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How to Use LinkedIn Ads for Account-Based Marketing

Account-based marketing (ABM), which markets to highly targeted individuals rather than general awareness campaigns, is an excellent choice for B2B businesses. There are many tools to accomplish this, including Facebook ads, Google ads, and LinkedIn ads. ABM requires a great deal of research, but one of its strengths is high ROI, especially as far as ad spend goes. However, maximizing ROI requires careful tailoring of ad spend. There are many options, we’ve highlighted three popular channels below.

LinkedIn vs Facebook for vs Google Ads ABM

LinkedIn for ABM

A high price tag doesn't always mean high quality. LinkedIn Advertising typically is more expensive than ads taken out through Google or Facebook when looking at Cost-Per-Click (CPC) or Cost Per 1,000 Impressions (CPM). However, when looking at the more important metric of Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA) of qualified leads, LinkedIn becomes a valuable option. LinkedIn Ads are capable of targeting by job title, function, industry, and more, making it one of the best ways to garner quality leads. But as far as ad spend goes, 96% of brands prioritize Google Ads in their marketing toolkit, 87% leverage Facebook Ads, and only 80% invest in LinkedIn. So why should you go the path less travelled?

US digital ad revenue share by company

Because it’s worth the investment. LinkedIn Ads are highly underutilized as far as ad spend goes. In the chart above, be sure to keep in mind that the market shares of B2B and B2C companies are not terribly disparate. In addition, although B2B and B2C companies have different ad spends, it is not enough to explain the minuscule digital ad revenue share of LinkedIn. B2C products spend 16% of their revenue on marketing ads, while B2B products spend about 9%. As such, LinkedIn is incredibly underutilized in the B2B world and the marketing world overall.

For any business that needs to prioritize B2B, LinkedIn is a great choice. It offers the most direct route to the top decision makers, purchasers, and senior leadership at companies. LinkedIn Ads allow for tailored audience segmentation. You can target decision makers at companies on your ABM list. 

Facebook for ABM

In comparison, Facebook can be used for retargeting, but is not particularly effective for ABM. On Facebook you can target by location, interests, demographics, and more. However, if you want to target people who work in the manufacturing industry, Facebook is not the place you want to start your ad spend. Facebook is great for retargeting once people have already visited your website from another channel, such as LinkedIn.

In fact, 46% of direct B2B web traffic comes from LinkedIn. As such, your company can benefit from a huge boost by utilizing LinkedIn Ads. Although LinkedIn ads are expensive, they boast an average conversion rate of 6.1%. This is higher than Google Ads and Facebook Ads. Not only is that conversion rate higher, but so is the quality of leads, because of how specific LinkedIn Ads can be.

However, having an effective LinkedIn campaign requires build up. There are more than 30 million companies on LinkedIn. As such, your business needs an active LinkedIn page, especially if you are in the B2B space. Be sure to check out our essential tips for optimizing your LinkedIn page to ensure you are using best practices.

Google Search Ads for ABM

Google is a great way to spend advertising dollars lower in the funnel. Searching shows intent, but is not good for building awareness amongst your target ABM list if they are not already actively searching for you.

Creating LinkedIn Ads for Account Based Marketing Campaigns

Building Your LinkedIn Target for ABM Ad Campaigns:

  • Geography - do your clients need to be US only, or can they be international? 
  • Job level - seniority, for decision makers and influencers.
  • Job titles - Again to make sure you are covering all decision makers and influencers. For example, you may want to target buyers/purchasers and senior leadership. You may want to exclude IT, HR, junior level talent, accounting, and more depending on your needs.

Screen Shot 2021-01-14 at 10.29.36 AM


Ideas for LinkedIn ABM Advertising Content:

  • Sponsored Content
    • Boosting an existing post
    • Easy and successful
  • Text Ad
    • Text ads are cheaper, but not as attention grabbing
  • LinkedIn InMail
  • Display Ads
    • Some ideas include:
      • Content offers such as guides, articles, and ebooks. Offering value without asking for anything in return (or only asking for an email as in gated content offers) can be a great way to build trust.
      • A “request free consultation” CTA
      • Interesting infographics and relevant statistics
  • Dynamic Ads
  • Video Ads
    • Introductory videos (be sure to use closed captions) are a great top of funnel content choice.

Overall, ad content should not directly be about your company. Instead, it should be catered to how your company can help your potential customer’s company. 

Using LinkedIn Ads to Build Brand Awareness Beyond ABM

LinkedIn Ads can be used for B2B marketing that goes beyond just targeting specific companies. It fills in the gaps that your ABM may be missing. In addition to your ABM campaign that targets job titles at specific companies, you can target those job titles within the industry more generally. Selecting job titles of employees that work in a certain industry covers your bases by filling in the gaps with companies you may not have considered for ABM. For example, you can run a LinkedIn video ad and then retarget video viewers with a more tailored ad after. This is a great way to move those leads further down the funnel. You can also exclude the companies you are covering with ABM if you do not want to be redundant (double dipping is totally fine as long as you regularly change content). You can also exclude companies you already know are not interested.


Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google Ads all have their place in Account-based marketing, but LinkedIn excels for top of the funnel awareness due to its highly specific, career-based targeting. This allows for your future retargeting efforts to be more. This allows for higher initial ROI at the top of the funnel, more conversions, and therefore will augment your end of funnel retargeting as well.