Interview with “AJ Wilcox”

Linkedin Marketing Guru and Founder at B2Linked

Video Transcript


Hi this is Bob Samuels founder of TechConnector we’re a marketplace of best of breed account based marketing and other lead gen solutions helping marketers deliver highly targeted quality leads to their sales teams one of our objectives is to identify and share best practices in technology marketing to that end we are interviewing industry leaders in lead gen predictive intent and account based marketing one of those leaders is a AJ Wilcox, AJ ran all of domos lead gen before founding B2Linked, he’s recognized as one of the world’s leading LinkedIn ads experts.

So AJ what advice would you give a company like tech connector if we wanted to optimize our marketing using LinkedIn ads? cool yeah well let’s talk about just like TechConnectr using LinkedIn ads right now because we’ve we’ve run hundreds of accounts we’ve spent a hundred and ten million dollars on platform we now have a pretty good feel for what works and what doesn’t so can you share with me how you monetize when you have a client or or I guess your marketplace so both sides of the marketplace when a deal lands what’s it worth to you it’s worth hundreds thousands tens of thousands hundreds of thousands of dollars. Yeah I so it’s a good question because they all started as a pipeline and a small pilot it’s maybe it’s worth maybe say a thousand dollars to us but it could grow to be where ten thousand or more okay a lot of it depends it’s not an easy answer but it’s a it’s a truthful answer no that’s helpful yeah and and you know we can you know once we get into the right company then we can grow it and it’s a process.

Yeah totally ok so the reason I asked about lifetime value of client is because LinkedIn ads has some great things like the targeting but on the downside they just started out expensive you’re gonna pay on average 6 to 9 dollars a click and so what we’ve found out is if your average lifetime value is above usually around 15 k then it sometimes it’s questionable whether or not you’re gonna see a return from LinkedIn ads nobody wouldn’t get a return but like most of our clients are going to require it at least a 2 to 4 X ROI and if you’re paying 6 to 9 bucks look like that could be hard to achieve so yeah that 15 K mark comes where I say if you’re under that then I would probably play at Facebook world and then perfected it. That’s ironic cauz you were saying base that’s expensive well yeah Facebook you used to be so cheap that everyone had success didn’t matter who your audience was it was so inexpensive but no matter who you were targeting on what you were targeting with, you see success, Linkedin has always been expensive so it’s one of those things like if you step up to the line and and have really good content then you’ll probably do well if you just kind of take a half effort at it I’m not ready it’ll just be an expensive mistake. Yeah

okay so Abhinav you wanna jump in and talk about this or, absolutely absolutely so thank you very much AJ for sharing that insight because the other day I mean I was going through a couple of videos pertaining to LinkedIn advertisements and you know how to set up a campaign and everything alright so yes I mean I saw you know the basic amount that will have to pay six to seven dollars per click so that is there or basically impressions are cheap but that mean impressions don’t make sense much because I am not really sure about you know the kind of traction that will get through the general awareness so what makes sense to me is clicks because clicks is you know more narrowed down approach and the kind of platform that LinkedIn has I mean it gives you so many options to narrow down and select the right audience for what exactly we are providing and given your experience with Domo so and you know what you have done is just fantastic so I want to understand from you to start off with or right the first thing is when you integrate LinkedIn with your website all right so what exactly do you use do you directly just integrate the code that they provide in your website or you use Google tag manager along with it? Oh yeah I love Google tag manager and I request it for most of our clients just because it’s it’s easy to put on and it’s hard to screw up but we do have clients who manually go and place that in site tag on every page of the website so in the end doesn’t really matter how you get it they’re just so long as it is there. Okay but the preferable option to go with is Google tag manager right, correct yes, awesome perfect because I mean that is what we were exploring we have recently put up many tags on our website and trying to gauge the interaction and leads on a few of the landing pages so I think even that is what we prefer I mean the way ahead when it comes to integrating linkedin code so thank you for that.

The second thing that I observed is you know that there are three kind of three options that we have on LinkedIn platform when it comes to showing ads to the prospects one is like in mail second one is on the right-hand side maybe you know a display or something and third is text correct? Yes so they actually have a force now there’s another one called dynamic ads how we just got access to literally three weeks ago my recommendation to you would be to start out with sponsored content the one that appears on the fade that’s what I recommend to about 90% of people to start out with sponsored in mail it’s it sounds pretty sexy because the pricing feels low they say you know you’re not paying per click you’re paying per send and it’s like 35 cents to 65 cents per send but if you do the math that realize that only half we’re gonna open and then only 4% of those are going to click the cost per click ends up being really high like at the 12 to 22 dollar range unless you have a really sexy offer something that it feels personal it feels like an invitation rather than just a here’s another white paper or take a demo hmm so if if you don’t have like a really solid offer like that I would stick to sponsored content text ads can be well they’re the least expensive but they’re also really really low on engagement so if you have a decent budget to spend you might not be able to spend all of it with text ads but most likely you can spend it with with it sponsored content. Abhinav does not have a big budget, ha ha ha ha. Oo nice start out with text ads then, text ads are cheap. Thank You Bob for that. But you said it’s not what you recommend, well I recommend what’s going to be the best mixture between price and performance and in our time so if I have an audience size that’s very targeted of let’s say it’s ten thousand people if I go through the motions and create that campaign in sponsored content that could spend I don’t know a few hundred dollars in a month but if I tried to do that same audience with the text ad it’s gonna take me the same amount of time to create creative and create the campaign but I might want to spend like twenty dollars for the month and so at some point you go well was that even worth my time or is it even worth having a campaign here generating you know data that I won’t get to analyze for weeks and weeks and weeks because it won’t be statistically significant so I love text ads if I had my choice we would always run text ads along with sponsored content because they augment each other very well but the truth is if it’s only going to spend a few bucks a week that it might just not be worth it. Okay. How much text ads cost per click?

Text ads will go all the way from usually not three to five dollars you can get them for as low as $2, and then what about the display stuff, are they in sponsored content? yeah sponsored contents usually between about six and nine dollars per click it can go a little north of there we have some clients getting it for as Low as you know three four if you have really high performing copy, and then I guess the difference the end and it’s targeting can be the same or identical? Yep identical targeting. And so the difference is that ecliptic conversion would be more the sponsored content that would beat the theory? Yeah it depends a little bit conversion rates are usually pretty high on text ads but volumes low sponsored content a probably 80 plus percent of your traffic is going to come from for mobile devices so if you have a really good bit of converting landing page for mobile then you’ll probably have a really high conversion rate if you’re asking for a lot of fields and it’s difficult to do on mobile then you might have a low conversion rate.

No we’re just getting email and mobile desk yeah so what good grief rate shouldn’t we expect? what’s your offer are you saying here talk to a sales guy or are you saying here download episodes content? ahh more the latter we have a best practices guide. Nice yeah. A good offer Abhinav? yes exactly. Actually actually we probably are best off if we’re paying for click we should probably make it so that people will only click if they’re really really really serious. Well it’s definitely worth testing both here’s what we usually find for ninety-five percent of clients if we test here talk to a sales rep you’re not going to have very many very many clicks and especially conversions but the ones you do we’re going to be sales ready they’ve raised that a hand so that’s pretty attractive but downside is if you run an ad like that so few people are incentivized to click it that usually when good lucks head it goes up we’re not making enough money off of these guys let’s just shine that right now you feel no relevancy score and you know that’s what happens but if you if you and you’ll probably have a conversion rate of like one and a half to three percent if you do that whereas if you offer content you’re probably gonna have a conversion rate of eight to twenty percent we’ve got clients who getting up you know 30 40 50 % conversion rates but 10% is not an unreasonable. No in fact if you’re if you’re much less than 10%

let’s test your landing page to see if it’s the landing page or the offer because if the offer isn’t attractive enough to get some of them get them their email address if you get to a new offer if the landing pages in the way then yeah okay do I mean so now they look at so 10% if it’s three to five dollars per click that means it’s thirty to fifty dollars for me, yes exactly, and then the other one is 50 to 90 per lead. Usually what we see is because of the low conversion rate of like one and a half to three percent will usually see those bottom and finally it’s costing like you know one to two hundred we’ve seen some up to three and four hundred I’ve worked in higher it’s not a function where a response or content or tech said it’s more of a call to action yeah pretty much of course if you pay two dollars for the click on text ads it would be a cheaper cost per lead than if you paying seven dollars on sponsored content but that’s how I think of it, but if you’re getting might have the three percent its pretty expensive,  yeah yeah and you’re asking a lot so you just you just expect that there’s gonna be a lower conversion rate. well let me say that they have a lot of fields? No more of the perceived friction of okay this product may look interesting but I’m gonna have to hop on the phone the sales rep and out now she’s going to push me really hard or if I am gonna end up on some newsletter so it’s that perceived friction usually the lowest conversion rate yeah okay okay yeah so Abhinav I didn’t mean to steal the time, Yeah ok yeah 

So AJ when you were saying like you know the kind of offer that we have so I want to understand in your experience what kind of offers do you mostly recommend I mean what works for you when we talk about the business-to-business offerings so what do you think works out the best? So we’ve seen all the fact kinds of offers generally the best thing the thing that’s going to convert the best is going to be the offer that feels the most digestible the most bite-sized so for instance if you have an e-book if you call it a guide instead that’s it’s probably going to form better than if you call e-book if you have something like a guide it might be better to call it a checklist or a cheat sheet because it just it feels digestible it feels like okay I’m gonna spend three hours reading this thing mm-hmm oh but at the same time we find that really the promise of what they’re gonna get out of the asset if the title is gonna have some kind of like lead into what you’re gonna get because that lead-in is saying we’re going to solve a serious problem that you face every day in your work or we’re gonna satisfy a curiosity that you have if it does one of those two things it’s probably going to perform really highly there probably have a really high conversion rate whether that is a one-page checklist or a 40 page ebook or the title of a 60-minute webinar the media isn’t nearly as important as the promise of what they’re going to get out. Okay that makes sense that makes sense and Bob since really beginning if you remember our conversation will be only focus on solving the problems out there right when it comes to b2b lead generation so I like it that we are on the right path when it comes to the content that we are creating so thank you for that inside AJ I really appreciate it and the another part is if you you know if a company like us okay we are a startup correct and our market is huge when it comes to what do we offer to business-to-business correct so what kind of budget do you think will fit us okay the minimum budget to start with and what should be the budget distribution for us how much would we spend on sponsored content and how much would we spend on I wouldn’t exactly consider in-mail right now but text ads? Good okay I mean I would what I have noticed is the client signs up to work with us and they spend less than a 3k we see a very high quit rate where people leave so what I’ve said is okay it sounds like if you’re not spending at least 3k month you’re probably not seeing the business impact you’re gonna be pretty quick to cut the channel when we’re results start coming in so I’d say make sure you’re spending at least 3k and in that 3 to 5 k range is usually when you find statistical significance down to the conversion rate so I’d say if you can set aside 5k in the first month if you can’t you know in chip it down to around 3 where that works but try to spend in that range so that by the end of month one you have enough data to say yep that works with certain people or know that this is not a great channel for us let’s come back and check it again later. And AJ how do you get paid? So we charge a management fee if our clients are spending three to five K on ads we’re touching a flat $1,500 a month to manage the campaign. And thats your starting point right? yeah yeah then that stays the same until they spend over about 75 K sorry 75 hundred a month yeah then we charge at 20% of ad spending.

In the chat I have shared a link to our asset then we put together. Cool I’m opening it out see a quick guide for creating and managing successful b2b lead generation campaign, see good things we are following your suggestions. yes yeah the one so I love your Apple and asking for name and email that’s pretty sweet the one piece that I would say here is look at the copy and see if you could call out a pain point because right now you’re saying here all these great things but if you could put it on a pain point for them and say by reading  this you’re going to solve this one pain that’s what we’ve found usually that you know I think it’s going awesome that word fantastic thanks for the insight AJ I’ve made it better. Any other questions I know we’re right at time but. Yeah one question I have is it is so any of this doesn’t help you word or LinkedIn but when did you what do you find is the best way to utilize LinkedIn for free?

oh yeah I owe nothing to linkedin. LinkedIn on the free side is actually really cool especially if you combined it with advertising because what happens is once someone has seen your ads repeatedly it might even be subconscious you’re branded for them so when you reach out and and to go set up a call or to make a connection with them they’ll say oh I’ve heard of you guys before you must be legit and it changes the whole subject call versus you know the alternative which is when were you again and you happen to like defend yourself and talk about how good you are. Yeah and in targeting you can get down to individual people or titles or skills? so on the organic side of LinkedIn if you’re just searching yeah you can get down to like an individual person on the outside we can only get down to audience sizes of three hundred so I’m gonna do it mean this is a grenade account with yeah if you had an account list you apply some other filters on there as well it’s a it’s only people who are in the marketing department who have a title manager and above as long as there are 300 people in that group then you could advertise. And then and then they can have the skills of lead generation for instance? yeah yeah rules yeah and if you have sales navigator or the professional version of LinkedIn you could do the same thing but organically you can go and search for those filters and then reach out individually to each the people that you see on the list. I know we don’t have a sales navigator. I know I have the professional one. I pay line 20 bucks a month. Oh yeah that sounds like professional sales navigator I think is somewhere between about 70 and 90 bucks a month. It’s worth it? if you’re doing the coverage I think it’s worth it I personally don’t use it though because I just don’t be mad for each I just don’t get on sales to me Abhinav anything else?

One question popped up my mind okay talking about the free version of linkedom AJ so what do you think I mean right now that’d be how we go about it as you know we have a good piece of content our website in terms of blogs okay so we keep publishing blogs on groups okay mostly groups many we have joined many groups pertaining to marketing and b2b advertising and whatnot so do you think that is a good practice? so groups are actually pretty weak right now there are a lot of people who do what you do which is they go into a group and they dump the content there and a link to content doesn’t start a conversation so if you want a group to be really effective going in then starting a conversation and I’m getting people to first of all you know they’re looking and second of all they’re contributing their ideas and they feel a part of the solution that is a much stronger approach mm-hmm I mean you can check and see like are you getting traffic from groups and is it converting but my guess is it’s probably not. I mean we are just getting couple of likes you know and people coming on our website they they are commenting few of them are commenting on the page itself I mean the group itself so, okay yes see if you can spur more of that conversation because that’s gonna mean a lot more than just dumping a link in there, fantastic fantastic cool cool, and where where are their words of wisdom that can you can share as far as what’s working well these days and we’re gonna see the where do you see the business headed? I see it moving to better and better content I think the majority of b2b advertisers get it now that you can’t just go right through the throat you have to have a softer approach and so there they’re coming up with content so if you if your content is astronomically greater than someone else’s then I think you win a matter what in this space so the focus I think needs to be on content to win on LinkedIn. But there’s getting and as you said I think that the manager of good content is is solving a pain point or these addressing a perceived pain point?

Yes absolutely. That’s that’s that’s the Clear measure of success? yeah that’s right. Beautiful all right so what we’re going to I said we poured some of this but for there’s some snippets in there that I think are worth sharing to our group and well what we’ll do is we’ll pull out some things in and share with you first awesome and then we’ll play with that you know again I wasn’t kidding so much about Abhinavs’ budget see what we can do but I think working and mostly you know what think we’ll stick with our free stuff for now and then we’ll also look at recommending you for some of our clients so we’ll lets stay in touch. That sounds good you will not offend if I’d never hear from you ever again I want to helpful but I am never gonna be like chase anyone down and try to give you a sales pitch so my topic are free to move us to reconnect yeah thank you so much okay thank you both thank you bye thank you take care bye bye bye bye bye

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