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How to promote your business in Germany with Xing

An overview of the advertising opportunities that the professional social network Xing gives to a company

Abstract of material on the social network Xing

What is Xing

A business-oriented social network, a local analog of LinkedIn, popular among the German-speaking segment of Europe (Germany, Austria, Switzerland). The audience is more than 22 million users.

Xing social network - what is it?

Key features of business advertising in Germany through Xing

The first and most important note is that Xing has several gradations of features, and the advertising functionality for personal accounts and businesses differs significantly. In this piece, I will review the freelancer cabinet, which is available without additional business verification.

In general, the tendency to separate accounts is logical and is present in all major market players, starting with Adwords (Adwords Express)* and Facebook** (the “Promote” button is actually nothing but one of the ways to run advertising, allowing you to create and access a simplified account). In RU-space it is Yandex.Business with its hidden Yandex.Direct cabinet.

No matter how popular a media platform is in the country, no matter how actively it is used by natives, in most cases local solutions of social networks always have disadvantages, and Xing is no exception. When promoting through it in Germany, two contradictions can be encountered:

  • on the one hand, there is less advertising on the site and more chances to “catch fish” (some part of the specialized audience “sits” in this social network);
  • on the other hand, the weak capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI) to train advertising campaigns (there are about 22 million users in the network, so there is not enough data to train algorithms).

The contradictions of promoting through Xing

Advertising Office

When you open an office in Xing, you will immediately notice that it is very similar to the one in LinkedIn. But in practice, the functionality is ten times less.

At first glance, everything is familiar, even there is an option of geotargeting with details. Either region or radius:

Selecting a location in Xing

However, the regions are only available for promotion in Germany. And in the radius settings there is no possibility to set several radii at the same time. It will not be possible to launch one bundle for all cities with millions of inhabitants.

Available geo-targeting for advertising: Germany, Austria, Switzerland. The number of users for 2023 – 22 million, in the ratio: 18.849 million / 1.779 million / 1.420 million.

Number of Xing network users

I liked that 6% of the audience was in the premium segment (owners, directors).

Working with Xing advertising cabinet

What is even more surprising is that the social network, which is popular in Germany and Europe, but virtually unknown in Russia and CIS countries, has a search for businesses in the RU-segment for targeting:

Search for RU-segment enterprises

I was not lazy and tested the hypothesis by selecting ALL RU-companies available by letters of the alphabet. And what a disappointment – the function turned out not to work (total targeting – less than 1k), which speaks of poor moderation in local languages, which leads to “garbage” registrations:

Testing the hypothesis about RU-segment in Xing

I extended the test to English and German, and it became obvious that in general this function is poorly used in promotion. If you enter all the possible names of an Austrian company that operates in 50+ countries, you still don’t get enough audience to run ads.

Features of targeting in Xing

In the end, this targeting will work for you if you are targeting a certain segment of companies in a certain industry (e.g. construction) and the market leaders in Germany:

Targeting Germany's market tops in Xing

However, this functionality complements (augments) the already ready targeting by industry.

Targeting in Xing by industry

Subjectively, having made a crawl of all GmbH subsidiaries of large construction companies and manually clicking the targeting by industry, I immediately saw a loss of about 15% of the audience. This suggests that not all companies are assigned industry statuses in the system or are assigned inaccurately. Of course, hardly anyone will do manual assembly for advertising tests, but for serious “battle” advertising launches in Germany (and other German-speaking countries), it would not hurt to manually select companies.


Check. However, the selection algorithm is not clear. Expansion of the audience is done, but to what size from the selected one – it is not said. This, of course, complicates promotion.

Artificial Intelligence

AI is present in two variations:

  • Expansion of current targeting parameters. Unfortunately, the site does not give an on-the-fly assessment of how much it plans to expand the targeting, unlike, for example, FB. When promoting via Xing in Germany, the need for this setting will have to be determined empirically.
  • Expanding to similar candidates. When you are looking for an employee for an open position (the social platform was originally created mainly for this purpose), Xing allows you to intelligently expand the targeting to similar candidates, even if they are not currently in the search status, but their behavior in the social network is similar to those who are looking for a job.


There are two options of rates to choose from: for clicks and CPM. The minimum bid per click is 2 EUR, the minimum budget per day is 2 EUR. The minimum bid for CPM is 3 EUR, respectively, and the minimum budget per day is 3 EUR.

Subjectively – expensive. On the other hand, tests in LinkedIn are more expensive. The minimum cost per click is the same there, but the minimum daily budget is 10 EUR (~300 EUR per month). That is, to run 10 tests for a month in Linkedin will cost 3k EUR, while in Xing you can cut test expenses by 5 times. That’s why in Linkedin we mostly use retargeting capabilities, bringing the main traffic from other systems where potential clients “sit”.

The standard “bypass” of the click price is a deep freeze with creatives. That is, you need to break through 1.5-2.5% CTR, then you will buy a good volume of quality traffic for reasonable money. In other words, for more or less effective advertising on Germany in the social network Xing will have to test 5-10 creos per week and re-fill, re-fill, re-fill… And what else is there to do without AI? 😊

Also surprising in targeting was the lack of ability to choose the language of the target audience (CA), which, in fact, makes it very difficult to launch an advertising campaign on this social network. To advertise effectively, you need to have a fully customized funnel and a product in German (for promotion in Germany and German-speaking countries) or English.

Minuses and pitfalls of Freelance Cabinet

  • There is no functionality for lead generation and payment for leads. That is, there is no optimization of ads – only creatives and texts, only hardcore with manual optimization.
  • In the basic cabinet (the so-called freelancer’s cabinet) there is only one type of creatives – a 9:16 picture. Not 16:9 – horizontal wide, but vertical creatives! You will have to put an additional workload on the designer. The creative will be displayed only in the feed and in the Xing Messages section:

Xing creatives

  • There is no possibility to run video advertising in the basic tariff. It is available only in business plans with budgets from 5k EUR. Mobile ads and event promotion (Xing Event Plus) – same here.
  • Paid messaging (not to be confused with Xing Messages playlist). The essence of mailing is delivery with notification. Available only through professional account, with advertising budgets from 30k EUR.
  • Sponsored articles (promotional posts) are available from 10k EUR advertising budget, so you can’t get your “blog” in one of the most popular professional social networks in Germany 😠.
  • There are bugs – for example, it doesn’t allow not all domains for advertising (and for mail reports). And it turns out at the last step of payment, although the first step (checking the URL) the domain passes.

Disadvantages of the Xing social network


Judging by the “rawness” of the advertising cabinet, the grid is still lightly loaded with advertising. It means that there is no banner blindness in such a volume as in other networks. There is a possibility to make a result in promotion on Germany with relatively simple bundles.

The volume of case studies on the network and YouTube videos support this hypothesis – there are hardly any advertisers there.

Xing can be used for HR functions, i.e. hiring with digital marketing tools. There is even auto-targeting for those who are looking for a job. For example, I see it worthwhile to build a message funnel when the task is to search for a certain homogeneous group of IT specialists (from 10-15 people), and allocate a budget of 30k for this. When scaling a team in a given location this can be very relevant.

Judging by experience with other social networks, the following schemes will be working bundles in Xing:

  • industry + age + geo;
  • company size + industry + age + geo;
  • position + geo + age;
  • position + industry;
  • company size + position.

Advertising bundles should be done in a hypersegmentation format. Let’s say your product is a cloud CRM that can be customized for different types of businesses, and you’re going to advertise it to Germany. Here are examples of a set of bundles I would recommend for tests.

  • XXX (type of industry, e.g. medicine) + owners on a wide geo + lendings (5-6 pcs. by type of business) adapted for this CA (headlines, subheadings, infographics, interface examples);
  • XXX (type of industry, e.g. medicine) + owners of companies of a certain size on a wide geo + lendings (5-6 pcs.) adapted to this CA (headlines, subheadings, infographics, examples of interface);
  • the same as above + a funnel in messenger with a warm-up or training (intro) of your product in conjunction with a lead magnet. Such a bundle will also work for streaming recruitment, when inside there will be a lifestyle story about the life of the company and a lead-up to the interview.

The social network has retargeting, also product videos can be retargeted through YouTube retargeting, if you buy traffic from 3000 visits per segment from Xing.

Who else can benefit from social network promotion and advertising?

  • EdTech platforms, online schools, etc. – A combination of the right CA looking for a job/training/internship + high average check, low competition.
  • Telecom businesses – large corporate contracts, brand reach.
  • Fintech businesses – brand reach.
  • SaaS, Mobile App developers – low competition, good audience capacity (but it is possible to launch only in a pro office, although simple tests on CTR of bundles can be done in an ordinary one).

Who can be promoted at Xing

For ourselves, we poured in several creatives using the methodology described above.

Promoting a company/product on the German market with the help of a popular professional community can be successful if you clearly understand the peculiarities of the site, use proven bundles and test hypotheses. And also take into account the country’s advertising laws and the different mentality of local residents.

Important information for those who are bringing their business to other markets

  • We maintain a Telegram channel where we share our team’s experience and cases on entering foreign markets.
  • My free guide on reviewing PR platforms in the CIS segment for IT can be downloaded here.
  • Our paid guide on foreign marketing is available here.

* – the company violates the laws of the Russian Federation.

** – the company is recognized as extremist on the territory of the Russian Federation.


Petr Dzyuba

IT marketing expert

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