How to Retarget Video Views With LinkedIn Ads

Do you publish videos on LinkedIn? Wondering how to target ads to people who watched your LinkedIn videos?

In this article, you’ll learn how to run video retargeting campaigns on LinkedIn.

#1: Map Out Your LinkedIn Retargeting Ad Sequence

Simply put, video retargeting on LinkedIn is about running ads to people who have already seen one of your videos. LinkedIn lets you segment video audiences by what percentage of the video they watched. You can then run different ads to people who watched further in the video than those who dropped off quickly.

The ability to segment audiences based on user behavior is where the content comes into play. You can intentionally tell a story by controlling the order in which you deliver video content. With this approach, it’s important to map out your LinkedIn ad sequence before producing the videos. All of the videos need to work together.

There are many popular video sequencing messaging tactics that aren’t necessarily story-based. Fortunately, they all follow the same milestones in real-life relationships. In the first round of videos, viewers get to know you. In the second round of videos, they engage with you. The last round of videos builds trust; this is often where you make the ask to buy or take some action.

Use Retargeting to Remind Potential Buyers to Complete a Purchase

If you run a LinkedIn video ad that contains an offer, there’s value in retargeting the people who actually saw the offer in the video. You can create an audience of people who watched 97% or more of the video and speak to them differently because they already know what the offer is.

You might want to reward those on the fence with a coupon or discount. Because you’ve segmented your audience, you aren’t offering a coupon or discount to everyone—only those who watched long enough to see the offer in the video.

Use Retargeting to Build Brand Awareness

Alternatively, you could run a brand awareness campaign to retarget as many of those video viewers as possible. In essence, you let the content drive the true conversion goal and pay to reach as many people as you can because these viewers are already warmed up.

Use Retargeting to Grow Your Audience

You can also use video retargeting to grow your audience on LinkedIn. Run top-of-funnel video content that educates or entertains (sometimes both), and then run a retargeting campaign to invite those viewers to follow your LinkedIn company page.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to use video content when retargeting this audience. You could run a series of video ads to build the audience and then run image ads to grow the audience and your LinkedIn following from those viewers.

Pro Tip: Because retargeting audiences often are smaller (especially when working with micro-budgets), you can adjust your bidding to be more aggressive for a consideration or conversion campaign objective.

#2: Create and Run a Video Ad on LinkedIn

Once you’ve mapped out your LinkedIn retargeting ad sequence, you’re ready to create the video ad you’ll use to build the retargeting audiences. You’ll create LinkedIn matched audiences from the people who watch this video.

While you can go with the most relevant objective for your campaign, you need to select the Video Ad format. As long as people are watching the video, you’ll be able to create audiences from those viewers.

To set up your LinkedIn campaign, go to your LinkedIn Campaign Manager. If this is your first time using LinkedIn ads, set up an ad account and make sure you have a credit card on file. The setup wizard will guide you through this process.

Next, click on your account name to show your list of campaigns.

From here, you’ll need to either create a campaign group or click into the default campaign group. I recommend creating distinct campaign groups to track your various marketing efforts.

To create a new campaign group, click Create Campaign Group in the upper-left corner of the page.

linkedin campaign manager dashboard with the create campaign group button highlighted

In the Create a Campaign Group window, give your campaign group a descriptive name, set the status, and choose your schedule and budget.

linkedin create a campaign group menu options with name, status, start and/or end dates, total budget and applicable schedule

Note that these settings can override the settings for a campaign inside the campaign group. For example, if the group has an end date of November 6 and a campaign within that group has an end date of November 23, the campaign would stop running ahead of schedule because of the group’s schedule settings. Or if the group’s total budget is spent before the end date, campaigns inside that group will stop running.

After you click Save, you’ll have a new campaign group. Click on the group’s name.

linkedin campaign manager dashboard with the new campaign group highlighted

In the upper-left corner of the page, click Create Campaign.

linkedin create a campaign button under the campaign group

Confirm the campaign group in which you want to create your new campaign and click Next.

Now you’re ready to set up the campaign. The campaign objective you choose is less important than opting for Video Ad as the format. You need people to watch the video so you can then retarget those viewers with a different set of ads. As of this writing, the Job Applicants campaign objective is the only one that doesn’t support this type of ad.

If you simply want to warm up a video audience, choose the Video Views campaign objective.

linkedin ad campaign objectives list, including video views under consideration

Now you’re ready to set up your audience targeting. If you want to warm up a video audience, try mixing different types of targeting across multiple campaigns. This will help you learn more about what content resonates with your target audiences and which ones are receptive to your message.

In this example, we’re running a video views campaign targeting company followers who live in the U.S.

linkedin ad campaign audience menu to create a new audience including locations to include or exclude, target audience attributes to be included, narrowed, and/or excluded

Note that the ad format options you see for your campaign are based on the campaign objective you selected. You want to select Video Ad in all cases.

Next up is placement. Because you want to build audiences of people who watch your video, you want to be sure every viewer can be retargeted. For this reason, leave the Enable the LinkedIn Audience Network option unchecked.

linkedin ad campaign format and placement options

Now set your budget, schedule, and bidding, along with any optional conversion tracking. Unlike Facebook and Google ads, LinkedIn requires a $10 minimum daily spend for each campaign. Click Next when you’re done.

linkedin ad campaign budget & schedule menu options including bidding as a new option

The final step is to create at least one LinkedIn video ad. Your video needs to have a distinct call to action (CTA) based on the campaign’s objective, even if you’re just warming up video audiences for views.

To set up your ad, click Create New Ad.

linkedin ads under the campaign with the create new ad button highlighted

Next, add a meaningful name for your ad, some introductory text, and a headline. Then upload the video and optional thumbnail. Finally, add your destination URL, choose a CTA, and click Create.

linkedin ad details including name, intro text, video file, headline, url, and call to action, as well as the add to campaign button checked

From here, create any additional ads you want to run in this campaign. When you’re finished setting up all of your ads, click Next.

linkedin campaign dashboard with new video ad listed and the create new ad button highlighted

On the last page, review your settings and click Launch Campaign.

You’ve now completed the first part of your LinkedIn video retargeting strategy—running a video ad to build an audience of video viewers. If you want to reach even more people, you can duplicate this campaign and change the targeting. The more people who view your video, the better.

#3: Create a LinkedIn Matched Audience for Retargeting

Once your LinkedIn campaign is up and running and people start watching your video, create a matched audience based on that campaign’s video viewers. You can then retarget this audience in other campaigns, even as an exclusion.

For example, if someone watches the first video in a series of three, you can use the first video’s audience in two ways. You can retarget this audience with the next video in the series, as well as exclude this audience from your targeting in the first video campaign. In other words, after people have watched the first video, they’ll automatically be removed from that campaign as the next campaign takes over.

To create a LinkedIn matched audience, click Account Assets in the Campaign Manager dashboard and select Matched Audiences from the drop-down menu.

linkedin campaign manager with the matched audiences menu option highlighted

Next, click Create Audience on the right side of the page and select the Video option.

linkedin create audience sub-menu with the video option highlighted

Now name your audience. Typically, I name the video retargeting audience after the campaign from which the viewers originated.

Next, select the percentage of the video that this audience watched—25%, 50%, 75%, or 97%. For most video retargeting, you’ll want to create audiences of people who watched 25% or more of your video. When people have watched at least that much of the video, it helps with brand recognition and awareness, which is why you want to retarget them with different ads.

You may want to create different audiences based on how far someone has made it through a video or set of videos.

linkedin create audience details such as audience name, engagement source and the time period for that engagement

If you want to further segment your levels of awareness/engagement, choose how long ago someone saw the video, up to 1 year.

Finally, choose the campaigns from which you want to create your retargeting audience. You can choose as many campaigns as you need.

Remember, the campaigns you see here are the published ones. In my experience, it takes about 300 qualifying video views before any retargeting ads will begin to show. Until then, the audience is “building.” You can still create the audiences and connect them to your campaigns in the meantime.

When you’re finished, click Create.

linkedin video audience example video selection screen

There are also other ways to segment your LinkedIn video audiences. For example, if you create a longer video that makes some kind of offer or pitch, you can create a segment of viewers who saw the offer and another of viewers who didn’t.

Let’s say that you make the offer at the end of the video. You might create an audience of people who saw 75% of your video and another audience of people who saw 97%.

Run ads to the 75% viewers to share the offer because they didn’t get that far in the original video. For the 97% audience, exclude the 75% audience. Because this audience is familiar with your offer, your messaging can encourage redeeming it.

#4: Create the Second LinkedIn Ad to Serve to Your Warm Retargeting Audience

Once you’ve built matched audiences based on views of your video, run a second LinkedIn ad to retarget those audiences.

To set up your targeting for your second campaign, scroll down to the Audiences option shown below and click it. Then choose Retargeting > Video.

linkedin create target audience with the retargeting option highlighted

Now select the video retargeting audiences you want to use for this campaign. When you’re done, click Close.

linkedin target audience noted as retargeting with the newly created audience selected

Now continue to create all of the LinkedIn ads you previously mapped out in Step 1.

Conclusion

To ensure your video retargeting efforts are paying off, you need to analyze your LinkedIn ad performance. LinkedIn’s default column view will show you general performance and engagement data but you can customize the data you see.

Pay attention to your completion and viewer drop-off rates to get an idea of how engaging your content is. Also make sure you’re comfortable with the average cost per view and any other key funnel results.

linkedin campaign manager with example campaign data showing including views, view rate, eCPV, and views @ 25%, 50%, 75%, completions, etc.

Remember to check the on/off network breakdown also. All views should be on LinkedIn for your audience building campaigns.

What do you think? Are you inspired to run a video retargeting campaign on LinkedIn? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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