At its recent B2Believe Conference, LinkedIn announced LinkedIn Connected TV (CTV), a new product offering that will allow B2B marketers to tap into audiences off-platform, and onto the big screen at home. With notable CTV publishers on board – including Roku, Samsung, and NBCUniversal – clients can now utilize LinkedIn’s campaign manager to purchase streaming ads.

But that’s not all. The news came in tandem with a new partnership with NBCUniversal to introduce LinkedIn Premiere, a new managed offering in Campaign Manager that helps you target decision-makers in the United States across NBCUniversal’s premium streaming content on CTV.

While the news is exciting –  most marketers will likely have the same questions: Is LinkedIn Connected TV a viable product for our marketing strategy? What are its benefits? How does it work? And how are results measured?

What is connected TV (CTV), and what are its marketing benefits?

Simply put, connected TV (CTV) advertising refers to the practice of delivering ads through internet-connected television sets. Also known as smart TVs, connected TVs allow viewers to stream digital content through apps, either built-in or via devices like Roku, Apple TV, or gaming consoles. So, unless you’re using bunny ears on an old-school “dumb TV,” chances are you’ve encountered this type of ad in the process of streaming your favorite TV show.

So, what makes this type of advertisement enticing? While the format shares a lot of traits with its on-platform counterpart, it’s important to note these ads offer several benefits:

  • Targeted advertising
  • High Viewability
  • Brand Safety
  • Cost-effective
  • Measurable Results
  • Reach 

LinkedIn CTV reach already stands at 60 million households, and more than 105 million connected devices per month in the US and Canada – and these numbers are only set to grow.

Building on the success of video

During a B2Believe session regarding the product launch, Taina Palombo-Price, LinkedIn’s Senior Director of Product Marketing, said “CTV promises the power of big-screen storytelling for B2B brands.” 

The move to home television screens appears to be a calculated one, as the new offering “builds on the success of LinkedIn’s In-stream Video Ads, which are helping customers nearly triple their in-stream video completion rate.” Combining this note of success with the rise of video consumption both on and off the social media platform, and the birth of this product offering makes all the more sense. 

Reaching your audiences with connected TV 

When was the last time you pulled up LinkedIn out of boredom? While it’s the premier social platform for networking, professional development, and job hunting, users tend to use the platform more intentionally when compared to the likes of TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook, which in turn, decreases their receptiveness to advertisements. This was the strategic thinking that led to the off-platform approach of CTV, said Penry Price, VP of Marketing Solutions at LinkedIn, who recently spoke with AdExchanger about the launch

“LinkedIn’s expansion into CTV is not a customer acquisition play. Rather, the point is to help B2B advertisers reach existing LinkedIn members in different parts of the day,” he said, “such as when they’re at work or back at home on the couch.”

The promise of LinkedIn CTV ads

How would you like to raise brand awareness and consideration earlier on in the purchase journey? That’s the goal of LinkedIn CTV ads. In the same interview, Price shared his thinking: “B2B brands need to make sure customers have a favorable opinion of a brand before they see a product ad on LinkedIn. By starting campaigns further up the funnel with CTV, brands can increase the odds of their digital ads actually driving sales.” 

Blogging about the product launch, Lindsey Edwards, LinkedIn’s Vice President of Product Management, said “marketing campaigns are only as effective as the audience they reach.” As Edwards cites, a Demandbase report in 2023 found that 90% of US households embraced CTV, up from 81% in 2021, and the channel shows tremendous promise for B2B applications.

“By incorporating CTV into their marketing playbooks,” shared the report, “B2B advertisers can breathe new life into their campaigns, achieving heightened brand presence and improved engagement. In fact, a recent study noted that viewers exposed to both TV and digital ads were 40% more likely to recall the brand than if they saw a digital ad alone.”

The new product launch offers more than the ability to reach audiences earlier in the purchasing journey and bring highly-targeted ads to CTV. It will also give B2B  brands of all sizes the opportunity to showcase their creativity and appear alongside content that was never before possible.

Trevor Fellows, Executive Vice President of Digital Sales and Partnerships for NBCUniversal, spoke at B2Believe on the accessibility that the product brings forward. “This is really the democratization of advertising and the ability for even small clients to appear with amazing content. We announced last week … that we’re going to be opening up our Olympic coverage this summer to programmatic advertisers. That means that literally anybody can advertise in the Olympics going forward – you go back 12, 16, 20 years, that was unheard of.”

Measuring the success of LinkedIn CTV ads

In addition to native reporting, like Performance Summary Reports, Revenue Attribution Report, Conversions API, and its new CTV Brand Lift, LinkedIn is collaborating with industry-leading partners, like iSpot for advanced audience measurement and Kantar for objective brand lift studies, to help better assess the reach of your campaigns against your target audiences. But, wait, there’s more.  Price remarked on measuring success, “We’ll be looking for higher engagement on LinkedIn – such as whether clicks and video completion rates increase for a brand’s ads on LinkedIn among target audiences who first saw the ad on CTV compared to those who didn’t. We’ll also rely on measurement and verification partners to deliver core TV metrics like reach and frequency.”

Starting a LinkedIn CTV campaign 

If you’re a B2B marketing pioneer, and you’re excited about the product launch, here’s what you need to know about starting your first LinkedIn CTV campaign:

  • Ads can appear at the beginning (pre-roll), middle (mid-roll), or within the last 15 to 30 seconds of the long-form video.
  • You must use Campaign Manager to create your campaigns.
  • CTV ads only support auto-bidding.
  • Targeting is currently limited to the United States (US) and Canada.
  • English must be the audience language.

For step-by-step instructions, we recommend referring to the LinkedIn help center article: Set up Connected TV ads in Campaign Manager.

Should you use LinkedIn CTV ads?

Leveraging LinkedIn’s B2B-specific targeting options for CTV allows marketers to create a more holistic approach to the platform. Previously, marketers had to use different vendors to run CTV, which have audiences different from those targeted on LinkedIn, causing a gap in targeting and overall attribution calculations.

Furthermore, the proliferation of video content cannot be ignored. LinkedIn CTV and its partnerships with these major players in the TV space make for an enticing offer for B2B marketers – an offer that allows users to create multiple touchpoints, allowing brands to engage with new audiences and appear in different mediums throughout the buyer journey. In so many words, the ad solution works to ensure your brand is memorable and top of mind when a key decision-maker is ready to make a purchase. 

There’s much to be learned about the effectiveness of this tool and the risks and rewards of launching a campaign centered around the newly launched product. That being said, there’s a lot to be excited about as innovations of this size in the social media space only come by so often. Will it be a hit? We’ll continue to monitor the viability of LinkedIn Connected TV – and work internally to offer up recommendations on how you can leverage their latest solution for your brand. 

In the meantime, we invite you to check out our rundown of expert tips for B2B marketing on LinkedIn from our team of social media specialists.

About the author

Alex White is the Social – Influencer Lead at TopRank Marketing and a proud U.S. Navy veteran. He leverages his industry experience to build deep, authentic relationships with today’s top B2B influencers, always delivering exceptional campaign results for a variety of Fortune 1000 brands. Alex’s approachable nature and can-do attitude regularly makes him a client favorite to work with, and our team agrees.