Understanding LinkedIn Ads

By Mervyn Kinuthia on March 22, 2018

LinkedIn has a user base of over half a billion users all of whom want to network and uncover new opportunities. Among these users are marketers who want to establish themselves as an authority in their various industries as well as land exemplary talent.

If as a marketer you’re looking for ways to stand out in LinkedIn, you should definitely consider LinkedIn ads.

Understanding LinkedIn Ads

Due to the nature and demographic target of LinkedIn, their advertising platform is different from the likes of Facebook or Instagram. LinkedIn advertising is a different beast altogether.

In this article, I will cover what LinkedIn’s advertising program has to offer. Whether you’re totally new on LinkedIn or are trying to enhance your presence, these strategies and tips will help you create an effective marketing campaign.

Building Your LinkedIn’s Company Page

If you don’t already have a LinkedIn company page, then you need to create one first in order to follow along.

When creating your LinkedIn’s profile page, you should think of it as your own personal page where you can introduce yourself to all potential clients in a way that gives you credibility in their eyes.

There are a number of rules that LinkedIn expects you to follow when creating a company page. This includes:

  • You are required to set up a personal profile that has your real first and last names
  • Your profile strength should be an “All Star” or “Intermediate level”
  • Your profile needs to have several connections
  • Under the Experience section of your profile, you should have your current position listed
  • Your company email address as well should be added and confirmed
  • Your company’s email domain needs to be associated with your company’s domain

If you already have a presence on your email address, this should be easy.

LinkedIn Showcase Pages

LinkedIn provides you with an option to showcase specific services, products or initiatives associated with your business. Even though Showcase pages are mostly utilized by bigger brands such as Amazon and Adobe, you can use them for your brand if you provide multiple solutions to your clients.

By using Showcase pages you allow your followers to decide what solution updates they’d like receive instead of getting bombarded with updates from the entire suite of solutions you offer.

If you’d like to create a Showcase page, here’s what you need to do:

  • Select the aspect of your business for which you’d like to create a showcase page
  • Go to your Edit menu on the company page then choose Create a Showcase Page.

Note that you shouldn’t create a showcase page just for the sake of it. Do so in order to educate your target audience on the solutions that you offer.

LinkedIn’s Advertising Platform

Throughout their self-service ad-platform, LinkedIn emphasizes cost-effectiveness. You can launch an ad campaign with a $10 budget.

There are also numerous ways for you to segment your ads including by:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Skills
  • School
  • Seniority
  • Job function
  • Job title
  • Ads by company

Just like with Facebook ads, you can pinpoint your audience by targeting them using any of the criteria above.

Types of Ads On LinkedIn

Text and Display Ads

PPC ads on LinkedIn are not that difficult to get started with. When running an text or display ad LinkedIn places your ad in a myriad of places including the bottom of the LinkedIn homepage, within a user’s inbox, or at the bottom of the LinkedIn homepage.

These kinds of ads allow you to include a video or image alongside ad copy. To increase the click-through-rate I would advise that you consider placing images within the ad. LinkedIn encourages advertisers to embed images in their ads as it increases the click-through-rate by up to 20% more.


When writing copy for your ad you should ensure that it instantly captures users’ attention. This can be a little tricky especially because the ad’s headline only allows 25 characters but with a bit of practice anyone can get good at it.

One idea is that you could pose a question to your target idea and get their curiosity going.

One thing about LinkedIn ads is that they’re unobtrusive and usually blend in with the flow of the page. The other thing about these ads is that they force advertisers to become creative so you don’t have to see the same old ad time and again.

The body of the ad copy has a 75-character limit. You should try and let people know what services or products you’re offering and a call-to-action.

Sponsored Content

Unlike other forms of LinkedIn advertisements, sponsored copy doesn’t appear on the sidebar but right in the middle of the users’ feed. This encourages plenty of engagement. Sponsored content is perfect for people who want to show off their knowledge either through case studies they’ve conducted or through some awesome piece of content.

If you’d like run a sponsored content ad campaign, here are some of the things you need to do:

One of the requirements of having a sponsored content campaign, is that you’ll need a company page. From the ad dashboard, select Create new campaign, click on sponsor content. At this point you can select the content that you want to be amplified across LinkedIn.

Next, you will need to define the audience you want to target. Take advantage of the segmenting feature to target your audience by age, location, title, skills, etc.

Select your bid. Bids are either CPM or CPC. You should determine (using tests), which option drives conversions comfortably to your site. Even though LinkedIn will offer bid suggestions, you should choose to pay higher in order to ensure that your ad exhausts its entire budget.

According to LinkedIn, 74% of B2B buyers prefer working with companies that provide them with valuable content first.

Compared to job postings that are published in users’ feeds, sponsored content gets up to 15 times more engagement.

LinkedIn Advertising Solutions

LinkedIn provides two native advertising solutions. These include:

  • Premium Display Advertising Types
  • Sponsored InMail
  • Follow Company Ads

Premium Display Advertising Types

These consists of different forms of advertising on LinkedIn’s platforms. Just like the self-serve ads, these display ads include targeting features. The major difference though is that with premium display ads you have an option of how big you want them to be as well as where exactly you want them to appear.

Display Advertising


Premium display advertisements are divided into four different categories. These include:

  • Medium rectangle
  • Wide Skyscraper
  • Textlink
  • Leaderboard

Medium Rectangle

This type of ad is located on the righthand side of the page above the fold. You will see this type of ad placed on the profile, home, group, and company pages.

Wide Skyscraper

Like the medium rectangle, the wide skyscraper is located on the righthand side of the page and can be found on the message pages and the user’s inbox.


This type of premium ad solution features no images, instead, it contains an anchor (hyperlinked text). Textlinks appear on message, group, company, profile, and home pages.


Leaderboards are designed in the landscape style and will appear at the bottom of LinkedIn’s feed. They usually will be the last thing that a user will see before leaving the page.

Unlike self-serve ads, premium display advertisements offer advertisers more flexibility to be creative.

In addition, LinkedIn has a programmatic buying platform that enhances targeting options as well as greater controls for advertiser.

Sponsored InMail

Advertisers can now use Sponsored InMail services to amplify their message to their audience. With Sponsored InMail, advertisers are able to communicate their message with a more personal touch without having to get concerned about the length of their message.

Sponsored InMail

Using Sponsored InMail, advertisers are able to send an email message or a form to any of LinkedIn’s over half a billion users.

An advertiser may take advantage of Sponsored InMail’s segmenting feature to reach a highly targeted audience.

Sponsored InMail works effectively when a marketer is able to present themselves as willing to offer assistance to their audience.

As an advertiser, you need to be cognizant of the fact that you can only use the Sponsored InMail advertising option for a limited amount of time. This is to discourage spamming. Users can receive only one InMail within a 60-day period.

Consequently, you should ensure that your message is written in such a way as to achieve the intended purpose.

Follow Company Ads

If your company just launched you should make gaining new followers a priority. Follow company ads are usually displayed on a user’s page encouraging them to follow your company. These types of ads do two things:

  • They boost the advertiser’s credibility
  • Enable you to promote your content for free to any new followers you acquire


LinkedIn offers plenty of advertising options for brands through their robust advertising platform. The fact that a company can promote varied messages, for instance, products, services, and content, proves that LinkedIn is one of the best social media platforms to reach a relevant audience. LinkedIn provides conversion tracking to ensure that advertisers are meeting their goals.

If you previously were on the fence about using LinkedIn ads, I hope that this article has helped convince you to get on board with the LinkedIn’s ad platform.



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