How to Create a Full Marketing Funnel with LinkedIn

92% percent of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content, build business relationships and generate leads. And it’s not hard to see why.

LinkedIn is home to the largest global community of professionals, from senior-level influencers to individual contributors. Unlike with other social media platforms, people come to LinkedIn to invest time, not waste it. They’re here to learn, advance their careers, and connect with peers. This means people engage with content more thoughtfully and are more receptive to new ideas.

Out of all major social media platforms, LinkedIn is considered to be the most effective tool for business:

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And it’s also the best way for sales reps to connect to potential clients (after emails and cold calls).

Image via HubSpot

This makes LinkedIn an ideal platform for connecting with a B2B audience.

And the best thing is — LinkedIn understands its potential and offers many built-in tools for engaging with your audience.

The UMG team tried and tested these tools to find out some of the best ways you can apply them, connect with potential prospects and drive growth for your company.

Before you start with the marketing

Before you start creating content and spending money on ads, it’s important to determine a few key things.

Know your audience

Seems like a basic step, but it’s a step you can’t miss. It’s not enough to know roughly who you usually do business with. Instead, structure and segment your audience precisely and do not underestimate the power of market segmentation.

As LinkedIn is an open-source platform, most of the information on your audience that you will need, will be filled in by the prospects themselves. The platform just allows to sort through it efficiently.

These are the basic parameters that most LinkedIn tools will allow you to work with:

  • Location
  • Industry
  • Company size
  • Job seniority
  • Job title
  • Annual revenue
  • Used technology
  • Company Growth

Depending on the tool that you choose, be it LinkedIn ads or lead generation, there’s additional behavioral criteria such as:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Interests
  • Groups
  • Skills, etc

The first order of business when selecting a target audience would be to create an Ideal Customer Profile. Using LinkedIn filters is a good first step, but you need to think beyond that.

Returning to the basics — what part of the sales funnel are they in? Are they aware, considering or making decisions? How your prospects approach the content will determine what kind of content is going to resonate with them and drive engagement.

Content is king

There’s no need to underline the importance of good engaging content. The stumbling block most of us come to when designing content is HOW to make it appealing.

There’s a wealth of information about it, but the single most important rule is this:

Address their problems and offer a solution.

Marketers are always quick to focus on the amazing features of the product or service, and often neglect the deciding factor — what’s in it for the prospect?

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. How do they feel? What do they see? What do they think & do?

The more you understand the challenges and needs your audience are facing, the better results you are going to get!

According to LinkedIn’s own statistics, it’s important to focus on creating content that is appealing, relevant, and timely.

But here’s a tip — it’s not necessary to create content completely from scratch. Break down your bigger content into smaller ones! Your blog, or that expensive report can be transformed into a number of content pieces, such as infographics, ebooks, videos, case studies and reach wider audiences.

These are a few rules that your content should follow:

  • Actionable — 60% of thought leadership content that business decision makers encounter does not provide valuable insights.
  • Relevant — 66% of business decision makers think that addressing the topic they are currently working on is one of the most critical factors in getting them to engage.
  • “Snackable” — 57% of decision makers said that their preferred format for thought leadership is “snackable” media that can be digested in a few minutes.

Now that audience & content are decided, how do you actually create a full LinkedIn marketing funnel?

The beauty of using LinkedIn for this purpose is the fact that the platform already offers multiple built-in ways of executing your marketing strategy. In other words, you can create a full multi-channel outreach, and establish your market leader presence in a myriad of ways.

After all members exposed to both brand and acquisition messaging are more likely to convert than those who are mainly exposed to demand (acquisition) activities.

So make your funnel do the job and surround your prospect with relevant messaging.

Here’s an overview of some of the most common LinkedIn tools which can all be used in combination with each other.

LinkedIn Ads

Advertising on LinkedIn has become one of the most popular ways of engaging with B2B audiences. These are a few key reasons:

  • LinkedIn’s halo effect. If you advertise on trusted sites that deliver value to your target audience, that credibility boosts your reputation. LinkedIn’s credibility enhances your brand’s reputation. Brands that advertise on LinkedIn are perceived as professional, trusted, intelligent, and of higher quality than when advertised on other platforms.
  • Precise targeting. There’s no other platform that can provide such accurate information about a person’s professional life which makes LinkedIn extremely valuable to marketers.
  • Variety of ad content. LinkedIn’s own ad platform makes it possible to create all kinds of ads for all kinds of purposes and on any stage of the marketing funnel. Let’s take a look at some of the options:

These are just the general guidelines — how you write, format and integrate these ads into your funnel is completely up to you!

Here are just a few good rules for your ad content:

  • Be distinctive. Visuals are the most important aspect of getting someone to stop and engage with your brand in the newsfeed. The use of bold colors, illustrations, unexpected photos, or photos of real people are often not associated with LinkedIn advertising, which makes these kinds of visuals different and thumb-stopping.
  • Be consistent. If you are using ads in combination with another marketing outreach, it’s important to stay consistent in both your messaging and visuals. The more often the prospect sees the same colours, logos and hears the same message, the easier it will be for them to form a mental association. So it’s important to stay on brand for all your marketing materials.
  • Know exactly what your marketing objective is. Don’t simply throw ads at people without a strategy or a clear call to action. If you want your prospect to visit your landing page, but the visuals in the carousel ad speak to something totally different, don’t be surprised if you measure a low number of clicks.

If you are looking for a practical guide to LinkedIn ads, the platform provides plenty of in-depth tutorials to help you get started.

Message Ads

Even though they are technically part of LinkedIn’s ad platform, we thought we’d single direct messages out since they are some of the most efficient ways of genuinely connecting with your audience and speaking to them directly.

Why use LinkedIn Message Ads:

  • Hyper-targeting allows to create a unique message template that resonates with this exact buyer and speaks to them directly.
  • According to LinkedIn statistics, more than 1 in 2 people open paid messages.
  • You can include a Lead Gen form with pre-filled information on the lead to reduce another engagement barrier and collect people straight from your inbox.
  • In addition to regular advertising analytics, you can use Conversion Tracking to see the conversations of people who clicked in your ad. Using these insights, you can send appropriate follow-up messages and convert prospects faster.
  • Unlike PPC and CPM ads, message ads are based on the cost-per-send (CPS) model, which requires you to pay only for ads that are sent successfully.

In our experience, message ads are best suited to convert the big whales of your audience. In other words, the most sought-after prospects in hyper-relevant companies.

Combining message ads with brand awareness messaging in the form of other LinkedIn content marketing will increase your chances of engagement.

Instead of wasting precious time and dollars warming them up in direct messages, it’s best to let ads in their newsfeed gradually prepare the prospect and them engage them directly over messages to collect that lead.


What you need to do before the campaign:

  • Decide your audience and Create an Ideal Customer Profile. The better targeted your audience, the better results your campaign will bring.
  • Create compelling content. Address your audience’s pain points, provide solutions and aim to help, not sell — these are the 3 rules for any good sales copywriting. You can repurpose successful posts and blog articles in smaller, wider content that would work for you.

How to approach LinkedIn Ads:

  • Decide your marketing objective and stick to it. Use specific ad formats that would work for your goal and don’t forget to be distinctive, compelling and clear in your messaging.
  • Use direct messages for personal engagement with your biggest and most promising prospects. LinkedIn ads a unique layer of personalisation — use that to your advantage.

And last but not least: be creative! Combining different types of ads and communication channels will create a sense of trust and credibility for your brand and it’s only one of the ways to boost your marketing funnel on LinkedIn.