Free guides and tutorials to help make you a better and more efficient content marketer on Facebook, Instagram, Google and LinkedIn

LinkedIn Ads Beginner’s Guide for 2022

Linkedin ads

Beginner’s Guide to LinkedIn Ads in 2022

What’s the biggest benefit of LinkedIn as a social networking platform? LinkedIn users are on the platform for a specific purpose. 

They want to find solutions, form connections and share their information with others. If you can provide the answers they’re looking for, you’ll achieve a significant return on your ad campaigns.

But what makes LinkedIn ads any different from ads on other social platforms? In other words, what can you do with LinkedIn ads, and how do you get started creating them? 

We’ve compiled a complete guide that walks you through the various LinkedIn ads and how to use them. Let’s get started.

What Are LinkedIn Ads?

LinkedIn ads are the best way to reach a professional network. By using these paid marketing tools, you can access the entire LinkedIn social network through sponsored posts, dynamic content, video ads, and more. 

Is your goal to build meaningful leads, share valuable content, and grow your B2B community organically? If so, using LinkedIn ads should form a critical component of your marketing strategy. 

More than ever, LinkedIn is becoming an essential part of how companies do business. In addition to being one of the best recruiting tools on the market, LinkedIn’s platform can help increase sales and establish a professional social media presence within any industry. 

LinkedIn Ads vs. Facebook/Twitter Ads

In a nutshell, LinkedIn is the best platform to run ads targeted at businesses and working professionals. That’s because the platform was specifically created as a corporate recruiting tool. Therefore, while it has grown into a social media platform in its own right, it still primarily serves businesses and professionals. 

Here is a basic comparison of the differences between running ads on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. 

PlatformActive Monthly UsersTargeted UsersAverage Ad Cost (Cost per click)ProsCons
LinkedIn310 millionBusinesses, Working professionals$5.26Good for highly-specific B2B marketing, thought leadershipExpensive, smaller user base
Facebook2.91 billionEveryone$0.96High reach, proven ROINot the best for B2B marketing
Twitter330 millionEveryone, mostly 18-49 year-olds$0.38Good for engaging with community, low-costDifficult to target a specific audience

Why Are LinkedIn Ads Important?

If connecting to other businesses and professionals is your aim, then running ads on LinkedIn will offer you the greatest return on your investment. 

That’s because you can do far more than run paid marketing campaigns on the platform. You can furthermore share industry news, spark discussions with peers, and form connections that may lead to future collaboration. In fact, by populating your page with valuable content, you can also complement your advertising strategy and achieve organic growth. 

Here are some stats that should convince you to take LinkedIn ads seriously:

  • LinkedIn has over 800 million users around the world. That makes it the biggest social network for professionals and businesses by far. 
  • Out of the roughly 310 million active monthly users, 40% access the platform daily. 
  • LinkedIn is the most popular social network amongst Fortune 500 companies.  
  • 40 million LinkedIn users are in decision-making positions. That means your ad dollars will be well-spent, targeting the right people. 

Here are two of the most significant advantages to LinkedIn ads:

  • Increase visibility

To build a trusted brand online, you need a robust social presence. Notably, LinkedIn ads can help grow your brand visibility in the B2B marketplace. Not only will advertisements directly reach targeted profiles, increasing your LinkedIn presence will lead to more organic traffic from search engines and shared content.

  • Boost the number of quality leads

Use lead gen forms to drive qualified leads to your company. Evidently, these are pre-filled forms attached to your LinkedIn ad campaigns and improve conversion rates. Whether you want to send traffic to specific pages or downloadable content, using lead gen forms allows you to track insightful metrics. As a result, you can then use these metrics to build more effective marketing campaigns down the line.

But Aren’t LinkedIn Ads Really Expensive?

Indeed, the cost per click for LinkedIn ads ($5.26) is higher than other platforms like Facebook ($0.96) and Twitter ($0.38). However, keep in mind your target audience. Since you’re focusing on increasing your reach to top companies and professionals, the value you receive from any successful conversions is likely to be high as well. 

Advertising on LinkedIn has proven to be cost-effective for many businesses. However, you must identify your target audience before launching your campaign. Mainly, it will ensure you get the most return on your investment. 

LinkedIn’s advertising costs are not as simple as a set cost-per-click. So let’s dive deeper into the pricing structure.

Pricing Overview

On LinkedIn, you pay based on the activity you’re targeting as well as the outcome of your ad auction. Ads are sold through an auction where you compete with other advertisers who want to reach the same target audience. So, the overall cost depends on your bid and the desirability of your target audience.

Your bid type determines the type of activity you’re targeting for your campaign. There are three main types:

  • Cost per send (CPS) is used when running Message Ads campaigns. You only pay for messages that are successfully delivered. 
  • Cost per click (CPC) is best suited to action-oriented campaigns. For example, you can use them for lead generation or event registration. 
  • Cost per impression (CPM) is often used to increase brand awareness and cast a wide net.

You can find a full breakdown of how individual objectives are charged here.

In addition to selecting the bid type, you must enter your start dates, end dates, and total budget. Despite setting an end date, you’re free to cancel your campaign at any time. 

LinkedIn Budgets

  • Daily – This is best for ongoing campaigns. You set a minimum budget, and LinkedIn will spend that amount each day. However, the actual daily spend may be higher depending on the engagement type. This will average out over time so that you don’t go over budget overall.
  • Total Budget – This model is best suited for campaigns with set budgets and timelines. LinkedIn will spend the entire budget over the given period.
  • Setting Bids – LinkedIn will spend your bid amount according to the costs per send, costs per click, or costs per impression. This depends on your campaign objectives. 

Types of LinkedIn Ads

Below are the main types of LinkedIn Ads you can purchase for your campaigns. 

Sponsored Content Ads

These types of ads come up on your target audience’s home feed. Therefore, it’s one of the best ways to engage audiences with attention-grabbing content.

What can you do with Sponsored Content ads?

  • Highlight new services
  • Showcase products
  • Promote upcoming events
  • Share thought leadership and other content

Format options:

  • Single image ads
  • Carousel ads
  • Video ads
  • Event ads

Sponsored Messaging Ads

Sponsored messaging ads go directly to your target audience’s inbox or chatbox. Increasingly, this is where a large percentage of LinkedIn users spend their time. It allows you to form a personal relationship with your audience and encourages more meaningful engagement. 

Message campaigns are better suited to messages with a single call-to-action. In contrast, conversation ads offer multiple calls to action through an interactive choose-your-path format. 

Graphical user interface, text, application, chat or text message

Description automatically generated

Source: LinkedIn

To prevent this type of campaign from becoming too intrusive, LinkedIn caps the number of members who receive a Sponsored Messaging ad per month. For example, a target individual won’t receive your ad more than twice within a short period.

What can you do with Sponsored Messaging ads?

  • Reach individuals directly
  • Create personal connections
  • Share interactive content to direct them to your products or services
  • Improve quality lead generation

Format options:

  • Message ads
  • Conversation ads

Text Ads

Text Ads are placed along the right column of the desktop feed. Essentially, they’re a great option if your concern is value-for-money and a broad reach. While they’re a more affordable option, you can still fine-tune your campaign to connect with targeted audiences and gain meaningful insights through engagement analytics.

What can you do with Text ads?

  • Target specific audiences based on location, skills, and demographics
  • Easy to build for quick, self-serve deployment

Format options:

  • Text ads (square, tall, horizontal, long) 

Dynamic Ads

Dynamic ads run on the right column and allow you to engage with your targeted audience through content that is automatically personalized based on their profile. This will enable you to create scalable marketing campaigns quickly and easily. In a moment, you can select your targeted audience and objectives and let the automated process customize each ad for individual members. 

Graphical user interface, application

Description automatically generated

Source: LinkedIn

What can you do with Dynamic ads?

  • Capture the person’s profile photo, company name, job title, and more
  • Automate campaigns and easily scale them
  • Customize ads according to your objectives, whether that is to funnel traffic, build awareness, or increase conversions. 

Format options:

  • Follower ads – these encourage your audience to follow your pages whenever they interact with your organic content on LinkedIn
  • Spotlight ads – these feature a product, service, event, or newsletter and are accompanied by a clear call-to-action

Video Ads

On pages dominated by text, video ads stand out. Simply, they show instead of tell. Once you create your video, you can deploy it via a Sponsored Content campaign and target your specific audience. Then, keep track of its performance like views, completion rate, and other data via your campaign dashboard. 

What can you do with Video ads?

  • Boost engagement with captivating content
  • Stand out among text-based ad copy
  • Connect with different types of audiences according to your campaign objectives

Format options:

  • Video ads

LinkedIn Ad Objectives

To streamline ad campaign creation, LinkedIn breaks down advertisements into different categories of objectives. Consequently, this allows you to deploy the right type of ad to fit your specific business goals. 

There are three main ad objectives:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Conversion


When you want to get people talking, go with an ad suited to increasing publicity. These are perfect for building buzz and spreading the word about new products, services, or events. 

Therefore, as impression-based campaigns, these ads will help you gain followers, increase views, and boost engagement.

Recommended ad formats:

  • Carousel ads
  • Conversation ads
  • Event ads
  • Follower ads
  • Single image ads
  • Spotlight ads
  • Text ads


If you’re targeting audiences already familiar with your brand and want them to engage further, use an ad optimized for the consideration stage. 

Ultimately, these ads are built to help advertisers meet action-based goals such as increasing website visits, prompting social media engagement, and watching videos. 

Recommended ad formats:

  • Carousel ads
  • Conversation ads
  • Follower ads
  • Message ads
  • Spotlight ads
  • Video ads


Opt for a conversion ad when your goal is to convert views into sales or generate new leads. For example, you can get leads to submit forms already pre-filled with their information. In addition, you can drive traffic to specific actions on your website or even prompt job applicants to submit applications to your company.

Recommended ad formats:

  • Carousel ads
  • Conversation ads
  • Lead gen forms
  • Message ads
  • Single image ads
  • Single job ads
  • Spotlight ads
  • Text ads

LinkedIn Ad Formats

To help you achieve your ad objectives, LinkedIn offers ten different formats to choose from. We’ll break down each format below to help you understand what each ad is designed to achieve. 

Carousel Ads

Carousel ads use a row of swipeable image cards. They allow you to build brand awareness, tell your story, or provide helpful insights. You can either showcase multiple products and services or take a close look at one thing. 

Overall, you should use bold, eye-catching imagery to encourage your audience to swipe all the way through.

A picture containing indoor

Description automatically generated

Source: LinkedIn

Carousel Ad Specifications

  • File Type: JPG or PNG
  • Ratio: 1:1
  • Recommended Resolution: at least 1080 x 1080px
  • Ad name (optional): 255 characters
  • Card headline: 45 characters
  • Introductory text: 255 characters
  • Number of carousel cards: 2-10
  • Maximum File Size: 10 MB
  • Landing page URL: Required

Conversation Ads

Conversation ads allow you to connect directly with your target audience through LinkedIn Messaging. Set up various call-to-action buttons to guide your clients through a decision-making or knowledge-gaining journey. 

As a result of detailed analytics and click reports, you can analyze your customers’ behavior to improve your CTAs for the next campaign.

Graphical user interface, text, application

Description automatically generated

Source: LinkedIn

Conversation Ad Specifications

  • Ad Name: Up to 255 characters
  • Banner (desktop only, optional): JPEG or PNG, 300 x 250px 
  • Custom footer, terms and conditions: Up to 2,500 characters
  • Introductory message: Up to 500 characters
  • Image (optional): JPEG or PNG, 250 x 250px 
  • CTA text: Up to 25 characters
  • CTA buttons per message: Up to five buttons
  • Message text: Up to 500 characters

Follower Ads

Follower ads are dynamic ads that automatically customize themselves to match the target audience. For example, when members interact with your organic content, they may see a dynamic follower ad that prompts them to follow your page for more info.

Follower Ad Specifications:

  • Ad description: Up to 70 characters
  • Ad headline: Choose a pre-set option or write up to 50 characters
  • Company name: Up to 25 characters
  • Ad image: JPG or PNG, 100 x 100px 

Spotlight Ads

Spotlight ads are another type of dynamic ad that personalizes your content to the individual reader. With this in mind, you can use spotlight ads to highlight products, services, thoughtful content, and more. They’re best for creating brand awareness, generating leads, and directing traffic to your pages.

Spotlight Ad specifications

  • Ad description: Up to 70 characters
  • Ad headline: Up to 50 characters
  • Company name: Up to 25 characters
  • Image: JPG or PNG, 100 x 100px 
  • CTA: Up to 18 characters
  • Custom background (optional): Exactly 300 x 250px and under 2MB 

Job Ads

LinkedIn job ads are highly targeted recruitment tools that can be personalized to match each individual’s interests and personal profile. As well, they’re placed on profiles your audience visits to get more engagement than typical ads. 

An additional benefit for companies is that LinkedIn blocks ads from your competitors from showing up on your employees’ profiles.

Graphical user interface, application

Description automatically generated

Source: LinkedIn

Job Ad specifications:

  • Company name: Up to 25 characters
  • Company logo: 100 x 100px 
  • Ad headline: Up to 70 characters or use a pre-set headline
  • CTA: Up to 44 characters or use a pre-set option

Single Job Ads

If you’re having a hard time finding job candidates or always have recruiting needs, single job ads are the best option. Unlike regular Job Ads, which show up in the sidebar on specific pages, Single Job Ads are promoted in the newsfeed like other Sponsored Content to ensure high visibility. 

Furthermore, these ads result in a 25% increase in the average click to apply rate!

Single Job Ad specifications:

  • Name of ad: Up to 255 characters
  • Introductory text: Max 600 characters, but 150 characters or less to avoid shortening, and must include any legally required language

Lead Gen Forms

Lead generation forms are one of the best ways to find and develop qualified leads. They’re available for both message ads and sponsored content. Therefore, you should add a call-to-action or take advantage of pre-filled forms that allow your targeted profiles to submit their information quickly and seamlessly with a single click. After they click submit, they’ll see a thank you message that directs them to additional content.

Graphical user interface, application

Description automatically generated

Source: LinkedIn

Lead Gen ad specifications:

  • Form name: Up to 256 characters
  • Headline: Up to 60 characters
  • Details: Up to 70 characters 
  • Privacy policy text (optional): Up to 2,000 characters

Message Ads

Message ads offer a particularly high return on investment. Over 50% of prospects open a message ad, so there’s a good chance that your message will reach its target. In addition, since they’re delivered in a focused environment like LinkedIn, message ads will be opened where email messages may go unnoticed. 

There’s a higher character limit to message ads, so you can give a brief overview of your products and services. While the body text limit is 1,500 characters, keep your message under 500 characters for the best effect.

Message Ad specifications:

  • Message subject: Up to 60 characters
  • CTA button copy: Up to 20 characters
  • Message text: Up to 1,500 characters
  • Custom terms and conditions: Up to 2,500 characters
  • Banner: JPEG, PNG, GIF (non-animated) 300 x 250px

Single Image Ads

Single image ads appear as regular content posts on LinkedIn’s home feed. The only thing distinguishing them from other content is their “promoted” tag. Accordingly, these ads include one image and are best for pushing your advertisements to a high-view area as a general marketing tactic. 

Graphical user interface, text, application

Description automatically generated

Source: LinkedIn

Single Image Ad specifications:

  • Name of ad: Up to 225 characters
  • Introductory text: Up to 150 characters
  • Destination URL: Up to 2,000 characters
  • Ad image: JPG, GIF or PNG 5MB or smaller, 7680 x 7680px max
  • Headline: Max 200 characters, but 70 characters or less to avoid shortening
  • Description: Max 300 characters, but 100 characters or less to avoid shortening

Text Ads

Text ads are the easiest to implement and allow you to get the most out of your budget. In fact, they’re best for quick-launch B2B campaigns where you want to cast a wide net but still need precise targeting to generate quality leads.

Text Ad specifications:

  • Image: JPG, PNG 2MB or less, 100 x 100px 
  • Headline: Up to 25 characters
  • Description: Up to 75 characters

Video Ads

Video ads are an excellent option for attracting interest and standing out from text or photo-based posts. They’re best suited for giving a visual insight into your company culture, promoting new products, sharing thought leadership, or forming the basis of a creative new marketing strategy you come up with.

While you’re able to post videos up to 30 minutes long, most ads should be kept short and sweet. For example, the highest performing video ads were just 15 seconds or less.

Video Ad specifications:

  • Name of ad: Up to 225 characters
  • Introductory text (optional): Up to 600 characters
  • Video length: 3 seconds to 30 minutes
  • File size: 75KB to 200MB
  • Frame rate: Less than 30 fps
  • Width: 640 x 1920px
  • Height: 360 x 1920px
  • Aspect ratio: 1.778 to 0.5652

How to Create LinkedIn Ads in 6 Simple Steps

Before getting started, make sure you have a valid LinkedIn account and have created a Campaign Manager account. If you need help setting up a Campaign Manager account, read this.

1. Choose your ad objective.

As outlined in an earlier section, LinkedIn ads are built around your specific objectives. This helps the platform determine the best way to show your ads to your target audiences. 

Ad objectives are broken down into three main categories, with more specific options for each category. 

3 LinkedIn Ad Categories

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Conversions
Graphical user interface, application

Description automatically generated

Source: LinkedIn

2. Select your target audience.

This is one of the most crucial steps in creating an effective ad campaign. Without choosing an appropriate audience, your ad is unlikely to make the kind of impact that will benefit your company. 

There are a lot of criteria to choose from. This allows you to get really specific in your targeted audience. But try not to narrow your choices down too much. This can stifle your reach and won’t give you as much helpful information to use for your next campaign. 

LinkedIn recommends that you start by targeting a broad audience. Then, analyze your metrics and narrow them down for the next campaign. It’s also better to focus more on business identifiers than demographics like age and gender. You can add in these additional criteria when you’ve learned more about how your audience responds to your content.

Graphical user interface, text, application, email

Description automatically generated

Source: LinkedIn

Here are some of the main targeting options for LinkedIn ads:

  • Locations
  • Audience Attributes
    • Company
    • Demographics
    • Education
    • Job Experience
    • Interests and Traits
  • Matched Audience
    • Custom audience sets
  • Audience Size
    • Min. 300

3. Choose an ad format.

Read through the guide to the different ad types and formats that we’ve provided above to determine what kind of ad will best suit your campaign.

You can always repurpose your ad content to use in another ad format if your initial results aren’t quite hitting the mark.

4. Set your budget and schedule.

In Campaign Manager, you’ll see a suggested bid range to reach most of your audience. This is based on other competing bids for the same audience. While the final bid amount is up to you, it must be above the listed minimum.

In fact, a daily budget of $100, or a monthly budget of at least $5000, is recommended for the initial testing phase.

In this step, you’ll set your start and end dates as well as the bid type.

Graphical user interface, text, application, email

Description automatically generated

Source: LinkedIn

5. Build your ad.

Now, you’re ready to start building your ad and preparing for launch. This process depends on the chosen ad format. Now, you’ll be able to share previews with your team and send yourself test messages before releasing them to your target audiences.

Once you’re ready to launch your campaign, insert your payment details to start your campaign schedule.

6. Measure performance and optimize your campaign.

When you log in to Campaign Manager, you’ll be presented with the reporting dashboard. This contains all the crucial metrics regarding your ad campaign.

Here, you can review various analytics, explore charts, and export your data in CSV format. This is the place to go when you’re planning your next campaign. 

Description automatically generated

Source: LinkedIn 

What Metrics Are Provided in LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager?

It’s essential to understand the different analytics available to you in the Campaign Manager. Otherwise, you won’t be able to get the most out of your ad campaigns. 

If you’re just starting, try launching a smaller campaign first. Then, take a look at the ad performance. What stands out? What metric could be improved? 

Go back to the drawing board with this information and craft a better ad for your next campaign. Afterwards, use the Campaign Manager to keep track of your progress and determine if you’re heading in the right direction.

Here are some of the primary metrics available to you in the Campaign Manager:

  • Sends – Number of times your ad was sent (impressions)
  • Opens – Number of times your ad was opened (unique opens)
  • Clicks – Sum of clicks on CTA buttons and link clicks
  • Button Clicks – Sum of clicks on CTA buttons
  • Banner Clicks – Sum of clicks on banner ads
  • Link Clicks – Clicks in the message body
  • Open Rate – % of Opens divided by Sends
  • Click to Open Rate – % of Clicks divided by Opens
  • Cost Per Send – Spend divided by Sends
  • Cost Per Open – Spend divided by Opens
  • Average CPC – Spend divided by Clicks

Best Practices for Creating Successful LinkedIn Ads

The analysts at LinkedIn have spent a lot of time studying what works well on their platform. Below, you’ll find a quick summary of their findings. 

Here are three things that should be your top priorities when crafting LinkedIn ads.

  1. Find your target audience. Start small and keep tweaking your targeted audience objectives until you’ve found the sweet spot. This process can take weeks or months, so don’t get impatient. 
  1. Have a clear call to action. Always end ads with a CTA, often in the form of a button. Your readers might only see your ad for a second or two while scrolling past, so they need to know precisely what it is they should do with your content. 
  1. Choose the right content. The way you present your content matters. For example, some content is best suited to image carousels. Other content may be perfect for messaging ads. Below, we’ll go into further detail regarding recommended techniques for different ad formats.

Wondering how to fine-tune your message for different ad types? Here are some of the recommendations for best practices in each ad format

Sponsored Content

  • Don’t just share news. Add your unique insight to demonstrate your brand’s thought leadership. 
  • Use media-rich elements like video and audio.
  • Repurpose your existing content. Draw from your website, blog, and social media channels, as well as user-generated content. 

Sponsored Messaging

  • Share material the reader can interact with, like webinars, events, or blog posts. 
  • Promote further engagement by inviting them to demo your product or attend an online event.

Text Ads

  • Text is important, but you should still add an image to gain the best results.
  • Images of people perform better than objects or logos.
  • End your text ad with a clear call to action.

Video Ads

  • Don’t rely on sound. Most of your viewers will have audio turned off, so don’t forget the subtitles.
  • Put your most engaging content first. Many people only watch the first 10 seconds. 
  • Keep it short. Aim for a video length between 15-30 seconds. These perform the best in general.

Dynamic Ads

  • Focus on the headlines. This is where you’ll capture the most attention. 
  • Test layouts extensively before posting.
  • Don’t forget to include a CTA.