LinkedIn launches beta program with video for sponsored content

Social media business platform LinkedIn has announced that it’s now testing video for sponsored content with a limited number of advertisers in a closed beta ( including Prudential Financial and Microsoft Canada), following the launch of native video in the LinkedIn Feed less than two months ago. “As more digital ad spend moves to video each year, B2B marketers will increasingly rely on video as a must-have tool for engaging their audiences – and LinkedIn is committed to creating the tools to engage professional audiences. Native video ads on LinkedIn will help advertisers to improve brand awareness and ROI, since they can create targeted, rich video content right in the LinkedIn feed,” the company explained. LinkedIn plans to make video for sponsored content available to all marketers in the first half of 2018.

Unlike pre-roll or post-roll video ads, native video ads live directly on a feed as a standalone post. While scrolling on the LinkedIn Feed, members will see the video ad as they would any other piece of content, but with the “Promoted” label. Using video ads (which represent a natural extension of sponsored content native ads), advertisers “can build brand awareness, engage the people who matter most to their business, and generate qualified demand for their products and services,” said LinkedIn. With this new capability, advertisers will be able to upload video through LinkedIn Campaign Manager, their Company Page, or their Showcase Page. They can then promote that video content as part of a sponsored-content campaign and target an audience within LinkedIn’s professional environment.

LinkedIn video ads will feature the same targeting options as other LinkedIn advertising products. Marketers will be able to reach specific audiences based on member profile data – such as company size, geography, job title and more. They’ll also have the ability to target their video ads using LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences Suite. For now, video ads will only be served on mobile, but will expand to desktop in the near future. Because understanding campaign ROI is key, LinkedIn’s reporting tools will allow marketers to track video ad performance with metrics such as view count and views by percentage of completion. LinkedIn also plans to update its campaign reporting with additional video-specific metrics in the coming months.

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.