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So you’re interested in advertising on LinkedIn, eh? Maybe you read part one of my LinkedIn series and you’re ready to get started? Hold up there, partner; you need to learn about the two types of ads and their capabilities first!

picFirst, we’ve got regular LinkedIn ads. You may have seen them before.

Regular LinkedIn ads are placed on prominent pages across LinkedIn. They leverage a headline, a description, and an image. They are usually very small (just look how tiny that ad image size is)! Here are the specs for these types of ads:

Headline : 25 characters

Description: 75 characters

Image : 50×50 pixels

The second type of ad on LinkedIn is the Sponsored Update.

Sponsored Updates allow you to extend your reach by delivering updates into the feeds of members beyond those already following your company.

They are native to the browsing experience, incorporated directly into members’ feeds so as not to interrupt the stream of content.

Each time there is an opportunity for a Sponsored Update to be shown, LinkedIn runs an auction to determine which update to show. For any given auction, there can be many bids from competing advertisers looking to reach that member. That means when you sponsor an update, your campaign enters an auction to determine whether it’s shown to your target audience. Sponsored Update inventory is non-guaranteed, but you may adjust your bid and content to perform better in the auction.

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Here are the specs for a Sponsored Update:

Text: 160 characters

Headline: 70 characters

Description: 250 characters

Image: rectangular works best

So now you’re ready to decide which ad type best suits your message, but you should still walk away with a few general best practices (in helpful bullet form):

-Craft messaging that speaks to your audience

-Keep in mind that LinkedIn users aren’t actively seeking out a product or solution

-Make the ads useful and informational, or do a great job of creating the need

-Make sure text is relevant to audience and content

-Include clear CTA, regardless of objective

-Use images that are legible, eye-catching, and relevant

You’ll also want to keep these best practices in mind specifically for Sponsored Updates:

–Tell a story, and relate that story back to your ideal prospect’s problems or desires

–Share insights that professionals seek

–Keep text under 100 characters

–Use a shortened URL in the post text – includes another clickable link for an ad

There you have it: the two different ad types on LinkedIn. Do you have success with one or the other in particular? Let me know in the comments.