The Latest on LinkedIn Video Ads

By Mark Ferree | Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing |

In response to the growing popularity of online video ads on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, LinkedIn has joined its competitors with the launch of Video Ads on the platform.  You may have seen Video Ads on the platform in recent months.  LinkedIn has been testing video ads with select advertisers since August 2017, but Q2 is the first time the general advertising public has access to the video ad campaigns.

Background

As mentioned above, the video ad format is not totally new to LinkedIn.  This format has been in beta testing since August 2017 for about 700 advertisers.  The results of the beta test clearly show the power of the new video ad format.  According to Anthony Ha at techcrunch.com, users were engaged with the LinkedIn video ads approximated three times longer than traditional sponsor content static image ads.  That metric alone should be enough to convince your client to invest in the creation of video ads to advertise with.

Throughout the beta test, videos were required to be hosted offsite, either on Vimeo or YouTube.  The inability for LinkedIn to host videos on site meant that engagement metrics like video starts and video completions were unable to be tracked within the platform.  It brings me great joy that video metrics and the video itself are now totally housed on the LinkedIn platform.

Comparison

Like in Facebook, LinkedIn video ads can be used in campaigns optimizing for traffic or video views.  This gives LinkedIn advertisers the ability to use video assets across the marketing funnel, from awareness to conversion.  You can also setup video ads for campaigns with LinkedIn Lead Gen forms.

LinkedIn Video Ads are like Facebook in other ways too.  LinkedIn video ads will autoplay without sound as the user scrolls through their feed.  The videos ads say “Promoted” under the business name to signify that they are sponsored content.

Instructions

Setting up campaigns with video ads is similar to setting up traditional sponsored content campaigns, with a few changes.  Here is a quick refresher:

Step 1:  Select Sponsored Content as your ad product

Step 2:  Name your campaign and select your preferred language.  Pretty straightforward…

Step 3:  Choose what you want your campaign to do.

  • Do you want website or landing page traffic? Send people to your website or content.
  • Do you want users to complete the LinkedIn Lead form? Collect leads using Lead Gen Forms.
  • Do you want to maximize awareness and video views? Get Video Views.

Step 4:  Select Ad format.  If you’re reading this, you will likely want to choose video.

Step 5:  Select or Create video for sponsored content.  If you are creating a new video ad, you need to make sure your client has proper size and formatting.

Video Ad Specs

  • Length: 3 seconds to 30 minutes
  • Layout: horizontal (vertical videos are not supported)
  • File size: Between 75 KB and 200 MB
  • File format: MP4
  • Aspect Ratio: Between 4:3 (1.33) and 16:9 (1.78), inclusive
  • Height: 360-1080px, inclusive
  • Width 480-1920px, inclusive
  • Frame rate: 30 FPS or less
  • Audio format: AAC or MPEG4

Step 6:  Define your audience.  This step is the same as defining an audience for traditional sponsored content campaigns.

Step 7:  Choose campaign budget, bids, and ad scheduling.

Step 8:  Launch!

Conclusion

LinkedIn’s launch of the video ads in sponsored content campaigns shows that they are willing to adapt to the demands of the marketplace.  While video ads are not revolutionary, the recent update shows that LinkedIn is dedicated to improving their platform and serving the evolving needs of advertisers.

Many advertisers need to have a social presence in their marketing mix, but it seems there are increasingly fewer options available.  Some brand conscience advertisers are looking for options beyond Facebook, following the recent user data scandals, and Twitter’s clunky advertising platform does not fill the gap.  LinkedIn seems to be positioning itself as a dynamic, user friendly platform with superior targeting.

LinkedIn video ads are a no-brainer if your client or business is looking for more ad engagement at any step in the funnel.  If you can get the video assets, I highly recommend testing LinkedIn video ads for your B2B clients as part of your marketing mix.

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