The adoption of stories has been used by advertisers for both B2C and B2B industries allowing for a unique format for authentic engagement.
I still remember the morning I woke up to discover Instagram Stories were now available... What lived at the top of my Instagram homepage before Stories, I’ll never know.
Currently, advertisers and brands have an array of Stories Ads Placement options across Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and of course, Snapchat. This lightweight format is accessible to everyone and can be used strategically both for brands and advertisers.
Somewhat behind the curve - perhaps not unexpectedly - LinkedIn has recently launched its Stories Ads placement for mobile users and is currently beta testing with some advertisers and brands.
Below you can find out more about the value of LinkedIn Stories Ads, what they are, how they function, and how they could sit within your overall paid social strategy.
What Are LinkedIn Stories?
LinkedIn Stories follow a similar format to Instagram and Snapchat. They allow you to temporarily - 24 hours - publish photos and videos up to 20 seconds long via the platform’s mobile app.
The benefit of using stories is that they promote authentic and human-centric brand storytelling, as you’re able to deliver engaging, inspirational, and sometimes emotive content to your audience in a quick and easy format.
Stories can also provide your brand with insights on which copy/creatives are proving most effective, as well as the users who engage the most with your content.
Since the launch of Stories on LinkedIn to over 722 million members, Stories sparked hundreds of thousands of new conversations, so it almost seemed like a natural progression to introduce Stories Ads.
LinkedIn Stories Ads can help brands grow their reach with the 722 million active LinkedIn members with different format options such as images and video.
What Are LinkedIn Stories Ads?
LinkedIn Stories Ads are immersive, full-screen video and single-image ads served in vertical and square orientations from your existing Sponsored Content campaigns.
LinkedIn Stories Ads allow professionals to see more of what your brand has to offer by extending the reach of your Image and Video ads to an already engaged professional audience.
Please bear in mind that these ads are currently in beta mode with a few advertisers, and for now, available only through mobile.
How Do LinkedIn Stories Ads Work?
Stories Ads are a placement for your existing vertical, square image, and video ads. Your ads will be served in between organic members and Page Stories at the top of the LinkedIn mobile app.
Stories are where LinkedIn members share key everyday work moments, they run for 24 hours however, Stories Ads run for your campaign duration.
Why Stories Ads?
There are three key reasons why Stories Ads are beneficial:
1. Grow Awareness – Showcase another layer of your brand identity
2. Drive Action – Create an immersive moment, which your audience can take action from
3. Deepen Relationships – Develop messaging, which resonates with your target audience through a new format
Stories Ads generally provide you with a moment to capture your audience’s full attention. Given the number of ads everyone sees both online and offline, Stories Ads can be a fun way to get your single image and video content visible across the full screen on their phones.
Users can seamlessly swipe up, driving traffic to your landing pages. In addition to this, members can share ads with other members, increasing views of your ad.
And who knows, it could even reach a target decision-maker seeking the services or insights your ads are offering.
When Should You Use LinkedIn Stories Ads?
Posting the right ads at the right time is a fine art, but there are four main factors to consider before posting a Stories Ad. You want your Ad to be relevant, engaging, and showcase your brand in the best light.
1. Industry Topics and News
Show credibility and relevance by being newsworthy, and you can do this by simply sharing your commentary on industry topics.
By focussing on certain industry topics, you can build stronger brand awareness by using these topics to highlight similar aspects of your brand identity.
We would also recommend including topics your brand cares about in your ads, as this can build greater trust with your audiences.
2. Product Announcements and Customer Testimonials
These types of Stories Ads would feature an upcoming product and/or service launch.
Within these ads, you should demonstrate how your products work, delivering quick ‘how-to’ ads to matched audiences.
Your aim is to show your users how simple and effective your product or service is and why it would be beneficial to them.
Another best practice for these types of ads is to show how your product and/or service is being used by your customers, you want your users to see how easy and pragmatic it is.
You should also consider showcasing a variety of positive customer reviews and ratings if you can.
3. Corporate Communications, Talent Branding, and Culture
It’s important to gain an emotional response from your users. Users today want to engage with brands that demonstrate they care about their employees as well as their own career highlights.
You can do this by highlighting important milestones like work anniversaries, sustainable initiates, new programs, and partnerships.
You should consider featuring employees and leaders showcasing snippets of what the culture within your brand is like.
These snippets can attract future targeted employees, so it’s always worth creating Ads to advertise current job openings.
4. Event Promotion and Activation
If you have an event coming up, you can create ads to increase reach and signups for upcoming events and webinars.
As time draws closer to your event, you could share “behind the scenes” snippets at your events and webinars to build excitement, which can correlate to a higher volume of registrations.
Vertical vs Square vs Video
Currently, Square Stories Ads allow users to click ‘see more’ as you can have accompanying text to your ad. Unfortunately, Vertical Stories will not have the additional text and ‘see more’ option.
Similarly, Video Stories Ads will have the same functionality as Vertical Stories Ads.
The swipe-up option is available for all formats, which will lead your most engaged audiences to the landing pages that are important to your product or service.
Key Metrics for Performance Review and Reporting
Like any advertisement, when creating and implementing LinkedIn Stories Ads, you want to make sure they are performing and attracting your desired target audience. So, it’s always worth checking these metrics regularly to ensure your Stories Ads are working.
1. View Rate-VTR. Shows paid views of a video ad to the number of impressions. Provides you with insight on how well your content is being watched.
2. Click-Through Rate-CTR. It can show how many users end up going through to your landing page.
3. Cost-per-view/click/impression-CPV/CPC/CPM. Based on your bid choices, these metrics help you understand how much you are spending on performance.
Best Practices for LinkedIn Stories Ads
Now, before you start creating, there are certain practices that could make or break the success of your future LinkedIn Stories Ads.
- Think of content relevant to both feed and stories – Your Ad will show up in both feeds and stories.
- Impress in three seconds! Most people will swipe to another story after three seconds, so you need to get the essence of your message out straight away.
- Use broad targeting for best delivery – Rule of thumb is around >5M for best delivery.
- Keep copy short and add CTA button – Short, snappy copy works best! Try to keep the copy to three lines or under in length and get your ‘hook’ or key point out in the first two sentences.
- Set-up 6-8 creatives in your campaign – Using multiple creatives in a campaign ensures your brand remains fresh and top of mind whilst reducing audience fatigue.
LinkedIn Stories Ads are a brilliant ‘add-on’ to your current campaigns.
Many advertisers consider LinkedIn to be the most expensive platform to advertise on, however, the introduction of Stories Ads as an additional placement for mobile users will increase the sheer reach of your image and video ads.
Hopefully, LinkedIn will assess the success of Stories Ads and look to extend to all users both on desktop and mobile.