are interested in following people typically than they are in, you know, not all the time, but usually more than they are following brands or companies. Because we're people, it's a social media platform, we want to connect with people. So a question I have for you is with that, with that being a discrepancy between how LinkedIn ads can function, then like Facebook, or Instagram, do you see any value in LinkedIn ads from a personal brand perspective? And if so how can personal brands leverage it? Leverage LinkedIn ads to continue to build their brand?
AJ Wilcox 16:29
Oh, good question. Alright, so we have actually seen success from one of our clients went and created a company page, but the company page was actually for, for them personally. So instead of the company name, it was their name, instead of the company logo, it was their picture. And we saw a lot of success from these ads. Because as people were going through their feed, it looked like someone they were following, rather than a company in an ad. So yeah, that's something that I mean, LinkedIn has gotten really lax about what qualifies as a company now. Like, thank goodness, so we can do that kind of thing. But I think the crux of your question here, is, really goes to something really important on LinkedIn, which is, when you share something from a personal profile, it's going to get 10 times the engagement, than something that comes from a company page, even with all the same color, the same followers, the same, the same creative and all of that. And that just comes down to on LinkedIn, and just in business in general, we want to connect with people, we, we do business with people, people have the personalities. You don't even know if you comment on a company's post, is anyone from the company even get to see it? So I think that's one weakness to ads, is I really wish that we could say, "Wow, I had an organic post that just went totally viral. Let me put some dollars behind that. Let's get that out to a bigger audience." But we can't, it's just it's a fundamental difference in in how LinkedIn, like you said, runs the ads, based off of the company page, rather than a personal profile, there's just no, no interaction there.
Kap Chatfield 18:13
I don't want to, I don't want to harm your relationship with the LinkedIn AD team. So I'm not going to ask you if they've given you any secrets about things coming up. But my hope is that they would, you know, take something like that seriously. Because I'm just seeing personally, I mean, you and I connected personally, through the DMS on LinkedIn. I'm actually creating some really meaningful relationships, and on LinkedIn, on a personal level. And so to be able to amplify your reach in that way, I think that could that could be pretty cool. So hopefully, it moves in that direction. Now, here, okay, I'm gonna ask you this question. What is a, what is one feature that you that you really wish the LinkedIn ads, oh, product would actually implement?
AJ Wilcox 18:58
Right now, the entire ad platform runs off of UTC time. And so if you're, if you're advertising from the UK, that's fantastic. Like Midnight is midnight for you. But here in in Mountain Time Zone where I am, my the new day for advertising starts at 7pm. And so if I have a, let's say, I'm running a small budget of like 10, or $20 per day for a campaign, what that means is if I've hit my budget by the end of the day, at 7pm, for me, it's back on. And so, I mean, the chances of me being able to spend 10 to $20, from 7pm to 5am, is really good, but the people that I would be advertising to are not the ideal kinds of customers in the right mindset. They're, they're up late at night and can't sleep. They're the insomniacs. Yeah. So that's one thing I would really wish they would do is allow us to select our timezone or heck just based the timezone off of off of LinkedIns time, which is mountain timezone, and work off of that. Like they didn't even have much of a presence in the UK, why did they set the whole platform to be based off of UK time?
Kap Chatfield 20:10
That is kind of bizarre? Well, you should send them some feedback on that I'd think. They'd probably
AJ Wilcox 20:15
Oh I have
Kap Chatfield 20:15
More than, you have? Well,
AJ Wilcox 20:17
Yeah, yeah, they don't care. Oh well.
Kap Chatfield 20:19
If LinkedIn is listening to this podcast, I can't imagine that they would, please consider that. It'd help AJ sleep better and help all of us out. Now, hey, let's let's do a soft transition to your show. Because obviously, I mean, we could talk for hours about LinkedIn ad strategy. And I'd have a lot of fun. I'm sure our audience would have a lot of fun with that. But I want to I want to talk about how you are taking this expertise, and how you've created a really powerful content vehicle, content flywheel, I should say, out of this, the show that you're doing The LinkedIn Ads Show. So what got you into the, you know, testing out doing a podcast to develop this thought leadership?
AJ Wilcox 20:59
So I have been in love with podcasts for the last seven years. I mean, I wish I could show you my subscriptions tab. I just, I have subscribed to more content than I can possibly listen to. And I listen to it all at two and a half times speed. It's just, I can't get enough. And I don't know if you know, the Social Media Marketing Podcast with Michael Stelzner. It's a it's a huge podcast. And Michael Stelzner is a good friend. I've been on the podcast several times now. And the last time I was on his show, or a second to last time. He said, "Hey, by the way, when are you starting your show?" And I was like, I've for a long time wanted to start one. I think it'd be amazing to be a podcast host. I love podcasts. But I just don't think that LinkedIn Ads are a large enough niche to to run a whole podcast after. And he stopped me and said, AJ, that is exactly why you need to create a show around it is because of how niche it is. It just makes it hyper relevant for all of those people who are considering LinkedIn ads or actively managing them. And so I took his advice. And I went and started the show. And, boy, it was a lot more work than I expected. I know, you know, that's like. But boy, it's been rewarding. And I love being a podcast host.
Kap Chatfield 22:13
I have discovered that going really laser focus with a topic, there's like, there's a fear that can come in before you do it. Like man, is this, is this even gonna be interesting? And am I going to grow bored of this? Is there going to be even enough things to talk about? But I've discovered that when you go really narrow focus, it actually is like the best decision ever, because you have a lot of safety in regards to like, I know what I'm going to talk about. I know the the lane I'm going to run in. And it really does become like this goldmine of so many different things that you can cover and and then you also build build a way stronger brand that way. Have you experienced that same thing with your show?
AJ Wilcox 22:55
Oh, yeah, totally. You know, from that exact same standpoint, I was looking at it like, Okay, I've taught courses on LinkedIn ads. And I know a course has, you know, 28 modules. And I've been able to cover the whole platform, everything that you think you'd need to know. And what I found is after I released those, like, first 28, 30 episodes, I was getting feedback from the community and the community was saying, Hey, I'm really curious, there's this ad type. What about this? And you know, what about this specific use case? And I started writing all of these down. And in my like ideation document for future episodes, I have so many episodes now that I can create way more than I can create. And so what I found is by narrowing myself to a really small niche, I thought that I might run out of content, but the community has given me the rest of the content.
Kap Chatfield 23:46
Wow. And your problem, you're able to actually build a community around it because they know what they're gonna get from you. And they have a very specific need that you're able to deliver on. So it's if you had gone really broad is what I'm trying to say the odds of you actually building a community around this topic would probably never happen. So that's another reason why it's so important to go so so narrow with it. So let me ask you, in regards to starting the podcast, you you kind of you said almost tongue in cheek, like how difficult it was to start a show yourself. What was one of the most challenging elements of starting a show? And the reason why I want to ask you this, so think about this, as you answer the question. There's people who are listening to this show, who are either they've already started a show and you know, there's a great statistic that most shows end up like, you know, taking a nosedive around or before the seventh episode. So if you make it past the seventh episode, you've kind of like gone into the clear and the odds of you sustaining a show are just way higher. So there's people that have might have started and they might be kind of feeling that same frustration intention, or there's people who have not started and they're like, Man, I want to but I just don't know if I have what it takes. So speaking to that person encouraging them, what was one of the most challenging things that you had to experience in starting your own show? And how have you overcome that?
AJ Wilcox 25:08
By far the most, the biggest struggle that I've come across is I'm a perfectionist. And before I started the show, I wanted the perfect intro music, I wanted the perfect voiceover. I wanted, for every episode, standard things that I said I wanted it to be, you know, expect expectable is predictable. I wanted it to be brandable. And I wanted this show that had already been, you know, online and running for years to get to that point. And so the first three months where like, it literally took me three months to get to the point where I convinced myself, okay, I'm good enough to launch here, chances are, no one's gonna listen to the first few episodes, or you know, the first 10 or 50 anyway, so I'll go ahead and make some mistakes. But the next biggest challenge, and this is one I still face today is I decided, there's probably five or fewer people on the planet, who I trust enough about their knowledge of LinkedIn ads to have them on the show. So rather than make this an interview show, I'm going to make this a solo podcast. Wow, what, what that did is I know, you know this, when you bring a guest on, they create the content for you. And so there's very little
Kap Chatfield 26:24
You're creating the content for me today. So,
AJ Wilcox 26:26
Exactly. And I'm not I'm not like diminishing the value of an interview podcast. But I just looked at it and said, Okay, I'm going to at least do the vast majority of it solo unless I have like a LinkedIn employee on as a guest. And now every episode takes me about four hours of planning, and then about one hour of recording. And so because of that, it's really hard for me to do an episode, it takes a lot of time. And it does make me wish that I would have gone the interview route. So think very carefully about like, the format of your show. And and then kind of do what I did just say, I'm okay with it not being perfect, I just launching with something is better than never launching.
Kap Chatfield 27:09
I want to speak into that, because there's there, the combo of those two things, I think is really helpful. And that hopefully, this frees up somebody else in the audience. And I hope this frees you as well. Because you understand that like building a business, if you're going to build a business, and you want to wait until you have the perfect business plan, before you even start, you're never going to build the thing. It's just not realistic. The reality is that, you know, like, like building a business starting a show. It's something that you do, you try, you you make mistakes, you test, kind of like with a LinkedIn ad strategy. And from that you start to, you start to see the thing evolve. And so you just got to get started. So for those who are just thinking, like, Man, I want to get started, but I don't have the right camera, or I don't know, I don't have like the perfect format for my show yet. Just get started and let the audience tell you, you know, how you should maneuver the search the show. So I also want to say, you know, it's not too late for you, at some point to say, you know what, maybe I start doing an interview format. I think that could be really interesting. But I also think that your challenge with your expertise, and there not being a ton of people that you can interview. I think that that's really common for a lot of people listening. I mean, we've had people on the show, not just from the marketing space, or the sales space, but even from medical, even wealth management, accounting. So like there's a lot of very niche things that it's really about your own thought leadership less than building a network publicly and allowing, you know, those guests to help you reach a further audience. So there is a lot of value in the thought leadership approach. But I want to hear from you firsthand, as you've been doing this content, this this more thought leadership, narrow focus with the LinkedIn ad expertise. Have you seen your show help grow your business in any quantitative or qualitative way?
AJ Wilcox 29:03
Yeah, this one's been really interesting, because obviously, like you mentioned, a flywheel having your own show is, it's not one of those things like you launch and on day two, you just have a ton of people who are becoming leads in your inbox. It doesn't work like that. And so over the course of the last like year and a half, I've noticed that every new episode that comes out, there are more and more people who when they, when they reach out, they say I'm a listener of the show. I'm a fan of the show. And the sales team says over and over, those are our most qualified leads those are the ones who graduate to SQL the very fastest. And so yeah, I want to keep going simply for that, even if we still got the same number of leads, because maybe they would have found us anyway. The quality of their their readiness is so much higher that it just it was a no brainer.
Kap Chatfield 29:55
I'll tell you that. You know, because you're doing the show it's really it's really, really easy for someone, particularly me, I'll just give you a personal example for me to find you to find your company. It really made it easy for me to trust your company, because of the show. The show is like you demonstrating what you're going to sell to other people, and you're demonstrating it for free. So I know in my mind, if I need to hire a third party agency to manage LinkedIn ads for any of our clients, this is gonna be the first person that comes to mind, because this is all they do. And I know that they know what they're talking about because of the content they're putting out.
AJ Wilcox 30:31
Yeah, I totally agree with that. And I didn't even think about that for my own show. But I definitely think about that, when I'm out looking for for service providers, if I'm comparing two different brands, and one I can see is out there, like putting their money where their mouth is. They're giving for free to the community, I am much more likely to go with that person than the one who just says, Yeah, I swear we do really a really good job.
Kap Chatfield 30:57
I want to touch on that a little bit, giving away expertise for free. Because obviously your business model, it depends on you and your team being the leaders in understanding LinkedIn ad strategy. And I think sometimes we can we can operate with a scarcity mindset of, "Oh I don't want to give away my best strategies and tactics for free, because then what do I have to sell?" But you know, I think a lot of people, other people, I should say, are starting to see. No, if I give away stuff for free, there's still going to be people that are like, Yeah, I love it. I can see, I can see what you're saying. I'm still not the expert at it. And I quite honestly, I don't want to spend the time doing that. But I trust that you know how to do it, because you talk about it so freely. So I'd love for you to share. How would you speak to somebody who's hesitant about sharing their thought leadership because they think, well, somebody should be paying for this information?
AJ Wilcox 31:53
I am still scared every time I hit the record button or every time I hit the publish button, I'm, I'm still scared that I'm giving away too much. And I've just I mean, I feel that pain, so acutely. But what I keep reminding myself is, like who I am as a as a consumer, I really appreciate when people are out sharing stuff with the community. And I also realize that LinkedIn ads are really complex. Like anyone listening, you know what I'm talking about. You go in and it seems like there's easy steps to create campaigns and targeting and ads. But when you really get down to it, if you have two or three tactics that I've shared with you, you may still go in and say, Oh, this is too hard. This is too complex, this is too risky, it's too expensive for me to do the learning curve by myself, I'd still rather take this to an expert. And so that's what I found is, the more I share for free, even though they could easily go and listen to the back catalogue of every podcast, learn everything that I've ever shared about LinkedIn ads, there's, there's still going to be a lot of value in going with someone who has, they've already aced the learning curve, there's not going to be any surprises. They they've seen 1000s of different ad accounts and use cases. They know what works and what doesn't work. And so ultimately, I've decided it doesn't diminish from us. Sure that we'll have competitors listen to the podcast, and they'll up level because of it. But I also on the regular I see competitors, like sharing my podcast episodes and shouting me out. And I'm like, wow, as a competitor I don't know why you'd do that but thanks. And that's just what happens when you become the THE thought leader in the space. You become the trainer of all the trainers, the expert of all the experts. And I think that's a much better place to be than just one of the experts who's hopefully a little bit ahead.
Kap Chatfield 33:48
Whoa, that is awesome. And I believe in your future, you got a lot more online course material inside to you. And I could see you training your team training other agencies to do this. And so, you know, that could be a really cool route for you in the future. If you don't want to don't take that too seriously. But I just think man, you you really have something really valuable to offer. Now, on the pre-show call I want I did ask you something that I want for us to talk about in regards to the world of b2b podcasting. Because you're a LinkedIn ads expert, you're using a show to you know, develop and demonstrate that thought leadership, which is helping you build trust and credibility in the market. One thing that I'm curious about is, is there a strategic way for a person who's doing a b2b podcast to repurpose the content within that show in a paid promotional format, such as LinkedIn ads? Because we typically think of, you know, podcasting really more from like the organic standpoint. Publishing the full episode, even cutting down the micro content and publishing that organically, but especially because the podcast format is not super salesy. It doesn't have like a strong call to action. It's really more about building brand. Do you see there being a fit for even using podcast content repurposing, I should say, for for LinkedIn ads?
AJ Wilcox 35:10
Alright, so two big challenges to this, and you nailed one of them is the lack of a strong call to action. When we get a new podcast listener, I'm not confident in someone going, ooh, that's great as a call to action, I'm now going to go and hire that person. So that's challenge number one. Challenge number two is the analytics and tracking and attribution around podcast listening, there's no good way to know whether or not you paid to get someone to listen, and or subscribe. And so with the combination of those things, generally, I would say no, like, if a podcaster came to me and said, I'm just getting started, or the shows starting to get some traction, should I advertise the show on LinkedIn? I'd go man, at nine to $12 per click? With no way to tell if someone's taking an action? I wouldn't recommend it. But here's what I would recommend is, when you are creating podcast episodes, you're essentially creating and depends on the format of the show. But you're essentially creating like guides and ebooks that if you just took the show itself, and exported it to, to otter.ai, or something, you do a transcription, have a designer go in and turn it into a pretty PDF. And now all of a sudden, you have this, this really valuable guide, where someone is where you're teaching your audience how to do something, or introducing a complicated topic or strategy to them. Now all of a sudden, you've got a piece of content that people like when you get it, you put it behind a form. Now people will submit their info to get it. And of course, in the in the content, you could always say, for more information or, you know, for whatever, go and listen to this episode, and then you can kind of funnel subscribers that way. But it's a little roundabout. Hopefully that answers your question. But it's just because the costs on LinkedIn are higher and it's makes it harder
Kap Chatfield 37:03
100%. And that's I love that strategy about that's actually something that we tell our clients to consider is taking an episode, transcribing it, turning it into like, you know, polishing it up into some sort of article. Putting it into a PDF or eBook format. I think, you know, that makes the the podcast so much more resourceful than just being like this one off marketing initiative that you're doing. It actually can become the funnel, or the fuel for not just organic content on social, but even gated content on your website, or on landing pages, as you had mentioned. So I think, man, that's, I don't really know what else to ask you. I don't want to take up too much of your time. There's so there's so many routes, we could go down with LinkedIn ads. I'll leave you I'll leave this episode with this last question for you. Because one thing that I am so interested in when talking to thought leaders is, is talking to thought leaders and consultants like yourself, they help you know, or discover what you never knew. Like they help you know what you don't know. And so the question that I want to ask you is, what is what's a question that you typically have clients ask you that you wish that they would stop asking you? Like, it's just like the wrong question. Is there anything that comes to mind?
AJ Wilcox 38:18
Yeah, I think there's several, one is, as a client's coming on board, and they're, and they ask for examples of, of what's successful. They'll say, alright, well well show us, show us a campaign that's been really successful for you. And the reason why this is so hard and so nuanced, is to find another advertiser who is similar enough in offer or in, in industry to them? And then what do we show? Do we show the targeting? Like a screenshot of the targeting? Do we show a screenshot of all four ads that were a, b, c, and d testing at the same time? And so it just, it comes across, I'm actually going to add one more to this is, what's the ROI of LinkedIn ads? Because, obviously, ROI depends on so many things. Everyone has a different set of creative, a different offer a different audience, a different sales process, a different close, like deal, sales cycle, a different lifetime value. And so to just say, oh, yeah, the average return on investment is like a like a 3x or something. It's it's near impossible to say that. So much more nuanced.
Kap Chatfield 39:35
So conversely, what is one question that you wish clients asked you more?
AJ Wilcox 39:40
I wish they would ask about what we learn from running LinkedIn ads. And the reason why I asked this is when you're advertising on Facebook, for instance, you cast this really broad net. And Facebook is out there trying to find who the right people to show the ad is to show the ad to and they're adding them to this audience but you never learn anything. It all of that magic is happening in the black box that's out of your control. But on LinkedIn, on the other hand, I'll give you an example. That same campaign I talked about earlier with senior HR professionals, what I can do is I can have a separate campaign for the HR directors, a separate one for VPS, and another one for CHRO's. And what I find, even if I launched the same AB test, the same two ads, inside of all three of those campaigns, the data that I get back is insights like, whoa, directors eat this content up. And oh, man, VPS like to click but they don't convert, and CHRO's are converting at a really high rate, but they're really hard to get ahold of because they're busy. All of these are insights that you couldn't get, even if you hired a consumer research team to go in, like, do a study on it, it's better than a focus group level data, learning about your ideal customer.
Kap Chatfield 41:00
Oh, man, that's, that's really interesting to be thinking about even so like, just to kind of nerd out for one second. So when you're running an ad, let's say you're trying to hit people within the marketing division of companies that have between 10 and 500 employees, I know that's a pretty wide spectrum. But with the reason why I'm saying that wide of a spectrum is because and companies that with that wide of a spectrum, of a number of employees, you're going to have different job positions. You'll have like the CMO in bigger companies, you'll have marketing directors or VP of marketing, or you'll have marketing managers. And so what are in your campaigns do you think about segmenting your audiences based off of those specific job titles? Or do you try to kind of lump them all together?
AJ Wilcox 41:45
Yeah, we have many of LinkedIns largest spending accounts with us, which is a privileged position to be in. And when you get to spend millions of dollars, you get to take this audience and break it up into so many different micro segments. So that example of breaking up audiences by their level of seniority to learn which seniority cares about what, that's really cool. But then you can also break it up by Hey, how about company sizes that are 10 to 50, and then 51 to 200, and then 200 to 500. Now, and you could also take it a step further and segment by geography. Maybe you're segmenting by timezone, so you can tell which timezone, like, what time of day do they wake up and get active, and which cities tend to perform better. So on a small budget campaign, if you only had something like $5,000 a month to spend, then I think it's probably a good idea to break up by seniority or company size, whichever one you want the most. But the higher your budget goes, the more you can justify breaking audiences into tiny little segments and learning from them.
Kap Chatfield 42:52
That's fascinating. AJ, I love listening to your podcasts and, people we're going to give you the call to action at the end to check out Aj's podcast as well. But you mentioned speaking of this episode that you love listening to podcasts. What is your, I don't want to pick your favorite, but we won't hold you to it. Just whatever comes to mind right now. What's the one podcast that you think people should be listening to?
AJ Wilcox 43:14
Can I cheat and say one from from a few genres?
Kap Chatfield 43:18
Yes, for sure.
AJ Wilcox 43:19
Okay, so I love content across all the genres. I mentioned the Social Media Marketing podcast by Michael Stelzner. That when in marketing, it's by far the easiest way for me to keep up with what's going on. I listened to Star Talk because I'm a I'm a physics and math and, and, like star nerd. And so that's really fun to stay up on. For personal development, I listen to the Jordan Harbinger Show. It's kind of like anti self help, but super, super good. And I could go on, I have just a huge bevy of content that I binge and listen to, but those are my three favorites.
Kap Chatfield 43:56
Awesome. Thank you so much. We'll make sure to tag those in the show notes so that they get some credit too. But AJ, man, I appreciate you taking time to join us on B2B Podcasting today. Just giving us a wealth of really valuable information to help B2B marketers and sales leaders out there understand how to use LinkedIn ads better. Now we want this to obviously help you and your brand. How can people follow you? Can they find you on LinkedIn? What's the best way for them to get in contact?
AJ Wilcox 44:21
Yeah, if you find me on LinkedIn, AJ Wilcox you can hit the Follow button and just see all the content that I put out. Or if you do want to connect just make sure you customize that connection request and let me know that you heard me on Kap's show that way I'll know to accept it cuz I don't accept invites that I can't tell like why they want to connect. Because I don't want to get dropped a sales pitch on in the next the next message.
Kap Chatfield 44:44
Oh, gosh, yeah, that's maybe that's another LinkedIn ad strategy tactic we can share with people is avoid using the DMS with a sales pitch because I don't know about you, but I Yeah, delete. I don't even read those. I know a lot of people feel that way. Oh, man, AJ, I'm so grateful for you, so grateful you jumped on the show. This was awesome. Such a good time. And I know that our audience will be really impacted by it. Thanks again.
AJ Wilcox 45:10
Awesome. Have me back anytime, Kap, thanks so much.
Kap Chatfield 45:13