LinkedIn ads enable organizations to connect with the world’s largest community of business professionals by serving ad content to its members through a variety of products and platforms. Its marketing solutions allow advertisers to select specific characteristics to help them reach their ideal audience.

The ads you see on LinkedIn are targeted to provide content that is supposed to be relevant to you. Here’s the thing though, I don’t know about you, but I find the ads that appear in my LinkedIn news feed to be annoying most of the time.

Unfortunately there is no way to hide them or no level of membership that makes them disappear. But you do have control over your ad preferences. Here’s everything you need to know about LinkedIn ads and its marketing solutions.

LinkedIn offers several types of ads

  • Sponsored Content is a promoted post from a company that appears in members’ LinkedIn feed. It may feature text, an image, a video or a single job posting and links to a related website of the advertiser’s choice. Sponsored Content can be identified by terms such as Promoted or Sponsored that appear in the upper left corner of the post, under the company name. Sponsored Content may appear on both desktop and mobile devices.
  • Text ads appear in the right rail or the top banner of many pages on LinkedIn. These ads may feature text only or may also include an image, such as the advertising company’s logo. Clicking a text ad will take you to a website chosen by the advertiser.
  • Sponsored Messaging includes message ads and conversation ads. These native ads are displayed in members’ LinkedIn Messaging. The target audience is generated based on segments the advertiser has selected, rather than sent to specific individuals identified by the advertiser. Message and conversation ads appear on both desktop and mobile devices when members are active on LinkedIn. They can be identified by the word Sponsored in the subject line.
  • Dynamic ads are personalized ads that change dynamically for each member. Dynamic ads use members’ profile image, name, and job function to create customized ads for each member. Each member sees their personalized information; member profile information is not displayed to other members. Members can also opt out of allowing their profile information to be used to personalize ads. Dynamic ads may be advertising companies or jobs in which you might be interested or professional content relevant to you. Dynamic ads appear in the right rail of pages on desktop when a member is signed in to their LinkedIn account.
An example of a LinkedIn promoted ad in your news feed

An example of a LinkedIn promoted ad in your news feed

When an advertiser creates a LinkedIn ad campaign, they select the ad type they want to share and they define their business goals, such as increasing brand awareness or collecting leads for potential customers. They also define the audience for their ad by selecting specific characteristics, such as:

  1. Location
  2. Job function or title
  3. Fields of study
  4. Years of experience

Once an advertiser selects their target audience and sets their campaign budget limits, they create the ad creative they want their audience to see and launch their campaign. You may see their ad if your characteristics match with the target audience they selected for their campaign.

For example: An advertiser is interested in reaching business professionals with 5-10 years of experience in IT with information about their company to increase awareness. This advertiser decides Sponsored Content in relevant members’ LinkedIn feed is a great way to share information about their company.

The advertiser creates an ad campaign and selects the relevant job industry and years of experience to define their audience and starts their campaign. LinkedIn will show the Sponsored Content in the feed of LinkedIn members who match the targeting criteria set by the advertiser.

LinkedIn members can be targeted based on information provided and inferred from profile information. For example, years of experience can be inferred from the sum of the years of work history indicated on a member’s profile.

Once LinkedIn members see or interact with an ad, the advertiser will receive an aggregated report of the types of members who saw the ad. This could be, for example, that 30% of the audience came from New York City. Unless LinkedIn members reach out to or provide their information to an advertiser, LinkedIn does not provide advertisers with data about specific members, or that identifies members.

As a member, you have the ability to manage your ads settings to control how your personal data is used to show more relevant ads in the Privacy and Settings section.

While you can’t control receiving ads in your newsfeed, you can provide feedback on the type of ads you see.

LinkedIn ads and your personal information

Advertisers can gather personal information from you if you interact with their ads or consent to sharing more information with them. If you click on an ad, the ad poster will know a LinkedIn member visited the page linked to in the ad. We do not provide advertisers information that identifies you, but only general demographic information which is provided in aggregate with the information of all other members who have seen the ad.

If an advertiser uses Matched Audiences to reach LinkedIn members who have shown an interest in their business by visiting their websites or providing their email addresses (e.g. to subscribe to a newsletter), LinkedIn takes the following steps to protect your privacy:

  1. De-identify the website visits data within seven days from the visit.
  2. Have the email addresses hashed before the data reaches LinkedIn’s servers.

You can control what information is used to target ads to you by managing your advertising settings for your LinkedIn account in the Privacy and Settings section.