November 30, 2021

LinkedIn Ad Specs: The Complete Guide for LinkedIn Ads

Introduction to LinkedIn Ads

Despite having fewer users than other social media platforms, LinkedIn prides itself on being “the world’s largest professional network.” This makes the platform the leading network for business marketing, with a whopping 92% of B2B marketers preferring to use it over all others.

In addition to allowing you to reach a more professional audience, LinkedIn also has a variety of unique ad types and targeting options designed to get you high-quality leads. Follow along to learn what ads you can run on the 750 million-strong network and what they'll do for your business.

LinkedIn’s Ad Targeting Capabilities

Before diving into the world of LinkedIn advertising, you have to know about the platform's targeting capabilities. After all, targeting is a critical element of advertising success. Get your audience right, and you’ll get better engagement and more conversions.

LinkedIn advertising gives you access to a broad audience of professionals ranging from thought leaders and influencers to decision-makers and executives. Targeting with LinkedIn is easier and more refined because its members are encouraged to optimize their profiles for networking, new job opportunities, and even personal branding. Having profiles this complete means that you can better target your ads based on their attributes.

LinkedIn has several targeting options:

  • Demographics: Age and gender
  • Education: Field of study, degrees, and schools attended
  • Interests: Member interests, groups, and traits
  • Company: Company name, industry, size, category, number of followers, and growth rate
  • Job Experience: Job titles, years of experience, skills, functions, and seniority

Well-targeted ads mean that your advertisements are only shown to the right audience, maximizing the value you get from running them. This ensures you get more high-quality leads, which is the upper hand LinkedIn advertising has over other platforms.

LinkedIn Ad Specs in Detail

LinkedIn allows advertisers to build their ad campaigns around a handful of specific objectives. These include:

  • Awareness: These types of ads are geared toward increasing your brand presence and making more people aware of your business. They focus on gaining impressions, keeping your brand top-of-mind with users.
  • Consideration: Consideration ads work toward driving more traffic to your website, engaging more with your audience, and getting more views for your content. The aim of these ads is to increase clicks or other types of direct engagement.
  • Conversion: Conversion ads are used to generate and collect leads. You can use them to promote job openings in your company, get users to download whitepapers, or increase email signups.

When creating your ads, having these objectives in mind will help streamline your campaigns to better meet your business goals.

Formats for LinkedIn Ads: The Style Is the Message

When deciding what kinds of ads to run, you'll need to choose a format for each one. The different ad formats LinkedIn offers also help you keep your campaigns on target. Formats involve the way your ads show up on a user's screen. They include:

  • Sponsored content
  • Sponsored messaging
  • Text and dynamic ads
  • Lead generation forms

Let’s take a look at each type in more detail so you can get an idea of the specifications needed to run them and the best practices for using them.

Sponsored Content Ads

Single-Image Ads

Single-image ads look like regular image posts on the content stream. They’ll be marked as “promoted” since they are paid for to distinguish them from normal posts. These kinds of ads are pretty versatile. You can use them to build brand awareness, advertise jobs, generate leads, grow engagement, and even increase website visits.

To run a single-image ad, you’ll need:

  • An ad name of up to 225 characters
  • A headline of up to 200 characters
  • A description of up to 300 characters
  • A JPG or PNG image with a maximum size of 7680 x 7680 pixels
  • A destination URL of up to 2000 characters

Video Ads

Video is a compelling way to reach an audience, and video ads are among the most effective kinds of ads out there. Some of the best ways to harness the power of video include showcasing new products and services, offering tutorials, giving a behind-the-scenes look at your company, and promoting thought leadership.

A LinkedIn video ad requires:

  • A video ad name of up to 225 characters
  • Introductory text of up to 600 characters
  • An under 30-minute video no larger than 200MB or faster than 30 frames per second with a resolution of up to 1920 x 1920 pixels

To make the best out of video ads, keep them short. Less than 15 seconds is ideal. Front-load your videos with the best content somewhere in the first 10 seconds, and don’t rely on audio. Many users watch with the sound off.

Single-job Ads

Single-job ads are great for advertising your company’s job opportunities directly on your audience’s feed. When a user clicks the ad, they’ll go straight to the job application page on the platform. Compared to other ads, single-job ads boast a 52% decrease in average cost per applicant and a 25% increase in average click rate.

For a single-job ad, you’ll need to supply:

  • An ad headline of up to 70 characters
  • A company name of up to 25 characters
  • A company logo of up to 100 x 100 pixels in size
  • Either a custom call-to-action (CTA) of up to 44 characters or a pre-set CTA

Carousel Ads

On LinkedIn, a carousel is a swipeable row of cards you can use to increase awareness, consideration, and conversion objectives. Some of the ways you can use carousel ads include:

  • Telling a brand story
  • Sharing customer success stories
  • Showcasing multiple products
  • Sharing insights

Carousel ads need:

  • An ad name of up to 255 characters
  • Introductory text of up to 255 characters
  • Two to 10 carousel cards: images used should be either JPG or PNG with a ratio of 1:1, a resolution of 1080 x 1080 pixels, and a max file size of 10 MB
  • A landing page URL of up to 2000 characters

To get the most out of carousel ads, start with three to five cards and work your way up if the ad performs well. Use high-quality graphics and visual storytelling to captivate your audience.

Each carousel should also contain a clear CTA (call to action). If you’re telling a brand story, leave it to the last card to encourage the visitor to scroll through the whole carousel.

Sponsored Messaging Ads

Message Ads

Message ads come in the form of direct messages to your prospects’ inboxes with a targeted CTA they can follow. With close to 90% of consumers wanting to connect to businesses via messaging, message ads are a valuable way of reaching prospects. They’re commonly used to drive website visits, lead generation, and conversions.

Here are the specs for message ads:

  • A message subject of up to 60 characters
  • Message text of up to 1500 characters
  • CTA text of up to 20 characters
  • Optional terms and conditions of up to 2500 characters
  • A JPEG or PNG banner image of 300 x 250 pixels

Conversation Ads

Conversation ads are a unique way for LinkedIn users to choose what they experience from a message ad. They’re messages that come directly from a representative of your company, making them feel a little more intimate.

Once you’ve started the conversation, the receiver gets to choose from a series of direct CTA options until they meet their interaction goals with your company. They can register for webinars, view blog articles, sign up for demos, or checkout case studies. The ad experience is great for building brand awareness, engaging with the audience, getting leads, and encouraging website visits and conversions.

Assets you’ll need for a conversation ad include:

  • An introductory message of up to 500 characters
  • Two to five additional message layers of up to 500 characters
  • An optional JPEG or PNG banner of up to 300 x 250 pixels in resolution
  • Text for up to five CTA buttons per message

For great conversation ads, choose the right sender. You’ll want someone who has a full LinkedIn profile and a title relevant to your message. Make sure messages are short and straight to the point while keeping a conversational, authentic tone. LinkedIn also offers macros that allow you to personalize each conversation specifically for the receiver. Using them will boost your chances of success.

Text and Dynamic Ads

Text Ads

Text ads show up either on the top of LinkedIn’s content page or the right rail of pages on desktop. They’re great for increasing website visits as well as building brand awareness.

For text ads, you’ll need:

  • A headline of up to 25 characters
  • A description of up to 75 characters
  • A JPG or PNG ad image of 100 x 100 pixels in size
  • A destination URL of up to 500 characters

A good text ad has a strong CTA. Including bright images and wording relevant to your industry will help catch eyes and prospects.

Follower Ads

As the name suggests, follower ads are meant to encourage LinkedIn users to follow your page. These ads are dynamic and customized to your audience, helping achieve brand awareness while increasing engagement. They include the user’s profile picture alongside your company logo and a Follow button they’re encouraged to click.

Here’s what you need to make a follower ad:

  • An ad headline of up to 50 characters
  • An ad description of up to 70 characters
  • A JPG or PNG image of 100 x 100 pixels
  • A company name of up to 25 characters

Spotlight Ads

Spotlight ads are often used to highlight products, services, and content. Like follower ads, they’re also dynamic and personalized to your audience. A click directs users to your website, landing page, or content page.

You can use spotlight ads to advertise specific job opportunities, or you can focus on building brand awareness, growing website engagement, and generating leads.

Spotlight ads need:

  • An ad headline of up to 50 characters
  • An ad description of up to 70 characters
  • A JPG or PNG ad image of 100 x 100 pixels
  • An optional 300 x 250 custom background less than 2 MB in size
  • A CTA of up to 25 characters
  • A company name of up to 25 characters

Lead Generation Forms

Lead generation forms are a special addition to certain LinkedIn ad types, notably message ads or sponsored content. You can use them to help qualify your prospects. These forms come pre-filled with the profile data of each user, making it easy to collect their data and follow up later.

For a lead generation form, you’ll need:

  • A headline of up to 60 characters
  • Offer details of up to 160 characters
  • Up to three custom questions in addition to LinkedIn’s preset form fields
  • A privacy policy URL and optional privacy policy text of up to 2000 characters

The custom questions on lead generation forms should be short and easy to answer. Don’t include more details than you really need. Offers should be strong to encourage users to submit the form.

General Best Practices for LinkedIn Ads

Now that you probably have an idea of what kinds of LinkedIn ads might best fit your campaign, take some best practices to heart to ensure their success.

Identify Your Target Audience

On all the ads you’ll make, choosing a target audience is the only step that’s absolutely mandatory. You can go wide and select a country or state, or you can narrow your reach to specific cities or towns. You also have the option of refining your target audience according to interests, education, job experience, and demographics.

Choose the Right Ad Type

While many users may see your ads, it’s the content that gets them hooked. Choosing the right ad type means the people most receptive to it will engage.

Always Include a Clear CTA

Your CTA is what moves your audience to take action. Ensure your CTA matches the objective of the ad you chose to get the best results.


LinkedIn ads are a powerful tool for businesses to reach a professional audience and generate quality leads. On a platform where four out of five members drive business decisions, the importance of advertising there is hard to overstate.

You can take your LinkedIn ads strategy to the next level by booking a free consultation with Cleverly’s team of expert marketers. You’ll be able to focus on providing value to your business knowing you have everything from targeting and design to bidding handled. Now’s the time to transform your LinkedIn presence into a revenue-driving machine.