Guide to LinkedIn Sponsored Video Ads

In response to the growing popularity of online video ads on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, LinkedIn recently joined its competitors with the launch of Sponsored Content Video Ads on the platform. If you're a B2B company, the incorporation of video into your LinkedIn ad strategy is a no-brainer!

We’ve put together a guide that takes you from the initial planning and outlining your object, through to a step-by-step set-up. By keeping best practices in mind and always testing and analyzing, LinkedIn Video Ads could be the fuel you needed to light the fire under your kick-ass advertising strategy.

LinkedIn Sponsored Video Ads

If you run a B2B company, chances are you’re aware that LinkedIn is the place to be to reach your target audience.

Compared to the many ad formats available on Facebook and Instagram, in the past, it may have seemed that LinkedIn was a little lacking. In addition to the high costs per click, choosing to use LinkedIn as your advertising platform as a small business may seem a little daunting.

Thankfully, LinkedIn has finally caught up. Back in March, LinkedIn began to roll out the ability to advertise using video content. Videos auto-play, with the sound initially turned off. Like the Sponsored Content image-based ads we are all familiar with, Sponsored Video Ads will too, appear natively on your Company Page. With multiple campaign objectives to choose from, the introduction of video ads will allow you to reach your audience in a more visual and immersive way. This guide will help you strategically plan your LinkedIn Video Ad campaign from really nailing down your objective to creating content and building the campaign.

Choosing an objective:

When building a Sponsored Content campaign, you will have three objectives to choose from:

  • Get website visitors
  • Collect leads
  • Video views

It is important to really understand your objective of this campaign on a business level before building it out.

What are your goals? Are you looking for brand awareness? Your main objective could be to simply tell people about your brand. In this case, you would be looking for maximum impressions, video views, and view rates. Your Sponsored Content objective would be ‘get video views’. Are you at the brand consideration stage where people are aware of your brand and it’s time to move them through the conversion tunnel? Your campaign objective would be to drive quality traffic to your website. If your potential customer is past the consideration phase, it’s time to convert them into customers! With the collect leads objective, you can collect customer information without having to send them to a landing page. Sponsored Content video ads allow you to touch your customer regardless of your objective and their position in the conversion funnel.

Planning your video:

Only share quality videos that really get your message and brand across. Videos can be anywhere from three seconds to 30 minutes long, however, testing shows the most successful video ads are less than 15 seconds long. All videos must be shot horizontally and be between 75KB and 200MB.

You'll want to make sure your content supports your objective. To build brand awareness, consider creating a video that tells your brand story, really shows how your brand or company is a leader in your industry, or shares customer successes and stories. If conversions are the goal, generate a 'need to know more' by showing a sneak peek, demo, or enticing preview of your product.

Setting up your campaign:

Setting up your video ad campaign has very few differences from the image ads we are all familiar with.

Step 1: To run a campaign, sign into your Campaign Manager.

Step 2: Selected Sponsored Content as your ad format.

Step 3: Name your campaign and set your preferred language.

Step 4: Choose your objective: website visits, collect leads, or get video views.

Step 5: Select your ad format. In this case, we will be selecting video.

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Step 6: Select a video you have already shared on your Page or upload a new video. Write your enticing ad copy (>600 characters), choose your call-to-action, and add a compelling headline that really drives the customer to engage or convert (>70 characters).

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Step 7: Build and define your audience.

Step 8: Set your campaign budget, bids, and schedule. LinkedIn is known for being the more expensive social network to advertise on. Understanding that CPCs on LinkedIn will be exponentially more than say, Facebook or Instagram, is important. For a full report on the average LinkedIn Ads CPC for Q1 2018 check out this article.

Step 9: Set live!

Measuring your results:

Track your campaign performance throughout the duration of your campaign. The data in your Campaign Manager analytics dashboard is in real time and will help you understand how your ads are driving business results. Analyze the performance of your ad to understand who your audience is and which creative and copy are driving results. To really get granular about who your audience is and who is clicking to your site, install the LinkedIn Insights Tag prior to setting up your campaign. If you are familiar with Facebook ads, this is the equivalent to the Facebook Pixel. Adding this tag to your website will give you insight into the conversions made on your website and demographic information of the people converting.

Best practices for your Sponsored Content Video Ad:

  • Make sure that the information you want your audience to see is in the first 10 seconds of your video. Most viewership drops off after the 10 second mark.
  • Use graphics, text, and visual storytelling to capture and keep the attention of your audience.
  • A majority of your video views will be watched with the sound off. Consider adding subtitles.
  • Make sure your ad copy and headline deliver and reinforce the same message you are trying to portray in your video.
  • Pick a CTA that is clear, so your audience knows how to act if they are interested.
  • Be defined, but not too specific with your targeting. Location is the only mandatory detail. Don’t hyper-target when picking details such as experience level, job title, and interests.
  • A/B test your audiences. A/B test your creative. Really get to understand how your audience responds and use that information to fuel even more successful campaigns in the future.

While the creation of video content may be more laborious in the planning stage of your advertising campaign, it will aid in capturing your audience’s attention while really driving your brand message and objective. Ensure you keep an eye on your campaign’s performance and test not just your audience, but the type of creative and copy you use. Learn from your failures and successes and take that information into account when building out your next, even more successful campaign!

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