LinkedIn Ads Overview

Below is an overview of LinkedIn, a social media platform with over 675 million monthly users worldwide. It poses a significant opportunity to companies looking to reach business professionals and /or advertise their products and services to other businesses.

More information is also on LinkedIn’s website. They offer a How-To Guide, a Best Practices List, and an overview of the different marketing solutions available on the platform.


LinkedIn Ad Types

The following is a summary of the different types of ads on LinkedIn. Below, we also delve into cost considerations for LinkedIn advertising.

Sponsored Content

Overview: Sponsored Content appears in the LinkedIn feed for your target audience. It comes in three different formats: single image ads, video ads, and carousel ads. 

Sponsored Content lets you:

  • Target your most valuable audiences using accurate, profile-based first-party data
  • Reach a highly engaged audience with native ads in a professional feed across desktop and mobile
  • Drive leads, build brand awareness, and nurture key relationships at every stage of your sales cycle


Image Ads

Sponsored Content Specs

  • Ad Name: 255 max characters
  • Introductory Text: 150 max characters for mobile (desktop max of 600 characters). 
  • URL Length: URLs with 23 characters, automatically shortened
  • Destination URL: “https://” preferred and can include up to 2,000 characters for the destination link.
  • Ad image Type: JPG or PNG file 5MB or smaller.
  • Headline: 70 characters max to avoid truncation on mobile devices (200 max characters).
  • Description: Use approximately 100 characters to avoid truncation on mobile (300 max characters). Varies for ads that appear on third-party sites served through the LinkedIn Audience Network.
  • Call-to-action: Access to various CTAs.
  • If you opt for embedded rich media, use these specifications: 
    • Image Display Size: 1.91:1 ratio (1200 x 627px) and a max of 400px in width.
    • Max Weight: 100MB


Video ads

Video Ad Specs

  • Ad Name: Up to 255 characters.
  • Introductory Text: Up to 600 characters.
  • Video Length: Three seconds to 30 minutes 
  • File Size: Between 75 KB and max of 200 MB
  • File Format: MP4 only
  • Frame Rate: Less than 30 Frames per second
  • Size & Aspect Ratio:
    • Landscape:
      • 360px (480 x 360; wide 640 x 360)
      • 480px (640 x 480)
      • 720px (960 x 720; wide 1280 x 720)
      • 1080px (1440 x 1080; wide 1920 x 1080)
    • Square:
      • Minimum: 600 x 600px
      • Maximum: 1080 x 1080px
    • Vertical:
      • Minimum: 500 x 625px
      • Maximum: 1080 x 1920px
  • Video ads created with a 1:1 aspect ratio must have a minimum resolution of 600 x 600px, and a maximum resolution of 1080 x 1080px.
  • Audio Format: AAC or MPEG4 only
  • Audio Size: Less than 64KHz
  • Video Captions: uploaded in SRT format only
  • Video Headline: 70 characters max
  • Destination URL:  “https://” preferred and can include up to 2,000 characters for the destination link.
  • Call-to-Action (CTA): Access to various CTAs.


Carousel Ads

Carousel Ad Specs

  • Ad name: Up to 255 characters to name your carousel ad.
  • Introductory text: Use up to 150 characters to avoid truncation on some devices (255 max characters)
  • Cards: Minimum of two cards can be used and a maximum of ten. Individual cards within the carousel must meet these requirements:
  • Max file size: 10 MB
  • Recommended individual image spec: 1080×1080 pixels with a 1:1 aspect ratio
  • Rich media formats supported: JPG, PNG and GIF (non-animated only)
  • Headline text for each image card can take up a maximum of two lines before being truncated.
  • Character limits:
  • Destination URL: URLs must have the “http://” “or https://” prefix. You may use up to 2,000 characters for the destination link.
    • 45-character limit for carousel ads that direct to a destination URL
    • 30-character limit for carousel ads with a Lead Gen Form CTA
    • Carousel cards can use a destination URLs or point to a Lead Gen Form 
    • Carousel campaigns are not eligible to use LinkedIn Audience Network

Text Ads

Overview: Text ads let you choose the professional audience you want to reach and easily create your own ads. Advertisers pay on a per click or per impression impression. They feature small images, and like all other ad options, allow advertisers to make use of LinkedIn’s targeting features. 

Text Ad Specs

  • Ad image: 100 x 100 pixels; upload a JPG or PNG file that is 2MB or smaller
  • Ad headline: Use up to 25 characters max (incl. spaces)
  • Ad description: Use up to 75 characters max (incl. spaces)
  • Destination URL: URLs must have the “http://” or “https://” prefix. You may use up to 2,000 characters max for the destination link.
  • Click tracking for destination URLs is supported.
  • Text ads appear in a variety of sizes, including:
    • 300 x 250
    • 17 x 700
    • 160 x 600
    • 728 x 90
    • 496 x 80

Message Ads

Overview: Message Ads allow you to reach targeted users via LinkedIn Messaging. It opens the door to professional conversations. 

Using Message Ads, you can:

  • Send direct messages to your prospects
  • Drive stronger engagement and response than traditional email marketing
  • Measure the value you’re getting by seeing which roles and companies are taking action on your message

Message Ad Specs

    • Ad Name: Up to 50 characters, including spaces
    • Sender: Select from available senders
    • Message Subject: Up to 60 characters, including spaces and punctuation
    • Message Text: Up to 1,500 characters, including spaces and punctuation
    • Clickable Links: Up to 3 links
    • Hyperlinked Text: Up to 70 characters, including spaces and punctuation
    • Custom Terms & Conditions: Up to 2,500 characters, including spaces and punctuation
    • Call-to-Action Button Copy: Up to 20 characters, including spaces
    • Landing page URL in hyperlink or CTA: “https://” prefix preferred with up to 1,024 characters for the destination link.
    • Banner Creative: 300 x 250
      • File type: JPG, GIF (non-animated), or PNG (no flash)
      • Maximum file size: 40kb
      • Click-through URL


Dynamic Ads

Overview: Dynamic Ad formats let advertisers personalize creative for each member in your target audience at scale. Dynamic Ads use profile data – like photo, company name, and job title – to personalize ads. There are three dynamic ad formats:


  • Follower ad: Promote their LinkedIn Page or Showcase Page and drive members to follow their LinkedIn page with a single click on the ad from the desktop experience. 
  • Spotlight ad: Drive website traffic or spark an action like event registration or showcasing a new product.
  • Jobs ad: Increase relevant applicants by personalizing ads to top talent on desktop and mobile experiences. 


Follower Ads

Dynamic Ad Specs

  • Ad Description: Select a suggested option or create your own custom text. Suggested options are automatically translated but custom text is not. Use up to 70 characters, including spaces.
  • Ad Headline: Select a suggested option or produce your own custom headline. Suggested options are automatically translated but custom text is not. Up to 50 characters max, including spaces.
  • Company Name: 25 characters max, including spaces. Company names are only displayed when a member hovers on your logo.
  • Ad Image: image size: 100 x 100px for JPG or PNG
  • Call-to-Action (CTA): Select from CTAs available. CTAs are dynamically displayed in follower ads shown to members who follow your organization. Non-followers see a default Follow CTA.
  • Visit Company (default): Redirects to the Page tab of your LinkedIn Page
  • Visit Jobs: Redirects to the Jobs tab of your LinkedIn Page
  • Visit Life: Redirects to the Life tab of your LinkedIn Page


Spotlight Ads

Spotlight Ad Specs

  • Ad Description: Up to 70 characters, including spaces. Your text is not automatically translated.
  • Ad Headline: Up to 50 characters, including spaces. Your text is not automatically translated.
  • Company Name: Up to 25 characters, including spaces. Your organization’s name is displayed when a member moves their cursor over your logo.
  • Company Image: image size: 100 x 100px for JPG or PNG
  • Call-to-Action (CTA) Text: Up to 18 characters, including spaces.
  • Landing Page: Supports third-party click tracking destination URLs (via tracking parameters or redirects)
  • Custom Background Image: Image must be exactly 300 x 250px and 2MB or less.


Jobs Ads

Jobs Ads Specs

  • Company Name: Up to 25 characters, including spaces.
  • Company Logo: Recommended minimum logo size: 100 x 100px
  • Note: Smaller company logos will appear smaller and may not perform as well. Larger company logos will be reduced to 100 x 100px. Company logos that are not square will be reduced to the largest dimension that fits.
  • Ad Headline: Choose from one of the suggested options or write your own custom text up to 70 characters, including spaces.
  • Call-to-action (CTA) Text: Choose from one of the pre-set CTAs or supply your own custom text. For “Picture Yourself” and “Jobs Page” ads, the CTA is automated. For the “Jobs of Interest” ad, you can customize the CTA.


Conversation Ads

Overview: Conversation ads are “choose your own path” experience, allowing businesses to create full-funnel campaigns with multiple customized CTAs. They let advertisers start conversations with professionals and business decision-makers via LinkedIn Messaging on desktop and mobile devices. 

With conversation ads, you can set up a series of call-to-action (CTA) buttons that link to your landing pages, open a LinkedIn Form, or encourage engagement with a new message. The prepopulated responses to their selections are determined through a message decision tree you create.

Conversation Ad Specs

  • CTA buttons: 25 characters
  • Message text: 500 characters
  • Max CTA buttons per message: 5 buttons
  • Banner image: Desktop only
  • Banner image size: 300 x 250px
  • Banner image file type: jpg or png



LinkedIn also lets advertisers choose from several campaign goals to optimize performance. 


  • Brand awareness: Get in front of more people with impression-based advertising


  • Website visits: Get users to your website.
  • Engagement: Drive clicks, engagement, or company follows
  • Video views: Tell your story through video content


  • Lead generation: Generate leads with pre-filled forms within your ads.
  • Website conversions: Collect contact form submissions or eBook downloads from website traffic.
  • Job applicants: Promote job opportunities & get applicants for open positions.



LinkedIn offers 20+ different audience attribute categories for targeting. These include: 

  • Company size 
  • Company name 
  • Member schools 
  • Member interests 
  • Member groups 
  • Skills 
  • Job title 
  • Job seniority 
  • A complete list of targeting options can be found here


Pricing & Payment

Once you create your campaign, you’ll select a billing option. LinkedIn uses a second-price auction placement system, so you will also enter a suggested bid, daily budget, and total budget. 

There are three billing options for LinkedIn ads. 

  • Cost per send (CPS) is used when you run Message Ads campaigns. You pay for each message that is successfully delivered.
  • Cost per click (CPC) is often used for action-oriented campaigns like lead generation or event registration.
  • Cost per impression (CPM) model is typically a better fit when brand awareness is the goal.


LinkedIn creates a platform for professionals to engage with each other and businesses. For any B2B, and even some B2C brands, LinkedIn advertising offers direct access to decision makers and target consumers. With a variety of different formats and pricing models, you can custom-tailor your strategy to your exact needs and budget. And in our experience, that adds up to amazing results for a fraction of the cost of other platforms.