LinkedIn has finally taken the beta tag off of their self-serve ad platform. The beta tag has been in place since 2008. So rather than looking like Google in keeping a beta tag on an offering until it rusted the time has come for LinkedIn Ads to be ‘official’. Of course, the talk of a first quarter IPO can help a company to ‘clean up shop’ a bit as well but who’s counting.
As reported by MediaPost
LinkedIn Wednesday formally launched its pay-per-click, self-serve ad system after being in beta since 2008. Rebranded as LinkedIn Ads, the text-advertising service formerly known as DirectAds mainly expands audience targeting options to include job title, LinkedIn groups and companies. Previously, the platform offered several targeting choices such as age, gender, geography, job function and seniority.
Below is a good look at the options for targeting ads that can be utilized.
LinkedIn is in a very unique position because its audience defines itself very specifically on purpose and leaves little room for guessing who someone can potentially be based on title, location etc, etc. To take advantage of this information that is given freely and readily by LinkedIn users advertisers can target ads for up to 100 job titles and the drill down potential is very interesting indeed.
With the new options, the company aims to capitalize on the wealth of professional and work-related data it has from its 90 million members. “We’re really focused on helping advertisers reach exactly the audience they’re looking for,” said Jack Chou, senior product manager at LinkedIn. “No one else has the type of professional data we have and the ability to marry that with the type of targeting capability we offer.”
One concern is whether this targeting will be too much’ for some users who will not like the fine tuning that could single them out. While I think this is an issue in the real world I suspect it won’t be as much so in a ‘closed’ environment like LinkedIn. Most people who use LinkedIn are very open with information and open to suggestion. As a result, seeing a targeted ad based on information that you show to most people anyway there should be little push back. Heck, if there is anywhere on the Internet where fine-tuned targeting makes sense it’s here.
LinkedIn is being smart, however, and doing a CYA in their approach to the potential concerns of a likely loud few about being too targeted.
Advertisers may welcome deeper targeting, but what about users? If an ad hits too close to home, could that be jarring for members? Chou said the company’s ad service uses only non-personally identifiable information for targeting purposes. He also said that if a targeted campaign has too narrowly tailored an audience, LinkedIn won’t allow it to run. He did not say what that threshold was, however. “It’s certainly a way for us to make sure that no single piece of targeted data is personally identifiable with the new targeting features,” he said.
So how do you use LinkedIn? Is it important to you and your social networking efforts? Could your company benefit from being able to zero in on very specific professionals? Does this kind of targeting capability creep you out or is it just another day at the online office?
Give us your thoughts in the comment section today. We would love to hear from you.