Best LinkedIn Advertising Options for Different Goals

Over the past few years, LinkedIn has continued to improve their advertising platform. LinkedIn's targeting options and platform usage is a B2B marketer’s dream, with 690 million professionals available to reach.

Now more than ever, in the middle of a pandemic and ever-changing job market, professionals are using LinkedIn to network, learn, and grow. For B2B advertisers, it means it’s the ideal platform to reach their audience on.

But what’s the best way to set up your ad?

Let’s review which ad format might make the best sense for your goals.

 

LinkedIn Ad Categories

LinkedIn offers four different ad categories: Sponsored Content, Sponsored Messaging, Text Ads, and Dynamic Ads. Each of these categories offer different ad formats.

 

Sponsored Content

These are native ads that appear in the main feed along with organic content posted by your network.

Screenshot of Sponsored Content ads in the LinkedIn feed.

This ad appears on both desktop and mobile and will typically be where advertisers should spend the majority of the budget. The feed is where users are more likely to see, read and click through.

Sponsored Content is available for all campaign objectives. For conversion campaigns, advertisers need to enable tracking by installing LinkedIn’s sitewide Insight Tag.

 

Lead Ads

While not their own category, Lead Ads are still available on LinkedIn under the Conversion objective, and are available for Sponsored Content and Sponsored Messaging. If this is the advertiser’s goal, we highly recommend running these as Sponsored Content. 

These will autofill with the user’s profile information, so it’s a great place for businesses to collect professional leads.

 

Sponsored Messaging

These ads appear directly in a user’s inbox as a message. The main differentiator between these and organic messages is a bolded “Sponsored” text at the beginning so users know it’s an ad.

Advertisers can choose between a Message Ad or Conversation Ad. 

Message Ads offer a very targeted CTA - recipients can only click through to take the desired action.

Conversation Ads were launched in March of 2020. They allow recipients to steer the conversation by picking the option that interests them the most. Each option will trigger an automatic response that advertisers can customize when creating the ad, allowing for a more realistic conversation with the recipient.

Screenshot of LinkedIn Sponsored Messaging in the user's inbox.

These ads allow advertisers to get personal in their greeting and drive users to either take a specific action, or choose how they want to engage with the company.

Sponsored Messaging is available for consideration and conversion campaign objectives. It’s important to note that these are typically the most expensive and best saved for when the targeting is narrowed down to the exact persona and funnel has been thoroughly optimized.

 

Text Ads

These will appear on the right column or at the top of a user’s dashboard, and are only available on desktop.

Screenshot of Text Ads in the top and right sidebar areas of LinkedIn.

They’re available for all campaign objectives, and allow advertisers to give a quick snippet about their offer along with a small brand image. These tend to have lower cost-per-clicks, but don’t bring the highest quality traffic.

 

Dynamic Ads

These ads are highly tailored to the user by using their names and profile photos within the ad.

Screenshot of Dynamic Ads on the right sidebar of the LinkedIn dashboard.

By using profile data, these ads grab your audience’s attention because it directly calls their attention to the offer.

There are four different dynamic ads: Spotlight Ads, Follower Ads, Jobs Ads, and Content Ads. Content Ads are currently only available through a LinkedIn Representative.

Spotlight Ads are available for consideration and conversion campaign objectives. Follower Ads are available for awareness and consideration campaign objectives. Jobs Ads are only available for the conversion campaign objective.

Advertisers can customize these ads with dynamic text by utilizing the following macros:Screenshot of LinkedIn's Dynamic ad macros.

 

Best LinkedIn Ad Type for Your Goal

Depending on your offer, there are certain ads that will work in your favor over others. Here are the ones we’ve seen perform best.

Goal

Ad Type

Email Sign-ups

Sponsored Content - Lead Forms

Sponsored Content - Single Image Ads

Webinar Sign-ups

Sponsored Content - Single Image Ads
Sponsored Messaging - Messaging Ads

Dynamic Ads - Spotlight Ads

Content Download
(eBook, Whitepaper, Guide, Case Study)

Sponsored Content - Lead Forms

Sponsored Content - Single Image Ads

Dynamic Ads - Spotlight Ads

Event/Conference Sign-ups

Sponsored Content - Single Image Ads

Sponsored Content - Video Ads
Sponsored Messaging - Messaging Ads

Dynamic Ads - Spotlight Ads

Demos/Account Creations

Sponsored Content - Single Image Ads

Sponsored Content - Video Ads

Sponsored Content - Carousel Ads

Sponsored Messaging - Messaging Ads

Sponsored Messaging - Conversation Ads

Dynamic Ads - Spotlight Ads

Blogs/Organic Content

Text Ads

Sponsored Messaging - Conversation Ads

Brand Awareness

Dynamic Ads - Follower Ads

Sponsored Content - Single Image Ads

Sponsored Content - Carousel Ads

Sponsored Content - Video Ads

Sponsored Messaging - Conversation Ads

 

B2B Cost-Saving Strategy

LinkedIn is an expensive platform compared to other platforms like Facebook. If you’re just starting out with ads, consider running B2B ads on Facebook first. It can be a cheaper way to test copy and creative before running ads on LinkedIn.

Have any more questions about advertising on LinkedIn? Reach out for a free audit or strategy session!

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