We love LinkedIn ads for B2B marketing. It may be the only social media platform where you can always be sure to find highly-engaged professionals who are actually actively thinking about work.
Let’s be honest – on other social media platforms, they’re likely not thinking about work-related software in between liking photos of their friends’ dogs’ birthday parties. So even if your targeting is great, your performance may be mediocre. Context is a huge part of conversion.
The classic B2B funnel requires putting the right content in front of the right audience, at the right time. If your audience is not currently consuming work-related content, your ads’ performance may suffer, regardless of how awesome your targeting is.
This is why LinkedIn ads are perfect for sophisticated B2B remarketing. It allows us to combine the high-value context with super-relevant targeting to create what some might call magic.
An example of this would be promoting a case study in the banking industry to someone who visited the “Industries > Banking” section of your site.
As a co-founder of Fixel, an AI-based audience segmentation tool, I wanted to make this “magic” possible for all LinkedIn advertisers. We already had our tool integrated with Facebook, AdWords, and Twitter, so LinkedIn was a logical next step. Fixel’s sophisticated AI model analyzes over 60 parameters of user characteristics (such traffic source or device type) and site engagement (such as videos views and button clicks), through which it can narrow down on your top performing visitors.
But when we started integrating Fixel into LinkedIn Ads, we hit a snag – LinkedIn only allows for URL-based Matched Audience creation, and nearly all sophisticated remarketing relies on events rather than pageviews (we’ll go into this in a moment – see below).
LinkedIn Events vs. Pageviews
To understand LinkedIn remarketing, let’s take a step back for a minute and describe the difference between pageviews and events.
Pageviews are easy – say you want to target all users that visited your pricing page? Boom, set up an audience for yoursite.com/pricing. You want to target all users that visited your blog? Kablammo, set up an audience for yoursite.com/blog.
This is a simple way to tell your users apart. In this example, we know that users that have only visited your blog are usually at an earlier buying stage than users visiting your pricing page.
But pageviews only tell a small part of the story. User engagement spans interactions that are far more significant than simple pageviews.
For example, what if you want to set up an audience based on users that spent more than 30 seconds on a given page, and also partially filled out a form (but didn’t complete it), and also visited more than 3 pages, etc.?
That’s where you use Events. Anything your diabolical marketing brain can think of, you can create a sophisticated audience for.
Too bad, LinkedIn doesn’t have this functionality built into its remarketing setup.
But wait, LinkedIn does have conversion events!
LinkedIn indeed supports event-based tracking for conversion purposes – for example, if someone fills out a form that doesn’t point to a “thank-you” page. But these can only be used for conversion tracking.
So, back to the matter at hand. No events in LinkedIn Matched Audiences makes Jack a dull boy, and makes your remarketing flexibility pretty limited. It also meant that our solution, Fixel, wouldn’t work in LinkedIn, which is completely unacceptable.
Well, if LinkedIn needed pageviews, then we’ll give them pageviews!
Hacking the stack
It took a few tries, but we’ve succeeded in hacking the pageview recording for the LinkedIn pixel. Now, you can fire scripts in the Google Tag Manager that emulate pageviews to the LinkedIn tag. Booya!
We decided that this solution is too awesome to keep to ourselves, so we’re making it available to the public at large.
What does that mean for you? Well in just two simple steps you can create LinkedIn Matched Audiences based on users that watched the explainer video on your website and then searched for “llama farms” in your search bar.
Setting up the LinkedIn events
Creating these audiences in LinkedIn is a breeze. Create a free account at https://my.fixel.ai and grab the code snippet from the Free Tools section. Then use Google Tag Manager (or ask your developers) to trigger this script on the user engagement you want to track.
Make sure that you create a corresponding Matched Audience in your LinkedIn Ads account (learn how here) so that these interactions will populate your remarketing audiences.
So where should I start?
Glad you asked. A first step would be understanding which behaviors on your site you would like to capture.
In the classic B2B scenario, in which most LinkedIn marketers operate, we’d suggest looking at interactions with ungated content you have on your site.
For example, take users who viewed over 50% of your testimonial video for the telecommunications industry. Creating a targeted audience of these users will allow you to serve them a targeted follow-up ad with the right messaging.
Another example would be targeting users who read a top-of-funnel ungated PDF, such as a how-to (even something like this article, for example). These can now be served with mid-funnel content to push them to conversion.
Of course, you can also create more complex rules that combine multiple behaviors or data points, such as a user coming from organic search that scrolled to 90% on an industry-specific blog post. These can then be served with a follow-up message tailored to their industry.
Applying the tag to these users will allow you to add them to a Matched Audience in LinkedIn. They can then be used as a pinpoint target for your remarketing efforts.
Got a suggestion for additional ways to use the tag? Post it in the comments.
This is a free standalone tool that isn’t part of the core Fixel solution and will not collect any information from your site.
Etgar Shpivak is the Co-founder and CEO of Fixel. He has a 15-year track record of hands-on digital marketing expertise, working with a myriad of companies – from small start-ups to large enterprises in Israel and globally. He is also the co-author of the best seller “Marketing in a Digital Age”.