How to generate leads with LinkedIn lead gen ads

linked in lead generation ads.jpg

Get leads by advertising on LinkedIn

Finally, a good business 2 business advertising platform. In recent years if you’ve operated a business 2 business company you probably felt like you’re only advertising methods were email marketing, SEO, and Google ads but luckily for you there is a new player and he isn’t that bad. Yep, its Linked In. With tons of data Linked In allows you to target people making the purchasing decisions for what ever business you are trying to target. There are a few different ways to advertise with LinkedIn but I will mainly go over the options to use for lead generation. I will likely do other posts about the other ways you can utilize Linked In so be sure to check back. First, lets start with how do i advertise on Linked in.

Advertising with Linked In

First things first you will go to the upper right hand corner of your Linked In account and click the work drop down. Then you can go ahead and click the advertise button. Now if you want a more in depth run through Linked In offers a variety of awesome videos and forums to learn from. Once you click the advertising button you will be taken to your advertising dashboard. It is pretty simple and kind of a like Facebook ads manager except it has less features but hey Linked In is still figuring it out. Once you are in your dashboard you can create a campaign.

Advertise with LinkedIn.PNG

lead gen options.PNG

Lead generation ads option

As you can see much like Facebook you have a few different ways to advertise with Linked In’s ad platform but if you want leads I think the lead gen option is the way to go. Using lead gen allows you to create a click to form style of ad without the user having to leave LinkedIn. The user will see your ad or message and click the call to action which will then take them to a form they have to fill out. Once they submit you get the lead and can then export the lead. So lets dive into this.

Building your lead gen ad

You will have to complete 5 things before actually creating your ad:

  1. Select an audience

  2. Choose 1 of 4 ad formats

  3. Placement

  4. Budget and schedule

  5. Conversion tracking (optional)

Selection your audience

The first thing you will see is the location of where you want your ad to be. Obviously if you are a business that can only supply in specific serviced areas you will want to include those areas while excluding all areas you don’t serve. You can go down to a city level if you are looking for hyper targeted local business.

Linked In targeting options.PNG

The second part of audience building is the detailed portion. This is where you can target people based on the following:

  • Company - company connections, company follower of, company industries, company names, and company size

  • Demographics - member age and member gender

  • Education - degrees, fields of study, and member schools

  • Job Experience - job functions, job seniority, job titles, member skills, and years of experience

  • Interests - member groups and member interests

So this is really where the magic happens with your targeting efforts. You can choose multiple targeting options but your head is probably racing with all the possibilities. For instance, lets say your a business formation and contract lawyer you can target only people in your area with the title “Business owner, Founder, or CEO”. Pretty great huh? There really is a lot of things you can do with this so be sure to experiment and see which targeting avenue yields the most return.

Linked In Ad format.PNG

What Linked In ad format should I use?

The answer is any. It really depends what your industry is and also what you are looking to do. In my experience, message ads work pretty well if you are good at writing copy. However, I encourage you to experiment.

Single Image - This will display a single image with some copy and call to action. Once the CTA is clicked they will be directed to a form.

Carousel - Same thing with more images

Video ad - If you are going to do a video I would just do the consideration section for cheaper ad spend and direct them to a landing page

Message ad - Depending on your budget they will send hundreds of emails your target audience which will then direct them to a button and a form.


Quick section where Linked In asks if you would like advertise in their audience network and it doesn’t really matter because they don’t allow this option got lead gen ads.

Budget and Schedule

linked in budget.PNG

For budget i recommend starting low around $10. Linked In has a very high CPC so if you are doing a single image ad just keep that in mind. That is why i prefer the message ads just because I can get 80 sends for $10 vs 3-4 clicks with an image ad and I just think there is more value in the message. Also, if you do a message ad you cannot send it as a business which is kind of a bummer. It forces you to send as the profile of your account. Just like Google and Facebook Linked In may go 20% higher than your budget allows so keep that in mind as well. Unlike Facebook there is no option for budget over a period of time it is always daily! You do have the option to set a start and end date which I recommend you do when testing campaigns for easy comparison. For a bid type I just keep it on automated bid. I haven’t experimented with the enhanced CPC bid or the maximum CPM bid, if you have leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

Conversion Tracking

This is for you to track what happens after the click. I recommend you set it up but will go over this in a separate blog post. It is more useful selecting different ad types however, your ad will still link to your website so it is useful to keep track to see if conversions happen without the lead form.

Ad creation time!

The part you have all been waiting for. You get to make your ad. Now depending on the type of ad you chose how you create your ad will be different. Here are a few examples of each. I just scrolled through Linked in and found these.

On the left we have a messenger ad. This ad is probably sent to everyone who has recently received a bachelors degree and is looking into getting their MBA. You can see the custom button they use is “Explore USC”. Followed by some text to try to convince me of the value I would obtain by getting my MBA.

On the right, it is actually a video ad. Not sure what is but the copy says watch a CEO’s 10 year old explain what I spot does so my guess is they are trying to captivate you with how easy their product is to use. Single image and carousal ads would look the same as the video ad except either a single image or a variety of images.

linked in example of a messenger ad.PNG
Linked In video ad.PNG

Ad copy description - make this text bold and show value and entice them to click your call to action.

Ad copy headline - Make this the click bait part of your ad but also something that will stop your audience from scrolling past your ad

Ad Image - Linked In offers a variety of image specs but make sure your image is clear and people understand what your are trying to convey to them.

Video ad - try to create something fun and informative that will make people want to share your video that is free exposure and will get you greater ROI

Lastly, how do I collect my leads?

This can be done in a few easy steps.

  1. go to your ad dashboard

  2. click “account assets”

  3. then click “lead gen forms”

  4. It will then take you to your leads. Click the three dots and export the leads into an excel file.

  5. Boom! done contact your leads and get that sale!


Linked In ads can be a valuable advertising platform for any business and you should integrate it into your marketing mix. I hope this post was helpful. If you have any information you would like to ad feel free to comment it below. If you have any questions or want some 1 on 1 help feel free to use the contact form below to give me a shout.

Name *