14 Powerful LinkedIn Thought Leader Ad Strategies Worth Testing

Alejandro Perez
Written by
Alejandro Perez

Everyone knows that B2B buying has changed. 

People trust people more than they trust companies, making thought leadership ads more important than ever before. 

If you’re looking to use thought leader ads in your LinkedIn ad strategy but aren’t sure how to get started, this article is for you. 

Here are 14 thought leader ad plays and examples you can test. 

Let’s jump into it! 👇

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Play #1: Announce new product features, integrations, and partnerships

🔑 to success: Trust your audience. Target the experts and speak to them like they’re experts. Show them all the cool things they’ll be able to achieve with your product. 

Example 1: Dreamdata

Example 2: Gong 

Example 3: UserGems 

Example 4: Dreamdata

Play #2: Highlight the main problem your product solves + the solution it provides

🔑 to success: After prospects read your content, they should be able to clearly articulate the problem your product solves + the solution it provides. If they can’t, you need to simplify your messaging. 

Example 1: Apollo

Play #3: Highlight a case study featuring your own company

🔑 to success: Show how your team is using YOUR tool to reach YOUR goals – your company can serve as its own case study. 

Example 1: UserGems

Example 2: Apollo

Example 3: Sendoso

Example 4: Salesloft

Play #4: Highlight a case study featuring one of your customers 

🔑 to success: Clearly articulate how you’ve been helping an existing customer achieve their goals. 

Example 1: Lavender 

Example 2: Loxo 

Play #5: Generate buzz before attending an in-person event

🔑 to success: Use an ABM list of attendees or ABM list of companies + key job functions to make sure you’re getting in front of the right people. 

Example 1: HockeyStack

Play #6: Stay top of mind after an event

🔑 to success: Have an attendee post a recap after an event so that your brand is staying top of mind in the following weeks. The idea isn’t to push your product, but to keep raising awareness within key accounts. 

Example 1: Sendoso

Play #7: Promote your own event

🔑 to success: Have your event speakers announce their participation on their personal pages and boost the posts to increase overall reach. This is a win for the speakers and for your company – speakers will feel supported and your event will get more registrations. 

Example 1: Gleanin 

Example 2: Gleanin 

Play #8: Promote an upcoming webinar

🔑 to success: Clearly highlight the value of the webinar for your audience – what will they learn by attending? Make sure to tag the speakers to generate more interest. 

Example 1: Sendoso 

Example 2: Copy ai 

Example 3: DoWhatWorks

Play #9: Promote your newsletter

🔑 to success: Keep it simple & highlight what people will get out of subscribing. 

Example 1: Motion 

Play #10: Celebrate customer wins

🔑 to success: Highlight customers when they win an award or achieve something big. This strategy provides social proof to help with prospecting efforts, but it’s also a great retention play, as it makes existing clients feel supported. 

Example 1: Sendoso

Example 2: Lavender

Play #11: Demo different use cases of your product

🔑 to success: Have a senior leader – from your own company or one of your customers – educate prospects on how they can use your product to achieve their business goals. 

Example 1: Dreamdata 

Example 2: Clay 

Example 3: Clay

Play #12: Share long-form content with insights that your ICP would be interested in

🔑 to success: Don’t tell everyone how great your product is – instead, show them the insights they could have access to if they used it. Also, make the content industry-specific. For example, content about conversion impact or email subject lines in B2B SaaS will be much more powerful than content about conversions or email in general. 

Example 1: HockeyStack

Play #13: Provide practical advice based on insights from your platform

🔑 to success: Don’t provide generic advice that people have heard many times. Instead, give advice that your ICP may find surprising, and always back it up with data from your platform. This strategy is powerful because potential buyers will be grateful for the thought leader’s recommendations AND they’ll also relate the thought leader’s content to your organization (and hopefully be interested in learning more). 

Example 1: Lavender

Play #14: Leverage social proof from existing customers

🔑 to success: Promote content from respected customers within your target industry highlighting the use cases and overall impact of your product.

Example 1: UserGems 

Example 2: Clay

Putting LinkedIn Thought Leader ads into action

If you’re excited about thought leadership ads and want to start running them right away, here’s what I would recommend:

1. Find a few people at your organization that would be great thought leaders. They don’t need to be influencers with 50K followers – they simply need to have a deep understanding of your product and your ICP (bonus if they also enjoy writing).  

2. Once you’ve selected your thought leaders, choose the top 3 strategies from this playbook that you’d like to begin with. I don’t recommend starting with all 14 strategies at once, since that could get pretty overwhelming. 

3. Have your thought leaders post a few times per month and boost their content to your ICP.

That’s all you need to get started. 

P.S.

If  you’re starting out with thought leadership ads, I recommend using the engagement objective to build your retargeting audiences in a cost-effective way. 

And if you want a complete masterclass on LinkedIn ads objectives, ad types, and bidding strategies, I highly recommend checking out this article by Ali Yildirim. 

Resources for mastering B2B advertising

If you’re serious about mastering B2B advertising then you definitely need to join 1,000+ B2B marketers leveling up their paid advertising skill sets in AdConversion. 

‍Here’s 4 reasons why you should consider joining. Every one of our on-demand courses are:

✅  100% free access.

✅  Taught by vetted industry experts.

✅  Have workbooks, resources, and templates.

✅  Less than 10 minutes per lesson.

We believe every marketer should know how to scale paid ads so they can:

  •  Scale their ideas
  • Level up their careers
  • Make a positive impact

Click Here to Join 1,000+ B2B Marketers Today and start leveling up your advertising skill set.

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Alejandro Perez

Everyone knows that B2B buying has changed. 

People trust people more than they trust companies, making thought leadership ads more important than ever before. 

If you’re looking to use thought leader ads in your LinkedIn ad strategy but aren’t sure how to get started, this article is for you. 

Here are 14 thought leader ad plays and examples you can test. 

Let’s jump into it! 👇

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Play #1: Announce new product features, integrations, and partnerships

🔑 to success: Trust your audience. Target the experts and speak to them like they’re experts. Show them all the cool things they’ll be able to achieve with your product. 

Example 1: Dreamdata

Example 2: Gong 

Example 3: UserGems 

Example 4: Dreamdata

Play #2: Highlight the main problem your product solves + the solution it provides

🔑 to success: After prospects read your content, they should be able to clearly articulate the problem your product solves + the solution it provides. If they can’t, you need to simplify your messaging. 

Example 1: Apollo

Play #3: Highlight a case study featuring your own company

🔑 to success: Show how your team is using YOUR tool to reach YOUR goals – your company can serve as its own case study. 

Example 1: UserGems

Example 2: Apollo

Example 3: Sendoso

Example 4: Salesloft

Play #4: Highlight a case study featuring one of your customers 

🔑 to success: Clearly articulate how you’ve been helping an existing customer achieve their goals. 

Example 1: Lavender 

Example 2: Loxo 

Play #5: Generate buzz before attending an in-person event

🔑 to success: Use an ABM list of attendees or ABM list of companies + key job functions to make sure you’re getting in front of the right people. 

Example 1: HockeyStack

Play #6: Stay top of mind after an event

🔑 to success: Have an attendee post a recap after an event so that your brand is staying top of mind in the following weeks. The idea isn’t to push your product, but to keep raising awareness within key accounts. 

Example 1: Sendoso

Play #7: Promote your own event

🔑 to success: Have your event speakers announce their participation on their personal pages and boost the posts to increase overall reach. This is a win for the speakers and for your company – speakers will feel supported and your event will get more registrations. 

Example 1: Gleanin 

Example 2: Gleanin 

Play #8: Promote an upcoming webinar

🔑 to success: Clearly highlight the value of the webinar for your audience – what will they learn by attending? Make sure to tag the speakers to generate more interest. 

Example 1: Sendoso 

Example 2: Copy ai 

Example 3: DoWhatWorks

Play #9: Promote your newsletter

🔑 to success: Keep it simple & highlight what people will get out of subscribing. 

Example 1: Motion 

Play #10: Celebrate customer wins

🔑 to success: Highlight customers when they win an award or achieve something big. This strategy provides social proof to help with prospecting efforts, but it’s also a great retention play, as it makes existing clients feel supported. 

Example 1: Sendoso

Example 2: Lavender

Play #11: Demo different use cases of your product

🔑 to success: Have a senior leader – from your own company or one of your customers – educate prospects on how they can use your product to achieve their business goals. 

Example 1: Dreamdata 

Example 2: Clay 

Example 3: Clay

Play #12: Share long-form content with insights that your ICP would be interested in

🔑 to success: Don’t tell everyone how great your product is – instead, show them the insights they could have access to if they used it. Also, make the content industry-specific. For example, content about conversion impact or email subject lines in B2B SaaS will be much more powerful than content about conversions or email in general. 

Example 1: HockeyStack

Play #13: Provide practical advice based on insights from your platform

🔑 to success: Don’t provide generic advice that people have heard many times. Instead, give advice that your ICP may find surprising, and always back it up with data from your platform. This strategy is powerful because potential buyers will be grateful for the thought leader’s recommendations AND they’ll also relate the thought leader’s content to your organization (and hopefully be interested in learning more). 

Example 1: Lavender

Play #14: Leverage social proof from existing customers

🔑 to success: Promote content from respected customers within your target industry highlighting the use cases and overall impact of your product.

Example 1: UserGems 

Example 2: Clay

Putting LinkedIn Thought Leader ads into action

If you’re excited about thought leadership ads and want to start running them right away, here’s what I would recommend:

1. Find a few people at your organization that would be great thought leaders. They don’t need to be influencers with 50K followers – they simply need to have a deep understanding of your product and your ICP (bonus if they also enjoy writing).  

2. Once you’ve selected your thought leaders, choose the top 3 strategies from this playbook that you’d like to begin with. I don’t recommend starting with all 14 strategies at once, since that could get pretty overwhelming. 

3. Have your thought leaders post a few times per month and boost their content to your ICP.

That’s all you need to get started. 

P.S.

If  you’re starting out with thought leadership ads, I recommend using the engagement objective to build your retargeting audiences in a cost-effective way. 

And if you want a complete masterclass on LinkedIn ads objectives, ad types, and bidding strategies, I highly recommend checking out this article by Ali Yildirim. 

Resources for mastering B2B advertising

If you’re serious about mastering B2B advertising then you definitely need to join 1,000+ B2B marketers leveling up their paid advertising skill sets in AdConversion. 

‍Here’s 4 reasons why you should consider joining. Every one of our on-demand courses are:

✅  100% free access.

✅  Taught by vetted industry experts.

✅  Have workbooks, resources, and templates.

✅  Less than 10 minutes per lesson.

We believe every marketer should know how to scale paid ads so they can:

  •  Scale their ideas
  • Level up their careers
  • Make a positive impact

Click Here to Join 1,000+ B2B Marketers Today and start leveling up your advertising skill set.

Takes < 90 seconds to sign up (seriously we timed it 😂)

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Alejandro Perez
Want to level up your B2B advertising skill set?
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