Comprehensive LinkedIn Ads Guide 2024

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When it comes to B2B marketing, there's one platform that consistently stands head and shoulders above the rest: LinkedIn. It's not just a social network; it's a thriving professional community where your ideal customers actively engage, build their networks, and make decisions that impact their businesses.

LinkedIn understands the unique challenges and opportunities faced by B2B marketers, which is why its advertising platform is designed to deliver results. They've even developed a step-by-step approach, turning advertising into a science.

But as any seasoned marketer knows, successful advertising isn't just about following a formula; it's about understanding your audience, crafting compelling messages, and adapting to a constantly changing landscape.

This comprehensive LinkedIn Ads Guide 2024 will unlock the secrets to B2B marketing success on LinkedIn, combining data-backed strategies with creative insights to help you reach, engage, and convert your target audience.

Types of LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn offers diverse ad types to cater to varying marketing objectives. Understanding the strengths of each type is critical to choosing the right one for your campaign goals. Let's explore the different types of LinkedIn ads available:

1. Sponsored Content

Sponsored content seamlessly blends into the LinkedIn feed, appearing as native posts that can incorporate a mix of text, eye-catching images, or engaging videos. This versatility makes it a powerful tool for various marketing goals.

Its primary strengths lie in building brand awareness by introducing your company to new audiences and showcasing thought leadership. It's also highly effective for boosting engagement and driving likes, comments, shares, and click-throughs to your website or landing pages. 

Furthermore, sponsored content excels at lead generation, attracting potential customers with valuable content and capturing their information through seamlessly integrated lead generation forms.

2. Sponsored Messaging

Sponsored messaging delivers personalized messages to your target audience's LinkedIn inbox, creating a more direct and engaging communication channel.

This format is best for nurturing leads by continuing conversations and guiding them through the sales funnel. It's also an effective way to promote events like webinars, conferences, or product demos, driving attendance and interest. 

Additionally, sponsored messaging is a powerful tool for Account-Based Marketing (ABM), enabling you to reach key decision-makers within specific accounts with highly tailored and relevant messages.

3. Lead Gen Forms

Lead gen forms streamline the lead generation process by presenting pre-filled forms that automatically populate with the user's LinkedIn profile data. This effortless experience encourages higher submission rates and delivers high-quality leads.

These forms are ideal for capturing leads quickly and easily, making them perfect for content downloads where you offer valuable resources like eBooks or whitepapers in exchange for contact information. They are also highly effective for driving registrations to your online events, such as webinars, ensuring a targeted and engaged audience.

Also Read: Social Media Advertising: Types, Costs, and Tips to Maximize

LinkedIn Ad Formats

Once you've determined your ad type, the next step is to select the format that best aligns with your creative vision and message. LinkedIn offers a variety of ad formats to cater to different content styles and campaign objectives:

1. Single Image Ad

Source: Social Media Examiner

A single image ad comprises one captivating image, a compelling headline, and a short description. Its clean and focused design quickly conveys your message, making it ideal for showcasing a product, service, or offer.

The image takes center stage, grabbing the viewer's attention and making a solid visual impact. This versatile format is effective for brand awareness, engagement, and even lead generation when combined with a solid call to action.

2. Carousel Image Ad

Source: Hootsuite

Carousel image ads feature multiple images in a swipeable format, each with its headline and description. This interactive format is perfect for storytelling, product demos, or highlighting multiple benefits. The swipeable nature encourages engagement, allowing you to showcase different products, features, or customer testimonials visually appealing.

3. Video Ad

Source: TheB2BHouse

Video ads are short videos (up to 30 seconds) that play automatically in the LinkedIn feed. This dynamic format captures attention and holds it longer than static images, making it highly engaging.

Video ads allow for compelling storytelling, effectively conveying your brand personality and message. They leave a lasting impression, increasing brand awareness and recall.

4. Text Ad

Source: Oberlo

Text ads are concise, text-based ads that appear in LinkedIn's right-hand sidebar. They are a budget-friendly option for businesses of all sizes, making them a cost-effective way to deliver a clear message and call to action without visual distractions.

Text ads are often used to supplement visual campaigns, reinforcing your messaging and reaching a broader audience.

5. Dynamic Ad

Dynamic ads are personalized ads that automatically pull in the viewer's profile data, such as their name, company logo, or job title. This high degree of personalization creates a sense of relevance and connection with the viewer, increasing engagement.

Dynamic ads can be used in various formats to promote job openings, company pages, or specific content, leveraging LinkedIn's data to effectively target specific audiences.

6. Sponsored InMail

Source: Oberlo

LinkedIn users receive sponsored InMail ads directly in their LinkedIn messaging inbox. These ads are less likely to be ignored than regular email campaigns, making them a powerful tool for generating leads and driving conversions. They offer a personalized, direct way to connect with your target audience.

Also Read: LinkedIn Mastery: Boosting Your Social Selling Index

How to Advertise on LinkedIn in 5 Steps

Now that you understand the different ad types and formats available, let's dive into the 5-step process for creating successful LinkedIn ad campaigns.

Step 1: Establish Your Campaign Goals

How to Advertise on LinkedIn 1
Source: Oberlo

Before crafting your LinkedIn ad campaigns, clearly defining your objectives is crucial. What are you trying to achieve? Are you looking to build brand awareness, generate leads, or drive conversions? LinkedIn's objective-based advertising framework streamlines this process, offering three primary campaign types:

  • Awareness: Ideal for introducing your brand to a new audience, highlighting company milestones, or promoting thought leadership content.
  • Consideration: Designed to engage prospects already familiar with your brand and encourage website visits, content downloads, or event registrations.
  • Conversions: Laser-focused on driving bottom-of-funnel actions such as sales, demo requests, or lead form submissions.

Your campaign objective will shape your targeting, ad format selection, and overall strategy. For instance, an awareness campaign might prioritize reaching a broad audience with engaging video content, while a conversion campaign might focus on retargeting website visitors with personalized offers.

Step 2: Precisely Target Your Audience

How to Advertise on LinkedIn 2
Source: Oberlo

LinkedIn's robust targeting capabilities are a B2B marketer's dream come true. Access to detailed professional data allows you to refine your audience based on job titles, industries, company size, skills, interests, and more. Here's how to leverage LinkedIn's targeting tools to your advantage:

  • Predictive Audiences: This AI-powered tool analyzes LinkedIn's vast data set to identify high-intent audience segments most likely to engage with your brand.
  • Audience Insights: Gain a deeper understanding of your target audience's demographics, behaviors, and interests on LinkedIn. This information can be invaluable for tailoring your messaging and ad creative.
  • Matched Audiences: Leverage your first-party data (e.g., email lists, CRM data) to create highly targeted campaigns that reach specific individuals or companies.

Effective targeting is about finding the spot between reach and relevance. Avoid overly narrow targeting that limits your potential audience, and be bold and experiment with different combinations of targeting criteria.

Step 3: Select the Optimal Ad Formats

How to Advertise on LinkedIn 3
Source: Oberlo

As mentioned earlier, LinkedIn's diverse ad formats offer a range of creative possibilities to suit your campaign goals. Single image ads deliver a clear, focused message, while carousel ads allow you to tell a richer story with multiple visuals.

Video ads captivate audiences with dynamic content, and text ads offer a simple, budget-friendly way to drive traffic. Your ideal format will depend on your message, audience, and budget.

Step 4: Allocate Budget and Determine Schedule

LinkedIn ads operate on a bidding system, competing with other advertisers to reach your target audience. The platform offers three primary bidding options:

  1. Cost per send (CPS): Ideal for message ads, where you're charged for each message delivered.
  2. Cost per click (CPC) is best suited for campaigns that drive traffic and engagement, such as consideration and conversion campaigns.
  3. Cost per impression (CPM): Often used for brand awareness campaigns to maximize reach and visibility.

Your budget will depend on your campaign objectives, target audience size, and industry competitiveness. LinkedIn provides helpful tools to estimate your potential reach and costs based on your chosen targeting and bidding strategy.

Regarding scheduling, you can opt for a continuous campaign or set specific start and end dates. Consider your target audience's activity patterns and industry events when determining the optimal timing for your ads.

Also Read: Top 10 Social Selling Mistakes You Should Avoid (and How to Fix Them)

Step 5: Continuously Analyze and Optimize for Peak Performance

How to Advertise on LinkedIn 5
Source: Oberlo

The launch of your LinkedIn ad campaign is just the beginning. The real work lies in continuously measuring, analyzing, and optimizing your campaigns to maximize their effectiveness. LinkedIn offers a wealth of data and insights to guide your decisions. Here are some key areas to focus on:

  • Conversion Tracking: Implement LinkedIn's conversion tracking pixel to measure the impact of your ads on specific actions like website visits, lead form submissions, or purchases.
  • A/B Testing: Experiment with ad variations, targeting criteria, and bidding strategies to identify what works best for your audience.
  • Campaign Analytics: Dive deep into LinkedIn's campaign manager to track key metrics like impressions, clicks, engagement rate, and conversion rate. Use these insights to refine your targeting, messaging, and creativity.
  • Audience Feedback: Closely monitor the comments and interactions on your ads. This direct feedback from your audience reveals what captures their attention and what falls flat, offering valuable clues for refining your message and approach.

Remember, the LinkedIn advertising landscape is constantly evolving. Stay up-to-date with the latest trends, best practices, and platform updates to ensure your campaigns remain ahead of the curve.

LinkedIn advertising is key to unlocking your B2B marketing potential, but navigating its intricacies can be challenging.

Don't leave your success to chance. If you're ready to supercharge your LinkedIn ads and achieve exceptional results, partner with the experts who understand the platform inside and out. Visit Talentport today to connect with experienced LinkedIn ads specialists who can tailor a winning strategy for your business.

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