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Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn Advertising

  • Types of LinkedIn Ads
  • LinkedIn Ad objectives for every stage of the buyer’s journey
  • How to create a LinkedIn advertising campaign
  • Most popular LinkedIn ad formats


LinkedIn is a valuable networking tool for businesses and professionals and a lucrative niche to market your skills, expertise or brand.

According to LinkedIn, lead generation forms generate an average conversion rate (CVR) of 13%, five times higher than the average CVR for website landing pages! And yet, many businesses fail to leverage the true potential of LinkedIn.

While the social media platform can come across as a little intimidating, you have more power at your disposal with LinkedIn, especially for advertising.

Success requires consistency but running ads on LinkedIn will ensure that the right people see your brand.

Recent statistics show that four out of five members on LinkedIn have the power to make impactful business decisions and double the buying power of other online audiences.

Advertising on LinkedIn is also relatively simple and follows a three-step process:

  1. Set up your LinkedIn ad campaign
  2. Create your ads
  3. Measure ad performance

In this ultimate beginner’s guide to LinkedIn advertising, we’re going to outline the different types of ads available and walk you through the process of creating a LinkedIn ad campaign that resonates with your brand’s goals.

LinkedIN Ultimate Advertising Guide

LinkedIn Ad Types and Purpose

There are four main types of LinkedIn ads to choose from, each of which has different formats to suit your content and purpose.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content shows up in your connections’ LinkedIn news feed and is a great way to interact with a highly engaged audience.

While they blend into news feeds, LinkedIn labels these ads as “promoted” to distinguish them from organic content. Sponsored content is available in four formats:

  1. Single Image Ads – Effective in capturing audience attention due to the engaging visual
  2. Video Ads – Effective in enticing audiences at every stage of the buyer’s journey
  3. Carousel Ads – Inspires members to engage by telling an interactive story
  4. Event Ads – Can help maximise attendance by encouraging people to share

Sponsored Messaging

Sponsored Messaging allows you to send ads directly to your audience’s LinkedIn inbox, allowing you to measure engagement more effectively and start quality conversations with like-minded professionals.

Yet, despite 89% of LinkedIn members preferring businesses to communicate with them via messaging, less than 50% of companies utilise this method.

There are two types of Sponsored Messaging ads:

  • Conversation Ads – Uses a choose-your-own path experience to engage with your audience
  • Message Ads – Sends connections a direct message to spark immediate conversation

Note that LinkedIn has capped how many members you can target within a month to prevent spam. No member of your audience can receive your ad more than twice within a set period.

Lead Generation Forms

LinkedIn classes Lead Gen Forms as an ad type or asset – a pre-filled form that allows businesses to collect more qualified leads from their ads.

Lead Gen Forms allows you to collect quality leads at a large scale, which you can then download via the Campaign Manager to use with your preferred CRM tool.


Li Lead Gen Forms

Text Ads

Text Ads show up in the right column or at the top of LinkedIn’s desktop feed and can be highly effective in driving new customers to your business.

Although Text Ads are the most simple format, many businesses have reported success in boosting brand awareness.

LinkedIn Text Ads work particularly well for brands that want to generate leads on a lower budget. They work similarly to pay-per-click (PPC) or pay-per-impression (PPI) ads, where advertisers pay a fee each time a user clicks, or the ad is displayed.

Dynamic Ads

Dynamic Ads are personalised, meaning they deliver relevant, creative content to users based on their interests and profile data.

Sending highly-targeted messages can boost ad engagement levels and help effectively build a company’s lead pool or convert prospects. However, as Dynamic Ads display members personal data, it’s important not to make these ads too personal as members of your audience might change their settings to hide their personal information.

There are two types of Dynamic Ads:

  • Spotlight Ads – Showcase what your brand offers to drive traffic to landing pages
  • Follower Ads – Promote LinkedIn page to members of your audience

Choose Your LinkedIn Ad Objective

Selecting your ad objective should be one of the first steps you consider when advertising on LinkedIn, as it will help the platform streamline and optimise against your business goals accordingly.

LinkedIn supports all three tiers of the marketing funnel: Awareness, Consideration and Conversion (also called “Action”).

Marketing funnel - leads

Brand Awareness Campaigns on LinkedIn

Is your LinkedIn Ad goal to boost brand awareness?

Create an awareness ad to gain relevant visibility and encourage your audience members to talk about the products, services or events you offer. Brand awareness campaigns are commonly associated with three objectives:

  • More exposure
  • Increase following
  • Boost engagement

Consideration Campaigns on LinkedIn

Consideration ad campaigns encourage members of your audience to take specific action to help them make an informed decision, such as visiting a landing page or encouraging social engagement.

These LinkedIn ads are effective on qualified leads who are already familiar with your brand and want to learn more about your business.

Consideration ads are associated with the following objectives:

  • Driving traffic to website landing pages
  • Boosting engagement levels and increasing follower count
  • Increasing exposure of products, services and events
  • Encouraging your audience to complete a lead generation form

Conversion Campaigns on LinkedIn

Conversion campaigns focus on deepening audience engagement to generate high-quality leads and drive home sales.

They help businesses meet the following objectives:

  • Collect high-quality leads at scale
  • Increase website conversions by inspiring your audience to take meaningful action, e.g. downloading content, purchasing a product or service and registering for events
  • Spread the word about job opportunities available at your company

How to Advertise on LinkedIn: Creating Ads

Want to level up your marketing efforts and utilise the power of LinkedIn? Here are five easy steps on how to create your own LinkedIn ad.

#1 Create a Campaign Manager Account

Log into your LinkedIn account – or create an account if you haven’t already, and then go to the Campaign Manager, which you can access by visiting:

The LinkedIn Campaign Manager platform will be home to all of your advertising activities and includes a comprehensive reporting dashboard to help you measure campaign performance and track metrics.

#2 Choose Your Ad Objective and Define Target Audience

Name your campaign, assign a group, and select your ad objective and ad format. Note that the available ad format will depend on the objective you choose.

When defining your target audience, you need to filter by location first, and then you apply additional filters, such as:

  • Job position
  • Company
  • Industry
  • Interests

LinkedIn recommends targeting at least 50,000 users when creating your first Sponsored Content or Text Ad campaign, and 15,000 for Message Ads.

#3 Set Budget and Schedule

The Campaign Manager will propose a budget based on other competing bids for your target audience.

If this is your first time creating a LinkedIn ad, don’t be alarmed if you fail to generate desirable results. Instead, consider the first experience a test to see what works well for your business and what doesn’t.

LinkedIn recommends allocating a daily budget of $100 or a monthly budget of $5,000 for first-timers.

#4 Test and Launch Your Ad

LinkedIn allows advertisers to preview and test their ads before they go live, minimising the risk of error and giving you peace of mind.

Once you’re happy with it – you’re ready to launch!

#5 Measure Ad Campaign Performance

Check your LinkedIn ad performance in the Campaign Manager reporting dashboard, which gives you access to real-time data, access charts and demographic insights to exports as CSV reports.

You can also access conversion tracking from the reporting dashboard and see how your ads drive traffic to your landing pages, generating leads or encouraging meaningful action, e.g. event registration and sales.

Different Types of LinkedIn Ad Formats

To help you meet your LinkedIn ad objectives, we’ve unpacked the different types of ad formats that you can use as part of your campaign and what each can help you achieve.

Carousel Ads

Carousel ads allow you to tell your brand story or showcase products via a swipeable series of cards, enticing your audience with each swipe.

Use eye-catching visuals to catch your audience’s attention and measure the impact of your carousel ad to optimise for better results.

You can use Carousel ads at every stage of the buying cycle as they can effectively boost brand awareness, drive website traffic, increase engagement levels and generate leads.

LinkedIn Carousel Ad Specifications

  • Ad name: 255 character limit
  • Introductory text: 255 character limit
  • Card headline: 45 character limit
  • Between two to ten carousel cards with a max file size of 10MB
  • Max image dimension: 6012px x 6012px
  • File type: JPEG or PNG
  • Landing page URL required with a http:// or https:// prefix

Conversation Ads

Deepen audience engagement using the Conversation ad format, which turns quality conversations into conversion via a choose-your-own-path experience.

After initiating a conversation with a member from your audience, you provide a series of options to select in response that will navigate them in the appropriate direction.

You can use this ad format to showcase products and services as well as encourage sign-ups for events or webinars, all while keeping them engaged in one journey.

The goal of conversation ads is to increase audience engagement, drive traffic to landing pages and generate high-quality leads.

LinkedIn Conversation Ad Specifications

  • Ad name: 255 character limit
  • Banner image: Maximum of 300px x 250px – JPEG or PNG
  • Introductory text: 500 character limit
  • CTA button text: 25 character limit
  • Max CTA buttons per message: Five buttons

Follower Ads

Use this dynamic ad to promote your LinkedIn page seamlessly.

Make sure your Follower Ad includes a strong headline and a CTA to encourage people to hit that follow button and visit your website!

LinkedIn Follower Ad Specification:

  • Company name: 25 character limit
  • Company logo: 100px x 100px – JPEG or PNG format
  • Headline: 50 character limit
  • Text description: 70 character limit

Lead Generation Forms

The goal of lead gen forms is to help you discover high-quality leads from your ads and measure your campaign performance more effectively by generating data on cost per lead, form fill rate and other metrics.

LinkedIn Lead Gen Form Specification:

  • Form name: 256 character limit
  • Headline: 60 character limit
  • Offer Detail (optional): 160 character limit
  • Landing page URL: 2000 characters maximum
  • CTA: 20 characters maximum
  • Confirmation Message: 300 character limit
  • Privacy policy text: Up to 2,000 characters
  • Form fields: LinkedIn recommends using 3-4 as best practice, with 12 being the maximum

Message Ads

One of the most popular ads on LinkedIn is the message format, allowing you to send a targeted message directly into your audiences’ inbox.

Communicate to prospects without worrying about character limits. As messages are delivered straight into the inbox, you also don’t have to worry about your ad getting lost in the sea of news feed posts.

The primary goal of Message Ads is to increase website traffic, drive conversions and generate leads.

LinkedIn Message Ad Specification:

  • Subject line: 60 characters maximum
  • CTA button: 20 characters maximum
  • Message text: 1,500 character limit
  • Custom terms and conditions: 2,500 character limit
  • Image banner: 350px x 200px – JPEG or PNG format

Text Ads

Drive new customers to your website on a budget that works for you.

While text ads are the most straightforward format available on LinkedIn, 80% of B2B leads acquired on social media come via LinkedIn, making it a potentially lucrative option for B2B businesses.

The goal of text ads is to drive website traffic, generate qualified leads and increase conversions. To maximise chances of success, we advise building multiple campaigns and using A/B testing.

LinkedIn Text Ad Specification:

  • Headline: 25 characters maximum
  • Description: 75 characters maximum
  • Image size: 50px x 50px – JPEG or PNG format

Video Ads

Video has fast become one of the most popular media types and is guaranteed to reap the rewards on LinkedIn.

The primary goal of LinkedIn Video Ads is to grow brand awareness, engage new prospects and maximise audience reach, reveal new products and services and give an inside look into your company’s culture.

Spotlight your brand’s story with video ads – a format that inspires action.

LinkedIn Video Ad Specification:

  • Ad Name (optional): 255 character limit
  • Headline: 70 character limit
  • Introductory text: 150 character limit
  • File type: MP4
  • Sound format: AAC or MPEG4
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9, 1:1 or 9:16
  • Video duration: 3seconds – 30 minutes
  • File size: 75KB to 200MB
  • Thumbnail file format: JPEG or PNG
  • Landing page URL: Required

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