While most social networking sites struggle to find advertisers to fill their niche consumer bases, LinkedIn proves that it's a good place not only for professionals to show off, but for advertisers as well. LinkedIn, the social network for business folks, has decided to launch its own advertising network in collaboration with ad network Collaborative Media to secure ads from high-end websites.LinkedIn already caters to higher-end audiences than most sites -- middle-aged men with an average household income of US$ 110,000 -- so their advertising endeavor is a mere capitalizing on its demographics. While LinkedIn is already selling ads on its own site targeting users by industry, seniority, company size, geography, gender and number of connections, the company will now expand that targeting to other partner sites.
Most social networks have a hard time selling ads at more than US$ 1 CPMs (cost per thousand impressions). LinkedIn’s sells ads starting at US$ 30 CPMs. Text ads range from US$ 12 to US$ 20 CPMs.
By having publishers apply to become part of the ad network, LinkedIn will likely register some of its existing content partners such as the BusinessWeek, CNBC and the New York Times.
Every Step You Take
Like watching animals in the wilderness, LinkedIn will track its members by enabling a cookie in their browser, which will identify their membership status, as they visit other partner sites. Though identifying information will not be included in the tag, members will be "grouped" into viable categories to enhance marketing targets. Of course, if the predator lifestyle isn't your thing, you can opt out and browse as you wish without being followed.
Networking Your Worth
It's no secret that social networking sites don't just depend on more users to stay alive. It's advertising revenue that generates their success. But depending upon your network's demographics, there's only so many novelty t-shirts you can sell to keep your site alive. However, if selling novelty BlackBerry covers, or providing career counseling for the economic investor is your thing -- LinkedIn will be sure to thrive all the same.
It's true. At LinkedIn, relationships do matter. And the ones that mean the most are the ones that are worth the most.