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LinkedIn Ads vs. Google Adwords vs. Facebook Ads

I'm impressed by LinkedIn Ads. LinkedIn has been great for recruiters and job seekers. They've been making quite some money on premium accounts and job postings. And now their ads are really spurring growth.

I was given $50 of free ad credit for LinkedIn Ads. Having run ads with Adwords, Bing ads and Facebook ads for my own businesses and for a social gaming company. I was eager to try LinkedIn ads. My experience with it has been really good so far.

LinkedIn ads allow you to target users based on Language, Seniority, Geography, Company, Job Title, Job function, School, Skills, Group, Gender, Age, and Network. This is amazing. You can bid by CPM or CPC and even click "leads" which allow you to start a diagloue with an interested potential customer. One of the annoyances I have is the minimum bid of $2 CPC. It's not really economical for me to advertise at those prices.

My understanding is Google ads are the best for relevancy and timeliness. Since people are actively searching for something, they're more likely to buy right away. Facebook ads are cheaper and have lower CTR because people aren't actively searching.

Google Facebook LinkedIn
Timeliness Adwords has the best timeliness because people are actually actively seeking something. Ads are relevant and delivered at the right time. Normal Facebook ads are not delivered based on what users are searching for and thus not timely. Bing ads show up on facebook search results. Like Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads are not timely.
Cost Google ads tend to run above $1 in my experience. Facebook ads tend to run at around $.80 in my experience. However, these include sponsored stories which have more social proof and supposedly increases recall and CTR because it is associated with friends. LinkedIn ads have a minimum bid of $2 which is higher than both Google and Facebook and $10 minimum daily budget.
CTR Google has the best CTR because of the timeliness and relevancy factors. It's been about .08% in my experience. I've had ads with CTR of 3% to .10% but on average I'd say the baseline is .08%. Facebook has a .02-.04% CTR in my experience. LinkedIn is giving me .05-.06% average CTR
Targeting You target by keywords, networks, devices, locations, etc. The power of Adwords derives from the fact people are looking for what you are selling. Here you're targeting people. You know your ads are reaching your intended auidence. They might not be interested in what you're selling now but they're the people that you want to influence whether it's an awarness campaign or just because they match your target user base profile. With LinkedIn, it's similar to Facebook, you're targeting people based on who they are. However, it's more powerful in a business sense. You can target users based on Seniority, Company, Job Title, Job function, School, Skills, Group, Gender, Age, and Network.
X Factors Network size. Mobile. Retargeting. Analytics Integration. OpenGraph allows marketers to utitilise OG connections. Target friends of friends. Sponsored stories. People who like a page. People who have installed an app. And Facebook keeps experimenting and rolling out new ways to target people. Very exciting. Mobile. Cost Per Action. Fans. Leads. Best way to reach out B2B customers.

LinkedIn Ads is a great tool for marketers needing to target specific professionals. For example if you're a startup selling employee reward programs, you know who you need to target. LinkedIn is the way to go. Just like marketers now are allocating ad budgets to both Facebook and Google, I believe LinkedIn ads will be a growing force once price goes down.



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