LinkedIn DirectAds: $2 Per Click – Worth It?

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Late last week someone told me about a new traffic source. I was really interested to test out a new traffic source that I thought would do really well because of its professional network. This traffic source I believe has just started launching their ad platform on their social network. I was noticing ads on this specific network and I always wanted to advertise on their platform, just never saw the “Advertise Here” link.

LinkedIn has finally decided to release DirectAds, their advertising platform. The reason why I was interested in this audience is because of the way LinkedIn is being used as not to network but more as more of a professional communication portal. Don’t really want to go into the exacts but if you wanted to advertise on LinkedIn then you may know my reason.

Here is their audience…

Now they are going through a lot of testing, because I notice the ad formation and structure is being adjusted throughout the social platform. Also, your ad is displayed in 4 different variations: plain text, image with text (300* 250 w/ 1 other ad) and (728 * 90 w/ 1 other ad), and a facebook style format. These ads are displayed throughout the network and on specific pages, they do not appear every page – that I noticed anyways.

To advertise on LinkedIn is fairly expensive, one of the most expensive – $2 per clicks is the minimum and $3 per 1000. I emailed them on this just because I thought that was crazy $2! Just because they are a professional network doesn’t mean they can claim their traffic is worth $2. Here is the response I got from their support…

Hi Ian,

That is our set minimum bid at this time for a pay per click ad. That is something we determined internally.

Also, we may offer keyword targeting in the future but there are no immediate plans to offer that option.

I will pass your below feedback along to the Product Manager.

If you have further questions, please feel free to reply to this message.

Regards,

DirectAds Specialist

I also asked about their targeting structure because it is an awkward way they allowed me to target. There isn’t any interest or keyword targeting, it is more about company info. You can target only…

  • Company Size
  • Job Function (limited)
  • Industry (limited)
  • Seniority
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Geography

Targeting got me thinking a lot on my audience and I did more research on my demographics on who I wanted to target, so it did get me thinking a bid more. With these targets I wanted to just do CPM but the minimum is $3 and I wanted to test the clicks prior.

Usually the first to try out and test the traffic is the one that benefits, but I have to do more testing. My small test wasn’t that impressive and I am going to post the full case study and how I approach this ad platform. I may do it this week or decide if I really want to do it.

With this new ad platform emerging, not sure if $2 per click is going to attract advertisers such as me or maybe they are going for big advertisers. So far I have not seen any affiliate offers on the DirectAds network, most are from bigger companies. The amount of advertisers that are on LinkedIn isn’t high at all, so the first set of people will always benefit but at $2 per click? $3 CPM?

I think LinkedIn thinks their audience is professional meaning more of a quality traffic. Maybe, but that means each lead captured is worth more than a traditional email submit. For example, I do local marketing stuff and I can charge up to 30$ a lead because the client can earn up to $600 form the consumer.  I think that is the type of audience LinkedIn think they have, which they think they can do a minimum $2 bid click.

I just did a small test last week and I am in the air if I really want to spend $2 a click, I still have somethings I do want to test….


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  • Joe

    This is something I’ve looked into previously, and while it may not be particular attractive for us affiliate marketers, I can see how this could be a really powerful tool for headhunters or even companies looking to poach top execs from competitors.

    Being able to target by job type is pretty powerful, especially while utilizing the “seniority” and “industry” targeting.

    Maybe one of us needs to contact some headhunters and see what they’re willing to pay for ultra-targeted leads.

    Actually, forget I said that.

  • I checked this out a while back to and I just wasn’t so sure how well it could convert for that price. I am no FB Ninja but its a lot easier getting profitable campaigns at $.05 per click than $2. Guess what Linkedin, 90% of your users are probably on Facebook to.

  • Really, $3 CPM doesn’t seem so bad when you figure that a bare-bottom priced campaign on TrafficVance is $10 CPM. Most people see the price as a penny a pop and lose track of the fact that it’s still relatively expensive.

    If they expanded their targeting options I’d probably be willing to pay $3 CPM for access to their userbase.

  • This does not look like a good way to advertise for those with a tight budget.$2 per click is pretty expensive but it seems to target a lot of audience so it might be worth it.

  • Thanks for sharing your insight, Ian. I think I’ll stay away from any advertising on Linkedin for now, $2 minimum is to high for me and my mediocre skills.

  • Like Matthew, $2 is too high for me too and it’s still new. will be waiting for further updates.

  • Not worth $2. I can hardly believe someone uses linkedin except head hunters and unemployed.

  • I think $2 a click is a little high, especially whne there is no garantee of a sale.

  • LinkedIn is certainly growing fast. If you sign up to Groups with a subject matter such as Affiliate Marketing or SEO you can start a discussion and add your link without having to pay for an ad.

  • I am surprised that linkedin is charging so much for ads. I suspect they are partly trying to keep the affiliate businesses away. With a price like that, they are really limiting themselves to larger, more profitable companies.

  • the demographic targeting is nice but yea i can’t quite fit the asking prices into my budget. Will be interesting to see some peoples results though.

  • I agree with some of the above comments – this might work for somebody who has money to spend and really knows what they’re doing, but not for newbies like myself.

  • Ian

    yea I agree with everyone about the $2 per click. I think they are trying to get big advertisers… or they ‘think’ their traffic is of high quality.

  • This platform would most likely be beneficial for advertisers promoting their own professional and business-class products and software. For the standard CPA affiliate, unless you can get in on some of those high paying programs, you probably won’t make much money if any.

    I could also see resorts + 1st class travel ads working well on LinkedIn.

    But an Make Money Online or Dating offer? No way…

  • Their response to you makes it sound like this is what happened.

    They had a meeting with 4-5 guys around the boardroom and asked ‘How much should we charge for a click?’ and someone said ‘How about $1 to start…’ and then someone said ‘I got a better idea, we can double our income by charging $2…I mean cmon, it’s only 2 bucks… if they’re willing to pay $1 they’ll pay $2’…

    And so it was…

    LOL.

    I mean what in the world does “This is something we determined internally” mean? Doesn’t sound like they used any real data or anything, just picked a number out of thin air.

    Who knows..might work for them. I won’t touch it though. There are many other places we can buy traffic where they don’t just determine the minimum click price “internally”.

    -Paul

  • I checked that too, but believe me, this game of click and then the conversions are really really confusing !!!!

  • Really, $3 CPM doesnâ??t seem so bad when you figure that a bare-bottom priced campaign on TrafficVance is $10 CPM. Most people see the price as a penny a pop and lose track of the fact that itâ??s still relatively expensive.

  • I am sure Linkedin paid marketing will work, their Direct Ads will helps because there are huge amount of professional using Linkedin Platform.

  • Interesting, I think the majority members on their are exec’s and CEO’s of their own companies who can afford to pay for this kind of click through rate.

  • LaMont

    The high cpc keeps affiliate marketers off Linkedin. Linkedin does not like affiliate marketers, period.

    Most companies on Linkedin have no idea of how to run a PPC campaign and they definitely don’t see the value in hiring someone to do it for them.

    They’re appealing to the people that have little to no experience in Internet/Affiliate Marketing and have no idea that a $2 cpc is high. The primary users of Linkedin are people like me, Headhunters, recruiters, staffing agencies, etc.

    The services that Linkedin provides are very expensive also but big companies have no problems in forking over $10K+ for their corporate version, $5K for a email blasts and so on.

    You’d be surprise at how much companies spend on PPC campaigns, Media Buys, etc and have ZERO analytics on the backend to track it. They throw money to wind and if it doesn’t work they try something else.

    Regards,

    LaMont
    Headhunter & Internet Marketer

  • I did’t knew about pay per click on Linked In. This social network has grown very much in the last years and the idea of ads is good.

  • Its true that LinkedIn traffic is of high quality and may be targeted. Second thing, Linked Traffic belongs to a special niche as we can’t use LinkedIn for every type of advertisements.

    LinkedIn DirectAds offers a lot of flexibility to target your niche too. But still, I am feeling that $2/Click in really high.

    They should decrease it to reduce it.

    Never go for their Impression based advertisements. It is not worth at all as I have tried both the things and didn’t get anything.

  • I use facebook, linkedin and google adwords. atlhough google adword has been my primary soure of advertisement, recently i have been using fb and linkedin

    On a average day i spent about $200 per day combine all 3 source of advertisement. here is what I have seen

    Converstation rate still high on Google Adwords. As I run only search online campeign most of the time. sometime I run content networking ad as well but google is delaying approving of my ads recently

    Facebook – I like this one as my 2nd source. because it is easy to setup. I get good impresession and goog click. ON average I get around 150 clicks. Not all of them turn out to be sales nor leads. thats what puzzle me to think if fb users are just clicking for the heck of it or is it something wrong with my page. In my lead generation form, i ask a simple question from the end user how did they findout. those who select google, convert to sales most of the time. but for FB, it is hard to say

    Linkedin
    – too expensive
    – dont think it is wroth it for my business at this time. as i have very limited options in linkedin. $2 min per click is not worth linken at all amazing if you are trying to sell a ringtone for $2.99 per ringtone. it will cost $2 to get one client.

    my 2cent….
    Faisal Khan
    voicebootcamp.com

  • P.S.

    Not Worth It… Definitely… not worth it.
    I received a coupon in my email. I signed up and was immediately charged $5 on my credit card.
    I designed my add and put it up. A few days later I noticed a charge on my credit card for an additional $15.
    I went to their website to see that I had 70 clicks. Immediately I became concerned because I had not received any response from that url.
    So, I checked my clicks. Keep in mind that this is the 16th of the month and I have only had the linked in add running for 6 days.
    I have only had 42 hits on that url in total, including other advertising efforts.
    I contacted Linkedin. Their response was a canned email. Obviously I am not the first person to bring this to their attention. I responded asking for a refund again. This time I received a personal response saying that they are not responsible for my web site reporting and that they were not going to offer any resolution.
    I will never do any more business with this company again.
    Caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) is the rule of the day here.

  • Scottie928

    Beware! Don’t get caught out by the LinkedIn Ads promotions. – I recommend avoiding LinkedIn DirectAds.

    Just before Christmas 2010 I got a $100 promotional coupon emailed to me by LinkedIn to try DirectAds. I had to register my credit card with them for a
    $5 initial charge to open the account. A few weeks later I checked to see how the ad was doing and found that over $250 had been taken from my credit card account (in four separate transactions) as the $100 coupon amount had been used in just a few days! I had received no notification from LinkedIn of any of these charges to my credit card.

    I have disputed this with LinkedIn and they say that the user agreement says they can charge the registered credit card for any amount at any time !

    LinkedIn refuse to accept that the promotion was unclear about charging and they point blank refuse to refund any of the charges. In fact they took a final $48 more after I asked for my credit card to be removed from their system. I never had any trouble like this with Google Adwords or Yahoo Search Marketing.

    Don’t fall for the marketing hype – save your money and avoid LinkedIn Ads.

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  • mike

    Its expensive… but the traffic is really good. Im utilizing it to attract b2b lead buyers…. seems to be ridiculous for me, maybe better than anything ever… if im selling accounting leads for $90($30×3 buyers_… i can target accounts only…. and a one man show type of operation (best buyers) and get them to sign up with me. Maybe the problem isnt linkedin, its your business. The solution is as always, make more money/be more profitable/be smarter. $2 a click sucks sure, but again, if your netting 80% margins on $100 sales upfront, then keeping that email for future upselling, folliowing up with a phone call, upselling, then continuously charging a maintenance fee $50/m…. it works.

    Girls gone wild probably spends crazy money on tv, in fact i know they do. The business model did NOT work until they did the auto enroll. Im not suggesting anyone here be misleading but understand…. some things just cant scale unless your getting $$ on the backend… without a backend and a really strong one at that your dead. I have almost no experience marketing and right away almost every platform worked for me… again, due mostly to just having a highly profitable business. My plan was to break even, then hire an expert on each platform to decrease my CPA. Im young, dumb, and lost some $$ in first few weeks but i tweaked the BUSINESS not my ADS or TRAFFIC SOURCE.

    So basically If a customer is worth $650 you can pay $2 per click.

    Back to Girls gone wild for my final thought. Aquired massive wealth in a scaleable way right? If television didnt work… he would have went to PPC, and that wouldent have worked… he would have went to SEO, and that wouldent have worked (paying the SEO guys more than you bring in), he could have peddled his videos on his facebook pages and linkedin page. NO, the solution was to make more money and make the first source work THEN expand into other marketing channels. Grass is not green on the other side people, create more value, charge more + add a back-end, pick up the phone if you have to, thanks.

    Damn, i should get paid for these posts.

    -A guy who pays attention

  • rac

    2$ click is too much f***k linkden advertising system i have spent 40 dollar for 11 fake clicks to my squeezepage with 000 SIGN UPS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!