SearchQuant: Starting Coverage on LinkedIn Ads
If you're in online marketing and have a B2B focus, exploring LinkedIn is probably on your To-Do list. Most of LinkedIn's revenue still comes from job listings and premium subscriptions (~40% & 27%, respectively, Quora Q&A here), so it safe to say their 135M+ members and 4B searches per year are one of, if not the biggest aggregations of B2B search activity anywhere, and are currently under-monetized, right?
Perhaps not. As I found out while trying to running a campaign targeting Apple employees, LinkedIn CPCs are crazy high ($3.50 in my case). Others are reporting similarly high CPCs, including Dave Eisenberg of super-sophisticated targeting firm TellApart, who saw $5-20 CPCs on B2B & B2C campaigns he ran recently. The shockingly high CPC anecdote list continues:
1. 5X higher CPCs than AdWords for a side-by-side B2B campaign (S. Katharaman in India, 1/22/12);
2. $4.94 recommended CPC for a B2B campaign (5/31/11)
3. $1.76 CPC for a B2B software campaign (2/23/11)
4. $2.25 CPC for B2C campaign for high-end tree houses (3/5/11)
5. $3-3.50 for specialist electronics (10/7/11)
Some of the anecdotes have happy endings due to very high B2B AOVs, but most seem to be wondering why the floor at LinkedIn is higher than some ceilings.