In the modern age of PPC you have more paid advertising options than ever and social networks are playing an integral role. Facebook advertising is the biggest threat to Google’s online ad domination, but you also have the likes of Twitter, Pinterest and other big names to help you generate quality leads.
Today we’re looking at a different network though: LinkedIn, which comes with its own advertising system and a number of pros and cons for you to weigh up. The most common complaint we hear though – perhaps unsurprisingly – is the cost of LinkedIn advertising compared to Facebook and other options, but is it worth the expense?
LinkedIn ads aren’t for everyone
As always, there is no best advertising platform for every type of business and, in the case of LinkedIn, it’s B2B marketers who should be most interested. This doesn’t mean you can’t consider LinkedIn ads if you’re not strictly B2B, but this distinction will go a long way to helping you make the decision.
Jamie Hovey, Owner of JLH Virtual Services, aptly lists the common uses for LinkedIn advertising on the network’s Pulse app:
- Your product is B2B or B2G
- Your product is catered to skilled individuals
- You are recruiting specialised employees
- You want to target using job positions, education, skills and experience
- You want to promote professional content
- To collect professional feedback
This puts LinkedIn ads in a very different category to Facebook and AdWords which are typically more effective for B2C campaigns, in two very different ways as well.
Can I afford to advertise on LinkedIn?
We’ve already mentioned that the cost involved in LinkedIn advertising is the most common complaint we hear from business owners. Unsurprisingly, this typically comes from smaller businesses who aren’t blessed with the budget of their larger competitors. And it’s true that LinkedIn ads will typically cost you more than the Facebook equivalent and possibly AdWords too.
Why are LinkedIn Ads so expensive? Can anybody explain that?!
— Julian Gottke (@julian_gottke) April 25, 2015
The main reason for this is individual ads cost more on LinkedIn, which makes it expensive to run multiple ads and test various strategies. You can tame the cost of LinkedIn ads with targeting, bid strategies and solid click through rates, of course, but the learning process can be more expensive.
All things considered though, if ad expense is your main concern then paid advertising maybe isn’t for you. The important question isn’t how much any given platform is going to cost you, but rather how much profit you can expect to make from it.
The value in LinkedIn advertising
We already know that LinkedIn ads are better suited to B2B marketing, but the real key to these ads is the ability to target very specific audiences. LinkedIn targeting is very similar to Facebook and Twitter in the sense you can filter by age, connections and the usual suspects – but LinkedIn also lets you target by industry, job title, skill sets and even specific companies, amongst other things.
This means you can leverage LinkedIn ads to generate highly targeted, valuable leads that are more likely to do business with you. This is the real power of LinkedIn ads – the ability to hone in on B2B prospects that are certain to be interested in your brand and the services you provide.
So in answer to today’s question, yes, LinkedIn advertising can be more than worth the expense and effort if your business is geared towards targeted B2B clients. Take a look at this beginner’s guide to LinkedIn ads for a better idea of where to get started and don’t forget to get in touch if you need any further advice.