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A PPC Geeks View of the LinkedIn DirectAds Network

LinkedIn TargetingIf someone asked me “what’s your opinion of LinkedIn DirectAds” my elevator speech would be “It’s not for everyone. It’s a little expensive. But man, it has some amazing targeting abilities that Google doesn’t even have. So it’s worth testing depending on the business” As a PPC Marketer I typically would not even consider using the LinkedIn’s DirectAds Network as part of a viable PPC strategy because it’s just not the right marketplace. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth testing depending on the client’s business. DirectAds have some powerful targeting options and that is what makes it a valuable tool. In this post, I will highlight on the benefits and differences with DirectAds as compared to traditional PPC services from the major search engines.

Key Benefits:
DirectAds allows for companies or individuals to promote themselves much more effectively to the world’s largest audience of influential and affluent professionals at all levels in their career. The advertiser has the unique ability to target their Ad down to the industry, job function, age and even level of seniority in order to reach their target market. Another good thing about DirectAds is that they also provide a LinkedIn Best Practices page which contains some similar basic PPC “Blocking and Tackling” tactics, which is a good idea considering everyone is used to the Adwords mainstream. In a nutshell, the audience targeting is the #1 feature which makes it worthy of some PPC Testing.

Key Negatives:
Well, since this is a networking site for professionals, LinkedIn has some strict guidelines that filter out the spammers out there. In fact, according to the Linkedin DirectAds Guidelines, it doesn’t allow much room for anything. For example, I have handpicked the following on their “Do Not Do List”

#1 Who cannot advertise:

  • Prescription pharmaceuticals
  • Dating sites
  • Ringtones
  • Online gambling
  • Bulk marketing products
  • Multi-level Marketing programs, scams, or pyramid schemes
  • Inflammatory religious content
  • Inflammatory political content

#2 Affiliate Advertising:
No affiliate advertising through LinkedIn DirectAds

#3 (This one is a little fuzzy to me) Data Collection:
Do not use an ad to facilitate collection of a member’s data, including:
Demographic or usage data

  • Usernames or passwords from the member for use on LinkedIn or any other site
  • Phishing or other scamming tactics to collect sensitive personal information or money

#4 Trademark Policy (Not Automated):
They tell the advertiser that they cannot include any text that may be deemed as infringing upon the trademarks of other parties unless express permission has been granted by the trademark owner. So in essence, LinkedIn does not have an automated system like Google which can automatically filter out Trademarks in the Ad. However, their solution to the problem is to have the Trademark owner send an email to their Customer Service Dept. They will however, remove the Ad if it is infringing on the Trademark.

In Conclusion:
DirectAds provides some nifty targeting options and basic PPC tactics. It’s worth a test for specific businesses, especially those in the B2B world. It does lack an affordable CPC or CPM and their bidding system is the old fashioned auction type. It’s not the “next big thing”, but perhaps their targeting options could open the door to more advanced targeting from other advertising platforms.

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2 Responses to "A PPC Geeks View of the LinkedIn DirectAds Network"

  1. Good assessment for this PPC source. I’m running a lead generation campaign in Linkedin and although volume is not that much, lead cost is lower compared to my Google campaigns.

  2. […] as it's a little expensive, but it has amazing targeting abilities that make it worth… Google Alerts – LinkedinTwitter google_ad_client = "pub-5149869439810473"; […]

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