Which LinkedIn Ad Style is Best for B2B?

Awareness? Consideration? Conversion? Learn about the best ad options for your B2B LinkedIn goals.

Cleverly Team
Dec 30, 2021
11 min.


Which LinkedIn Ad Style is Best for B2B

With more than 57 million businesses on the platform, LinkedIn is the largest professional networking platform in the world. It’s where organizations develop lasting, mutually beneficial relationships and get business done.

LinkedIn is also one of the best places for B2B companies to meet their marketing goals. While you can reach out to other businesses manually, LinkedIn ads can help you attract attention faster, getting you in front of the key decision-makers you want to develop relationships with in much less time.  

Being that LinkedIn has the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate of any social media platform, you can use LinkedIn ads to generate more leads.  Its conversion rate is 277% (nearly three times) more than Twitter and Facebook. Additionally, LinkedIn ads help build brand awareness, increase your credibility, and boost sales. In other words, LinkedIn ads are an essential part of your marketing toolkit.

You have many choices for LinkedIn B2B advertising, but which is the best for you? Here, we’ll look at the different types of LinkedIn ads, their strengths and weaknesses, and how to determine what's best for your business.

What Are the Different Types of LinkedIn Ads?

There are four main types of LinkedIn ads for B2B businesses:

  • Sponsored content shows up on the LinkedIn newsfeed and includes single-image ads, video ads, carousel ads, and event ads.
  • Sponsored messaging engages your audience directly through their LinkedIn inbox.
  • Lead generation forms collect information from those who click your ad's CTA button.
  • Text and dynamic ads appear along the right rail of LinkedIn. Text ads are similar to Google ads, while dynamic ads are highly personalized.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored content (native ads) appears in your audience’s newsfeeds. These ads get a “promoted” label, which sets them apart from other content. They offer an excellent solution for promoting your company's pre-existing content, such as recent company news, articles, or promotions.

Why Use Sponsored Content?

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Attract more followers
  • Generate more impressions and clicks
  • Drive more qualified leads to landing pages

Pros and cons

  • Pro: Non-invasive, since it appears in your target audience's regular feed
  • Pro: Naturally generates interest and engagement
  • Con: Doesn’t always lead to more leads

Sponsored content LinkedIn ads specs

The exact LinkedIn ads specifications vary based on the type of sponsored content you choose. You can select from:

  • Single image ads
  • Video ads
  • Carousel ads
  • Event ads

Single image ads

  • Headline: 70 characters
  • Introductory text: 150 characters
  • File type: JPG or PNG
  • File size: 5 MB
  • Recommended horizontal ratio: 1:1.91 (1,200 x 628 pixels)
  • Recommended square ratio: 1:1 (1,200 x 1,200 pixels)
  • Recommended vertical ratio: 1.91:1 (628 x 1,200 pixels)

Video ads

  • Headline: 70 characters
  • Introductory text: 150 characters
  • Video file type: MP4
  • Video sound format: AAC or MPEG4
  • Video file size: 75 KB to 200 MB
  • Video duration: 3 seconds to 30 minutes

Carousel ads

  • Card headline: 45 characters
  • Introductory text: 255 characters
  • File type: JPG or PNG
  • Recommended resolution: at least 1,080 x 1,080 pixels
  • Number of carousel cards: 2 to 10
  • Maximum file size: 10 MB

Event ads

  • Event name: 255 characters
  • Introductory text: 600 characters
  • Image ratio: 4:1 (pulled from your event page)

Sponsored Messaging

Previously called “sponsored InMail,” sponsored messaging advertises to businesses via their inboxes. You can use personalized, private messages to engage your target audience and drive more leads. This type of LinkedIn B2B advertising operates on a cost-per-send basis, so you'll pay for each message sent.

Sponsored messaging drives twice the open rates and twice the engagement compared to traditional email. By going directly to an inbox, you can effectively reach your target audience.

Why use sponsored messaging?

  • Increase lead generation
  • Promote webinars or tradeshows with personalized invitations
  • Have more (and better) conversations with other businesses

Pros and cons

  • Pro: Reach your target audience directly
  • Pro: More personalized
  • Pro: 100% deliverability
  • Con: More expensive
  • Con: LinkedIn limits how many people receive a sponsored message ad per month

Sponsored messaging LinkedIn ads specs

Message ads

  • Message subject: 60 characters
  • Message text: 1,500 characters
  • Custom footer: 2,500 characters
  • CTA: 20 characters

Conversation ads

  • Message text: 500 characters
  • Custom footer: 2,500 characters
  • CTA: 25 characters

Lead Generation Forms

Research from LinkedIn shows that 58% of marketers say lead generation is the most important goal of their digital marketing efforts. Lead generation forms (often called lead gen forms) work with sponsored content and sponsored messaging to help you collect more qualified leads. Once a prospect clicks your ad, they’ll see a pre-filled form with their LinkedIn profile information.

Why use lead gen forms?

Lead gen forms simplify things for your prospects. The form does most of the work, filling out their information for them. Prospects also don’t need to leave LinkedIn to fill anything out. You choose the fields you need, and the form takes care of the rest.

Pros and cons

  • Pro: Simple process means prospects are more likely to follow through (meaning higher lead generation)
  • Pro: More easily measure your ROI
  • Con: Only work in conjunction with sponsored content or sponsored messaging
  • Con: Lack remarketing potential
  • Con: Including too many fields may hurt your efforts

Lead gen forms specs

  • Form name: 256 characters
  • Offer headline: 60 characters
  • Privacy policy: 2,000 characters
  • CTA: 20 characters
  • Confirmation message: 300 characters
  • Recommended form fields: 3 to 4
  • Maximum form fields: 12
  • Optional custom questions: up to 3 (with 100 characters per custom question)

Text and Dynamic Ads

Text ads run along the right side of a user’s newsfeed. They’re easy to make, and you can create multiple variations for a single campaign to see what works best. They operate on a cost-per-click or cost-per-1,000 impressions model.

Dynamic ads also run along the right rail of a user’s newsfeed. The difference is that these ads are highly personalized. When they appear, your target audience sees information such as their name, company, and other details.

Why use text or dynamic ads?

Text ads are quick and easy to create. You can use specific B2B filters to target specific audiences and track your conversions. You can also set your own budget.

Due to their personal nature, dynamic ads can encourage more responses. You can also create customized CTAs to encourage prospects to visit your company page or website. The ads allow you to launch individualized campaigns and can help you achieve various goals like increasing brand awareness and driving traffic. LinkedIn tailors the ad to individual users, helping you build a closer relationship with them. For instance, if you’re looking to build awareness about your new business, dynamic ads can help introduce it to your audience and familiarize them with it. That can help boost engagement and increase conversions.

Pros and cons

  • Pro: Simple to create
  • Pro: Easy to control costs
  • Pro (dynamic ads): More personal (which means more reach)
  • Con: May be overlooked due to ad placement
  • Con: Don’t have the same reuse period as other LinkedIn ads

Text and dynamic ads specs

Like other types of LinkedIn B2B ads, specs for text and dynamic ads vary based on your selected options. You can choose from:

  • Text ads
  • Spotlight ads
  • Follower ads

Text ads

  • Headline: 25 characters
  • Description: 75 characters
  • Logo file type: JPG or PNG
  • Logo file size: 2 MB
  • Logo image dimensions: 100 x 100 pixels

Spotlight ads

  • Headline: 50 characters
  • Description: 70 characters
  • Company name: 25 characters
  • CTA: 18 characters
  • Company logo file type: JPG or PNG
  • Company logo size: 100 x 100 pixels
  • Company logo file size: 2 MB

Follower ads

  • Headline: 50 characters
  • Description: 70 characters
  • Company name: 25 characters
  • Company logo file type: JPG or PNG
  • Company logo size: 100 x 100 pixels
  • Company logo file size: 2 MB

How Do You Determine the Best Type of LinkedIn Ads for B2B?

To find the right LinkedIn ad for your B2B company, you should first determine your goals. Campaign goals generally fall into one of three categories:

  • Awareness: You want to increase the number of businesses that are aware of your brand.
  • Consideration: You want to showcase your unique product or service and encourage your audience to visit your website or take other social actions.
  • Conversion: You want to provide more in-depth information (such as pricing) and use strong CTAs to generate leads, download an ebook, or take other specific actions.

You’ll want to choose a type of LinkedIn ad based on your campaign goals. For example, if you’re a newer business that recently rolled out a product, you may want to use a sponsored content ad to increase brand awareness. A video or carousel ad can tell a story that showcases your product.

If you want to generate more qualified leads, you may consider a conversation ad. A personalized message directly in their inbox can provide more information about your product and ask the recipient to sign up for a demo or download a case study. You can make the lead generation process even easier by incorporating a lead gen form.  

Additional considerations for determining the best LinkedIn Ads for your B2B business

Campaign goals aren’t the only consideration you’ll need to make when choosing the best type of LinkedIn ads. You’ll also want to keep your budget in mind. LinkedIn ad pricing varies based on the type and the way you choose to pay.

You’ll also need to define your target audience. You can narrow down who you want to receive your ads, but you don't want to limit your audience too much. Running A/B test campaigns may be helpful to see what audiences connect most with your brand and which ads are most effective.

Summing Up

LinkedIn ads are an effective way to market your B2B. You can use them to reach goals like generating more leads and increasing conversions. Choosing the best types of LinkedIn ads based on your business and objectives can help make a difference. You may find that a combination of different ad types works best for you.  

If you’re ready to get started with LinkedIn ads for your B2B but aren’t sure where to start, Cleverly can help. We can help you choose a format or style, determine the appropriate audience, generate compelling creative assets, and more. Schedule your free consultation today!

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