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Creating Visual LinkedIn Ads That Drive Action for Your Cause: A Checklist for Nonprofits

When you’re scrolling through your LinkedIn feed, how often do you stop to read text-only posts compared to ones containing visual elements? Less often, right? That’s because the eye is immediately drawn to images, which can make visual ads a powerful way to grab your target audience’s attention and get your message across.

That said, not all visual ads are created equally. Whether you’re including a graphic or a video, use this checklist to give your LinkedIn ad campaigns the greatest chance of success.

Your checklist: Creating great visual ads on LinkedIn

Choosing or designing the right visual elements for your LinkedIn ads is critical. A bland, cluttered, or low-quality image won’t drive the results you’re hoping for and could even damage viewers’ perception of your nonprofit. Before posting, ask yourself:

  • Are we using high-resolution images? (If they look blurry, try to find clearer ones)
  • Are we using real photos and footage from our nonprofit whenever possible? (Some stock elements are fine, but authentic imagery is the best way to bring your nonprofit’s story to life)
  • Have we included our logo somewhere on the image/video? (Consider using free tools like Canva to create unique, branded visuals that let people know they came from your nonprofit)
  • [For graphics] Does the font stand out against the background? (Avoid using dark colors against dark backgrounds or light colors against light backgrounds—your message may be lost)
  • Will this look good on mobile? (Steer clear of tiny text or overly complex graphics that may be hard to decipher on a smaller screen)

Once you’ve selected your visual elements, the next step is making sure that the text accompanying them does its job. As you craft your messaging, ask yourself:

  • Does this message align with the graphic elements? (If your visual and text elements don’t work together, viewers may be left confused—reducing the likelihood that they’ll take the desired action)
  • Will the text get cut off? (Keep your messaging short and sweet so that people can read it all without having to click “see more”)
  • Are we saying something attention-grabbing? (Consider weaving in numbers, statistics, or quotes to make your messaging pop)
  • Have we included a compelling CTA? (Use actionable words like “Watch,” “Donate,” and “Learn” to encourage people to click through)
  • Have we remembered to add a link? (Make it easy for people to support your cause by directing them where to go, and use a free URL shortener like Bitly to avoid cluttering your ads with lengthy links)

You’re feeling confident about your graphic elements and your messaging and you’re almost ready to post your ad! Before posting an ad featuring a video, however, check off these last few boxes:

  • Have we chosen the best possible thumbnail? (Make sure that the first frame viewers see will hook them and incentivize them to stop scrolling)
  • Are we using the first ten seconds wisely? (After 10 seconds, viewer attention tends to dip, so try to highlight key information upfront)
  • Have we included subtitles? (This will make the ad more accessible and ensures that people don’t have to turn on the sound to understand your message)

Get started with visual ads today

Checked off every box? You’re ready to post your visual ad! From here, consider taking steps like using A/B testing to figure out what your audience responds best to, and remember to leverage LinkedIn’s targeting capabilities to put your ads in front of the right people. See what works best for your nonprofit and replicate it for future campaigns!

New to advertising on LinkedIn? Reach out to our team to learn more about our marketing solutions for nonprofits.

This post was inspired by the LinkedIn Marketing Blog article “Tips and Tricks for Creating Engaging Visual LinkedIn Ads,” authored by Crystal King.