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A Five-Minute Guide to LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn, the social media platform which launched in 2003 as a must-have for job-seeking professionals, has grown into a much more robust virtual community. While still a great tool for networking, users now turn to their newsfeeds for company and industry updates, to their search bar as a key networking tool, and to their personal pages as an up-to-date resume. Over the last 12-18 months, users have noticed another substantial tool: advertising. LinkedIn ads display in multiple formats, throughout LinkedIn newsfeeds. With so many posts and ads throughout LinkedIn, it can be difficult to decipher what’s actually an ad, and why ad placement on LinkedIn might benefit your company. Here is a look at your LinkedIn ad options, and how to identify the right one to meet your advertising goals.

What are my options?

LinkedIn has multiple kinds of ads—Sponsored Content (which can be further divided into Single Image, Video, or Carousel), Sponsored InMail, Text Ads, Follower Ads, Spotlight Ads, and Job Ads. Each ad type has specifications to follow like character count, pixel sizes, and other requirements. However, the first step in determining which method for advertising is right for your campaign is understanding where your ad will show to your audience, the make-up of your messaging, and your end objective.

Sponsored Content: News Feeds + Brand Awareness/Lead Generation

Single Image, Video, and Carousel (multiple cards) ads all fall within the category of Sponsored Content on LinkedIn, and appear within news feeds of users. With high visibility, eye-catching content, and ability to set up call-to-action buttons, these ads are key if your objective is to build awareness for your brand or generate new leads.

Sponsored InMail: Inboxes + Specific Targets/Customers

InMail is a form of Direct Sponsored Content which allows advertisers to send their ad directly into your inbox. Though the list of ad specifications is a bit lengthy, consider this ad type if you have a very defined target audience or have a specific list of desired contacts on LinkedIn, and purchasing email lists is out of budget.

Text Ads: Sidebar + Targeted Audience + Minimal Content

When scrolling LinkedIn, these ads usually appear to the right of your news feed, in a box labeled “Ads You May Be Interested In”. Available only on desktop, they allow for text, a small image, and a link. Text ads are efficient for reaching targeted audiences with straightforward content.

Follower Ads: Sidebar + Gaining Page Followers + Dynamic Content

If you’re looking to build a greater audience for your LinkedIn page, consider Follower Ads. Based upon the target audience, the ad pulls the potential new followers profile information and makes it part of the ad. By associating the profile picture and name (via autofill) with your company’s name and a specific call-to-action, it encourages engagement.

Spotlight Ads: Company Page + Thought Leadership +Driving Engagement to a Specific Page

Similar to Follower Ads in that it uses dynamic content based on the user, Spotlight Ads sit on your company’s page and send users to a specific landing page or URL. These ads are effective to drive engagement to a page you’d like to promote, like event registration pages, product promotions, etc.

Job Ads: Job Pages and Member Feeds + Recruitment

The last of the dynamic content ads, Job Ads are a method of recruiting outreach that couples your targeted audience with the job opportunities you’re hiring for. Shown on Job pages and multiple other places on member feeds, these ads are highly visible to users.

The recent user experience and marketing option updates to LinkedIn has made the platform increasingly dynamic, allowing advertisers to successfully reach highly targeted, and influential, audiences.

All images from LinkedIn Marketing Solutions