Producing and running video ads on LinkedIn can be worth a king’s ransom in cost and yet are the most sought-after formats by SaaS to engage, create awareness and help generate potential leads. In fact, LinkedIn has 15 times more content impressions (nine billion content impressions, to be precise) than job postings and an ad on LinkedIn can reach 13% of the world’s population.
Companies use tailor-made video ads to control the way their brand image is projected and to highlight their SaaS. A high-performing ad with LinkedIn’s laser-focused targeting options can help build brand awareness, generate leads and help with thought leadership.
According to a guide by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, it was found that 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn as a content distribution channel.
Quick list of best practices to hammer out before trying to create a high-performing SaaS video:
1. Be clear on what part of the marketing funnel you want your video to focus on whether it is the brand awareness stage to solve problems, the consideration stage to relay the solutions, or the conversation point to focus on the cost and benefits.
2. LinkedIn ads are automated to play on mute. It is therefore of monumental importance that you add captions to your videos, choosing fonts, sizes, and colors that are easy on the eyes.
3. Analyze what video length would work best. LinkedIn provides the option of running it up to 30 minutes but most SaaS companies have found 15 second long videos to provide the maximum ROI. Short videos work for top-of-the-funnel actions like creating awareness while longer videos work well for the consideration stages.
4. Try to tell a story, alongside focusing strongly on the visuals and the messaging. It helps in personalizing the brand and connecting directly with your target audience. You can enhance the experience by adding humor to the script, making it stand out from the other boring and serious ads on the platform.
5. In 2017, LinkedIn came out with its Lead Gen Form ad unit to enable conversion of high-quality leads in the B2B space. It cuts down the cost-per-lead by directly displaying a form on LinkedIn instead of connecting the prospective lead to a landing page.
6. Focus on branding. Make sure that not only is your brand logo and colors visible in the video, but also the ideology of your company and what it stands for gets conveyed via the video.
7. The first 3 seconds need to catch your viewer’s attention. The SaaS company needs to establish its credibility and authority at the beginning itself.
Design your SaaS video ads based on the stage of the marketing funnel that you are in –
|Stage||Objectives||Key pointers that work||Goal for prospects|
- use aspirational words
- human presence helps
- short video length
- branding in the end
|Create positive impression and raise awareness|
|Lead Generation Ads||Website conversion, lead generation||
- logo on top 1/3rd of screen
- 4 scene changes in first 3 seconds
- use action triggering words in CTA
|Click through website for next steps, provide contact details|
|Thought Leadership Ads||Video views, website visits, engagements||
- use industry buzzwords
- promise growth and benefits
- use GIF-style videos
|Watch more videos, checkout website, interact with LinkedIn content|
1. Brand Awareness Ads
This stage is about increasing brand recall and creating desire in the target audience. It is too early in the video to pitch yourself and your brand. Your focus should be on trying to connect with the prospects on a personal level with your storytelling by using earnest words and eyeball-grabbing visuals.
In fact, planting a relatable, positive, and happy human being in the video has been known to help in raising the view rate substantially. 10-15 seconds videos work typically well at the onset of creating awareness. Conversion is not a goal at this point. Branding of the video is important but that needs to be put at the end of the video.
2. Lead Generation Ads
It is imperative to ensure that your pivotal message is highlighted in the first 3 seconds of your SaaS video as the attention span and time of your audience is limited and you need to unload information and benefits of your product before your time is up.
Speaking directly to prospects and calling them out in the video as well as the writing-up will grab their attention and nudge them towards an action. It has been seen that pre-filled lead generation forms, along with these ads, perform better than a website visit in closing leads.
In fact, keeping the introduction of the brand under 2 seconds can increase the CTR. Using strong and urgent, action triggering words in the CTA will provide a CTR lift too.
3. Thought Leadership Ads
Using buzz words from the industry has shown an astounding increase in engagement, which is the biggest priority here. Your CTA can talk about benefits and sign up for webinars and events.
Therefore, using words that reflect growth and promise can do wonders in lifting the engagement rate. Accommodating 4 changes of the scene within the first 3 seconds will keep the viewers hooked.
GIF-style videos that are 5-15 seconds long have also shown remarkable performance. The spotlight on branding, which can be put in the beginning, cannot exceed more than 2 seconds in these videos. Assure that there are clear, well-worded captions for each video.
To understand more about creating the correct type of video at each stage of the marketing funnel click here.
Pointers on different visuals and specs to create successful SaaS LinkedIn ads –
1. Appealing graphics compiled in the ideal-sized videos for each format and device (be it desktop, tablets, mobile phones, etc.) will guarantee maximum exposure. Research on the different types of LinkedIn ad visuals, including the file size, pixies, height and width, file type, frames per second, and aspect ratio for the videos and even images used inside the video.
2. Sharing video ads of reviews and customer stories that highlight the workings and benefits of your SaaS product is the most powerful tool in any marketing campaign’s shed as it immediately helps in establishing credibility and trust for the company.
3. Remember to feature your product’s USP throughout the messaging in your video, so that they become aware of the benefits of your product even if they decide to skip over your video after a few seconds.
4. Showcasing the workings, interface, and benefits of the SaaS product in action in the ad is one of the most perfunctory ways of creating awareness and triggering consideration.
5. Use A/B testing to analyze what works and what doesn’t for your target audience. Conduct experiments on what length of the video are effective, what type of testimonials form a connection, and what type of landing page helps collect leads by split testing.
6. Use bright and bold colors that hail the audience towards your ad. Give preference to a contrasting color scheme so that all elements get the highest visibility possible. A number of design tools are available that help in generating high-quality stills and segments.
What we like about this video ad: It does concise messaging via clear and appealing graphics and an intelligent selection of text. The use of the logo on top marks the brand while the color scheme works well in accordance with the company colors. The crisp length serves the video well.
What we like about this video ad: The decision to put in clippings from client testimonials was a smart move as it immediately establishes credibility and trust. The graphics and colors are bright and they pop, while the use of the dog makes the video call out to the viewers from its sea of competitors.
What we like about this video ad: It aces the art of storytelling, ploughing its way into the viewer’s mind with satisfied-looking humans and brilliantly animated characters. The comradeship enforces trust, while the soothing voice-over makes the viewer engage better with the content.
What we like about this video ad: The motion graphics, the background score, and the warm colors are enough to kick it out of the park. The video is short and yet makes its point. The branding is impeccable, projecting purposefully the benefits of slack.
What we like about this video ad: The clipping selected and woven together in a story format is a treat to watch. The video overwork is impressive and carefully guides the viewer through the technological advancements that the company is making.
7 blunders SaaS companies make with LinkedIn ads –
1. Sticking to LinkedIn’s default settings of ‘Auto-Bidding’ and ‘Maximum Delivery’ is the most exorbitant way of paying for your traffic. The only time this option works is if your CTR is 3 times higher than the average.
2. Unlike any other platform, LinkedIn sometimes gives bidding recommendations that do not match up to your needs. When you try to set your ‘Bidding Strategy’ by doing manual bidding, LinkedIn provides outlandish stats of how much the other similar advertisers are bidding per landing page click.
This can be intimidating and misleading, as the only people who are paying that much are probably the Fortune 500 companies.
3. LinkedIn automatically checks into the box that says ‘Enable Audience Expansion’. This allows LinkedIn to include a whole mass of people who don’t fit the criteria of your very expensive ad into your target audience. This always leads to sales complaints about low-quality leads.
4. LinkedIn reps suggest that you have a humongous audience, way above 100,000 people. This is a way for LinkedIn to make you expand your budget and invest more. A wiser decision would be to target only the people who completely fit as your ideal customer, especially in the initial stage of testing out LinkedIn ads.
5. It would work better and give higher ROI if you bid by cost per click and also if you bid significantly below the recommended range. Once you understand how the ads are performing you can increase the value of your bids little by little to get high-quality leads.
6. Do not push immediately for a product demo or a trial sign-up, even if your gut says that approaching prospective leads to just try out your product once would make them see the benefits.
Asking a cold audience to invest their time and trust into a new product that most probably has a steep learning curve doesn’t work.
7. Instead of having the direct intention of booking for a demo or signing up, your CTA should focus on highlighting how you will be solving a pain point and how they could get to know and trust your company more.
In the past few years, the percentage of members on all major platforms consuming videos has shot up exponentially. In fact, according to surveys conducted by the platform itself, LinkedIn users are 20x more likely to re-share a video post and 80% of B2B content marketers use LinkedIn ads.
As a bonus, here are listed 5 tips that LinkedIn ads provide for SaaS –
A few strategies to make the best use of LinkedIn video ads are developing video content specifically highlighting the benefits of your SaaS, keeping the length of the ad short, setting the right demographic for the audience, understanding the budget and timeline of running the ad, nurturing and targeting leads from various other sources like email marketing and cold outreach, optimizing the landing page, setting up cold traffic targeting and monitoring the performance of the ads.
In recent years studies have shown that sponsored LinkedIn ads of SaaS brands and B2B software companies perform far better on this platform than anywhere else as they have a higher potential to target SaaS/software aligned audiences, therefore showing a greater increase in discoverability and lead generation, leading to an increase in conversion rates.
LinkedIn provides the options of sponsoring posts with video content either directly from the SaaS brand’s LinkedIn page or by creating new video ads using the Campaign Manager that later gets displayed to the targeted audience in the feed and various other pop-ups on LinkedIn.
The cost of advertising on LinkedIn depends on the campaign chosen, whether it is a cost-per-impression (CPM) or cost-per-click (CPC) campaign. Most B2B Saas companies pay $5.26 per click, $0.80 per send, and $6.59 per 1000 impressions on average.