Unlocking ROI with Account-Based Marketing via LinkedIn Ads – Case Study


In the world of B2B marketing, LinkedIn Ads have emerged as a game-changer, especially when it comes to Account-Based Marketing (ABM). But what happens when you put your money where your mouth is? I spent £1047.71 last month targeting a Crunchbase list of companies using LinkedIn Ads for ABM. The result? Four inquiries and one converted client. With an average client’s Lifetime Value (LTV) ranging from £8,000 to £15,000, the numbers speak for themselves. But there’s more to this story than meets the eye.

The Challenge: Assumptions and Budgets

One of the most common pitfalls in B2B marketing is making premature assumptions. It’s easy to look at a small sample size, like a month’s worth of data or a limited budget, and jump to conclusions. “This strategy doesn’t work,” you might think after a month of no conversions. But is that really the case?

The Risk of Small Budgets

When you’re working with a limited budget, every pound spent feels significant. It’s tempting to scrutinize each metric and make sweeping judgments. However, this approach can be misleading. Marketing strategies, especially those involving ABM and LinkedIn Ads, often require time and consistent investment to bear fruit.

The Importance of Adequate Testing

I’ve been running LinkedIn Ads for months, targeting specific lists of companies. This wasn’t a one-off experiment; it was a calculated strategy based on previous tests and data. The £1047.71 I spent last month wasn’t just a gamble; it was an investment backed by months of data and fine-tuning. And that’s the key—adequate testing allows you to make informed decisions, not just hopeful guesses.

The Dangers of Assumption-Based Marketing

Let’s say I hadn’t converted any clients last month. Would that mean my strategy was a failure? Not necessarily. One month of data is not enough to make that call. Many marketers fall into the trap of assumption-based marketing, changing strategies too quickly without giving them a fair chance. This approach can lead to missed opportunities and wasted resources.

The Experiment: Cold Targeting with LinkedIn Ads

When it comes to LinkedIn Ads, the devil is in the details. A well-executed campaign can be the difference between a wasted budget and a profitable investment. So, how did I turn £1047.71 into a new client with a high Lifetime Value (LTV)? Here’s the breakdown.

Uploading a Target List of Companies

The first step was to identify my target audience. I uploaded a list of approximately 1,000 companies from Crunchbase to LinkedIn. This wasn’t just a random selection; these were companies that fit my Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).

Expanding the Audience: Decision-Makers and Influencers

But I didn’t stop there. Simply targeting companies is not enough; you need to reach the people who make the decisions. So, I expanded my audience to include not just decision-makers but also influencers within those companies. This increased the size of my target audience by 4-5 times, maximizing the impact of my campaign.

A/B Testing for Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Once the audience was set, the next step was to get their attention. I used A/B testing to optimize the Click-Through Rate (CTR) of my ads. Why is CTR so crucial? A high CTR not only lowers your Cost Per Click (CPC) but also indicates that your message is resonating with your audience.

The Importance of CTR and CPC

Getting a good CTR is not just a vanity metric; it’s a key performance indicator. A CTR above 1% and a favorable CPC rate are indicators of a successful campaign. These metrics serve as the foundation upon which the rest of the strategy is built.

Metrics That Matter: CAC, CTR, and CPC

In the world of digital marketing, metrics are your compass. They guide your strategies, validate your efforts, and, most importantly, tell you when it’s time to pivot. But not all metrics are created equal. Here’s why Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), Click-Through Rate (CTR), and Cost Per Click (CPC) are the holy trinity of LinkedIn Ads.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

CAC is more than just a number; it’s the lifeblood of your marketing strategy. In my case, the CAC was £1047.71, which might seem steep at first glance. But when you consider the Lifetime Value (LTV) of a client—ranging from £8,000 to £15,000—the CAC becomes a worthwhile investment. It’s essential to view CAC in the context of LTV to truly understand its impact.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

CTR serves as a litmus test for your ads. A high CTR means your ads are resonating with your target audience. In my campaign, achieving a CTR above 1% was a key milestone. It not only validated the effectiveness of the ads but also set the stage for the next steps in the campaign, like retargeting.

Cost Per Click (CPC)

While CTR gauges the effectiveness of your ads, CPC measures their efficiency. A lower CPC means you’re getting more bang for your buck. In a platform like LinkedIn, where ad costs can quickly escalate, maintaining a favorable CPC is crucial for long-term success.

The Interplay of Metrics

What’s fascinating is how these metrics interact. A high CTR often leads to a lower CPC, which in turn can reduce your overall CAC. It’s this delicate interplay of metrics that can elevate your LinkedIn Ads campaign from good to great.

The Power of Retargeting

In the realm of digital marketing, retargeting is often considered the secret sauce. It’s what turns a one-time visitor into a repeat customer, a casual browser into a committed buyer. But how does retargeting fit into a LinkedIn Ads campaign focused on Account-Based Marketing (ABM)?

The Bonus of Cold Targeting

When you’re cold targeting an audience, every conversion feels like a win. But what if I told you that these conversions are just the tip of the iceberg? In my campaign, anyone who converted from cold targeting was considered a “bonus.” The real magic happens in the retargeting phase.

High-Frequency Text Ads and Video Layers

Retargeting isn’t just about serving the same ad to the same audience. It’s about evolving your message to meet the audience where they are in their buyer’s journey. In my campaign, I used high-frequency text ads and multiple layers of video ads to build both company and personal brand awareness. This multi-layered approach ensures that the audience is continually engaged, nudging them closer to conversion.

Channel Synergy: The YouTube Connection

Retargeting isn’t confined to a single platform. In my case, the LinkedIn Ads served as a gateway to my other content channels, like YouTube. By pushing people to my YouTube channel through LinkedIn Ads, I was able to create a more holistic and engaging customer experience.

Further Reading:

If you found this deep dive into LinkedIn Ads and Account-Based Marketing valuable, you won’t want to miss our other articles packed with insights and strategies for scaling your B2B marketing—check them out: 

  1. How to Master Your LinkedIn Ads Strategy for Demand Generation
  2. 5 Lead Generation Strategies For B2B Marketing
  3. 3 Battle-Tested Strategies for Cold Emailing a Potential Client
  4. What is Dark Social? Leveraging Private Channels for Demand Generation
  5. The Ultimate Guide to Demand Generation: Strategies, Tools, and Practical Guidance
Philip Ilic

Philip Ilic

B2B Growth Specialist

Phil helps B2B SaaS companies with growth marketing and is a deep specialist in Linkedin advertising and paid social more generally (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn). He runs a paid social agency called Superlumen.co and is the founder of B2Bhero.co.


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