In a world of rich media, why are LinkedIn Rich Media ads falling flat?
By: Chloe Rolph
January 20, 2016 | Reading Time: 2 mins
As a B2B digital marketing agency, we’re big fans of LinkedIn’s advertising platform. We’ve used Direct Sponsored Content ads for years because of how accessible very specific target markets can be, so we gave LinkedIn Rich Media ads a spin.
The targeting is damn good
On no other social media advertising platform today can you target ads based on such specific career-related parameters. If I want to find Canadian Telecomm C-Level executives working in organizations of 5,000 employees or more, I can do it on LinkedIn.
We still see a lot of success on platforms like Twitter, but successful career-based targeting is a lot more complex since the targeting parameters just aren’t there. It involves profiling those individuals to make assumptions about their lives such as their interests, accounts they’d be likely to follow, and keywords and hashtags they’d be likely to include in their tweets. If you can nail the targeting, Twitter is awesome. Because their ads are awesome.
LinkedIn Rich Media ads are not awesome
Every time we created LinkedIn Direct Sponsored Content ads, we were frustrated by how tiny the accompanying image is at only 180 X 110 px. In contrast to Twitter’s website card images at 800 x 320 px, how can your creative possibly make an impact?
We were stoked when LinkedIn embraced the increasingly image-focused format of today’s social media interfaces and introduced “Rich Media” ads with image specs matching those of big, beautiful Facebook ads.
However, with LinkedIn Rich Media ads, you sacrifice serious copy opportunities. While you can still write a short amount of text to accompany the image, the image is really the hero here. You lose the link preview title and description, and there is no call-to-action button.
On both Twitter Website Card ads and Facebook Website Click ads, you not only get a big, impactful image, but you can also customize multiple other text fields and choose a call-to-action button.
In a world of rich media, does all that extra copy matter?
We tried out LinkedIn Rich Media ads with high hopes of really breaking through in newsfeeds cluttered with text and smaller images, but were disappointed. We saw a pattern of lower impressions than Direct Sponsored Content ads – to the point where we weren’t even hitting 10% of our daily budget – and even fewer clicks from those impressions.
Our ads on other platforms that used the same creative were killing it though, despite more difficult (read: diluted) targeting abilities. Our Rich Media ads should have had an advantage because of targeting, yet still underperformed. Consistently seeing this result really makes me think LinkedIn needs to introduce more text space into Rich Media ads to boost effectiveness.
Have you tried LinkedIn Rich Media ads? What was your experience?