Professional networking site LinkedIn has over 90 million members; unlike Facebook and other social sites, LinkedIn is geared towards professionals who want to advance their careers and create a strong network of business contacts. In contrast to Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites, LinkedIn is very targeted. It is no surprise, then, that the site is offering targeted, self-service pay-per-click ad campaigns that allow advertisers to narrow in on possible consumers based on job, company, or LinkedIn group associations.
In 2008, LinkedIn launched their original ad service, LinkedIn Direct Ads. This allowed advertisers to target consumers based on geography, industry, size of their company, job title, age, gender, and seniority. The added functionality allows an even more targeted approach. What is different – and better – about LinkedIn’s service is that the site only displays the ads to those who are most interested or most likely to purchase the products or services advertised. The success rate speaks for itself: these targeted ads have a click-through rate three to four times higher than other ads on the site.
The success rate does much to respond to criticism that LinkedIn ads are more expensive than those on other sites. The company says, “The deeper level of targeting ability offers advertisers more precision for their advertising dollar and greater return on investment.” While LinkedIn members typically spend less time perusing their profile and the site than do users of Facebook, the benefits are clear for advertisers.
Hit Search Ltd, a Liverpool-based search marketing agency, predicts that spending on PPC ads on LinkedIn alone will increase by an incredible 300 percent. Mobile platforms are going to play a central role, as well. “2011 will be a big year for advertising on social networks, with a year-on-year growth of 40 percent in social media advertising across all platforms.” Targeted ads is an effective strategy for online marketing campaigns.