The Ultimate Guide To Linkedin Ads For Social Media Marketing

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1.) Introduction To Linkedin Ads For Social Media Marketing

1.1 What Are Linkedin Ads ?

1.2 Linkedin Ads vs. Facebook Ads - Comparison

1.3 Future Prospects of Linkedin Ads

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Chapter 1.1 What Are LinkedIn Ads?

LinkedIn ads are advertisements (persuasive marketing messages) promoted on LinkedIn to communicate about goods, services or ideas to a target audience. LinkedIn is a professional social networking platform designed specifically for the business community.

It’s the world’s largest professional network with more than 430 million members. LinkedIn provides marketers, advertisers, or just individuals who want to persuade customers to buy their products with the opportunity to tell the world about their offerings.

LinkedIn advertising allows you to target decision-makers with appropriate and customizable contents in no time. With LinkedIn ads, you can draw customers’ attention to your business, create awareness among them, raise their interest, convince them to want and desire your products and lead them toward purchasing your products or services.

LinkedIn ads eradicate the hurdle of attending networking events to discuss business opportunities. With LinkedIn ads any business can be promoted conveniently from the corner of an office. LinkedIn ads are like gold mines full of nuggets of gold waiting to be found if you know how to mine well.

There are five types of LinkedIn ads available to choose from. These ads range from the simplest and least expensive ones to the more advanced ones. They are:

· Sponsored Content

· Text Ads

· Display Ads

· Sponsored InMail

· Dynamic Ads

Sponsored Content/Update

With sponsored content, companies can promote and distribute their updates to relevant LinkedIn audience. Such updates could be articles, videos, company news, information or events. The ability of this type of ads to show up right in the users’ news stream leads to more engagement. So companies get to increase their brand awareness and build relationships through meaningful conversations stimulated through sponsored content.

Text and Image Ads

These are text ads that show up on the right-hand side of a LinkedIn page just as Google Search Network ads. They consist of captivating headlines, description and compelling images which are optional. With LinkedIn text ads, you can reach your precise audience without wasting money. Targeting using metrics like location, job title, industry, gender, age, and field of study does the magic.

Display Ads

Display ads on LinkedIn showcase your brand before the very presence of your desired audience in the premium context of the LinkedIn desktop experience. Brands leverage on this type of ad to drive awareness, engage the right audience within the professional bodies on LinkedIn and target professionals with precision.

Sponsored InMail

Sponsored InMail is a type of ad on LinkedIn that allows you to send meaningful and personalized messages to an audience that matters most in your business. The messages seamlessly fit into LinkedIn Messenger allowing for a high level of engagement to occur. Brands can increase their market reach and drive conversion using sponsored InMail ads on LinkedIn.

Dynamic Ads

Dynamic ads are highly designed to fit audience activities. Dynamic ads enable you to creatively craft your ad copy, choose your call to action for engagement and conversion purpose. Images from LinkedIn member profiles can also be used to communicate to your actual and prospective customers.

Chapter 1.2: LinkedIn Ads vs. Facebook Ads

It’s easy to assume that all ads on social networking sites are the same since the platforms a basically for networking. This is not entirely true. Some ads differ from the other. LinkedIn ads and Facebook ads are examples. They have some similarities as well as difference. Let’s deep dive into the comparison using the metrics such as platform, audience, effectiveness, lifecycle and ad type.


LinkedIn and Facebook are social networking platforms designed to connect people online. Ads on both sites are pay-to-play ads. However, the two platforms have different types of features and options for ads. For instance, LinkedIn has self-service advertising platform that aids advertisers to design their own ad campaign. So, the nature and design of each platform makes the difference.


LinkedIn is different from Facebook in terms of audience focus. LinkedIn audiences are mostly white-collar audience and more business minded people. They include business owners, top professionals, executives and influencers across different industries. So, LinkedIn ads are targeted at these set of people and are designed specifically to arouse their interest. On the other hand, Facebook audience are not necessarily for business minded people or professionals. They are mostly blue-collar audience. They could include friends and family. Facebook ads that would attract these set of people would be more relaxed in terms of image and tone.


LinkedIn ads are effective for business to business selling because the audience are business minded individuals. Organizations use LinkedIn ads to target business professionals and organization’s decisions makers. It is ineffective for advertising consumers’ goods. Ads on LinkedIn are best used for creating awareness for an organization and generating leads. On the other hand, Facebook ads work best for business to consumers selling, although, they are good for reaching business and consumer audience. Since most audience are basically there to catch up with friends, family and colleagues, Facebook ads are effective for creating awareness, building word of mouse fan-based, and increasing direct sales


Ad campaigns are not forever. At some point they peak, then draw maximum attention, clicks and finally go through a downward phase.

Facebook ads have short lifecycle. Usually they exhibit good click through rates and performance at the first phase of their lifecycle. Soon after the launch of any Facebook campaign, it gets lots of clicks because people are seeing the advertisement for the first time and then the clicks begin to decline and become flat. The cost per click at this point tend to increase since the CTR is reduced leaving an advertiser with the option of updating the ad copy so as to keep the clicks high and costs low.

Same goes for LinkedIn ads. They have short lifecycle and clicks decline after target group have seen the ads a few times. Tweaking ads copies frequently will ensure that the clicks are optimized and the costs low.

Ad Type

Sponsored Updates on LinkedIn and promoted posts on Facebook are similar ad types that perform almost the same functions. They are very effective for driving engagement. The only difference is image size and text allowance. Less is better for LinkedIn ads.

Chapter 1.3: Future Prospects of LinkedIn Ads

In the current marketing world, LinkedIn has become a vital part of online campaigns. B2B communication has grown tremendously, thanks to LinkedIn. As with all popular sites, LinkedIn has reached the point where bigger brands are seeing it as a lucrative opportunity to showcase their offerings. In 2015, LinkedIn made an impressive $453 Million. 2016 revenue was way higher and 2017 is summing up.

Microsoft acquired LinkedIn for $26.2 billion on the 13th of June, 2016. It is believed that the acquisition was due to Microsoft’s desire to expand its business tentacles by leveraging on already growing and succeeding business like LinkedIn. Some pessimists believe that it connotes LinkedIn inability to sustain bigger brands which could lead to a loss of such brands on the platform. Nonetheless, optimists see it a bigger opportunity for marketers and advertisers to further spread their persuasive messages to their target audience.

What does this acquisition mean for marketers? Simply put, it means that the future of LinkedIn advertising is bright.

Microsoft Acquisition and Impact on LinkedIn Ads

Microsoft announced that all ad types on LinkedIn will be extended across Microsoft properties. It means that LinkedIn ads will be extended to its software products like the Internet Explorer and Edge Web Browsers. The implication of this for ads and marketers is in three folds.

· More Audience to reach

Marketers can target not only millions of LinkedIn users but also individuals who use internet explorer for search. Although, Google search engine still leads the search world, internet explorer has an appreciable market share. Yes, the audience may not necessarily be like the business minded ones on LinkedIn. The advantage for marketers is that the can extend their targets to the blue-collar job personnel. So, more audience, more targeting pillars to cover and wider reach.

· More Platforms for placement

Greater exposure for LinkedIn ads as they appear of search engines. You can imagine LinkedIn ads brought to the top of the search. You can imagine these ads competing for positioning with other paid ads on internet explorer.

· More Ad Spend

More audience reach and placement means more ad budget and ad spend. Marketers may have to spend more to be able to place ads on LinkedIn since such ads would be extended to all Microsoft properties. Thus, spend per thousand impressions and spend per click might increase from the minimum of $2 dollar. The increases ad spend would however be corresponding to the increased audience reach and exposure platforms.

· More Ad types

Since the acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft would enable increase the audience reach, placement platforms, and ad spend, it is also logical that the ads type offering might have to increase to cover a broader range audience and meet other specific needs. This is because some ad types are more appealing to professional and non-professional target groups. So, expansion in this area is needed.

Emergence of Video Ads on LinkedIn

Social video ads are one of the fastest growing ad formats in today’s world. Marketers are allocating huge budget to them particularly popular among marketers looking to expand brand awareness on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. These engaging videos resonate emotionally with viewer who frequently take actions like share, like and comment. Live streaming ads are also supported by network like Facebook.

Google too has just introduced native video ads for mobile publishers to make mobile formats faster and more effective. With all these development, there is a strong indication that LinkedIn will soon embrace social and mobile video ads. The fact that LinkedIn is a more serious-minded platform than the likes of Facebook and Twitter might not make it look into this exceedingly booming area. In fact, there is already an indication that it will become more interactive and engaging in the nearest future. If this be the case, why would LinkedIn be left behind?!

It has also been speculated that in the nearest future (2025) when automation revolution will be in full scale, Facebook might not be in existence and Facebook mobile ads will definitely not be. But LinkedIn will.


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Heather Hart

Heather Hart

Operations Manager at $99 Social
Heather began working with $99 Social in April 2014 as a content writer, but quickly moved into a customer support role, then to Operations Manager in May of 2017. She loves exploring different artistic mediums, including copywriting, drawing and painting, website coding, and helping people succeed.

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