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LinkedIn: Advertising Toward Professionals

LinkedIn is a powerful tool for marketing. Advertising on LinkedIn is advertising to an audience of professionals. There are two options to set up ads: the “cost-per-click” option (CPC) and the “pay-per-impression” option (PPM). As well, there are ways of targeting your advertising to only reach members with specific profiles (such as specific job titles, employers, college majors, etc.). Because LinkedIn is a massive network for professionals and business people, the advertising is much more expensive. However, careful advertising can provide huge benefits for advertisers.

For smaller businesses, it makes sense to use the CPC option. Under this option, your costs will only occur if LinkedIn members click on your link. Therefore, the LinkedIn site will continually show the advertisement until enough members have clicked on it. If it takes a longer period of time for the “click limit” to be reached, than the business can have continued exposure and increased recognition and visibility.

After a business has enough recognition, the PPM option becomes more valuable. Since increased recognition leads to an improved “know, like and trust” factor, the PPM option can lead to a greater amount of viewers clicking on the link than CPC for the same price. Therefore, the total value for PPM advertising becomes higher than CPC advertising for larger businesses.

Both these options allow the opportunity to specifically reach a particular audience. There are settings for only letting the ad appear to specific companies, job titles, job functions, job seniorities, and education. This is great for reaching that specific individual that you are targeting. On the other hand, there are settings for excluding marketing towards specific groups, companies, or skill sets. This can be used to exclude non-technical people for a technical advertisement, or to exclude members of a rival company.

Overall, LinkedIn is expensive compared to Facebook and Google (two other advertising platforms that have been discussed in class), but is possibly the best platform for reaching that specific audience, using its expansive data based on professional experience. Its two options for advertising provide multiple ways of valuing an impression and a click, which can also lead to advertisers preferring a certain advertisement structure. This two-option structure provides an interesting dynamic when weighing the advantages of either option in the auction format that was discussed in class.


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October 2016