With over 250 million monthly active users, LinkedIn is one of, if not the biggest, B2B networking platforms out there. Which is why LinkedIn’s newest video advertising and distribution feature is such a big deal.
Check this out: While beta testing video ads with over millions of users prior to their launch earlier this year, LinkedIn was able to determine that user engagement with video ads was three times longer than the average image sponsored ad.
Here’s a breakdown of how video advertising on LinkedIn works and why you can’t leave it out of your video marketing strategy.
How Do LinkedIn Video Ads Work?
Thanks to LinkedIn’s new video functionality, you’re now able to easily upload video content directly to the LinkedIn website instead of including a third-party link, like one from YouTube. We’ll cover the specs later, but the important part is you can now not only post videos to your personal or company pages, but you can advertise with them, as well!
There are two main ways to use LinkedIn video ads. The first is through a Sponsored Content campaign, which is posted as part of your company page’s social presence. Instead of attaching itself to a separate video as a pre-roll ad, Sponsored Content video ads live directly in your LinkedIn newsfeed. Think of it like a Facebook sponsored post that shows up on your company’s timeline (similar to when you ‘Boost’ a regular post).
The second option is a Direct Sponsored Content video ad. Direct Sponsored Content is a targeted video ad for specific audiences, similar to the way most Facebook ads function. Because of the wealth of information LinkedIn users provide about their professional lives, LinkedIn’s built-in analytics tracking has a lot of options, allowing you to search for customized audiences based on company name, industry, job title, seniority, or skills.
With either option, you’re able to add a call to action or a lead generation form to easily and effectively capture qualified leads directly from your video. Thanks to a conversion tracking tool, LinkedIn can track the number of viewers or leads that convert into sign-ups or sales all the way back to your website.
Additionally, your sales team is going to want to take advantage of LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences retargeting feature, where you can retarget ads to people who have recently visited your website, upload customized contact lists directly or integrate them with your CRM, or upload lists of companies you want to target through an account-based marketing campaign.
Why Use LinkedIn Video Ads Instead of Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram?
First of all, LinkedIn video ads aren’t that different from the video ads you’ll see on Instagram or Facebook. Like other platforms, LinkedIn’s video ads autoplay without sound, and can be optimized for video views, click-through traffic, or leads captured (via lead gen forms), which gives marketers the ability to use video ads to attract, engage, nurture, or delight future customers. Also, LinkedIn video ads count as “viewed” once a video has been watched for more than three seconds, which is similar to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
However, don’t let the similarities fool you into ignoring LinkedIn video ads. Facebook’s video advertising platform is wildly successful, but with this year’s recent user-data scandal, fewer people are willing to give Facebook the benefit of the doubt. LinkedIn’s video ad platform offers a complimentary if not slightly more streamlined service to Facebook’s advertising platform, and if you are looking for an alternative to reach new audiences, LinkedIn video advertising is a safe bet.
The audience psychology on LinkedIn is also vastly different than that of users on Facebook or Twitter. While these platforms cater to a more personal nature, LinkedIn caters to professionals – meaning if you’re an agency, offer B2B services, are looking to recruit, or are trying to grow your brand presence among marketing, tech, or other industry leaders, LinkedIn is a crucial space to advertise in.
Of course, if you have money in your budget, there’s no reason you can’t use them all. LinkedIn video ads can complement any Adwords or Facebook ad campaign you may currently have running and, until you test advertising on a number of different social platforms, you won’t know which most effectively helps you reach your target audience.
Just make sure you have a steady budget ready to go, because LinkedIn ads can get pretty expensive. Cost Per Click (CPC) on LinkedIn ads is higher than Facebook, often more similar to Google Adwords CPC. Depending how competitive your field is, an average CPC can run as high as $8 or more. That’s why it’s important to have a solid strategy with a clear call to action that’ll make your spending worth it. And make sure you establish reasonable budget limits, so you don’t end up unknowingly spending more than you planned.
How to Create a LinkedIn Video Ad
First off, you’re going to want to access and understand LinkedIn’s native video insights tool to figure out the demographics of those already viewing your content to inform your targeting methods. Using these insights, you can find out who has been viewing your videos based on company, job title, and location.
Next, you’ll want to select the Promoted Update feature, and select the type of campaign you want to launch – either click-throughs, video views, or leads.
After that, you’ll upload the video you wish to advertise. It’s too early to determine what video types work the best for LinkedIn Video ads, but commercials similar to those promoted by brands on Facebook and Instagram tend to work really well.
Next, determine your preferred audience demographic based on job title, company, seniority, or skill keyword. Be selective: Exclude categories that aren’t relevant to you for a narrower audience.
Finally, choose your ad schedule, bids, and budget amount. Keep in mind, the narrower the audience, the higher your bids will need to be, so adjust accordingly for an even middle ground. Then – launch your LinkedIn Video ad campaign!
Best Practices for LinkedIn Video Advertising
And for you spec junkies, here’s a quick breakdown of what optimal video ads specs on LinkedIn should look like:
- File size: Between 75 KB and 200 MB
- Layout: Horizontal
- Aspect Ratio: Between 4:3 (1.33) and 16:9 (1.78)
- Height: 360-1080px
- Width: 480-1920px
- Frame rate: 30 FPS or less
- File format: MP4
- Audio format: AAC or MPEG4
To LinkedIn Video Ads, or Not to LinkedIn Video Ads?
LinkedIn video ads are easy to set up, offer as many positive features as the competition (including more unique targeting options), and provide a solid alternative or addition to your current video ad campaigns.
If you’re looking to invest some advertising budget in LinkedIn video ads, and need help creating solid video content, our team of creative producers is happy to jump on a call today to bounce some ideas around. Schedule your call today.