LinkedIn video ads Q&A with Sofia Eriksson

Mattison Hofstedt


March 14, 2024

April 2, 2024

Sofia Eriksson Storykit

Table of contents

Campaign objectives & goals

Campaign structure & audience targeting

Campaign content

Budgeting and cost management

Analyzing & optimizing results

Campaign management best practices

No fluff. Just answers.

Curious about conquering video campaigns on LinkedIn? From setup to creatives to results, we've got you covered. 

Meet Sofia Eriksson, our go-to Performance Marketing Manager at Storykit. With years of hands-on experience running paid marketing for both Storykit and marketing agencies, Sofia is giving us her best answers to our most asked questions about running video ads on LinkedIn. 

Campaign objectives & goals

Q: What are the most common types of campaigns you run on LinkedIn? What goals are you trying to achieve?

A: I primarily focus on two types of campaigns: video views and lead generation.

  • Video views campaigns: These are top-funnel campaigns aimed at maximizing the number of people who watch our videos. The objective is to create awareness by engaging the audience with our content for as long as possible. We use a variety of video lengths, such as 30, 60, and 90 seconds, to ensure our message and brand story reach our audience effectively.
  • Lead generation campaigns: These are bottom-funnel campaigns designed to prompt action, such as booking a demo or signing up for premium services. I often target audiences who have already shown interest in our content by watching a significant portion of our videos (e.g., 50% or 75%). This strategy assumes they are interested in our topics and more likely to engage further.

In addition to these, I also run website traffic campaigns to encourage sign-ups for webinars or other events. These can be considered conversion ads as they aim to direct people to a landing page to complete a specific action.

Q: Can you run multiple campaigns to the same audience on LinkedIn, and why would you do that?

A: Yes, it's possible to run multiple campaigns targeting the same audience, provided they serve different purposes. For example, a video view campaign for brand awareness and a lead generation campaign can simultaneously target the same audience without issue. This strategy allows for layered marketing efforts, combining brand awareness with direct calls to action, like booking a demo.

Campaign structure & audience targeting

Q: How do you structure a campaign on LinkedIn? Do you include multiple types of ads and content, or focus on promoting one thing at a time?

A: On LinkedIn, you have to choose one format per campaign, either image ads or video ads, as combining different formats in a single campaign is not possible. For video campaigns, I aim to include at least four or five ad creatives to ensure diversity and engagement within the campaign.

Q: Is there a recommended audience size for a campaign?

A: LinkedIn might suggest having at least 50,000 people in your audience, but it's more important to ensure your audience isn't too broad. The key is understanding who you're targeting. Even campaigns targeted towards a very narrow audience, like a specific company with around 1,000 employees, can be effective if they're well-defined and the budget is adjusted accordingly.

Q: How do you address targeting in your campaigns?

A: Effective targeting requires a clear understanding of the audience. It's crucial to tailor content to the audience's interests and needs. Overly broad targeting is inefficient and can lead to wasted budget, as not everyone will be interested in or relevant to the offer.

Q: How do you determine the size and composition of your target audience?

A: Target audience size can vary greatly, but I often focus on targeting based on member skills, job functions, and company size (e.g., companies with 500+ employees). This approach allows me to reach professionals with relevant skills and roles within the desired company sizes. I find targeting by skills particularly effective because it captures the competencies of LinkedIn members, who are likely more active and engaged on the platform.

Q: When it comes to location, do you target multiple markets with one campaign or focus on one country per campaign? What's the best approach?

A: Ideally, it's best to dedicate one campaign to each market to tailor the content specifically for that audience, including using the local language. Consolidating multiple small markets into a single campaign can be done, but it compromises the ability to localize content, which is crucial for engagement. Different markets also vary in competitiveness and cost, with the US generally being the most expensive.

Q: Do you target specific companies or company sizes in your campaigns?

A: Yes, targeting is often based on company size to exclude smaller businesses or freelancers that do not fit our ideal customer profile (ICP). For account-based marketing (ABM) campaigns, targeting can be very specific, focusing on a curated list of companies, such as a selection of universities, with content tailored to their specific needs and challenges.

Q: When targeting for ABM campaigns, do you also focus on specific roles within the companies?

A: Yes, in ABM campaigns, we target specific job functions rather than titles, aiming to reach both potential users and decision-makers. This targeting is refined further by focusing on skills listed in their profiles, such as marketing, B2B marketing, lead generation, and content creation, to ensure we're reaching the most relevant professionals.

Campaign content 

Q: For top-of-funnel campaigns, why do you prefer video ads over static images?

A: Video ads are particularly effective for top-of-funnel campaigns aimed at building brand awareness and delivering messages to cold audiences who might not be familiar with us. Videos engage viewers longer than static images, enhancing ad recall and brand recognition. Although images can capture attention, videos are superior for storytelling and establishing a brand presence.

Q: Do you use video ads for conversion-focused bottom-funnel campaigns?

A: Typically, I opt for static images in bottom-funnel campaigns, mainly due to the cost structure on LinkedIn, where video views are charged as engagements, which can deplete the budget faster. Static images tend to result in a lower cost per conversion. However, videos can still be eye-catching and effective, especially for webinars and events, provided they are kept short and to the point to avoid unnecessary charges.

Further reading: 4 top LinkedIn video ad examples and why they work

Budgeting and cost management

Q: What budget should you allocate to a LinkedIn campaign?

A: Determining the exact budget for a LinkedIn campaign isn't straightforward because there's no fixed amount that guarantees results. However, LinkedIn does have a minimum daily spend requirement, which was around 70 SEK (7 EUR) per day the last time I checked. The actual budget you allocate can depend on various factors, including your market, objectives, and whether you're experimenting with a new strategy. Generally, I recommend using 500 SEK (50 Euro) per day and running a campaign for at least 7 to 10 days to gauge some meaningful results.

Q: Do you prefer using daily budgets or lifetime budgets for LinkedIn campaigns?

A: I generally use daily budgets, especially for ongoing "always-on" campaigns that don't have a specific end date. This approach allows for better control over spending. Daily budgets can also be used alongside a set campaign duration to ensure consistent spending up to an event or deadline. Lifetime budgets are an option as well, particularly for campaigns tied to specific events with clear start and end dates, but there's a risk of the budget being exhausted before the campaign's intended conclusion.

Q: Does the method of targeting affect the cost of the campaign?

A: The targeting method itself doesn't directly affect the cost. However, the cost can vary based on demand; targeting highly sought-after demographics, like C-level executives, can be more expensive due to higher competition among advertisers for this audience.

Q: How does the campaign objective influence the budget?

A: The budget significantly varies depending on your campaign's objective. For example, a video view campaign, where the cost is calculated per video view, tends to be cheaper. LinkedIn measures a video view as a 2-second play with the video occupying at least 50% of the screen. On the other hand, lead generation campaigns, where users are expected to fill out a form, can be considerably more expensive due to the higher level of user engagement required.

Q: How do you adjust the budget based on the audience size and market?

A: The budget should be tailored to the size and specificity of your audience. For smaller, more targeted campaigns, such as those aimed at a specific company, a smaller budget might suffice. In larger markets like the US, even after narrowing down your audience, you might still end up with a substantial audience size, requiring a larger budget. It's essential to refine your targeting criteria, including job functions, skills, company size, or recent job changes, to ensure your campaign is as effective as possible. Segmenting your campaign by job function or other criteria can also help manage the budget more efficiently by focusing on more precise audience groups.

Analyzing & optimizing results

Q: How do you determine if a LinkedIn campaign is yielding good results, particularly in relation to the budget?

A: Determining the success of a campaign can be challenging, especially for your first one. A good approach is to include multiple ads within a campaign, say five different videos on five different topics, and then analyze their performance. Key metrics to consider are the view-through rate and cost per view, which can help you identify which ads are performing better. For subsequent campaigns, you can compare the new results to these benchmarks to gauge improvement or decline.

Q: When comparing campaign performance, do you compare results across different countries?

A: While it's possible to observe how campaigns perform in different countries, direct comparison may not always be fair due to varying market costs. However, noting differences in performance can offer insights into content preferences and effectiveness across regions. For example, if a campaign performs well in Germany but not in France, it might prompt further analysis to understand market-specific content resonance.

Q: What does it mean to "scale" a campaign, and how is this done?

A: Scaling a campaign involves increasing its budget based on positive performance indicators, suggesting good potential for further success. This doesn't necessarily mean doubling the budget immediately; a more cautious approach, like increasing by 15-20%, is advisable to maintain campaign stability and efficiency.

Q: What metrics do you prioritize for analyzing top-of-funnel and bottom-funnel campaign results?

A: For top-of-funnel campaigns, metrics like Cost Per Click (CPC) and Cost Per Mille (CPM) are relevant because they reflect the efficiency of brand awareness and engagement efforts. We can also look at our brand searches in Google for example, to see if they increase in line with our brand awareness efforts. In bottom-funnel campaigns, where the objective is often conversion, the focus shifts to conversion rates, specifically looking at the performance of lead gen forms, including their completion rates and the click-through rates (CTR) to our website or other engagement actions.

Further reading: Winning strategies for full-funnel social media video ads

Q: How do you assess the effectiveness of video content in your campaigns?

A: The view-through rate of video content is a critical metric for understanding how well a video resonates with the target audience. It shows whether the audience finds the video engaging enough to watch a significant portion of it. A low completion rate might indicate that the content isn't compelling to the audience, necessitating a content strategy reassessment.

Q: Is it appropriate to evaluate video view campaigns based on their click-through rates to the website?

A: While it's interesting to see which video ads prompt website visits, the primary goal of a video view campaign isn't necessarily to drive website traffic. Therefore, assessing a video campaign's success based on website click-through rates might not be fair. The main objective is to engage the audience with the video content itself.

Q: Do you consider LinkedIn's benchmark data for metrics like CPC?

A: While LinkedIn's benchmark data can provide a broad overview, it may not always be the most accurate measure of success due to variations across industries, markets, and advertisers. It's more beneficial to compare campaign performance against your own historical data or industry-specific benchmarks to determine what constitutes good performance for your specific context.

Q: For top-of-funnel video campaigns, do you also monitor click-through rates?

A: Although the primary focus is on view rates, I occasionally explore the click-through rates from video ads to gauge which ones are compelling enough to encourage website visits. However, this is considered a secondary metric and not the main criterion for evaluating the success of top-of-funnel video content.

Campaign management best practices

Q: Does adjusting a campaign's budget or other settings reset its learning phase on LinkedIn, as it might on other platforms like Meta?

A: LinkedIn's algorithm behaves differently from Meta's in this regard. Editing a campaign or adjusting its budget on LinkedIn does not trigger a new learning phase or reset the campaign, which provides more flexibility in making adjustments without negatively impacting campaign performance.

Q: How do you manage ongoing or 'always-on' campaigns without getting overwhelmed by the data, especially when making changes mid-campaign?

A: Managing ongoing campaigns involves being clear about what you're looking for in the data. When adjustments are needed, such as an ad not resonating well, I often duplicate the ad and make the desired changes. This way, I can track how the new version performs in comparison. If changes are made to audience settings, I note the date of the change to analyze its impact afterward. This systematic approach helps in isolating variables and understanding the effect of each adjustment.

Q: Can you share an example of how a small adjustment in targeting improved a campaign's performance?

A: Recently, our Swedish lead generation campaign was experiencing a slowdown in lead acquisition. The audience size was about 140,000, which is substantial for our market. However, adding a criterion to target individuals who had recently changed jobs or careers — assuming they might be more open to exploring new tools — resulted in a smaller, more focused audience. This adjustment led to an immediate increase in lead generation, demonstrating the importance of precise targeting.

Q: When and why do you decide to switch out content or ads in an ongoing campaign?

A: Content or ads are switched out to prevent saturation and maintain campaign effectiveness. I monitor the frequency metric to understand how often an individual has been exposed to an ad and track the ad's performance over time. If the frequency becomes too high or the cost per result increases, indicating decreased performance, it's time to refresh the content. However, as long as an ad continues to perform well and resonate with the audience, there's no need to change it just for the sake of change.

Q: How do you approach rule-setting and best practices in campaign management?

A: While there are best practices in campaign management, rigid rules don't always apply. Every business and campaign can have unique requirements and goals, so it's essential to establish your own guidelines based on your specific context and experiences. Continual testing and adaptation are key, as what works well for one campaign or company might not be as effective for another.

Q: What is your approach to refreshing campaign content?

A: Content and ads are refreshed based on their performance and exposure frequency to prevent audience fatigue. I monitor how often an average individual has seen an ad and the ad's overall performance. If the frequency is high or performance begins to decline, it's time to introduce new content.

Q: How do you conduct A/B testing in your campaigns, and what are some best practices?

A: A/B testing is crucial for optimizing campaign performance. I might test different ad copy texts, headlines, or call-to-actions with the same video to identify what resonates best with the audience. It's important to test one variable at a time to accurately determine what drives better results. Depending on the content's effectiveness, the testing duration can vary, aiming for significant, not just marginal, differences.

Q: When you find a winning ad variation from an A/B test, what do you do next?

A: Once a winning ad variation is identified, I either continue running it as is or further refine and test other elements. The non-performing ad is paused to allocate the budget more efficiently towards the better-performing ad. LinkedIn doesn't require setting up a new campaign for this; adjustments can be made within the existing campaign framework.

Q: Does LinkedIn have a specific A/B testing function, and how do you ensure fair testing conditions?

A: While LinkedIn has A/B testing capabilities, conducting tests within the same campaign by comparing different ads is often sufficient. It's essential to set the campaign to rotate ads evenly to ensure each ad variation receives a similar level of exposure, enabling a fair comparison of performance. With that said, you can always A/B-test yourself by creating similar ads with one thing that differs, maybe the headline or the ad copy, to see what works best. 

Q: How do LinkedIn lead gen forms compare to directing users to a website for conversions?

A: LinkedIn lead gen forms are highly effective for lowering the barrier to conversion. Keeping users on the platform and pre-filling their information simplifies the process, increasing the likelihood of conversion. Directing users to an external website introduces an additional step where potential leads might drop off. However, conversions on your own site might indicate higher intent, as those users have taken the extra step to engage with your content.

Q: Is there a difference in intent between users who complete LinkedIn lead gen forms and those who convert on a website?

A: Yes, there can be a difference in intent. Users who complete the entire lead gen form on LinkedIn might do so out of curiosity, with potentially lower intent, since the process is more straightforward. In contrast, users who navigate to a website and convert there may demonstrate higher intent, as they've actively chosen to engage further with the brand and may have some curiosity in finding more information on the website.

Q: How do you manage and optimize bidding and budgets for LinkedIn campaigns?

A: Daily budgets are set to manage spending, with no specific bidding limits imposed. Campaign performance is monitored over set periods (e.g., 7 or 30 days) to gauge efficiency and adjust strategies accordingly. The lack of fixed bidding limits allows for flexibility in reaching desired outcomes within budget constraints.

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