Our PPC expert Laura Garrido has experienced a slew of frustrations using the LinkedIn DirectAds service for her clients. In order to illustrate some of DirectAds’ glitches, we attempted to set up a business profile on LinkedIn for the purpose of creating display ads. Here are some of the strengths and weaknesses we encountered during the setup process.
- DirectAds forces you create a personal profile rather than a business profile.
- DirectAds allows you to super target your ads but is not as flexible if you want broad reach.
- DirectAds does not allow you to create a start date for your ad campaign.
Here is how the story goes..
Step 1: Join LinkedIn. Advertise. Join LinkedIn.
We begin by going to LinkedIn.com. and in order to join, we are asked to fill out a personal profile with first and last name. But we don’t want to create a personal profile. We want a business account.
At the footer of the page, we find a category for Advertising.
We are brought to the advertising page with a clear call to action for DirectAds.
We Start Now…
Oh hello! You need to Sign In or Join Linked In.
I guess we’re going to have to create a personal profile. Not the biggest deal, but so far we’ve taken extraneous steps thinking we were going to be given an option to create a business profile by clicking on Advertising. No such luck.
So here we are getting our professional profile started! However, LinkedIn asks whether you are employed, a business owner, looking for work, work independently, or a student. Employed, I guess? These questions are tailored for individuals, not for business accounts. It would seem much more practical to create two different sign-up pages- one for individuals and one for businesses.
Once we filled out the required fields, we are asked to confirm our email address and sign in again. With the account finally created, it’s time to get down to business. Let’s create an ad campaign.
The Real Step 1- Create Your Ad Campaign
So far so good. LinkedIn allows you to create up to 15 different ad variations, (which you can duplicate) under one campaign with different images for each. This is great for testing different ads to see which work.
Step 2: Target Your Audience
In this step, you can create ad campaigns that target LinkedIn members only- or you can target audiences based on the selected categories offered: company size, job function, industry, seniority, gender, age and geography.
We started with Job Function. Out of the 18 job functions you can target, your selection restricts you to 10. This is pretty much the issue we faced with all the other categories.
In the selection for Industry there are 17 industries to choose from, and within these, specific niches you can target. However, out of all these options, you can only pick 10. Same deal with geographies you’re targetting.
Essentially, LinkedIn allows you to super target your ads but is not as flexible if you want to get really broad reach. Sure, you could always vary your selections by creating different ad campaigns. But that can become a pretty grueling process, not only to set them up, but to track them amidst other ad campaigns you might have running in AdWords, Facebook etc.
Once we completed this step, LinkedIn shows that our total target audience will be 26, 722 members, a pretty tiny audience considering we’re doing display advertising. Let’s see what our campaign budget is going to look like…
Step 3- Set Up Your Campaign Budget
LinkedIn offers both CPC and CPM ads. Our recommended CPC bid range is $2.48-$2.88; Minimum bid: $2.00. You can select a daily budget. We make ours $25.00, (LinkedIn’s minimum is $10). Next, we have to choose whether we want our campaigns to run continuously or until a specific date. We chose our end date, but why isn’t LinkedIn asking us when we want the campaign to start? What if we only want it running in a month from now?
Step 4- Billing Information
The last step in the process is billing information
We fill out the information and see in the fine print at the footer that $5.00 will be charged to our card and credited to our DirectAds account upon submission.
When the whole process is done, we go to My Ad Campaigns.
Aha! The campaign is “ON”:
So, we have to manually go and turn them all off.
Laura addressed her frustrations on Twitter and did get a response from LinkedIn:
Hopefully these changes will be coming soon.
LinkedIn read our post and replied to us on Twitter!
- The Frustration of Facebook Ads
- Getting Free Advertising on LinkedIn
- 5 Social Media Ad Networks
- 5 Alternative PPC Ad Networks
- LinkedIn’s Guide To Maximizing Your Marketing Strategy