As a recruiter, you already know the impact that LinkedIn ads have on your search efforts for new talent. If you’ve been on the self-serve platform recently, you might have noticed a new option that has become available. With more than 450 million active professional users, a variety of targeting options, and now three ways to create an ad on the self-serve platform, LinkedIn is the social media front runner for connecting with top talent on a budget. Here is a breakdown of the LinkedIn ad options that may help you achieve your talent acquisition goals.

Text Ads

linkedin ads

These ads appear in the right-hand column of a viewer’s LinkedIn home page (on desktop only) under “Ads You May Be Interested In” or on top of many LinkedIn pages. For recruiters, this is a great placement if you happen to know that your landing page or application process is not mobile friendly. This options ensures that the targeted audience will only see it on their laptop. You are limited as far as text and a simple thumbnail image, but the ad can make an impact with a catchy title and description to get viewers to your landing page where more information can be found. Make it short, sweet, and enticing. Check out this white sheet for more text ads best practices.

Why you’d choose it:

  • Highly targeted, easy to create
  • Great for budget-conscious campaigns
  • Appears at the top and in the right rail of many LinkedIn pages on desktop only

Text Ad Specifications:

  • Headline: 25 characters
  • Body Text: 75 characters
  • Image size: 50 x 50 px

Sponsored Content Ads/Dark Ads

linkedin ads

Sponsored ads, or dark ads, appear in the LinkedIn feed on both desktop and mobile devices. These ads fit in with the organic posts that are found on your home page, sprinkled in with the organic posts. These ads are great if you are looking for more engagement with your audience as they allow people to like the post, leave a comment, or become a follower of your page. The character count and image size are larger than what is required for a text ad, but the targeting options are the same (e.g. job title, skills, company name, groups, age, etc.).

Why you’d choose it:

  • Attracts new followers to your company page or showcase page
  • Drives engagement with company-specific content
  • Appears on mobile devices, tablet, and desktop

Sponsored Content/Dark Ads Specifications:

  • Introduction Text: 150 characters or less, including the landing page URL
  • Image size: 1200 x 627 px, 1.91:1 ratio (industry standard)

Sponsored InMail Ads

linkedin ads

If you are familiar with the self-serve campaign option for LinkedIn ads, then you might have noticed a new product popping up lately. This is the sponsored InMail option, which has been available since 2013 through their Talent Direct Marketing Solutions department for a buy-in price of $15,000 for up to 2,500 sends. It is now on the self-serve platform at a much lower cost. How much lower? With as little as $10 a day, you can reach your target audiences with personalized content delivered through LinkedIn messenger via desktop and mobile devices. So what’s the catch?

  1. This is a cost-per-send (CPS) bid type, rather than a cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-impression (CPM) model like the other two options. That means you are charged every time a sponsored InMail is sent out, regardless of action taken. However, the targeting options are the same as before so you can ensure you are targeting the correct audience before you hit send.
  2. At this time you are unable to send a sponsored InMail as a company, due to legal and security reasons. You will need to designate a sender on the company’s behalf, who is also a LinkedIn member. This could work in your favor by sending out a more personalized message using a custom salutation: %FIRSTNAME%, %LASTNAME%

Why you’d choose it:

  • Craft your message with easy to follow steps
  • Reach audiences that matter most to your business in real time
  • Engage your target audiences with personalized content within the messaging experience on LinkedIn
  • Boost conversions and awareness using product promotions, personalized invites to webinars or events, and relevant content downloads
  • Reporting for sponsored InMail is pretty great. You are able to see InMails opened, open rate, responses, and response rate just to name a few.

Sponsored InMail Ads Specifications:

  • Body text: 1,000 characters
  • Clear call-to-action button
  • Image size 300 x 250 px
  • Custom footer section would be nice to have for your legal terms, promotion disclaimers, contact information and more.

Ready to get started? Here are step-by-step instructions and best practices on setting up the sponsored InMail ads on your own. Or give us a call! We’re happy to help you get set up using the right option that fits your goals and point your team in the right direction. With all the targeting options, ad variations and budgeting options, the self-serve LinkedIn ads platform is the quickest way to reach your next candidate.