‘If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Improve It’- How to measure the success Linkedin ads is having for your B2B Company.

‘LinkedIn is a social network that targets professionals’ (Mihalcea and Savulesca, 2013).

So it is no surprise that integrating this platform into a B2B’s marketing strategy would be valuable as it allows marketers with ‘the possibility to interact with professionals from important fields of interest and to establish business relationships’ (Schaffer, 2011). Consequently, it is this platform where B2B marketers gain the most leads (Bodnar & Cohen, 2011).

Although Linkedin is first and foremost used for recruitment purposes by allowing professionals to set up profiles that act as online CV’s. Most recently it has started to be used by companies as a way to ‘increase the number and quality of leads; branding and positioning a company; capturing target audience in a group for marketing or market research purposes’ (Carter, 2013).

So it has many helpful uses and it all comes at a relatively low cost compared with more traditional advertising methods.

But how do you know that you are getting the most for your money when using Linkedin paid social ads?

Luckily Linkedin does all of the heavy lifting for you when it comes to the metrics and puts the cherry on top by collating the data into easy to read graphs to give you data such as click rates, traffic to your Linkedin page etc. Which you can read more about here.


But what does it all mean, and has it had any positive effects on your organisation?

This blog will take you through some of the key success metrics you can track yourself and that are worth understanding for Linkedin ads.

But before we find out how to measure your ads. You have to know what you are measuring for and that’s where you come in.

Different metrics are more/less relevant depending on your specific goals and these goals usually come under two categories in a simple two stage sales funnel.

These are:

  • The upper funnel goal of building brand awareness for your organisation


  • The lower funnel goal of generating leads (Brown, 2010)

Source: https://business.linkedin.com/content/dam/me/business/en-us/marketing-solutions/cx/2016/pdfs/lms-crash-course-metrics-analytics-refresh.pdf

Success metrics for building brand awareness- upper funnel

  • Engagement

Engagement is more important than merely the reach of your ad because it is a measurement of whether people are interacting with your content.

A survey undertaken by Heller Baird and Parasnis (2011) found that 60% of businesses believe passion for a business or brand is a prerequisite for social media engagement- thus if people are engaging with your content it is a good indicator that they are interested in what you have to offer!

It is indicated by the number of clicks, likes, shares, comments etc.

Tracking this on different campaigns that are running will allow you to identify which is the most effective for building awareness around your brand.

  • Site traffic and time per visit

Tracking how much traffic you get to your website and how long visitors stay for while your Linkedin ad campaigns are running is a great way to know if your ads are reaching your intended audience.

In their campaign manager tool Linkedin provides audience insights so you can see in detail who is clicking on your content and visiting your site.

This allows you to constantly update and optimise your campaigns  to increase the reach to your target audience and further drive traffic.

Additionally, determining which content is the most successful in driving traffic allows you to provide more of this style or topic of content on your website which will increase the time people spend on your site.

A blog by Chartbeat states that if someone spends 3 minutes of engaged time with your content, they’re twice as likely to return to your website within a week compared to someone who spends only one minute with your content (Schwartz, 2017). – So you should aim to have as much content on your site as possible to keep your audience coming back!

  • Branded search and conversations

Branded search is simply tracking whether people are searching for your company directly via Google. Tracking whether this number increases while your ad campaigns are running is great in determining whether your ads are putting you on the map so to speak.

Keeping a close eye on what people are saying about your brand online is vital, are people sharing your content? Are you provoking discussions on Linkedin with your blogging? Are people saying positive or negative things?

Luckily, to track this is easy now thanks to platforms such as Brandwatch, the ‘world’s leading social intelligence company’ allowing you to get a detailed insight into what people truly think about your brand and who is even aware of your brand at all!

So now you have heard about just three of the many metrics you could look at.

But while these metrics are all well and good for tracking your brand awareness. They will not cut the cake when looking specifically at sales and lead generation as they are purely top level stuff while lead gen metrics need to be looked at in further detail.

Success metrics for lead generation- lower funnel metrics

  • Website conversions.

So you have a campaign running and your getting loads of clicks, great! Right? Well for brand awareness yes.

But for generating leads a different approach is needed.

This requires a different type of ad- yes you want them to click on your ad. But you also want them to take some sort of action. Whether it is signing up for a newsletter or requesting a demo. Anything that requires them to input their contact details would be classed as a conversion.

Keep track of this- which ad campaign have the majority of your conversions comes from? Then focus your budget on your top performers, and cut spend on low performers (Crane, 2016).

Now while conversions are far from sales, which is the obvious goal of ads, it is a step closer to those sales and increases the number of leads in the sales funnel for the sales team to chase.

  • Growth of qualified leads

Smartinsights identifies this metric as critical to any company because ‘leads are the lifeblood to your business.’ After all, if your leads decrease today, sales will decrease tomorrow.

But are your ads attracting people who have influence, budget authority, or both in the purchase of your product or service?

You can use this measure to track which and how many quality leads are coming from your Linkedin advertisements.

HubSpot offers a terrific framework for qualifying leads based on prospect goals, needs, budget and timeline here

  • Cost per lead (CPL)

For most businesses, the most important advertising metric is CPL (Jolson, 1988).

It is calculated by dividing your advertising costs by the number of leads that it brings in with the obvious goal being to keep this cost as low as possible.

While Linkedin provides a low cost advertising solution- if you are not gaining any leads from your ads then what benefit is it really bringing you?

You can benchmark this cost against your industry average or use historic costs of your company to really delve into whether your ads are performing and at what cost.

These metrics are extremely useful for businesses, but they do require more time on behalf of your sales team to track. Looking at leads growth and tracking this back to which campaigns would have sparked each lead is a task that I’m sure your thinking your employees could spend actually going out and making the sales.

But if you integrate you sales funnel to include tracking these metrics it will only allow you to improve your advertisement. Which will generate more leads. Which will lead to higher sales. Revenue. Profit… You see where I am going with this?

A success story…

VistaVu Solutions used Linkedin ads and the results speak for themselves:

  • 5X more leads generated.
  • 4X more lead conversation.
  • 8% more conversion rate.
  • 75% reduced CPL
  • Campaign cost ⅕ of other marketing outreach programs.

(KlientBoost, 2018)

Want to know more about Linkedin advertisements?

Here is some helpful tips!



Bodnar, K. and Cohen, J.L., (2011). The b2b social media book: Become a marketing superstar by generating leads with blogging, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Email, and more. John Wiley & Sons.

Brown, E. (2010). Working the crowd. Social media marketing for business. Swindon: British Informatics Society Limited.

Carter, B. (2013). LinkedIn for Business: How Advertisers, Marketers and Salespeople Get Leads, Sales and Profits from LinkedIn. Indianapolis: Pearson Education, Que Publishing.

Crane, A. (2016). Website Clicks vs. Website Conversions: What’s the difference and does it matter?. [online] SOCIAL LAB MARKETING. Available at: https://www.sociallabmarketing.com/blog/1734 [Accessed 23 Mar. 2018].

Heller Baird, C. and Parasnis, G. (2011). From social media to social customer relationship management. Strategy & Leadership, 39(5), pp.30-37.

Jolson, M. (1988). Qualifying sales leads: The tight and loose approaches. Industrial Marketing Management, 17(3), pp.189-196.

KlientBoost. (2018). LinkedIn Ads: A Comprehensive Guide for B2B Marketers in 2017. [online] Available at: https://klientboost.com/ppc/linkedin-ads/ [Accessed 23 Mar. 2018].

Mihalcea, A. and Savulesca, R. (2013). Social Networking Sites: Guidelines for Creating New Business Opportunities through Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. Management Dynamics in the Knowledge Economy, 1(1), pp.39-53.

Schaffer, N. (2011). Maximizing Linkedin for Sales and Social Media Marketing: An Uno%cial, Practical Guide to Selling & Developing B2B Business on LinkedIn. Irvine: Windmills Marketing

Schwartz, J. (2017). Using Engaged Time to Understand Your Audience – Chartbeat Blog. [online] Chartbeat Blog. Available at: http://blog.chartbeat.com/2013/03/18/using-engaged-time-to-understand-your-audience [Accessed 23 Mar. 2018].

Smart Insights. (2015). 5 Critical Digital Marketing Metrics every business should have | Smart Insights. [online] Available at: https://www.smartinsights.com/goal-setting-evaluation/performance-management/5-critical-business-metrics/ [Accessed 23 Mar. 2018].


Molly Brace • March 23, 2018

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