In August, Microsoft-owned professional networking company LinkedIn started allowing users to upload video content. Once this feature was made available, video ads were inevitable.
LinkedIn announced that October 12 marked the end of the beta test round for sponsored video content with a limited number of advertisers. Prudential Financial and Microsoft Canada are two of several hundred companies in the initial test group. The company plans to make video ads and sponsored video content available in the first half of 2018. These new video ads will debut on mobile, with desktop coming soon.
LinkedIn announced that these video ads will appear as stand-alone posts alongside other LinkedIn content, with the “Promoted” label affixed to them.
Companies will be able to upload video content via the Campaign Manager tool on their company pages or their showcase pages. These will enable companies to select content they want to promote through the sponsored content campaigns.
Video ads will offer the same targeting option as other LinkedIn advertising options—targeting using data from member profiles, such as company size, geography, and job title, as well as through LinkedIn Matched Audiences. LinkedIn’s reporting tools will also provide advertisers with metrics such as view count and views by percentage of completion. More video-specific metrics will be added to its campaign reporting as time passes. These ads will auto play without sound. If viewers wish to hear the sound associated with the ads, they can click the ad window.
“We know that viewers, when they watch video, the message is much more likely received when compared to just text,” said Sudeep Cherian, head of product marketing for LinkedIn’s ads business. “It’s not a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have.”