Linkedin Advertising Cost – A Complete Overview (Updated 2021)

Are Linkedin Ads worth it today? How much do Linkedin ads cost? What affects your advertising cost?

This article will answer these questions in-depth. But in case you just want the quick short low-down, here it is: 

Average CPC, CPM, and CPS Benchmark for Linkedin:

  • CPC (Cost per click): $5.58
  • CPM (Cost per 1000 impressions): $33.80
  • CPS (Cost per message send): $0.2

But listen, your ad cost will vary. It depends on many factors. 

Knowing the global average is not enough. 

If you’re planning to run ads on Linkedin, you’ll need to know what makes this cost differ.

Ignoring this will end badly for your budget planning.

You won’t know how much budget you need, forecasting is impossible and you can’t answer your boss about your marketing cost. 

It’s like shooting blindfolded. 

Related: How to run a Linkedin Ads in 2021 – A Definitive Guide to Advertising on Linkedin

4 factors you need to know about how Linkedin charges advertisers. 

Linkedin Ad relevance

Linkedin gives a campaign quality score to each campaign. You get a high score when your ads perform well. The higher the score, the lower your ad cost will be. Factors that affect this score include Click-through rate, engagement rate, clicks, likes, shares and comments. 

Target audience

Linkedin’s advertising system operates as an auction. You will bid against other advertisers who target the same audience. Most marketers target senior professionals and decision-makers. Imagine this, If everyone targets the same audience, what happens to the price? It goes up. Because the demand (advertisers) is larger than the supply (inventory). 

Your Bidding strategy on Linkedin

This informs Linkedin how much you’re willing to pay for your audience. This directly affects the price you’ll pay. If you win an auction, you’ll only pay one cent higher than the next highest bidder. That’s what they call a “second-price” auction model.  

Objective

Each objective has different chargeable click behavior. So selecting this will directly affect how you will be charged. 

Through our consultations, we’ve managed over 6 million in ad spend and worked with top brands globally. 

We use this experience and data points to provide an estimation of Linkedin ad costs globally, and regionally. 

Before you dive in, take note that this blog post does not guarantee your exact ad cost. Use this blogpost as a benchmark only. 

This will help you plan your budget and set up goals. 

We aim to give the most detailed cost breakdown Linkedin ads on the internet.

Linkedin CPC By objectives : 

  • CPC based on Lead Generation Objective: $4.22
  • CPC based on Website Visits Objective: $6.84
  • CPC based on Website Conversions Objective: $6.84
  • CPC based on Engagement objective: $2.53

CPMs are the same for all objectives which are around $34.00 CPM average now. 

What are “objectives”? Linkedin breaks down all marketing funnel into 3 categories

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Conversion
3 catogories in CMT

Within each category, there are various marketing objectives. 

Each objective has a different pricing model. For example, brand awareness is charged based on impressions. While Lead generation objectives are charged on clicks. 

That’s why you’ll notice that some objectives do not have a benchmark for CPCs as they are impression-based buying. 

What this means for you: To become good at Linkedin ads, you’ll need to understand the chargeable clicks and click behaviors

Linkedin CPC by Regions:

  • CPC in APAC: $2.78
  • CPC in EMEA: $4.02
  • CPC in LATAM: $1.68
  • CPC in NAMER: $9.64

Company structures are usually divided based on 4 geographies. This results in marketers advertising based on the regions they own. These are the breakdown of average cpc based on regions. 

Linkedin CPC by Countries:

  • Australia: $6.40
  • China: $3.50
  • Hong Kong: $5.00
  • India: $1.15
  • Indonesia: $1.57
  • Japan: $5.26
  • Korea:$4.86
  • Malaysia: $3.36
  • New Zealand: $4.90
  • Philippines: $2.30
  • Singapore: $5.80
  • Taiwan: $3.00
  • Thailand: $3.60
  • Vietnam: $3.40
  • Austria: $5.80
  • Belgium: $4.98
  • Denmark: $4.10
  • Finland: $5.80
  • France: $3.60
  • Germany: $7.90
  • Greece: $2.00
  • Ireland: $4.10
  • Italy: $3.70
  • Netherlands: $3.80
  • Norway: $5.10
  • Portugal: $2.20
  • Russia: $3.90
  • Spain: $3.60
  • Switzerland: $6.00
  • United Kingdom: $7.00
  • United States: $9.90

Targeting by countries will affect your cost too. From the average CPC by country, you’ll notice that matured markets tend to have higher CPCs. These countries are usually home to many business HQs as well. 

The concentration of decision-makers in a country created high demand. Increased conpetition in the ad auction causes prices to spike. 

Linkedin CPC by Industries: 

  • CPC of Technology Industries: $7.00
  • CPC of Finance Industries: $5.70
  • CPC of Education Industries: $4.70
  • CPC of Government Industries: $5.10
  • CPC of Media & Communications Industries: $6.00
  • CPC of Consumer goods Industries: $6.70
  • Others: $5.80

Industry targeting is one of the unique targeting facets of Linkedin.

No other platform gives this depth and scale of professional demographics. Planning to market to any of the above industries? Now you’ll have clarity on the average pricing. 

The above industries are incomplete. There are many other industries that we have not worked with, and do not have the data for. Watch this space as we’ll update it throughout the year. 

Linkedin CPC by Seniorities: 

[List a quick statement about the focus on seniorities on Linkedin] 

  • Average CPC of Senior Decision Makers: $7.20
  • Average CPC of Entry & Mid-Level: $3.20

Linkedin advertisers are here to influence decision-makers. Period. 

So we thought it would make sense to share the average CPC based on seniority levels. In our analysis, we defined senior decision-makers as anyone above the Manager level. That includes CXO, VPs, Directors, Partners, Owners etc. These are all targetable options in your Linkedin campaign manager. 

No surprise, senior decision-makers cost more than x2 to advertise to. 

Why are they a premium? It’s not because Linkedin puts a higher price on them. That’s a myth.

It’s because many advertisers are bidding on them at the same time. Linkedin ads operate in an auction. When many advertisers bid for the same audience, the price goes up. 

A more accurate way to get your ad cost. In real-time. 

If you’re about to run a campaign, knowing the averages are not enough. Averages only give a 40,000 feet high-level view. But when it comes to the ground level execution, you’ll need to arm yourself with real-time data you can rely on. 

A better way would be to use Linkedin’s forecasting tool in your campaign manager tool. 

Here’s where to find it: 

Forecasting tool

Key in your markets and target audience. Then scroll down and you’ll be able to check your CPCs / CPMs as well. 

How to get the most value at the lowest cost from Linkedin

Focusing on pricing is just one piece of the puzzle to see success on Linkedin ads. 

Remember, as long as you give what Linkedin members want, you will succeed. Linkedin wants to reward advertisers for meeting their member’s needs. How? With lower ad costs. 

So pricing and bidding strategies aren’t the only things in play. 

Zero-in on making your ad as relevant and as engaging as possible for your audience. 

This means creating ads that follow best practices, and target the right people. 

If you’re wondering how to create killer linkedin ads, you can check out this compilation of 150+ Linkedin ad examples.

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