When and How to Use Each LinkedIn Ad Format

July 31, 2017

LinkedIn ads

So you’re thinking about running an ad on LinkedIn. Good idea! The platform offers unsurpassed targeting tools and a professionally oriented audience, more than 500 million members strong. 

But first, we need to gain a firm grasp of the different types of LinkedIn ads, and how they align with varying business objectives. With this information in hand, you will be ready to achieve stellar results and get the most out of your ad spend.

The Basics of LinkedIn Ads

For a primer on the topic, check out our step-by-step guide on how to advertise on LinkedIn. It will walk you through the fundamentals of setup, targeting, budgeting, executing, and optimizing.

Here we will break down the distinctions between different LinkedIn ad formats, and explain why certain options will work better than others for specific purposes.

LinkedIn Ad Formats and How They Differ

This rundown provides everything you need to know when it comes to choosing the right self-service ad in Campaign Manager.

Sponsored Content

These native advertisements live directly within the LinkedIn feed, appearing alongside content LinkedIn members curate for themselves. You can think of them as promoted posts, as they are essentially amplified versions of the links, media, or messaging you would normally share through your Company Page.

LinkedIn Ad Specs for Sponsored Content

Title: 70 characters or fewer

Intro Copy: 150 characters or fewer

Display Image: 200px or more (1200x627 recommended)

When to Use Sponsored Content

  • Raising awareness of company events or initiatives
  • Generating leads seamlessly with pre-filled Lead Gen Forms
  • Increasing qualified traffic to posts or pages
  • Boosting follower total
  • Generating more engagements with prospects

What You Can Achieve with Sponsored Content

See how a tailored Sponsored Content campaign led to LinkedIn becoming Percolate’s top generator of leads from downloaded content, and how Percolate saw a 3X increase in Company Page followers.

Learn more about LinkedIn Sponsored Content

Sponsored InMail

Use this feature for sending personalized messages to highly targeted recipients. Because Sponsored InMail only delivers to active LinkedIn members, there is no need to worry about messages bouncing or landing in abandoned inboxes. You can tailor your content directly to the audience, and a responsive design ensures that your CTA button is always visible on any device. Use built-in A/B testing functionality to run multiple variations and optimize.

LinkedIn Ad Specs for Sponsored InMail

Sender Name: 25 character maximum suggested

Subject Line: 30 character maximum suggested

Body Copy: 1000 character maximum suggested

CTA Button Copy: 25 character maximum suggested

Banner Ad Dimensions: 300x250, .jpg/.gif/.png, 40 kb or fewer

When to Use Sponsored InMail

  • Driving downloads of gated assets
  • Promoting webinars and special promotions
  • Generating B2B leads
  • Directly engaging valuable prospects or connections

What You Can Achieve with Sponsored InMail

Learn how Utah State attracted high-quality students with a targeted Sponsored InMail campaign.

Learn more about LinkedIn Sponsored InMail

Text Ads

This is LinkedIn’s pay-per-click (PPC) platform, with ads that display on the side rail or inline. They are very easy to create, and as the name suggests you only pay based on clicks or impressions, so you can feel confident you are getting your money’s worth. Using the extensive targeting tools available to you, it is easy to ensure your text ads are displaying to relevant audiences. Check out our guide to LinkedIn Text Ads Best Practices.

LinkedIn Ad Specs for Text Ads

Headline: 25 characters or fewer

Description: 75 characters or fewer

Image (optional): 50x50

When to Use LinkedIn Text Ads

  • Targeting highly specific B2B audiences
  • Driving traffic to your website or specific landing pages
  • Attracting quality job candidates
  • Setting up easily measurable campaigns in tandem with Conversion Tracking

What You Can Achieve with Text Ads

Learn how HubSpot improved its click-through rate by 60% compared to other social networks by using precision targeting for text ads on LinkedIn.

Learn more about LinkedIn Text Ads

Next Steps with LinkedIn Ads

Now that you know the differences between LinkedIn Ad formats, you are ready to choose the right one for promoting your business. Head over to the Targeted Self-Service Ads page and learn how to launch your campaign. 

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