Facebook for business people without all the fluff is how many people attempt to describe LinkedIn the Web 2.0 property that allows people to get down to some serious networking. However, as it has grown, like other social network type sites, LinkedIn is now becoming a place for commercial advertising and that makes PPC advertising a perfect fit for the side bars of your profile. PPC ads continue to be an effective way to get your message across to your intended market and just because you sell a B2B product does not mean that you cannot be effective in a limited marketplace.
LinkedIn PPC is better than Facebook when it comes to attempting to run B2B marketing campaigns for one very clear reason. People visit their LinkedIn profiles because they have a business are attempting to make contact with others. This has them looking for ways to better their network, which makes it a perfect time to hit them with ads that target particular demographics. On the general side, bids for specific markets can be relatively high compared to other markets but if you do you work research correctly you will find yourself hitting a very targeted market that is responsive to your offerings.
As with any new outlet there is a learning curve, first with learning how to interact with the platform and then once you start to advertise learning how to target your audience. Once you begin to explore the advertising platform you must then familiarize yourself with the tools that are available, learn to integrate them with any tools you currently use and begin to optimize your campaign for the platform you have chosen. PPC is a tough form of advertising that can become very expensive, very quickly if you do not take the steps to protect yourself and your advertising budget.
LinkedIn PPC has a couple of tough hurdles that you must overcome. The first hurdle in the way of PPC advertising is the immense amount of information that is already contained on the pages within the program. PPC advertising is not a brand building tool, even though it does offer this as a side benefit if your market is targeted enough. PPC ads must be clear and then clearly relevant to the consumer and when there is a lot of information on a page, advertisements are often shoved out of the intended audience’s view.
As LinkedIn continues to build their platform and it comes out of the infancy stage, the tools provided must get better and allow better targeting capability. Developing the right geo-targeting capability, category development and even giving the right amount of space to the ads will play heavily into how you use the service in the future. Right now it appears that if you have good research info on your market from outside LinkedIn then you can operate a PPC campaign for your B2B prospects without any problems. Just do not depend on the tools that are provided by the social platform to make your determination or your targeting decisions.