Can LinkedIn Stories Attract B2B Advertisers?

LinkedIn this week began testing advertisements across the U.S. and Canada in a format it calls Stories, which are short, full-screen vertical videos, photos and text images for mobile devices.

Facebook, Snap and Twitter have similar formats. Since launching its own version in the U.S. last September and globally in October, businesses have posted more than three million stories on the platform.

LinkedIn has been experimenting with ads within stories in markets such as Latin America and Europe. More than 600 brands have created more than 1,000 Stories advertising campaigns. 

"Linkedin Stories Ads will unlock a whole new placement and environment for marketers to engage their target audience, accelerating their marketing goals, whether it be creating brand awareness or generating leads for their business," a LinkedIn spokesperson said. "With marketers kicking off more campaigns in new placements, like Stories, this will contribute to our growth in a material way."

When asked whether LinkedIn is providing directions on how to use this type of media to support brand campaigns, the spokesperson said the team will continue to build materials in 2021 to give direction to brands to develop campaigns specifically for the format

Socialbakers President Yuval Ben-Itzhak in an email cited an ad benchmarks based on its third-social media trends report, suggesting the use of these types of ads continue to rise. Instagram Stories made up 10% of the ad spend on Facebook in the third quarter.

LinkedIn offers its users something more unique than Instagram, a B2B user base that differs. 

"Giving businesses the possibility to leverage ads in the Stories format is nothing new in the social space,” he wrote. “B2C brands have been successfully leveraging ads on Snapchat and Instagram Stories for some time as a tried and tested format that yields good results. But LinkedIn's user demographics differs significantly from Snapchat or Instagram. 

But LinkedIn’s user base skews much older than Snapchat or Instagram user base, he wrote, citing third-quarter 2020 data from Statista.

Some 40% of U.S. internet users ages 46 to 55 years used LinkedIn, while only 19% of internet users ages 15 to 25 years did the same.

“So, it remains to be seen how well ads in Stories will perform versus the more traditional,” he wrote.

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