For many people, the pay-per-click (PPC) industry is synonymous with Google AdWords. For the slightly more informed there is also BingAds (which give access to PPC advertising on Bing & Yahoo). However, one of the most under appreciated PPC platforms is LinkedIn (who else claims to put your ads in front of 3,377 people in Antarctica).
Why Advertise on LinkedIn?
Before recommending LinkedIn advertising to a client I always find out how well they know about their customer base, and I'm not talking about just your run-of-the-mill age, gender, salary stuff. These are some of the questions I ask:
- What level of seniority does your customer have at their company?
- What skills do they have?
- How big is their company?
- What groups would they join on LinkedIn (even outside their occupational interests)?
These types of questions often require serious thought. It's not immediately obvious that your customer may be a wine aficianado, a NASCAR fan, or avid hitchhiker. However, there are groups with over 40K wine fans, 1K NASCAR fans, and even 190 members of a hitchhikers club. So why should a company test LinkedIn PPC? I'll give you 3 reasons:
1. The Right Person
LinkedIn boasts 200 million members. That's a lot people, but you only want the right people. LinkedIn helps you get to the right people by targeting based on Job Function and Skills. In the LinkedIn interface there are 26 different job function areas you can target.
Even the smallest Job Function has over 800K users on LinkedIn (it's Product Management if you were wondering). But let's say you want people with a specific skill. In the image below I put in SEO as the desired skill:
As you can see, just seed the field and pull out the skills that are related. It's not exactly free form because you have to select items already in the LinkedIn system, but you will find plenty of options, all self-identified by users filling out their LinkedIn profiles.
2. The Right Place
You might have noticed in the image above that LinkedIn also offers you the ability to target based on level of seniority. Thus you have the ability to target only the top echelon at a company. I recently targeted the Quality Assurance job function and limited it further to CXO, VP & Director level employees. That cut the audience from over 1.5 million users to just over 87K. The top 5%-6% in the industry. And it only took a minute.
3. The Right Time
People are on LinkedIn for business. They're updating their profile, creating connections with clients, coworkers & prospective clients, researching job opportunities, writing recommendations, etc. Whether they're on the home computer or at work these people are thinking about business. This is the time to put your message in front of them and get interaction.
Setting up your LinkedIn Ads account is quite simple. All you really need is a credit card and an idea for your first ad. Now go try it out and see if you can find the right person in the right place at the right time.