LinkedIn Advertising for Agencies: Options, Guidelines & Examples

August 22, 2016

Marketers who work for agencies don’t enjoy the luxury of a client’s patience. Agencies must fend off the advances of competitors as well as pressures within the client’s organisation to bring marketing in-house. In a fast-paced, highly competitive atmosphere, agencies must deliverable substantial, measurable, and consistently improving results.

These necessities make LinkedIn an ideal platform for agencies. LinkedIn advertising gives your clients highly-targeted access to their most relevant audiences. Because of this specificity, leads generated on LinkedIn tend to be of higher quality than leads from other platforms.

Whether your client’s goal is to drive leads, raise awareness, or spark engagement, LinkedIn can help. Each LinkedIn advertising solution has an analytics dashboard to show exactly how campaigns are performing, making it easy to optimise and improve over time.

Here are the tools in the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions toolkit, how to use them, and inspiring stories of brands that achieved remarkable success with each.

Text Ads

What They Are: Text Ads display on the right side or top of LinkedIn on desktop and laptops, featuring a short blurb of text and an optional small image. They are easy to create and deploy, making them a good introductory option for marketers new to the platform. The ease of use also facilitates running multiple campaigns at once, allowing for A/B testing and continued optimisation.

How They Are Used: Marketers generally use Text Ads to drive leads and promote specific offers. The shorter format means that simple, easy-to-express value propositions will be most effective.

Example: Clever Zebo

Marketing agency Clever Zebo used Text Ads campaigns to reach a small but influential set of executives by job title. The agency used a free webinar offer to capture leads, generating 2.3 million impressions. 

“The return on our investment was fantastic. We were able to reach the exact right professionals and saw a very healthy rate of conversion,” says Clever Zebo Co-Founder Josh Krafchin.

Display Ads

What They Are: Display Ads are visually compelling banners that are displayed to the right of content for desktop and laptop users. The ads are displayed in standard IAB formats, making it easy to adapt existing creative assets. Marketers can place bids on ads with programmatic buying using their preferred advertising platform, or reserve an audience in advance with managed buying. 

How They Are Used: Display Ads excel at raising brand awareness, establishing a LinkedIn presence, and driving leads.


Engagement specialists BI WORLDWIDE learned that 80% of their target audience uses LinkedIn daily. With that information, the organisation used Display Advertising to engage HR professionals and sales executives with an eBook offer. The campaign succeeded in raising brand awareness and generating leads. Twenty-six percent of BI WORLDWIDE’s total leads for that time period came from Display Ads. 

Dynamic Ads

What They Are: Dynamic Ads are a special type of display ad that use LinkedIn member information to personalise the ad as it is displayed. As with Display Ads, they appear on the right of the desktop, use standard IAB formats, and can be purchased programmatically or in advance.

How They Are Used: The striking personalisation of Dynamic Ads make them ideal for driving engagement. Use them to encourage prompt action from your audience, and to start a relationship with new prospects.

Example: ESCP Europe

ESPC Europe is the world’s oldest business school. The institution needed to attract high-quality candidates for its Master’s degree programmes. Dynamic Ads featuring member profile pictures invited prospective students to visualise themselves furthering their education. The campaign exceeded ESCP Europe’s targets, achieving twice its targeted conversion rate and 116% of its lead generation goal.

Sponsored Content

What It Is: LinkedIn Sponsored Content is native advertising. It appears directly in member news feeds, right where they are accustomed to seeing new content. Sponsored Content will display wherever your audience accesses LinkedIn: on computers, tablets and mobile devices. It can be used to promote posts on your Company Page feed, or you may use Direct Sponsored Content to link without posting to your client’s Company Page first.

Sponsored content displays natively in a user’s feed. Note the options to follow, like, comment and share.

How It Is Used: Sponsored Content excels at building brand awareness and attracting followers to your Company Page. It is also used for building thought leadership and starting conversations with potential prospects, as it encourages sharing and discussion. Sponsored Content can be used to drive leads as well.

Example: Lloyds Bank

The UK banking institution sought to establish thought leadership and build brand awareness. A Sponsored Content campaign featured experts talking about key business issues of interest to Lloyds’ target audience. The Sponsored Content achieved engagement rates four times the industry norm, bringing in over 12,000 new followers to Lloyds’ Business Showcase Page.

Sponsored InMail

What It Is: Sponsored InMail uses LinkedIn’s private messaging system to reach your target audience directly. These messages are only delivered when recipients are signed in and active on LinkedIn, allowing for guaranteed 100% deliverability. Marketers in the programme saw open rates of up to 48% with personalised, properly targeted InMail.

How It Is Used: Sponsored InMail is a powerful tool for delivering highly personalised messages to a very specific audience. InMail can be used to boost conversions, drive attendance to online and in-person events, offer content downloads, and drive leads.

Example: Mercedes-Benz

Luxury auto maker Mercedes-Benz ran an “Update Your CV, Update on the Road” campaign in four European countries. It used Sponsored InMails to reach professionals who had made a positive career move in the past 60 days. The InMails included a personalised note of congratulations and an invitation to test drive a Mercedes-Benz. The campaign trebled the auto industry conversion rate benchmarks.

Agency marketers need to deliver measurable results at speed for their clients. LinkedIn advertising can help connect your clients with the world’s largest professional network, and give your agency the tools it needs to get the best results.

To learn more about how LinkedIn Advertising fits into your marketing strategy, download The LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Platform Overview.