Like many of you, I’m an avid user of LinkedIn. This week, I got an email in my inbox promoting LinkedIn’s newest innovation – PPC ads targeted to users within their network. They even threw in a free $100 ad credit!
I probably won’t get around to using that credit, since I’m not managing any PPC accounts right now that would benefit from advertising on the LinkedIn PPC network. But, I think that this is a great opportunity for a lot of other PPC marketers out there. Pay per click advertising on the LinkedIn network has two major benefits.
The first advantage is that you are able to get super specific with your demographic targeting. Like all other social networks, LinkedIn has users that voluntarily submit detailed, accurate demographic information about themselves. They even have a significant incentive to do so. After all, if you don’t accurately portray which industry and experience level you’re at in your career, you may miss out on some potentially lucrative job offers or business opportunities.
Advantage number two is that LinkedIn is a very business-focused user group. Other social networks like Facebook and MySpace are full of users that are just there for fun and games. There’s not much purchase intent behind someone checking up on their friend’s birthday party photos from last week. LinkedIn is just the opposite. It’s users are all about the cold, hard cash. This means that if you have a relevant product, and you are able to get your demographic targeting right, chances are much better that you will get that PPC conversion from a LinkedIn ad than if you were to show the same ad on a less business-inclined social network.
I see LinkedIn’s offering as part of a larger trend of social networks getting in on the PPC game. And good for them. Social networks need to monetize their traffic somehow, and pay per click advertisers are always looking for more granular and more accurate demographic targeting – things that social networks are better at than anyone else. Even users get the benefit of only viewing ads that are relevant to their age group, professional aspirations, and interests. Everybody wins at this game.
Have any of you taken LinkedIn up on their offer of free ads? Seen any good results yet? Let’s hear about it in the comments.