The LinkedIn Ad Features You Need To Know for Better Marketing

Have you been thinking about LinkedIn’s paid marketing options?

LinkedIn is a great option for paid marketing and it’s a platform that most B2B companies should consider adding to their paid marketing strategies. 

Similar to other popular online marketing platforms for paid advertising, LinkedIn offers the ability to target specific ads to curated audiences to increase opportunities for conversions.

If your business has never tried marketing through LinkedIn, the platform may seem intimidating, because of the large variety of options available for ads, audiences, and targeting. However, having the option to create such a niche audience can significantly improve your conversion rate by narrowing the display options to highly targeted people.

According to LinkedIn’s own information, marketers have up to two times the conversion rate of other platforms, and up to a 13.5 percent lower cost per acquisition, when compared to other paid marketing platforms.

When creating a paid campaign on LinkedIn, you can choose your ad type based on your business objectives: brand awareness, video views, website visits, engagement, website conversions, job applicants, and lead generation.

No matter what your marketing objective is, LinkedIn offers an ad option to support your business goals. With ten types of ads currently available, there is plenty of manoeuvrability to adjust your campaign based on conversions and customer responses as your campaign matures.

Here’s a breakdown of the features of the ad types currently available on LinkedIn, and how you can best use them to your advantage. 

Single Image Ads

single image ads linkedin

What is it?

Also known as sponsored content or native ads, single image ads appear in the user’s content feed and give companies a chance to engage with professionals who wouldn’t otherwise see their content.

Single image ads feature one image with a headline and a short description, plus a call-to-action. Single image ads can be paired with other LinkedIn ad features, such as lead gen forms, in order to increase engagement.

Objectives:

Single image ads are most suited to the objectives of brand awareness, website visits, engagement, website conversions, lead generation, and job applicants.

Tips for success with this ad type:

  • Use large, striking images to catch users’ attention.
  • Keep headlines and copy succinct and interesting and provide a clear call-to-action.
  • These ad types are great when targeted at a larger audience, so don’t narrow with too many parameters. LinkedIn recommends targeting this campaign through location and up to two other criteria. Narrowing the audience too much can reduce engagement and make your campaign less effective.

Carousel Ads

carousel ads linkedin ads

What is it?

A carousel ad is similar to a single image ad, but instead of one photo, it features a series of cards in one ad that allows users to swipe for more information. They can be used to showcase products, tell a story, or simply highlight multiple services or features.

The number of cards in each carousel ad can be changed to fit best with your marketing strategy. Carousel ads are extremely effective, because they encourage audience engagement with the ad and can be used to achieve a variety of marketing objectives.

Carousel ads are a type of sponsored content and appear in a user’s main feed, along with regular content.

Objectives:

Carousel ads are most suited to the objectives of brand awareness, website visits, engagement, website conversions, and lead generation.

Tips for success with this ad type:

  • Carousel ads offer an opportunity for visual storytelling, so they work best when you use interesting or striking images.
  • Text should be succinct and provide clear calls-to-action.
  • Conduct thorough conversion testing by trying different numbers of cards, and showing the cards in different orders to achieve the best possible conversion rates.

Text Ads

text ads linkedin

What is it?

Text ads are short ads that display most commonly in the right sidebar of LinkedIn, though they can appear in other locations on the site, as well. Text ads are small, but can be extremely effective when done right.

Good text ads feature a small image, a strong, personalised headline, and a great offer or call-to-action. 

Objectives:

Text ads are most suited to the objectives of brand awareness, website visits, and website conversions.

Tips for success with this ad type:

  • Be specific with your audience and your offer. Generic ads are not very effective and don’t provide a good return on investment.
  • Given the basic nature of these ads, it’s easy to create and test a large number of ads to see which provide the most conversions. Given the small amount of text, changing even one word or photo can have an impact on results.

Dynamic Ads

dynamic ads linkedin

What is it?

Dynamic ads personalise messaging directly to individuals by using profile data to populate the ad with specific data, such as the individual’s name and photo.

Dynamic ads have multiple formats available to allow businesses to increase followers (follower ads), drive conversions (spotlight ads), get job applicants (job ads), and to generate leads (content ads). Dynamic ads appear in the right sidebar of a user’s LinkedIn feed.

Objectives:

Dynamic ads are most suited to the objectives of brand awareness, website visits, website conversions, lead generation, and job applicants.

Tips for success with this ad type:

  • Take advantage of all the personalisation options available in dynamic ads. An ad showing someone’s photo is more attention grabbing than a traditional ad.
  • To be most effective, keep the messaging simple and direct.
  • You can test these ads with different text, different images, and different dynamic components to see which is most effective for your target audience.

Conversation Ads

conversation ads linkedin

What is it?

Similar to a choose-your-own adventure book, conversation ads give targeted users an opportunity to select the offers and information that is most relevant to them through multiple available call-to-action buttons.

As opposed to showing in the content feed, conversation ads are delivered directly to targeted audience members through LinkedIn Messaging. The potential prospects receive your message with multiple calls-to-action to personalise their experience and increase the opportunity for engagement.

Objectives:

Conversation ads are most suited to the objectives of brand awareness, website visits, engagement, website conversions, and lead generation.

Tips for success with this ad type:

  • It’s important to choose the right sender for this type of ad. Since LinkedIn is all about connections, you’ll want to choose someone in the organisation that prospects truly want to connect with. You can run split testing from multiple senders to determine which is most effective.
  • Make sure the calls-to-action that you include in the conversation ad support the objective you want to achieve. For example, if you want to turn prospects into customers, you might send links to product demos, case studies, and/or invites to a special event. Alternatively, if you’re trying to drive brand awareness, you could include white papers, blog posts, and/or webinars.
  • Conversation ads are meant to feel like a real conversation, so keep the text short, engaging, and conversational.

Message Ads

message ads linkedin

What is it?

Message ads are similar to conversation ads, in that they are targeted directly to users via LinkedIn Messaging. Unlike conversation ads, message ads can only include one call-to-action.

In addition, message ads should be very succinct and include less than 500 characters. Message ads can use dynamic aspects to include specific information about prospects from their profiles.

Objectives:

Message ads are most suited to the objectives of brand website visits, video views, website conversions, and lead generation.

Tips for success with this ad type:

  • Message ads work best when they focus on specifics of how the audience can benefit from responding to the conversation.
  • These ads should read like a message from one person to another, rather than a generic marketing campaign. Specifically targeted messages increase engagement and ROI.

Lead Gen Forms

lead gen form ads linkedin

What is it?

Though it’s not a standalone ad type, lead gen forms can be added to sponsored content or message ads.

Lead gen forms make it quick and easy for prospects to send you their information, because the forms come pre-filled with their data from their LinkedIn profile. And since the info is pre-filled from LinkedIn information, it’s much more likely the leads will be high quality.

Objectives:

Lead gen forms are most suited to the objective of lead generation.

Tips for success with this ad type:

  • Don’t forget to optimise the thank you screen that the prospect sees after submitting the form. You can add a link to the destination of your choice, including a website or free download like an ebook or white-paper.
  • Lead gen forms convert well because they are easy for prospects to complete. Adding too many fields for prospects to complete could actually hurt your conversions, so try to keep the form as simple as is practical for your needs.

Video Ads

video ads linkedin

What is it?

Video ads allow you to use videos to promote your company. Video ads appear as native content in users’ feeds and are an effective way to capture the attention of prospects while conveying a lot of information. 

Objectives:

Video ads are most suited to the objectives of brand awareness, video views, and engagement.

Tips for success with this ad type:

  • Users have short attention spans these days, so it’s crucial that your video be interesting as well as informative in order to convert.
  • Your video can be tailored to deliver on the specific objective you’re trying to achieve.
  • Your video content doesn’t have to be exclusive to LinkedIn. You can repurpose video you’ve used for other purposes.

Job Ads

job ads linkedin

What is it?

Also called Work With Us ads, these ads appear on employee profiles and encourage users to connect with your company. Though running ads to find job applicants may not be something you’ve considered, it can be a great way to fill your pipeline with quality candidates for current and future job openings.

Recruitment ads on LinkedIn get up to 50 times more engagement than traditional recruiting ads.

Objectives:

Job ads are most suited to the objectives of website visits and job applicants.

Tips for success with this ad type:

  • Feature your most relevant or competitive job openings here, which can help drive traffic to all of your company’s available jobs.
  • If your company isn’t using this feature it means your competitors’ job ads could appear on your employees’ profiles, instead of yours.

Single Job Ads

single job ads linkedin

What is it?

Single job ads help companies to promote open positions. Single job ads can be targeted to potential candidates and help fill positions more quickly and with less cost than traditional methods. Single job ads appear like sponsored content in users’ feeds.

Objectives:

Single job ads are most suited to the objective of recruiting job applicants.

Tips for success with this ad type:

  • If you have regular hiring needs, this type of ad can work to keep your candidate pipeline full so you’re never scrambling to fill a role.
  • Quality targeting with this ad type can help you fill specialty or hard-to-fill roles by focusing your ads on qualified candidates with particular skills or experience.

Keys to Success with LinkedIn Ads

Adding paid marketing options on social media sites like LinkedIn can be a huge boon to your online marketing efforts, but only if the ads are effective. To be successful with ads on LinkedIn, there are a few key areas to focus on.

Ad Type

It’s important to choose the right ad type for whatever objective you’re trying to achieve. If multiple types of ads can help you with your objective, you can try multiple formats and test to see which option achieves the best results at the lowest cost.

Targeting

Targeting your ads to the right audience will be a large factor in the success of your ad campaigns. LinkedIn offers a large array of options for targeting ads, including company, various demographics, education, job experience, interests, and many more.

When you’re targeting ads, you should narrow the audience enough that you’re hitting your target market, but don’t narrow it so much that you miss out on potential prospects.

Again, you’ll want to test different targets on ads to determine which ones deliver the most optimal results.

Testing

good customer experience

The final key to creating great ads is testing.

LinkedIn offers an excellent campaign management system that allows you review and compare the results of your marketing campaigns. Conducting A/B testing and consistently replacing underperforming ads with new options will help you increase conversions and reduce costs across all your ads.

Testing is a critical step that can’t be overlooked when you’re trying to optimise your marketing campaigns and your spending.

LinkedIn Ad Features Conclusion

Though the huge array of available options for creating paid ads on LinkedIn can seem intimidating at first, it’s really a great platform for businesses that are looking for new ways to improve their online marketing.

Once you dig into the options, you’ll find that having such a big variety of choices for making ads can help you to develop more targeted campaigns and achieve better results from your paid marketing.

Dmitrii is an entrepreneur and the founder of Regex SEO, developing marketing campaigns for well-known companies like John Deere and Dignity Memorial. He graduated with dual degrees in Applied Mathematics and Linguistics; Translatology from Russia. Currently, as Internet Marketing Director for Regex SEO, he is helping businesses and entrepreneurs grow their presence online. Due to his experience and background, he has been able to share hands-on knowledge about the following topics: Internet marketing (SEO, paid advertising, social media, content marketing, etc), statistical analytics, web development, and entrepreneurship.

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