You’ve run dozens of ads on Facebook and double that on Google. While that’s all well and good, you can’t just stop at these two platforms if you want to see an exponential increase in leads.

Ever given LinkedIn ads a thought?

With 630 million users, and 63 million of them in decision-making positions, LinkedIn could be a powerful platform to reach millions of people in your industry. And the best part? A huge portion of your target audience is in a position to make executive decisions about what purchases their business makes.

In fact, 65% of B2B companies have used LinkedIn paid ads to acquire new customers. The platform is also 277% more effective than Facebook in generating leads.

Considering all this, you can’t afford to ignore LinkedIn advertising any longer. So read this LinkedIn ads guide to get a better idea of what the platform has to offer and how you can use it to get more leads.

Getting started

Using the Campaign Manager

Start by signing into the LinkedIn Campaign Manager. The LinkedIn ads manager is where you can manage your LinkedIn advertising campaigns. Before you get started with Campaign Manager, you need to create a LinkedIn account if you don’t have one yet; it takes just a few seconds to create one.

Enter your account name and select your currency. If you’re running ads on behalf of a business, link you campaign with a LinkedIn page.

LinkedIn campaign manager account creation

Setting a relevant ad objective

Next, choose the objective for your ad campaign. Do you want more people to become aware about your business? Perhaps you want to attract more website visitors. Or maybe you want to capture more leads.

LinkedIn advertising gives you several objectives to choose from for three different stages of the sales funnel–awareness, consideration and conversions. At this stage, you can set the most relevant objective for a particular LinkedIn ads campaign.

LinkedIn ad objectives

If you’re an employer that’s advertising for an open position, you also have the option to set an objective to promote job opportunities.

Nailing your ad targeting

You can’t run a successful ad unless you’re targeting the right people. Make sure you have a clear idea of what kind of people you want your ad to reach. You have several targeting options for LinkedIn ads–whether you want to target people based on location, industry, company size, education, job function or skills.

LinkedIn ad audience targeting

You can even select multiple attributes at a time to further narrow down your targeting. You also have the option to exclude audiences with certain attributes that aren’t relevant to you.

LinkedIn ad audience exclusion

Before you save your ad campaign, make sure you enable audience expansion so LinkedIn can expand and engage a new audience with your ad campaign. This option automatically includes people with similar attributes as the ones you’ve selected.

Choosing the right LinkedIn ad types

The ad type you choose will play a huge role in the success of your campaign. If you’re not sure which ad format would appeal to your target audience, test out different LinkedIn ad types to see what works best. For instance, some users may hardly check their inbox, but regularly scroll through their feeds to find new content. In this case, sponsored messages might not be the best use of your ad budget.

LinkedIn offers several ad formats and placements to choose from:

Sponsored content

LinkedIn sponsored content looks just like a regular post that you’d see on your feed except with a CTA button and a “promoted” label:

LinkedIn sponsored content

You can choose from three different formats of sponsored content–single image, carousel or video. It might be better to switch between the three options every once in a while to compare their performances and see which one works best with your audience.

Message ads

Also known as sponsored InMail, message ads work exactly as the name suggests–they deliver your ads as messages straight to your target audience’s inbox.

LinkedIn InMail message ad

Sponsored InMail messages tend to be more direct and personalized, making them extremely effective for targeting a highly specific niche audience.

Text ads and dynamic ads

Pay-per-click (PPC) text ads appear on the right-hand side of a desktop screen. They include a small image along with a short headline and blurb. They may be less prominent than sponsored content but can still be very effective depending on your campaign goal.

Dynamic ads work a bit like text ads except they’re more personalized. They will address the user by name and include their profile photo, as you can see in the example below. Company spotlight ads, follower ads, content ads and job ads are some of the more frequently seen dynamic ads on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn dynamic ad

Best practices for LinkedIn advertising

Once you’ve decided on which LinkedIn ad type you want to test, it’s time to discover the best practices that will help you run successful ad campaign.

1. Maintain the correct LinkedIn ad specs

Your LinkedIn ads need to instantly attract and draw in your target audience and you can’t do that without outstanding visuals. When creating visuals for your ads, make sure you follow the proper LinkedIn ad specs and sizes.

The specs vary for each LinkedIn ad type and ad format. Here are the basics:

Sponsored content

Single image ads

  • Should be in JPG or PNG format.
  • File size should be 5MB or smaller.
  • Keep headlines under 70 characters to avoid truncation.
  • Keep descriptions under 100 characters to avoid truncation.
  • Images display at 1200 x 627 pixels and should be at least 400x in width.

Check out the full LinkedIn ad specs for single image ads to learn more.

Carousel ads

  • Use 2-10 cards per ad.
  • Individual cards should not be larger than 10MB.
  • LinkedIn recommends using 1080 x 1080 pixels with an aspect ratio of 1:1 for individual images.
  • Keep introductory text under 150 characters and two lines to avoid truncation.
  • Character limits below ads are either 45 characters maximum, or 30 characters with a lead gen CTA button.

Check out the full LinkedIn ad specs for carousel ads to learn more.

Video ads

  • Keep it under 15 seconds for better engagement (though LinkedIn allows up to 30 minutes of video ads).
  • File size should be between 75KB and 200MB
  • Your video should be in MP4 format running at less than 30 frames per second.
  • Audio size should be less than 64KHz.

Multiple aspect ratios and quality options are available with varying requirements. Check out the full LinkedIn ad specs for video ads to learn more.

Message ads

  • Banner creative should be 300×250 pixels.
  • It should be no larger than 40KB.
  • It should be in JPG, non-animated GIF or PNG (without flash) format.
  • Add up to three links using a maximum of 70 characters for anchor text.
  • Message text should be no more than 1,500 characters.
  • Subject should be no longer than 60 characters.

Check out the full LinkedIn ad specs for message ads to learn more.

Text ads

  • Ad image should be 100×100 pixels
  • It should be in JPG or PNG format
  • File size cannot be larger than 2MB
  • Keep headlines under 25 characters
  • Keep descriptions under 75 characters

Note that there are five different sizes and ad specs for text ads. There’s also a whole bunch of LinkedIn ad size and specs for dynamic ads like follower and spotlight ads that are tailored to individual users depending on which format you choose.

For even better results in lead generation through your LinkedIn ads, some experts also recommend using colors that contrast with the platform’s blue and white colors in your visuals. This will give your ad an instant pop, allowing you to effectively draw in your target audience.

2. Use LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms

Make it easier for your prospects to turn into leads by using LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms with your sponsored content and sponsored InMail. These forms auto-populate the form fields with relevant information about the prospect; all they need to do is click on the “submit” button and they’re set.

Since there’s minimal effort required from your target audience, they can move along the funnel and convert into qualified leads quickly.

Here’s how a LinkedIn Lead Gen Form will look once someone clicks on your ad CTA.

LinkedIn lead gen form

3. Measure your ad success

You don’t run LinkedIn ads no reason. You’d do so with the hope of getting some return on your investment. This makes it crucial to monitor and measure your ad success so you can see whether your investment is paying off.

Perhaps you might even notice that some LinkedIn ad types are working better than others and you’ll want to shift your focus towards those. You might also find that some ads aren’t delivering any results at all, so you’d want to stop setting money toward something that doesn’t work.

The LinkedIn ads manager comes with a robust reporting feature that lets you track key metrics to understand your ad performance. This includes metrics like clicks, impressions, cost per click, click-through rate, cost per impression, conversions, cost per conversion, leads and cost per lead.

LinkedIn campaign manager reporting

You can even track your performance with different audience demographics in the ads manager. For instance, you can view how people performing a certain job function responded to your ads in terms of clicks, impressions and click-through rate.

But make sure you install the LinkedIn Insight Tag on your site to get an accurate picture of your conversions and to enable demographic reporting.

4. Keep testing and optimizing

Based on the insights collected from your performance tracking efforts, you’ll discover some excellent opportunities and ideas to improve your ads.

Run A/B tests on different LinkedIn ad types, ad creatives, ad copy and CTAs. Find out what resonates with your audience and use that to further improve your ad performance.

Additionally, you might even want to use A/B testing to optimize your ad targeting. Make slight alterations to your targeting criteria to identify which audiences are most responsive to your ads. This will eventually help you perfect your LinkedIn ad targeting and get more out of your advertising efforts.

Grow faster with LinkedIn ads

With the right approach, LinkedIn advertising offers plenty of opportunities to connect with the right audience and grow your business. But it can get overwhelming when you’re just starting out. Make the most of the steps provided above to build a winning LinkedIn advertising strategy and generate valuable leads.

Have you had any experience with LinkedIn ads? Let us know if you have any ideas or best practices to share.