A Guide to LinkedIn Ads (Part II) Sponsored Content Ads

#lead gen forms #linkedin ads #Sponsored content

Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does ‘ Steuart Henderson Britt

This is exactly what happens when you are showcasing the best of your brand yet you are unable to grab eyeballs from the audience. To grab eyeballs, you need to bring your efforts in the limelight. In other words, you need to promote or advertise.

LinkedIn offers a broad range of advertising options which you can use to grab eyeballs.

In the previous part, we had a detailed discussion about LinkedIn Ads. We deeply analysed various parameters one should keep in mind before going for LinkedIn Ads. In part two of the series, we will take a closer look into one of the LinkedIn’s advertising categories.

LinkedIn can be further divided into three categories:

  • Sponsored Content
  • Sponsored InMail
  • Text Ads

In this section, we will busy ourselves with sponsored content ads.

Introduced in 2013, LinkedIn’s sponsored ad content is quite identical to Facebook’s Newsfeed ads (implemented with Page Boost ads) and Twitter’s sponsored tweets as it appears directly in the feed of your target audience. It’s a form of native advertising which is a hot trend this year.

Why Choose LinkedIn Sponsored Content?

According to Exact Drive, the probability of people engaging with native advertising is 25% more as compared to other traditional advertisements like Text Ads.

Per Rebel Hack, LinkedIn saw a jump in Sponsored ads CTR when compared to Text ads.Through LinkedIn’s sponsored content, you can showcase your stuff in front of the right audience at exactly the right time.

LinkedIn offers two options under LinkedIn Sponsored Content ads:

Website Clicks

For content marketers, this should be obvious. Website Clicks ads are for promoting your content. You can certainly use it for lead generation too but I will suggest you to not do so. LinkedIn has better lead generation ad features that we will come to in later sections.

You can tie your content marketing efforts with LinkedIn ads and use this ad feature for content promotion. If you want to direct your target audience to your website, Sponsored Content is your best option.

Pro-tip:You can tie these ads with Page Follow ads. Your ad will be displayed on the right column of LinkedIn from where user can follow your LinkedIn page directly.

LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms

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LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms allows business to curate qualified leads from their target audience people who engage with their sponsored content on the professional social network.

Think of a traditional sales funnel. Generally, it flows like this: user clicks the ad, wait for the website to load, read the details when the website is visible, and fill each fields of the form on the website.

LinkedIn has innovated with Lead Gen forms to make it super easier for you to capture leads. User sees the ad on LinkedIn, click on the ad and the form is opened within the app itself. The form is auto-filled using your LinkedIn data. And that’s it!

linkedin lead gen forms

LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms has successfully eliminated two major barriers of business advertising which were major blockers in sales funnel:
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    1. Waiting for the website to appear after clicking on the ads

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  1. Filling the form

With this new ad feature, you help user save time and minimize efforts for interacting with your brand.

You can also add various call-to-action buttons for you adds–Sign Up, Apply Now, Download, Get Quote, Learn More, Subscribe, and Register.

How to create Sponsored Content ad?

Step 1: Choose the campaign type

Log into Campaign Manager, choose Create Campaign and Select Sponsored Content.

campaign manager

Step 2: Add Basic Campaign Info

You have three tasks to perform here.

Enter a campaign name. However, try to make this relevant. For instance, if your campaign objective is lead generation using sponsored content ads and lead form, your campaign can be named lead_sponsor_form. You can create a naming scheme on your own. It will make it easier for you to organize and track when you are running hundreds of ads.

After that, you have to choose a language which by default is ‘English’.

Then you have to select an ad type .add basic info linkedin ads

Step 3: Build Ads

LinkedIn offers two ad options under Sponsored Content- Lead Gen Forms and Website Clicks.

Say you want to direct people to your website through Sponsored Content. Select the content you want to Sponsor from already posted content. You can go for this ad option when you want to increase following of your Company Page as it gives the option to add a follow button to your company page.

In case, you want to collect leads through your Sponsored post you can go for Lead Gen Forms option.

Step 4: Targeting


Choose your target audience on the basis of location, age, gender, skills, industry, job position, etc.Keep an eye on the preview screen at the right, it shows you the audience size when you are applying filters to your target audience.

Say you’re marketing a digital advertising firm focused on doing data analytics for e-commerce companies in India . Your targeting profile might look like this:

    • VPs of e-commerce companies
    • Companies with 501+ employees
    • E-commerce Industry
  • Located in India

Pro Tip: From my past experience, I have seen good results if you keep target audience size at least 30,000.

Step 5: Submit Your Ad


In this final step you need to submit your ad by clicking on Launch Campaign.

Sometimes, your ad may take time to get approved by LinkedIn as it reviews almost all its ads manually, so your campaign won’t be online until it goes through a quick review process.

Anatomy of a Sponsored Ad

  1. Intro (128 characters)
  2. Headline (36 characters)
  3. Description (155 characters)
  4. Photo (200 pixels wide on desktop, little wider on mobile)


Presently, sponsored content campaigns using lead gen forms are available only on LinkedIn’s mobile app. In coming months, the lead gen forms will be integrated within InMail campaigns.

Also, watch out for part III of the series in which we will discuss the other two categories of LinkedIn ads: Sponsored InMail and Text Ads.