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LinkedIn is going into CTV. Here's why

LinkedIn is going into CTV. Here's why

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Social networking site LinkedIn will begin allowing brands to advertise through connected television (CTV) through its platforms and offerings, according to Penry Price, vice president of marketing solutions at LinkedIn. In a conversation with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, Price explained that a core reason why the platform was exploring CTV for its business-to-business (B2B) brands is simply because members are not necessarily just on the LinkedIn platform all day.

"With our professional network and credibility, we have developed a relationship with our members and they trust us and value our ability to serve them relevant information at the right time," said Price. He added that going into CTV was spun out of the idea that one could reach LinkedIn members even when they are not on the site, and they would still be viewed as credible because of the trust already established. 

With the new feature, marketers will be able to go on LinkedIn's campaign manager and choose their audiences, set up their assets and select that they would like to advertise on CTV as well. They will then get a report back stating who they reached and what the response was.

Audiences in turn will see ads from these brands pop up through LinkedIn while they are watching or browsing their CTV devices. 

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"We've also talked to brands and they have asked us a lot about how they can continue to access our members and continue the dialogue that they may have started on LinkedIn. For example, when they're watching connected TV or in-stream," he said.  As a result, LinkedIn has spent the last two years looking at how it can partner with video providers to allow an advertiser to target their audience not just on LinkedIn, but also when they are watching CTV.

Price added that ultimately, the goal was to be able to build a broader solution to allow marketers who trusts the platform to be able to get more out of it. "The more varied media sources or formats you offer clients, the more you help them at doing a better job - be it by building their brand awareness and conversions or reaching people in more places," said Price. Moreover, B2B sales, unlike B2C needs a longer lead time when it comes to conversion. 

"It's different from needing a pair of sneakers, seeing an ad for it and then going out to buy it," he said. With B2B, buyers are typically dealing with more expensive purchases such as software or hardware. He said:

With B2B, you need to actually speak to a decision maker for influencer between eight to 12 times to actually get them to purchase something.

As a result, B2B marketers need to also be able to nudge decision-makers strategically and target them at all points - leading to the idea of CTV as a platform. "So it is really important that when we talk about how to use CTV, or other formats, that we are still able to continue to tell the story for our clients and members," said Price. 

"At the end of the day, the old days of B2B advertising where it was about whitepapers or infographics are still important. But that's not the entire way a brand wants to showcase themselves," said Price. He added:

Creativity is being embraced by B2B marketers and its important that they have the formats and places to showcase that.

The CTV option is currently being tested with companies and will be launched in the near future. 

Related articles:
LinkedIn cuts 716 jobs and shuts Chinese app, downsizing marketing functions in China
PubMatic enhances CTV platform with expanded partnerships
5 trends of B2B commerce and buyer behaviours marketers should take note of

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