4 Types of Linkedin Ads For All Marketing Goals

Types of Linkedin ads
Ravi Davda Rockstar Marketing CEO

Written by Ravi

Jun 15, 2021

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Linkedin now has 756 million members in 200 countries. That’s not all. They also have a stellar advertising platform. One that offers different types of Linkedin ads to reach out to this enormous member base. It’s a phenomenal tool for any business looking to increase brand awareness. Or to build leads or even foster partnerships. But we’ve recently spoken to some businesses who are sceptical about it. That’s what we aim to end today.

Here are some statistics. Linkedin is the most trusted social media platform in the world. What separates it from something like Facebook is the average member profile. Linkedin does not have teenagers posting updates about their last holiday. Instead, it’s a network of professionals. Think decision makers, CEOs, managers & influencers. In fact, four out of five Linkedin users are decision makers. These are the eyeballs that the different types of Linkedin ads can attract.

There’s a small problem though. Linkedin has traditionally been the B2B business’s domain. As a result, Linkedin ads aren’t as mainstream as Google Ads or Facebook ads. By mainstream, we mean that businesses aren’t aware at times about the various features on offer. That’s where we step in. Here’s an updated guide to the different types of Linkedin ads in 2021.

The 4 Types of Linkedin ads

Linkedin offers 4 types of ads. Don’t let that throw you off. There is a multitude of ad objectives and ad formats, which work phenomenally well for all marketing goals. We are going to cover everything in detail. But let’s start with the basics. Here’s a look at the 4 types of Linkedin ads.

Sponsored Content Ads

These ads draw inspiration from native advertising. They are strategically placed in your audience’s Linkedin feeds. Moreover their feed-like appearance makes it difficult to distinguish the ads from regular content. In other words, it’s a smart way to increase click-through rates. Sponsored content shows on mobile and desktop. There is a tiny label above the ads that says ‘“promoted”’. But on a mobile device, it may not always be clearly visible.  

Sponsored content allows you to use multiple ad formats. You can promote your Linkedin carousel ads, single image ads or video ads. We generally recommend these ads for brand awareness campaigns. If you are new to Linkedin advertising, this is a no-brainer. It works great for most top-of-funnel goals.

Sponsored messaging leverage the power of one-on-one conversations. It opens up a private and intimate communication channel with your audience. These ads show up in their Linkedin inboxes. Did you know that 89% of consumers prefer businesses that connect via messaging? In contrast, only 48% of businesses are doing this now. This means that sponsored messages may be low competition too.

Linkedin offers you two options.

  • Conversation ads – Conversation ads uses Linkedin’s chat functionality to send targeted messages. However, it’s more ad-like in terms of design. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It offers a lot more customisation and control. Each ad can contain multiple CTA buttons. This allows the reader to easily get all the information they need. For businesses, this is a great way to get the message across and drive sales.
  • Message ads – Message ads look and feel like organic messages. These ads do not have call-to-action buttons. But can be very effective nevertheless. The best part is that you can distribute targeted messages even to people not in your contact list.

Text Ads

Text Ads are one of the most versatile types of linkedin ads

Text Ads are very similar to Google Ads in appearance. These appear on the top, right hand corner of the feed. There’s a small heading, a description and CTA buttons. You can also use images by the way, even though it’s called text ads. We usually use text ads for lead generation for our clients.

Dynamic Ads

Dynamic ads use data from your target audience’s profile. So, they may see an ad with their own photograph, or job title. Once again, very eye-catching. However, any user can turn these ads off if they find it intrusive. Thankfully, dynamic ads offer a lot more personalisation beyond this.

Their appearance is limited somewhat though. These ads show only on the right rail in the feed. Hence, we generally use these for top-of-funnel goals. Follower Ads are one type of Dynamic ad that we use frequently for our clients.

Understanding Objectives for Different Types of Linkedin Ads

Linkedin Ads uses objective-based advertising like Google ads. This allows a business to build a goal-specific campaign without wasting its budget. It’s important to understand the different types of LinkedIn ads. But it’s equally important to understand objectives and how to use them.

There are three stages in a typical funnel. Linkedin’s ad platform allows you to use all of them as objectives.

  1. Awareness Ads – Awareness ads are impression based campaigns designed with one sole objective. To increase brand reach. These ads work really well to increase followers and engagement. If your goal is to create awareness about your brand, this is the best objective for your campaign.
  2. Consideration Ads – Consideration ads are used to generate leads from users who are aware of your brand. These are very effective to increase website traffic. For instance, drive more users to your landing page. At the same time, we also use these to drive engagement. Likes, shares and comments, even on third party platforms. Lastly, consideration ads can increase video views.
  3. Conversion Ads – We use conversion ads for a wide range of goals at the lower end of the funnel. Lead generation, e-commerce sales and job applications are some of them. Lead Gen ads for form fills in particular, are very popular amongst businesses.

The Many Linkedin Ad Formats

Now that you know about the different types of Linkedin ads and objectives, let’s take a look at ad formats. Linkedin offers 10 different ad formats. Each one of these are available to use in multiple ad types. For example, the carousel ad is used for awareness campaigns as well as conversions. Here’s a brief look at these 10 ad formats and their best uses.

It’s a row of cards that the user can swipe to see different images or videos. It’s extremely eye-catching. The caveat is that you need really strong images to capture and retain the attention of the reader. Carousels work best for increasing brand awareness and conversion goals.


Conversations are an interactive ad type. They open a communication channel. Then they draw the audience into it allowing them to choose the responses and offerings. Works equally well for all objectives.

Follower ads

A dynamic ad that entices users to follow your brand page. These work best for increasing website visits and engagement.

Spotlight ads

Spotlight ads are one of the most popular types of linkedin ads

These are also a dynamic ad type used to advertise your best products and services. Spotlight ads work best to increase website traffic and lead generation. When the user clicks on the ad, it redirects to the landing page for a conversion.

Job ads

Job ads are a specialised ad format for recruiters. However, these ads offer 50 times higher click-through rate as compared to normal recruitment ads. Moreover, they also have a unique feature. Your competitors cannot show their ads on your employee pages. This minimises poaching. Job ads work best for recruiting and increasing website visits.

Lead Gen Ads

This is one of our favourite ad formats among the different types of Linkedin ads. Lead Gen Ads encourage users to fill a form connected to your marketing objective. It can be as simple as increasing registrations for an event. These work great for driving qualified leads.

Message Ads

Send a personalised message with your CTA to your target audience’s inbox. Did you know that one in two potential prospects will see a message ad? Message ads are very versatile and are useful for more than one objective.

Single Image ads

Single Images are a type of sponsored content ad. Just like Facebook’s single Image ads, these are very effective. Also, these are probably the easiest ad format to set up. Like message ads, single image ads are very versatile.

Text Ads

Text Ads are another very effective ad format for B2B lead generation. Their advantage is that you can either, CPC or CPM to control ad spend. With CPC, you pay Linkedin for every click that your ad gets. With CPM, you pay for every 1000 views that the ad generates. You can choose CPC for conversions and CPM for brand awareness campaigns. We use text ads for all three conversion goals though.

Video Ads

Video ads are a phenomenal addition to the different types of Linkedin ads. These increase video views. But are most effective at increasing brand awareness. If you have a story to tell, this is the one of the best ways to do it.

3 Best Practices for Linkedin advertising

The different types of Linkedin ads can be overwhelming. Moreover with multiple objectives, ad types and formats, it’s easy to lose your way. That’s why we have created this set of 3 best practices.

  1. Choose the best ad type for your business objective – A lot of first timers get excited to see all the different ad formats. But ensure that you build a goal-specific campaign to maximise ROAS.
  2. Keep a check on the budget – If you are new to Linkedin ads, it’s easy to overspend. You need to carefully analyse ad performance. This lets you keep uncontrolled ad spend in check.
  3. Hire a team of Linkedin ad specialists – This is a no-brainer, isn’t it? Hire a team of Linkedin ad specialists who are updated with the latest ad types.

Closing thoughts

Rockstar Marketing can create a customised winning ad campaign for your business. That’s not just on Linkedin mind you. Our team of PPC specialists in Birmingham work across the top social media platforms. Speak to us today.


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