How to Drive B2B Pipeline with Social Ads

Posted by on May 27, 2016 in Advertising, Social
How to Drive B2B Pipeline with Social Ads

This article is Part I in a 4-part series, How to Drive B2B Pipeline with Social Ads.

In this series we challenge the traditional definition of a successful campaign where the sole focus is to generate new contacts. We’ll cover how to align advertising spend with true business value, instead of using vanity metrics (i.e. number of scheduled demos). A minor shift in how you approach lead generation can positively impact sales cycles, increase close rates, and boost revenue. Enter the disciplined practice of Pipeline Marketing.

*Credit to Aaron & Dave of Bizible, one of the first to develop the terminology of Pipeline Marketing.


Did you know a 2014 Google study revealed: “56% of Digital Ads are never seen”? Early display advertising used parameters so broad, ads were not shown at all – let alone to the right audience segment.  In the past, advertisers resorted to huge web publisher data to reveal audience insights. The problem with relying on web publisher data is the information is too broad and undependable. Meanwhile, bots and malware drain ad budgets and tally up zombie page views.

The early 2000s ushered in a wave of Social Networks and quickly amassed huge membership numbers. Members flocked to platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to interact with a global community of like-minded people.  Social networks started to  recognized the value in collecting a wealth of user data including psychographics, activities, and behaviors to analyze and distribute insights. These networks continued to experience exponential growth, they explored new ways to leverage valuable user data and generate revenue through an advertising model.

Marketers can now access personal information to target specific audiences with tailored campaigns. Compared to costly a television or newspaper ad, social networks offer marketers a more budget-friendly way to reach a specific audience.  Also, the ability to measure a campaign’s impact on the business means more accurate optimizations.

The Truth About B2B Lead Generation

Traditionally, digital B2B marketers defined lead generation as a set of tactics to drive more web visits, conversions, and lead volume into our database. Optimizing towards broad KPIs such as web forms submissions, and average cost per lead. In an interview with Craig Rosenberg, Chief Analyst at TOPO, referred to Demand Generation as “lighting up the scoreboard” or a marketer’s ability to drive a high volume of leads. Yet, it was soon discovered volume-based approach can be inefficient and costly.

So, just how wasteful is the top-down funnel?

Forrester cites an average of 0.75% of B2B organizations’ leads turn into closed revenue.

Before you hang up your hat and join a code academy, this stat isn’t as shocking when you think about how far MarTech has come. Historically, digital marketers could only optimize the KPIs offered through web analytics and PPC platforms. This posed a big problem because these tracking mechanisms didn’t account for sales touches. The rapid evolution in the MarTech landscape lifted the limitations felt from a lack of technology.  In just 3 years the number of marketing solutions grew from ~150 solutions in 2011 to over 3,500 today. The maturation and adoption of CRM, Marketing Automation, Customer Success and Attribution solutions have enabled the modern marketer to accurately track the customer journey.

PART I: Targeting the Right Prospects

A common targeting practice in B2B lead generation is to cast with a wide net and whittle down based on cost-per-conversion numbers. Hopefully, by process of elimination, you’ll eventually reach your ideal customer base. While big conversion numbers are exciting, we often find these leads don’t result in a sale.

Have you ever found yourself in a scenario where the lowest cost-per-lead campaigns actually had the worst impact on revenue?

Below is an example of two ad campaigns with the same budget of $5,000. If you only optimize and track average cost-per-lead, Campaign A appears to be the clear winner. However, if you follow leads through the full sales funnel, Campaign B produces a far greater ROAS (return on ad spend).

How to Drive B2B Pipeline with Social Ads via

So how do you increase revenue using digital advertising? It starts with the audience targeting. This equates to defining an Ideal Customer Profile and being in lock-step in your approach with sales. Let’s break down each approach.

Define Your Ideal Customer Profile

The key to defining your ideal customer profile is to narrow your focus. Rather than incurring high costs and low conversion rates through wide audience targeting parameters, conduct thorough research prior to launching your campaign. Identify the most lucrative industries, companies, and roles for your product or service and target with relevant messaging. Going through this exercise will help you define your Ideal Customer Profile.

There are two great sources to aid with this process:

Use Data

Today, marketers have more points of data on their customers than ever before. Your CRM and Marketing Automation systems reveal a wealth of customer insights.

Create Your Social Ad Profile via blog.adstage.ioCustomer Data in CRM B2B Pipeline Social Ads

Talk to Customers for B2B Pipeline Social Ads via blog.adstage.ioCustomer Data CRM B2B Pipeline Social Ads via

Export this data into a spreadsheet and tease out trends are specific to your target audience. Continue to iterate on these assumptions to refine your customer profiles.

Have a Conversation with Your Customers

Take some time to pick your customer’s brain with open ended questions and avoid asking leading questions. Learn why they decided to purchase your product/service, what does the decision-making cycle looked like, and how they position your service/product offering. Customers will often reveal previously unknown use cases, dead-simple product positioning, and insights into common objections during the buying process.

Expand Into Key Accounts

Despite extensive research and buyer persona development, your sales team understands both your customer profile and their needs. Often times better than marketing. Your sales team is out in the field talking to customers directly about their current issues and objections. Look to harness this knowledge to your advantage.

It’s time to put on your hazmat suit and head down to the sales ‘pit’. Account Executives exhaustively spend the first part of every month curating a list of top prospect accounts and to connect with and offer a solution. This list is pure gold to a marketer, but often not shared due to departmental silos.

Ask your AEs (nicely) to export their top prospect lists from Salesforce into a .csv.

Include the following:

  • Company Name (Account)
  • Prospect Names (Contacts)
  • Job Titles

Next, interview both the Sales Development Reps (SDRs) and Account Executives. Try to understand the typical buying process for each customer profile type.

This includes:

  • Typical number of team members involved
  • Champions
  • Influencers
  • Decision makers
    • The common job titles for each

Now you can compile the list of company names with job titles and use these characteristics in LinkedIn advertising campaigns for a narrow targeting focus.

Reach Key Accounts and Decision Makers with LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 440+ million users. LinkedIn’s ad platform offers perfect conditions for B2B audience targeting because you’re able to show ads based on your ideal customer profile (which we defined in the last exercise).

Utilize a mix of company, function, and job title to reach specific prospects within your key account list. LinkedIn allows you to target up to 100 companies within a single campaign.

Below are some targeting combinations you can select based on the campaign’s value proposition:

  • Creating campaigns using Sales’ top account and prospect lists
    • Company + function + geo targeting
  • Creating campaigns based on the Ideal Customer Profile
    • Company + job title + geo targeting
    • Company + function + skills + geo targeting

Learn advanced techniques in our Comprehensive LinkedIn Ads Guide.

What types of B2B companies should be running LinkedIn campaigns?

  • High priced sale or high lifetime value (LTV) for product/services
  • Robust sales teams with aggressive growth goals
  • Companies with an Account-Based Marketing approach
  • Advertising budgets of $10,000 or more per month
  • Enterprise SaaS which often pairs well with all of the above

Stay tuned for the second installment of How to Drive B2B Pipeline with Social Ads. In Part II we will reveal how to engage existing prospects and previous web visitors to accelerate the average sales cycle.

Want expert insights into LinkedIn Ads? Find advanced tips and best practices in our Advanced Guide!

The Advanced Guide to LinkedIn Ads via AdStage

AJ Wilcox Talks Targeting, ROI, and LinkedIn Ads

Posted by on May 3, 2016 in Advertising, Social
AJ Wilcox Talks Targeting, ROI, and LinkedIn Ads

Veteran online marketing guy, AJ Wilcox fell in love with LinkedIn advertising years ago and never looked back. He went on to quit his then-position at a local tech company to pursue building the first agency to specialize just in LinkedIn advertising, B2Linked.

AJ sat down with us to lend his expertise on this mostly uncharted platform; including the best ways to target specific audiences that naturally result in higher ROI for your LinkedIn ad campaigns.

Below are some highlights from the podcast. Check it out!

What Verticals Work Best?

The verticals that work really well on LinkedIn generally fall under two main categories:

  1. Recruiting
  2. SaaS (Software-as-a-Service)

The recruiting sector sees a lot of success here because LinkedIn’s platform caters to business networking; naturally, it performs extremely well on the ad side. While some argue an expensive cost per click, SaaS companies attract highly qualified prospects whose lifetime customer value (LTV) is greater than acquiring prospects from other channels with cheaper click costs. Ultimately if a SaaS product is sticky enough, spending hard earned dollars on LinkedIn ad campaigns could mean a significant impact on the bottom line for your business.

LinkedIn Audience Targeting: Always Start Small

Rule of thumb: to ensure ads are shown to the relevant audience, always aim to target a narrow population. LinkedIn offers granular targeting options to help focus the campaign audience scope.

LinkedIn Recommendations for Audience Size

  • For Sponsored Content they suggest a minimum of 300,000 (I would recommend trying to narrow this with targeting options below)
  • For Text Ads the majority of advertisers target between 60,000 – 400,000 (again try to narrow with targeting options)
  • For Sponsored InMail stay within the 100,000 range

LinkedIn Targeting Options

  • Location (required field): Geographic location is based on location specified by the member or the IP address location of relevant within a specific geographic region
  • Company Name: Current employer listed on member’s profile (partially inferred)
  • Company Industry: The industry of the company at which the member is employed
  • Company Size: As listed on the Company Page of the member’s current employer
  • Job Title: Standardized from member-entered job title
  • Job Function: inferred from member-entered job title
  • Job Seniority: inferred from member-entered job title
  • Skills: Member-entered skills in the Skills & Endorsements section on their profile, skills mentioned in their profile text, or inferred skills based on their listed skills
  • Schools: Member-entered schools (partially inferred)
  • Degrees: Standardized from member-entered degrees
  • Fields of Study: Standardized from member-entered degrees
  • Groups: Specific LinkedIn Groups that member within your target audience has joined
  • Gender: Inferred in English from first name of member
  • Age: Inferred from member’s last graduation year

Take very narrow segments of the population and build campaigns targeting each segment with more contextual copy. This way, not only will your leads be more qualified to actually convert (or use your product), but with this wealth of demographic knowledge you’ll glean valuable insights about your desired target audience. For example, with narrow targeting you learn how to refine your content strategy by analyzing which messages resonate with different audience segments.

Where to Target: Going Beyond the Job Title

When setting up your audience, LinkedIn has more than plenty of options to choose from and can be overwhelming. Most marketers will tell you to start with job title. Because of that fact, this makes it the most competitive.

Also, not everybody has a “targetable” job title, for example: “growth hacker”. This doesn’t quite signal a level of seniority. How do you reach them?

  1. Job title: if you have the budget, test it
  2. Combine job function and seniority
  3. Take a skill only someone in that industry would have: FMLA if you’re targeting HR
  4. Targeting groups

Use all four of these targeting options and compare each of the outcomes. See which has the lower cost per click and cost per lead, then keep iterating on that copy for the specified targeting parameters.

The Advanced Guide to LinkedIn Ads via

Competitive Targeting: Does It Work?

Competitive targeting is very effective at getting attention. Unfortunately, when you target competitors you’ll see high CTR, but most users won’t take actions. They don’t want their name tied to it, right?

Instead, try covert and stealthy route. Exclude your competitors. If you don’t let them see what you’re doing, their marketing team is left in the dark. That way, they can’t gain any insight from your strategy.

Measuring Success

Attribution and analytics can be quite difficult using LinkedIn since conversion tracking isn’t built into the platform (yet).

However, there are some key key metrics available to determine performance:

Click-Thru-Rate (CTR) is a powerful metric for optimizing LinkedIn ad campaigns given the level of detail in selecting your ideal audience. When talking to your ideal audience you have to measure how the audience is engaging with your brand past the user’s ‘click’. On the other hand, CTR doesn’t always turn into a conversion. To analyze ad performance in terms of the full funnel and for the business, Cost per Lead (CPL) is a good metric to keep in mind. The Cost per Lead metric measures how cost-effective your LinkedIn campaigns in generating new leads for your sales pipeline. This metric provides data to use in your return on investment (ROI) calculation. A campaign is considered a success when there’s a low cost per lead with a high volume of quality leads.

Use both metrics to understand exactly who it is you’re talking to and what customized messages engages that audience.

Use Google Analytics to Your Advantage

Tracking on LinkedIn is worth the effort. Make sure that all of your links are tagged properly with your Google Analytics using the UTM parameters. The most overlooked parameter is UTM_Content, which allows you to tag at an ad level. The more you tag, the better understanding of your audience you’ll have.

Pro Tip: Learn How to Track LinkedIn Conversion in Google Analytics

Comparing Ad Units

Text Ads have been around since ‘08, most users are blind to these ad formats. Generally the CTR is pretty low with 4 clicks out of every 10,000 views, making it easy to overlook text ads. However, if you have an experience that isn’t mobile-friendly, these may be the ads for you: 100% of their traffic comes from desktop.

Sponsored Updates the sexier ad unit of the two, allows for more real estate and a much larger image to captivate an audience’s attention. You are allowed 128 characters for an intro, 38 characters for a headline, 155 characters for a description, and an 800 pixels-wide image that appears in the user’s feed.

The cost between a text ad click and sponsored updates click is usually in parity. Sponsored updates, for the most part, seems like the best bang for your buck. It probably is, but only if you avoid delivering a poor mobile experience; otherwise your ad may spend a more money with little return.

Pro Tip: Learn How to Engage Your Audience with LinkedIn Content

Wrapping It Up

When creating your LinkedIn ad campaign always remember:

  • ABT ( Always Be Testing) Make sure you know what works for you to ensure you make the most from your ad spend.
  • Slice your audience finely, so you can target specific folks with the right message.


Want to keep up with the latest PPC trends, tips, and influencers?

Join us every Tuesday Live @ 10am PT || 1pm ET for #PPCPodcast where we chat with industry experts from Microsoft, LinkedIn, Hanapin Marketing, Google and more.

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Larger Canvas with Rich Media Sponsored Updates

Posted by on Dec 23, 2015 in Advertising, Social
Larger Canvas with Rich Media Sponsored Updates

As one of LinkedIn’s official Ads API partners, we have thousands of customers running LinkedIn Ads on our platform. One of the most common questions we are asked about LinkedIn is “How do I run Sponsored Updates with the larger image?”


For advertisers that are new to LinkedIn Ads or have the same question, this ad format is slightly different from the traditional Sponsored Update in that, not only does the photo appear larger in the feed, it doesn’t have as many text fields for your ad. The larger image, as shown below, and is referred to as Rich Media Sponsored Updates.

Rich Media Sponsored Updates

Rich Media Sponsored Update

Rich Media Sponsored Update

Sponsored Update

Standard Sponsored Update


Starting today, we’re excited to announce that AdStage now supports full campaign creation, optimization, conversion tracking, and reporting for LinkedIn’s Rich Media Sponsored Updates.

With the larger canvas, your ad stands out more, and you can add other types of files to your ad such as PowerPoint presentations, YouTube videos, PDF files, and of course, the same sized image you’re already using for Sponsored Updates that renders much larger to users.adstage rich media sponsored updates

In addition to a uniform workflow to create all your ads in one location, the AdStage platform offers additional tools to optimize and measure your LinkedIn Ad performance.

Dayparting on LinkedIn

You can schedule or daypart your campaigns on LinkedIn, using the Automated Rules app. Setting up a dayparting rule takes less than 2 minutes and can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars from wasted ad impressions on the weekends or evenings.

Dayparting on LinkedIn

Conversion Tracking on LinkedIn

If you’re running any direct response campaigns such as lead generation, conversion tracking is crucial for making better optimization and budget decisions. With AdStage, we auto-append your URLs with our proprietary conversion tracking solution and all conversions are reported on directly in the performance tables.

conversion tracking on linkedin ads


Join thousands of other LinkedIn advertisers and try the AdStage platform today. You’ll be able to run LinkedIn Sponsored Updates at scale and we definitely recommend testing both the traditional Sponsored Update and the Rich Media format to see how your audience responds to the various ad formats. Your free trial awaits.

Get Started with $250 in Free LinkedIn Ad Credit! via

Interview with Viveka von Rosen, author of “LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day”

Posted by on Sep 24, 2015 in Social, The PPC Show [Podcast]
Interview with Viveka von Rosen, author of “LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day”

CEO of AdStage, Sahil Jain, recently had a chat about LinkedIn with Viveka von Rosen, author of “LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day”, and publisher of “LinkedIn Advertising Fundamentals” on

Having been featured in the Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide, and named a Top 50 Social Media Influencer by Forbes, it’s clear that she lives and breathes LinkedIn.



Below are some of the highlights:

Should a company consider LinkedIn?

Viveka: You have to be on LinkedIn, if you’re in B2B. Especially if you’re doing sales and marketing. It depends on the audience of the clientele.

What do you not like about the direction of LinkedIn?

Viveka: The value of any social network is their membership. LinkedIn, with all the restrictions they’re putting on their free accounts – which makes up around 83%. You could lose your base. That’s the base paying users are marketing to.

I love their acquisitions, such Bizo, that brought us Lead Accelerator.

How can businesses optimize their company page?

Viveka: People forget they need to treat their LinkedIn company page like a product. They need to promote it as much as another other service they have – and they aren’t doing it.

Big companies, with so many verticals and silos, they don’t know what to share. For big brands, they can create showcase pages for all their different verticals, and assign administrators.

What’s the right type of content that performs well for Sponsored Updates?

Viveka: Creating a timeline works very well. The end of the timeline is the click through to the bottom of the funnel – such as a webinar or whitepaper. Back it up. How do you get someone to know, like, and trust us?

You need to build up trust. Whether it’s an heart-string pulling infographic, an engaging video, or a get to know us piece. Understand you will need to make mini-campaigns, within the larger campaign.

Sahil: So it’s a content strategy, that marries a nurturing funnel. At the top, you recommend sponsored content almost like Google Display. Promoting brand awareness.

What are some of the misconceptions of LinkedIn Ads?

Viveka: Unfortunately, most people get on LinkedIn Ads and they get the $50 – $100 credit and think they’re going to sell their $5,000 product with one text ad.

Sahil: The biggest issue we see with LinkedIn Ads, is that it’s working, but you have to be very sophisticated with your tracking mechanisms. LinkedIn on a cost per click basis, can be seen as very expensive. However, sophisticated marketers know it’s not about the cost per click, but the LTV (lifetime value).

Viveka: People need to be bought into it and engaged. When they receive the $50 for ads, they don’t know how to do it – they haven’t visited a Lynda course or referenced fact sheets.

In Facebook you can play around for $0.25. On LinkedIn, if a lot of people are clicking through and not converting, it can be super expensive.

What we’ve found is that if you can micro-target and test 1,000 – 1,500 groups of individuals, it’s more work intensive, but gets us better results and let’s us play. We can expand upon that market after we see performance.

Sahil: So you will break down targeting into micro-sections, creating a campaign for each. The campaigns are essentially audience shells?

Viveka: Yup; exactly. Seeing what sticks, and using that to build really powerful and high converting funnels.

Do you think it’s accurate to say Marketing Solutions might be the next $1B business unit?

Viveka: I think it’s accurate; but in order to do it, they must change the culture. Right now, unless you are part of the $25k per month club, Marketing Solutions is almost useless to you.

If LinkedIn changes it culture. Opening up Lead Accelerator, and allow you to choose what you’d like to spend. Then, show you what to do in order to be successful, and the sky’s the limit.

It has all the pieces in place: you’re creating content, your building networks, and you’ve got marketing and HR (talent solutions). But, they’re not letting 90% of their audience play.

Sahil: I think a lot of that comes from LinkedIn being a historically field sales driven business. They need to shake that to reach mass penetration in the market.

The good news is that through acquisitions (Pulse, Bizo, Lynda), they’ve been able to bring in some very bright minds who are a bit more edgy in how they run their business. I’m hopeful that they will start to shake some of those traditions.

Out of the acquisitions they’ve made, which one do you think will make the most material impact?

Viveka: It really depends on my mood that day. I really thought the solution for them was going to be the CRM, when they bought Connected HQ. This affected Sales Navigator, which really played well with Salesforce, but they’ve pulled the API. So my guess is that will develop into its own CRM system. Which would bring LinkedIn to a whole new level.

But on another day, Publisher; content marketing is where it’s at. If they start doing things like allowing us to create promoted posts, well then it’s another Facebook type explosion.

Then, they bought Lead Accelerator. The potential for retargeting is huge.

This very minute, I’d go with their ads platform. It will either be the biggest fail or make them billions of dollars. If they change their culture, think longer term, and open up.

We saw you launched an intro course on Could you tell us a little bit more about it?

Viveka: The whole course is on the self-serve ad platform, and some of the best strategies to get ROI on your spend.

If you’re planning to test LinkedIn Ads for the first time, we highly recommend you sign-up for Viveka’s course, LinkedIn Advertising Fundamentals. Join her for #LinkedInChat every Tuesday.

#PPCPodcast Subscribtion via

Hired Saves 50% of Time Spent on LinkedIn Ad Creation and Cross-Network Reporting with AdStage

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in Advertising, Reporting, Search, Social
Hired Saves 50% of Time Spent on LinkedIn Ad Creation and Cross-Network Reporting with AdStage


hired logo

Hired, founded in 2012, now runs the largest marketplace for recruiting startup and tech talent. As the company was growing, it saw an opportunity to scale its reach through LinkedIn Ads. Hired primarily ran Text Ads to start, but when Sponsored Updates was released, the small team of two tried to mimic their existing ads into the new format. Unfortunately, working in the native interface created a major time suck with consecutive workflow issues. The team had resorted to building the campaigns offline in a spreadsheet as LinkedIn Ads was difficult to work with and would habitually lock them out as they were setting up a campaign.


The team selected AdStage as the only available platform that supports both LinkedIn Text Ads and Sponsored Updates. With the ability to duplicate and bulk edit campaign settings, Hired was able to save dozens of hours of time when creating campaigns that required the same target audience. And with only a small marketing team of two, Hired grew their customer base and mass market presence via LinkedIn Ads without expanding their headcount.

AdStage also provided a more holistic view for Hired to analyze cross-network performance. The team was able to monitor important metrics such as spend and conversion metrics in near real-time. This allowed them to allocate their budget more efficiently, justifying increased budgets for the channels that performed better for their business.

cross-network stats


After running ads through the AdStage platform, Hired saw the following results:All LinkedIn Campaigns view

  • Decreased the time spent on creating LinkedIn Ads and cross-network reporting by 50%
  • Spent more time on campaign optimization, ultimately lowering cost per lead by 30% within just one month
  • Successfully scaled its online advertising programs across Google AdWords, Bing, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter Ads, without having to hire additional team members.

Today, the Hired marketing team is continuously testing and expanding the company’s advertising initiatives via new channels. They are currently experimenting with Twitter Ads using the AdStage platform.

“Being able to manage LinkedIn Ads in bulk with AdStage gave us the extra time we needed to scale our online advertising efforts. We’re now managing ads at 3x the scale in a fraction of the time.”

— Lennie Sliwinski, Director of User Acquisition, HIRED


To learn more about AdStage and start your free trial, visit


Inflow Chooses AdStage for Automated PPC Rules and Grows Client Revenue by 23%

Posted by on Jun 24, 2015 in Advertising, Automation, Search, Social
Inflow Chooses AdStage for Automated PPC Rules and Grows Client Revenue by 23%


inflow logoBased in Denver, Inflow is an inbound agency that provides complete digital marketing services to global clients. One of the world’s largest event management companies chose Inflow to manage its global online advertising efforts across its audiences in Australia, Dubai, Germany, Singapore, United Kingdom and the United States. The paid team is primarily responsible for promoting nearly 1,000 regional conferences annually with Google AdWords, Bing Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Facebook Ads, and Twitter Ads.

Inflow previously used a solution that supported Google AdWords optimization. However, the paid team at Inflow quickly realized that it was far too inefficient to continue using that platform. As more events required promotion, the amount of reporting for each office quickly became extremely time consuming. Because of the magnitude of this account, Inflow needed a solution that would not only centralize all of the client’s ad accounts, but also streamline organization, workflows, and reporting.


adstage case studyInflow selects AdStage to manage, optimize, and report on all of the global ad accounts for its client, the leading event management company. Because the client has a global presence, its six offices each had separate ad accounts on different time zones. Because the native networks did not offer a simple solution to accommodate the time zone variances, the Automated Rules in AdStage made it extremely easy for the team to set-up dayparting on AdWords, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

When measuring the performance of the campaigns in AdStage, Inflow was able to easily create, customize, and schedule reports across all five networks in AdStage. The AdStage Global Dashboard provided the agency a stunning birdseye view of cross-network campaign performance that could be easily customized and instantly saved as a PDF file for the stakeholders to review.


With AdStage, Inflow experienced a significant time savings, which allowed them to focus on growing their client’s account.

adstage for agencies

  • Setting up dayparting with Automated Rules on AdStage saved the agency 5 hours per week from having to manually login to each network, pause, and unpause each campaign. Showing ads only during peak hours led to a 28% increase in conversion rates and a 31% decrease in CPA.
  • The AdStage Global Dashboard was easy to customize and showed cross-network performance, which saved the team 4-6 hours per week of aggregating the reports from 5 different networks across 6 separate offices.
  • With the extra time saved, Inflow was freed up to analyze more campaigns for the numerous events that were being promoted. This ultimately grew client account revenue by 23% in just three months.

“Any time savings we can get is profit for us, especially with reporting. If we can spend 5 hours instead of 8 hours on the same task, this is a win for us.”

— JD Prater, Sr. Paid Search Strategist, Inflow


To learn more about AdStage and start your free trial, visit

How to Manage Your LinkedIn Ads at Scale

Posted by on Jun 17, 2015 in Advertising, Social
How to Manage Your LinkedIn Ads at Scale

If your LinkedIn Ads are suffering, or you’re looking for expert strategies on scaling your campaigns on LinkedIn, our free webinar series for LinkedIn Ads continues with the final installment next week.

In partnership with LinkedIn Ads expert, AJ Wilcox, we welcome you to a free webinar on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 where he’ll teach you how to be successful on the network.

This webinar is the second of three in the series, and will cover The Expert Guide: What You Need to Know to Be Successful with LinkedIn Ads.


linkedin ads strategies for scale


LinkedIn Ads expert, AJ Wilcox, will be presenting knowledgeable insights and best practices for LinkedIn Ads, the rolls-royce of PPC advertising.

During this free webinar, he’ll be discussing:

  • How to stay organized with hundreds of campaigns
  • Automated optimization for better performance
  • Time saving tricks for bulk actions
  • Live Q&A

linkedin advertising webinar


We have saved recordings of the first and second webinars in this series. This webinar series covers everything you need to know to be successful with LinkedIn Ads. Make sure to watch all of them to understand targeting, measurement, and campaign structure for successful LinkedIn Ads.


How to Use Marketo’s Ad Bridge to Nurture Leads

Posted by on Jun 15, 2015 in Advertising, Social
How to Use Marketo’s Ad Bridge to Nurture Leads

New lead generation can be one of the most inefficient forms of B2B advertising; especially if the prospect has never heard of your company. A report from Forrester cites that an average of only .75% of B2B organizations’ leads turn into closed revenue. Those odds present a considerable challenge for advertisers to generate a positive return on ad spend.

Why focus solely on new prospects, though? Marketers already have access to a rich pool of known leads tucked away in their databases. Through organic growth, webinars, partnerships, and sales prospecting, your organization has amassed a large repository of leads ripe for messaging. Instead of only driving new names into your database, online ads can be used to nurture your prospective customers at each step of the lifecycle–leading to more sales.

Lead Lifecycle Tracking in Marketo

Source: Marketo’s, “Mapping Lead Generation to Your Sales Funnel” Cheat Sheet

Using Marketo’s Ad Bridge technology, advertisers can now target specific prospects in their database across search, social, and display networks, delivering a more personalized message. This laser-focused approach can influence decision makers, shorten lead stages, and generate additional opportunities.

Here’s how it works:

Marketo AdBridge Setup

Simply create a Smart List of a particular group of leads you’d like to target, pick your network, and utilize this list as a custom audience in your ads.

Now that you understand the foundation, let’s walk through how to setup Ad Bridge in Marketo:

Step 1: Under the Admin menu, visit Launchpoint.

Marketo Launchpoint

Step 2: Pull down New menu and select New Service.

Step 3: Name the integration. Find your desired service, and authorize. Click the Create button to finalize.

Facebook Ads - Marketo Launchpoint Integration

Note: If you’re using LinkedIn’s Lead Accelerator, the integration will require a Marketing Solutions and Secret API key to sync.

To find your API key:

  • Visit LinkedIn Marketing Solutions login page.
  • Once logged in, pull down the Setup tab.
  • Click on Integrations, and then navigate to Marketing Solutions API.
  • Both your API and Secret Key should appear.

Once your networks are integrated, keep these tips in mind when segmenting your database into refined audiences for advertising:

Account Based Marketing

For those in B2B Enterprise marketing, you know the challenges this model presents–many decision makers, long sales cycles, and multiple touch points are needed to land the sale. Enter Account Based Marketing, a strategy focusing marketing and sales efforts on specific top prospect accounts (companies). Using this approach, your aim is to reach specific influencers and decision makers within a particular company (often the Fortune 500), increasing brand awareness, promoting nurture content, and further qualifying the prospect. For example, you may try to win over an influencer, such as a Marketing Manager, by showcasing how your solution will help make their life easier. Then, you could target the decision maker, the VP of Marketing, with content speaking to benefits to top line growth and ROI.

Database fields to consider:

  • Company Name
  • Job Title
  • Lead Status
  • Last Activity (Salesforce)

Campaign Member

Even in the realm of digital advertising, a marketer’s job isn’t complete after a form fill. Much like outbound sales, it often takes several touchpoints to create an opportunity. Targeting certain campaign members allows advertisers to promote complementary content around subjects a lead has expressed interest in. For example, if a Director of Marketing downloaded our whitepaper covering how to track the ROI of ad campaigns, this person would be the perfect candidate to target for a promotion of our upcoming webinar, “How to Setup Ad Tracking URLs to Align With Your Marketing Automation System”.

Database fields to consider:

  • Campaign Member
  • Lead Status
  • Lead Score

Lead Status

The dawn of retargeting has opened many advertisers’ eyes to the notion that content nurturing doesn’t have to live in an email silo. Marketers can align their content assets and promote them based on the stage of the prospect/lead. Start with broader topics up the funnel, and progress to more refined messages about your product/solution further down the funnel.

Database fields to consider:

  • Lead Status
  • Lead Score
  • Opportunity

Below is an example of a content nurture funnel via Retargeting that AJ Wilcox, Chief Evangelist at B2Linked, was kind enough to share:

B2B marketing funnel for ads


While new lead generation often requires casting a large net, custom audiences allow for more relevant, personal messages. What might entice an IT manager may not have the same appeal to a CTO. By segmenting by role, everything from the ad copy, image, and content asset can be better aligned to your target prospect. For example, I can target a list of CTOs who like college football on Facebook and advertise a very personalized message, “Learn how CTOs act as Quarterbacks, leading security initiatives.”

Database fields to consider:

  • Job Title
  • Industry
  • Company Size

Closing Thoughts

Ad Bridge provides a great opportunity for advertisers to refine their audience targeting, increase the relevancy of their message, and make a bigger impact on qualifying opportunities for Sales. Have you tried Ad Bridge and found success? We’d love to hear any tips on what’s working for you!

For those curious to learn more about AdStage, you can visit our Marketo Launchpoint Partner page.

Learn Sophisticated Bidding Strategies for LinkedIn Ads

Posted by on May 26, 2015 in Advertising, Social
Learn Sophisticated Bidding Strategies for LinkedIn Ads

If your LinkedIn Ads are suffering, or you’re looking for advanced strategies on the platform, our free webinar series for LinkedIn Ads continues next week.

In partnership with LinkedIn Ads expert, AJ Wilcox, we welcome you to a free webinar on Wednesday, June 3, 2015 where he’ll teach you how to be successful on the network.

This webinar is the second of three in the series, and will cover The Advanced Guide: What You Need to Know to Be Successful with LinkedIn Ads.


linkedin measurement

LinkedIn Ads expert, AJ Wilcox, will be presenting knowledgeable insights and best practices for LinkedIn Ads, the rolls-royce of PPC advertising.

During this free webinar, he’ll be discussing:

  • Why your campaigns are failing
  • How to structure and organize your campaigns
  • What targeting combinations to use for success
  • Live Q&A

linkedin advertising webinar


Get All of Your LinkedIn Advertising Questions Answered

Posted by on Apr 29, 2015 in Advertising, Social
Get All of Your LinkedIn Advertising Questions Answered

If your LinkedIn Ads are suffering, or you’re just getting started on the platform, we’ll be hosting a free webinar series for LinkedIn Ads to teach you how to be successful on the network.

In partnership with LinkedIn Ads expert, AJ Wilcox, we welcome you to a free webinar on Wednesday, May 6, 2015 to get all of your LinkedIn Advertising questions answered.

This webinar is the first of three in the series, and will cover The Beginner’s Guide: What You Need to Know to Be Successful with LinkedIn Ads.


LinkedIn Ads expert, AJ Wilcox, will be presenting knowledgeable insights and best practices for LinkedIn Ads, the rolls-royce of PPC advertising.

During this free webinar, he’ll be discussing:

  • Why your campaigns are failing
  • How to structure and organize your campaigns
  • What targeting combinations to use for success
  • Live Q&A

linkedin advertising webinar

aj-wilcox AJ Wilcox founded, a specialized LinkedIn Advertising consulting firm and has over 7 years of experience managing PPC accounts.