LinkedIn ads not working? Discover 6 Unexpected Solutions!

Written by Simone Zanetti

Simone Zanetti: a 30-year marketing veteran, AI pioneer, diverse content creator, and global entrepreneur. Former CEO of multinational companies, he's now educating the digital world through various platforms.

Are your LinkedIn ads more invisible than a chameleon in a bag of Skittles?

Fear not. The advertising world on LinkedIn can be a tough nut to crack. It’s like walking into a party where everyone’s dressed in a suit and carrying a briefcase. But let’s take that shy kid by the hand and get them noticed on the dance floor. Here are the six most bone-crushing mistakes you’re probably making with your LinkedIn ads, and how to turn them into high-flying successes.

Are your LinkedIn ads not working?

In this article, we will discuss the top six reasons why your LinkedIn ads may not be performing well and what you can do to fix them. Watch out for the last one, it’s a curved ball and many people don’t know about it.

No time to read? Watch the video. 

Mistake 1. Being Lost in the Crowd – Your Ad Is Playing Hide and Seek

Did you know there’s a lot of competition on LinkedIn? Shocking, right? Just like your grandma at a buffet, businesses are elbowing each other for space, vying for users’ attention. So, if your ad is as exciting as beige wallpaper, it’s going to get lost. Fear not! Unleash your inner Don Draper and craft ads that are unique, relevant, and more attention-grabbing than a toddler with a saucepan and wooden spoon. Play around with LinkedIn’s audience targeting to make sure your ad gets to the right eyeballs.

Mistake 2. Busy Bees Have No Time for You – They’re Just Not That into Your Ad

LinkedIn active users (those who should watch your ad) are busy with business networking, looking for partners, clients, and maybe a new job… they don’t have time to watch your ad, in fact, you are possibly bothering them with your ad.  To overcome this, you need to create ads that are short, to the point, and relevant to your target audience’s interests (more about this later). You can also consider using LinkedIn’s Sponsored InMail feature, which allows you to send targeted messages directly to your audience’s inbox. I assume you have a LinkedIn Sales Navigator account if you’re advertising on this platform.

Mistake 3. Aiming at the Wrong Duck – You’re Missing Your Target

Targeting the wrong people is another common reason why your LinkedIn ads may not be performing well. Everybody’s trying to reach the decision-makers within their ideal client base, and that’s exactly the problem, everybody is trying to do that!

Decision-makers (CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, MDs, etc.) are the most targeted people on LinkedIn but they’re also the busiest on the platform and the least likely to engage with your ads.

Here’s what to do instead:

  • Think about who are the people in your clients’ organisation that can influence the decision of the “big boss”
  • Then think one step lower, who are those active team members that usually bring the latest trends into the team and talk to those influencers that can talk to decision-makers
  • These are the two groups of people that you should target
  • The message must be designed for them on the landing page must also be crafted with this purpose in mind
  • If you do this, you will have a small army of people that will eventually make the decision-maker sign


Linkedin ad for non-decison-makers
Linkedin ad for non-decison-makers

Mistake 4. Empty Pockets – Your Ad Budget is Like a Vampire – Drained

Got a low ad budget? Then you’re as likely to see results as you are to find a unicorn grazing in your backyard. LinkedIn ads are like fancy caviar – a tad more expensive than the regular stuff. So you’ll need to either dig a little deeper into those pockets or get super-surgical with your targeting.

Mistake 5. The Landing Page Nightmare – Don’t Lead Them into a Dead-end

Even if your LinkedIn ads are well-crafted and targeted, they may not be effective if your landing page is not up to par. A bad landing page can deter potential customers from engaging with your brand and can negatively impact your ad’s performance. To overcome this issue, you need to create a landing page that is relevant to your ad’s message and provides a seamless user experience.

The landing page must be designed specifically for the target audience that is watching your ads.

If you use a generic landing page for your ads, it’s like throwing a lot of food in the water to catch big fish and then you tried to capture them with a net that has holes bigger than the fish. You’re just wasting money and time.

Mistake 6. Your LinkedIn Profile – The Unexpected Dealbreaker

Now, get ready for the biggest plot twist since ‘The Sixth Sense’. This is something most LinkedIn advertisers do wrong and don’t even realize: they underestimate the power of their LinkedIn profile. Here’s the kicker: when someone sees your ad, their next click is likely on your profile – yep, they want to see who’s behind the curtain.

It’s like this: you invite someone to a party (that’s your ad). They’re interested, but before they RSVP, they check out your house on Google Street View (that’s your LinkedIn profile). Now, if your house looks like a forgotten shack from a horror movie, they’re going to think twice. If your LinkedIn page doesn’t have enough followers or linked employees, the visitor will bolt faster than Usain.

Now, this is a massive deal, and I’m not just saying this for effect. I got this tidbit straight from the horse’s mouth – a LinkedIn consultant.

Not having enough followers or linked employees will have your ad performance diving faster than a clumsy seagull. This happens because users trust brands that others are engaging with. It’s like going to a restaurant – you’d prefer the one bustling with people over the one where even the waiter is twiddling his thumbs.

So how to buff up your LinkedIn profile? Start by sharing relevant content, stirring up conversations, and encouraging your employees to link to your page. You want to make your page look like the life of the party.

There are more tricks up this sleeve to give your LinkedIn ads the oomph they need, but let’s save that tantalizing topic for another article. For now, start working on these tips and watch your LinkedIn ads go from wallflowers to the life of the advertising party.


Look, LinkedIn ads can be as tricky as trying to put on mascara in a moving car, but they’re not insurmountable. With these six quick fixes, you’re on your way from “LinkedIn ads not working” to “LinkedIn ads rocking!”

Remember, even Einstein learned from his mistakes, so keep trying, testing, and tweaking. You got this!

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