Advertising Battle of the Social Networks:

If you’ve been tracking performance of your social media advertising campaigns or that of your clients, you’ll know that LinkedIn has gotten more expensive in terms of simple cost per click while under-performing other social networks. LinkedIn’s biggest challenge for marketers is it tends to be a place for “Hunting” rather than a network like Facebook which is a site for “Gathering”. In a gathering situation like Facebook, users are more open to exploring possibilities with an open mind such as reading about their friends’ meanderings, checking in on a favorite restaurant, reading about weekend activities, catching up with friends and family, and so on. LinkedIn on the other hand, tends to be a place where visitors have a more singular focus whether it’s connecting with an individual in a particular industry, looking for a job or finding a networking event for a certain industry or topic. Being hunters, LinkedIn visitors are less distracted… and that’s not a good thing for marketers.

The other advantage of Facebook advertising is that ads appear directly in the news feed of targeted individuals, to the extent that they are often indistinguishable from organic posts. It’s not the same on LinkedIn where most ads appear in the right rail and on desktop only. Being in their line of site, Facebook users notice and read news-feed ads on desktop and mobile devices. Users are far more likely to notice and read ads if you’ve done a good job of targeting for relevance by geographic, demographics and specific areas of interest or lifestyles. Add to that, Facebook’s latest and greatest targeting tactic, Re-targeting which allows marketers to present Facebook users with ads based on their search history. This breakthrough gives Facebook ads the relevance of Google Search, the visual appeal of banner ads and a platform that already commands a great attention span. Add video, and engagement with Facebook ads can rival that of Google Paid Search and YouTube advertising.

But don’t throw the towel in on LinkedIn just yet. They recently came out with a new targeting capability that combines LinkedIn targeting (by company information, industry, professional title, etc.) with Bing’s search engine. Thank Microsoft who owns both companies. This new capability now allows you to run a Bing Paid Search campaign with additional filters based on users’ LinkedIn profiles. This can come in very handy when you are running a national campaign or one with a limited budget that benefits from targeting by search combined by company industry or title. For example, you may want to reach people searching for “Cloud Storage” or “Cloud Backup”. But your solution is built for larger enterprises, not consumers or small businesses. Not a problem. Just add LinkedIn filtering to reach only those individuals affiliated with companies with over X number of employees or further target by the title or level of the individuals you are trying to reach.

Like all digital marketing, your industry, goals, audience and length of your sales cycle all play a very important role in determining which channels of marketing you should pursue and which targeting tactics you should utilize within. If you’d like some insights on how to most effectively reach your targeted audience with digital marketing, give us a shout and we’d be happy to chat. Contact or give us a call at 203-682-4585.