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There’s something special about video. Great video ads are agents of delight; they command the audience’s attention with sight, sound and motion.

So, what does a great video ad actually look like? Is it short? Long? Does it have captions? To answer these questions, we partnered with independent research agency Digivizer and spent more than 500 hours analyzing more than 3,500 ads on our platform. We employed automation and human processing methods to categorize video ads into 38 categories—by type, style and production—and compared everything to ad performance, such as view-through rate (VTR), click-through rate (CTR) and cost per view/click (CPV, CPC).

What we learned

You can see our findings in a new video, The Fundamental Strategies for B2B Video on LinkedIn. It’s filled with data-driven insights, examples and learnings. Meanwhile, here are some tips from the guide:

Tip 1: Include a demo and an offer. Every day, people search LinkedIn to learn about different brands and products, so it’s an opportunity to show off your product. Our research found that demos of products perform extremely well, driving the highest performance in video completion, engagement and click-through rates. 

We also found that it’s always best to include an offer. Audiences will keep watching until the end of a video ad more often, regardless of duration, to see an offer. Ads with an offer, promotion or deal drive 1.2 times the average video completion rate. What’s more, ads with an offer in the headline achieved an 8% higher completion rate.

  • Action for you: For your next video ad, record a quick demo of your product. If it’s a physical product, you can even show off the unboxing. Next, incentivize viewers with offers like “First month free” or “$100 off with code.”

Tip 2: Animate your video ad. We all have our favorite animated movie or show (“A Bug’s Life” anyone?) Well, it turns out that animated video ads capture attention just as well on LinkedIn. Audiences across the world respond positively to ads with animation. Use motion graphics to tell your brand’s story as well as demonstrate your product or service. 

Ads with motion graphics have impressive performance gains when compared to benchmarks. They have a 3% increase in CTR compared to our standard CTR benchmarks of video ads.

  • Action for you: Work with your digital agency or use an online tool (such as Biteable) to add some animated sizzle to your video ads.

Tip 3: Keep audio simple, use captions. Audio is an important component of your video ad, and our research found some important findings around audio with captions. 

One tip is to use a single audio source. That means either a simple narration or a musical track. Multitrack audio (such as voice-over plus a track) will actually reduce your video completion rate and engagement rate. Less is more!

Another finding encourages use of captions or subtitles in your video. Seventy-nine percent of videos in the LinkedIn feed are watched with the sound off. Displaying captions (in the same language as audio) can help drive higher social action from audiences.

  • Action for you: Think like a silent film director. Does your video ad communicate without relying on having sound? Use captions or type animation to visually communicate your key messages.

Tip 4: Keep copy short, add a CTA button. Let your video do the work for you. Videos with long descriptions or introductory text beyond four to five lines suffered worse performance metrics. Minimize the amount of copy to around 100 to 150 characters so your video ad can be the engine of growth.

  • Action for you: Short, snappy copy works best. Keep the copy to three lines or shorter, and get your key point across in the first two lines. If you go beyond that, the “See more” link will be triggered, which can reduce engagement by 7%.
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