Whenever I speak to my clients about benefits of LinkedIn advertising and the need to do it, cost and ROI are always prominent points in the discussion.
Let's face it; LinkedIn ads are expensive, especially when compared to ads on other social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. The minimum that you have to pay per click in the self-advertising model is $2 and to consistently get impressions for your ads, you might need to up the cost you bear per click.
It's also a fact that an individual might not buy (read: convert) on his/her first ad click. With so much competition for ad space, increase in number of options that the consumer has and impact of social reviews on the consumer's decision, it is imperative to re-market your brand to the consumer to influence his/her purchase decision.
Is remarketing possible with LinkedIn ads? As always, let me show you some data for you to decide.
The following is a snapshot of my conversation with LinkedIn.
As you can see in the highlighted section above, LinkedIn shows the same ad to an individual only once in 24 hours. Quite fair, I would say, as they also need to guard against click-fraud. What this also tells us is that once the time span, i.e., 24 hours is over; LinkedIn might show the same ad to the same individual again. This means that LinkedIn believes in the concept of remarketing.
But what this doesn't tell you is that LinkedIn might also show the same ad to the same person more than once in the time span of 24 hours. And this type of remarketing is free! Find this hard to believe? Let's unravel the mystery. The snapshot below is of the campaign performance report which you get via the LinkedIn ad platform.
For the campaign named "company page", if you have a look at the columns under heads 'Clicks', 'Profile Clicks' & 'Total Clicks', all of them show different values. What is clear is the fact that clicks + profile clicks = total clicks.
Let's focus on row 2, highlighted in red above. The average CPC for the campaign on 5/31/2012 is $2.30. The total spend is $73.6. We observe here that, total spend is the product of "Clicks" and "Average CPC" and NOT 'Total clicks' and 'average cpc'.
This raises a question, what are "Profile Clicks" and why are they not accounted for in calculating total ad spend? My estimate (based on the above snapshots) is profile clicks*are clicks by the same individual on the same ad (in the same campaign) within a time frame of 24 hours. LinkedIn does not invoice you for this!
So, we can conclude that remarketing is free with LinkedIn ads if it's done within a period of 24 hours counting from the time the person first interacted with your ad. Sadly, as a brand manager you have no control over this and this happens accidentally!
Have you observed the same with your campaigns? As a digital marketer, do you see similar features on Facebook, Twitter or perhaps Google? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.
* According to LinkedIn, profile clicks are ad clicks which go to the advertiser's LinkedIn profile/page and are not invoiced. So, LinkedIn neither invoices the advertiser for ad clicks (by the same individual) within a period of 24 hours nor clicks that take one to the advertiser's profile/company page.