Instagram Video Ads: Best Practices
By BrandwatchMay 6
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Since launching sponsored video ads in 2018, LinkedIn has continued to develop its video offerings, perhaps hoping to copy the success of stories and live videos on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
While the new functionalities are currently in limited release or beta, it’s clear that LinkedIn will soon look a lot more like the other big social channels when it comes to video.
And it’s a good thing, too — image, video, and link posts get 39% more engagement than text-only posts on LinkedIn. So social media managers interested in engaging their audience should embrace media-rich posts, especially video.
Here’s a primer on everything you need to know about LinkedIn video today, and what’s coming down the pipeline.
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LinkedIn native videos
Native videos are any video content uploaded directly to your personal profile or company page. These are shared organically among your network, along with a description (700 characters max for posts on your company page) that is displayed above the video.
Videos can be anywhere from three seconds to 10 minutes in length, with a maximum file size of 5GB.
LinkedIn allows you to upload both horizontal and vertical videos, but beware — LinkedIn will crop those vertical videos into a square on its newsfeed.
LinkedIn video ads
Video ads are sponsored content that you pay for. LinkedIn now gives you the option of sponsoring a video post you made organically through your company page (similar to boosting a Facebook post) or setting up a video ad via the Campaign Manager.
Like native videos, ads can be as short as three seconds, but LinkedIn allows video ads to be up to 30 minutes in length. However, they do cap the file size at 200MB, so your short film will be compressed.
Video ads must be horizontal — vertical videos are currently not a supported part of sponsored content.
When creating a video ad in Campaign Manager, LinkedIn allows you to add a headline, which is displayed under the video, a description (600 characters max, but only 150 displayed by default), and a destination URL. You can even set up an A/B test with the headline and description text.
Embedded videos in LinkedIn posts
Embedded videos are videos that are shared from a third-party video platform like YouTube. LinkedIn, like pretty much every social channel, definitely prefers native video, so if you do share an embedded video, you’ll be operating at a disadvantage.
Embedded videos — unlike native videos and sponsored videos — do not autoplay on LinkedIn, presenting a one-click barrier. If you’re looking for engagement on your own profile or company page, you should avoid embedding videos.
This is a new video broadcasting feature, currently only available in beta to select members and pages. This live video streaming service allows LinkedIn members to interact with their followers in real time. Viewers can submit comments and questions, which the host can respond to live.
LinkedIn Live also includes an option for private streaming, allowing hosts to choose select members to join the video without distributing it publicly. This offers a number of potential use cases for the business-oriented social network, ranging from livestreaming trade show talks, hosting webinars, making product announcements, and more.
LinkedIn is accepting submissions to join the beta, so if you’re interested, you have the unique opportunity to be an early adopter.
This is another feature the platform is borrowing based on the success of Stories — those ephemeral videos — on other channels. Currently, the Stories functionality is only available as part of their Student Voices release, which lets university students in America share short videos to Campus Playlists.
LinkedIn Stories videos remain visible for one week within the playlist but remain permanently visible on the sharer’s profile page. The success of Student Voices will likely determine if and when the functionality is rolled out to a broader LinkedIn audience.
Depending on which type of video you post, LinkedIn reports on different metrics. Native videos get the standard likes and comments, but unlike static posts, they also show how many views a video received.
LinkedIn defines an organic view as three seconds of video play with at least 50% of the video visible. Social media marketers can take comfort in the fact that LinkedIn videos will not autoplay if there is less than 50% of the video in view on a user’s screen.
For sponsored content, LinkedIn offers additional metrics:
How do I post a video on LinkedIn?
To share a native video, navigate to your company’s LinkedIn profile and click ‘Start a post.’ Click the video icon to upload your video file. Add your description text and when your file is uploaded, click ‘Post.’
To share a video ad, navigate to Campaign Manager and click ‘Create campaign.’ When you come to the Ad Format section, select ‘Video ad.’
You can also use a social intelligence solution like ours to schedule LinkedIn video posts in advance and measure their performance.
How long should my video be?
Technically, your video can be anywhere from three seconds to 10 minutes for native videos or 30 minutes for video ads. However, as with many forms of content marketing, less is often more. One LinkedIn study showed that videos under 30 seconds had a 200% increase in view completion rates.
Video length should be determined by two key principles:
What’s the best aspect ratio?
For native videos, LinkedIn accepts both horizontal and vertical videos. However, it’s important to know that your vertical videos will be cropped into a square for display in the newsfeed.
Video ads must be horizontal, with an option for a widescreen version. For a video at 1080p, that means you can upload a video at either 1440 x 1080 or 1920 x 1080.
Do I need to invest in a lot of fancy equipment?
Not at all. Depending on what type of content you want to share, you can get away with shooting your video on a high-end smartphone (or equivalent). LinkedIn will compress your videos when you upload, and since viewers can’t adjust the displayed resolution, it doesn’t make sense to invest in a super high-end camera setup.
A social video starter package might include a tripod (leave the shaky cam for film festivals), a microphone, and – if you want to go all in – some lights.
Should I include subtitles?
Yes. Yes. A thousand times yes.
LinkedIn videos default to autoplay without sound, which means users must actively turn the sound on to hear anything. LinkedIn doesn’t share stats on how many users choose to activate sound on desktop or mobile, but it’s clear that to accommodate all viewers, subtitles are essential.
LinkedIn allows you to include a separate subtitles file while uploading your video from a desktop device. Alternatively, many video marketers have taken to hard-coding (burning-in) captions or text directly into their videos.
LinkedIn’s content skews more professional than other social networks, but that doesn’t mean your videos need to be limited to suited business folk selling their wares. Authenticity is the key word, and with video, brands have the opportunity to present down-to-earth content about all sorts of topics.
Take a look below at eight examples of videos from brands who are dominating the LinkedIn video game on all sorts of themes.
1) Company news
Probably the most obvious piece of content to share on LinkedIn is news related directly to your company. LinkedIn is a great channel to share announcements about exciting new developments in your company’s strategy, growth, and – in this example – expansion into new markets.
In this 30-second video, scooter-rental company Voi announces their return to Madrid. The video is direct, showing their product in use, without additional editorialization. There is no voice-over or dialogue, which makes it easy to grasp without any audio.
Events – both in person and digital – provide ample content for video sharing. Use video ads to promote company-sponsored events or try live video for streaming keynote talks.
Lego shared a video recapping their event to launch a new set in partnership with Netflix’s smash hit Stranger Things. The 70-second video is a highlight reel of event buzz, product news, and fan enthusiasm.
3) Product updates or releases
Whenever you have something new to announce, social media is an obvious channel. LinkedIn is a great platform to demo new products, and using video allows you to show off cool new features in a more engaging way.
Bose shared this thirty-second spot on their LinkedIn Company page to announce the release of their new wearable product. The video works well on LinkedIn, as it doesn’t require audio to get the full message.
4) “How it’s made” videos on products or services
What may be routine for you could be novel to people outside your company. Sharing a look into how your products or services come to life is a great way to demonstrate value and share something unique.
Have you ever wondered how a cymbal gets made? Me neither, but this (eight-minute!) video is fascinating. Next time we buy cymbals, this company will be top of mind.
5) “Behind the scenes” looks at company culture or office events
Zest.is shared this short time-lapse video of the team redecorating their office with their brand look front and center. It’s an example of a very easy-to-produce video giving a clear glimpse into the company.
6) Customer testimonials or case stories
Customer cases are some of the most engaging down-funnel content that a brand can share. Done properly, they both explain and justify your company’s core value while inspiring other potential customers to join in.
Salesforce understands the power of a good customer testimonial — as evidenced by this super sleek, almost cinematic case video. At over six minutes long, this is not a simple story. But this sharp video is both informational and inspirational.(And look at those subtitles!)
7) Tap into an industry or global trend
Connecting your company, product, brand, or industry to what people in your market already care about is a great way to encourage authentic engagement.
Arla Foods did a whole video series on food waste and what their company is doing to help. This LinkedIn video is short (27 seconds) and uses on-screen text to deliver the message.
8) Educate and inspire
People are always looking to learn something new — and if they can do it in under a minute, even better. LinkedIn is a great place for companies to share their expertise with their followers.
Talent Garden uses LinkedIn videos not only to promote their courses but also to share key takeaways from them. In this 90-second video, one of their teachers gives a quick introduction to the topic, throwing in some examples of what he’ll be sharing in the course.
Already convinced about LinkedIn videos and just want the key takeaways? OK, here you go:
No matter your company size or your video production budget, you can share great content on LinkedIn (or at least not the worst content).
For more information on video marketing, check out our post on how the LinkedIn algorithm actually works.