LinkedIn Ads

    LinkedIn Display Advertising Guide

    Display Ads are LinkedIn’s programmatic advertising solution. They’re sometimes also referred to as banner ads. LinkedIn describes the key features of Display Ads as:

    • Reach a high-value audience of business professionals on and off LinkedIn
    • Target just the right people to increase brand awareness with those who matter most
    • Track the impact of your display ads through built-in campaign and website analytics

    While other platforms offer similar advertising capabilities, LinkedIn tries to give their advertisers more prominence by promising to show only two visual ads on a page at any time. LinkedIn Display Advertising supports most media, including text, audio, video, and images, and comes with LinkedIn’s niche targeting abilities.

    Keep reading to learn more about LinkedIn Display Ads, including:

    • Where LinkedIn Display Ads appear
    • When to use LinkedIn Display Ads
    • LinkedIn Display Ads Specs & Sizes
    • How to run a display ad on LinkedIn
    • How much do LinkedIn Display Ads cost
    • How to report on LinkedIn Display Ads
    • How to optimize LinkedIn Display Ads campaigns

    LinkedIn Display Ads

    Where LinkedIn Display Ads appear

    LinkedIn Display Ads are available in four ad unit types that appear in different places across different pages. The ad unit types include:

    • Medium Rectangle (300x250 pixels): Appears across the site on the home page, profile pages, group page, and company pages
    • Skyscraper (160x600 pixels): Appears on members’ Inbox and Messages Pages
    • Leaderboard (728x90 pixels): Appears at the bottom of the page as potentially the last piece of content users see
    • Text link: Appears at the top of the page across the site including on the home page, group pages, company pages, and inbox

    LinkedIn offers two display networks for marketers to tap into.

    • LinkedIn Onsite Display: Shows ads to users who are navigating pages on
    • LinkedIn Audience Network: Helps you improve the reach of your campaign and get more impressions by serving up your ads beyond the LinkedIn feed on third-party apps and sites. It lets marketers reach their audience in places outside of just LinkedIn’s feed.

    When to use LinkedIn Display Ads

    LinkedIn Display Ads are a simple, agile ad unit that supplies marketers with a lot of power and options. Depending on your KPIs, you should go hard on LinkedIn Display Ads when you want to strengthen your brand and raise brand awareness at scale and drive leads. Thanks to LinkedIn’s ultra-specific targeting capabilities, you can use Display Ads to serve up your brand’s message to anyone you want from regular professionals, to decision-makers, to influencers.

    LinkedIn Display Ads Specs & Sizes

    As mentioned before, LinkedIn Display Ads sizes change depending on where they’re being served. Skyscrapers are tall and skinny while Leaderboards are long and flat. In the next section, we’ll get into more detail about Text Display Ads, which are the outlier when it comes to LinkedIn Display Ads.

    • Medium Rectangle (300x250 pixels)
    • Skyscraper (160x600 pixels)
    • Leaderboard (728x90 pixels)

    For all:

    • File Type: HTML5 – must be third party served GIF, JPG, PNG
    • Image size: HTML5: 200 KB, Other: 40 KB
    • Animation limit: 15 seconds for video quality autoplay; 30 seconds otherwise

    LinkedIn Display Ads Text Specs & Sizes

    Except for Text Display Ads (see next section for more info on Text), all text is to be included in the ad image itself.

    LinkedIn Text Display Ads

    LinkedIn Text Display Ads fall under the Display Ads category, but they look slightly different since this ad unit visually emphasizes the text rather than the image.

    Where LinkedIn Text Display Ads appear

    LinkedIn Text Display Ads appear at the top of the page and in the right-hand rail across the site including on the home page, group pages, company pages, and inbox.

    When to use LinkedIn Text Display Ads

    Because LinkedIn Text Display Ads are just a type of Display Ads, they are also best used for:

    • Raising brand awareness
    • Driving leads

    LinkedIn Text Display Ads Specs & Sizes – Images

    • Images are optional. Ads without images appear at the top of the page. Ads with images appear in the right-hand rail. Pro tip: According to LinkedIn’s guidelines, ads with images are said to drive 20% more clicks.
    • Size: 100x100 pixels

    LinkedIn Text Display Ads Specs & Sizes – Text

    • Headline: 25 character limit (including spaces)
    • Description: 75 character limit (including spaces)

    How do I run a Display Ad on LinkedIn

    Once you have your Campaign Manager account set up and running, it’s super easy to get started on a Display Ad campaign.

    1. Sign in to Campaign Manager
    2. Select the correct account and campaign group where you want to create the ad
    3. Click the Create campaign button in the top right of the page
    4. Choose Awareness or Conversions as your objective
    5. Follow the rest of the guided flow

    How much do LinkedIn Display Ads cost

    There’s no one answer for this one, which is why marketers are constantly grasping at straws when it comes to cost for LinkedIn Display Ads or any ads for that matter. The simplest way to figure out if you’re paying too much or too little is to look for benchmark numbers on what other marketers are paying. Download our latest Benchmark Reports to get an idea of the median cost of CPC, CPM, and CTR for LinkedIn Ads.

    How to report on and analyze LinkedIn Display Ads

    You’ll use Campaign Manager to access and download reports for your campaigns.

    To download a performance report at the ad or creative level:

    1. Sign in to Campaign Manager
    2. Click on the correct account name and campaign group
    3. Select the checkbox next to the correct campaign name
    4. Click the Ads tab, then select the checkbox next to the correct ad name(s)
    5. Click the Export button at the top right of the page
    6. Select the type of report you would like to download from the pop-up window
    7. Select the timeframe you'd like to use to structure your report (Daily, Monthly or All)
    8. Click Export

    You can make more sense of the data by filtering the performance metrics of a campaign, too:

    1. Sign in to Campaign Manager
    2. Click the correct account and campaign group name
    3. Select the checkbox next to the campaign whose graph you want to view
    4. Click on Performance Chart at the top of the page
      1. You can also move your cursor over the name of the campaign and click on the Chart icon from the pop-up.

    Image from LinkedIn Viewing Campaign Metrics In Campaign Manager

    You can filter performance metrics and the reporting Time range by clicking the metric and Time dropdowns above the chart.

    If you want to hack through the data even more and create beautiful white label reports, check out AdStage Report. You can also automate your regular reporting with web-based, PDF, or Excel reports that are refreshed and sent out on a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule.

    How to optimize LinkedIn Display Ads campaigns

    Of course, you’ll want to make your own inferences as far as your campaign results go, but LinkedIn provides some help with its Campaign Insights feature. Campaign Insights are meant to help marketers make adjustments mid-campaign to optimize remaining budget based on performance so far.

    To access campaign insights:

    1. Sign in to Campaign Manager
    2. Click the correct account name
    3. Select Budget & Bid from the Columns dropdown
    4. Move your cursor over any numbers in the Daily budget, Total budget, and Bid columns to see insights

    Types of available insights

    • Total budget insights: Shows average daily spend over the past seven days.
    • Daily budget insights: Shows how much budget you have spent to date, and can help track your pacing through the duration of the campaign.
      • Tip: If the pace of your campaign budget isn’t what you expected, it could mean that your bid isn’t competitive enough.
    • Bid insights: Shows how competitive your bid is compared to other advertisers, and recommends bids to help boost your performance
      • Tip: If your campaign isn’t delivering clicks or impressions well, consider updating your bid to be more competitive. You may also want to take another look at your creative.


    The next time you log into LinkedIn and see a Display Ad, or one is served to you via LinkedIn Audience Network, you’ll know just what it is, what the brand is trying to accomplish, and more importantly, how to create and run your own.

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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.