The other day I was in my LinkedIn account and came across the following ad:
I was surprised because not only is the ad personalized with my first name, but it even uses my profile pic. That’s some heavy-duty personalization. So I decided it was time to go give LinkedIn a shot by setting up a campaign.
Step 0 – Big or Small?
Step 1 – Write an Ad
Pretty simple format. Looks like the character limits match up with AdWords limits and you can add a 50×50 image to the ad as well. The unique feature is the ability to say who the ad is from. You can choose either your personal profile or your company for additional “credibility”.
Step 2 – Target Your Audience
They have a dynamic “audience ticker” like Facebook with a starting value of just under 70 million. There are 7 areas to target, of which you may choose 3. I’m choosing geography (Salt Lake City Metro Area has about 190K people in it evidently), gender (Male takes me down to 98K) and seniority (Director, CXO and VPs leaves me with about 17K). There is an option to reach LinkedIn members on the “LinkedIn Audience Network” but I’m unchecking it for this little experiment. Also, the geographic targeting isn’t very advanced yet. They only had about 20 countries and in the US you only had about 30 metro areas to target. Not very precise yet.
Step 3 – Budget Info
You get to pick between CPC and CPM bidding (LinkedIn is throwing out some really high suggested bids), set a daily budget and give the campaign an end date if you so desire. WARNING: Though I classified myself as having a smaller budget, they won’t let me proceed on CPC bidding unless my bid is at least $2.00. Might be the demographics I chose, but dang LinkedIn!
Step 4 – Billing
Evidently they’ve got good user experience people because they asked for the meaty info last, after I’ve put in the time and effort to create an ad, choose targeting and set a budget. Pretty basic stuff so they have a CC on file for you.
Overall the setup was really easy. Nothing too fancy, but as a small advertiser using their “DirectAd” format, I didn’t have the ability to personalize my ad with the user’s name or profile picture. That must be a feature reserved for the big guys who are cranking through at least $25K/month. Figures! Well, I’ll keep you updated on how things turn out, but the only real interesting part of the process was the demographic info you could glean from the targeting section.
Who else is experimenting with LinkedIn right now? Would love to see some comments.