Spinning Ball Ricardo Ghekiere
Linkedin

LinkedIn Ad Specs: The Complete Overview for 2021

April 25, 2021

LinkedIn ads offer Advertisers 3 content types which each of them a different set of ad formats to pick from. Here is a complete overview for 2021.

  • Sponsored Content - Single image
  • Sponsored Content - Video Ads
  • Sponsored Content - Carousel Ads
  • Direct Sponsored Content - Inmail ads
  • Direct Sponsored Content - Conversation ads
  • Direct Sponsored Content - Text ads
  • Dynamic Ads  - Follower ads
  • Dynamic Ads  - Spotlight ads
  • Dynamic Ads - Job ads

In each section I'll cover:

  1. What the type of ad is.
  2. What the specs of each ad is.
  3. What the best practises are for running each ad.

Let's get started.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content Ads appear in feeds across desktop and mobile devices. They are used to generate leads, drive brand awareness, and nurture relationships through the sales cycle. Formats include:

Sponsored Content - Single image 

What are LinkedIn Image ads: 


Single image ads are a Sponsored Content ad format. The ads include one image and appear directly in the LinkedIn feed of members in your campaign’s target audience.


Single Image Ads – Advertising Specifications

  • Ad name (optional): 255 max characters available to name your ads
  • Introductory text: 150 max characters for mobile (desktop max of 600 characters). 
  • URLs length: URLs with 23 characters are automatically converted into short links. 
  • Destination URL: URLs must include the "http://" "or https://" prefix and can include up to 2,000 characters for the destination link.
  • Ad image type and size: Upload a JPG or PNG file that’s 5MB or smaller.
  • Headline: 70 characters max to avoid truncation on mobile devices (200 max characters).
  • Description: Use approximately 100 characters to avoid truncation on mobile (300 max characters). Varies for ads that appear on third-party sites served through the LinkedIn Audience Network.
  • Call-to-action (optional): Access to various CTAs.

If you opt for embedded rich media, use these specifications: 

  • Image Display Size: 1.91:1 ratio (1200 x 627px) and a max of 400px in width.
  • Max Weight: 100MB with a recommended PPI (pixels per inch) of 72

Pro-tips for using Single Image Ads

  • Connect them to LinkedIn Lead gen forms for optimal results.
  • Mostly the best ads for Lead generation.
  • Most people will say that 0,35% CTR is good. I disagree. On Social Platforms we should get at least a 1% CTR as a benchmark for your campaigns.
  • Benchmarks depend on objectives. Keep this in mind.
  • If you change your URL when creating your ads, everything changes. Be careful.
  • Descriptions are not seen by most members. Don’t spend too much time on them.
  • Focus on the headline, copy and image first
  • Learn how to acquire leads using Single Image Ads with this Linkedin Ads Masterclass

Sponsored Content - Video Ads

What are LinkedIn video ads: 

Video ads are a Sponsored Content ad format that appears in the LinkedIn feed only unless you also allow it to advertise on LinkedIn’s premium partner network. 

Linkedin video ads

Video Ads – Advertising Specifications

  • Ad name (optional): Use up to 255 characters to name your video ad.
  • Introductory text (optional): Use up to 600 characters for your intro text.
  • Video Length: Three seconds to 30 minutes 
  • File size: Between 75 KB and max of 200 MB
  • File format: MP4 only
  • Frame rate: Less than 30 Frames per second
  • Pixel and aspect ratio requirements:
  • Landscape:
  1. 360px (480 x 360; wide 640 x 360)
  2. 480px (640 x 480)
  3. 720px (960 x 720; wide 1280 x 720)
  4. 1080px (1440 x 1080; wide 1920 x 1080)
  • Square:
  1. Minimum: 600 x 600px
  2. Maximum: 1080 x 1080px
  • Vertical:
  1. Minimum: 500 x 625px
  2. Maximum: 1080 x 1920px
  • Video ads created with a 1:1 aspect ratio must have a minimum resolution of 600 x 600px, and a maximum resolution of 1080 x 1080px.
  • Audio format: AAC or MPEG4 only
  • Audio size: Less than 64KHz
  • Video captions: uploaded in SRT format only
  • Video headline: 70 characters max to avoid truncation on most devices (200 max characters).
  • Destination URL: URLs must have the “http://” or “https://” prefix. You can include up to 2,000 characters for the destination link.
  • Call-to-action (CTA): Access to various CTAs.

Pro-tips for using Single Image Ads


  • You can use advanced flows to retarget users based on views. You can retarget them based on the % of your viewed content.
  • Connect them to LinkedIn Lead gen forms for optimal results.
  • 60% of unique visiting members accessed via mobile devices.
  • People play videos muted/ Subtitles are a must.
  • Mostly underperform for Lead generation ads because of low CTR (compared to pictures)
  • (ECPV) Estimated Cost Per view of 0,03 - 0,23€ per view
  • A video view is defined as a click on CTA or 2 seconds + view while 50% on the screen.
  • Most successful campaigns are videos of 15-30 seconds.




Sponsored Content - Carousel Ads 

What are LinkedIn video ads: 

Carousel image ads are a Sponsored Content ad format that appears in the LinkedIn feed. They feature multiple images that can be scrolled through.

Carousel Ads – Advertising Specifications

  • Ad name: Use up to 255 characters to name your carousel ad.
  • Introductory text: Use up to 150 characters to avoid truncation on some devices (255 max characters)
  • Cards: Minimum of two cards can be used and a maximum of ten. Individual cards within the carousel must meet these requirements:
  • Max file size: 10 MB
  • Recommended individual image spec: 1080x1080 pixels with a 1:1 aspect ratio
  • Rich media formats supported: JPG, PNG and GIF (non-animated only)
  • Headline text for each image card can take up a maximum of two lines before being truncated.
  • Character limits:
  • Destination URL: URLs must have the "http://" "or https://" prefix. You may use up to 2,000 characters for the destination link.
  • The 45-character limit for carousel ads that direct to a destination URL
  • The 30-character limit for carousel ads with a Lead Gen Form CTA
  • Carousel cards can use a destination URL or point to a Lead Gen Form 
  • Carousel campaigns are not eligible to use LinkedIn Audience Network.

Pro-tips for using Carousel Image Ads

  • Connect them to LinkedIn Lead gen forms for optimal results.
  • Carousel ads are great for telling stories or creating engaging content, yet mostly underperform when it comes to lead generation. This is therefore mostly used as brand awareness campaigns. 
  • Carousel cards may be directed to different destination URLs, but if the Lead Gen Form option is selected, the CTA will link to the same Lead Gen Form for all carousel cards.
  • Once your carousel ad is saved, it cannot be edited.

Direct Sponsored Content

Like Sponsored Content Ads, Direct Sponsored Content Ads can appear in the form of Single Image, Video, and Carousel Ads. Unlike Sponsored Content, these ads don’t need to appear on a LinkedIn page and can be published directly to the target audience inbox.

Direct Sponsored Content - Inmail ads

What are LinkedIn Inmail Ads

LinkedIn InMail is a messaging feature that allows you to send messages to people with who you are not connected on LinkedIn. A feature which can both access when using Linkedin Premium but also as advertising ads. 

 

Linkedin Inmail ads – Advertising Specifications

  • Ad name (optional): Use up to 50 characters, including spaces
  • Sender: Select from available senders
  • Message Subject: Up to 60 characters max (incl. spaces and punctuation)
  • Message text: Up to 1,500 characters max (incl. spaces and punctuation)
  • Clickable links: Up to 3 links max
  • Hyperlinked text in the message: Up to 70 characters max (incl. spaces and punctuation)
  • Custom Terms & Conditions: Use up to 2,500 character max (incl. spaces and punctuation)
  • Call-to-action (CTA) button copy: Up to 20 characters max (incl. spaces)
  • Landing page URL in hyperlink or CTA: URLs must include the "http://'' or "https://" prefix. Use up to 2,000 characters max for your destination link.
  • Banner creative: 300 x 250
  • File type: JPG, GIF (non-animated), or PNG (no flash)
  • Maximum file size: 40kb
  • Click-through URL

Pro-tips for using LinkedIn Inmail Ads

  • Connect them to LinkedIn Lead gen forms for optimal results.
  • Pay per Send 0,10€ - 1€
  • Send from a personal and credible profile
  • 60%+  open rates are normal.
  • No custom greeting in the headline
  • 45 Days restriction to target a user with a Linkedin inmail, change bidding strategy accordingly. 



Direct Sponsored Content - Conversation ads

What are LinkedIn Conversation Ads

Think of Linkedin conversation ads as if Inmail ads and a Messenger bot had a baby. It allows you to do anything that Inmail ads do but allowing you to create in-depth flows to create a better customer journey for your users.

 

Linkedin Conversation ads – Advertising Specifications

  • Name this ad: Use up to 255 characters, including spaces and punctuation
  • Sender: Select from available senders or add a sender
  • Banner creative (optional, desktop only): Upload up to a 300 x 250px banner creative that is a JPG or PNG (no flash) and may be up to 2MB
  • Custom footer & terms of conditions (optional): Use up to 2,500 characters, including spaces and punctuation
  • Intro message: Use up to 500 characters, including spaces and punctuation
  • Image (optional): Upload up to a 250 x 250 px image that is a JPG or PNG and may be up to 5 MB
  • Call-to-action (CTA) button text: Use up to 25 characters, including spaces and punctuation
  • Max CTA buttons per message: 5 buttons
  • Message text: Use up to 500 characters, including spaces and punctuation
  • Destination URL: URLs must have the http:// or https:// prefix. Use up to 2,000 characters for the destination link.


Pro-tips for using Linkedin Conversation Ads

  • Connect them to LinkedIn Lead gen forms for optimal results.
  • Writing copy for Conversation ads is very different than writing copy for a website or sponsored ads. Think about writing copy for a chatbot instead of an ad.
  • The way I write my conversation ads is the same way I would just talk to a human being on LinkedIn. Casual, short, and without too much thinking. You want them to feel natural, not corporate.
  • In some regions this feature is a lot more active, therefore if you use this across multiple countries, you might end up just targeting one country.
  • Keep in mind that when running campaigns for a few countries, you’ll often see leads coming in from countries you aren’t targeting. This is something that hasn’t been fixed by LinkedIn yet. This might be because this is still in beta in times of writing this.
  • You can’t retarget people based on the interactivity with your personal bot.
  • For conversation ads, try to keep people on the platform as much as possible.
  • Cost per Send is on average between €0.15 - €0.27 cents.
  • Open Rates between 60-80% are very normal, which if you compare this to email is insane.
  • If you add URL parameters for third-party tracking, do not use quotation mark characters within the parameter settings to avoid technical errors with reaching your destination URL.
  • Some special characters (for example: > < # % { } [ ] and others) cause errors when they're included in the query string at the end of the URL. Even if unsafe characters are accepted, they may not be supported in all browsers. If your URL generates an error, copy everything after the question mark into the URL and paste it into a URL encoder like this one: http://meyerweb.com/eric/tools/dencoder/. Then, copy your results and replace the original query string in the URL. This should resolve the issue.



Direct Sponsored Content - Text ads

What are LinkedIn Text Ads

Think of Linkedin text ads as Google Display ads within the platform. They appear on the right rail and top banner on the desktop and include a short headline, blurb, and a small square image.

 

 

Linkedin Text ads – Advertising Specifications

  • Ad image: 100 x 100 pixels; upload a JPG or PNG file that is 2MB or smaller
  • Ad headline: Use up to 25 characters max (incl. spaces)
  • Ad Description: Use up to 75 characters max (incl. spaces)
  • Destination URL: URLs must have the "http://'' or "https://" prefix. You may use up to 2,000 characters max for the destination link.
  • Click tracking for destination URLs is supported.
  • Text ads appear in a variety of sizes, including:
  • 300 x 250
  • 17 x 700
  • 160 x 600
  • 728 x 90
  • 496 x 80

Pro-tips for using Linkedin Text Ads

  • Desktop only
  • 50x50 px image
  • Be happy with 0,03-0,06% CTR
  • A high amount of impressions, nice for branding on a high CPM channel.
  • It can lead to false conversions if set up wrongly. Make a difference between view-through and click conversions. 

 

 

Dynamic ads

Dynamic Ads allow you to create more personalized content with the use of member profile data (think profile images, company names, and titles). They are also highly scalable, allowing you to reach larger audiences, but regrettably, only on desktops given the limited screen size of mobile devices.

Dynamic Ads  - Follower ads

What are LinkedIn Follower Ads

Follower ads are designed to generate followers for your LinkedIn or Showcase Page. They are tailored to member profile data and leverage profile pictures alongside your brand’s logo, punting the value of association. Other elements that appear in these ads include member first names and your organization.

linkedin ads 2021

 

Linkedin Follower ads – Advertising Specifications

 

  • Ad description (above images): Select a suggested option or create your own custom text. Suggested options are automatically translated but the custom text is not. Use up to 70 characters, including spaces.
    Ad headline (below images): Select a suggested option or produce your own custom headline. Suggested options are automatically translated but custom text is not. Use up to 50 characters max (incl. spaces).
  • Company name: Up to 25 characters max (incl. spaces). Company names are only displayed when a member places their cursor on your logo.
  • Ad image: Minimum image size: 100 x 100px for JPG or PNG
  • Call-to-action (CTA): Select from various CTAs available. CTAs are dynamically displayed in follower ads shown to members who follow your organization. Non-followers see your default Follow CTA.
  • Visit company (default): Redirects to the Page tab of your LinkedIn Page
  • Visit jobs: Redirects to the Jobs tab of your LinkedIn Page
  • Visit life: Redirects to the Life tab of your LinkedIn Page

Pro-tips for using LinkedIn Follower Ads

  • For follower ads, exclude existing followers from seeing your ad to ensure you’re gaining net new prospects. You can do this on the targeting page.

 

Dynamic Ads  - Spotlight ads

What are LinkedIn Spotlight Ads

Spotlight Ads send members directly to your website or a landing page. Like Follow Ads, they also include member profile data. 



linkedin spotlight ads 2021

 

LinkedIn Follower ads – Advertising Specifications

  • Ad description (above images): Use up to 70 characters, including spaces. Your text is not automatically translated.
  • Ad headline (below images): Use up to 50 characters, including spaces. Your text is not automatically translated.
  • Company name: Use up to 25 characters, including spaces. Your organization’s name is displayed when a member moves their cursor over your logo.
  • Company image: Minimum image size: 100 x 100px for JPG or PNG
  • Call-to-action (CTA) button text: Use up to 18 characters, including spaces.
  • Landing page: Supports third-party click tracking destination URLs (via tracking parameters or redirects)
  • Custom background image (optional): The image must be exactly 300 x 250px and 2MB or less.

Pro-tips for using LinkedIn Spotlight Ads

  • A high amount of impressions, nice for branding on a high CPM channel.
  • It can lead to false conversions if set up wrongly. Make a difference between view-through and click conversions. 
  • Use these ads when targeting specific companies in an ABM strategy which you can learn in the LinkedIn Ads Masterclass.

 

Dynamic Ads - Job ads

What are LinkedIn Job Ads

Job Ads leverage member profile data to promote one or more job opportunities. These are targeted to qualified LinkedIn members in your audience. These ads are dynamically generated and show as “Jobs You May Be Interested In”, “Picture Yourself” or appear in Jobs Pages.


 

LinkedIn Job ads – Advertising Specifications

 

  • Company name: Use up to 25 characters, including spaces.
  • Company logo: Recommended minimum logo size: 100 x 100px
    Note: Smaller company logos will appear smaller and may not perform as well. Larger company logos will be reduced to 100 x 100px. Company logos that are not square will be reduced so that the largest dimension fits.
  • Ad headline: Choose from one of the suggested options or write your own custom text using up to 70 characters, including spaces.
  • Call-to-action (CTA) button label: Choose from one of the pre-set CTAs or supply your own custom text. For "Picture Yourself" and "Jobs Page" ads, the CTA is automated. For the "Jobs of Interest" ad, you can customize the CTA.

Pro-tips for using LinkedIn Job Ads

  • LinkedIn will automatically exclude your own company to avoid targeting your own employees. 
  • LinkedIn doesn’t allow you to target other platforms except their own with this ad format. 
  • Try to avoid the audience expansion option as your ads manager for this topic to make sure you are targeting the right audience. 

Looking to lean more in-depth about LinkedIn ads, this blog post about LinkedIn Ads is a great start.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

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