LinkedIn Ads : Cost, How it works and best practices !

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Welcome to this article which will allow you to discover all you need to know about LinkedIn Ads.

My goal is to help you choose the best tools for your LinkedIn strategy. 🎯

Indeed, you will see that you have several options and that they will depend on your needs.

I take you behind the scenes of the network to understand and profit from advertising on LinkedIn. 🤑

LinkedIn Ads, what is it?

Never heard of LinkedIn Ads? No worries, I’ll explain what it is 😁. LinkedIn Ads is an online advertising platform developed by LinkedIn (the largest professional networking platform). It will allow advertisers to target business users based on:

  • The industry.
  • Their function.
  • Their education.
  • The geographical area.
  • Their company.
  • Etc…

Advertisers can run ads as banner ads, sponsored posts or even videos 📹. These ads can then be displayed on profiles, search pages, in groups…

LinkedIn Ads offers advertisers the opportunity to reach a qualified and highly targeted audience. This can be particularly useful for those looking to reach decision makers, managers or even recruiters. You can also promote your brand, products or services and generate qualified leads.

The 4 LinkedIn Ads offers

I’m not telling you anything new by saying that LinkedIn is THE professional social network:

  • LinkedIn has 700 million members worldwide in 2020.
  • The network has the best free BtoB database.
  • It allows you to obtain qualified leads and develop your notoriety.

Because of its success, LinkedIn has a great interest in using advertising to make money, and you have a great interest in using LinkedIn to do the same. 😉

There are 4 paid options:

  1. Sponsored messages,
  2. Advertising texts (text ads),
  3. Dynamic ads,
  4. Sponsored content.

LinkedIn’s algorithm is designed more or less the same way as other social medias. Its goal is to keep users connected and engaged. To do so, (among other things) LinkedIn wants users to consume ads that advertisers paid for.

LinkedIn has therefore put its all into optimizing the user experience, whether for the advertiser or the users (targets for which the advertising is dedicated).

As a result, LinkedIn relies on quality advertising, before thinking about quantity.

This is where the Campaign Manager comes into play.

LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager

The Campaign Manager is a bit like a Swiss army knife for advertisers. It makes it easy to set up the whole process, so even a newbie can get started with LinkedIn Ads.

What is good is that you can personalize your data according to your objectives thanks to the Campaign manager. It also allows you to launch your campaigns and monitor your results.

Let me explain how it works and what you options are. 😏

Sponsored content

These are 3 different offers, they are visible on the home page of LinkedIn users that matches your target. You can first define your targets via the Campaign Manager. You can define by type of business, professional experience, interests, etc. Additionally, you can add an external link to your site or a landing page for example.

The 3 types of ads that are visible in the news feed of your targets:

You define the amount you want to invest. (I’ll explain that to you a little further down 😉).

Should I use sponsored content, and which format should I choose?

To know if you should be looking at sponsored content (or any of the other types of ads offered for that matter), you must first identify your goal on Netflix.

You should ask yourself :

  • Do I want to increase my reach and promote my brand?
  • Do I want to generate leads and sell quickly?

Sponsored content is quite good option if you want to grow your brand.

The video format is our favorite because it is extremely powerful. This is clearly the format to strive for if the goal is to promote your business.

On the other hand, if it you’re more concerned about generating leads and you are in BtoB, this option lacks personalization, and as a result it might not be the ideal format for you.

Text Ads

What are Text Ads according to LinkedIn?

This is a version of sponsored content with a title, a short text and an image, on which you add a call to action (a button to visit your site, your landing page …). It appears in your target’s news feed.

The main goal is to generate more traffic to a website and more leads through interactive features like Lead Gen forms and automated calls-to-action. Icône représentant une loupe survolant l’indication “n° 1” sur un graphique en barres

Should I use Text Ads?

On paper, it sounds great. The issues is that ‘s interesting, except that Text Ads is less attractive than a video and less personal than a direct message.

LinkedIn is a social network, users need to feel that they are talking to an individual, that they are exchanging values ​​and emotions. You sell your brand or product more easily by adding storytelling or context, but Text Ads are very short and impersonal.

I’m not telling you not to use Text Ads, but I highly recommend you to use your LinkedIn account(s) to post content.

It is much more beneficial for you to develop your network by adding members corresponding to your target, than to publish on your news feed directly with your account.

It will allow you to add a personal touch. 😉

To do this, here are the two essential steps:

  1. Use Waalaxy to automate your account to grow your LinkedIn network, by sending automatic connection requests.
  2. Once you have automated this action, use engagement groups to boost your posts, get more likes, visibility and leads.

This action takes a little longer to set up than a Text Ads, but it requires little effort and will be more profitable in the long term.

Sponsored messaging

It is a short text sent in the messaging of your targets and intended to arouse curiosity and encourage them to learn more about the content.

Usually, the format offered by LinkedIn is not very popular because your posts are labeled “Sponsored”.

The user therefore knows that this is an advertisement sent automatically, which is not in line with the development of the network and current social codes.

LinkedIn users are looking for more authenticity and more personalization.

Should I use sponsored messaging?

As I told you, if you use LinkedIn sponsored content, you are forced to have the Sponsored mention on your message. Honestly, we all have received these messages in our LinkedIn messaging, and it would be a lie to say that we are paying attention to it. 😂

Have you left their messages “unread” because you felt like you were being spammed? Admit it.

Sponsored messages can nevertheless be great tools to get in direct contact with the prospect and respond to a growing user’s demand : having real and personal exchanges on the network. Of course, you have to know how to write your prospecting messages, but also have the right tool.

If you are interested in mass messaging, I am not going to tell you that you absolutely have to use Waalaxy, it is up to you which tool you prefer. However, I’m telling you not to use LinkedIn sponsored messaging and to compare the tools on the market to find out which one is right for you.

And if you want to know more about automating your actions on the network, I invite you to read this article.


Dynamic Ads

These are personalized advertisements. Using data from LinkedIn profiles, such as photo, company, job title, etc. LinkedIn will show your advertising directly to your pre-qualified targets.

They are usually accompanied by a call-to-action, which converts users into prospects.

Should I use Dynamic Ads?

Again, the answer will depend on your goals and your target. Dynamic ads can allow you to generate leads quickly.

I find that offer more interesting than the Ads message.

However, I always recommend that you also have a medium / long term vision and develop your network by using your LinkedIn account or your sales’s team.

There are several methods you can experiment with very well, but optimizing your profile and automating are essential steps if you want to truly benefit from the network. 😉

How Much Does LinkedIn Ads Cost?

The answer is more complex than the question. LinkedIn works with an auction system. So, you have to understand how it works to know how much to bid. 🤔

Once you have chosen the type of advertisement, you can look into the auction mode. Again, it depends on your goals:

  • The cost per thousand; to develop the brand image. 📢
  • The cost per click; to generate leads. 🤑

Let me explain to you :

First of all, you want to position yourself on a target. That target will be identical to other bidders’s target.


LinkedIn therefore puts you in competition with them.

Why ? Because there is not enough dedicated space to put all your pretty advertisements and it is not in LinkedIn’s interest to spam its users too much, but to offer them the most relevant advertisements possible.

The purpose of LinkedIn is twofold: to deliver the best advertising to users and to meet the needs of advertisers.

First, you will choose a maximum amount that you want to pay. This will be cost per click or cost per thousand, depending on your goals.

How to win your auctions on LinkedIn?

Two factors will be the key to your success:

  1. The amount you want to bid per click or per thousand.

The higher the amount, the more chances you have of winning the auction. Still, it’s important to understand your goals and estimate your budget before deciding how much you want to pay per click.

For example: If you win the auction with $ 12 CPC and have a budget of $ 1000, you will have 83 leads, then your ad will end.

2. The quality score: it is calculated by the interaction of users with your ad.

As I explained to you earlier, LinkedIn has a big interest in providing relevant content to users, since the moment they click or view the ad you posted, LinkedIn makes money.

LinkedIn’s algorithms will therefore give you a quality score to measure the effectiveness of your advertisements. The higher it is, the more chances you have of winning the auction. 🎯


How is the quality score calculated?

It is a set of factors:

  • Your performance on your old LinkedIn ads (click-through rate, user engagement),
  • Ad relevance: It is evaluated based on the relevance of your keywords, the content and message of your ads,
  • The security related to the link of your Ad. (if you send users to questionable pages, LinkedIn is not going to help you),
  • Shares, likes, comments on your ads – user engagement.

Of course, LinkedIn is careful not to tell you what your score is, otherwise you could bid less money upfront, and that doesn’t suit them too much. 😂

Also, just to add a bit of complexity to all of this, the amount you bid is not the amount you will pay in the end. This is a pro rata between the total score of the advertiser who came in second and your quality score. (I warned you that it was complicated 😂)

Don’t worry, I’ve made some cool little visuals to show you:


Here, we can notice that the bidder number two obtains the highest total score, even if his bid was lower, because it is multiplied by his quality score.

What happens after?


Let say the bidder number two is you. (congratulation, you won ! 🎈)

The total score of the second highest bidder is divided by your quality score, and 🎉 Tadam 🎉: you only have to pay 5.34 $ CPM or CPC.

LinkedIn therefore receives 5.34 $ which is less money than what you have bet, but according to LinkedIn, it is more qualitative and therefore it will be more appreciated by users.

It is in your interest to choose your targets well and to pamper the visuals and texts of your advertising campaigns if you want to win.


There are 4 types of LinkedIn Ads offers:

  1. Sponsored messages,
  2. Advertising texts (text ads),
  3. Dynamic ads,
  4. Sponsored content.

You can use them to build your brand awareness or get leads. These advertisements are paid by auctions.

In this article you could see the advantages and disadvantages of these offers, how to win auctions to advertise on LinkedIn, as well as our tips for making the most of the network using automation tools.

Summary FAQ

How to set up LinkedIn Ads?

First, you need to define your network goals, your budget and your target through the campaign manager.

Then, you just have to understand what are the 4 different offers of LinkedIn to select the one that suits you or/and find another tool to make the most of the network.

Finally, you will win an auction so that LinkedIn publishes your ad instead of your competitors’s ad.

Which advertising is most effective on LinkedIn?

Again, this will depend on your target and your goals. For example, the video format of sponsored content can help you develop your branding image.

Certain offers like the sponsored message should be avoided. In this article, I explain how you can use an automated tool to create your highly personalized prospecting messages, without going through the sponsored message offer from LinkedIn.

How much does an advertisement on LinkedIn cost?

Several factors will determine the price of your advertising. First of all, the budget you decide to allocate to it. Then, the maximum cost per click (CPC) or cost per thousand (CPM) that you want to invest.

Then you are going to bid on auction and to be put in competition with other advertisers. The price you will pay if you win the auction is not what you originally offered. This is a pro rata between the score of the advertiser in second place and yours.

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