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How to get free advertising from LinkedIn

Free advertising possible on LinkedIn
Free advertising possible on LinkedIn
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

LinkedIn is a powerful social network with an unparalleled audience. It is considered to be one of the best resources for B2B advertising. It is one of the only social networks that can offer full control over reaching your target audience, especially if they are the otherwise unreachable C-level executives. The best part? With their “promote an update” option it is possible to get free advertising.

Promoting an update to a targeted audience is pretty straightforward. There’s a simple form. When filling out the form, the last thing you’re asked to do is define your budget – either total or daily. Let’s say “total” is selected. Neither the form nor the LinkedIn advertising guide explains all the possibilities of what can happen next. Here’s one option that gets you free advertising.

Once the campaign is launched, the sponsored update goes into a cue to be shown to the network. One of the options is to select either pay-per-impression or pay-per-click. This has different implications for your campaign, though the mechanism behind showing ads to the network most likely remains the same. Using LinkedIn’s mechanism, the sponsored update can be “impressed” upon a large number of people simultaneously after going live – but that doesn’t matter too much if the campaign is on a pay-per-click budget.

What can happen when the campaign is on a pay-per-click budget, limited by a total budget, and traffic is especially high but slow? When the sponsored update is loaded in someone’s user feed, it is still fair game to be clicked, since the updates can only disappear if the user refreshes their browser. As a result, LinkedIn has no way of deleting your sponsored updates when the “total” budget runs out because the sponsored updates have already been loaded on someone’s page. So, even if the total pay-per-click budget has run out, your sponsored ad can still get clicks.

The campaign analysis will reflect the number of clicks, how much they cost and the total number of dollars spent on every click. If this happens, the total shown in LinkedIn analytics will be different from the original total budget of the campaign, because LinkedIn is showing the amount of dollars spent including the clicks that were “over-impressed”.

Don’t worry though, LinkedIn can’t charge more than what the original budget permitted. If this happens, enjoy it – it’s free advertising from LinkedIn.