LinkedIn is known more as a professional networking site than a “social” media platform–but did you know that LinkedIn can be used to advertise to consumers as well as other professionals, similar to the way you may already be using Facebook to advertise? While there are similarities between the two social media ad platforms, LinkedIn advertising does have its differences, and you may be less familiar with advertising on LinkedIn than you are with Facebook.
To help you navigate the at-first murky waters of LinkedIn advertising, we have laid out an overview and breakdown of the different types of LinkedIn Ads, from the four basic ad campaigns–Website Visits, Engagement, Video Views, and Lead Generation–to the highly-personalized Dynamic Ads: Follower Ads, Content Ads, and Spotlight Ads. To get started growing your business by advertising on LinkedIn, read on.
Overview: Types of LinkedIn Ads
There are many benefits to advertising on social media, and different social platforms have different strengths. LinkedIn advertising is no exception! While LinkedIn may be a less “social” platform, it has its own unique advertising options which could be just what your business is looking for.
There are four main types of ad campaigns you can use on LinkedIn, and each type of ad campaign is used to achieve a different goal, just as is the case in Facebook advertising campaigns. The four types of LinkedIn ad campaigns are Website Visits, Engagement, Video Views, and Lead Generation.
1. LinkedIn Ads: Website Visits
Website Visits campaigns are similar to Facebook Traffic ads. The main objective of a LinkedIn Website Visits campaign is to get traffic to a website destination. This can be either an external website (for instance your website, online store, or blog), or it can be your company’s LinkedIn page itself (this differs from Facebook, where you cannot use a Facebook page as a landing page URL on a Traffic ad). If you have a new blog post you think your connections will be interested in, a new product you are selling, or just want to boost your website traffic numbers, a Website Visits ad campaign is the way to go.
2. LinkedIn Ads: Engagement
LinkedIn Engagement campaigns’ main objective is getting more people to engage with content posts (much like Promoted Posts or Page Engagement Posts on Facebook). This means liking, commenting, or sharing your post on their page. These ads also include a “Follow” button, so they are optimal for growing your follower count on LinkedIn. If conversation with your connections or more LinkedIn followers is what you’re after, consider an Engagement campaign.
3. LinkedIn Ads: Video Views
The third type of LinkedIn ad campaign is a Video Views campaign, the main objective of which is pretty self explanatory: to get more people to watch your videos. These ads, along with the video that you are promoting, also include a destination URL, so you can hook followers with your great video, and then drive them to your website with a call to action button and a link. If you want primarily video views (and the added benefit of traffic to your landing page), this is the ad campaign you will want to try.
4. LinkedIn Ads: Lead Generation
The main objective of a LinkedIn Lead Generation campaign is to get clicks on an ad that takes customers to a lead generation form pre-filled with LinkedIn profile data. These ads are used to gather information, or leads, on your followers and potential customers, such as email addresses. This helps you identify or cultivate future customers and allows you to retarget these customers again in the future,
LinkedIn Ads Formats
While there are four main LinkedIn advertising campaign types, within these campaigns there are a variety of formats available, and these vary from campaign to campaign. These different formats can be used to meet specific goals, or simply to best showcase the ad materials you are working with. Some campaign types and ad formats can be used to promote an already-existing post on your LinkedIn page, while others are only optimized for creating a brand new ad. While LinkedIn makes it clear and easy to determine which formats are available for which type of ad campaign, we are making it even easier for you by listing them below:
Formatting Options for LinkedIn Ads
The formats available for LinkedIn ads campaigns are:
- Text Ad – This is an ad which primarily focuses on the text used in the ad. This format can be used for Website Visits ad campaigns or Engagement campaigns.
- Single Image Ad – This is an ad which uses only one image. This format can be used for Website Visits campaigns, Engagement campaigns, or Lead Generation campaigns.
- Carousel Image Ad – This is an ad which use two to ten images which viewers can scroll through. This format can be used for Website Visits campaigns, Engagement campaigns, or Lead Generation campaigns.
- Video Ad – This is an ad which uses a video rather than in image (The ad will still be optimized for the main objective of the campaign, not necessarily video views, despite the use of the video within the ad — unless being used for a video views campaign). This format can be used for Website Visits campaigns, Engagement campaigns, Video Views campaigns, or Lead Generation campaigns.
- Follower Ad – This ad is highly personalized to the individual viewing it. This is a type of Dynamic Ads (more on this below). This format can be used for Website Visits campaigns.
- Spotlight Ad – This ad is also highly customized for the viewer. This is also a type of Dynamic Ads (more on this below). This format can be used for Website Visits campaigns.
- Job Ad – This ad promotes a specific job opening. This format can be used for Website Visits campaigns.
- Messages Ad – These are ads that will show up in the targeted audiences LinkedIn inbox. This format can be used for Website Visits campaigns or Lead Generation campaigns.
LinkedIn Ads: Page Post Promotions
As mentioned above, some ads can be set using a pre-existing post on your business’s LinkedIn page, while some can only be set by creating an entirely new post, specific to the ad. Any of the four campaign types have options for Page Post Promotions, but the availability does vary depending on the format. The formats that support Page Post Promotions are Single Image, Carousel Image, or Video ads.
The set up for Page Post Promotions differs from that of Facebook Promoted Posts, in that on LinkedIn, the promotion can only be set up through ads manager, whereas on Facebook you can promote a post directly from the Facebook page. This post will then show up in the LinkedIn newsfeed, marked “Promoted.”
LinkedIn Ads: Dynamic Ads
In addition to the four regular types of LinkedIn ad campaigns, there are Dynamic Ads, which are smaller, more personalized ads. Dynamic Ads are variations of Website Visits ads and Lead Generation ads, but they have customized ad creative based on the targeted user’s profile. The ads feature the targeted user’s name and profile picture, which is more eye-catching to users. You are always vying with other advertisers for the attention of consumers, and catching and keeping that attention can be challenging, so this personalization can give you an advertising leg-up.
While Dynamic Ads will be an asset to some campaigns, other campaigns may be better served by using one of the four main campaign types. This is something your business should test for itself, and determine what works best for your business’s particular needs. Read on for a look into the three types of Dynamic ads: Follower ads, Spotlight ads, and Content ads.
LinkedIn Follower Ads
Similar to a Page Likes ad on Facebook, these ads are specifically targeted to get users to follow a specified LinkedIn business page. The ads feature the targeted user’s profile picture and a “Follow” call to action button. This is an ad format that can be used for Website Visits campaigns. Above, we mentioned that Website Visits campaigns can lead to the business’s LinkedIn page (rather than an external site). Such is the case when using a Follower ad. The Follower ad actually uses the profile picture and name of the LinkedIn user being targeted, and then drives them to follow the advertising business’s page.
LinkedIn Spotlight Ads
Similar to a Facebook Traffic Ad, these ads are specifically targeted to get users to visit a particular landing page — the ads feature the targeted user’s profile picture and a “Learn More” call to action button. Once again, this is a format that can be used for a Website visits campaign, to drive traffic to an external site, but what makes them different from regular Website Visits ads (for instance, a Text ad or a Single Image ad) is that Spotlight ads once again use the targeted LinkedIn user’s profile picture and name. This catches the user’s eye as they scroll, more so than a regular ad image or video would.
LinkedIn Content Ads
The third type of Dynamic Ad on LinkedIn is a Content Ad. Similar to a Conversion or Lead Generation ad on Facebook, these ads generate leads or drive content downloads — which the users actually fill out or download from within the ad unit itself — just like within a LinkedIn Lead Generation ad campaign. Content ads once again feature the targeted user’s profile picture and name, and even their job title to be eye-catching and customized.
LinkedIn advertising may be a bit overwhelming at first, but we hope the overview and breakdown above helps you get started in advertising on this professional platform! From the use of the four basic LinkedIn ad campaigns (Website Visits, Engagement, Video Views, and Lead Generation), each with their own variety of available formats, to the specific targeting of LinkedIn’s Dynamic ads, LinkedIn advertising could be the next big leap in your business’s path to successful advertising on social media.
If you need some extra help as you set out to advertise on LinkedIn, we’d love to be of assistance. We are a full-scale digital marketing agency which specializes in social media advertising. If you are interested in working with us, please feel free to contact us and we can help you catapult your business to social media advertising success!.