What Makes a Good Image for LinkedIn Ads?

On LinkedIn, images can make or break an ad. But what exactly makes a good image? Are there certain rules to follow? Are there things to avoid? What kind of image should you use to get the most engagement with my ad? If you’re wondering these questions, you’re not alone.
We’ve had many of our clients, and some of our acquaintances, ask us the very same questions.

Correct Size & Format
One thing that all high performing images have in common with each other is that they format correctly.
Each ad type on LinkedIn has a recommended image spec.

-Sponsored Content: 1200×627
-Sponsored Inmail: 300×250
-Text Ads: 100 x 100
-Carousel Ads: 1080×1080

Follow these specs! Using images with different specs will alter the image and can cause issues with formatting. This can cause images to look grainy/blurry, lose focus, or have empty spaces on the sides. Each one of these issues will cause a drop in performance.
Here’s an example of what that looks like.

(Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash)
Say this is your original image. This image dimensions are 2750×2200. If I were to upload this image for a sponsored content ad, this is how the ad would look.

As you can see the image didn’t format properly and this has led to empty spots on both sides of the image. Using an image like this for your ads will negatively affect the performance of those ads.

Here’s how the ad would look if the image was edited to the correct dimensions (1200×627):

If you have an image like this one that you’d like to use for an ad, but don’t have the know how to resize it, there’s no reason to fear. Many services like Canva.com are fast, simple ways to resize your image for free.

Point 2: Color
The main colors of your image can determine whether someone looks over your ad or just scrolls on by. With LinkedIn’s platform being entirely blue and white, images that are predominantly these colors will blend in with the platform.

Here’s an example of how an image that blends in with the platform.

What in this image sticks out to you the most (despite it being a cartoon)? Most likely the red wording at the top was the first thing to catch your eye. Now imagine that the red wording is gone, what would catch your eye? Not much.
As you can see from the image above, it’s hard to discern where the image ends and the platform started. Without some color to catch a viewer’s eye, your ad will most likely not be noticed.

Now let’s look on the other side of the spectrum. Here’s an image that utilizes color very well.

As you can see, this image pops out on the screen. The vibrant yellow and purple almost demand to be looked at. Vibrant colors, such as the ones pictured above, are very good at catching attention. With this attention, you’re getting more people reading your ad. With more people reading your ad, you’ll have more people click on it (and hopefully converting from it).

Note: Other colors we’ve found to be effective at driving additional engagement are red, green, and orange. These colors specifically stand out on LinkedIn’s platform.

Point 3: Type and Focus of Image

Many people ask us, “what performs best, a picture or a graphic?” In reality, we’ve seen both types of images perform very well on LinkedIn. Either type could perform very well for your audience.

A good example of this is a client we are currently working with. This client has run both graphic and photo images in their ads (see below).

Graphic Ad

Note: While this image has a lot of white in it, it also has multiple bright colors to catch attention.

Photo Ad

Each of these ads saw incredible performance (both actually being included in LinkedIn’s top 25 ads list) and were very different. Despite their differences, they each performed well because the company who ran the ads knew their audiences, and used images that would resonate with them. The graphic ad had a message in it that they knew would grab the attention of their target audience.

The photo ad was an image of someone in the same position as their target audience, leading to these individuals connecting with the image. Focusing on how your audience will see the ad is probably the most important thing you can do when choosing an image.

These are our recommendations for what makes a good image for LinkedIn ads. We’d love to hear from you on what great images you’ve run. Feel free to comment below with your thoughts as well as any questions you may have.