LinkedIn Ad Types with Example Ads
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By Will Rico | July 25, 2023
LinkedIn ads provides a wealth of options, from bidding and billing options to the targeting facets you can use to reach your ideal audience. There are several ad options at your disposal as well. Depending on your goals, different ad types will suit your needs better than others.
As you’re setting up a campaign, one of the first questions LinkedIn will ask you is to choose your objective, and depending on the objective you choose, your options for ad types will differ.
In the table below, we show which ad types are available for which objectives.
LinkedIn Ad Type Descriptions and Examples
Single Image Ads
Single Image ads show up in your audience’s LinkedIn feed and combine introduction text with powerful imagery to captivate your audience.
Single Image ads are the most popular ad type on LinkedIn, including among CommonMind clients. These ads are a digital billboard you can use to grab a user’s attention, hopefully stop their scroll and encourage a click. We use Single Image ads to:
- Promote brand awareness by sharing high-impact blog posts.
- Encourage conversions by highlighting a content offer.
- Promote thought leadership.
In terms of performance, we have seen good results from square ads (1200x1200) compared to traditional landscape ads (1200x627). Vertical ads (627x1200) tends to be shown more on mobile, and performance varies. You also have the option of leveraging animated gifs in this format in the same sizes.
You can learn more about Single Image ad formatting on LinkedIn.
Carousel ads give you additional space to tell a story with a swipeable series of cards. These are often a combination of imagery and text.
- Carousel ads are helpful if you know your data is best shown in a static form but there is too much for a single ad.
- They work very well for showcasing speakers for an upcoming event because each speaker can get his or her own card in the carousel.
- They’re also good for showing multi-step simple processes, such as “get started in three easy steps” campaigns with supporting imagery.
You can learn more about ad specs for Carousel ads on LinkedIn.
As the name suggests, Video ads let you captivate your audience with powerful visuals in video form.
Video ads give you additional insights such as percentage watched times. You can also retarget users who have watched various percentages of your video. For example, you can create an audience of users who watched at least 50% of your video.
Ensure you have the correct formatting for your video ads from the start by taking a look at the specs for Video ads on LinkedIn.
Event ads are similar to Single Image ads. However, they are optimized for maximizing event attendance by including event details, such as date, time, and a call to action button unique to events.
Event ads feature an “Attend” button so users can easily indicate that they will be attending.
Event ads are a Sponsored Content ad format, so they can also be displayed in a member’s LinkedIn feed on desktop and mobile devices. Image thumbnails for event ads are pulled directly from the URL.
Similar to the now-retired Message ads, Conversation ads target users’ LinkedIn inbox. The main difference is that you can deliver multiple offers and types of content in the same message, giving the ad a “choose your own adventure” feel.
Conversation ads deliver on many of the same objectives that Message ads can. However, because you can deliver more offers and further customize the body of your message, they’re particularly effective for engagement.
The retirement of Message ads has resulted in some updates for how Conversation ads work on LinkedIn. Existing Conversation ad campaigns will automatically transition to the new and improved conversation ad format once it has been rolled out.
- The changes to Conversation ads are designed to complement the new "Focused Inbox" experience launched on LinkedIn.
- The Focused Inbox structure uses a two-tabbed inbox that provides an organized layout.
- Members find and respond to the messages that are most relevant to them in their Focused Inbox.
- The "Focused" tab contains messages members find the most relevant; the "Other" tab contains everything else.
- Members can easily move messages between the two tabs.
Document ads are one of the more recent ad types to be added to the LinkedIn lineup. These ads allow LinkedIn members to read and download documents directly from their newsfeed.
- Document ads can be gated with LinkedIn lead gen forms to help you engage with interested leads or they can be left ungated to support awareness.
- Document ads allow you to see how much of your document has been read and how many times content has been downloaded.
While this is a new format, it has some very specific ad formatting requirements that you'll want to check out before trying to launch campaigns.
New: Thought Leader Ads
Thought Leader ads are a new twist on an old concept: boosting posts. Thought Leader ads allow companies to boost content created by their executives and employees to build an authentic brand voice and engaging presence.
- Only posts from verified members can be promoted: they must have the company as an active and current role in their LinkedIn profile.
- To promote employee content, businesses must also obtain consent, and the employee must have a public profile.
Lead Gen Forms
Lead gen forms are less of an ad “type” and more of a feature that you can use with different ad types. A lead gen form is a valuable tool for collecting quality leads.
Instead of requiring leads to fill out every field of a form, LinkedIn will scan the user’s profile to autofill most (if not all) of the form fields. This provides a seamless experience for your audience, allowing them to review the information and click submit in a few seconds.
Spotlight ads are dynamic ads that show up outside of the user’s LinkedIn feed. Instead, they are displayed in the right rail as you’re browsing LinkedIn. These are typically used to highlight a product, service, event, or job opening.
- Spotlight ads can be effective for driving awareness.
- The ads are tailored to members based on their LinkedIn profile data and can grab a user’s attention by using his or her own profile image.
- You’ll often see Spotlight ads used for HR/recruiting ads
It’s important to note that Spotlight ads are only viewable on desktop.
The other type of dynamic ad that shows up outside of the user’s LinkedIn feed is the Follower ad. They’re nearly identical to spotlight ads, but the objective is to have your audience follow your LinkedIn company page.
Follower ads can be helpful for engagement and brand awareness. They allow you to showcase your company’s LinkedIn page while also giving your audience a quick way to follow your account.
Text ads appear in the right rail, i.e. outside of the LinkedIn feed, similar to Follower and Spotlight ads. They allow you to target specific audiences, captivate them with compelling copy, and link to an offer of your choosing.
Using the wide range of targeting options available to you, Text ads allow you to drive high-quality leads to your business. They also give you the option to add an image, which can be as simple as your logo.
Text ads are also desktop only and won’t show up for mobile users.
Single Job Ads
The Single Job ad is optimized for driving quality candidates to a job opening with a particular company.
Different LinkedIn Ad Types for Different Objectives
From brand awareness to lead generation, the LinkedIn Ads platform has an ad type for every objective.
Some ad types work well across several different objectives as well. For example, Single Image ads work well across the board (except for video views).
Although there’s much more to any PPC strategy than simply picking the correct ad format for the job, the format you choose can make a big impact on the results you see. Don’t hesitate to test different formats against each other or purposefully use two or more formats simultaneously. You can sometimes see a lift by running multiple formats at the same time.
Need Help With LinkedIn Ads? CommonMind Can Help
CommonMind can help you reach your goals and achieve reliable growth with your LinkedIn Ads strategy. Reach out to us for more information.
Last Updated: 7/25/23