Pay-Per-Click Advertising, Digital marketing, Social Media

Advertising on LinkedIn: An overview & best practices

Advertising on LinkedIn: An overview & best practices

Advertising on LinkedIn can be the key to reaching a powerful and professional audience. If you’re a B2B company, it’s a channel you can’t afford to ignore. With its recently updated Campaign Manager, and deep level targeting ability, LinkedIn gives you the tools to showcase your brand, products, and/or services to your specific customer base.

LinkedIn Ad Types

LinkedIn ads are ‘objective-based’. This means they are set up to achieve clearly defined goals which may include brand awareness, lead generation, or engagement.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored content ads are essentially LinkedIn’s versions of a promoted post and the most frequently deployed ad type. They come in three formats: single image, video and carousel, and can be run as native news feed ads or lead gen form ads. The option best suited for your campaign will depend on your business type, end goal, and messaging.




There is also another alternative called Direct Sponsored Content ads. The only difference is that whilst direct ads show natively on the feed, they do not publish to your LinkedIn page. The benefit of this is that you can test various iterations, with alternative copy and visuals, without having multiple posts on your page.

Sponsored InMail

This ad format is LinkedIn’s version of email advertising and can generate more of a personal feel with the ads addressing the recipient directly and displaying in their inbox. They key here is to ensure that there is more personalisation than just the name of the sender, otherwise the recipient will see it more as a broadcast message. They’re mainly text based considering they’re emails, so compelling copy is crucial to engagement.




Text Ads

LinkedIn’s text ads are similar to those you might see on a Google search landing page or in an online directory. They consist of an image, title, and short description, appearing in the top and right banners of desktop versions of the social media platform. They’re far from the most eye catching, and are most like actual adverts (i.e. less organic than sponsored content), but they could work well as part of a wider campaign.



Dynamic Ads

Dynamic ads are similar to text ads and appear in the same locations on screen. The key differentiator is the fact that dynamic ads can uniquely target each person who views them and incorporate their name and profile photo within the ad content. This ads an additional layer of personalisation is more likely to grab attention in comparison to standard text ads that are more generic. 


LinkedIn Ads Best Practices: Top 5

1. Target the right audience

An advertising campaign with a compelling message and strong creative will be worthless if it is not shown to the appropriate audience. Targeting the right LinkedIn users is vital for campaign success. You need to use LinkedIn’s targeting toolset to ensure your message is being delivered to the most relevant users, and in turn this will reward you with better click-through-rates and improved conversion and lead quality. LinkedIn advise us to target using the following demographics:

  • Target by Geography/Industry/Seniority (e.g., UK/High-Tech/Manager) ‹
  • Target by Geography/Specific Skills (e.g., France/PPC, SEM) ‹
  • Target by Geography/Type of LinkedIn Group (e.g., AUS/Recruiting, HR)

After the initial campaign you should also consider re-targeting which allows you to show fresh ad content to an audience who have seen your previous ads. The familiarity with your brand and your offering is one reason why re-targeting ads generate 70% greater conversions.

2. Personalise as much as possible

It may seem difficult to include personalisation when your audience is in the thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of users; but it can be done. We’re not saying you should know each users name and their likes and dislikes, but if you’re a sports media outlet and are targeting different sports sectors (i.e. rugby, football, golf) then we recommend publishing a range of ad campaigns, each with their own message and creative that is focused to the specific sectors.

3. Keep content short

Attention spans on social media platforms are extremely short. There’s endless content to be seen and only so much time in the day to see it. Users will take just milliseconds to decide if a particular post is worth their time and if the content is too long it’s a very quick and clear signal for users to scroll past it.

4. Test variations for each campaign

This is the one piece of best practice advice where we can’t stress it’s importance enough. Even if your campaigns perform well, testing is a must because they could be performing even better. With each campaign we recommend you run 2 or 3 variations of ads, each with different copy and visuals. You should then review and measure performance, making adjustments as necessary for improved performance. The ad with the poorest performance should be paused and replaced by new content to maintain and improve your ad relevance score.

5. Choose clear call-to-actions

Call-to-actions (CTAs) need to encourage action to be taken with a simple, short phrase. Long CTAs can lose meaning and can often redirect attention away for the action you want the user to take. The optimal CTA will depend on your end goal but always make sure it’s relevant. Oh, and be creative – the more people see the words ‘Learn more’, the more they’re become numb to it.


Advertising on LinkedIn is a great way to target campaigns to specific audiences and serve up personalised content, all of which produced higher click-through-rates, conversions and lead quality. It’s important to take advantage of LinkedIn’s targeting toolset and apply our top 5 best practices for successful advertising campaigns.

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Jack Kennedy
Jack Kennedy
Jack is the founder of Invanity marketing and has worked in digital marketing since the age of 17. Having been involved in both the client-side and the agency side of the process he is building Invanity with a vision of creating a marketing agency that truly delivers on the results it has promised.