Author

I am Joannes Vermorel, founder at Lokad. I am also an engineer from the Corps des Mines who initially graduated from the ENS.

I have been passionate about computer science, software matters and data mining for almost two decades. (RSS - ATOM)

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Tuesday
Nov022010

LinkedIn DirectAds, early thoughts

I just started my first LinkedIn DirectAds campaign a few days ago. I had significant previous experience with Google Adwords, and I was interested to see how DirectAds could perform compared to Adwords.

From an outsider perspective, LinkedIn looks the perfect marketplace for a niche B2B software technology such as Lokad which specializes in demand forecasting. Indeed:

  • I know exactly the profile of the people I am trying to reach: vertical, job description, company size, location, etc.
  • My willingness to pay for each super-targeted lead is rather high.

DirectAds are extremely similar in their format with AdWords. The only minor difference is the presence of small 50x50 icon along your add (the illustration of this post is a screenshot of one of my DirectAds).

The core difference with Adwords is that instead of betting on keywords, DirectAds are selected based the profile of the audience you want to reach. The criteria available for audience filtering are:

  • Company Size
  • Job Function
  • Industry
  • Seniority
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Geography

Yet, it must be noted at that, at present time, only 4 (out of the 7 available) can be selected at the same time within a campaign. This restriction is rather odd and annoying. In my case, company size, job function, industry and seniority are good enough, but geography would have been a bonus too - especially for localized ads.

Then, the job function offers only 18 categories which is a very rough granularity. Again, I would have preferred to be able to directly specify keywords listed in job description entered by the LinkedIn members.

Finally, my initial selection is giving me about 14k members as my target audience. After 48h of display, I have 2k impressions for a single $2 click ($2/click is the minimal bid).

Very low traffic is probably the downside of LinkedIn DirectAds. With such a limited audience, even assuming a good conversion rate, but it will take months to recover the 2h spent initializing the campaign.

Reader Comments (2)

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 trial was going 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.

January 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterScottie928

Hi Scottie, agreed, I had the same $100, and reading the fine print, it looked to be very "borderline" on the ethical side. Live and learn. For all those ad action systems, I would say you have to be ready to waste a few hundreds $$$ in trials and errors.

February 1, 2011 | Registered CommenterJoannes Vermorel

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