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October 21, 2020

The Beginner's Guide to LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn is a powerful tool to connect like-minded professionals in a specific industry. With LinkedIn ads, you can not only connect with other professionals but get leads for your business. Here’s how.

When it comes to social media platforms, it seems like LinkedIn is grouped off as a lesser-known and otherwise untouchable media platform––despite its 630 million users. In reality, LinkedIn is a powerful tool to connect like-minded professionals in a specific industry. What we don’t talk about? How powerful LinkedIn is as a marketing platform. 

LinkedIn could be an extremely powerful platform to not only meet millions of people, but millions of people in your industry. Not to mention, a large portion of those people have the power to make executive decisions about what services or products their company buys. In fact, about 65% of B2B companies have used LinkedIn paid ads to gain new customers. When generating leads, the platform is 227% more effective than Facebook. 

Is that enough to convince you? We’re here to walk you through the whole process of LinkedIn ads.

LinkedIn Ads: Getting Started

Obviously the first step is to sign into the LinkedIn Campaign Manager. This is where all of your ad campaigns are managed. You’ll need a LinkedIn account to access it if you don’t already have one. Enter your account name, and select your currency. If you’re running ads for a business, you’ll see an option to link your campaign to a LinkedIn page. 

The next step is to figure out what the goal of your campaign is. Are you searching for more people to hire? Do you want to capture more leads? Do you want more website traffic? LinkedIn gives you several objectives to choose from for each stage of the sales funnel––awareness, consideration, and conversions. Choose the objective most relevant to the campaign you’re setting up.

If you have experience running ad campaigns, then you know that a campaign is only as good as your targeting. Along with your campaign’s objective, you need to have a clear idea of who you’re talking to. With LinkedIn, you can choose to target people based on job function, education, company size, industry, skills, and location. If you want to narrow down your audience, you can select multiple attributes, as well as exclude irrelevant attributes. After you finish building your target audience, find the checkbox next to “enable audience expansion” and check it. This feature will let LinkedIn automatically include people with similar attributes to the ones you’re using. 

The Types of LinkedIn Ads

The type of ad that you choose will significantly affect the outcome of your campaign––whether it’ll be successful or not. If you’re just getting started with LinkedIn ads, and you don’t know which format will work best with your audience––that’s okay! Taking time to get to know each of the ads is the best way to figure out what works for your audience. Here are the ad formats that you can choose on LinkedIn:

Message Ads

  • Aka Sponsored InMail
  • These deliver your ads as messages to users’ inboxes
  • They tend to be direct, and more personalized than other ad formats
  • If you have a niche audience, these can be very effective.

Sponsored Content

  • These look like regular posts that show up in your feed, except there’s a CTA button and a “promoted” label near the top.
  • With this format, you can choose between single image, carousel, or video

Dynamic Ads

  • Similar to text ads, but much more personalized
  • They address the user by name and include their profile photo
  • They’re great for company spotlight ads, follower ads, content ads, and job ads

Text Ads

  • These ads include a small image, short headline, and a blurb
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) ads appear on the right-hand side of a desktop screen
  • Can be effective depending on your campaign goal

Get the Most Out of LinkedIn Ads

Here are a few closing tips to make sure your LinkedIn ads are running smoothly and yielding the results you are paying for. Be sure to use LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms with your sponsored content and message ads. This is really important for moving prospects through the sales process quickly, and with minimal effort!


If you’re running ads, you clearly have a goal in mind. An important part of the success of any ad campaign is monitoring it along the way. We find best practice is to start by A/B testing ads to see which run the best, and analyze why that might be. Don’t keep throwing money at ads that aren’t working! LinkedIn Campaign Manager comes with a thorough reporting feature that lets users track key metrics like impressions, clicks, click-through rate, cost per click, cost per impression, cost per lead, leads, and a lot more. 


When you’re constantly tracking your business’ success, it is easier to capitalize on opportunities for improvement and make changes in real time. Run A/B tests on different ad formats, try different creative strategies and copy, and play with CTAs to see what resonates with your audience. Make adjustments accordingly until your ad campaign is running as efficiently and effectively as possible. 

Ready to Get Started? We Can Help

Running ad campaigns on multiple social media platforms is a hefty task for one person to handle all on their own. It really takes a team of ad experts who can help you capitalize on your ads––not lose money. Need so help getting started? That’s why we’re here.

Call BakerWoodward for more information.