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LinkedIn is a social network of businesses and professionals. This makes it the dream platform for any business that sells to other businesses. If you’re a B2B marketer looking to generate more leads and/or raise more brand awareness, LinkedIn advertising should be at the top of your to-do list.

There are two main ways you can advertise on LinkedIn — through self-service ads or managed campaigns.

Managed campaigns

LinkedIn's support team can help you create and optimize ads, fine-tune your audience targeting, and give your ads prime placement on the network for the best results. Through managed campaigns, you can deliver sponsored content, sponsored InMail, display ads, dynamic ads, and account-based marketing. You can contact LinkedIn’s account team to find out more about managed campaigns.

Self-service ads

Self-service ads are more of a DIY option in a similar way to advertising on other social networks. There are three different options for self-service ad content:

Sponsored content

Appears in users’ feeds like native LinkedIn updates, except it is marked as sponsored. You can choose to sponsor an existing update from your page or create a new one. It can include images, text, and links, and you have the ability to create multiple variations to test the success of your campaign. Through sponsored updates, users can click through to your website, your company page, or click to follow your company page directly from the update.

Sponsored InMail

Sent directly to users through LinkedIn messenger. These can be highly relevant and personalized to the recipient because they will be received privately. Create a subject line and summary for your InMail message and then write the main body of the message. You can also choose who the message will be sent from.

Text ads

Ads appearing down the side of users’ feeds. These ads contain a small image or logo, a headline of up to 25 characters, and a description of up to 75 characters. You can choose for your text ad to link to your website or your company page on LinkedIn. You can create up to 15 variations of your text ad to test which performs the best.

To create your self-service ads, you must have a Campaign Manager account linked to your company page. You will then choose which one of the three ad types listed above you would like to create, and then follow the steps to create your ad. Once set up, you will define your target audience. You can choose from various criteria, including company size, industry, job role, listed skills, and groups joined. You will see an estimated figure for the number of users in your target audience as you select different criteria.

Finally, set the budget for your campaign. You can choose between cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-impression (CPM). CPC is generally better suited to lead generation campaigns, whereas CPM works better for brand awareness. You can also set your suggested bid, daily and lifetime budget, and the start and end date for your ad.

You can review analytics for your ad campaigns to continually optimize them and ensure you are getting the best results from advertising on LinkedIn.