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    LinkedIn Ad Types For B2B SaaS Campaigns

    Last updated: January 18th, 2024

    LinkedIn can be the perfect social platform for B2B SaaS companies to network and advertise.

    With its precise targeting capabilities, every dollar spent on advertising is optimized for maximum impact.

    The platform offers a diverse array of ad types, each suited for different marketing objectives, so which are the best LinkedIn ads for B2B SaaS?

    In this article, we’ll go through the different types of LinkedIn ads for B2B SaaS campaigns and how you can use them for different purposes and advertising goals.

    4 Types of LinkedIn Ads For SaaS

    Firstly, we can broadly classify LinkedIn ads into four different groups – sponsored content, direct messaging, dynamic ads, and lead generation forms. Each provides a different mode of engaging with the target audience, so let’s break them down.

    LinkedIn ad types

    Sponsored Content

    Sponsored content is shared directly on the LinkedIn feed, blending in with other posts for more organic engagement.

    Sponsored content

    Some examples of sponsored content ad formats that are ideal for SaaS B2B include:

    • Single image ads: Simple yet effective, especially with a compelling image.
    • Carousel ads: Great for highlighting several features or products in one ad.
    • Video ads: The video format is a very engaging way of distributing information. According to one study, 79% of customers said that a video convinced them to buy software or an app.
    • Event ads: This ad format provides all the necessary details about an upcoming event in a straightforward way, making it perfect for promoting webinars or product showcases.
    • Document ads: Document ads direct your audience towards valuable documentation, like a whitepaper detailing your software product.
    • Thought leader ads: These ads resemble a post from a personal account rather than a paid ad, which is what makes them so effective. They have a more personal touch that’s good for building rapport with customers.

    Direct Messaging

    Ads in a direct messaging format give an even more personalized feel. They make the target audience feel individually chosen for the offer or conversation, which increases engagement.

    However, it’s important to note that due to a European Court of Justice ruling, the European Union (EU) has restricted the use of inbox ads and location targeting within the EU. It’s believed that this kind of behavioral advertising does not meet the GDPR laws. Of course, businesses both inside and outside the EU can utilize these ad types so long as they aren’t targeting customers within the EU.

    Direct messaging

    Here are the two types of direct messaging ads for LinkedIn:

    • Direct message ads: Will be sent to the target inbox and appear as a personalized form of advertising.
    • Conversation ads: Similarly to direct message ads, these are sent to the target inbox but allow two-way conversation with the recipient.

    Dynamic Ads

    Dynamic ads use a user’s profile data, such as profile photo, company, or job title, to create highly personalized ads. They are often located in the sidebar or header for maximum visibility.

    Dynamic ads

    These types of ads come in several different formats, including:

    • Follower ads: These ads promote your LinkedIn profile and help increase your follower count, broadening the reach for future advertising and lead generation efforts.
    • Spotlight ads: With this type of ad, you can highlight a call to action, like taking a quiz or self-assessment. This drives engagement with your content and builds a connection with your audience.
    • Text ads: These ads are generally considered to be the least effective, however, they are budget-friendly. So, from a budget perspective, they may be all you need to generate interest.

    Lead Generation Forms

    Lead generation forms allow marketers to collect leads directly within the platform.

    Lead gen forms

    When a user clicks on your ad, they’re presented with a form that’s automatically filled with their LinkedIn profile data, such as their name, contact details, company name, and job title. This highly targeted advertising often results in higher conversion rates because you can skip a whole stage of steps where potential leads might drop off.

    Lead generation forms take your customer directly to the point of action, like signing up for your mailing list.


    How to Find the Perfect LinkedIn Ad Type For Your SaaS Campaign

    Because of how competitive LinkedIn is, standing out is key to reaching a wider audience. Using the right ad type in your campaigns will help you do just that, so you can grab the attention of your ideal customer and funnel your time and effort into those qualified leads.

    Let’s see what you should do to identify the right LinkedIn ads for B2B SaaS.

    Identify the Goal of Your Ad Campaign

    Identifying the best ad types starts with understanding the goal of your ad campaign. Are you trying to:

    • Generate more leads?
    • Increase website traffic?
    • Boost conversion rates?

    Different ad types cater to different objectives, so let’s explore the most suitable B2B LinkedIn ad options based on specific goals.

    1. Building Brand Awareness

    Building brand awareness is about gaining followers and getting your SaaS product talked about.

    Some of the best LinkedIn ad types for this purpose include:

    • Single image ads
    • Carousel ads
    • Video ads
    • Thought leader ads
    • Text ads

    A brand awareness strategy works best for new B2B companies or those with a new or updated product looking to maximize impressions. The aim is to familiarize potential leads with your company and product, positioning you as a top-of-mind choice over competitors. Text ads, in particular, are the most affordable type of ad for this purpose.

    2. Boosting Engagement

    Boosting engagement is key to building rapport with your customer base.

    The best LinkedIn ad types for this purpose include:

    • Video ads
    • Spotlight ads
    • Event ads
    • Thought leader ads

    If your marketing goal is for your content to get more views, clicks, comments, shares, and likes, these are the ads for you. Short video content is particularly effective for this purpose, as its visual appeal and brevity are well suited to today’s short attention spans.

    3. Nurturing Mid-Funnel Leads

    Guiding leads through the sales journey in B2B marketing is crucial to success. The best way to do this is by getting personal and providing the necessary information leads need to move up in the funnel.

    The best LinkedIn ad types for this campaign goal include:

    • Conversation ads
    • Document ads
    • Event ads
    • Video ads

    While capturing potential customers’ attention is one thing, leading them to the point of sale requires strategic efforts. Conversation ads, tailored specifically to each lead, and document ads that target specific pain points, can be highly effective for this purpose.

    4. Increasing Conversion Rates

    Once you have built brand awareness and fostered a connection with qualified leads, you’ll probably want to focus on increasing conversion rates. Conversions are not solely related to sales and subscriptions but can also be defined as free product downloads.

    The best LinkedIn ad types to boost conversion rates include:

    • Lead generation forms
    • Conversation ads
    • Document ads

    Lead gen forms have proven to be highly effective and popular for increasing conversion rates. Because the form is prefilled, it makes it that much easier for the customer to take the next step.

    Still Not Seeing Results From Your LinkedIn Ads?

    At Powered by Search, we’ve identified three key mistakes SaaS companies make frequently in their LinkedIn ad campaigns:

    1. Not putting enough budget into the ads, which limits their reach and effectiveness.
    2. Targeting the ads too narrowly, which excludes potential customers who could be interested in the product but don’t meet overly specific criteria.
    3. Producing content that doesn’t resonate with the target audience, which hinders engagement.

    Another thing you can do is build a demand generation flywheel. You should position the customer at the center of your flywheel-building process and address their problems through your content. If done right, you’ll attract customers who are an ideal fit for what you offer.

    In Summary

    In the end, making the most out of your LinkedIn advertising campaign comes down to planning and understanding your advertising goal. Once you’ve done that, you can select the right ad type to achieve your desired outcome. Naturally, it pays to get the right advice on paid ads and capitalize on your LinkedIn ads to ensure they resonate with your target audience and maximize your return on investment.

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