LinkedIn Ads

7 Creative Ways to Use LinkedIn Advertising

We’ve all seen those campaigns that make you go, “Agh, that’s brilliant! Why didn’t we do that?!” And sure, it’s always nice to have some inspiration floating around, but the real payoff is getting to see your own amazing ideas in action, and even better, watch KPIs climb as you make better and better use of your budget. 

Here are a few ideas and examples to consider for your own creative strategy. Who knows? Maybe in a future post it’ll be your campaign that we feature. 

If you’re not at the next-level creative ideas stage yet, check out some of our LinkedIn 101 posts like Navigating LinkedIn Campaign Manager, LinkedIn Display Advertising Guide, and LinkedIn Advertising FAQ

Go Deep on Demographic Targeting

What makes LinkedIn different from any other social platform is that it singularly focuses on a person’s professional development. You might be great friends with someone on Facebook, but have no idea how they pay the bills. LinkedIn will tell you! What are the unique characteristics of the target market you’re trying to reach? Home in on that and you’ll also be able to deliver ultra-personalized ads that speak directly to someone’s background. 

Utah State used this approach when they wanted to attract graduate students during the admissions season. The university created resonant ads that targeted certain education and career levels and launched a campaign using Display Ads and Sponsored InMail. According to LinkedIn’s case study, the campaign drove 20-to-1 ROI and converted more than 70 percent of clicks into requests for information.

Utah State Attracts Stellar Graduate Students with Robust Targeting

Image from LinkedIn

Use LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms for Seamless Data Collection

Maybe lead gen forms aren’t super sexy, but man do they work. LinkedIn’s Lead Gen Forms take the whole process from easy to seamless by pre-filling fields based on what someone has already shared on their LinkedIn profile. If someone is interested in your ad, they simply click the CTA, submit the filled out form, and voila, it’s done! LinkedIn shared an example from an Australian software company, IR, that showed the power of lead gen forms when pitted against time-intensive optimized landing pages. IR found that the easy-to-set-up lead gen forms immediately converted at the same rate as landing pages they’d spent more than a year optimizing. Yikes. Both strategies paired together cut IR’s cost per lead (CPL) nearly in half. 

Place Potential Customers in Your Ads With Dynamic Ads

There’s nothing like seeing your own face looking back at you in a completely unexpected place. That “shock factor” is what LinkedIn’s Dynamic Ads tap into. These ads place the targeted person’s profile photo in the ad itself. 

Enterprise software solutions company CA Technologies used Dynamic Ads to get the word out about a new whitepaper. According to the case study, CPL fell 68% as conversions shot up. 

Image from LinkedIn

Tap Into the LinkedIn Audience’s Desire to Learn

People come to LinkedIn to learn — about people in their field, about topics in their industry, and about new opportunities across the board. That makes LinkedIn a great place to share company info, ebooks, and whitepapers. And in exchange, don’t forget to request an email address for further marketing opportunities!

That’s exactly what Integrative Therapeutics, a manufacturer and distributor of nutritional supplements marketed to integrative medicine clinics had in mind when they launched a campaign featuring a new ebook that highlighted industry trends. Because their product applies to a wide variety of people and job titles, they aggregated known titles and relevant skills and advertised to them with a mix of Sponsored InMail, Sponsored Content, and Display Ads. This strategy grew the company’s email database by more than 25%

Run a Unique Contest That Speaks to LinkedIn’s Audience

LinkedIn’s self-description is “Manage your professional identity. Build and engage with your professional network. Access knowledge, insights, and opportunities.” It’s all about being a professional in your career. So keep that in mind as you come up with creative wrappers for your campaigns. You may have to get very creative if you’re trying to stretch a seemingly unrelated product or service to LinkedIn’s distinct audience. But when it works, it gets attention. 

One such example of that is the clothing brand Van Heusen. They launched a search for the ‘most fashionable professional’ in the country. The intention was to promote Van Heusen’s line of formal shirts. You wouldn’t normally think to advertise your fashion brand on LinkedIn, but this relevant creative wrapper proved that all you have to do is think outside the box.

Image from Social Samosa

Target LinkedIn Users Based On a Recent Change or Milestone

Holding a certain job title is certainly relevant to the person who’s getting targeted advertising because of it, but one could argue that a more recent change is even more relevant. Use LinkedIn’s robust targeting capabilities to target people who have recently gone through a company change, a promotion, or a job title update. We’ve certainly seen how well this works for wedding-related businesses when a Facebook user changes their status to engaged. Surely marketers can find similar traction with the same approach on LinkedIn. 

Opt For An Underused Ad Unit Like Video

You don’t see a ton of videos when you scroll through your LinkedIn feed, which is what makes LinkedIn Videos a standout ad unit. Your video doesn’t have to be an in your face sell for your product or service either. Visa gave us a very nice brand-building example of this with a campaign and two-minute video aimed at celebrating women business owners. 

Image from Hubspot


These are just seven of the most recent creative ways to use LinkedIn Advertising that we came across. The number of ideas is infinite. Just always keep in mind LinkedIn’s unique profession-driven audience, and your campaigns will be standouts. 

AdStage Team