The recent buzz around Demand Generation has gotten many B2B marketers to stop and consider how to better get their content in the hands of their target audience.

This has led many to ungate their content, making it easier to consume, whether in-feed on social media platforms or on company websites.

LinkedIn is also capitalizing on recent market trends with a brand new ad type. Introducing Document Ads!


What are LinkedIn Document Ads?


Document Ads are a new LinkedIn ad type that allows you to upload a piece of content and promote it within the LinkedIn news feed. This includes the PDF, PPT, PPTX, DOC and DOCX file types and files under 100MB.

Document Ads are available under the Brand Awareness, Engagement, and Lead Generation campaign objectives.

If you choose Brand Awareness or Engagement, your content will be displayed in full, allowing your audience to read through it with ease.

Under the Lead Generation objective, you can ungate a portion of your content and then gate the rest, so your audience can read a select number of pages first before downloading the full document and submitting a Lead Gen Form.



Caveats of LinkedIn Document Ads


This all sounds pretty good, right? While this ad type does open up new possibilities to create awareness and build trust with your target audience, there are a few downsides worth noting.



1/ You can’t change the Call-to-Action


Regardless of which campaign objective you’re running (in other words, whether your content is gated or ungated), the call-to-action (CTA) for Document Ads is always going to be to download the document.

The workaround here is that you can have whatever CTA you want in your ad copy, including any links you want to send your audience to, but these clicks aren’t counted as “Clicks to Landing Page” in LinkedIn’s reporting, which makes it a bit of a hassle to measure performance.

It would be nice to have the option of changing this to whatever you wanted, while still giving readers the option of downloading the document, if they’d like. We’re hoping this could be updated in the future.


2/ Reporting is a bit misleading


You might see extremely high click-through-rates (CTRs) on your Document Ads but, unfortunately, these aren’t all clicks to your website or downloads.

Document Ads report on total chargeable clicks, which include link clicks, clicks to your company page, reactions, comments, shares, clicks to read your full introduction text (if longer than ~150 characters), and more.

You can still see a more accurate breakdown of your click data in the LinkedIn Campaign Manager dashboard, just not in the default view.

Simply click on the Columns dropdown and change your view from Performance to Engagement. This will give you a clearer picture of where your clicks are being attributed.



Note that this is only if you’re running Document Ads under the Brand Awareness or Engagement objective. The Lead Generation objective will report clicks on the Download CTA.

This is really more of a downside to the objective than Document Ads specifically, but where we’re limited on the objectives we can run Document Ads under, we thought we would include this precaution.


3/ Lead Gen Document Ads are limited to mobile only


There’s not much more that needs to be said here. For one reason or another, your Document Ads under the Brand Awareness or Engagement objective will display on both desktop and mobile but only on mobile if you’re running under the Lead Generation objective.

Here’s to hoping this is also changed in the future.


Are LinkedIn Document Ads Worth It?


Even with all of these caveats, are Document Ads worth it? Well, here’s what we like about them:

If you have a really good piece of content you want to promote, Document Ads deliver it to your audience with very little friction. They can consume it right there in the LinkedIn feed without even needing to submit their personal information (if ungated) or click to leave the platform.

In the past, when you ran a Lead Generation campaign objective, it wasn’t always a guarantee that leads would get the content they were opting in for (despite LinkedIn’s efforts to make it seamless). They either needed to click a link after submitting the form (which could be easily missed), receive an email from the advertiser containing the piece of content, or some other way. Now, LinkedIn is hosting your content directly on the platform, which again takes out a lot of the friction.

Our own purpose for leveraging Document Ads as part of our holistic LinkedIn Ads strategy was to promote case studies to those that were already familiar (to some degree) with our brand.

So far, in our experience, running them under the Brand Awareness objective has gotten a little too expensive for our taste. However, because we have been leveraging them for a more bottom-of-funnel play, we may simply need more time with them before making a final conclusion, but these are our early impressions.

What’s your experience been? Have you tried Document Ads? What successes have you seen? We want to hear from you, so comment below!

And if you want to jump into the channel but don’t have the time or expertise to do it yourself, consider booking a discovery call with us.

We’ll build, execute, and manage a holistic, custom-tailored LinkedIn Ads strategy for you to help you get more sales opportunities with your ideal prospects.


Written by Eric Jones

Eric Jones - B2Linked