Social Media

LinkedIn Lead Gen Ads for MSPs

Step by step guie with photos on how to use LinkedIn's Lead Gen forms to target decision maker and influencer contacts within organizations.

Finding a way to leverage paid ads as an MSP is no easy task. Many of the standard paid platforms (Facebook, Google, Instagram, etc.) aren’t specifically geared towards B2B clients, and paying for ads on these platforms can destroy your ROI. A pain point for most MSPs is targeting the right roles within an organization. Many platforms are built to optimize on interest or intent and not necessarily what someone does within a particular company. We are finding that LinkedIn Lead Gen forms are becoming an effective means of solving this targeting issue, while also generating a quality lead. 

So, many MSPs find themselves on LinkedIn, attempting to develop an actionable paid conversion campaign that will (hopefully) stuff their funnel with critical decision makers. Running a LinkedIn campaign can be frustrating for those unfamiliar with the platform, especially given the level of competition and costs associated with paid ads LinkedIn.

Don’t just throw money at LinkedIn! Here’s how to develop a killer ad campaign that will help you tap into LinkedIn’s rich business prospects and get them in front of your content.

Layer Organizational and Role Filters for Lead Ads

LinkedIn Layer Organizational and Role Filters for Lead Ads

LinkedIn lead forms are currently a goldmine. Not only are the convenient (pre-filled options save tons of time), but you can leverage them in both sponsored content and InMail. They also have great metric tracking and high click-through-rates (CTR.) Here’s the thing with lead ads: you have to play with firmographics if you want a killer ROI.

Targeting based on organization type alone is going to waste time and money. This is probably the most common mistake with see with MSPs trying to use LinkedIn ads for lead gen. They target the types of companies they want to convert, not the specific people and the roles of these individuals.

LinkedIn has powerful firmographic capabilities, which means that you can leverage them to deliver ads to a hyper-specific audience (down to individual people.) LinkedIn has 9 billion content impressions weekly, so standing out in the crowd requires some savvy targeting techniques.

Make Your Message Relevant

LinkedIn Ads MSPs Relevant MessagesBeing able to target users on a granular level means that you should create your ads on a granular level. LinkedIn has 500 million users, and 40% of them check their profile/mail daily. Even better, there are 40 million business professionals categorized as decision makers. That’s an insanely rich market. But, only a handful of those decision makers are going to be successful lead captures for your MSP. You should scout those people out, and send them highly personalized ads.

You Need a Budget

LinkedIn Ad Budget for B2B

So, you have a platform filled with business professionals, decision makers, and senior-level influencers — what’s the catch? LinkedIn ads are costly. A thoughtful, targeted ad is probably going to run you +$10 per click. So, you have to have a decent starting budget to compete in the LinkedIn world. Luckily — for MSPs — the lifetime value of a successful LinkedIn campaign is much higher than the cost.

Remember, lifetime value – cost of acquisition is your ROI formula for lead capture. Since conversions can result in significant profit margins in the MSP space, your primary concern is going to be driving customers to your pipeline. LinkedIn is fantastic at this.


Steps for Creating a Success LinkedIn Ad: 

Let’s go through a quick step-by-step for setting up a targeted lead gen campaign for those who aren’t familiar with the process.

When you’re logged into your account, click “Advertise” in the corner.

LinkedIn Ad Location


Click “Create Campaign”

LinkedIn - Create Campaign


Name the Campaign Group & Campaign, then select “Lead generation” as the objective

LinkedIn - Lead Ad Type


Build your campaign audience.

Tip: Be sure to select a geographic location that the person LIVES in, not currently is in. Also, it is critical you layer company filters (e.g. industry) as well as role filters.

LinkedIn Ads Audience Selection

Select your ad format. Most ads are a single image, but video and multiple images have been shown to perform better due to fewer ads running that format. 

LinkedIn Ad Format

Set your campaign budget.

Tip: We recommend setting a campaign total budget vs. daily budget. It is also best to set defined start and finish dates so you can control costs and measure success.

LinkedIn Ads Set Budget

Select “Create Ad” unless you have built one before that you would like to use. 

LinkedIn Lead Form Create Ad

Create your ad! At the end of the screen, select “Create a Lead Gen Form” 

Linked In Create a Lead Gen Form

Create your lead form. The copy should be similar to what was used on the ad so it’s a consistent experience. Add a link to your company privacy policy.

LinkedIn Lead Gen Form Set Up

Select the fields you want to capture 

Tip: LinkedIn auto-populates these fields based on the user’s profile. Normally forms should be limited, but for these, it is okay to use around 5 – 6 fields. Don’t overdo it or it will impact conversion rates. 

LinkedIn Form Fields for Ads

Select “Launch Campaign”

Select Launch Campaign


Final Thoughts

LinkedIn paid ads can be a massive boon to your MSP. But, you have to get creative and analytical to keep your ROI high. Don’t just throw money at your ads; you won’t succeed. LinkedIn is a saturated marketplace, and you need to get granular to succeed.



Learn more with The Digital Marketing Game Plan for MSPs and VARs.  Included are six actions with detailed checklists on how to start generating digital inbound leads for your MSP.


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