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LinkedIn Ads 101 & Tips for Successful Advertising

June 18, 2019 Gina Gallup

LinkedIn networkLinkedIn is a business and employment-oriented service that operates via websites and mobile apps. It is mainly used for professional networking, job posting and company updates.

And it’s not to be dismissed. Fortune 500 decision-makers and executives are active on the platform every single day.


LinkedIn Facts:

(Stats from Omnicore)

  • There are 177 million US LinkedIn users
  • About 48% are considered active
  • 41% of millionaires use LinkedIn
  • The average user spends only 17 minutes monthly on LinkedIn
  • 45% of LinkedIn article readers are in upper level positions (managers, VPs, Directors, etc)

We are seeing more and more clients add LinkedIn ads to their PPC campaigns to accompany ads on Google Adwords, Facebook and other platforms.

Like Facebook and other social media platforms, LinkedIn advertising is reaching passive buyers, meaning, they are not currently searching for your services – as opposed to Google Adwords, which is hitting active buyers, or people who have typed in a search phrase that outlines what information they are seeking. LinkedIn ads work well when targeting businesspeople and small and medium-sized businesses, and the ads can greatly improve lead prospecting. LinkedIn campaigns allow you to target people broadly – such as by industry or geography – as well as finely, such as job title and even specific company.

Wondering where to start? Here is your primer on LinkedIn advertising:


Types of LinkedIn ads:

Text ads:  

These text-only ads, which are only visible on the LinkedIn desktop platform, show up on the right side or top of a variety of pages on LinkedIn, including the news feed, individuals’ pages, group pages, MyNetwork page, search results page and others.

LinkedIn text ads


Sponsored content:

These ads appear in the homepage newsfeed (on desktop, mobile and tablet) and look like other organic posted content, except they will note “Promoted” near the top. Ads can feature one image, two or more images, or a video.

LinkedIn sponsored posts


Dynamic ads:

These ads, which are only visible on the LinkedIn desktop platform, are personalized to the user. They can promote a page or a specific offer.

LinkedIn dynamic ads

Sponsored InMail:

These ads are delivered through LinkedIn Messenger to your target audience and appear alongside other organic messages. They appear on both desktop and mobile, and the desktop version can include an additional ad to the side to reinforce branding. Each InMail has a specific call to action, making it easy to respond.

LinkedIn sponsored InMail

Job ads:

With variations for both desktop and mobile, these ads are personalized to the user to promote open jobs. The ads display on the right side of the page of the desktop version, and they can also appear on People search results pages on both desktop and mobile. The ad appears beneath the search result for employees of the advertising company.

LinkedIn job adLinkedIn mobile job ad

Ad costs:

Costs per click (CPC):

This pricing is for ads that drive people to click the link. CPCs start at $2 per click (with a minimum of $10 per day) and go up from there, depending on market, geographic targeting, competition and other factors.

Most ads (text, sponsored content, etc.) are set up as cost per click (CPC). The main difference in cost between sponsored posts and sidebar text ads is placement on the page. The CPCs can be similar in range, but since the sponsored ads are center stage, they have a slightly higher average and perform better.

LinkedIn forecasted resultsCosts per impressions (CPM):

This pricing is for ads that drive awareness. CPMs start at $2 per 1,000 impressions (with a minimum of $10 per day) and increase from there, depending on market, geographic targeting, competition and other factors.

Costs per send (CPS) :

This is for InMail messages to qualified leads or event registrants. CPSs start at $.20 per InMail sent and increase from there, depending on the audience you target.

Forecasted Results:

Generally, ads on LinkedIn will cost more per click than on other platforms, but there is no one number that is true for every ad. As the ads are created in LinkedIn’s Ad Manager, the expected audience size and costs are provided and updated in real time, and you have the opportunity to make adjustments and approve everything before the ads are finalized. The “Forecasted Results” box also provides the ad’s estimated click-through rate (CTR), based on the previous activity of the target audience.


Keys to successful LinkedIn ads:


  • Know what the goal of the ad is and who you’re trying to reach.
  • Copy should be well-written and compelling to your target audience(s).
  • Feature a clear call to action (CTA), so your audience knows what to do and what they will receive.
  • Use large images (1200 x 627 pixels) and video to drive engagement. Content with larger visuals, versus standard thumbnails, tend to get up to 38% higher click-through rates (CTR).
  • Write ad headlines that are under 150 characters. Concise headlines lead to more engagement.
  • Keep descriptive copy to 70 characters or so. Note that anything over 100 characters could be truncated on desktop.
  • Include human interest stories that connect to your brand and help your audience establish an emotional connection.
  • Conduct A/B testing – two or more ads to the same audience to see what performs better – and continue to hone the ads as they run to improve results.
  • Set up conversion tracking with your LinkedIn ads, which works like the Facebook Pixel, to know the actions of respondents and for remarketing.


Need help with your LinkedIn campaign? Let us know!


All images of LinkedIn ads from LinkedIn. Featured image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay


One comment on “LinkedIn Ads 101 & Tips for Successful Advertising
  1. Stephen Gallup says:

    Very informative. Thank you for breaking this complex (to me) matrix down to where i could understand it somewhat better.

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