When creating ads on LinkedIn, there are a few guidelines you’ll want to follow to ensure your ad grabs the attention of your target audience.

As Sponsored Content Ads are the most simple ad format, and one we recommend all new LinkedIn advertisers start with, we’ll be focusing the content in this post on this format specifically. 

That said, the tips shared in this post can be applied to all ad formats. Let’s dive in!


Tip #1 – Address a Pain Point


The best way to approach ad copy is by understanding the benefits of what your offer can do for your audience. When we talk about your “offer”, we’re not necessarily talking about your product or services. Your offer is essentially your call-to-action. It can be anything from an eBook, to a checklist, to a webinar, to a demo request.

For more on offers and how to select the right one to promote on LinkedIn, see this blog post.

Your audience will likely only click on your ad if you are advertising a clear solution to a current problem they have. This is a principle taught, not just in LinkedIn advertising, but in advertising in general.

Before even writing your ad copy, you should know what customer pain points your offer solves. Clearly defining this solution in your ad copy will help in driving desired results.

Simply explaining what your offer does won’t cut it. Highlight the benefits your audience will receive by accepting your offer, rather than the features of the offer itself. Features are the technical aspects of your offer–what it does. Benefits define why your audience should care about your offer and how it will help them relieve a pain point, learn something new, make their job easier, etc.


Tip #2 – Keep it Simple


When writing ad copy, remember that you only have a minute amount of time to capture your audience’s attention. If your ad is too technical or written at a college level, your reader may lose interest pretty immediately.

Especially on social media, we tend to consume content quickly. We don’t want to have to read something and then think about it in order to understand what we just read. So, keep it simple, concise, and straight-forward.

Write your ad copy in a way that a grade-schooler could understand it. Avoid using jargon, unless your audience is super technical. On the flipside, only use jargon that your audience will immediately understand and relate to.


Tip #3 – Ad Introduction Text


By far, the most important piece of your ad is the introduction text. In a Sponsored Content Ad, this is the section that appears just above your image or video. It’s here that you can really sell what it is you’re promoting by highlighting the benefit of your offer. 

Longer ad copy is more likely to lose a reader’s interest, so keep it short and sweet. Your text is cut off, or truncated, at 150 characters. Readers can then click the “…see more” to read the full message. Note that longer ad copy can be effective as long as you make those first 150 characters captivating to your audience.

Addressing the consumer’s pain points from the start will help keep them engaged long enough for you to deliver the solution.



Tip #4 – Have a Clear Call-to-Action


Finish off your introduction text with a call-to-action (CTA). Again, this is going to be unique to your offer. It might be something like clicking to visit a page of your website, booking a call, downloading a piece of content, or watching a video.

Linkedin provides a customizable CTA button linked at the bottom of your ad. But even with it, you’ll want to verbally guide your reader to the next step. This can be as simple as saying something like, “Click below to download your FREE whitepaper” or “Click below to access this EXCLUSIVE Playbook”.

In tandem with Tip #3, it’s best practice to save your CTA for the end of your introduction text. It’s easy to lose your audience if it’s stated at the beginning. So address your consumer’s pain points from the start to keep them engaged long enough to deliver your offer’s solution and CTA.


Tip #5 – Ad Headline


The headline is the text that appears just below your image or video. If your audience is quickly scanning your ad, this may be the last thing they read before scrolling on. 

As in previous tips, keep this simple and lure your reader in with a solution to their problem. Repeat what you’ve already said in your introduction by posing a question or telling them exactly what you’re offering in one sentence. A couple examples might be: “5 Reasons You Need X For Your Business | FREE Whitepaper” or “HR Leaders Need To Ask These 3 Questions To Applicants”.


Tip #6 – TEST!


Keep in mind that your ad copy may not always work the first time and will need to evolve over time. What works one week may not work the next. 

Testing different variations of your ad headline or intro (leaving all else the same) will help keep things fresh and allow you to see which variation resonates more with your audience.


Bonus Tip – Imagery


As a bonus, let’s take a second to talk about the imagery of your ad. Some might argue that the creative is the most important aspect of your ad. While that may be true on other platforms like Facebook and Instagram, the ultimate goal of your creative on LinkedIn isn’t to elicit action, it’s to simply get people to stop scrolling. 

One sure-fire way to do this is by making your creative stand out by avoiding the use of LinkedIn’s color palette in your creative. This includes colors like blue, gray, and white. 

Brighter colors such as orange, yellow, or pink offer a noticeable contrast and are sure to make your ad stand out.

Also, make sure your image is sized correctly. Depending on the size, your ad might only be served to mobile or desktop users, if the image is too small or large respectively. To ensure that your ad will be served to both, size your images at either 1200 x 627 or 1080 x 1080 pixels. 

If you include any text within your image, keep it brief (under 7 words).


In Conclusion


Though this is not an exhaustive list, the guidelines shared here should help you either get started or improve your current LinkedIn Ad initiatives.

What LinkedIn Ad messaging has worked well for you? What tips do you have that we didn’t cover? Feel free to comment below! And if you’re ever having trouble generating qualified leads at your desired cost, reach out to our team of LinkedIn ad experts here.


Written by McKay Sainsbury