LinkedIn has launched a new Carousel Ad format as part of their ongoing commitment to expanding their advertising platform, following a beta launch of 300 advertisers. The move allows advertisers to be more creative and expansive, with a flexible format that enables ‘complete brand stories’.
The feature will be added as part of the Sponsored Content solution, where native adverts sit directly within a LinkedIn feed. The Carousel format allows users to swipe through up to 10 individual cards, each with different headlines and calls to action.
This means that advertisers can now tell brand stories in full, or go into greater detail about a particular product. The format also integrates with LinkedIn’s Lead Gen Forms, which ensures you can keep your campaign and data acquisition native to the LinkedIn platform.
Virginia Sharma, Director Marketing Solutions at LinkedIn India, said:
“Carousel ads let you play around with eye-catching and interactive imagery to show off your brand’s personality, tell a deeper story and improve engagement with the decision-maker. This new offering allows multiple visuals for creative storytelling and brings your B2B brand stories to life.”
You’d almost be forgiven for forgetting that Carousel Ads aren’t exactly new or innovative. In fact, Facebook has been offering Carousel Ads since February 2015, to great effect.
Having said that, this is a very positive step for a social platform that has never really been known for being on the cutting edge of technology. LinkedIn often sits behind its competitors, slow to adapt, update or innovate, relying instead on its credentials as a global business network.
At this point, any new features are welcome to the platform. Let’s face it, this represents a whopping 50% increase in Sponsored Content formats, from two… to three (the other two being single image posts and video).
We expect to see Carousel Ads being used almost immediately since marketers are familiar with the format and how to use it effectively. Whilst it may not be the most innovative feature ever to be introduced, it does provide more creative flexibility and the opportunity to tell more engaging stories, either about a brand or a particular product offer.
We’re also excited (after all, we are social media nerds) to see that reporting extends to each individual card within a Carousel. This will open up opportunities to test a wider variety of visuals and calls to action within campaigns.
So, in closing, this is definitely a positive step for LinkedIn, which will make Sponsored Content more effective and engaging. We would just like to see even more features and options so that marketers can push their creative further and test the full advertising capability of LinkedIn.