Jumping on the LinkedIn PPC Bandwagon

This week Robert Brady (@robert_brady) filled in for Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) with another great question set titled “Jumping on the LinkedIn PPC Bandwagon.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: Who’s using LinkedIn PPC? What has been your experience?

  • Have dipped toe in the LinkedIn waters, but not all the way in just yet. Have run one SMALL test campaign to get feet wet, but nothing to write home about yet. – John Budzynski (@Budzynski)
  • Ive been using for a while. Good for B2B Clients. Interface is damn clunky. Struggle to optimise the account structure. – George Brown (@GBPPC)
  • From my experience, very few are using it compared to the other networks out there. Very strong for B2B plays. Good results. – AJ Wilcox (@wilcoxaj)
  • Worked with several clients. B2B is great. Love the targeting options (we’ll get to that later). – Robert Brady
  • I’ve run small budget B2B test campaigns. Better performance with Sponsored stories v cpc ads so far. – Pascal Inderabudhi (@pasc)
  • Interface is damn clunky. Struggle to optimise the account structure. – Heather Cooan (@HeatherCooan)
  • Have used it a bit. Experience varies depending on desired conversion. – Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)
  • Use it and it works well. – Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
  • Getting good results for B2B, and cost-per-conversion is solid even though higher CPC. – James Svoboda (@Realicity)
  • It’s also got a relatively high CPC with a minimum budget which is a bit awkward for smaller clients. – George Brown
  • Used minimally, always have gotten mediocre results but with low budgets & hard-to-market niches. Need to test some more to learn the system better. – Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)
  • Very positive experience using Linkedin ads for B2B lead gen. – Joseph Drury (@drurytheelder)
  • Either great or a huge fail. Lots of ring-fenced trial budgets that don’t have enough time for Optimization. – Sam Owen (@SamOwenPPC)
  • Have used, but the $2 minimum bid is a toughie. – Steve Cameron (@adventcom)
    •  It’s not about what you spend, but what you get in return. – James Svoboda
      • That’s why the $2 was tough to swallow! Poor results. – Steve Cameron
    • Exactly, tough with small budget while you’re testing the waters. – Timothy Jensen
      • And it is display, after all. – Steven Cameron
        • Display with better targeting and expensive clicks, but still Display. – Sam Owen
    • Yep – Seems to work best when AdWords CPCs are super high – law, insurance, B2B etc. – Sam Owen
    • Everything is relative though, when bids are north of $50 in Adwords, $2 would be a dream! – Julie Bacchini (@NeptuneMoon)
  • Q1.1: If you’re not using LinkedIn PPC, what has kept you away?
    • Time, usefulness? – Matthew Lloyd (@MaLloyd20)
    • No suitable client accounts. – Theresa Zook (@I_Marketer)
    • Mostly effectiveness. I used prior as a test and didn’t see results I wanted. But willing to try it again. – Andreea Cojocariu (@AndreeaC_T)

Q2: Where do you see LinkedIn PPC fitting into the marketing strategy for companies? Early funnel? Late?

  • More like mid funnel. Def not late. – Andreea Cojocariu
  • I think it’s very strong mid-to-late funnel. Clicks are costly enough that it needs to be near the bottom to make sense. – AJ Wilcox
  • With its relatively unique targeting options it could be early. Get in front of decision makers for lead gen! – George Brown
    • It would definitely depend on the buying/service cycle too. – Andreea Cojocariu
      • Absolutely true. Would be difficult to prove its worth if its a long cycle. – George Brown
  • It is more awareness, with slight chance of right place right time in early research phase. – Julie Bacchini
  • Excuse my ignorance but does LI have a remktg pixel like FB? – Steve Cameron
    • Not yet. But you can always cookie users from your LI campaigns on a designated LP. – Heather Cooan
  • Not specifically either but I guess most cases we’ve tried to catch decision makers in the research process. – Sam Owen
  • Usually mid-to-late funnel, but can depend on your sales cycle. It’s never too early to capture attention of the right people. – James Svoboda
    • True – i would imagine if the goal is a demo you’d want to hit people further in the funnel for sure. – Timothy Jensen
  • I would echo the ‘mid’ sentiments. We always go in to LI for a 2nd touch point, but never expecting a direction conversion. – Joseph Drury
  • More early funnel than late for our clients. – Melissa Mackey
  • What types of CTAs have you seen work? Direct buy? Whitepaper? Demo?
    • Free Trials tend to work very well. Also “Free Demo”. – George Brown
    • B2B People love whitepapers and case studies (data and info). Demos = time commitment. – James Svoboda
      • I’ve seen companies use demos to get prospects on the phone. – Robert Brady
        • Yep. Not saying demos don’t work well as CTAs, but they are often precieved as sales pitches that take time. You can reduce the fear of a long sales-y demo pitch by building a short video demo… “Watch our 5 Minute Video Demo. – James Svoboda
    • Free Consultation, Free Quote and Whitepaper have all worked for me in the past. – Brett Stevens (@BrettStevens1)
      • Agree. The LI audience seems more information oriented. Looking to “learn.” – Theresa Zook 
    • Promoting content is always better than “buy now” language. – Melissa Mackey

Q3: What do you see are LinkedIn’s biggest strengths for PPC?

  • Audience targeting! Target by company, title, seniority – reach exactly the right people.- Melissa Mackey
  • Targeting, targeting, targeting. Qualified audience, qualified audience, qualified audience. – AJ Wilcox
  • Targeting the Decision Makers with senior job titles is definitely one! – George Brown
  • Can’t say enough about the targeting AND people are in business mindset. That’s a huge factor in quality. – Robert Brady
  • Targeting entire company can have benefit too, never know who might be in the conversation you want in on. – Julie Bacchini
  • Sometimes the secretary does the research – we found this with an executive accom site – nearly missed them with targeting. – Steven Cameron
  • Anyone running something like Pardot to see which companies are visiting your site and then targeting those companies on LI? – Heather Cooan
  • It’s not enough to target. One has also has to build the relationship that will hopefully lead to a dialogue. – Stephanie Cockerl (@StephCockerl)
  • The largest Professional Network. I think that’s a motto or something. – James Svoboda
  • LI in general gives you access to all kinds of potential contact points. Adv lets you get a message to them w out connecting 1st. – Neptune Moon

Q4: On the flipside, what do you feel are LinkedIn’s biggest weaknesses for PPC?

  • The interface. – Heather Cooan
  • The interface, 100%. – Michelle Morgan
  • Interface, features, lack of conversion tracking. – AJ Wilcox
  • No really great way to access for agencies. – Heather Cooan
  • Clunky interface, time consuming for bulk edits, no offline editor. – Timothy Jensen
  • Forced floor for bids. Market should dictate that. Also interface is lame. – Julie Bacchini
  • Bring on the onslaught of User Interface tweets. – James Svoboda
  • Needs so much attention that LI really needs an editor tool. – Brett Stevens
  • Limited ad types. – Heather Cooan
  • Reporting. – George Brown
  • Interesting that a public co w earnings pressure would not make their adv interface easier to use. – Julie Bacchini
  • My wishlist in order: 1.) Conv. tracking, 2.) Interface, 3.) Bulk edit functionality. – Robert Brady
  • Minimum audience size. – Jonathan Ng (@ThankYouJon)
  • Also, LinkedIn is still a new ad platform. GoTo->Overture->Yahoo Search Marketing & Sprinks-> AdWords took 10+years to evolve. – James Svoboda
    • True, but in those days there were not platforms to model after, and there certainly are today. Esp for busy marketers. – Julie Bacchini
    • But they could try and learn from other’s mistakes”¦ and listen to us, of course. – James Svoboda
  • I wonder if min $2 bids improves advertiser quality or increases scammer levels? And whether fewer advertisers = less revenue? – Sam Owen
    • I don’t think it makes a difference. I think it’s just a way for them to make $$. You’re paying the premium for the audience. – Andreea Cojocariu
      • Yep. Min CPCs go up if you target only C-level. – Melissa Mackey
    • The $2 bid floor was an issue a couple years ago, but bids are naturally past that now. – AJ Wilcox
    • Might be to stop busy people getting slammed with pointless ads. But then how often are you on LI? – George Brown
      • Some of us quite a bit. I get on a few times a day. – Andreea Cojocariu
  • BULK EDITING! An interface that doesn’t time out after 5 minutes. Better reporting. – Melissa Mackey
    • The Time Out issue is a nightmare! – George Brown
  • If you think about it, all of these platforms are in infancy comp to traditional adv outlets. – Julie Bacchini

Q5: Have you tried out their exclusions (negative targeting)? How did you use it?

  • LI has profile completeness issues. Using neg. targeting keeps the “uncategorized” people in your audiences. And it would appear I’m the only person who’s used the feature. – Robert Brady
  • I am intrigued by the idea, but have not tried it yet really. – Julie Bacchini
  • We exclude entry level seniority. Most of our clients want higher level ppl. – Melissa Mackey
  • Interesting if you were targeting Groups and then block Lower level Job Titles. – George Brown

Q6: Do you think LinkedIn needs more of an industry presence? How would you like to see that? 

  • I think it’ll get there. But they need more top brands using it first. Once they fix the many issues we mentioned today, more advertisers will use it. – Andreea Cojocariu
  • Depends on what they want from it. When it must be bigger $$ source, they will probably invest in it more. – Julie Bacchini
  • I think LI is battling perception as much as reality. They need someone tooting their horn (besides me). – Robert Brady
  • Absolutely needs a bigger presence. No one knows about LI Ads, and it’s not even in most peoples’ consideration sets. – AJ Wilcox
    • I instantly think about them for my B2Bs. Convincing them to do it is another story. – Andreea Cojocariu
  • They need an internal champion who is also an external voice. – Robert Brady
  • I think PPC adv. are nervous w Linkedin. They talk to clients about “test budgets” and it puts them off. – Sam Owen

Q7: What would get you to push more client budgets into LinkedIn PPC?

  • Fixes to Q5 from today. – George Brown
  • IMO LI has a strong reputation to maintain, if they get too aggressive as a network they may lose their base. – Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)
    • Not w/out a viable alternative out there, IMO. And, people are lazy. High threshold to switch things. – Julie Bacchini
      • Never know when next 1 is coming, can’t depend on users sharing career history if being overtly flipped. – Chris Kostecki
        • True, but w/out contender out there now, they are not in much danger of mass abandonment. – Julie Bacchini
  • Killer reporting…but we already discussed how that is a problem. – Andreea Cojocariu
  • Conversion tracking for fast results evaluation. Bulk functionality for ease of use. – AJ Wilcox
  • They need an internal champion who is also an external voice. – Robert Brady

Q8 Where do you see LinkedIn PPC a year from now? How much budget you give it? Features?

  • Easier campaign management for agencies. – James Svoboda
  • I see it staying stagnant unless @LinkedIn reads this stream. I’ll probably spend about $500/mo in a few months. – Andreea Cojocariu
  • Effective, easy to scale and use interface. Quality, in depth reporting and accurate conv. tracking. – George Brown
  • More budget as it proves itself in more verticles. We’re still in the exploration stage for many clients. – James Svoboda
  • Not much change, unless they need the revenue to meet earnings projections. – Julie Bacchini
  • Hopefully moving more into the audience space, provide data to layer into other efforts as opposed to cookie cutter network. – Chris Kostecki
  • LinkedIn needs a lower cost option for content promotion. I think they’re missing the boat on this one. – James Svoboda
  • Overall, I’m hopeful because I’ve seen great results and they have lots of potential. – Robert Brady
  • They need more industry specific research too to get adv to spend. – Andreea Cojocariu
  • They need a PPC advisory board if they are serious about growing this part of the business. – Julie Bacchini

Resources

More PPCChats

Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next #PPCchat on Tuesday at 12 noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific and 5pm in the UK. Same Chat time, same Chat channel.

Participants

Check out the PPCChat Twitter list to see and connect with all current and prior participants.

• Robert Brady (@robert_brady)
• Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
• James Svoboda (@Realicity)
• Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
• AJ Wilcox (@wilcoxaj)
• Andreea Cojocariu (@AndreeaC_T)
• Brett Stevens (@BrettStevens1)
• Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)
• George Brown (@GBPPC)
• Heather Cooan (@HeatherCooan)
• John Budzynski (@Budzynski)
• Jonathan Ng (@ThankYouJon)
• Joseph Drury (@drurytheelder)
• Julie Bacchini (@NeptuneMoon)
• Matthew Lloyd (@MaLloyd20)
• Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
• Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)
• Pascal Inderabudhi (@pasc)
• Sam Owen (@SamOwenPPC)
• Stephanie Cockerl (@StephCockerl)
• Steve Cameron (@adventcom)
• Theresa Zook (@I_Marketer)
• Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)
 

Staying on the Streamcap Bandwagon

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe; WebRanking Director of Technology in Minneapolis, Minnesota, #PPCChat Streamcap Grabber, SEO Blog Author. Connect with me @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus.

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