LinkedIn has been criticised for its lack of sponsored video support for quite some time now and most of us have almost given up on the idea that it will ever ACTUALLY happen. However, last October it began beta-testing video for sponsored content with more than 700 participating advertisers. The outcome? Engagement times were nearly three times longer than those of regular sponsored content. Great success! Last week LinkedIn announced that it would be rolling out the new ad feature to all businesses within the next few weeks.
So, how does it work?
The new native video ads will appear directly in LinkedIn’s feed as stand-alone posts. Advertisers will be able to use the same targeting capabilities available to them as in other formats on LinkedIn. These include targeting by job title, seniority, company name, industry, skills targeting as well as Matched Audiences targeting for account-based marketing campaigns.
These videos can help brands build awareness via rich, visual stories, drive traffic to their desktop or mobile sites and collect leads through a call-to-action button or LinkedIn’s Lead Gen Forms tool. So, rather than just top of the funnel marketing, the new video for sponsored content is designed to work across the funnel.
Advertisers will have access to insights on what types of professionals are viewing, and engaging with their video ads, and they can use LinkedIn’s conversion tracking tool to view the number of leads, sign-ups, website visits and other actions generated by the ads.
The video ads will play automatically with the sound turned off.
What does this mean for B2B?
MediaCom’s chief digital and investment officer Steve Carbone said, “LinkedIn’s B2B targeting options are superior to what’s available on the other top social platforms, so this development is potentially good news. We would certainly test the new units in the hope that their performance could make them a viable part of clients’ plans at scale.”
An internal LinkedIn study found that over 46% of B2B marketers said that finding a quality environment to reach decision-makers with video was a top challenge when running campaigns on other social platforms.
However, we need to learn from experiences of creating online video: What worked on TV wasn’t successful on Facebook, which didn’t work on Twitter and even less so on Instagram Stories. Advertisers have to be prepared to create video customised for the LinkedIn environment and its users’ expectations. This includes making sure that all creative is optimised for mobile.
We can’t wait to test out the new feature with our B2B clients!