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LinkedIn Thought Leader Ads: The Complete Guide

If you’re tired of the same perpetual methods of B2B marketing and are looking for fresh and exciting new advertising options to add to your strategy, you’re in luck.

Those familiar with LinkedIn may be aware that the platform has recently launched a new type of ad option for users: Though Leader Ads. A Thought Leader Ad is a new type of sponsored post on Linkedin that enables business owners to bolster one of their best tools to help promote their brand: their employees.

For the first time in LinkedIn’s history, there is now a marketing option that allows an ad to be promoted via LinkedIn users and not just the brand’s official page, and B2B marketers are flocking to this method because of its proven ways of boosting brand awareness and achieving dizzy new heights of engagement. 

Let’s get acquainted.

1 – LinkedIn Thought Leader Ads Explained

Thought Leader Ads are the latest offering from the B2B platform, LinkedIn, which is constantly evolving and improving to cement itself as one of the best channels for business-to-business marketing.

These ads are a new and innovative type of sponsored content marketing that far transcends the generic advertising possibilities of traditional LinkedIn ads.

Instead, Thought Leader Ads allow users to post and promote ad content from their employees’ LinkedIn profiles, as opposed to from the brand’s own page exclusively. This provides multiple benefits otherwise unavailable from the more traditional approach to LinkedIn marketing. So, if you’re seeking innovative strategies for your B2B marketing efforts, consider leveraging the power of LinkedIn Thought Leader Ads with the expertise of a LinkedIn advertising agency.

However, since the end of March 2024 you are now able to promote posts of unassociated users of your company that are relevant in some way. 

For example:

  • Investors
  • Influencers
  • Customers
  • Partners
  • Affiliates

These open the gate to B2B-using influencers to put their relevance and popularity at the service of your product. Similar to Instagram, an influencer can show the product to your audience and explain the benefits of it.

2 – What’s So Great About Thought Leader Ads?

As we mentioned above, LinkedIn Thought Leader Ads bring more to the table than traditional LinkedIn advertising. Some of these benefits include:

More Engagement

We all want increased engagement on our LinkedIn ads, right? Well, Thought Leader Ads will help to achieve that. 

Thought Leader Ads aren’t posted on just the organization’s LinkedIn page; they are posted from the company’s employees’ pages, which drastically increases the number of LinkedIn members who will view the ad, thus encouraging further engagement and brand visibility that the ad wouldn’t have received had it only been posted from the company profile. 

Trust & Validity

Because the ad is being posted via a person/s account and not just a company page, audiences are more likely to trust the authenticity of the brand. Again, this encourages engagement, as users are more likely to interact with a post from someone they’re connected to than that of a random promoted ad they see on their LinkedIn feed.

Harness Employee Influence

If your staff members have a wide and robust following on their LinkedIn profile, it would be foolish not to leverage this by showcasing your ads via that employee. This will undoubtedly boost your brand’s credibility and well as broadening brand awareness and increasing engagement/

3 – Using Thought Leader Ads: How to Set Up Your First Campaign

The great news is that LinkedIn Thought Leader Ads are easy to build and easy to launch. Here’s how to get started.

Log On to LinkedIn & Go to Campaign Manager

This is where you’ll find the Thought Leader Ad section, which you will need to click on.

Pick Your Objective

Before you can create your ad, you will need to select a campaign objective. Be mindful that, at present, only two objective options are available: ‘Brand Awareness’ and ‘Engagement’.

Choose Your Ad Format

At present, the only ad format available for Thought Leader Ads is ‘Single Image Ad’, so you will need to be happy with this option until more become available. 

Once you’ve done this, the foundation of your campaign is set up.

Select the Content You Wish to Promote

Click on the ‘Browse Existing Content’ button to upload the particular employee’s content you wish to sponsor.

Request Permission

You won’t be able to sponsor/promote any of your employees’ content without their permission, so you will have to request it by clicking on the ‘Request Permission’ button. This will send them an email notification that gives them the option of approving or denying the request. 

Launch the Ad

Once the permission has been granted, your ad is now ready to go live. You will be able to click on the content of choice and there will be a ‘Sponsor’ option, which will launch your ad.

4 – Getting the Most Out of Your LinkedIn Thought Leader Ads

These top tips will help ensure you get the best results from your Thought Leader Ads.

LinkedIn Influencer Ads for Retargeting

Thought Leader Ads are ideal for retargeting campaigns on LinkedIn, as this type of advertising can help increase website traffic in a way that you may not get with cold ad campaigns.

While your cold ads might not get the traffic you want, you can use the insights and data you receive to then build an audience to retarget via your Thought Leader Ads. Because this audience has already shown an interest in your brand, they are more likely to be responsive to your Thought Leader Ad.

Interactions for Retargeting

In case you weren’t already aware, you can use the interactions you receive from your Thought Leader Ads in your retargeting campaigns. This is because all clicks on the TLAs are trackable and therefore can be applied to your retargeting marketing.

Promote the Lead Conversion-Heavy Ads

It can be tempting to promote the ads that received the most engagement, but that is an error of judgment. Instead, you’ll want to opt for the ads that converted the most leads, so keep a regular eye on your KPIs.

It’s also worth noting what key features appear in all conversion-heavy ads. Do they feature case studies or partnerships? Keep an eye out for nuances that point to the reason why the ad was more conversion-friendly than others.


Now that you understand what Thought Leader Ads are, why they’re beneficial, and how to set up your first campaign, you’re ready to leverage this innovative new method of advertising on LinkedIn to boost your brand awareness, encourage more audience engagement, and ultimately, bring your bigger marketing goals one step closer to fruition.

If you’d like to learn more about how we help B2B SaaS and Tech companies grow their MRR through LinkedIn advertising, contact us online or send us an email today at to speak with someone on our team.

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