Advertising on LinkedIn – Budgeting and Targeting

Dec 2012

LinkedIn has become the largest professional network on the internet.  With more than 175 million professionals, it touches ground in nearly 200 countries. It seems as though it’s the best place to put professional ads.  This is very much the case, however creating the perfect ad takes a little know-how.  The first step is to take a look at two crucial factors: Budgeting and Targeting.

With any form of advertising, placing an ad usually comes down to one initial decision, how to pay for it? There are two basic cost options, either cost per click ads (CPC) or cost per impression/mil (CPM).  Cost per click is just as it sounds and is the cost you as an advertiser will pay per click of your ad.  Cost per impression is set up so that you pay per impression (usually 1000) where an impression constitutes someone who views your ad.  Generally speaking it’s more cost effective, meaning you get the most bang for your buck, to use the CPC model for online advertising.

After choosing your type of ad, it’s important to then consider how to structure it.  Setting a budget and daily limit will determine structure. The daily limit is the maximum amount your ad will cost each day.  You need to be careful when setting this part in relation to the cost per click because you can easily make your ad work against you.

Here is an example.  If you set the CPC at $2 (meaning each click costs $2) you need to have a relevant daily limit.   If you set your daily limit to $10 that means your campaign can only support 5 clicks before it turns off for the day.  Likewise if you set your CPC to a higher amount like $4 then your campaign only supports 2 clicks before it shuts off.  LinkedIn will give you a range of suggested amounts to set the CPC, so take into account what your budget is, and how far you want your ad to stretch.  Just remember that advertising is a business and campaigns that bid below the suggested CPC price ranges will have a harder time competing for advertising space.

Targeting your ad requires strategic planning.  The process is in essence magnification.  The more and more criteria you use to target your ad, the fewer people on LinkedIn who will fit that demographic. By zooming in you end up finding less of what you’re looking for.  You can target a whole lot of criteria.  Here are some examples.

Creating ads that target about 150,000 people or more are going to give you the results you desire.  You can always create multiple ads that focus on one or two specific criteria to help you find what you’re looking for.  LinkedIn provides an estimator that approximates how many people your ad will reach. Pay attention to this when selecting criteria. Sometimes less is more.

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