As of October 2012, brands can buy video ads on LinkedIn. Previously, companies were only able to display text and image ads. The possibility for LinkedIn ads and videos allowed the social network to join the ranks of Facebook and Twitter, both of which also offer paid ads. With more than 200 million LinkedIn users who have 2.7 million business pages and 1.5 million groups, there is the potential for these video ads to reach a staggering number of people.
LinkedIn video ads are 300×250 ad units in size. They compete for ad impressions in the same fashion as text and image ads. When a site member clicks on the video ad, the video fills the entire 300×250 space and plays a 30 second video. Once the video is finished, users have the option to click through to a website or other landing page, just as they would with a text or image ad. Companies can upload new videos directly to LinkedIn or use videos that they’ve already uploaded to YouTube. Using YouTube uploads can be a great method for drawing new audience members while still increasing views on an existing channel.
It is important to keep in mind that LinkedIn ads don’t work the same way as Google AdWords, Facebook, and Twitter ads. LinkedIn ads are ideal for B2B companies which are interested in connecting a specific audience with particular products or services either to form a partnership or to make sales. B2B companies can also use their ads to generate awareness, promote the brand, or generate leads. LinkedIn has the tools to reach out to any level of decision makers from IT department heads to general managers to CFOs. In addition to job titles, you can also set the demographics of an ad for locations, schools, skills, groups, ages, genders, and specific companies.
Is it worth it to explore LinkedIn ads and video? Video ads are the most rapidly expanding form of online advertising, quickly outpacing search and display ads. According to a study that TNS conducted for Google and AOL with nearly 2,400 online users age 18 to 54, more than a quarter of the participants felt that online video ads provided a better opportunity than TV ads did for learning about a product or service. A third of the participants stated that they preferred that video sites include advertising if it allowed the site to keep their content free. Clearly users are not only accepting these ads, but they believe that they offer a benefit.
It’s also important to keep in mind that video ads significantly increase the amount of time that a user spends on a website before deciding to stay or leave. Typically, this window of time is right around seven seconds. Video ads keep visitors on the site well past the seven seconds mark, which gives them more time to understand the value of a brand and its products and services.