But how do you capture the attention in a busy feed and short attention spans? Right, with ads that inspire & stand out. This raises the question: How do you know which types of LinkedIn ad creatives you should experiment with?
Luckily, we’ve done the ground work for you and prepared this guide with dozens of examples from some of the coolest B2B brands out there, including Outreach, Airtable, Stripe & Co.
Scroll down to get inspired ✨
TLDR Please note, in this article we’ll pay particular attention to creative ad design. Although, copy is super important (the headline and the body text of any single image, video or carousel ad have a pretty strong impact on all metrics), design is what captures the attention in your audiences’ busy feed.
LinkedIn Ad Examples: Why Visuals Matter?
When you’re creating LinkedIn Ads, the visual component is a central part of whether or not your campaign will be a success. In fact, according to LinkedIn itself, sponsored content with visuals tend to perform much stronger than plain text.
Single image ads and carousel ads are great formats to experiment with and probably the first type we’d recommend to someone new to LinkedIn advertising.
Why do sponsored image ads perform so well?
Because the visuals can help your content stand out in the feed
Beautifully designed ads can help evoke emotions & desires when done right
Now, are visuals the most important element of a successful LinkedIn ad campaign?
No, probably not.
Experts say that your offer, targeting and your creative all together play a crucial role in your campaigns’ success.
Idea 1: Visual Representations of Products
Visual representations of products are great ways to communicate how your product helps your customers, as long as the visualisation conveys value.
Ready for some examples?
StoryChief LinkedIn Ad
Airtable LinkedIn Ad
Gusto LinkedIn Ad
Outreach LinkedIn Ad
Why visual product representations work in digital advertising
A great illustrator can help in creating and building the image of the product from the eyes of the user. Adding visual highlights can help demonstrating the value people get from the product. Product illustrations make digital products more tangible.
How to brief your designer for visual product representations
First, you want to give your designer a few screenshots of your product from which he or she can create illustrations.
You want to make sure you clearly communicate the buyer journey stage of the campaign (e.g. ToFu, MoFu & BoFu), your ICPs (Ideal Customer Profile), and the goals of the campaign. If you haven’t already done so during the designer onboarding, explain the value proposition of your product as well.
If you want the designer to look for people to use in your ad, make sure that they represent the audience you’re looking to target. For example, if you’re targeting C-level decision makers in Fortune 500 companies you may think about what type of person you want to show. Best, have a quick look at Unsplash or take real pictures of your customers or staff as discussed below.
For every idea, we’re posting some references for you to check out 👇🏼
LinkedIn Carousel Posts & ads allow you to tell an interactive story to inspire your target audience to take action. Here’s an examples from Pendo.io who use carousel ads to their advantage and they do it very well.
Example 1: Pendo.io
Why LinkedIn carousel ads work?
In Pendo’s ad, people can swipe through the slides and uncover some of the myths about code less analytics. In addition, the copy on each slide “Find out the truth” sparks curiosity and encourages people to click through. Remember, that individual slides can’t have an individual CTA so you’re better adding that visually to the ad itself.
How to brief your designer for LinkedIn carousel ads?
Idea 3: Stats & numbers work really well in LinkedIn ads
In fact, using data and statistics in any form of advertising can work well. Here are two clever examples from Zipwhip and Stripe:
Zipwhip LinkedIn Ad
Stripe LinkedIn Ad
Why stats, insight & data works in LinkedIn ads?
As marketers we love data. We love ROI. We love to justify investments in marketing tech and share stats and numbers with our bosses. And that’s why it’s no secret that highlighting stats in your LinkedIn ad can help you stand out and become a scroll stopper in the feed.
You wouldn’t have guessed, but often less is more. We had some of the most basic creatives outperform ads with fully styled branded images. Ricardo Ghekiere, one of the leading PPC specialists in Belgium, provides proof for that.
In this ad, for example, Ricardo’s simply sharing a screenshot of the slides from his LinkedIn Ads webinar. Something anyone can do fairly quickly and without having to spend thousands on creative design agencies.
The take-away: You’re probably already sitting on heaps of valuable content you produced for your B2B audience. You can repurpose this, even for ads.
Idea 5: Real stories about real people
Who doesn’t love real, authentic & genuine brands? Two companies are doing this well.
New Breed LinkedIn Ad
Knak LinkedIn Ad
Why real people & stories work in LinkedIn ads?
Stock images in B2B ads are often overused, some would say cringeworthy. Better...show real people in your ads, ie. real customers or real employees. It’s much more authentic and helps build trust and familiarity. Look at the Knak example above. They used the picture of one of their account executives to add a human touch to their campaign.
I wonder how many people looked up Morgan C. on LinkedIn to see if he actually exists. We did and hey, there he is (albeit without a profile pic 😂)
Okay, back to the gist.
In a recent Gallup poll, only 18% of respondents answered positively to the question “Do you have confidence in big business?” It’s hard to tell a good story when your ad is a faceless enterprise hidden behind a branded wallpaper.
“Just because you’re a B2B brand doesn’t mean you need to sound and look like one. The person on the other end is just as human as you are. Usually.”- Carsten Pleiser - Founder Design Buffs
How to brief your designer when using pictures of real people?
Luckily, you don’t need an expensive creative agency to get this done for you. Taking pictures of your team with a smart phone works just as well. Just keep it natural and don’t make it look super staged. For ads, you want to have the object either look straight into to camera or have their eyes focus on the primary call to action, e.g. left or right.
Once you have those pictures, attach them to your next design brief and have your designer create two or three different styles and versions. You can A/B test which ones perform the best.
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