Full Screen

Sponsored Content Ads

More Free Lessons in

Social Media Marketing View All →

Get cutting-edge digital marketing skills, know-how and strategy

This micro lesson is from one of our globally recognized digital marketing courses.

Start a FREE Course Preview Start a FREE Course Preview
Global Authority

The Global Authority

12 years delivering excellence


245,000+ Members

Join a global community


Associate Certification

Globally recognised


Membership Included

Toolkits, content & more

Digital Marketing - Study Notes:


There are two formats in which you can display sponsored content:

  • Video: Video is a newer form of sponsored content and drives a stronger engagement race to article, images, or links.
  • Standard: These are articles, images, or links. These are standard forms of sponsored content that allow a user to post any articles, images, or links.

For example, you could post your own blog content, support it using a vibrant and engaging image, while also providing a link to the blog to allow the user to read more outside of the post.


Sponsored Content Ads place a company's post seamlessly into the newsfeed of the target audience refined by the user. They can appear in the homepage feeds of members in your target audience, on desktop, and most mobile and tablet devices.


Here are some of the main benefits of LinkedIn Sponsored Content Ads:

  • They support investment put into content creation, by distributing it directly to the audience that it was intended for.
  • They encourage community engagement with prospects on the LinkedIn company page.
  • Direct sponsored content is an effective distribution of language or region-based content or industry-specific solutions without affecting the brand's overall communications.
  • They enable you to position the company as thought leaders by boosting the reach of high-quality content to prospects. It also increases visibility amongst prospects.

Running a successful campaign

Let's look at how you can run a successful campaign on LinkedIn.

  • Select your objective: When starting out with a Sponsored Content Ad campaign, you first have to choose an objective.
  • Choose your content: Start by sponsoring an organic update recently published to your LinkedIn company page. The third thing you need to do is target your audience. You can do this by location, company, industry, title, skills, degree of study, and more.
  • Set your bids: Also set your campaign budget by CPC or CPM. Then, launch your campaign and start promoting your content right into your targeted audience's LinkedIn feeds.
  • Measure your results: Track key metrics including clicks, impressions, and engagement with your content.
  • Optimize your impact: Test variations of your content on target audiences using scalable campaign management tools.

Best practices for video on LinkedIn

Online video will account for 80% of all customer internet traffic by 2020. This is why video is a very important sponsored ad format on LinkedIn.

To help you make the most out of using video on LinkedIn, here's some best practices to optimize and understand the impact video can make.

Video ad specs

Familiarize yourself which of the different ad specs work best on LinkedIn. You can find a full breakdown of these on the LinkedIn website.

Ad specs include:

  • The file size must be between 75 megabytes and 200 megabytes
  • It must be in an mp4 file format
  • The layout must be vertical
  • The frames must be less than 30 frames per second, under 30 seconds.

So try and keep your videos under 30 seconds for brand awareness and brand consideration goals. Longer videos are worth testing for product information videos.

First ten seconds

Show what you want to your audience in the first 10 seconds of the video. Case studies show that after that point, a viewer's attention begins to drop. Try to tell a story. So capture and maintain your audience's attention with visual storytelling using graphics, people, and text to extend the viewer's attention span.

Test and optimize

Test and optimize your videos to find the best formula that suits you. Tests can include testing the same content with different links, testing different content, testing introductory text, whatever will help you understand what works best for your audience. So write ad headlines that are under 150 characters. Concise headlines lead to more engagement. Keep descriptive copy under 70 characters. Note that anything over 100 characters could be truncated on desktop.


Embed larger images instead of standard thumbnails. An image size of 1,200 by 627 pixels is recommended. Content with larger visuals tend to get up to 38% higher CTR.

Call to action

Feature a clear CTA so your audience knows how to act on their interest. Be specific with ad targeting, but not so specific that you narrow your audience.

Targeting criteria

Choose location and two other targeting criteria to start and follow ad targeting best practices. Always test your content, whatever the format, and continue to measure and optimize your success.

Back to Top
Lauren Murphy

As Head of Social Media for the creative agency Goosebump, Lauren’s current role is to create and implement social media strategies and content strategies for a portfolio of clients spanning a wide range of industries. Her team of creatives and strategists specializes in delivering innovative and integrated social media campaigns that drive conversions. Her work has been recognised with a wide range of awards, including the Irish Social Media Awards and Digital Media Awards. 

Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

DMI Short Course: GDPR

The following pieces of content from the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library have been chosen to offer additional material that you might find interesting or insightful.

You can find more information and content like this on the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library

You will not be assessed on this content in your final exam.


    Lauren Murphy
    Skills Expert

    This module focuses on LinkedIn and shows how you can use the platform to build and develop professional connections with your target audience. You learn how to use LinkedIn-specific features, such as Company pages and Showcase pages, to build your company presence on the platform. The module goes on to cover the different ad formats available on LinkedIn, such as Text ads, Sponsored ads, Sponsored InMails, Display ads, and Dynamic ads, and outlines best practices for advertising on the platform. Finally, it teaches you how to use analytics with LinkedIn to measure the success of your campaigns.