Over the last two years, LinkedIn has been very focused to bring in new products and features in the online advertising market-place. At a very broad level LinkedIn classifies all its ad products into five major types, namely:

  1. Sponsored Content
  2. Dynamic Ads
  3. Text Ads
  4. Sponsored InMail
  5. New objective-based campaign creation (BETA)

types of linkedin ads

1) LinkedIn Sponsored Content

This is the most commonly used option of all the available options in LinkedIn Ad products. The ads you create get published in the LinkedIn feed of the end users. There are however, certain restrictions among ad types which could be shown on a desktop, mobile or other devices as such.

Setup Linkedin Ads

When to use Sponsored Content?

You can use them in three possible objectives for your campaign

When to use Sponsored Contenta) Sending People to your website or Content

Your target audience will be shown an ad and then your landing page once they click on your ad. There are three ways to send people to your website, content or landing page.

  • Using Articles, images or URL
  • Carousel – Use series of images to tell your story
  • Video – to engage with your target audience

sending people to website or contentb) Collecting leads using lead gen forms

LinkedIn lead gen forms are prefilled, user-friendly responsive forms which allow advertisers to capture form submissions from your target audience within LinkedIn (website or app version) without having a need to go to your landing page as such. The possible ad types are the same as explained in the step above for sending people to your website or content, the only difference in this case Is that the traffic is not driven to your landing page, instead, the form submissions are captured within LinkedIn.

Bloom Email Optin Plugin

c) Getting Video views

As the name suggests, this is primarily used for promoting videos to engage with your target audience, you could drive traffic from videos to desired landing page or videos to lead gen forms as appropriate for your business.

Quick Pro tip: Less then 15 seconds videos are lighter and work best on LinkedIn, appending them with sub titles or screen supers ensures viewers could see them without using audio speakers or earphones as such.

2) LinkedIn Dynamic Ads

Dynamic Ads are a new development with LinkedIn, launched about two months ago. This is very different from other types of LinkedIn ads as you could create ads personalized to each end user in your target audience. Dynamic ads utilize LinkedIn profile data such as your image, company name, and job title to automatically personalize ads. These doesn’t work with lead gen forms and traffic is usually driven to your website or landing page as desired.

Dynamic Ads Linkedin

When to use LinkedIn Dynamic Ads?

Dynamic Ads are available in three types, namely:

  • Follower Ad – Use them if your objective is to add followers to your company or showcase pages as such.
  • Spotlight Ad – Best ad type for all B2B marketing purposes. The traffic is driven to your website or landing page; therefore, you could easily promote products, services, solutions, events and all marketing assets as needed
  • Content Ads – This is a new area again and not available in self advertising or LinkedIn Campaign manager as such. Advertisers could generate leads or drive content download conversions within an ad.

content ads

Advertising specifications for Dynamic Ads

3) LinkedIn Text Ads

This is bit dated offering by LinkedIn and text ads work on desktops alone.

When to use LinkedIn Text Ads?

You could use them for driving traffic to your company or Career page on LinkedIn  or to a specific website page or landing page on your website.

Linkedin Text Ads

4) LinkedIn sponsored InMail

As the name suggests, this ad offering by LinkedIn is used to send direct personalized messages to your target audience. It appears in the message box or inbox when an InMail is received. This is widely used in recruitment world. As call to action, you could choose between sending people to your website or collecting leads using LinkedIn lead gen forms.

Linkedin sponsored Inmail example

When to use InMail?

You could use them when you want to make person to person connect, generate quick wins without worrying too much about creatives and design as they are optional.

5) New Objective-based campaign creation in LinkedIn Campaign Manager

LinkedIn, during November 2018 released BETA version of “New objective-based campaign creation” (you could see this on the right-hand top side when you login to LinkedIn Ads) which aims to provide guidance for creating ad campaigns based on your marketing goals. The types of LinkedIn ads and all products remain standard as explained above, for the ease of advertiser’s understanding, it just reorganizes available ad types basis marketing objectives such as engagement, website visits or video views.

Know More: Ad formats for objective based advertising 

objective based campaign creation

A Short Video By Linkedin introducing Objective based Advertising below


The new exciting feature it brings in is, Forecasted Results in Campaign Manager which appears on the right-hand side while creating the campaign in new objective-based experience. Projections are available for 1, 7 and 30 days, respectively.

forecasted results in new campaign manager

LinkedIn is testing this out still (BETA Version is in market) and you could easily go back to the old campaign manager view by clicking on Change back in the upper right corner of the page below your profile image.

go back to old campaign manager

Handpicked related topics to Learn More:

Tips & Best practices for LinkedIn Ads

Step by Step Guide To Setup LinkedIn Ads

Best Practices for Social Media Usage in 2018

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Disclosure: We may receive compensation for links to products on this website.



Neeraj is a Tech Marketer with 9+ years of experience in B2B Sales and Marketing. At StepToInbound, Neeraj writes about Website, Search, Social Media and Marketing Automation practices.

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