The Ultimate Guide to Successful LinkedIn Video Ads
LinkedIn video ads are a relatively new addition to the professional social network — they were only introduced in 2018
But in such a short time, they have seen MASSIVE results and success. Especially for B2B marketers.
What was once recruitment and professional networking platform has now become the ultimate place for all things business communication.
LinkedIn even makes up more than 50% of all social traffic to B2B websites and blogs. Further, 80% of B2B leads on social media comes from LinkedIn and 91% of marketers consider it the #1 place to find quality content.
So the bottom line is… LinkedIn video marketing is a virtual goldmine for digital marketers.
But at the same time, it’s really important for brands to tailor their video marketing strategies for LinkedIn. While quick and spontaneous content is great for other platforms, informative professional and B2B oriented videos performs better on LinkedIn.
The point we’re trying to make is: LinkedIn video marketing is awesome and you need to make the most of it right now.
How do you do that? Well, in this comprehensive guide we’re going to tell you EVERYTHING you need to know about video advertising on LinkedIn.
- LinkedIn video ad features
- LinkedIn video ad specs
- The 12 BEST practices to optimize your LinkedIn video ads campaign
- The best LinkedIn video ads for inspiration
So let’s get started!
LinkedIn Video Ad Details and Ad Specs
Unlike other social media platforms, video marketing on LinkedIn is a relatively new feature. In fact, it currently only offers “sponsored” content as video ads.
But still, there are some LinkedIn video ad specifications and features you should be aware of to make the most of them.
If you’re asking yourself “how long are LinkedIn video ads?” and “what are LinkedIn video ad specs?” or even just “how to make good LinkedIn video ads?”
Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
Let’s take a look at all the LinkedIn video ad features and specs you need to know!
Sponsored video ads
LinkedIn video ads are sponsored native videos that autoplay in a LinkedIn member’s feed. They organically blend into a user’s feed and let you reach your target audience in an authentic way.
LinkedIn video ads appear as standalone posts and support a bunch of different marketing objectives. These include everything from brand awareness to brand consideration and even lead generation. Similarly, they can be used to captivate audiences at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
There are two ways to create sponsored content campaigns.
First, LinkedIn video ads can be created from pre-existing video content on your company page or showcase page. This essentially means boosting or promoting videos from your page as video ads.
If you upload a native video to LinkedIn, it’s pretty much only shown to your existing followers and networks. By promoting your videos as sponsored content, you can distribute them to users outside your followers and increase your reach.
Secondly, brands can also create ‘direct sponsored content’. These are video ads that are created directly in LinkedIn’s campaign manager. They offer the added benefit of personalizing and testing your video ads for specific audiences.
They appear in the feed and other pages of targeted LinkedIn members. Also, they do NOT appear in your LinkedIn company page or showcase page.
- Minimum video length: 3 seconds
- Maximum video length: 30 minutes
- Minimum file size: 75 MB
- Maximum file size: 200 MB
- Layout: Horizontal
- Pixel aspect and ratio requirements:
- 360p (480 x 360; wide 640 x 360)
- 480p (640 x 480)
- 720p (960 x 720; wide 1280 x 720)
- 1080p (1440 x 1080; wide 1920 x 1080)
Best practices to Optimize LinkedIn Video Ads
Social media video marketing doesn’t have one clear cut formula, because all social platforms work differently.
If you want to succeed, you have to tailor your video marketing strategies to match the platform’s requirements and audience.
So without further ado…
These 12 LinkedIn video ads best practices will help you optimize your LinkedIn video ads and increase their effectiveness, so you can see results.
1. Optimize for sound-off with subtitles
Thanks to autoplay, when a user is scrolling through their feed or stories, videos don’t automatically play with sound. That’s probably why over 85% of social media videos are watched on mute.
This means videos that rely on sound to catch the viewer’s attention or convey their message usually get ignored.
But don’t worry — the solution is pretty simple.
Keep things as visual as possible. Make the best use of visual elements and storytelling to convey a message that doesn’t require sound to be understood.
If your video does have sound, always make it a point to include subtitles or closed captions. Not only do they increase your video’s views and shares, they also make it more accessible. This means they can reach wider audiences and increase your brand awareness!
Plus, LinkedIn also has a closed captioning feature which lets you upload your video ads with an associated SRT file.
2. Make the first few seconds count
In case you haven’t heard, humans now have a shorter average attention span than goldfish.
Yes, you read that right.
It was recently found that the average human being today has an attention span of 8 seconds. Couple this with the fact that users tend to scroll through their feed really quickly and you have yourself a problem.
If your video isn’t engaging enough from the get-go, chances are that users are scrolling right past it.
The best way around this is to make the first few seconds of your video really count. In fact, viewers who watch the first 3 seconds of a video are more likely to finish it. So make sure these initial seconds are captivating and attention grabbing and make users stop scrolling.
Also, keep your videos short and sweet. The platform explicitly states that the best performing LinkedIn video ads are under 15 seconds long.
3. Target ads to reach the right people
One of the best ways to see instant higher engagement, visibility and interaction on your ads is by targeting them.
What does this mean?
It means customizing your ads so they align with certain marketing objectives and specific target audiences.
But before you get ahead of yourself, it’s really important to know who your target audience is.
There are two ways to do this. Firstly, use LinkedIn’s in-app analytic tools to see who your primary followers are. This lets you break down their demographics and even other characteristics like job title, seniority, company and industry, for example.
Secondly, you should know what your brand’s dream audience or ideal ‘buyer persona’ is. Tools like Hubspot’s ‘Make My Persona’ can help you map this out.
After identifying your target audience, use the range of targeting options available to target your ads on LinkedIn.
Start off by specifying location, or where you want your LinkedIn video ads to be served.
Next, choose build a custom and specific audience using the following categories:
- Company: company connections, company followers, company industry, company name, company size
- Demographics: age, gender
- Education: degrees, fields of study, member schools
- Job experience: job function, job seniority, job title, member skills, years of experience
- Interests: groups and member interests
You can also use ‘Audience expansion’ to build a lookalike audience and reach a broader (but still relevant) audience.
Beyond this, LinkedIn’s ‘Matched audiences’ feature lets you customize your targeting based on your own company data. You can re-engage website visitors with website retargeting andnurture prospects and warm leads with contact targeting.
LinkedIn recommends adding only two or three targeting facets for your initial campaigns. Aim to have a target audience of 50,000+ for sponsored videos when you’re starting off.
4. Optimize ads by using the right marketing objectives
Apart from knowing who you’re targeting, you also need to select an objective for your LinkedIn ad campaign. At this stage, you need to be asking yourself:
- What are you hoping to achieve with your ads?
- What are your marketing objectives?
It’s important to choose the right objectives because they inform your creative direction, deliver the best ROI and let you analyse results better.
LinkedIn video marketing supports a number of different objectives that can be grouped into 3 categories: awareness, consideration and conversion.
Brand awareness is a great objective for top-of-the-funnel brand building. It’s used to capture the audience’s attention, showcase your brand and spark curiosity.
Consideration objectives are used to reach people who are already interested in your product and want to learn more.
- Website visits: used to maximize clicks that direct users to your website
- Engagement: used to encourage customers to interact with your content (likes, comments, shares, follows)
- Video views: used to increase the exposure of your video to those who are likely to interact with it
Conversion objectives demand-generation focused and aim to drive users to take an action.
- Lead generation: used to collect leads using pre-filled forms with LinkedIn members’ profile data
- Website conversion: optimizes for specific actions like a whitepaper download or webinar registrations
5. Make sure your videos match your objectives
It isn’t enough to just know your marketing objectives.
In order to achieve your goals, you need to make sure your LinkedIn video ads are optimized for your objectives. Afterall, content is the backbone of any good social media video ad.
If your marketing objective is brand awareness:
- Focus on sharing your brand’s mission and story
- Keep the video under 30 seconds and focus on captivating your audience and grabbing attention
- Position yourself as a thought leader
If your marketing objective is consideration:
- Share stories of customer successes
- Use case studies, testimonials and interviews to demonstrate the value
- Keep your videos concise to the point
If your marketing objective is conversion:
- Use product demos to show users how they can use your product or service
- Give previews and sneak-peeks of events or products
- Use longer videos to convey your message as people who watch it are likely to become leads
6. Optimize headline and description
Aside from visuals and thumbnails, it’s also really important to optimize your LinkedIn video ad’s headline and description.
Catchy and clickable titles encourages users to watch your video. This is especially important because users have the option to disable the autoplay feature on LinkedIn. And so, your video’s title plays a crucial role in attracting attention and increasing video views.
Your title should be concise, informative and catchy — whatever works best for your brand and message. It should encourage viewers to watch your video by telling them what they can gain from your content.
LinkedIn recommends writing ad headlines under 150 characters as concise headlines see maximum engagement.
Also, it’s advisable to keep your descriptive copy under 70 characters. This is especially important because anything over 100 characters could get truncated on desktop.
7. Create and Optimize Thumbnails
LinkedIn offers users the option to opt out of autoplay. This creates a problem for marketers as their videos might not autoplay as users scroll through their feeds.
This means brands need to work even harder to convince users to take action and actually watch their video ads.
One way to do this is by making interesting, relevant and clickable video thumbnails.
Thumbnails are super important because they form a user’s first impression of your video by making it stand out. They’re one of the main factors that decides whether or not a user watches your video and engages with it. Essentially, they should give LinkedIn users a reason to click on your video ads.
Unfortunately, LinkedIn doesn’t currently let you select a custom thumbnail image for videos. Instead, the platform grabs the first frame of the video as the thumbnail by default.
But don’t worry — there’s a simple solution.
Drop in a single frame of your customized thumbnail right at the beginning of your video. This way you’ll have an enticing and clickable video thumbnail that your viewers actually want to engage with.
8. KPIs (measure success based on your objective)
After understanding and implementing your marketing objectives, you should select the appropriate “key performance indicators” (KPIs) for your campaign. These will be useful to measure and analyse the results of your video ads.
Your KPIs should measure the success of your video ad based on the marketing objectives of your campaign. Did you achieve the objective you had with your video?
For example, if your marketing objective was to raise brand awareness, you can use a KPI like video views. These can even be broken down into 25%, 50%, 75% and ‘complete’ views to better understand your video’s viewership.
Or you can even use impressions, click-through rate or average engagement to see how users responded to your ad.
If you had a consideration marketing objective, you can monitor web traffic with KPIs like the click through rate.
Similarly, if you want to drive sales and conversions, conversion rates and signups could be great for tracking performance.
The bottom line is, KPIs are super important because they help you identify what you did right and what you can change. This is really useful and can help you optimize your future video ads for success!
9. A/B test to optimize your ads
A/B testing allows you to test different versions of your ads to find out which works best. It’s a great option to analyse your social media video ads and optimize your future campaigns.
A/B testing can be used to test the same ad on two different audiences and see which ad performs better. This is great for helping you target your ads better. Or, you can test out two different ads on the same audience to see which content and style works better.
Essentially, A/B testing is great for helping you answer questions like:
- Which message resonates the most with your audience?
- What types of content generate the most engagement?
- Which call to action has the highest conversion rate?
- Which section of your target audience prefers a certain ad?
- Which length of video gets the most engagement?
There are a number of things you can change to test and optimize your ad, like:
- Content type
- Video length
- Audio and subtitles
- Headline and description
- Landing pages
Just remember — test one variable at a time, or you won’t know what caused the change in performance.
10. Optimize landing pages for mobile
If your video ad’s CTA leads to a landing page, you need to ensure that it is optimized for mobile.
Video ads have the potential to generate a lot of sales and the highest CTR of all digital ad formats. This means the landing pages they link to need to be optimized and accessible.
Here are a couple tips to keep in mind to make the mobile landing pages that convert:
- Keep it simple and minimalistic. Strip away everything that doesn’t need to be there and focus on your call to action.
- Focus on the benefits of your product or service and be specific.
- Include a sign-up form and keep it short and concise.
- Include testimonials in the form of videos or quotes to convert hesitant customers.
Take a look at this great example by Squarespace. Their desktop landing page is simple, minimalistic and effective with a clear CTA.
The mobile version is even more minimalist, and only includes necessary elements. It’s easy to navigate and optimized for a seamless mobile experience.
11. Optimize CTA placement for maximum engagement
CTAs are great because they directly invite viewers to engage with your brand by taking a specific action. The problem is, even though your LinkedIn video ad has a CTA button, your viewers might not be clicking it.
This means you might want to prompt users to take an action and actually press the CTA button during your video. The best time to do that? Bang in the middle of your video.
If your video starts with a CTA, you risk losing viewers because your content seems overly self-promotional. It’s also not exactly a great way to grab your audience’s attention. It’s best to make sure that the beginning of your video acts like a hook, captivating your audience.
By placing a CTA at the end, you’re losing out on everyone who doesn’t watch the whole thing.
This is why CTAs strategically placed in the middle of an ad are optimum for encouraging your audience to take action. Mid-roll CTAs even have a higher conversion rate of 16.95%! In comparison, CTAs at the start have a rate of 3.15% and end have 10.98%.
12. Use LinkedIn lead gen forms
LinkedIn lead gen form ads eliminate the pain points associated with users filling out forms with their information.
By letting customers stay on LinkedIn as they submit their lead form. This makes it easier for brands to generate leads and avoids the trouble of longer click-through journeys for users. It’s a win-win situation!
When a LinkedIn member clicks on your video ad’s CTA, your form will open pre-filled with information from their LinkedIn profile. This makes it really easy for them to submit information and you to collect leads.
Oh, and did we mention? They’re also cost-effective. In just a year, LinkedIn reported that lead gen forms reduced costs-per-lead by 30%!
Great Examples for Linkedin Video Ads
Now that we’ve equipped you with all the actionable tips you need, it’s time to make your own LinkedIn video ads.
Running a little low on inspiration? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered!
Here we’ve compiled a list of some the best LinkedIn video ads out there. They’re perfect examples of engaging social media content to inspire your next campaign.
Apart from acquiring customers, brands can also use LinkedIn video ads for recruitment purposes. Videos like this one by BambooHR highlight the company’s culture and story, attracting like-minded people. If you’re looking to scout talent, a LinkedIn video ad like this one can be a great inspiration.
2. Sandwich Video & Slack
What better way to convince your customers of your worth than by showcasing your product’s success stories?
In this LinkedIn video ad, Slack partnered with a highly regarded production company, Sandwich Video. It’s essentially a testimonial that shows the audience how Sandwich video benefitted by using Slack’s product.
It covers all the necessary aspects by highlighting the customers’ pain points and the features of the product. And best of all, it’s REALLY entertaining and funny.
3. Fifth Story
This LinkedIn video ad by content marketing agency, Fifth Story, ticks all the right boxes.
It uses visuals and voiceover to demonstrate the service’s features and capabilities in a really effective way. The company uses video to showcase the process behind creating high quality media for its clients. It also uses crisp visuals, animations and shots of actual Fifth Story employees in their workplace to keep the viewer hooked.
KLM used this LinkedIn video ad to attract more customers and start a conversation with its followers. It successfully met its objectives of brand awareness and interaction by sharing a creative video ad featuring a holiday themed fashion show. It’s fun, light hearted and grabs the audience’s attention from the get-go.
Here’s another example of an excellent LinkedIn video ad featuring a customer testimonial. Hubspot does a great job at marketing its product by getting professionals to talk about its features and benefits. This makes a better and more powerful impression on potential customers than just reading about it!
The customer success story checks all the boxes. It delivers a narrative featuring the pain points of customers and the solution — its product.
6. Pinterest Business
This LinkedIn video ad by Pinterest business shows how brands can use ads to reinforce their brand color and create brand awareness. By reinforcing red throughout the ad, Pinterest showcases a bunch of different uses for its platform.
The red water bottle targets sporty people while the visuals of red paint inspire creativity and imagination. The video is short and entirely visual, yet inspiring and effective.
7. General Electric (GE)
Studies have shown that emotive ads generate 2x as much profit as rational, logic-based ads.
GE makes the most of this by delivering a powerful and emotional narrative about one particular employee’s story. Rather than using a hard sell, GE uses video to showcase the company’s culture and its values. The video is effective because it elicits feelings of safety, trust and loyalty in viewers.
How Studiotale Can Help You
There you go! That’s everything you need to know to kickstart a successful LinkedIn video ad campaign.
Remember, sometimes the most effective ads are the ones that least look like it. Keep things natural and remember to be yourself! Use your ads to show off your brand’s personality and relate to your customers.
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If you’re still unsure of where to start with your LinkedIn video ad or need guidance from a video expert, we’ve got you covered.
Simply reach out to Studiotale and leave the rest to us. As a leading startup video production company, we’d be happy to help.
Don’t hesitate! Start a conversation with us today :)