LinkedIn is a great platform to reach business professionals and decision makers. If you’re a B2B business owner looking to build brand awareness or grow your client base, you should be advertising on LinkedIn. 

What are LinkedIn Ads?

LinkedIn Ads are a paid marketing tool that can help get your business in front of more people, drive traffic to your website, and generate leads. To run an effective LinkedIn ad campaign, start with identifying your business goals and ad objectives.

There are three major goals and 10 types of formatting to keep in mind when creating LinkedIn Ads. Prioritizing your audience and business goals will help determine what advertising methods work best for you.

Three Major Objectives for LinkedIn Ads

You need to understand why you are running ads in order to make the right advertising decisions. To determine your objectives, think of what response you want from your audience after seeing your ad.


The purpose of an awareness ad is to get your brand, products, or services in front of more people. The key results of an awareness ad are reach, which is an estimate of the number of unique member accounts that saw the ad at least once, and impressions, which is the total number of times the ad has been viewed. This type of ad works for top-of-funnel brand building, meaning these ads are best targeted at people who do not know about your company.


Consideration ads encourage potential customers, who are already fairly familiar with your brand, to engage with or learn more about your company. Consideration ads can help increase website visits, engagement (likes, comments, and shares), and video views.


Conversion ads are primarily used to generate leads or drive sales. With conversion ads, you should utilize conversion tracking on your website to measure the impact of the ads and then optimize those ads for better performance.

Ad Targeting

LinkedIn has unique ad targeting that allows you to reach audiences based on professional attributes, like their location, what company they work for, their level of education, job experience, and professional interests. You also have the option to expand your audience using lookalike audiences which algorithmically find people with similar characteristics to any third-party data you provide (e.g. email lists). 

Ad Formatting

After successfully identifying your audience and what your business goals are, you can determine the formatting of your ads based on what will best achieve those goals and resonate with your target audience. There are 10 ways your LinkedIn ads can be configured.

Carousel Ads 

A carousel ad tells an interactive story and inspires the audience to take action. It can help with 

brand awareness, website visits, engagement, website conversion, and lead generation. 

What can you do with these ads?

  • Share your brand story by creating a meaningful narrative with a simple swipe through curated cards. 
  • Engage important decision-makers through creative visuals.
  • Increase brand awareness and drive business results.

Conversation Ads

Conversation ads let you start a dialogue with professionals through a choose-your-own-path experience. They work best for brand awareness, website visits, engagement, website conversions, and lead generation.

What can you do with these ads?

  • Strengthen engagement with your audience by setting up call-to-action buttons that allow potential customers or clients to get a glimpse of offers they’re interested in, such as an events page. 
  • Use a lead generation form to quickly increase quality leads to your channel. 
  • Better understand your audience through a report that indicates the number of people who click on your content and how engaged they are in the conversation.

Dynamic Ads 

Dynamic ads engage your prospects with personalized content. You can use them for brand awareness, website visits, website conversions, lead generation, and job applicants. 

What can you do with these ads?

  • Create a personalized experience for your audience and grab their attention by featuring a member’s LinkedIn photo, company name, or job title.
  • Use populated Dynamic Ads to automate individualized campaigns at scale.
  • Tailor ads by marketing objectives and review reports in the campaign manager.

Job Ads

You can use job ads to promote your company and the jobs available in places jobseekers and professionals are looking. This ad is best for website visits and job applications. 

What can you do with these ads?

  • Get up to 50x higher clickthrough rates than typical recruitment ads and turn employee networks into prospects. 
  • Easily set up and  share ads with your target audience. 
  • Lock competing ads from appearing on your employees’ profiles. 

Lead Gen Forms

Lead gen forms seamlessly collect quality leads with pre-filled forms from your ads. They are used for lead generation.

What can you do with these forms?

  • Acquire high-quality leads through pre-filled forms that allow members to send professional information in a few clicks.
  • Review and confirm return on investment (ROI) through your lead generation campaign and track your campaign’s cost per lead, lead form fill rate, and number of leads from each professional audience segment.
  • Download leads from the Campaign Manager or incorporate them into your preferred marketing automation or CRM tool. 

Message Ads

Spark immediate action by sending direct messages to your prospects through a message ad. It’s best for website visits, website conversions, and lead generation. 

What can you do with these ads?

  • Use a lead gen form to convey the right message to the right audience and collect leads. 
  • Stimulate more promising engagement and responses. Your messages get to stand out as they are delivered in an orderly environment. People are most likely to open message ads.
  • LinkedIn conversion tracking helps you monitor the effects of your messages by tracking  who viewed and clicked on the message ads. Through demographic reporting, you can review what roles and companies are actively responding to the ads.

Single Image Ads

Run native ads like Sponsored Content or Sponsored InMail across the desktop or mobile platforms of LinkedIn with an engaging image. These can be used for brand awareness, website visits, engagement, website conversions, lead generation, and job applicants.

What can you do with these ads?

  • Drive traffic to your website through impactful visuals

Single Job Ads 

Attract quality candidates to your LinkedIn Job Slots through Single Job Ads. These are used for job applicants.

What can you do with these ads?

  • Promote career opportunities and encourage potential candidates to apply through a captivating message in their newsfeeds. 
  • Use advanced targeting to draw both passive and active candidates, which can increase the number of applications.
  • Measure performance and ROI by tracking the complete flow of action your audience follows in response to your ads. 

Text Ads 

Text ads are a low cost way to drive new customers to your business. You can use them for brand awareness, website visits, and website conversions.  

What can you do with these ads?

  • Generate the right traffic for your business and bring the audiences that matter most to your website or landing pages. 
  • Refine targeting options to reach the right people and generate high-quality leads.
  • Adjust pricing options according to your budget with pay per click (PPC) or cost per impression (CPM). 

Video Ads

Video ads capture the attention of a professional audience. They are best for brand awareness and engagement.

What can you do with these ads? 

  • Establish brand awareness among important businesses and decision-makers.
  • Drive potential clients to your website and easily generate leads. 
  • Track and evaluate the results of your video campaigns. 

LinkedIn is a valuable social media platform that reaches an influential business audience, including decision makers with twice the buying power of average audiences. Now that you know how to choose the right objective, targeting, and formatting for your LinkedIn ads, you can more effectively reach prospects and achieve your business goals.