Anatomy Of A LinkedIn Ad: How To Get It Right

Ravi Davda Rockstar Marketing CEO

Written by Ravi

Jan 25, 2023

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LinkedIn is home to more than 875 million members around the globe. Besides being a hub for professionals from every corner of the world, LinkedIn is also a great place for advertising – both B2C and B2B advertising, but mainly the latter.

You can set up and run ads on LinkedIn fairly quickly. Indeed, it provides several effective ad formats. However, without any concrete examples, it can be quite difficult to understand every important element.

And that’s why we have put together this article for all of you soon-to-be LinkedIn advertisers out there. We’ll be discussing the anatomy of a LinkedIn ad in detail and how you can properly create one from scratch.

Anatomy of a LinkedIn ad – Types and formats

Anatomy of a LinkedIn ad – Types and formats

LinkedIn offers three main types of ads, which we have gone through in detail before in this guide.

But for the sake of this article, let us quickly go through them again and how you should approach them.

  • First off, for a text ad, you’d want your copy to be simple and straight to the point. You can also add a 50×50 image that is entirely optional. If you’re going for awareness, it’s typically a good idea to just include your logo or an image of a person
  • Secondly, we have Sponsored Content where you usually get more flexibility. You’ll be able to include a short headline (no more than 25 characters) and some intro copy (no more than 150 characters). You also need to include a destination URL as well as an image. A larger image will work fine here since the recommended resolution is 1200×627
  • Lastly, you can use Sponsored Messages. These should be treated as friendly emails, so you can be informal about them if you want
  • And with a few clicks, you can create lead-generation forms that auto-populate and attach them to your LinkedIn ads. The process is a very straightforward one if done properly

Anatomy of a LinkedIn ad – Targeting options

LinkedIn provides a range of targeting options to help businesses and marketers reach the right audience. These options include:

Demographic Targeting

Demographic targeting allows you to reach specific groups on LinkedIn based on their personal and professional characteristics. Some demographic targeting options include:

  • Job title allows you to target specific job titles or levels within an organisation. For example, you can target C-suite executives or mid-level managers
  • Industry: You can target specific industries or groups of industries. For example, you can target the healthcare or technology, media, and telecommunications industry
  • Company size: You can target audiences based on the size of a company (from small businesses to mega corporations)
  • Location: You can target specific countries, regions, or cities. This can be particularly useful if you are targeting a local market or have a product or service only available in certain areas

Interest Targeting

Interest targeting on LinkedIn allows you to reach people based on their interests and activities on the platform. Here are some interests based on which you can target people on LinkedIn:

  • Groups: You can target people who are members of specific LinkedIn groups. This can be a great way to reach people who are interested in specific topics or industries
  • Pages: You can target people who follow specific pages or companies on LinkedIn. This can be a useful way to reach people who are interested in your company or a related topic
  • Engagement: You can target people who have engaged with specific content or types of content on LinkedIn. For example, you can target people who have liked, commented on, or shared content related to your industry or product

Behavioural Targeting

Behavioural targeting on LinkedIn allows you to reach people based on their online behaviours and actions. You can target based on the following:

  • Job seekers: You can target people who are actively looking for a new job. This can be a great way to reach potential candidates for your company
  • Business decision makers: You can target people who are likely to have purchasing power within their organisation. This can be useful if you are targeting businesses or are selling a product or service that requires approval from multiple stakeholders

Matched Audiences

Matched Audiences is a LinkedIn feature that allows you to target people on the platform based on your own customer lists or website visitors. You can upload a list of email addresses or create a LinkedIn pixel to track website visitors and then use this data to target your ads. This can be a powerful way to reach people who have already shown an interest in your company or products.

To get the most out of your LinkedIn ads, it’s important to understand your target audience and choose the appropriate targeting options.

Anatomy of a LinkedIn ad – Creatives

The ad creatives are the elements that make up the actual ad, including the headline, image, body copy, and call to action. When creating ad creatives, it’s important to make them eye-catching and compelling so that users will stop and engage with your ad.

  • The headline should be attention-grabbing and clearly convey the main benefit of your product or service
  • The image should be relevant and visually appealing
  • The body copy should provide more information about your offering and persuade users to take action
  • The call to action should be clear and tell users exactly what you want them to do, such as “Sign up now” or “Learn more”

Here’s a great example of a LinkedIn ad that nails all of those elements by Global Web Index:

Anatomy of a LinkedIn ad – Creatives example

Anatomy of a LinkedIn ad – Measuring success

When it comes to online advertising, it’s crucial to analyse your data to understand what’s working and what isn’t. Thankfully, that can be done on LinkedIn using Analytics.

LinkedIn Analytics provides a range of analytics for your company’s page, including page views, followers, and engagement. To track the performance of your LinkedIn ads, you can use metrics such as impressions, clicks, and conversions.

  • Impressions refer to the number of times your ad was shown to users
  • Clicks refer to the number of times users click on your ad
  • Conversions refer to the number of times users complete a specific action, such as signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase

By analysing these metrics, you can identify what is working well with your ad campaigns and what needs improvement. For example, if you’re getting a high number of clicks but few conversions, you might need to optimise your ad copy or targeting to better align with your audience.

Another asset that you can use to track results and measure success is LinkedIn pixels. A pixel is a small piece of code that is placed on your website or landing page. When a user visits your page, the pixel tracks their activity and sends that data back to LinkedIn. This data can be used to track conversions, optimise ad targeting, and measure the effectiveness of your ad campaigns.

If you want to better understand how a LinkedIn pixel works, check our guide.

Anatomy of a Linkedin ad – How to succeed

Anatomy of a Linkedin ad – How to succeed

As we’ve just mentioned, the components of your average LinkedIn ad are the headline, the ad copy, the destination URL and lastly, the photo. You want all 4 to work together hand in hand, so here are some tips on how to achieve that.

Be unique

Instead of explaining this to you, you could experience it yourself first-hand. Use a tool like Ad Search to check different ads in your industry, and stop when something catches your eye. Chances are that there is something that stands out about the ad. It could be the graphic, the text, or both.

Take good note of what these ads do right and try to mimic that. For starters, the sponsored content ad probably doesn’t have overused stock images of people smiling. Rather, it probably has illustrations of irregular graphics. Maybe it’s something humorous and not your run-of-the-mill advertising.

What you don’t want to do is to use a stock image that is overused by everyone. You know, those images with a bunch of people sitting in the boardroom with fake smiles on their faces. Or those pictures full of a bunch of random “inspirational” words written in different fonts and sizes. Avoid those like they’re the plague. Instead, try to create something of your own, which takes us to our next point.

Invest in being unique

Try to design an original graphic for your ad. Within said graphic, you can either implement an in-house photo or one from a freelancer. In other words, you shouldn’t skimp on this ordeal.

The small investment that you’d be making for the sake of your campaign could make or break it. As we’ve mentioned above, a good graphic will stand out from other sponsored posts with stock images.

Be fun and creative with your creations. You see, this is the most time-consuming part of developing an ad, so don’t shy away from taking as much time as you need.

Nail the text in graphics

Text is also an important factor that can make or break a campaign. Here’s an example:

  1. Our company has been serving our customers for 20 years
  2. For the last 20 years, 98% of our customers have given us a 5-star rating

See the difference that a little rewording can make? The first sentence sounds pretty “blah”, your typical marketing jargon. The second one, however, relies on your customer base validating how good of a company you are, so it ends up hitting home harder.

Make sure to choose your words carefully. We’re not expecting you to come up with ads that belong somewhere on Madison Avenue. Try to have a conversation with your clients and jot down any idea they throw your way. It’s mainly them who determine what works and what doesn’t.

Moreover, try to always stay ahead of the curve trends-wise. For instance, you could use Google Trends, an extremely underrated tool by Google that can help you find trending words.

Lastly, make sure to include a Call to Action (CTA) somewhere in the copy. You have to tell your audience what to do – what’s their next move, or else your click rate will be low. A basic CTA such as “Learn More”, “More Info”, or “Free Trial” will do the job just fine.

One of the companies that are known to pick just the right words when running ads on LinkedIn is Apple. Here’s an example:

Anatomy of a LinkedIn ad – Focus on your ad copy

In regard to the supporting copy of your sponsored content ads, you need to make sure that it sounds good. Use as many of the characters offered to you as possible to assist your ad’s graphic. In other words, make sure that your supporting copy and graphic go hand-in-hand with one another.

Additionally, make sure to make the best out of the character limit. You want your ad to take as much space in the audience’s feed as possible, whilst not taking up space for the sake of it.

Here’s an example of an ad with a great copy by Zendesk:


When you invest your business dollars into LinkedIn advertising, you want to get the most out of your ads. And the first step to achieve that is to understand the different components that make up an ad and how they work with each other.

Each element of your ad needs to flow with the rest in order to succeed, and that is the anatomy of any successful LinkedIn ad.

For more tips and tricks on how to make run successful LinkedIn Ads campaigns, check this checklist that we published some time ago.

Need some help?

Due to the nature of the platform, running LinkedIn Ads is no small feat. That’s why you might need help doing it while you focus on delivering your services. Book a discovery call with us, and one of our experts will explain how we can take your LinkedIn marketing efforts to the next level!

Anatomy of a LinkedIn ad – FAQs

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