What are LinkedIn Ads? A Comprehensive Guide

LinkedIn Ads stand out as a unique and powerful tool for businesses aiming to connect with professionals. Whether you're in B2B marketing, talent acquisition, or looking to enhance your brand's professional presence, LinkedIn Ads can be incredibly effective. This article explores the intricacies of LinkedIn Ads, offering a detailed exploration of their types, benefits, creation process, and optimization strategies.


What are LinkedIn Ads?

LinkedIn Ads are a form of online advertising that allows businesses to reach LinkedIn's vast professional network. These ads appear on users' LinkedIn feeds, messages, and other strategic locations on the platform, targeting users based on job titles, industries, skills, and other professional criteria. LinkedIn Ads is the only platform that offers B2B audience targeting for ads, which, when leveraged correctly, can achieve great results.


Types of LinkedIn Ads

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content appears directly in professionals' LinkedIn feeds, similar to native posts. It can be single image ads, video ads, or carousel ads.


Sponsored Messaging

Sponsored InMail sends personalized messages to LinkedIn users' inboxes, offering a more direct and personal advertising approach.


Text Ads

Text Ads are simple, clickable ads that appear on the right-hand side or at the top of LinkedIn pages. They drive traffic to your LinkedIn page or external websites.


Dynamic Ads

Dynamic Ads use LinkedIn profile data to create personalized ads. They appear on the side and include Follower Ads, Spotlight Ads, and Content Ads.


Benefits of LinkedIn Ads

Targeted Audience

LinkedIn's detailed professional data allows for precise targeting based on job title, company, industry, and more, ensuring your ads reach the right audience. 

Here's a complete list of all the ways to target a profile:

  • Company
    • Company Category (e.g., S&P 500)
    • Company Connections (1st-degree connections)
    • Company Followers
    • Company Growth Rate
    • Company Industry
    • Company Name
    • Company Revenue
    • Company Size
  • Demographics
    • Member Age
    • Member Gender
  • Education
    • Degrees
    • Fields of Study
    • Member Schools
  • Job Experience
    • Job Title
    • Job Function
    • Job Seniority
    • Member Skills
    • Years of Experience
  • Interests and Traits
    • Member Groups
    • Member Interests
    • Member Traits


High-Quality Leads

LinkedIn is a valuable platform for generating high-quality leads, especially for B2B businesses, due to its professional network.


Professional Context

Ads are displayed in a professional setting, making them more pertinent and less intrusive compared to other social platforms.


Diverse Ad Formats

From Sponsored Content to Dynamic Ads, LinkedIn offers various formats to suit different marketing goals and budgets.


Creating LinkedIn Ads

Setting Objectives

Define clear objectives for your LinkedIn ad campaigns, such as brand awareness, lead generation, or website traffic.


Audience Targeting

Utilize LinkedIn’s targeting options to define your audience. You can target by job title, company size, industry, and even specific LinkedIn Groups.


Ad Creation

Create compelling ad content. Sponsored content includes engaging images or videos and persuasive copy. For Sponsored InMail, craft personalized messages that resonate with your audience.


Budget and Bidding

Set your budget and bid for your ad campaign. LinkedIn offers various bidding strategies, including cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-impression (CPM).


Tracking and Optimization

Monitor your ad performance using LinkedIn’s analytics tools. Optimize your campaigns by adjusting targeting, creative, and bidding strategies based on performance data. Learn what conversions are here and how to leverage them.


Optimizing LinkedIn Ads for Better Performance

A/B Testing

Conduct A/B tests with different ad creatives, headlines, and targeting options to identify what works best.


Compelling Visuals

Use high-quality images and videos that capture attention and align with your professional brand.


Clear CTAs

Include clear and compelling calls-to-action (CTAs) that guide users on what to do next.


Leverage LinkedIn Insights

Utilize LinkedIn's insights and analytics to understand your audience's behavior and refine your targeting and ad content.


Case Studies of Successful LinkedIn Ad Campaigns

Case Study 1: HubSpot


HubSpot, a leading marketing software provider, was challenged to reach a professional audience in specific industries, companies, and job positions. The company aimed to increase the quality of leads, encourage downloads of thought leadership materials, and improve cost-per-click (CPC) rates. Traditional advertising channels were not yielding satisfactory results, prompting HubSpot to seek a more effective solution.


HubSpot decided to leverage LinkedIn Ads to launch highly targeted campaigns. By using LinkedIn's precise targeting options, they were able to reach the right audience segments, such as specific companies, job titles, job functions, and groups. This approach allowed them to tailor their messaging to address the unique pain points of each target audience, such as lead generation or maximizing SEO. Additionally, HubSpot offered free educational materials, like white papers and eBooks, to capture lead information. They continually tested and adjusted their campaigns in real time to optimize performance.


  • CTRs of 1% to 3% – 60% higher than other social networks
  • Average CPC of $3, lower than other channels for categories they target
  • Higher-quality leads that convert faster
  • Valuable insights on prospect preferences for free


Case Study 2: Deloitte


In 2020, Deloitte published its annual Readiness Report. Timed to coincide with the World Economic Forum in Davos, this report would compete for attention among a large crowd of thought leadership, insights, and analysis. Deloitte wanted new ways to break through the noise and forge deeper connections between its thought leaders and a highly engaged professional audience.


In a first for the company, Deloitte turned to LinkedIn Live to share the findings of the Readiness Report. With LinkedIn Live, Deloitte created an inclusive and bespoke experience that connected their thought leaders with a global audience of eager professionals, igniting a meaningful, two-way conversation in real time.


  • Of the 1,000 LinkedIn members who tuned in to the first minute of Deloitte’s LinkedIn Live, an 80% completion rate surpassed benchmarks on other platforms.
  • Received very high-quality feedback and engagement in the live stream.
  • Deloitte clickthrough rates (CTR) were 57% higher than category benchmarks.



LinkedIn Ads offer a robust platform for businesses looking to connect with a professional audience. By leveraging the diverse ad formats and precise targeting options, companies can drive high-quality leads, enhance brand visibility, and achieve their marketing goals. Whether new to LinkedIn Ads or looking to optimize your current campaigns, understanding the platform's intricacies and best practices is crucial to success.

Get in touch to start your LinkedIn Ads campaigns.