LinkedIn Ads

    Complete Guide To LinkedIn Ad Types

    With over 630 million users and nearly half of those users logging in monthly, LinkedIn has become an exciting playground for marketers. Especially B2B marketers. LinkedIn continues to grow its advertising options to provide marketers with new and better ways to reach leads. But it’s not always easy to determine which LinkedIn ad format will help meet a campaign’s objectives. This post gives you the rundown on the types of LinkedIn ads available, where they show up, when to use them, and examples of how they appear.

    Keep reading for everything you need to know to master:

    • LinkedIn Sponsored Content
    • LinkedIn Direct Sponsored Content
    • LinkedIn Sponsored InMail
    • LinkedIn Text Ads
    • LinkedIn Dynamic Ads

    LinkedIn Sponsored Content

    What are LinkedIn Sponsored Content ads

    Sponsored content ads are one of the more popular types of LinkedIn ads. Sponsored content ads let you promote a piece of content that you already have on your LinkedIn company page to targeted LinkedIn users outside of your visitors and followers. There’s also a variation of this ad type called LinkedIn Direct Sponsored Content. This LinkedIn ad format lets you test content without creating posts on your LinkedIn page.

    Where LinkedIn Sponsored Content ads appear

    Both types of LinkedIn Sponsored Content ads show up in users’ LinkedIn feeds, mixed in with the content they’ve curated with their own activity. LinkedIn Sponsored Content ads are essentially interactive promoted posts that can be boosted with likes, comments, and shares. They are available in several LinkedIn ad formats, including text, image, link, and video.

    When to Use LinkedIn Sponsored Content ads

    Sponsored content ads generally yield more engagement since they’re a seamless piece in a user’s regular news feed. For that reason, use LinkedIn Sponsored Content ads when you want to see results based on engagement:

    • Increase traffic to blogs or landing pages via click through
    • Boost follower total
    • Raise awareness by sharing “newsy” company info

    LinkedIn Sponsored Content ads examples

    LinkedIn Sponsored InMail

    What are LinkedIn Sponsored InMail ads

    LinkedIn Sponsored InMail lets you deliver personalized, private messages directly to users’ LinkedIn inboxes. These ads are purchased on a "cost per send" basis, as opposed to CPC or CPM. LinkedIn automatically sends a Sponsored InMail ad only when the recipient is online to ensure it pops up at the top of their inbox.

    Where LinkedIn Sponsored InMail ads appear

    LinkedIn Sponsored InMail ads pop up directly in users’ LinkedIn inboxes as messages that contain some or all of the following: a custom greeting, call-to-action button, body text, and link to the message body. LinkedIn Sponsored InMail ads are viewable in the same format across all devices.

    When to use LinkedIn Sponsored InMail ads

    Make the most of LinkedIn Sponsored InMail ads highly targeted capabilities by using them for high-value interactions such as:

    • Promoting webinars
    • Special product offers
    • Engaging valuable prospects
    • Generating leads

    LinkedIn Sponsored InMail ads examples

    LinkedIn Text Ads

    What are LinkedIn Text Ads

    Similar to a Google or Bing search ad, this LinkedIn ad format is a pay-per-click (PPC) platform.

    Where LinkedIn Text Ads appear

    LinkedIn Text Ads show up on the side rail or inline. They appear in a variety of sizes and can fit up to 25 characters in the headline and 75 characters in the description.

    When to Use LinkedIn Text Ads

    Because LinkedIn Text Ads are easy and cheap to create, they provide a lot of flexibility and opportunity. Use them to:

    • Niche target specific audiences
    • Drive traffic to a certain URL
    • Run measurable campaigns when paired with conversion tracking
    • Boost brand awareness with a budget-friendly strategy

    LinkedIn Text Ads examples

    LinkedIn Dynamic Ads

    What are LinkedIn Dynamic Ads

    LinkedIn Dynamic Ads take the information a user has already shared via their profile – profile photo, company name, job title – and uses it to personalize an ad for that person. Dynamic ads are available in four different formats, based on your objective.

    • Follower ads: expand your audience for your LinkedIn Company or Showcase Page
    • Spotlight ads: share thought leadership, best practices, insights, and valuable content with your target audience
    • Job ads: get more applicants for your job postings
    • Content ads: generate leads automatically when members download your content (available only through a LinkedIn representative)

    Where LinkedIn Dynamic Ads appear

    LinkedIn Dynamic Ads appear in the right rail on desktop only as ads personalized for the person whose account is logged in. To emphasize dynamic ads even more, LinkedIn only serves two visual ads on a page at one given time.

    When to use LinkedIn Dynamic Ads

    Because they are incredibly personalized, LinkedIn Dynamic ads are very effective at driving click-throughs and traffic to specific URLs. Users can also share their full name and email directly through a LinkedIn Dynamic ad, so they’re a great lead gen tactic, too. LinkedIn already provides the reasons you might want to use Dynamic ads via the campaign objectives you use when setting up a new campaign:

    • Expand your followers
    • Share value-based content with a target audience
    • Drive high-quality job applicants
    • Increase lead gen with content download offers

    LinkedIn Dynamic Ads examples

    Image from LinkedIn Dynamic ad tips


    So while there are several types of LinkedIn ads available to marketers, the various ad formats provide a clear path to specific objectives. Figure out what you’re trying to accomplish first, then determine which LinkedIn ad format will get you there.

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    Breanna Lambert

    Breanna has 10+ years’ experience in marketing, though the tides & trends have pushed her almost exclusively into digital. She lives in the hills above Boulder, CO and spends her downtime outside exploring with her husband, son, and pup.