Types of LinkedIn Ads & When to Use Them [2021 Update]

Nov 18 2018


Social Media Marketing


Last Updated: May 19, 2021

Author Neeraj

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LinkedIn has been very focused on bringing in new products and features in the online advertising market-place. On 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

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 devices, or other devices.

Check out our step by step guide to launch LinkedIn ads.

When to use Sponsored Content?

You can use them for three possible objectives for your campaigns.

When to use Sponsored Content

a) Sending People to your website or Content

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

  • Using articles, images or URLs
  • Carousel – Use a series of images to tell your story
  • Video – Engage with your target audience

sending people to website or content

b) Collecting leads using lead gen forms

LinkedIn lead gen forms are prefilled, user-friendly responsive forms that allow advertisers to capture form submissions from your target audience within LinkedIn (website or app version) without having to go to your landing page. 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 web traffic is not driven to your landing page, Instead, the form submissions are captured within LinkedIn app or website.

c) Getting Video views

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

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

2) LinkedIn Dynamic Ads

Dynamic ads are a new development with LinkedIn. They are very different from other types of LinkedIn ads as you can create ads that are 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 don’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 Ads– Use them if your objective is to add followers to your company or to showcase pages.
  • Spotlight Ads – Best ad type for all B2B marketing purposes. The traffic is driven to your website or landing page; therefore, you can easily promote products, services, solutions, events and all marketing assets as needed.
  • Content Ads – This is a new area and is not available in self-advertising or LinkedIn Campaign manager. Advertisers can generate leads or drive content download conversions within an ad.

content ads


Advertising specifications for Dynamic Ads

3) LinkedIn Text Ads

This offering by LinkedIn is bit outdated as text ads work on desktops alone.

When to use LinkedIn Text Ads?

You can 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 the recruitment world, you can choose between sending people to your website and collecting leads using LinkedIn lead gen forms.


Linkedin sponsored Inmail example

When to use InMail?

You can use it when you want to make person-to-person connections, or to generate quick wins without worrying too much about creativity and design, as they are optional.

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

In November 2018, LinkedIn released BETA version of “New Objective-based Campaign Creation” (you can 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 ease of advertiser’s understanding, it just reorganizes available ad types based on 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 when creating the campaign in the new objective-based experience. Projections are available for 1, 7 and 30 days.

forecasted results in new campaign manager

Until early 2019, LinkedIn kept testing this out (BETA Version) 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. The Objective based advertising is live now.

go back to old campaign manager

Handpicked related topics to Learn More:

  1. Tips & Best practices for LinkedIn Ads
  2. Common issues and problems with LinkedIn Advertising

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