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LinkedIn Ads: The #1 Guide To Your Brand Victory

LinkedIn is an incredibly useful tool when it comes to B2B marketing and sales, especially when businesses utilize LinkedIn Ads for business and brand growth.




It's home to more than 722 million members, is one of the oldest social media platforms that have also continued to remain popular, (it was started just nine months before Facebook in 2003), and is currently the most trusted social media platform on the internet, according to more than 73% of frequent social media users.

Whether you're here because you're ready to take your LinkedIn Ads to new heights, or because you're getting some LinkedIn advertising history and information under your belt, we've created this guide to be an in-depth, any skill level guide just for you. 

Are you ready to dive in and start learning? Let's go!


logo-2 History of LinkedIn Ads

The first LinkedIn Ads (LinkedIn Display Ads, to be exact), running on the platform in 2005.  

It wasn't until 2008 that LinkedIn introduced their famous "text ads" then known as DirectAds, and not until 2012 that LinkedIn's API was introduced for bigger, better LinkedIn Ad campaigns.  

In 2014, LinkedIn acquired Bizo for $175 Million, which opened countless doors for brands using LinkedIn as a crucial ad targeting technology: and one that would change the game forever.  

The launch of a brand new campaign manager in 2019, which followed up a world of updates to the algorithm, targeting, a native advertising network, and sponsored InMail made LinkedIn advertising what it is today: a powerful, incredible tool that drives massive brand growth year over year for businesses all over the world.  

And it's only growing. 




Can Your Business Benefit from LinkedIn Ads?

Especially when you're just getting started in the LinkedIn Ads space, it can be difficult trying to navigate what's actually going to be useful for your business.

For instance: is LinkedIn the right advertising platform for your efforts in the first place? 

This is, as usual, going to depend heavily on whether or not your brand resonates with the goals commonly linked to successful LinkedIn advertising, which can be as simple as asking yourself some questions like "Are you shooting for B2B sales?"

LinkedIn is a great platform to connect with business owners, marketing professionals, specialists, industry thought leaders, and the list goes on. 

It's not a platform that would be a good fit for CBD advertising, or clothing advertising because it's dominated by men, the home of business professionals, and a professional platform for B2B communication, enlightenment, industry knowledge, and other business-related opportunities.

How to Advertise on LinkedIn?

Okay, so you've determined that LinkedIn Ads are a good fit for your brand. Now what? 

First, you need to learn about your options. There are a variety of LinkedIn Ad formats that can help you achieve the results you're reaching for, so we're going to start by taking a deep dive into each of them and how they can help you achieve limitless brand success!

LinkedIn Ad Types

Before we can become experts on the LinkedIn Ads opportunity, we have to be experts in the realm of LinkedIn Ad types and LinkedIn Ad specs. 


#1 Sponsored LinkedIn Content

Sponsored content and ads go hand-in-hand, but they're very different.

Sponsored content is essentially promoted LinkedIn posts, (think of it as like a boost on Facebook or Instagram) and can be especially useful for brands who aren't quite ready to roll out a whole campaign, or are just getting started in the space.

There are a total of 3 LinkedIn Ad formats that fall under the "sponsored" LinkedIn Ads category, and this includes a carousel, single image, and video.

Our recommendation is to utilize this ad type if your goal centers around engagement because it typically has the best return in that category.

Sponsored LinkedIn campaigns can run as both lead gen forms, or Native newsfeed ads.

boost company growth with social media

#2 Direct Sponsored LinkedIn Ads

If you're looking to advertise a product or service but don't want it showing up on your page, direct sponsored LinkedIn Ads are the perfect solution because they don't show up in your profile the way regularly sponsored content does. 

A few examples of this type of LinkedIn Ad format would be:

  • Sponsored LinkedIn InMail

This ad format allows you to deliver targeted messages to your leads within the LinkedIn messaging and mail platform. 

Not only are these messages a more personal way to approach a potential customer about doing business with you, but they also boast a much higher success rate than traditional emails. 

  • LinkedIn Text Ads

Contrary to what the name of this ad type might tell you, the LinkedIn Ad specs of a text ad do include an image. 

These ads take their place in the top right-hand corner of the page and in the banner and are one of the most diverse LinkedIn Ad formats. 

  • LinkedIn Dynamic Ads

These are....exactly like LinkedIn text ads except for one important factor: they can address users by name while utilizing their profile picture.

Dynamic ad formats include:

  1. Follower Ads
  2. Content Ads
  3. Job Opening Ads
  4. Company Spotlight Ads

You will need to get in touch with a LinkedIn representative to set up dynamic LinkedIn Ads. You can do that HERE.

  • The LinkedIn Audience Network

Did you know that you can actually utilize LinkedIn advertising to advertise OUTSIDE of the LinkedIn platform? 

The LinkedIn Audience Network makes it possible! Your ads are not only seen within LinkedIn, they're also seen on thousands of partner apps and websites, too. 

This is something that needs to be turned on during the LinkedIn Ads campaign creation phase. 

  • LinkedIn Advertising Partners (The Full Scoop 🍨)

Self-serve LinkedIn Ads not working well? 

The LinkedIn Advertising Partners program allows you to partner with more than 60 handpicked companies that are equipped to help you reach your growth goals. 

From scaling campaigns to boosting engagement, working with a LinkedIn Advertising Partner means you'll be working alongside experts with no guessing, just results. 

Check out the details HERE.

Getting Started with LinkedIn Advertising: Step-by-Step Instructions

You're ready to start your first LinkedIn Ads campaign- but where do you even begin? 


#1 Create/Optimize Your LinkedIn Company Page

For starters, you're going to need a LinkedIn company page. 

This is the page where your ads will come from. It's also a great way to drive brand awareness!

#2 Next, sign into the LinkedIn Campaign Manager.

Click "Create a Campaign." 

#3 Name your LinkedIn Ad Campaign

Some helpful things to include according to LinkedIn would be:

  • Campaign Type
  • The goal of the Ad campaign 
  • Targeted Region/Location
  • Date Range of Campaign
  • The Campaign ID
  • Campaign Type - Ebook, Webinar, App, Event.

#4 Choose your LinkedIn Ads Objective

Traffic? Downloads? Messages? Engagement? Now is the time to choose your objective!

#5 Choose Your Audience Targeting Parameters

For best results, you don't want your audience to be less than 50,000.

If you're doing sponsored InMail ads, LinkedIn also recommends that you don't dip below 15,000. 

Here are some targeting techniques to help narrow your crowd:

  • Pick a recent or permanent location for geotargeting
  • Select a language 
  • Utilize "or" to broaden your audience while still keeping things targeted.
  • If you want to try for similar audiences, you can enable "LinkedIn Audience Expansion"
  • Add demographics
  • Add education levels
  • Add experience levels
  • Add interests (if applicable)
  • Exclude certain locations and other demographics

In addition, you can add an audience from a newsletter or similar lists under "Matched Audiences" - you can also retarget website visitors this way! Just add your website URL before clicking away. 

And whatever you do, don't forget to click "Save Template" before moving on to step six!!

New call-to-action

#6 Select a LinkedIn Ad Format

Keep in mind that almost all LinkedIn Ad formats are going to require you to enter a company or showcase page before continuing to the next step of the process. 

#7 Set a LinkedIn Advertising Budget

Now it's time to select a LinkedIn Ads Budget!

You have three options. You can set a "total budget" which, in essence, means that LinkedIn will decide how often your ads will show and how much to spend on placement. 

A "daily budget" dictates how much you spend a day on ad placement and views.

And the option to select both a "daily budget" and a "total budget" so that you can dictate how much is spent a day AND how much is spent in total. 

You'll have the option to choose between impressions and clicks. (Sponsored InMail will be cost-per-send.)

#8 Install a Site-Wide Insight Tag

You can do this with the tag LinkedIn provides or with an event-specific Pixel. it's entirely up to you! 

#9 Create a LinkedIn Ad!

Now it's time to create your ad! Test messages can be sent for Sponsored InMail ads. 

You'll want to:

  • Create a compelling headline
  • Check your copy for grammatical errors
  • Keep things professional and on point when it comes to your brand tone
  • Make sure your copy resonates with your audience

#10 Review and Launch Your LinkedIn Ad Campaign!

LinkedIn will review your ads before they launch. If they're rejected, just tweak and try again.

You can check the Status of LinkedIn Ads still pending approval at any time in the status column of your LinkedIn Campaign Manager. 

Optimize, Tweak, Test, See the Results!

Once your ads are running successfully, it might feel like your job is over. Hint: it's not. 

The time to test and optimize has arrived. Even if your ads have shown themselves to be successful, you would be surprised at the kind of improvement you'll see after optimizing and tweaking. 

(Sometimes the best ads are hiding behind a few changes to your current ads!)

LinkedIn Ads: Best Practices and Creative Solutions


Great LinkedIn Ad Campaigns take work, lots of tests, and patience. To make the long game a shorter run, we're going to take a quick look at some LinkedIn Ads best practices!

#1 Keep Your Content Short

Keeping your content short is imperative on LinkedIn. This is a platform for industry professionals who want it told like it is. So say it like it is and keep unnecessary commentary as far away from your advertising campaigns as possible.

Utilize Statistics

Utilizing statistics builds trust with your audience and demonstrates a point much better than your words ever will. 

Some excellent ways to package your statistics can be:

  • Short-Form Video
  • Infographics 
  • White papers 
  • E-Books 
  • PowerPoint Presentations
#2 Utilize Clear Call-to-Actions

Remember the point about cutting straight to the chase? The same is true when it comes to your CTAs. Utilize clear, direct CTAs and see the results pour in. 

#3 Customize and Brand Your LinkedIn Ads

It shouldn't take more than a millisecond for a user to identify what brand or company an ad is about- so don't make them wait. 

Customize and brand your LinkedIn Ads in such a way that there's no mistaking who is delivering the answers they need...right in the newsfeed.

#4 A/B Test Your LinkedIn Advertising Campaigns

Test out variations in copy, images, and CTA options to find out what combinations work the best together. 

This is also a wonderful tool for finding out what type of images your audience prefers. Hint: most users prefer people-centric graphics and photography. A single, cheerful smile can go a long way!

Frequently Asked Questions

We know you've got questions- don't hold back! If you don't see the answer here, be sure to drop us a note in the comments so that we can help you! 🔎

How Much Do LinkedIn Ads Cost?

This is going to depend entirely on the nature of your campaign, your ad formats, what your goals are, and what your business is advertising. But a rough cost estimate would be anything from a couple of hundred dollars to the stars depending on what you want to spend.

How to Add a Promotion on LinkedIn?

Select "view profile" and then the pencil icon. Here you can add and edit job details and descriptions, including adding a recent promotion!

What is a Typical LinkedIn Ad Size?

1080X1080 pixels is the recommended size by LinkedIn and professionals in the social media space.

Are LinkedIn Ads Effective?

The short answer: yes! It just takes work, amazing copy, thumb-stopping graphics, and some creativity. (P.S we can help with that! 🔥)

Why Are LinkedIn Ads So Expensive?

The real answer to this question is that they don't *have* to be expensive. Your spending can be adjusted depending on your budget. 

However, LinkedIn Ads due tend to cost more than advertising options on other platforms because they tend to be more successful when done correctly! (The bar for approval is also a LOT higher.)

If you truly want to get the most bang for your buck, we recommend hiring a professional. There's less of a chance your money will go to waste that way!

content deck Sociallyin 2021

Are You Having Trouble Making Your LinkedIn Ads Work? We're Here to Help!

Forget the questions, forget the wondering, forget throwing good money after useless ads. Our team is equipped to handle even the most complicated advertising problems.

We've managed over 6 million dollars in ad revenue and we're prepared to significantly increase that number and deliver results your brand can be proud of in no time. 

Click the link to get SociallyIn!

Keith Kakadia

I am a native of New Orleans, LA with a passion for social media marketing, entrepreneurship, and making new connections. I enjoy the opportunity to work with amazing individuals and brands everyday.

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