Tips and Tricks for Creating Engaging Visual LinkedIn Ads

September 1, 2021

Group collaborating in front of a laptop.

Editor’s note: Crystal King is a Social Media Professor for HubSpot Academy and creator of its popular LinkedIn for Business Course

Visuals and Messaging for LinkedIn Ads

There are limitless ways to create amazing visual ads that stand out to your audience, it just takes a little creativity, a lot of testing, and the right tools to make it successful. Whether you’re using a graphic or video, make sure you’re designing and finding images that set context for your content, capture peoples’ attention, and align with your brand. 

Here’s a great example. This ad from Adobe is both visually pleasing and has a strong message for Women’s History Month.

Here are some visual design recommendations for your LinkedIn ad:

  • First, make sure you’re using rich media. 
  • Use Canva to create unique, branded social media images.
  • Vary your image types—try using icons, GIFs, stock photos, graphics, etc.
  • Use colors that stand out from the page—stay away from lighter backgrounds like white or gray. 
  • Use videos and infographics that are designed to help convert your audience into buyers.
  • Additionally, include CTAs to encourage clicking.

Here are some messaging tips for your LinkedIn ad:

  • Write catchy, actionable headlines focused on setting context and making the user interested in the content.
  • Include compelling statistics or quotes lifted out of a larger piece of content.
  • Keep it short and sweet.
  • Include shortened URLs to clean up the copy.
  • Include a call-to-action.
  • Know your audience and and research the buyer’s journey.

Here are some video tips for your LinkedIn ad:

  • Make sure the video thumbnail is compelling enough to make the user click “play.” 
  • Use your video platform of choice to test different types of video—like animated, human-centered, word-focused, etc.—to see what your audience responds best to. 
  • Add text to your videos so people can watch the video silently and still tell what the audience is saying. 

Don’t just select one asset or messaging technique for each campaign, run A/B tests so that you can tailor your strategy to what works over time. 

I asked LinkedIn’s Ty Heath from LinkedIn’s B2B Institute about her advice on how to choose the best starting point for an ad strategy:

As a B2B marketer investing in lead generation, there are a couple things you want to be thoughtful about. LinkedIn is a great network for you to invest in lead generation because of the capacity for you to both micro target and reach customers that are in the market for your services right now,  as well as macro target and reach customers that may not know who you are but are in the category, and they could be future buyers of your product. If you think about it, it makes sense. In the short term, maybe 20 accounts in the market for your service, but over the course of a year, there could be 80 accounts. With LinkedIn's targeting features, you can both micro-target using website retargeting with LinkedIn's insight tag, you can use email uploading, so with the integration with HubSpot, for example, you can upload your contacts and use that first-party data on LinkedIn to do targeting.

You can do account-based marketing, and you can also upload lookalike audiences. You know what leads are most important to you, you can find folks that look like your top leads on the LinkedIn platform. Then at the same time with demographic targeting, you can then macro-target all of the folks in a particular category, to make sure that you're branding with them and starting to nurture the leads that will make sense in the future. You want to have a balanced approach to lead generation on LinkedIn, both by reaching current customers and by reaching future customers.

To get started, I recommend starting with sponsored content, it's our bread and butter ad format, and then also consider using lead generation forms. Lead generation forms removes the friction from someone filling out a form, by pulling in information from their LinkedIn profile. If you're just getting started with lead generation on LinkedIn, sponsored content plus lead generation forms, and then think about your strategy to reach both current and future buyers.”

LinkedIn ads are constantly updating and changing to better suit marketers’ needs. By changing to an objective-based ad strategy, it forces marketers to think about their goals at the start of every campaign. Using these tips, you can reach new audiences at over 30 million companies on LinkedIn with engaging visuals and messaging that converts.

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