To be honest, I’m not sure when this happened. But in my 2 years working with a digital agency, LinkedIn was always a “premium ad” platform. We basically had to go through a media outlet to place ads there. As a matter of fact, I remember we had some form of exclusive agreement to be the advertising partner in Nigeria.

And to give you an idea of why this is important, we had only 2 ways of advertising on LinkedIn. Advertisers had the choice of self served ads, little ads that promoted sponsored posts for example. Or they could put up display type advertising (which went through the agency). The self served ads would usually go for about $1/click, on an average. And premium display advertising used to cost me about 15x more than regular Facebook / Google ads.

No more $1/click for LinkedIn ads! You can now serve ads directly through Google AdWords 🙂Click To Tweet

Just to be sure I never noticed it and it was there all along, I looked for similar queries online. Here’s a recent answer to someone asking about advertising on LinkedIn through Google. PS: This was accepted as correct by a Google Employee

linkedin answer

 

Now that display ads are possible, here’s what the ads look like

linkedin google ads

 

What does this mean for advertisers?

  1. Advertising for one on LinkedIn will now be significantly cheaper
  2. Since display advertising is now on an open platform like Google, small businesses with lower budgets can now reach the platform
  3. Clients with a more business oriented message now have an extra platform they can use for managed placements
  4. LinkedIn will accept text, leaderboard, skyscraper and video ads

Here’s the current inventory listing as seen on the Google Display Planner.

linkedin inventory

What this means for LinkedIn as a platform

What I found a bit troubling about this, outside of the obvious good that it means for us advertisers, is that the platform loses some level of integrity. Seeing that Jiji ad advertising bikes… that just ruined the LinkedIn feel for me. But this is my personal opinion.

The most likely scenario is that LinkedIn realized premium display advertising wasn’t working out for its Nigerian audience. And I say Nigerian because I do not think that LinkedIn has opened fully to Google ads in all African / West African countries. I checked Kenya and I still see only text ads. I’d likely be trying out ads on this platform, will be sure to put up my findings on performance.

What do you think of LinkedIn’s move to start running Google Display ads? Let me know your thoughts

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