Back in January 2012, I got an email saying that linkedin is now implementing advertising (ie something similar to google and facebook advertising).
They also offered a free $50 “promotion”… OK, its less than the $100 that google offers, but it should be good to see what kind of return it gives.
Then it started getting weird:
I setup a campaign for my website design business, only to find limits like:
- maximum daily budget cannot be less than $10
- minimum cost per click (for a CPC campaign) is $2.00
Wow, I could be looking at, at least, $10 per day, per ad campaign.
Lets do the maths: with just 1 campaign, I could use up my “gift” $50.00 in just 5 days
I could be looking at $300 per month.
I’d need to be selling some high profit-margin goods or services to justify advertising in linkedIn.
As a comparison, Google have a minimum cost per click of $0.01 (yep, 1 cent), and the max daily budget also starts at $0.01. You you could limit your google advertising to just 1 cent per day, and then alter it if I want to get more views, traffic and clicks. And then Google also has a huge audience for showing these ads.
Facebook is similar: minimum Cost Per Click is $0.01, but the max daily budget is at least $1.00 (which I personally think is too high for some situations). But then again, facebook also has a huge audience for showing these ads.
So, I just try out the campaign, and as usual, I forget to check until about 2 weeks later (maybe this is what linkedin are planning: that people will forget).
Luckily it only cost me an extra $10 or $15, as I sometimes didn’t get to spend the full $10 per day.
Anyway, I switch off the campaign, and promptly forget about the LinkedIn advertising scam.
At the start of September 2012, I get an email from linkedIn, saying: “Your LinkedIn Ads campaign has been feeling a bit lonely recently. Come back to LinkedIn Ads and reach out to your customers!”.
They offer another $50 bonus, which expires on 19 Sept.
I figure: I’ll take another look.
I notice the click costs are still $2 per click, and I cannot set a max daily spend of less than $10…
Anyway, I guess I’ll just run the ad for a few days… I login and using the $50 code they sent me, I re-activate my ad campaign on the 12 Sept (before the 19 Sept deadline)…
I also add a campaign for my name-brand mobile phone look-alikes (iphone, Galaxy, HTC One X, etc).
Within 1 hour of activating my campaign, I get 7 clicks on my ads ($14 out of $50 gone already!)… and 29,000 impressions… ie my ads get shown 29,000 times!
But over the next 5 days, I get no more clicks, and the number of impressions drops to about 200 – 500 per day… It all looks a bit suspicious.
And I also find that the amount of information about my advertising performance, stats, etc is scant…I just cannot figure out why I got so many impressions, and then a sudden drop.
I then take a look over at the billing details, and I see that the $50 credit that linkedin gave me, has a “grant date” of sept 12, and an expiry date of sept 12… A reasonable person would think they mean the “coupon” has been used on that day… but being a suspicious person, I see it as: my “gift” of $50 expired on the same day I activated it, and any clicks after that date, I will need to pay for out of my own pocket. Thanks a lot LinkedIn! 🙁
When dealing with larger companies, it pays to be suspicious, and assume the cards are always in their favour.
So I suspended all my linkedin ads (again)… even though I still have a theoretical $36 in my account… I just can’t be sure about that. I’ll think I’ll just forget this whole linkedin advertising scam (again).