How to Advertise on LinkedIn ? Get Started with LinkedIn Ads

Do you advertise on LinkedIn? If not, then you should definitely give it a shot. LinkedIn Advertising Platform is a great way to reach highly qualified group of professionals and engage with them – whether it is to increase brand awareness, sell your products & services, or even hire employees for your business. Here’s how you can Advertise on LinkedIn.


How to Create LinkedIn Ads for Your Business?

Here are the steps to create LinkedIn Ads for your business. LinkedIn provides a self-service Ad Targeting Platform that allows you to quickly create LinkedIn Ads on your own, and measure the performance of your LinkedIn Advertising Campaigns using insightful analytics and reporting tools.


1. Choose Ad Format

The first step is to choose the type of LinkedIn Ad you want to create. There are 2 types of LinkedIn Ads available:

Sponsored Update: These LinkedIn Ads appear in users’ News Feed like a regular updates (shown below in red). Typically LinkedIn updates are pushed down to the bottom as News Feed updates, but Sponsored Updates remain higher up for the duration of your LinkedIn Ad Campaign. Also, they have more reach than organic LinkedIn posts.

Sponsored updates allows you to add various click-through options. Ad viewers can click-through to advertiser’s website, by clicking on Image and link in the sponsored update. They can also click-through to advertiser’s company page or showcase page, or even follow the advertiser’s company page or showcase page.

Text Ads : Text based LinkedIn Ads appear in the right column (shown below in blue). Text Ads allow you to click-through to only the advertiser’s website or LinkedIn Page, using an image and a link.

linkedin ad formats


Since LinkedIn Advertising Costs are higher than those on other platforms like Facebook & Twitter, you need to constantly monitor your campaign performance for conversion and ROI. You can use UTM parameters for your URL and Google Analytics to track click-throughs and conversion rates. Here’s how you can use Google Analytics URL Builder for Campaign Tracking.

Let’s see how to create each type of LinkedIn Ad


2. Create Sponsored Update

To create a sponsored update, you need to log into LinkedIn using an account that is linked to you company page or showcase page. Once you login, go to LinkedIn Campaign Manager. Click on your account from the list.

linkedin ad campaign manager

In case you don’t see your account, click Add Account button to create a new one.

linkedin ad campaign manager add account

After selecting your account, click Create Campaign

linkedin ad create campaign

You’ll see a list of LinkedIn Ad Types to choose from. Select Sponsored Content.

ad campaign sponsored update

Enter a name for your Campaign, choose Language for your Ads, and choose what happens when a LinkedIn member clicks on your Ad. There are 2 options available

1. You can send them to your website or content

2. You can display a LinkedIn Lead Gen Form to collect more information about them.

ad sponsored update options

Then click Next button at the bottom right corner.


Next, you need to choose which update you want to sponsor. You can either click the link to create a new sponsored content or choose an update from your company page or showcase page.

ad sponsored update option 2


If you sponsor an update posted to your company page or showcase page, you can’t edit it. If you create a new sponsored content, you’ll be able to customize details such as image, text, headline, etc. for your target audience.

ad sponsored update create new content

LinkedIn allows you to either choose one or more updates, or create one or more sponsored content to use as variations in your LinkedIn Ad. This enables you to find out which type of posts do better – link posts, photo posts, posts with certain image & text.

ad sponsored update select posts

Once you’ve created or selected content to sponsor, click Next button to continue.


3. Select Target Audience for your LinkedIn Ad

Next, you’ll see the following audience targeting options for your Linkedin Ad. LinkedIn Advertising Platform provides tons of targeting options to choose from.

ad target audience

You can select your target audience based on location, or professional criteria such as company name, job title, years of experience, industry.

When you select a criteria such as Company name, you won’t be able to select related criteria such as company size or industry. Similarly, if you select Job Title, you won’t be able to select Job Function or seniority.

You can optionally target audience based on website traffic to your company page or showcase page – retarget your page visitors, or target a list of accounts or contacts by uploading a list of companies and/or email addresses.

You’ll also see additional options to deliver LinkedIn Ads to audiences beyond LinkedIn New Feed (through LinkedIn Partners) and include audience similar to your targeting criteria through Audience Expansion. Selecting these additional options will increase your Linkedin Advertising Cost. So if you don’t want to reach people outside Linked News Feed or outside your targeting criteria, leave these options unchecked.


4. Set the Budget for your LinkedIn Ad

After you’ve defined the target audience, you need to set the maximum budget for your LinkedIn Ad Campaign. You can choose between cost per click (CPC) and cost per impression (CPM) based on whether you want to pay for clicks or views.

set ad campaign budget

Here you can also set the bid amount, start date & end date to run your LinkedIn Ad Campaign, daily budget and total budget. Click Save to save your campaign. You’ll be asked for payment details (e.g credit card information), in case you haven’t provided them yet. Else your campaign will become active.


5. Monitor LinkedIn Ad Campaign Performance

To view your LinkedIn Campaign Analytics, go to LinkedIn Campaign Manager. Here you’ll see the list of your campaigns and campaign performance breakdown by creatives (for both sponsored ads and text ads).

linkedin advertising campaign performance analytics

Click on a Campaign to view its performance in detail. Here you’ll see campaign performance for each variation of your Ad Campaign. Based on Campaign Monitoring and Analytics, you can edit your ads, target audience and budget to optimize campaign performance.

linkedin ad campaign analytics

The key is to constantly monitor campaign performance, toggle ad campaigns and their variations based on their performance.

Also, check out LinkedIn Advertising Specs to ensure that your LinkedIn Ads comply with LinkedIn Ad Specs.


Next, let us see how to create Text Ads in LinkedIn.

6. Create Text Ad

Creating Text Ad in LinkedIn is very similar to creating sponsored update as described above. To create text Ad, go to LinkedIn Campaign Manager. Click on your account from the list.

linkedin ad campaign manager

After you select your account, click Create Campaign.

linkedin ad create campaign

You’ll see a list of LinkedIn Ad Types to choose from. Select Text Ads.

ad campaign sponsored update

Next, enter a campaign name and configure the campaign details.

text ad config

Next you need to choose what happens when a viewer clicks on your LinkedIn Ad. You can either direct them to a page on your website, or to your LinkedIn Page.

Then upload an image for your Ad, enter 25 character headline and 75 character description. As you configure your Ad Campaign details, you’ll see a preview of your Ad on the right side of your page.

You can also select from 4 different display formats for your Text Ad – Square, Horizontal, Tall & Long. Based on your choice of Ad format, your ad will be placed at different sections of the screen. For example, Square Ads will be displayed on the right column of the screen whereas Long ads would be displayed above the news feed.

Click Save when you’re done.

text ad config


After you save your first text ad, Linkedin Advertising Platform allows you to create up to 14 more variations of your Text Ad. This allows you try different Ad elements such as Images, Headlines, Ad Description to see which ones work better. To create a variation, click Create Another Ad.

text ad variations

After you have created the variations, click Next

Next, you need to select the target audience for your Text Ad and set the Ad Budget for your Ad Campaign. They are exactly the same as that for Sponsored update (see steps 3 & 4 above). Once you have completed these steps, you can launch your campaign and monitor its campaign performance in LinkedIn Campaign Manager (see step 5 above). Just as with Sponsored updates, LinkedIn provides campaign performance for each variation of your Text Ad to help you find out which ones work the best.

text ad analytics



If you’re a B2B business, or looking for a professional audience for your products or services, LinkedIn Advertising Platform is an amazing option to try. However, since it is more expensive than other platforms like Facebook & Twitter, I would suggest to start small, try out a few low budget experiments to understand how LinkedIn Advertising works, before you go big. The key is to constantly monitor your campaign performance, find out what works and do more of it, and remove things that are not working. Also, ensure your LinkedIn Ads comply with LinkedIn Advertising Specs so that they are approved immediately.


Have you used LinkedIn Advertising Platform ? What do you think about it? Please share your experience as comments.