Smartphone users will start seeing autoplay LinkedIn video ads from Prudential Financial and Microsoft Canada first, then from all marketers buying into the advertising option during the first half of 2018, reports Marketing Land.
Two months after allowing native videos in the LinkedIn feed, the social media network is beta testing the standalone ads that will appear with a “promoted” label to mark them clearly as sponsored content, Marketing Land says on Oct. 12.
This is a huge move, writes Recode on the same day. Kurt Wagner reports:
LinkedIn has been slow to push into video. It only started letting users upload their own videos in August; something other social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat have been doing for years. As a result, LinkedIn is also late to the game when it comes to selling video ads.
But LinkedIn also has a different business than those others networks. While they rely almost exclusively on advertising for revenue, LinkedIn also makes money from selling subscriptions and special features for recruiters. Advertising was just 18 percent of LinkedIn’s business before it was acquired by Microsoft [in 2016].
LinkedIn’s noticed that video posts are shared 20 times more often than other content, Recode quotes of Sudeep Eldo Cherian, director and head of global product marketing for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.
But Engadget’s Swapna Krishna also writes on Oct. 12 that this move won’t help LinkedIn’s reputation, because it’s already “synonymous with email spam for many users.” Her quite opinionated headline is “LinkedIn Would Like to Add Autoplay Ads to Your Professional Network: Oh good, another reason to ignore LinkedIn.”
How LinkedIn Video Ads Will Work
Marketing Land had more granular information about the LinkedIn video ads that will autoplay silently:
Advertisers can upload videos through the Campaign Manager, their Company Page or their Showcase Page and promote them with a Sponsored Content campaign. Audience targeting options will be the same as for all other LinkedIn ads, including the Matched Audiences option.
Some ad performance metrics will be available to advertisers in the beta test, including view count and views by the percent of video completed. Several additional metrics and data points specifically for video will be added in the next several months.
This is LinkedIn’s second go-round with video ads. In 2012, LinkedIn launched support for video ads, but the videos had to reside on YouTube and did not autoplay. That ended after a couple of years, before LinkedIn had a solid mobile presence, was bought by Microsoft and video ads became table stakes.
An Industry POV
Trevor Johnson, Digital Account Executive and SEM expert in B2B technology for clients at Walker Sands, believes that the LinkedIn video ads will add value for B2B businesses as they work to reach potential customers and build awareness for their brand.
His exact quote is:
“LinkedIn's move to video ads initially seems like it will be more for awareness rather than lead generation. However, the larger goal is providing an additional touchpoint to users that B2B companies need in their lead generation strategy. In fact, many businesses in B2B need between seven to 12 touchpoints before their sales close.
“This is big for B2B businesses, because many of their potential customers want — or need — to see how a product works before even starting to commit to potentially using it. As an example, businesses can now run remarketing video ads demoing the product to users on LinkedIn who they know hit the ‘request a demo’ page on a client's website, but didn't fill out the form. Instead of going across advertising platforms to try and run effective B2B video ads, businesses can now hit users all in one platform.”
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.
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