InterServer Web Hosting and VPS

Best Linkedin Ads for Lead Generation

Ever since LinkedIn made all of its paid ads free to post, advertising on LinkedIn has become a lot easier. And you know what happens when advertising is no longer a hassle? You start paying more attention to the ads and you see their potential. In fact, over half of the clicks on Linkedin’s free ads are from the people who do not follow your page! That’s a lot of traffic for one platform! Thus, it’s a good idea to give it a try

From the beginning of my marketing carrier I tried to find a guide which would show me how to create effective LinkedIn ads and what ad platforms work best for B2B lead generation. Writing this article, I had a desire to share experience I gained using LinkedIn ads for B2B lead generation, tell about best practices for creating quality LinkedIn ads and explain how these ads may increase your web traffic and conversions.

If you are looking for ways to generate leads on LinkedIn, then you should keep reading. Here you will find some tactics that use LinkedIn ads as a lead generation tool. Note: You can easily turn these tactics into a scalable lead generation method for your business.

Here is a selection of high converting Linkedin ad examples that have been used by successful businesses for lead generation. These ads are really good at pulling traffic to the target website and generating leads. Even more, these ads examples also show that you can use Linkedin ads to promote your product or service.

How to see your competitor ads

Before we dive into main course of juicy ads, i have to share this other little-known hack. In an effort to create more ad transparency, you are able to see what ads your competitors are running via the Ad Tab. 

How can you see your Linkedin ads from the Linkedin ads Tab

Out of every 5 B2B marketers I speak to, only 1 of them know about this (estimated). So if you read and remember this, you’re already smarter than 80% of all B2B marketers.

While pulling these top performing ads, i noticed that most of the ads have these in common.

  • Their intro text and headlines are usually short and concise
  • The offer is very clear. People know exactly what action they need to take and what they will get after the click
  • Most of the ads contain action verbs. For example: Download, Read, See, Build, Choose, Accept, Drive traffic etc. 
  • Use questions or quotes in your ads. 
  • Focus on the audience. Use words like “You”
  • Put an interesting fact or statistic
  • Position your offer as educational and helpful. Advice and insights works well on Linkedin as most users are on Linkedin to learn
  • Calling out your audience clearly in the ad. 

Linkedin ad example 162 – Salesforce

Linkedin ad example 162 by Salesforce

What stands out in this ad?

A great awareness play to Salesforce. Each card featured a value proposition. You can clearly see the salesforce branding colors and logo from a mile away. Simple straightforward ad that looks vibrant and not the typical “boring” creative. It’s no wonder there’s so much engagement on this post.

Linekdin ad example 161 – FI

Linkedin ad example 161 by FI – Awareness Ad

What stands out in this ad?

Who says marketing on Linkedin needs to be serious and all buttoned up. Who says Linkedin is only for B2B companies. Here’s a perfect example of how you can keep it fun while communicating your value proposition clearly. They know their target audience are professionals who cares about growing their money. I like how they’re asking a question to their target audience too.

Linkedin ad example 160 – Gong

Linkedin ad example 160 by Gong- Consideration ad

What stands out in this ad?

The next few ads are going to be about Gong’s lead generation ads. It’s amazing. They use a simple lead gen form with less than 4 form fields which totally reduces friction to download. You’ll notice also that they’re testing out 1×1 square images which looks great on mobile. The message is clear. They also call-out their audience and the value they will receive if they download is clear. It’s not just “Download the eBook”. It’s more than that. You’ll learn 5 High-impact coaching techniques. That’s how you sell the value!

Linkedin ad example 159 – Gong

Linkedin ad example 159 by Gong – Consideration Ad

What stands out in this ad?

From the previous ad to this, who’s their target audience? Exactly, it’s sales people. They avoid B2B gibberish corporate talk that nobody understands. They avoid jargons and explain the benefits real clearly. And did i see “Cheat Sheet”? Who wouldn’t want that. The biggest thing i like here is how this offer will become immediately useful and applicable to me if I’m a salesperson. What value can you offer that will make a quick impact on your prospects? Cheat Sheets and templates tend to work well. It’s not difficult to produce either.

Linkedin ad example 158 – Gong

Linkedin ad example 158 by Gong – Consideration Ad

What stands out in this ad?

Other than the similar best practices mentioned in the past 2 Gong Lead Gen examples, this one stands out because of how data-driven it is. The intro text is so enticing and specific about the benefits of downloading this book. Placing data points and numbers makes this offer even more lucrative.

Original data and research is not something others can copy, which is what makes this offer so special and desirable.

It’s not another Forrester or Gartner third-party report that everyone is buying and promoting. Yikes, of course, members won’t engage with regurgitated unoriginal content that you buy off the shelf from 3rd parties, but this one from Gong is a classic hit. They’re killing it.

Linkedin ad example 157 – Salesforce

Linkedin ad example 157 by Salesforce – Conversion ad

What stands out in this ad?

A great example of value exchange. It’s clear what you’ll be getting from this eBook guide. I like how relevant the message is too as they tie it back to “post-covid” status.

Linkedin ad example 156 – Shopify

Linkedin ad example 156 by Shopify – Consideration phase ad

What stands out in this ad?

Checklist! Very similar to the earlier Gong examples. The value exchange is clear and benefits are immediate. If you’re overwhelmed with running an e-commerce business, wouldn’t this resonate with you? Love the action words they’re using on each card too.

Linkedin ad example 155 – GoDaddy

Linkedin ad example 155 by Godaddy – Awareness Ad

What stands out in this ad?

Godaddy shows us that It doesn’t always have to be about Products and services. Showcasing inspiring stories of your customers generates good awareness. Arguably, keeping your brand top of mind is more important than hard selling and cold calling. You can’t force people to buy. But you can inspire them and give them a reason to follow you, which will, in turn, lead them to believe and buy from you.

Linkedin ad example 154 – Linkedin

Linkedin ad example 154 by Linkedin – Awareness Ad

What stands out in this ad?

Who else to learn from than Linkedin themselves. I love how simple this ad is. Just pure text on the creative to explain the value. Clarity trumps creativity. Of course, strive for both if you can.

Linkedin ad example 153 – Amazon Web Services

Linkedin ad example 153 by Amazon web services – An awareness campaign

What stands out in this ad?

The message is so clear and simple. “Save 45%”. That has intrigued me to find out what I’m going to save. That said, if this was a direct response lead generation campaign instead, then the message can be clearer. Because advertisers only pay when the lead generation form is open, so being clearer upfront is more important for that objective

Linkedin ad example 152 – Paypal for Business

Linkedin ad example 152 – Paypal for business – Awareness ad

What stands out in this ad?

This one really surprised me. I would imagine that text on ad would perform better but Paypal has shown that a single relevant image without copy on it can be just as effective. Stories still work so well. It helps to humanize the brand.

Linkedin ad example 151 – Google

What stands out in this ad?

While we’re on the topic of using customer stories and case studies, here’s one by Google. They’re showcasing a hero story with so much empathy. Having a loveable elderly in the image also drums up the emotion of the struggle she went through. Showcasing company stories also works well as seen in these examples.

Linkedin ad example 150 – Gong

Linkedin ad example 150 by Gong – Awareness Campaign

What stands out in this ad?

Statistics and graphs are a natural fit for a professional network like Linkedin. Gong plays this aesthetics to their advantage. They still manage to keep their message concise and clear. Without a doubt, you know you’re going to learn about sales win rates.

Linkedin ad example 149 – APC by Schneider Electric

Linkedin ad example 149 – By ACP Schneider electric – Consideration Campaign

What stands out in this ad?

This ad isn’t the typical thumb-stopping ad. But what they do really well is to call out their audience. You can see it in their copy when they say “Channel Community”. Then they use carousel cards to reinforce what they can provide their channel partners with. Look at that amount of love and support engagements.

Linkedin ad example 148 – Advance AI

Linkedin ad example 148 – Advance AI – Consideration Stage

What stands out in this ad?

Clear call-out by geography. This is especially useful if the content and the ad targeting is focused on a region/country. The more specific you’re able to call-out your audience, the better it will resonate. The call-to action is also clear.

Linkedin ad example 147 – Magzster

Linkedin ad example 147 – Mgazster – Conversion or Awareness stage

What stands out in this ad?

Succint introduction to the brand. I like how the colour stands out and the use of numbers is great. Corporate gifting is also a great fit for a professional platform like Linkedin.

Libnkedin Ad Example 146 – Global Web Index

Linkedin ad example 146 – Global Web Index – Awareness Campaign

What stands out in this ad?

A shirtless man with red shades and spandex is definitely going to catch attention. Especially on a feed like Linkedin where there’s tons of “serious” corporate posts. This is still highly relevant as they share their report on beer brands. I love how they call out specific brands in their report and even gave specific numbers to entice viewers to find out more. Original data & research wins

Linkedin ad example 145 – Global Web Index

Linkedin ad example 145 by Global Web index – Awareness campaign

What stands out in this ad?

The same theme as before. The value you get from downloading is clear. I love how this brand focuses on original research and data. Or at least they are sharing their own point of view.

Linkedin ad example 144 – Global Web Index

Linkedin ad example 144 – Global Web Index – Awareness campaign

What stands out in this ad?

Clients always want leads even before creating awareness. Is it possible? Global Web Index shows us it is possible although no ideal. And how they cut the lead generation process is through thought leadership. This is true thought leadership where they share their own insights, research and data. Their point of view and their ultimate guide that no one else has. Not third party syndicated content that everyone has.

Follower Growth for CITI Program

CITI Program offers research ethics and compliance training for organizations like Harvard University, as well as ad hoc courses for individuals. When an organization subscribes to CITI Program, the annual base fee starts at $4,500 and scales from there. 

Example of a LinkedIn ad

We’ve been working with their team since October 2019 — and our focus has been on running campaigns and testing new channels to drive traffic and get more organizations to subscribe on their website. Our core channel mix includes Bing, Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn. 

For LinkedIn, we’ve leveraged the Sponsored Content ad format with a focus on three core objectives: 

  • Generating leads by sending highly targeted traffic to a landing page 
  • Increasing qualified traffic to posts or pages
  • Boosting follower total

For CITI, our best results have come from our campaigns that focus on follower count, which to be honest, was surprising to our entire team. Out of all the paid channels, LinkedIn is the most expensive, which means if you’re going to put your ad dollars here you typically need solid ROI numbers and last-click attribution data that signals this channel is worth the high sticker price. 

Follower ad on LinkedIn

Optimizing campaigns for followers works well for CITI because the buying cycle is long, sometimes up to 6+ months. With very specific job titles and email list uploads, we can grow the brand’s followers on LinkedIn with highly-targeted leads. From there, the sales team at CITI can develop a relationship with these followers and slowly move them down the funnel.  

For these LinkedIn lead gen campaigns to be successful, we knew it was important to nail the targeting. We were able to serve ads to key employees of target institutions that were not yet CITI Program subscribers. For these campaigns, we tested three different types of targeting: 

  • Saved Audiences: Company,  job seniority, job title, Groups
  • Lookalike Audiences- build audiences that look like your current customers
  • Nudge people in the funnel; Email List – Institutional contacts not yet subscribed 
Audience targeting options on LinkedIn.

This isn’t a strategy that is applicable to everyone (we’re paying almost $5 per quality follower!) but for CITI, it’s been one of their best performing campaign types.  

Demos for ThalamusGME

ThalamusGME is a digital interviewing software specifically designed for application to graduate medical education (GME) training programs. 

We’ve been working with their team since March 2019 and our focus has been on running campaigns that drive more demo sign-ups on the websites. Our core channel mix includes Bing, Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn. 

Example of a LinkedIn ad.

For Thalamus, we’ve seen the most success with Sponsored Content campaigns with a “Book Demo” CTA – and similar to CITI Program, the keys to our success have been in the targeting. For Thalamus LinkedIn ads, unlike Facebook or Google, we can target Residency Coordinators and key Program Managers at specific hospitals, making this a key channel for us.

Example of LinkedIn Ads reporting.

With these particular campaigns, we’ve experimented with optimizing for demos as well as landing page views and the results are almost identical. This screengrab from the ad account is a 7 day period – the top campaign was optimized for demos and the bottom for landing page views. The landing page views campaign was slightly cheaper ($1.21 per visit vs $1.34) but the onsite metrics (time on site, pages viewed, bounce rate) were almost identical. As of now, we’re still experimenting with both optimization objectives. 

Qualified leads come from a quality audience

Use professional demographic data to target the right people by job title, company, industry, seniority, and more.

Retarget website visitors, reach contacts, and build account-based marketing campaigns with Matched Audiences, a set of custom targeting options.

Source: LinkedIn Audience 360 study; Salesforce Advertising Index Report 2016

Create ads that capture their attention

In the newsfeedIn messagesOn desktop

Use Sponsored Content to promote company updates in the LinkedIn feed across desktop, mobile, and tablet.

Convert seamlessly with LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms

Lead Gen Forms
 remove the main barrier to online conversion: forms that have to be filled out manually by prospects.

When LinkedIn members click on your ad, their profile data automatically populates a form they can submit with one click. They’ll save time and effort. You’ll get more accurate and complete information about your leads.

LinkedIn’s lead conversion rates are 3x higher than other major ad platforms.

Source: HubSpot analysis of LinkedIn v. Google AdWords (2016) 

Measure the ROI of your campaigns

Real-time reporting in Campaign Manager makes it easy to show the value of your lead gen marketing on LinkedIn.

Use conversion tracking to measure website conversions from your ads on LinkedIn and use built-in analytics to optimize your campaigns.

Are LinkedIn Automation Tools Legal?

Yes. Cloud-based LinkedIn automation tools are safe and it’s legal to use them during the B2B sales prospecting process.

LinkedIn’s terms of service clearly state that “Any bought or automated method to access the services, add or download contacts, send or redirect messages.” Excess use of automation tools can trigger LinkedIn and your account may face a permanent ban. Hence, use them wisely.


LinkedIn is one of the most popular sites on the internet. It has plenty to offer all types of businesses, helping them find new customers and promote their particular products. The platform can also assist the individual looking for a new job or promotion and to make first contact with a new business. There’s more money in some industries being spent on LinkedIn adverts than Google Adverts at the moment, so that highlights its popularity.

Digital advertising is now a part of the mainstream marketing strategy of many brands. LinkedIn is an important asset for business owners, recruiters and other professionals who are looking for new opportunities. Several studies indicate that online lead generation is a powerful tool that helps build and maintain business relationships, which in turn leads to increasing sales figures. Ads on LinkedIn can be placed on highly specific target groups that not only increase the conversion rate but also reduce the cost per lead. Such targeted ads may appear at the moment the target audience is planning to spend money on the services or products your brand offers.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *