LinkedIn carousel ads allow advertisers to showcase multiple images, videos, and messages in a scrollable format. This visually engaging ad unit often generates more clicks and engagement than standard single image ads. A common question that arises is whether LinkedIn carousel ads are free to use.
Are LinkedIn carousel ads free to create?
Yes, any advertiser can create LinkedIn carousel ads for free directly within Campaign Manager. You don’t need a premium LinkedIn advertising account to design carousel ads. The ad creation process is straightforward:
- Log into your LinkedIn Campaign Manager
- Click “Create ad” and select “Carousel” as the format
- Choose up to 10 images/videos and add text to each one
- Input a final URL and headline for the overall ad
- Target your ad to desired audiences
- Launch your campaign
So there are no upfront costs to make LinkedIn carousel ads. You can quickly build and test carousel ads even if you only have a basic LinkedIn ad account.
Is there a cost to run LinkedIn carousel ads?
While LinkedIn carousel ads are free to create, there are costs associated with running the ads and having them seen by your target audience. LinkedIn carousel ads work on an auction-based pricing model, where advertisers bid for ad placement and spend money each time their ad is displayed (cost per impression) or clicked on (cost per click).
When launching a carousel ad campaign, you must set a daily budget and bid amount. Here are the key costs to consider with LinkedIn carousel ads:
- Impression Bid: This is the maximum amount you’re willing to pay each time your ad is shown to a member on LinkedIn. The bid can range from $0.50 to $10+ per impression.
- Daily Budget: This sets a cap on your maximum daily ad spending. Budgets can range from $10 per day up to $50,000+ per day.
- Cost Per Click (CPC): In addition to impression bids, you may be charged each time someone clicks your carousel ad.
Your actual ad costs will depend on factors like your bids, target audience size, and current competition from other advertisers. Performance also plays a role – higher quality ads tend to receive more clicks at lower costs.
How much do LinkedIn carousel ads cost?
It’s difficult to give an exact price for LinkedIn carousel ads, since costs vary significantly based on many factors:
- Industry and targeting – Ads for high demand fields like tech or finance can cost more.
- Impression bids and daily budget – Higher bids and budgets lead to increased costs.
- Audience size – Targeting a larger audience pool typically raises costs.
- Ad competition – More advertisers bidding for the same audience drives up pricing.
- Ad performance – Well-optimized, high click-through-rate ads cost less per click.
That said, here are some estimates on average LinkedIn carousel ad costs:
|Ad Cost Metric
|Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM)
|$10 – $20+
|Cost Per Click (CPC)
|$3 – $8
|$50 – $500+
So while they may not ultimately be free, LinkedIn carousel ads can deliver strong results at efficient prices compared to other B2B ad platforms. Taking the time to test different targeting, bids, budgets and ad creatives will allow you to optimize performance and achieve your customer acquisition goals at reasonable costs.
How to reduce costs for LinkedIn carousel ads
If you’re looking to cut costs with LinkedIn carousel ads, consider these tips:
Set conservative bids and daily budgets
Start with lower bids and budget caps in initial tests, then gradually increase if needed based on performance.
Target by job title and company size
This can help you reach the right people while keeping targeting pool smaller to control costs.
Test different audience segments
See which prospects drive the highest engagement and conversion rates to maximize your spend.
Refine ad creative and messaging
Ensure your ads grab attention and convey compelling, relevant messages to your audience.
Measure conversion rates
Focus on the target actions that matter most to your business (contacts, leads, purchases, etc).
Use detailed targeting
Leverage LinkedIn’s extensive B2B audience data to target the accounts that matter most.
Set optimal ad frequency
Showing ads too often can waste budgets, find the ideal impression frequency.
Are there free LinkedIn carousel ad alternatives?
Beyond paid carousel ads, there are a few free alternatives on LinkedIn to consider:
LinkedIn company/showcase pages
Display carousels highlighting products, content, media, and employees.
Share image/video carousels to followers in your LinkedIn feed.
Engage professional groups by posting visual carousels in discussions.
LinkedIn Company Pages as a Showcase
Transform your Company Page into a visual showcase with carousel images.
Upload PowerPoint presentations with carousels and visuals.
While these don’t offer the same level of targeting and reach as ads, they can be used to complement paid carousel campaigns with free organic promotion.
In summary, the key points to know are:
- LinkedIn carousel ads are free to create, but not free to run and distribute.
- Average costs range from $10 – $20 per thousand impressions and $3 – $8 per click.
- Controlling targeting, bids, budgets, and ad design can reduce LinkedIn carousel ad costs.
- Free carousel post options are available, but have much lower reach vs. paid ads.
So marketers can’t rely solely on free distribution when using LinkedIn carousel ads. But the visual storytelling and engagement benefits of carousels make the advertising investment worthwhile for most B2B brands targeting professionals on LinkedIn.