Test: LinkedIn Link Sharing Ads vs. Embedded Rich Media Ads in a Brand Awareness Campaign
Published: April 10, 2017
Author: Carolanne Hornung
In our previous LinkedIn Sponsored Content article, we discussed the differences between Link Sharing ads and Embedded Rich Media ads. If you missed that article, you can read it here. In this article, we’re discussing the different results you may see between them by looking at a recent test that we ran for a client.
In the first test for our client, we set up a brand awareness campaign with a link click objective. This campaign used both Link Sharing and Embedded Rich Media ads, with the same content and creative. The landing page contained a customer success story that featured a very well-known tech company. The creative included logos of both our client and the company featured in the success story. Additionally, the creative featured an eye-catching statistic taken from the story.
So what did we see? The Embedded Rich Media ad clearly pushed stronger results over the Link Sharing ad, and there was a large disparity between spend on the two. LinkedIn doesn’t offer the ability to do a true A/B test . Instead it pushes spend automatically towards the better-performing ads. Thus, it’s likely that the Embedded Rich Media ad had a higher click-through rate from the beginning so LinkedIn automatically pushed more spend towards it. (Note: if you see a large disparity from the beginning and would like to test this longer, refresh the ads and see how the results change.)
The Link Sharing ads failed to gain much momentum in comparison to the Embedded Rich Media ads. The Link Sharing ads had CTRs that were 45% lower, which led to 22% higher CPCs.
So why the huge difference in performance? We believe that the creative was largely at play here – the image featuring the statistic and the logos was enough for users to click through so the Link Sharing ad’s headline featuring the additional call-to-action below the image wasn’t necessary. The level of commitment from the user was also low because they were directed straight to the customer story, not a form.
While these are not definitive results given the low amount of spend as well as the disparity in spend between the two, we do believe Embedded Rich Media ads can work in your favor when the creative is eye-catching and there is a low amount of commitment needed from the audience.
Keep an eye out for our next post on LinkedIn Sponsored Content ads where we use them in a download campaign. Have you tested these two ads before? Tell us your results in the comments!