Leveraging LinkedIn Ads for Small Business Growth

More than just sales

If you’re a B2B business and you want the most bang for your dollar, you’ve got to look at LinkedIn advertising. The only platform for professionals, business owners, CEOs, managers, creators, keynote speakers, and more. And here’s the best part: these audiences are 6x more likely to convert than other audience groups.

How so? Who holds the most purchasing power in a company? The owners and managers. Who holds the biggest platforms? The keynote speakers, authors, and influencers.

This makes LinkedIn’s advertising program incredibly powerful, efficient, and cost-effective compared to other advertising platforms.

If you’re interested, let’s get to know how to use LinkedIn ads for small businesses.

In this article

What is LinkedIn Advertising?

What is LinkedIn Advertising for small businesses

LinkedIn, a jewel in Microsoft’s crown, holds its own against social media giants like Facebook and TikTok.

But what sets it apart is its focus on business owners and professionals, with content that revolves around work, business, and professional development.

LinkedIn also boasts a native advertising program that’s as diverse as it is effective.

Here’s a closer look at its ad platform:


LinkedIn’s advertising model is an auction-based system, where you bid against other advertisers to reach the same audience.

The cost of advertising on LinkedIn depends on your audience, campaign’s goal, and bid. On average, the cost per click (CPC) on LinkedIn is $5.58, the cost per 1,000 Impressions (CPM) is $33.80, and the cost per send (CPS) is between $0.20 and $0.80.

To kickstart your advertising journey on LinkedIn, you’ll need a daily budget of at least $10 and a minimum budget of $100 for a new campaign. Once your campaign is live, the minimum lifetime budget is replaced with a minimum daily budget of $10 multiplied by the number of campaign days. For CPC and CPM campaigns, LinkedIn requires businesses to bid at least $2.

Content Types

LinkedIn is more than just a professional networking platform; it’s a canvas for your creativity.

The platform allows you to use various content types for advertising, each offering unique ways to engage your audience and convey your brand message. Here is the list of content you can publish on LinkedIn ads:

  • Text

Sometimes, simplicity is key. Text-based ads, whether standalone or accompanying other media, are a powerful way to communicate your message. They offer you the opportunity to use compelling copy to attract attention, generate interest, and inspire action.

  • Images

A picture is worth a thousand words, and this holds true on LinkedIn. Image ads can capture the essence of your brand, product, or service in a visually appealing way. They’re excellent for grabbing attention, evoking emotions, and making a lasting impression. You can use images to showcase your products, share infographics, or create visually striking graphics that resonate with your audience.

  • Videos

Videos are one of the most engaging content types on social media, and LinkedIn is no exception. Video ads allow you to tell a more comprehensive story about your brand, demonstrate your product in action, or share testimonials from satisfied customers. They’re highly engaging and can significantly boost your brand visibility and recall.

  • Carousel Ads

Carousel ads are a series of swipeable images or videos that allow you to tell a deeper story or showcase multiple offerings at once. They’re interactive, engaging, and perfect for when you want to go beyond a single piece of content.

Ad Formats

LinkedIn offers a diverse range of ad formats, each designed to help you achieve specific advertising goals and cater to your audience’s preferences.

  • Sponsored Content

These are native ads that appear directly in the LinkedIn feed across desktop and mobile. They’re designed to fit seamlessly with the platform’s professional content, making them less intrusive and more engaging. Sponsored content can be used to increase your brand’s visibility, drive traffic to your website, or generate leads.

  • Message Ads & Sponsored InMail

These ad formats allow you to send personalized messages directly to the LinkedIn inboxes of your target audience. They’re great for delivering personalized content, offers, or invitations to a highly engaged audience.

  • Dynamic Ads

Dynamic ads use LinkedIn member information to automatically personalize your ad creative. They can be used to build brand awareness, drive traffic, or generate leads.

Dynamic ads come in three formats: Follower Ads to grow your LinkedIn Page following, Spotlight Ads to drive traffic or conversions with a single call-to-action, and Jobs Ads to automatically promote your open roles to candidates who fit the role.

  • Text Ads

Text ads appear on the right column or at the top of the page on LinkedIn. They’re pay-per-click (PPC) or cost-per-impression (CPM) ads that are great for reaching a large audience and driving new customers to your website.

  • Video Ads 

Video ads are excellent for showcasing your company culture, demonstrating a product, explaining a complex service, or telling an engaging and comprehensive story about your business.

  • Carousel Ads

Carousel ads are interactive ads that are great for showcasing multiple products, telling a multi-part story, or sharing multiple testimonials.

  • Event Ads

Event ads promote your LinkedIn Events or LinkedIn Live events to drive attendance. They appear in the LinkedIn feed and are designed to boost engagement and discovery of your events.

  • Lead Gen Forms

Lead Gen Forms are pre-filled with LinkedIn profile data, making it easy for users to share their information with you. These can be used with any LinkedIn ad format and can significantly boost your lead generation efforts.

Benefits of LinkedIn advertising to small businesses

Benefits of LinkedIn advertising to small businesses

Now that we’ve unraveled how LinkedIn works, it’s time to delve into the benefits it offers to small businesses.

With its professional audience, direct access to decision-makers, high conversion rates, advanced targeting capabilities, and trusted platform, LinkedIn advertising can be a game-changer for your small business.

Let’s explore each of these benefits in more detail.

Professional Audience

LinkedIn is a bustling hub of over 850 million professionals, making it a treasure trove for small businesses. It’s a platform where you can build your brand, establish meaningful relationships with potential customers, partners, or investors, and tap into a network of professionals that’s continually growing.

For instance, Adobe, whose market is the professional art world, leveraged LinkedIn Ads to achieve 161% larger deal sizes for LinkedIn-influenced deals. This goes to show the immense potential that LinkedIn’s professional audience holds for small businesses. In fact, audiences on LinkedIn have 2x the buying power of the average web audience, making them a valuable demographic for small businesses to target.

Decision Makers

LinkedIn is not just a platform for professionals; it’s a direct line to decision-makers. With 4 out of 5 LinkedIn members driving business decisions, you have a unique opportunity to reach the people who have the power to make purchasing decisions.

This direct access can be a game-changer for small businesses looking to establish partnerships or secure business deals. This is particularly significant considering that the average B2B sales cycle is 6-9 months, and 95% of your prospective customers are not in-market.

High Conversion Rates

When it comes to conversion rates, LinkedIn stands head and shoulders above the rest.

With audiences on LinkedIn being 6x more likely to convert, every dollar you spend on advertising has the potential to drive impressive results. This means that your advertising budget, no matter how limited, can deliver significant value.

This is backed by the fact that LinkedIn is the #1 platform for B2B lead generation, and 77% of B2B marketers say LinkedIn produces the best organic results.

Targeting Capabilities

LinkedIn’s advanced targeting tools are a boon for small businesses. They allow you to reach the right people without wasting resources on those outside your target.

With LinkedIn, you can target professionals based on their job title, industry, company size, and more, ensuring your ads reach the people most likely to be interested in your product or service. This sophisticated B2B targeting is part of what makes LinkedIn the preferred platform for many businesses.

Trusted Platform

Trust is a crucial factor in the world of business, and LinkedIn has earned it in spades. According to eMarketer, LinkedIn has been the most trusted platform for five years.

Moreover, 96% of Fortune 500 companies are LinkedIn customers. This trust can enhance your business’s image, give your audience the confidence to engage with your ads, and help small businesses overcome the challenge of building credibility and trust.

Best Practices for Advertising on LinkedIn

Best Practices for Advertising on LinkedIn for small businesses

Ready to create your first LinkedIn ads? If so, you might want to consider reading these best practices to secure the effectiveness of your ads. This way, you minimize errors and maximize your budget.

Consider the Size and File Type of the Content

When it comes to LinkedIn ads, the devil is in the details. The file types and sizes of your content can significantly impact the effectiveness of your ads. Here’s why:

  • Optimal Display

Adhering to LinkedIn’s specifications ensures your ads are displayed optimally. If your images or videos don’t meet the recommended dimensions, they may be cropped or distorted, which can negatively impact the visual appeal and effectiveness of your ads.

  • Maximize Engagement

Each element of your ad, from the headline to the description, plays a role in attracting and engaging your audience. By understanding the character limits, you can craft compelling copy that captures attention and inspires action without being cut off.

  • Avoid Technical Issues

Using the correct file types and sizes helps prevent technical issues that could prevent your ads from being displayed correctly or at all. For instance, if your video file is too large, it may not upload properly.

  • Efficient Use of Resources

By knowing the specifications upfront, you can create your ad content accordingly. This can save you time and resources that might otherwise be wasted on reformatting or adjusting content that doesn’t meet LinkedIn’s requirements.

  • Better Performance

Ultimately, adhering to LinkedIn’s ad specifications can lead to better ad performance. Ads that are visually appealing, engaging, and free of technical issues are more likely to attract clicks and conversions.

Make the Caption Engaging

Captions are the heart of your ads. They’re the first thing people read after they’re drawn in by your visuals.

So, make sure your captions are engaging. Use proven copywriting formulas like the 4Cs, Problem-Agitate-Solve, 4Us, and more to compel your audience to look, hear, or engage with your ads.

Use High-Quality Content Materials

The quality of your creative assets is not just about aesthetics or engagement; it’s a reflection of your brand identity. High-quality images, videos, or audios are more than just components of your ad; they are visual and auditory expressions of your brand’s values, personality, and promise. They communicate your brand’s commitment to excellence and professionalism, setting the tone for your audience’s experience.

By consistently using high-quality content, you can reinforce your brand identity, build recognition, and foster trust among your audience.

Improve your Targeting

When you first start your ads, you might be testing everything – from the number of impressions to the scope of the ad. But once you get to your second or third ad, you will have a clearer view of your target market.

You can now refine your targeting by specifying the demographics, geographics, and psychographics of your target audience.

A/B Test Your Ads

Not all ads are created equal. A/B testing can help you determine what works and what doesn’t, allowing you to improve your future ads.

This involves changing one element of your ad at a time (like the image, headline, or call to action) and comparing the results to see which version performs better.

Brand your ads properly

Use the right color palette, the appropriate and consistent font style, of course, place a logo design on the side. This way, your audience can tell that it belongs to your brand because of the ad’s features. If they’re loyal customers, they would love to know more about the ad simply because they know and trust the brand already.

If they are not familiar, then this is where advertising shines the most: brand awareness campaigns. Maximize your budget and exposure. Keep the visuals consistent on your main website, social media pages, and other platforms.

Final Thoughts

Your audience on LinkedIn is composed of professionals who value their time and appreciate quality. They are not just potential customers; they are potential partners, collaborators, and advocates for your brand, too. Therefore, every ad you create should not just sell but also serve – serve information, insights, solutions, and value.

In this light, the quality of your content becomes not just a requirement but a commitment – a commitment to uphold your brand identity, respect your audience’s professionalism, and to contribute positively to the LinkedIn community. This commitment to quality, reflected in every image, video, and word you share, is what transforms an ad from a mere marketing tool into a bridge that connects your brand with your audience.

Now, ready to get started? Just follow our advice in this article, and you’re good to go.


What are LinkedIn Ads for small businesses, and how do they work?

LinkedIn Ads for small businesses are targeted advertising campaigns run on the LinkedIn platform to reach a specific audience of professionals. These ads appear in users’ newsfeeds, on the sidebar, or as sponsored content and can be tailored based on factors such as job title, industry, location, and interests. They work by allowing small businesses to create and customize ad campaigns to achieve specific marketing objectives, such as generating leads, increasing brand awareness, or driving website traffic.

Why should small businesses consider using LinkedIn Ads?

Small businesses should consider using LinkedIn Ads for several reasons. LinkedIn is a professional networking platform with over 700 million users, making it an ideal place to connect with other businesses, decision-makers, and industry professionals. LinkedIn Ads offer precise targeting options, allowing small businesses to reach their ideal audience effectively. Additionally, LinkedIn Ads provide valuable insights and analytics to track campaign performance and measure return on investment (ROI).

What types of LinkedIn Ads are available for small businesses?

LinkedIn offers various ad formats tailored to small businesses, including sponsored content, sponsored InMail, dynamic ads, text ads, and video ads. Sponsored content appears in users’ newsfeeds, sponsored InMail delivers personalized messages directly to users’ LinkedIn inboxes, dynamic ads are personalized ads displayed based on users’ profile data, text ads appear on the sidebar, and video ads feature engaging video content.

How can small businesses target their audience effectively with LinkedIn Ads?

Small businesses can target their audience effectively with LinkedIn Ads by using advanced targeting options available on the platform. They can narrow down their audience based on criteria such as job title, industry, company size, seniority, location, skills, interests, and more. By specifying their target audience characteristics, small businesses can ensure their ads reach the most relevant users who are likely to be interested in their products or services.

What are some best practices for creating effective LinkedIn Ads for small businesses?

Some best practices for creating effective LinkedIn Ads for small businesses include defining clear campaign objectives, understanding the target audience, creating compelling ad copy and visuals, using relevant keywords, testing different ad formats and messaging, optimizing for mobile devices, and regularly monitoring and adjusting campaigns based on performance data.

How can small businesses measure the success of their LinkedIn Ads campaigns?

Small businesses can measure the success of their LinkedIn Ads campaigns using various metrics and analytics provided by the platform. Key performance indicators (KPIs) to track include impressions, clicks, click-through rate (CTR), conversions, cost per click (CPC), cost per conversion (CPA), and return on ad spend (ROAS). By analyzing these metrics, small businesses can assess the effectiveness of their campaigns and make data-driven decisions to optimize performance.

What budgeting options are available for small businesses running LinkedIn Ads?

LinkedIn offers flexible budgeting options for small businesses running ads on the platform. Small businesses can set daily or total campaign budgets based on their advertising goals and financial constraints. Additionally, LinkedIn offers bidding options such as cost per click (CPC) and cost per impression (CPM), allowing businesses to control how much they pay for ad placements and optimize their budget allocation.

How can small businesses leverage LinkedIn Ads to generate leads and drive conversions?

Small businesses can leverage LinkedIn Ads to generate leads and drive conversions by creating targeted campaigns with compelling calls-to-action (CTAs) that encourage users to take specific actions, such as signing up for a webinar, downloading a whitepaper, or requesting a product demo. By offering valuable content or incentives, small businesses can attract prospects and nurture them through the sales funnel.

Are there any tips for small businesses to optimize their LinkedIn Ads campaigns for success?

Yes, several tips can help small businesses optimize their LinkedIn Ads campaigns for success. These include regularly updating ad creative to keep content fresh and engaging, split-testing ad variations to identify top-performing elements, refining targeting criteria to reach the most relevant audience, monitoring campaign performance closely, and optimizing ad spend based on ROI.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when running LinkedIn Ads for small businesses?

Some common mistakes to avoid when running LinkedIn Ads for small businesses include targeting too broad or too narrow audience segments, neglecting to track and analyze campaign performance metrics, using generic or irrelevant ad copy, ignoring mobile optimization, and setting unrealistic expectations for campaign outcomes. By avoiding these pitfalls and following best practices, small businesses can maximize the effectiveness of their LinkedIn Ads campaigns.

How can small businesses enhance brand awareness through LinkedIn Ads?

Small businesses can enhance brand awareness through LinkedIn Ads by creating engaging sponsored content, leveraging LinkedIn’s professional audience targeting capabilities, and participating in industry-related conversations. By consistently delivering valuable content and engaging with relevant audiences, small businesses can increase brand visibility and recognition on the platform.

What role does retargeting play in LinkedIn Ads for small businesses?

Retargeting, or remarketing, allows small businesses to re-engage users who have previously interacted with their website or LinkedIn content. By using LinkedIn’s retargeting features, small businesses can create customized ad campaigns tailored to users’ past behaviors and interests, increasing the likelihood of conversion and maximizing advertising ROI.

How can small businesses use LinkedIn Ads to recruit top talent?

Small businesses can use LinkedIn Ads to recruit top talent by targeting professionals with relevant skills, experience, and job titles. By showcasing their company culture, values, and career opportunities through sponsored content and InMail campaigns, small businesses can attract qualified candidates and build a strong employer brand on LinkedIn.

What are the benefits of using sponsored content versus other ad formats on LinkedIn?

Sponsored content offers several benefits for small businesses on LinkedIn, including increased visibility in users’ newsfeeds, greater engagement through likes, comments, and shares, and the ability to deliver targeted messages to specific audience segments. Unlike other ad formats, sponsored content blends seamlessly with users’ organic feed, making it more likely to be noticed and interacted with.

How can small businesses leverage LinkedIn Ads to promote thought leadership and industry expertise?

Small businesses can leverage LinkedIn Ads to promote thought leadership and industry expertise by sharing insightful articles, whitepapers, case studies, or webinar recordings through sponsored content campaigns. By positioning themselves as experts in their field and providing valuable insights to their target audience, small businesses can establish credibility and trust on the platform.

What are some creative ways small businesses can use LinkedIn Ads to drive website traffic?

Small businesses can use LinkedIn Ads creatively to drive website traffic by offering exclusive content or promotions, hosting live events or webinars, showcasing customer success stories, or providing free trials or demos of their products or services. By enticing users with valuable offers or opportunities, small businesses can encourage clicks and visits to their website.

How does LinkedIn’s Lookalike Audience feature help small businesses expand their reach?

LinkedIn’s Lookalike Audience feature allows small businesses to reach new, relevant audiences similar to their existing customer base or target audience. By uploading a list of their best customers or website visitors, LinkedIn can identify common characteristics and behaviors and create a Lookalike Audience of similar users for targeting with ads, helping small businesses expand their reach effectively.

What are some common misconceptions about using LinkedIn Ads for small businesses?

Common misconceptions about using LinkedIn Ads for small businesses include the belief that it’s only suitable for large corporations, that it’s too expensive, or that it’s ineffective for certain industries. In reality, LinkedIn Ads can be highly effective for small businesses in niche industries, offering precise targeting options and measurable results at various budget levels.

How can small businesses ensure compliance with LinkedIn’s ad policies and guidelines?

Small businesses can ensure compliance with LinkedIn’s ad policies and guidelines by familiarizing themselves with the platform’s advertising rules and regulations, adhering to industry-specific restrictions, and regularly reviewing their ad campaigns for compliance. LinkedIn provides resources and support to help advertisers understand and navigate its advertising policies effectively.

What are some success stories of small businesses using LinkedIn Ads effectively?

There are numerous success stories of small businesses using LinkedIn Ads effectively to achieve their marketing goals. Examples include startups generating leads and driving sales, consultants attracting high-value clients, and local businesses expanding their reach and establishing credibility in their industry. By leveraging LinkedIn’s targeting capabilities and creative ad strategies, small businesses can achieve measurable results on the platform.

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