Are LinkedIn Ads Worth It?

Are LinkedIn Ads Worth It?

Where does your business put its advertising dollars online?

Facebook, Google, and Amazon are crowding the online advertising space. But what about LinkedIn?

Today’s marketers have tough decisions to make. They need to carefully consider every audience, every ad, and every landing page to maximize their return on ad spend (ROAS).

LinkedIn offers a unique advantage in the profile of its typical audience: business professionals. Many of them are responsible for sizable B2B budgets.

But here’s the rub: These professionals also use Google Search and (very likely) also open Facebook a few times a day.

This begs the question . . .

Are LinkedIn Ads Worth the Higher Cost?

In our experience, LinkedIn ads have resulted in costs per click (CPC) that are around 6x as high as similar ads on Facebook and Google.

If you want to advertise on LinkedIn, prepare to pony up.

In fact, Impact suggests that, in order to see a positive return on investment (ROI) on LinkedIn, companies should prepare to spend between $2,000 to $5,000 every month.

We’re not the only agency experiencing these high costs. WebFX reports that the minimum bid for LinkedIn is $2 per click, and advertisers are expected to pay at least $10 per day to run ads on its platform.

Meanwhile, our own research has shown benchmarks for Google and Facebook ads that are well below this threshold. (Especially with our dynamic retargeting campaigns that reach as low as 2¢ per click!)

Not only are LinkedIn ads expensive, but the platform itself is also not as conducive to collaborative work and maintenance.

Whereas Facebook and Google have made their advertising accounts readily shareable among teams, LinkedIn ads can only be shared with partners from one personal account.

That said, there are certain cases where LinkedIn ads may still be a valuable tactic for your business.

Despite the difference in cost and usability, it’s important to understand the difference in quality as well. How exactly do LinkedIn clickers compare to their counterparts from the other advertising networks — namely, Facebook and Google?

LinkedIn Ads vs. Facebook Ads

In terms of audiences, how does LinkedIn stack up to Facebook? HubSpot illustrates the difference concisely:

Because both platforms are people-based, they provide a number of opportunities to reach your audience. In fact, 78% of American consumers have discovered products on Facebook.

On the other hand, LinkedIn is the most effective platform when it comes to delivering content and securing audience engagement.

So there you have it.

If you want to promote products or services, do so on Facebook. However, if you want to engage a specific business-minded audience and promote your content, try LinkedIn.

This doesn’t mean that LinkedIn is the only place where you can reach the white-collar segments of your audience. In fact, many of the employment targeting options in LinkedIn are also built into Facebook.

However, the context in which people use LinkedIn is inherently more professional than the Facebook news feed, where dank memes, delicious recipe videos, and colorful political opinions thrive.

Because Facebook news feeds are much less predictable, it’s important to consider the environment for your ad as well as the perception of your brand.

LinkedIn Ads vs. Google Ads

In terms of audience reach, it’s hard to out-reach Google Ads. But bigger isn’t always better.

When creating Google Ads, marketers must adjust several targeting settings to make sure they’re using the whole budget while still producing meaningful traffic and qualified leads.

Meanwhile, LinkedIn ads present a simpler set of options for businesses to connect with exactly the right audience. Instapage puts it plainly:

When people sign up with LinkedIn, they provide information on exactly who they are professionally: job title, industry, company name, company size, and more. Advertisers can then use all of that relevant data to target specific accounts.

While these sets of data are available in Facebook ads, they’re used less consistently. For that reason, the professional networking site LinkedIn wins the game of business audience targeting.

While there isn’t a clear winner between running ads on LinkedIn or Google, it’s important to understand the goals of your campaign.

For example, if you want to advertise your manufacturing products to people with specific job titles in specific industries, give LinkedIn ads a shot. However, if you’re trying to engage people who are actively searching for your manufacturing products, try reaching them with Google Ads.

The Verdict on LinkedIn Ads

Think of LinkedIn as the premium option.

If you have enough cash to pay for the higher CPC, and if you have products and services that can create a positive ROAS, LinkedIn ads are likely worth the investment.

Conversions are key.

In addition to ROAS, keep a close eye on your conversion rates. If the goal of your campaign is to get people to download your whitepaper, make sure to responsibly report and recognize the key performance indicators (KPIs) of your campaigns every month.

However, if the higher price tag and business-minded audiences don’t seem like the right fit for your products or services, proceed with caution, and consider a more ubiquitous way of investing your ad money: Google and/or Facebook advertising.

Considering Giving LinkedIn Ads a Go?

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