I just started my first LinkedIn DirectAds campaign a few days ago. I had significant previous experience with Google Adwords, and I was interested to see how DirectAds could perform compared to Adwords.
From an outsider perspective, LinkedIn looks the perfect marketplace for a niche B2B software technology such as Lokad which specializes in demand forecasting. Indeed:
- I know exactly the profile of the people I am trying to reach: vertical, job description, company size, location, etc.
- My willingness to pay for each super-targeted lead is rather high.
DirectAds are extremely similar in their format with AdWords. The only minor difference is the presence of small 50x50 icon along your add (the illustration of this post is a screenshot of one of my DirectAds).
The core difference with Adwords is that instead of betting on keywords, DirectAds are selected based the profile of the audience you want to reach. The criteria available for audience filtering are:
- Company Size
- Job Function
Yet, it must be noted at that, at present time, only 4 (out of the 7 available) can be selected at the same time within a campaign. This restriction is rather odd and annoying. In my case, company size, job function, industry and seniority are good enough, but geography would have been a bonus too - especially for localized ads.
Then, the job function offers only 18 categories which is a very rough granularity. Again, I would have preferred to be able to directly specify keywords listed in job description entered by the LinkedIn members.
Finally, my initial selection is giving me about 14k members as my target audience. After 48h of display, I have 2k impressions for a single $2 click ($2/click is the minimal bid).
Very low traffic is probably the downside of LinkedIn DirectAds. With such a limited audience, even assuming a good conversion rate, but it will take months to recover the 2h spent initializing the campaign.