We’ve all heard that LinkedIn is where your company needs to be to generate more business. Stats show that the professional networking platform is effective. It can generate up to 277% more leads than Facebook and Twitter.
And that’s because LinkedIn is home to professionals who have seats at the decision-making table. Research shows that LinkedIn members have 2x more buying power than the average Facebook user, that’s power which can be used to influence other members and which solutions provider to invest in. Member clout aside, LinkedIn’s algorithms are also designed to spread content fast and wide. This makes it possible for more of the content you promote to find it’s way into the feeds of 1st, 2nd, 3rd and even 4th-degree connections.
Running ads on LinkedIn is also highly efficient. Today, you can use objective-based ads. These include:
- Website Visits.Used drive traffic to your website. Website Visits ad formats include: text ads, sponsored content, dynamic ads, and sponsored InMail.
- Engagement. Get more people to engage with your content or boost your company page’s follower count.
- Video Views. Motivate video views.
- Lead Generation. Capture leads using LinkedIn’s pre-filled lead generation form.
Targetting has always been a touchy subject for advertisers. The fear of not getting a large enough audience or the right audience for your ads can lead to poor quality lead or too few to generate ROI. LinkedIn compensates by offering a strong set of targeting options. You can target by:
Targeting Geographic Locations
Target members according to where they live or locations they visit
Optional Targeting Facets
Optional targeting allows you to narrow your target audience using five categories that each come with their own subcategories. These include:
- Company. Target by Company connections, industry, size, name and followers.
- Demographics. Target by member age and gender.
- Education. Target by fields of study, member schools and degrees.
- Job Experience. Target by job function, seniority, title, member skills and years of experience.
- Interests. Target by member Groups and interests.
Matched Audiences give advertisers the opportunity to match their website visitors, company lists, and email lists with members on LinkedIn. You can upload your own list of targets and serve ads based on company names, email contacts and apply demographic targeting by job function or seniority. LinkedIn also allows you to use account and contact retargeting, making for more strategic and effective lead generation.
LinkedIn offers estimated audience sizes along with recommendations for various types of ads you run. For example, text ads should be based on an audience of 60k to 400k members, where Sponsored Content and Messaging ad types should include a minimum of 300k members for best results.
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LinkedIn Ad Specs: All You Need to Know for 2021:
LinkedIn offers five types of ads. Each is designed to give your brand the opportunity to engage your audience in various ways. Here’s a look at what each ad type offers and their specs.
Sponsored Content Ads appear in feeds across desktop and mobile devices. They are used to generate leads, drive brand awareness, and nurture relationships through the sales cycle. Formats include:
Sponsored Content – Single image
- Ad name (optional): 255 max characters available to name your ads
- Introductory text: 150 max characters for mobile (desktop max of 600 characters).
- URLs length: URLs with 23 character are automatically converted into short links.
- Destination URL: URLs must include the “http://” “or https://” prefix and can include up t to 2,000 characters for the destination link.
- Ad image type and size: Upload a JPG or PNG file that’s 5MB or smaller.
- Headline: 70 characters max to avoid truncation on mobile devices (200 max characters).
- Description: Use approximately 100 characters to avoid truncation on mobile (300 max characters). Varies for ads that appear on third-party sites served through the LinkedIn Audience Network.
- Call-to-action (optional): Access to various CTAs.
If you opt for embedded rich media, use these specifications:
- Image Display Size: 1.91:1 ratio (1200 x 627px) and a max of 400px in width.
- Max Weight: 100MB with a recommended PPI (pixels per inch) of 72
Note: Any legally required language should be included in the introductory text of your ad.
Sponsored Content – Video Ads
- Ad name (optional): Use up to 255 characters to name your video ad.
- Introductory text (optional): Use up to 600 characters for your intro text.
- Video Length: Three seconds to 30 minutes
- File size: Between 75 KB and max of 200 MB
- File format: MP4 only
- Frame rate: Less than 30 Frames per second
- Pixel and aspect ratio requirements:
- 360px (480 x 360; wide 640 x 360)
- 480px (640 x 480)
- 720px (960 x 720; wide 1280 x 720)
- 1080px (1440 x 1080; wide 1920 x 1080)
- Minimum: 600 x 600px
- Maximum: 1080 x 1080px
- Minimum: 500 x 625px
- Maximum: 1080 x 1920px
- Video ads created with a 1:1 aspect ratio must have a minimum resolution of 600 x 600px, and a maximum resolution of 1080 x 1080px.
- Audio format: AAC or MPEG4 only
- Audio size: Less than 64KHz
- Video captions: uploaded in SRT format only
- Video headline: 70 characters max to avoid truncation on most devices (200 max characters).
- Destination URL: URLs must have the “http://” or “https://” prefix.You can include up to 2,000 characters for the destination link.
- Call-to-action (CTA): Access to various CTAs.
Sponsored Content – Carousel Ads
- Ad name: Use up to 255 characters to name your carousel ad.
- Introductory text: Use up to 150 characters to avoid truncation on some devices (255 max characters)
- Cards: Minimum of two cards can be used and a maximum of ten. Individual cards within the carousel must meet these requirements:
- Max file size: 10 MB
- Recommended individual image spec: 1080×1080 pixels with a 1:1 aspect ratio
- Rich media formats supported: JPG, PNG and GIF (non-animated only)
- Headline text for each image card can take up a maximum of two lines before being truncated.
- Character limits:
- Destination URL: URLs must have the “http://” “or https://” prefix. You may use up to 2,000 characters for the destination link.
- 45-character limit for carousel ads that direct to a destination URL
- 30-character limit for carousel ads with a Lead Gen Form CTA
- Carousel cards can use a destination URLs or point to a Lead Gen Form
- Carousel campaigns are not eligible to use LinkedIn Audience Network.
Note: Once your carousel ad is saved, it cannot be edited.
Direct Sponsored Content
Like Sponsored Content Ads, Direct Sponsored Content Ads can appear in the form of Single Image, Video and Carousel Ads. Unlike Sponsored Content, these ads don’t need to appear on a LinkedIn page and can be published directly to target audience feeds.
Sponsored InMail is likely one the most sought-after tools. It gives marketing and sales professionals access to their target customers without the hassle of trying to source email lists.
- Ad name (optional): Use up to 50 characters, including spaces
- Sender: Select from available senders
- Message Subject: Up to 60 characters max (incl. spaces and punctuation)
- Message text: Up to 1,500 characters max (incl. spaces and punctuation)
- Clickable links: Up to 3 links max
- Hyperlinked text in message: Up to 70 characters max (incl. spaces and punctuation)
- Custom Terms & Conditions: Use up to 2,500 character max (incl. spaces and punctuation)
- Call-to-action (CTA) button copy: Up to 20 characters max (incl. spaces)
- Landing page URL in hyperlink or CTA: URLs must include the “http://” or “https://” prefix. Use up to 2,000 characters max for your destination link.
- Banner creative: 300 x 250
- File type: JPG, GIF (non-animated), or PNG (no flash)
- Maximum file size: 40kb
- Click-through URL
Text Ads offer a little more than the name lets on. They come with small images, and like all other ad options, allow advertisers to make use of LinkedIn’s targeting features.
- Ad image: 100 x 100 pixels; upload a JPG or PNG file that is 2MB or smaller
- Ad headline: Use up to 25 characters max (incl. spaces)
- Ad description: Use up to 75 characters max (incl. spaces)
- Destination URL: URLs must have the “http://” or “https://” prefix. You may use up to 2,000 characters max for the destination link.
- Click tracking for destination URLs is supported.
- Text ads appear in a variety of sizes, including:
- 300 x 250
- 17 x 700
- 160 x 600
- 728 x 90
- 496 x 80
Note: Special characters may cause errors when used in the query string at the end of the URL. If your URL generates an error, copy everything after the question mark and paste it into a URL Encoder like this one: http://meyerweb.com/eric/tools/dencoder/. Next, copy your results and replace the original query string in the URL.
Dynamic Ads allow you to create more personalised content with the use of member profile data (think profile images, company names and titles). They are also highly scalable, allowing you to reach larger audiences, but regrettably, only on desktops given the limited screen size of mobile devices.
Here’s a look at the various types of Dynamic Ads and their specs
Follower ads are designed to generate followers for your LinkedIn or Showcase Page. They are tailored to member profile data and leverage profile pictures alongside your brand’s logo, punting the value of association. Other elements that appear in these ads include member first names and your organisations.
- Ad description (above images): Select a suggested option or create your own custom text. Suggested options are automatically translated but custom text is not. Use up to 70 characters, including spaces.
Ad headline (below images): Select a suggested option or produce your own custom headline. Suggested options are automatically translated but custom text in not. Use up to 50 characters max (incl. spaces).
- Company name: Up to 25 characters max (incl. spaces). Company names are only displayed when a member places their cursor on your logo.
- Ad image: Minimum image size: 100 x 100px for JPG or PNG
- Call-to-action (CTA): Select from various CTAs available. CTAs are dynamically displayed in follower ads shown to members who follow your organization. Non-followers see your default Follow CTA.
- Visit company (default): Redirects to the Page tab of your LinkedIn Page
- Visit jobs: Redirects to the Jobs tab of your LinkedIn Page
- Visit life: Redirects to the Life tab of your LinkedIn Page
Spotlight Ads send members directly to your website or a landing page. Like Follow Ads, they also include member profile data.
- Ad description (above images): Use up to 70 characters, including spaces. Your text is not automatically translated.
- Ad headline (below images): Use up to 50 characters, including spaces. Your text is not automatically translated.
- Company name: Use up to 25 characters, including spaces. Your organization’s name is displayed when a member moves their cursor over your logo.
- Company image: Minimum image size: 100 x 100px for JPG or PNG
- Call-to-action (CTA) button text: Use up to 18 characters, including spaces.
- Landing page: Supports third-party click tracking destination URLs (via tracking parameters or redirects)
- Custom background image (optional): The image must be exactly 300 x 250px and 2MB or less.
Note: This format removes the ad description and member profile image. The white portion of the ad measures 276 x 148px.
Job Ads leverage member profile data to promote one or more job opportunities. These are targetted to qualified LinkedIn members in your audience. These ads are dynamically generated and show as “Jobs You May Be Interested In”, “Picture Yourself” or appear in Jobs Pages.
- Company name: Use up to 25 characters, including spaces.
- Company logo: Recommended minimum logo size: 100 x 100px
Note: Smaller company logos will appear smaller and may not perform as well. Larger company logos will be reduced to 100 x 100px. Company logos that are not square will be reduced so that the largest dimension fits.
- Ad headline: Choose from one of the suggested options or write your own custom text using up to 70 characters, including spaces.
- Call-to-action (CTA) button label: Choose from one of the pre-set CTAs or supply your own custom text. For “Picture Yourself” and “Jobs Page” ads, the CTA is automated. For the “Jobs of Interest” ad, you can customize the CTA.
Content Ads can be used to generate leads or drive content download conversions. They are used as part of an ad unit and, at the writing of this article, only available to LinkedIn managed accounts.
- Primary CTA: Choose from one of suggested options or write your own custom CTA text. Suggested options are automatically translated but custom text is not. Use up to 75 characters, including spaces.
- Company name: Use up to 25 characters, including spaces.
- Company logo (optional): Recommended minimum image size: 100 x 100px
Note: Smaller company logos may appear pixelated and may not perform as well. Larger company logos will be reduced to 100 x 100px. Company logos that are not square will be reduced so that the largest dimension fits.
- Document name: Use up to 50 characters, including spaces.
- Downloadable document: Only PDFs are accepted. The maximum file size is 10 MB and files may contain both images and text.
- Document preview (optional): Use a maximum of five 81 x 104 px preview pages.
- LinkedIn page follower count (optional): Shows the number of LinkedIn Page followers and may be turned on or off.
Ads and Using Lead Gen Forms
One of the most exciting features LinkedIn’s created is the use of Lead Gen Forms. They make it easier to capture lead information by pulling it directly from LinkedIn member profile data. They are also highly convenient for members, shortening the time it takes to gain access to whatever you’re offering by simply clicking on the pre-fill button.
In addition, LinkedIn also makes it easier to track your campaign efficacy in your account dashboard and download leads directly in your CRM with smart integrations from Convertr
Driftrock, HubSpot, Integrate, Leadsbridge, Marketo, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Oracle Eloqua
Salesforce Sales Cloud, Salesforce Sales Cloud Release Notes, Implementation Guide and
LinkedIn Ads offer businesses one of the best opportunities for generating leads and driving brand awareness. As a tool, the professional network offers enough ad types to engage and promote content, making it possible for advertisers to reach their audiences and do so effectively and efficiently.
All images were sourced from LinkedIn.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is LinkedIn effective?
LinkedIn Ads is one of the best ways to generate leads and drive brand awareness. It offers a variety of different types of ads that you can use to promote content and reach your target audience effectively and efficiently. According to statistics, LinkedIn can create about 250% more leads compared to Twitter and Facebook. One reason for this is that LinkedIn members have about twice the buying power than the typical Facebook user. The algorithms employed by LinkedIn are also created to spread content faster.
How does Job Ads work on LinkedIn?
Job Ads leverage the data of a member’s profile to promote job opportunities. They are dynamically created and targeted to qualified LinkedIn members in your audience. They will appear in Jobs Pages or show as “Jobs You May Be Interested In” or “Picture Yourself”. Things to include are your company name, company logo (the minimum size is 100 x 100px), a headline (maximum 70 characters including spaces) and a call-to-action (for “Jobs You May Be Interested In” ads you can customize this button).
Which types of ads can I run on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn has a variety of advertisements that you can use to engage with your target audience in different ways. Each ad has been created to give your brand the chance to engage with your target audience in a number of ways. These include: Sponsored Content (single image, video ads or carousel ads), Sponsored InMail, Text Ads, Follower Ads, Spotlight Ads, Job Ads and Content Ads. Each type of ad has its own specs that you need to familiarize yourself with beforehand.
How can you target your ads on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn offers you a strong set of targeting options. You can target by geographic locations, matched audiences, audience size and optional facets. With optional targeting, you can narrow your target audience further by using five categories. These are: company, demographics, education, job experience and interest. Each category also has its own subcategories. The subcategories include: company connections, industry size, industry name, member age, gender, fields of study, degrees, years of experience, and skills.
How does Direct Sponsored Content Ads work on LinkedIn?
Direct Sponsored Content Ads can appear as a single image, video or carousel ad. These types of ads will not appear on a LinkedIn page. Instead, it can be published directly to the feeds of your target audience. With Sponsored InMail, you can target your customers without first having to source email addresses. Your message can include a banner, subject of no more than 60 characters, text of up to 1500 characters (including punctuation and spaces) and 3 clickable links.