LinkedIn Advertising

How to Advertise on LinkedIn: A Complete Guide

LinkedIn is too often an afterthought for many marketers, who choose instead to focus the majority of their social media advertising on Facebook alone.

But with a network of 500 million professionals and counting, the smart marketer considers it a no-brainer to take full advantage of this platform.

LinkedIn is the largest B2B platform ever made. The vast majority of people who have a role that’s considered ‘professional’, have a presence—whether that’s a basic profile or fully fledged LinkedIn content strategy.

LinkedIn offers far more than job matchmaking. In fact, content on the platform gets 15 times the interaction of job postings in users’ feeds, for those of us who follow LinkedIn advertising best practices.

For switched on marketers and social media advertising specialists, it’s the perfect stage to showcase thought leadership, grow your following and build your brand’s reputation.

What makes this platform ripe for the picking? LinkedIn offers highly targeted advertising capabilities, as well as the ripple effects across your broader social media marketing strategy.

When LinkedIn is included within your omni-channel campaign, those spikes in brand awareness will transform into more Google searches as well.

LinkedIn’s Targeting Sophistication

Any good social media advertising specialist appreciates that a bigger audience isn’t always a good thing.

In fact, the more you can pick and choose exactly who will see your ads, the better your return on investment will be.

Fortunately, you can create highly-targeted campaigns according to career-related specifics, like job title, seniority, company, industry, study history and previous experience on LinkedIn.

That’s the start of an unbeatable social media marketing strategy.

Let’s take, for example, an educational institution looking to promote an MBA course to prospective students.

These targeting factors would be extremely useful in narrowing your target audience. Specifically, this will enable you to speak only to people at the ideal point in their study timeline, or to professionals who are in mid-career roles where they may want to take the next step forward.

The MBA will no doubt only be relevant to certain industries. You could even target companies whose employees are past graduates.

All the makings of an excellent social media marketing strategy are laid out for you. Craft a clickable ad with a compelling graphic or offer, and you’ll soon be seeing results.

LinkedIn vs Facebook Advertising

Just like Facebook, you can choose the types of LinkedIn ads that suit your objectives. This includes display or text ad, or mid-scroll sponsored content.

For the latter, rather than just promoting your company, you can feature one of your latest posts or a case study of a recent win.

That way, you’ll provide users exactly what they want to see from this platform, without the same ‘hard-sell’ feel of traditional display or banner ads.

Sponsored InMail is one feature that you can take advantage of on LinkedIn that Facebook can’t match. This feature enables you to write tailored messages to your prospects, popping up in their personal LinkedIn inbox.

Think of it like a within-platform eDM, again taking advantage of the rich demographic data at your disposal.

A lot of marketers who are new to LinkedIn err with respect to the tone of their campaigns. Because LinkedIn is a professional network, these marketeres assume that their copy should read like a business letter. This is simply not the case.

Just as you would with any other social media advertising, keep all messaging conversational, concise, and built upon a strong call to action (CTA). Focus on engagement and outreach, too, perhaps offering a chat over the phone or requesting feedback on your latest post as your CTA.

Why User Intent Matters

On this platform, your audience is more likely to be well primed for your content. This is one of the key reasons why a LinkedIn social media strategy can be so successful.

Thing about the time and intent you have in mind when you opt to browse Facebook. Perhaps it’s on a break, or first thing in the morning.

Users may be looking for any number of things—a distraction for a few minutes, the top news of the day, or just an update on what their friends are up to.

By contrast, people go to LinkedIn with a very different mindset. Perhaps they are on the lookout for their next career move, or maybe they want to reach out to a professional in their industry.

It might be that they are considering “upskilling” in their current profession. Or maybe they want to see the latest content from their idols to motivate them for the day ahead.

Because of the user intent when visiting the platform, It is far easier to market your business as the solution the whatever problem the target audience wants to solve with LinkedIn.

And after all, that’s the main crux of any good marketing campaign – illustrating how your products or services can solve a problem!

What’s more, advertising can be more transparent on LinkedIn. Why? Because it genuinely benefits your audience, rather than having to masquerade as something else.

It’s no wonder 7-in-10 users report that LinkedIn is a source of trusted content.


LinkedIn provides many benefits as an advertising platform. If you have yet to test it, give it a shot. You just might find that it’s the secret marketing weapon you’ve been searching for.

Feature Image taken from screenshot of LinkedIn Ads UI.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions stated in this post are that of the author, and Return On Now may or may not agree with any or all of the commentary.

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Michael Bird

Mike Bird is a co-founder of digital marketing agency, Social Garden, which specializes in data-driven lead generation & marketing automation to grow companies’ revenue in the finance, property and education verticals in Australia. Mike is an influencer in the social media marketing & Facebook advertising space and contributes to Social Media Examiner, Social Media Today, Yahoo! Business Advisor and most importantly, the Social Garden blog.
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