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Testing LinkedIn Sponsored Updates

I wasn’t planning on throwing LinkedIn advertising into the mix as part of my first round of testing 6PS but I was lured by a $50 free advertising coupon code. Gets me every time. The first step was to create a company page for 6PS. I had one for Gerbz LLC but I didn’t want to use that branding. I also added my eBook as a “product” under the company.

Campaign Type

LinkedIn offers self service CPC ads as well as sponsored updates. These map pretty well with what Facebook offers. I opted to go with the sponsored update which is hopefully more engaging than an ad in the sidebar somewhere.

Linkedin campaign types

Creative

After running sponsored updates on Facebook & Twitter I didn’t need to do much more A/B testing. I just crafted one status update that looked like this.

LinkedIn Promoted Status

Targeting

LinkedIn allows you to target based on: Companies, Job Titles, Schools, Skills, Groups, Gender and Age. Targeting my ideal customer is quite a challenge on LinkedIn. Most of my customers don’t trade stocks professionally so they don’t have that information listed on their profile. I decided to target groups because I figure are more active on LinkedIn and this is the closest option to “interest” based targeting I could find. After coming up with 47 groups where I think my customer hangs out, I was left with an audience of only 56,645 in the US. When I added Europe it jumped to 97k, but I decided to stick with only the US for now.

Campaign Settings

When I got to the Campaign Options section I was floored. The minimum bid for CPC was $3 with a recommended range of $3.78-4.00 and the minimum CPM was $14 with a recommended range of $17.60-18.82. That seems high. So basic math says I could get 25 clicks for $100 if I went the CPC route, or I could pay $18 CPM’s and get 5,555 impressions and hope to get more than 25 clicks. 25 clicks on 5,555 would be a 0.45% click through rate. Considering I had a 0.6% CTR on Facebook and a 2.4% CTR on Twitter with a similar “promoted status update”, this seams doable. I figure what the hell and went with the $18 CPM.

Sidenote: I can’t believe they snuck in a $5 “Account Activation” fee. Great way to start off our relationship.

Results

I fired off the ad at about 3pm PST on Thursday and it wasn’t approved until 5am on Friday.  It took until 8am Monday for the $100 to be spent.  Here’s the results:

Date Campaign Imp. Clicks CTR CPC CPM Cost EB Goal DB Goal CPA
11/14/13 Li: Sponsored Updates 6,530 42 0.64% 2.39 15.38 100.47 17 – 40% 3 – 17.6% 5.91

It appears that the decision to go CPM was a good one, though its hard to tell for sure.  If I had gone with CPC, and was granted a $3-4 CPC, I would have received 30 or less clicks.

At 40% conversions, my landing pages converted exceptionally well.  I think this can be attributed to both the targeting capabilities and quality of LinkedIn users.

Conclusion

Overall the LinkedIn campaign went really well.  The CPA isn’t quite what I was getting with Twitter but it was better than Facebook & Adwords.  I can certainly see this channel playing a role in our marketing mix going forward.  Hopefully I can find a targeting option on LinkedIn that allows for a wider reach.