Following the announcement back in February, LinkedIn is all set to follow Facebook’s lead and introduce ads across its mobile app. The social business network has so far revealed little information on how it will work ads into its platform – indeed, the service was expected to launch last month, but has not yet materialised – however, mobile ads on LinkedIn open-up a number of opportunities for advertisers to exploit.
Linkedin has huge potential on mobile given it’s strong mobile traffic and usage:
- Comscore estimate there are 2m monthly users of linkedin mobile in Europe alone
- Linkedin mobile page views are growing at 400% p.a.
- Mobile already accounts for 15% of page views and visits
- Linkedin’s mobile app Cardmunch has scanned 2m business cards
This is a huge wave of new mobile advertising inventory coming and it’s vital to understand what sort of impact it might have on the market. So what can we expect when LinkedIn’s mobile ad offering launches?
LinkedIn’s strengths as a mobile platform
Perhaps the biggest benefit LinkedIn’s mobile ads will have over Facebook is the ability to serve to a focused user-base of professionals, potentially facilitating much more effective and targeted messages from brands. Given that LinkedIn is used for very specific purposes, such as looking for jobs, networking with other professionals, and looking-up information on companies, it has also been speculated that its user-base will be more susceptible to mobile ads than Facebook’s or Twitter’s.
Big potential for local
As we explained in our post concerning Facebook mobile ads, the next few years will likely see an explosion in hyper-local mobile advertising and – like Facebook – LinkedIn is a prime position to exploit this trend. There’s big opportunities in, for instance, targeting large groups of professionals who are attending industry conferences. Any local businesses in the area of big conferences can take advantage of the influx of people checking LinkedIn on an hourly basis, driving them to local promotions. Enterprise services can focus on relevant gatherings, while marketers could use such events to collect marketing data on specific industries. Local mobile ads on LinkedIn could also play a big role in targeting job-seekers and employers, even to the point of targeting ads to employees at a particular company.
One of the most alluring benefits to LinkedIn’s mobile ads will be the option to pinpoint ads towards influential groups of individuals across companies and industries, such as CEOs, CFOs, CIOs etc. Such a demographic may typically be hard to reach due to their busy schedules, but mobile ads, especially across a professional network such as LinkedIn, could really drive engagement amongst this group. Anyone offering enterprise services could therefore have a reliable conduit to reach the key decision makers within large corporations.
Which advertisers will benefit most?
The recruitment industry will arguably be in the best position to benefit from LinkedIn’s mobile ads. Not only will recruiters have access to a mobile user-base of career-minded professionals, they will also be able target hyper-local jobs ads to users attending recruitment drives, or target specific geographical areas of industry such as Silicon Valley.
It’s no secret that luxury brands have been enjoying a boom in business since the economic downturn. While most consumers are holding back spend, high-level executives are earning more than ever and spending their money on extravagant products and services. With LinkedIn luxury brands can target such individuals – who typically lead busy lifestyles and could be more engaged with mobile messages – while they’re on the move (or on their luxury yachts…).
Being able to target specific industries and reach busy decision makers – and potential speakers – via mobile could prove highly effective for those working in the conference production industry. Conference producers could also potentially use LinkedIn to advertise marketing data surveys and other industry-specific promotions.
It goes without saying that any company offering enterprise B2B services will be keenly eyeing-up the potential of LinkedIn’s mobile ads. Again, the option to target by industry and to target industry conferences – where decision-makers are already in the mindset of talking shop – could be very beneficial. Any app developers creating industry-specific apps, or enterprise apps in general, could also expect high conversion rates. Expect to see the lead generation business hop onto Linkedin mobile ads as soon as they are launched.
What type of mobile ads can we expect from linkedin?
Linkedin offers a couple of different advertising options on it’s main online site. There are ads with a picture and image which are offered on a self-serve basis either on a CPC or CPM model. If you look at the format it’s pretty clear these could be easily replicated on mobile almost as they are given their small size. Linkedin say they are testing ad formats at the moment so we can probably assume one of the options is going to be something very similar to the current online model below.
Typical click-through’s are very low at around 0.025% and cost per click usually backs out around the $2 mark, but can easily hit $4-5. So, if this model is replicated on mobile it’s going to be very expensive compared to existing mobile ad solutions with CPC’s typically ranging as low as $0.05. However, the targeting linkedin offers is where it justifies these high prices – you can target by job title, group membership, geography, industry sector and company to deliver a highly focused ad buy. This is something that mobile ad networks signally fail to deliver right now with demographic targeting on mobile still in its infancy. So, for the right advertisers the high potential price points could still be worth it.
So – Linkedin mobile ads could potentially be very effective for certain types of advertisers. To date, mobile advertising has been very focused on the consumer sector, but linkedin ads could unlock a wave of new potential and growth in the B2B and professional spaces. As always, the first people to experiment with and understand a new mobile ad network can generate a lot of value so it’s worth keeping an eye out to see when and how Linkedin launches its mobile ad platform. We’ll be tracking this closely here at mobyaffiliates of course so look out for more from us as it happens.