How to use HubSpot to Optimize your LinkedIn Ads for Quality Lead Generation


The PYB approach to LinkedIn ads is different to Google Search ads in one fundamental way…
…you can start with a list of Target Accounts in HubSpot, and then use ‘LinkedIn Ads Manager’ to filter down.
In other words, unlike with Google Ads, you know the actual company the leads will be coming from.

Note: this approach won’t suit all businesses. 
You either need a) a large enough target audience list of companies, or b) a small list of large companies.
I don’t want to ‘give you target numbers’ as LinkedIn will give you this when you add in the ‘individual level filtering’ (e.g. job role).

Here’s the process…

Step 1: Create Target Accounts

In HubSpot, you have the ability to tag Companies as ‘Target Accounts’ - adding them into that area of the CRM.

See instructions here.

This gets the companies you want to target ‘in the right place’ in the CRM.

Step 2: Create an audience in HubSpot Ads manager

From there you can create an audience in HubSpot Ads manager…
See here for instructions.

This in turn can be sync’d to your LinkedIn Ads manager account, for any specific Ad campaign.

The advantage of Target accounts + HubSpot Ad audiences is simple - you make changes in HubSpot, and that dynamically changes the targeted profiles in LinkedIn Ads Manager.

Note: there are a couple of alternatives here…

  1. You can use a list (instead of target accounts) 
  2. You can download and import into LinkedIn

From there…

Step 3: Sync HubSpot audience with LinkedIn ads manager

In this step you’ll connect the two platforms - i.e. the target account list in HubSpot with the Ads platform.
Super simple…

See instructions here.

Step 4: Set up your LinkedIn Filters

Once you’ve syncing the list with HubSpot, you can use LinkedIn Ads Manager to filter it down.
I.e. not every role at a company will be relevant to target.

The best way to understand which roles to target is to look back at your HubSpot data, and find the job roles of the most valuable leads/contacts in the CRM.
If you find that ‘property manager’ or ‘commercial director’ or ‘Operations manager’ are consistently turning into Opportunities (i.e. a Deal on the Board) then focus on those job titles, or those ‘around that role’.

Step 5: Set up your Ads or Sponsored messaging

It really depends on which LinkedIn Ads type you’re adopting as to what happens next.
But whichever way you go - Sponsored messages, Image ads, Video ads etc - you’ll need to set them up in a way that allows you to test what’s working, and what’s not.

For instance, if you’re using Sponsored Messaging (a bit like native LinkedIn’s ‘Inmail’ functionality) then the first thing to consider is…open rates, and testing your messages subject lines. 
From there, you’ll look into conversion rates…

Step 6: Observe the Conversion rates

Speaking in general terms, there are many different types of ‘conversion rates’ that people care about.
Technically, the percentage number of impressions to clicks is a conversion rate i.e. for every 1000 impressions, there were 100 clicks = a conversion rate of 10%

See more from LinkedIn here.

What most people really care about though is a ‘conversion to contact’.
And if you’re using LinkedIn Ads with the outcome of generating leads, this is going to be ‘front and centre’ of your mind.

Tip: test using a ‘lead form’ (with all relevant ad types) instead of sending traffic to a landing page on your website. This way you reduce the time between ‘click’ i.e. Find out more… and the action you’re attempting to achieve i.e. capturing their contact information.

But… if you are sending people to your landing pages/website, then look at adding Clearbit forms to your website for improved conversion rates. They really do work.

Step 7: Rating leads

This is crucial. Once a lead comes back into HubSpot, you need marketing to be informed about relevance.

In other words, the sales team MUST tell the marketing team whether the contacts being generated are ‘good quality’, or not.

To do this, we generally suggest creating a custom property in HubSpot call ‘Lead rating’ which is a single select dropdown:


The rule for allocating a lead to each label is simple…
A = “WOW, love this lead - more please”
E = “Rubbish lead - no more please”

And B, C, and D are the grades of enthusiasm and excitement ‘in between’ those two extremes.

The quicker the marketing team gets feedback, the quicker that can adjust the course of the campaign(s).
Without feedback they are most likely to optimize toward ‘conversions’ without an understanding of ‘quality’.

Tip 1: with LinkedIn Ads, you may well find you generate leads with ‘Personal Email addresses’ (e.g. gmail accounts). As such, look to find that person on LinkedIn and associate the lead generated in HubSpot with the company at which they work. If you’re using Target Accounts, you’ll be pleased to see the connection between your original intent list and the new lead in the CRM.
And if you don’t, you may find your sales team simply rejecting the lead as it’s only ‘a personal email address, not their work email’.

Tip 2: if you have a phone number, call the person up ASAP - don’t just leave emails to do the work…

Results: Case Study

Below are the stats from a campaign we ran recently for a large client (1000+ employees), using the approach outlined above.

The Ad spend was just over £1050 (which is tiny, as I hate wasting client’s money); the pipeline built is worth hundreds of thousands.

Just for transparency, the services of the PYB team (led by myself) were circa £10k a month.

We generated:

15 leads:

Campaign group name_PYB Blogs

11 of which are graded either A or B by the sales team:

Lead Rating_PYB Blogs

The point is this… you don’t have to have a large ad budget to make this approach work, but you do need the skills to understand how to a) set it up correctly, and b) observe and adjust course based upon the feedback you’re getting once ‘live’.

An energetic campaign support partner


Whilst PYB were initially brought on to onboard HubSpot, we (the Marketing team) continued to work with them after onboarding was complete, to ensure we best utilised HubSpot as a campaign-integrated CRM. Predominantly working with Martin, we've used HubSpot to manage paid campaign activity for LinkedIn and Google, as well as supporting our sales teams with PDF's and automated emails for MQL's/ SQL's. Plus Your Business have been a dedicated support throughout, offering a very agile and responsive service to ensure we get the best "bang for our buck" with sponsored activity such as InMail and PPC. I'd definitely recommend them to any business looking for campaign/ CRM support.

Penny Howell-Jones
Head Of Marketing, SMS Plc