Perhaps you’ve heard of Stories. They are mobile, full-screen, vertical videos and images that appear outside of your regular social media feed and only last for 24 hours before they disappear. Facebook and Instagram both have a version of these casual, temporary posting options, and LinkedIn recently rolled out their own Stories program. Now, due to the success of LinkedIn Stories, the company has started testing Stories Ads in a closed beta. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the functionality of Stories Ads and how law firms can leverage them to reach and engage with their target audience.
How Powerful are Stories Ads?
Other platforms have seen tremendous success by implementing them. Taking Instagram – the Story pioneer – as an example, you’ll see that 1.7 billion accounts use stories every day. 500 million users create stories every day, and up to 25% of people “swipe up” (follow a call-to-action) on branded stories. Furthermore, Instagram Stories Ads received 10% of all ad spending on Facebook.
The response to LinkedIn’s own Stories platform has been incredibly positive, sparking hundreds of thousands of conversations in just a short period of time. As Brenda Tsai, Chief Marketing Officer at BNY Mellon says “The stories format gives brands a chance to speak in a different voice than they otherwise might have on LinkedIn” (WSJ).
Even better news: while LinkedIn was developing Stories, they were constantly thinking of marketers and the capabilities that will help their brands. In fact, executives have stated that Stories are a place for marketers to explore in a way that they did not think of on LinkedIn before.
What are LinkedIn Stories Ads and How Can Law Firms Use Them?
Stories Ads are immersive, full-screen video and single-image ads served in vertical and square orientations from your existing Sponsored Content campaigns. They are served in between member-posted Stories and LinkedIn Page Stories at the top of the LinkedIn mobile app.
LinkedIn offers particularly powerful targeting and the Stories Ads will be no exception. You can reach and engage decision makers at your target accounts, targeting company name, job title, industry, and more, plus retarget with additional content from those who watched or viewed your Stories Ads. LinkedIn is also offering additional reporting, including the ability to measure the performance of your Stories Ads against other placements, such as in the Feed.
People engage differently on LinkedIn than on other social platforms, so law firms are unlikely to be able to replicate efforts from their Facebook or Instagram Stories. Rather than personal content, LinkedIn Stories (and Ads) should focus on helping and educating clients and prospects. More personal content could be a distraction on LinkedIn, so marketers will need to be strategic about engaging in conversation using Ads.
So far, law firms and companies have been trying LinkedIn Stories Ads for different purposes, including seeking new clients, reaching potential hires, generating business leads and promoting upcoming virtual events. WeWork has tested Stories ads in Latin America to promote a campaign on its efforts to ensure clean workspaces during the pandemic, for example, as well as to drive interest in a virtual conference it held in the region in September.
It’s important to remember that while other technology platforms are doing away with third-party data collection (the death of the 3rd party cookie), LinkedIn continues to offer robust targeting because people opt in to providing that data themselves. Users self-report titles, organizations, interests, and more which is the real value in any form of LinkedIn advertising.
LinkedIn has spent the last several years developing new ways for law firms to target prospective clients at a low cost and without unnecessary guesswork. And now, LinkedIn Stories Ads are in beta mode, being largely tested with encouraging results. It’s no wonder that LinkedIn usage in the legal industry is up 68% (both paid and organic).
As an online marketing agency for law firms, we create and manage campaigns for lawyers on social media network platforms such as LinkedIn. If you need help creating short videos for Stories Ads or managing an ongoing campaign, we can help. Contact us today for a consultation.