LinkedIn, a Microsoft B2B social network, announced Thursday the official rollout of video for Sponsored Content and Company Pages.
The offering, which gives companies the ability to promote a video and target a specific audience, builds on the release of member video, which launched in August 2017. LinkedIn also introduced the ability to load a video to a company’s page, which gets distributed to all followers.
Video has been seen as a top-of-the-funnel marketing tactic, but LinkedIn designed the product to build brand awareness, drive traffic to desktop and mobile websites, and collect high-quality leads through the social site’s Lead Gen Forms, Abhishek Shrivastava, director of marketing in product solutions at LinkedIn, told Digital News Daily.
Unlike pre- or post-roll video ads, video for Sponsored Content ads lives on the news feed as stand-alone posts. Advertisers can buy the product based on CPC, CPM, and CPV. There is also an option to optimize campaigns for more than impressions and clicks.
The program went into private beta in October with more than 700 advertisers, including GE, Philips, and Audi Canada. On average, LinkedIn members spend nearly three times more time watching video ads, compared with static Sponsored Content.
During the test period, advertisers ran 7,500 campaigns. The length of the videos can range from seconds to minutes, depending on the targeting metrics and goal. “If you’re target is for viewers to watch the entire video, then 30 seconds or less if the target length,” Shrivastava said.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, an early tester, in attempts to reach business travelers saw 34% view-through rates on average and 63% lower cost per view for the video campaigns launched, compared with benchmarks used from running videos on other platforms.
Another client, Microsoft Canada, which also participated in early tests, saw 28% view-through rate and 20% video completions on average for their campaigns, he said.
When asked about the average length of time it took companies to achieve these improvements, Shrivastava said it depends on the quality of the videos.
All videos uploaded into the system are monitored by human viewers and machine learning based on best practices, which LinkedIn launched as part of the official rollout.
Companies during the test cycle helped to drive improvements across the platform. “There are sophisticated metrics that we didn’t have initially during the tests and the pricing has changed as well,” Shrivastava said.
LinkedIn also announced a partnership with Moat, so advertisers can integrate data into their platform.