Optimising your spend on LinkedIn Ads throughout the year can both save costs and improve ROI. But for B2B PPC advertising, it’s hard to know the best times to launch campaigns. There isn’t the same rush for Christmas gifts in autumn and flights in the spring.
Nevertheless, B2B PPC advertising has its own peaks and troughs of activity. They just may not align with the annual seasons.
In this blog, we’ll help you to optimise your budget for LinkedIn text ads based on strategic and financial milestones in your audience’s calendar.
The best and worst times of the year for B2B PPC advertising on LinkedIn
We know it’s not what you want to hear, but there isn’t a perfect guide for pay-per-click. The best times to invest in advertising depends on your industry, what you’re promoting and who your audience is.
Your primary aim with PPC lead generation or conversion ads is to get people to take action. This means you need to focus more on thecontext from which your audience is seeing your display ads, not what time of year it is.
“With B2B, accuracy is crucial. Reaching the correct audience with exact precision is more important than simply reaching a large audience. In the pursuit of success, every click must count.”
Tom Sinkinson, Digital Account Manager
On its face, promoting an expensive solution at the end of the fiscal year isn’t a good idea. But it could be the ideal time if what you’re promoting will help companies prepare for the financial year ahead.
Similarly, Christmas is usually a slow time of year for decision-making. B2B businesses are generally distracted and not spending. However, this behaviour could be overridden if organisations need to prepare for a regulatory update, and your business has the perfect solution.
All in all, it’s more useful to set your watch to your target audience’s behaviours and needs than just to the months of the year.
Our tips for successful PPC advertising on LinkedIn – no matter the time of year
As we said, the best times depend. A good time for your business may be a bad time for another, and vice versa. For example, Zoom, lateral flow tests and delivery apps boomed during Covid-19 while other businesses suffered. Increased financial services regulation is difficult for banks, but great for compliance tool providers.
Nevertheless, we’ve pulled together some digital marketing best practices to point you in the right direction. Just make sure to consider all this advice in your own context!
1. Follow the fiscal year
The fiscal year is a good place to start. You might consider the following when deciding when to promote your services.
Q1 (January to March):
This is a time of reflection. B2B decision-makers are focused on retrospectives before they begin their planning. In addition, budgets may be running out. People will likely be less receptive to ads if they’re in this mindset.
Late Q1 to early Q2:
That being said, retrospectives will inform future planning. This could be a good time to present your solution as the go-to for last year’s challenges and this year’s goals.
Late Q2 to early Q4 (June to October):
This is a period of midyear planning. Decision-makers are solidifying their plans, so you want your solution to be top of mind. Use this time to promote how your offering directly solves their business challenges or helps meet their objectives. Then, when Q4 budget planning comes around, you can promote the financial benefits of your solution.
Late Q4 (November to December):
This is a slow period for many businesses. Either they shut down for the holiday season, or decision-makers are less focused on introducing new initiatives. Business activity will potentially dwindle as a result, so your ROI on advertising may also decrease.
2. Create your own calendar
Tip number two is to create your own annual calendar for your advertising strategy. Think about the financial year as outlined above, but also your own strategic ‘seasons’.
What are your commercial objectives this season? And, subsequently, what should your PPC advertising goals be?
If your goal is lead generation, you may want to ramp up advertising activity to attract new audiences. Just make sure you consider your audience’s typical buyer journey and what stage your audience is in. Whether it’s early stage or late stage might affect the length of your campaign.
If your goal is conversion, it might be better to invest in direct lead nurture communication, like email marketing. Or you could adapt your ad copy to have a stronger call to action. This is a good time to align your campaign calendar with your audience’s decision-making process. Think about how long the sales cycle is and the date by which you need to reach your conversion or sales targets.
Secondly, how might the seasons influence your audience’s budgeting, spending, or engagement? There may be downtimes where your audience isn’t as receptive to your ads. If people don’t have money to spend at the end of the fiscal year, your success could dwindle.
Or if the industry shuts down for holiday periods, then this is a good time to avoid spending on ads. On the other hand, times of budgeting are a good time to promote your solution.
3. Forward plan wherever possible
The key to great PPC campaigns is to think ahead. What industry context can you capitalise on? Is there new regulation coming out? Or events scheduled in?
If so, planning your content will let you create the most valuable piece possible (for the best results).
For example, a guide to adapting to an important industry change will be a compelling offer for your audience. But it takes time to produce properly, from the initial research to the writing and promotion.
Or you may want to use events as an opportunity to get new leads. A PPC campaign with a follow-up lead nurture workflow can help capture and convert these leads, but again, you need to know your events calendar in advance.
4. Stay agile with industry trends
Some industry changes may be planned while others are impossible to predict, so staying agile and responsive to opportunities as they arise is important. This can be a great way to promote timely and relevant solutions that directly meet audience needs. For example, a response to a news update, economic status, or technological breakthrough that will affect the industry.
You can use Google Trends and news to align with the market as reactively as possible. We also recommend you leave room in your calendar for last-minute needs. Plus, you should regularly review your plan to add in new opportunities.
5. Learn from previous campaigns
Use your past campaigns to inform your future ones. They may reveal that a certain season, or stage in the buyer journey, is the ideal time to put your offering in front of your target audience. For example, with PPC ads.
Or they may just provide best practice learnings which you can take into your next B2B PPC advertising campaign. Whether it’s the length of time it takes to produce and promote a thoroughly researched whitepaper, or the type of messaging your audience responds to throughout the fiscal year.
Start planning your 2024 LinkedIn campaigns. Download our fundamental guide to lead generation to get free campaign templates.