Your Complete Guide to LinkedIn Ads

Sep 15, 2023

When you use paid advertising, you want your return to be worth the investment. LinkedIn consistently ranks as the top marketing platform because it generates quality leads and results in two times higher conversion rates than other platforms.Explore your options for paid advertising on LinkedIn and learn how to create a successful LinkedIn ad campaign that converts.

What Are LinkedIn Ads?

LinkedIn ads are paid content that you publish on the platform to get your message in front of a broader audience. The primary goal of LinkedIn paid ads is to generate quality leads as about 80% of B2B social media leads come from LinkedIn.The leads you generate through your LinkedIn advertising efforts often turn into high-value prospects and loyal customers.

5 Formats of LinkedIn Advertising

Promotion on LinkedIn comes in five different advertising formats that you can use through their Campaign Manager tool. Campaign Manager is a dashboard for creating, running, and tracking your LinkedIn ads.

Sponsored Content

Consider sponsoring your content if your regular page updates and posts aren’t getting the views you hoped. While your updates appear on your followers' feeds, sponsored content will show up on users' feeds outside of your network.Some of the content you can sponsor include:

  • Image LinkedIn ads
  • Video LinkedIn ads
  • Carousel LinkedIn ads
  • Job ads
  • Event ads

You can select what content you want to sponsor through your Campaign Manager. Otherwise, you can also sponsor a post directly from your page to boost your visibility.When you sponsor content, you input information, including your bid and budget. These details determine how often your content appears on people’s feeds and who sees your content.

Dynamic Ads

LinkedIn Dynamic Ads are a way to create personalized ad messages for your audience. Instead of posting the same ad for all your readers, each person sees a customized version according to their profile. For instance, you might use dynamic ads to send personal invites to events, pages, or lead generation forms.For example, a dynamic ad inserts the viewer’s name before displaying it on their feed to make the ad more personal and inviting. You can use this format to let other readers know which of their connections already signed up for an event or ask the reader to perform a task like requesting a free demo.LinkedIn follower ads are a specific type of dynamic ads aimed at attracting new followers to your page.

Image from LinkedIn

Message Ads

LinkedIn sponsored messages engage your audience through personal chat. The ad inserts the receiver’s name to turn it into a customized interaction when you send the message.There are two formats you can use for message ads. The first is a simple text message that ends with a call-to-action link. The message usually contains a few lines of text that introduce your solution or content that you’re driving traffic to. The link then takes the reader to a page with more information or the next step.The second format is a conversation ad. These are even more customized than message ads because the receiver has multiple options in the form of links. This guided experience takes the receiver to the page that they find most relevant.For example, if you sent a personal invitation, you might give your receiver the option to either find out more details or directly register for the event from the chat window.

Text Ads

Text ads are the most traditional form of advertising. They are easy to create, run, and analyze and will usually appear in the righthand column in an ad widget. However, some text ads can also appear in the top bar, depending on what you select in your settings.You can use LinkedIn’s content creator for text ads or hire an ad agency to create an ad for you. After loading the ad into your Campaign Manager, you set the filters the way you want to ensure it lands in front of the right audience.Text ads work on a pay-per-click or per impressions system, so you only pay for results and end when you reach your goals.

Hybrid Ads

When you run your campaign, you can opt for using several ad formats at once to maximize your reach. For example, you can use the same ad and disperse it as a text ad and a message ad. In this way, you can reach a broad audience through the text ad and ensure target accounts see the message or invite.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Related Content: Learn More about LinkedIn Advertising

Learn more about running a social media ad campaign today:


LinkedIn Ad Campaign Types

Marketers that use LinkedIn ads saw a 33% increase in purchase intent because of the increased exposure. Here are the three main results you can see from running a LinkedIn ad campaign:

Increase Your Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is how well customers know your brand, what you offer, and the values you hold. Increasing your brand awareness isn’t just about introducing your brand to more people. You also want your current prospects to learn more about who you are and what you stand for as a company.You can educate a large audience of over 830 million professionals with your brand messages through LinkedIn. You also have a mix of different ages and genders for even more reach through your ads.

Image from Influencer Marketing Hub

Engagement Ads

Your ads might have the purpose of engaging your audience. An inactive audience will just scroll through your content and then move on. They rarely respond to your call to action. However, an engaged audience expresses interest by liking, sharing, and commenting on your content.Your LinkedIn engagement ad increases your engagement rate by getting your content in front of a target audience. Some ad formats, like conversation ads, also increase engagement by offering a more personalized experience that can encourage the reader to respond.

LinkedIn Lead Generation

The most valuable ad objective on LinkedIn is lead generation. Nearly 3% of LinkedIn visitors become leads. This is over twice the conversion rate of Facebook and Twitter. In addition, over 62% of marketers agree that LinkedIn has consistently generated new leads.You can create a Lead Gen Form through your Campaign Manager dashboard to increase the number of leads you generate through the platform. In addition, this form allows you to track and manage the leads you bring in.

5 Steps to Run a LinkedIn Ad Campaign

Use these steps to get started with LinkedIn ads through Campaign Manager.

Step 1: Set Your Goals

The first question your Campaign Manager will ask when you are ready to run an ad campaign is what your objective is. You can choose from three categories:

  • Are you just getting your message in front of a broad audience?
  • Do you want your audience to interact with your content?
  • Do you have a specific action you want them to take, like filling out a lead generation form?

Selecting your objective helps you decide the best way to disperse your content. For example, remarketing LinkedIn ads would have a conversion-oriented goal.

Step 2: Designate Your Audience

Use LinkedIn’s targeting tools to designate your audience using over 20 different attributes. These attributes include their location, industry, job titles, and other available data on users’ profiles.These settings allow you to attract quality leads because you can ensure those that meet your buyer persona are most likely to see your ad.For example, if you sell marketing software, you can designate those with marketer job titles or in the tech industry as your target audience. Then, you can create an ad addressing this specific audience and increase its relevance and impact.[caption id="attachment_3963" align="aligncenter" width="1235"]

Target audience, customers outreach. Tiny people set up advertice on social networks. Business goal concept. Digital targeting marketing, sales generation. Modern flat cartoon style. Vector illustration[/caption]

Step 3: Format Your LinkedIn Ad

With your audience and goals set, you are ready to create an ad. This is when you choose the ad format you want or select several formats for a mixed campaign. While LinkedIn has ad creator tools for simple campaigns, you can also work through an ad agency to create unique and eye-catching media for your ads.

Step 4: Budget and Schedule Your Campaign

You are in control over the length of your campaign. For example, do you want it to run until you spend your maximum budget? Perhaps you would instead like to run your campaign until you meet your lead generation goals? You also can choose a set timeframe for displaying your ads.Use budgeting and scheduling to specify when you want your ads to appear. Your budget also determines how often it appears in people’s feeds.

Step 5: Track and Adjust Your Campaign

Tracking your ad’s progress is crucial in running an ad campaign. It ensures that you are getting a return on your investment and tells you whether your ads resonate with your audience.If your report shows that you have high impressions but low engagement, your target settings might need to be adjusted, or you should adjust your content.Use the reports and metrics available through LinkedIn Campaign Manager for LinkedIn optimization as you adjust your content for the best results.

Engage a Greater Audience through LinkedIn Paid Advertising

Our paid media team can help you get started with LinkedIn advertising. We come alongside you every step of the way from strategizing, content creation, running the campaign, and analyzing results so you can optimize your campaign.Contact us to learn more about our LinkedIn advertising services.

Frederik Scholle
Paid Social Specialist

I am a creative business nerd, always eager to build on my current capabilities in Paid social media marketing.

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