Dear LinkedIn Ads: Editorial Consistency Please!

As you may have heard, LinkedIn has updated its previously anemic DIY advertising platform to include targeting specific job titles and companies. LinkedIn PPC is now useful for a range of paid b2b direct-response and branding tactics. We’ve been getting our hands dirty to gratifying success.

Even aside from the flaky UI that (poof) vaporizes half-hours of work from time to time and high CPCs, I just have to say, “Here we go again…” Back in the day it was Overture PPC’s inconsistent editorial process that stunk up the room, making search marketers’ lives miserable.  Then the Paid Stumble(Upon) social media advertising fire drill confused many of us with editorial decisions that stupefied. Facebook’s ad screening process is a bit convoluted, if not outright queer and only predictable in  its unpredictability.  Now we’re finding that LinkedIn Ads PPC ads editorial process is hardly ready for prime time. This is a story of ads approved, run, rejected, and then approved unchanged again.

First, don’t depend on getting ads approved at night.  It’s not uncommon to wait until the sun rises in Mountainview for an editorial decision to be rendered. The solution for that is easy. Don’t leave any mission critical deployment for the last minute.

Human After All
If you work for LinkedIn and happen to be reading this, I’m here to tell you that inconsistency in your teams interpretation of  LinkedIn Ads Guidelines is what will drive PPC practitioners nuts.  Please train the editors better or fix the algorithm.

Last week we successfully ran a small campaign which served up 261,149 impressions, targeted Minnesota-wide, featuring quirky branding ads.  There was no call-to-action by design because we wanted to serve impressions without paying for many clicks.  This is a classic contextual PPC branding tactic. The ads were approved and ran over the course of about 10 days and, we assume, LinkedIn enjoyed the $223.63 paid. Then we paused the ads.

Last night I wanted to target the same ads to a single company.  We duplicated the campaign, targeted and submitted the new campaign which subjected the ads to another round of approval. Sure the copy was off the beaten path but these ads had already run for days in another campaign, to the expected level of success.

Imagine our surprise when, about 12 hours later, all four new versions of the old ads were rejected.  As an aside, you will note in the rejection email that “You can submit your advertisement for re-review by: umm, hmmm, I wonder what is supposed to go where the blank space is?

Look, maybe the copy should have been rejected the first time around. Whatever…that’s fine.  All we ask for is consistency in the review process.  BTW, it was no problem to re-target the ads. We went back to the original campaign’s approved versions of the ads and changed the targeting. They ran all day today with no trouble at about the same CTR.

Think I’m just picking nits? While writing this post, I resubmitted the rejected ads in the new campaign, without changing any of them. The ads below and at the top of this post were accepted within seconds. Go figure. The others are still under review. I probably won’t know the status of those  until the sun rises over Silicon Valley.

Sadly, we suppose the takeaway is that, if you have an ad rejected, submit it over and over until the ad is accepted.

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