Use CPM Bidding with Segmentation to beat Linkedin Ads High CPC

Average Cost-Per-Click on Linkedin is high in general.

Clicks on Linkedin are more expensive than Google Adwords for most industries, and certainly more expensive than Facebook Ads in pretty much all industries/Verticals.

Unlike Google Adwords, there are no “intent” signals like keywords on Linkedin.

And unlike Facebook, there is no deep “interest targeting” either.

So this makes Linkedin advertising more complex, especially for a consumer brand.


While a good campaign strategy can take care of these complexities, you still need to deal with the click cost.

One way to do that is to use CPM bidding with tight segmentation.


Let’s take an example:


The above screenshot is from a Linkedin campaign testing CPC vs CPM bidding.

The data highlighted in Red was using CPC bidding, whereas the stats highlighted in Green used CPM bidding.

CPC campaign ran the first week, followed by CPM campaign next week.

Everything else was the same, including the audience, targeting, and ad copy.


As you can see, the difference in average CPC was about 9X times! (For the uninitiated, the CPC achieved for the CPM ad in the screenshot above is about 14 cents.  Which is a lot lower than most verticals in Facebook and Google Adwords.)

And this is not a one-off case either. This approach of (narrow audience by clear segmentation, along with CPM bidding) works pretty much every time. Unless of course, the message in the ad doesn’t resonate with the audience or the targeting is off-target – leading to high CPM, which in turn leads to high CPC.

The trick is segmentation. CPM bidding can exhaust your budget before you know it, and it is important to have a narrow audience defined.

But on Linkedin, the large ad size (for Sponsored Content Ad Unit), the comparatively less cluttered news feed, and the targeting options make CPM works in the favor of the advertisers.

Key points worth noting are:

  • Use a very high-quality, well-designed graphic for your ad copy
  • Focus on getting a high CTR through ad copy and design (which would reduce the CPC)
  • Define a well-segmented audience. Don’t use broad targeting.
  • Use layered targeting. For example, segment audience by City, Company Name & Years of Experience.

Linkedin calculates the average engagement rate per ad. And if you manage to get it above 0.8%, then you are doing great and can expect cheaper clicks.

Note: The Avg. CPC for the CPM campaign is calculated by Linkedin (total spend/total # of clicks)



Leave a Reply