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Advertising On LinkedIn Vs. Facebook, Instagram, Google, And YouTube

Creating a sustainable paid media strategy begins with understanding the benefits of each social media platform and what they can each provide for your business’ marketing goals.

Social media marketing is a critical part of success for every business. It can be a sustained growth driver and helps you generate purchase intent, inbound quality leads, and grow your brand awareness. With so many social media platforms available, one of the most common questions asked among marketing leaders and CEOs is...

What channels should I advertise on?

Deciding which platform to market on depends on a variety of factors including but not limited to your demographics (some platforms are better for reaching different audiences), the user base of each social media channel, estimated budget (some platforms are more costly), your product/service offering, and the content for which you are promoting.

Sometimes it can feel like you're at a crossroads, but fear not! In this guide, you will learn the differences and advantages of marketing on LinkedIn and some of the other major social channels. Sorry, not sorry Twitter.

For business owners, heads of marketing, founders, and CEOs, advertising on LinkedIn is going to be your best bet to promote your company, product, or service offering (especially for lead generation in B2B markets). Let’s dive into some of the differences between LinkedIn, Facebook, and the other social media platforms you can use to advertise your brand, product, and/or service.

LinkedIn advertising vs. Facebook/Instagram advertising

Instagram is the ultimate social media platform for sharing photos with more than 90 million photos being posted each day. It's a platform that influencers flock to with the goal of growing their audience. If you are in e-commerce, Instagram will be a key driver to your digital marketing success. Be prepared to have a range of high-quality photos and videos to showcase your offering.

Facebook has 2 billion active users globally compared to LinkedIn’s 550 million users globally. If you are looking to reach more people, Facebook helps you achieve that goal. However, keep in mind that Facebook users typically do not have a 'buyer's mindset' and usually spend their time on Facebook scrolling through their feeds with the intent of engaging with friends, responding to event invites, or looking at silly cat memes (🤚guilty as charged). If you are running an ad campaign you'll generally want to focus on a specific set of people to target, so although your audience reach matters, the intent of your audience matters more, so LinkedIn is the obvious choice for a B2B marketing campaign when deciding between LinkedIn and Facebook marketing.

LinkedIn users, on the other hand, are business professionals who are on the platform with the intent of actively networking, looking to better their careers, enhancing their workflow and LinkedIn profile, searching for jobs, and for products or services that will make them more productive. Users on LinkedIn are in the 'buying mindset' and that is the biggest reason the platform is 277% more effective for lead generation.

LinkedIn advertising vs. Google/YouTube advertising

Google Advertising is best used for intent-driven searches. Since Google averages about 70% of desktop search engine market share and over 80% of mobile search market share, it is easy to see why it would be the most natural place to find people who know exactly what they are looking for.

Sure, Google can be a great advertising platform to target people who we already know are showing intent (based on their searches), but Google is a very competitive space, and search traffic (and reach) can be much lower than on LinkedIn. Google Ads is also boosted by SEO efforts so if your company has neglected this or has not undertaken SEO efforts yet this might not be the best option for your digital marketing efforts.

If you are a company that thrives in local markets and has a smaller target audience Google Ads might be right for you to break through your competitors (think restaurants, small shop owners, etc.). On the other hand, if you are for example selling IT software, this will be very competitive on Google Ads, so be prepared for a higher cost commitment to outbid your competition.

Deep dive into LinkedIn advertising

With millions of professionals researching and tapping into insight on how to better themselves and their companies, LinkedIn is the best platform for your B2B marketing strategy. It's proven that LinkedIn is the most efficient platform for quality lead generation. According to HubSpot (in a recent study they conducted),

"LinkedIn generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate at 2.74%, almost 3x higher (277%) than both Twitter (.69%) and Facebook (.77%)."

Why does LinkedIn work so well for B2B digital marketers?

Higher intent

While Instagram users tend to be engaging with celebrities and Facebook is filled with just about everybody, LinkedIn allows business professionals to be seen as thought leaders, connect with other business owners interested in their product/service offering, and ultimately boost their sales pipeline with a strategic LinkedIn marketing ad campaign. When marketing on LinkedIn, you are marketing to people who are already in the market and looking for what you offer. You have added intent baked in which is priceless.

Better targeting options

Since most people don’t input information such as where they work or positions they’ve held in the past on Facebook, it is easier to create your ideal target on LinkedIn. You can target by job title, job function, skill set, groups they are affiliated with, seniority, years of experience, and several other filters to reach your ideal prospects.

LinkedIn is 277% more effective for lead generation

List targeting (otherwise known as account-based marketing)

On LinkedIn, you can import an entire list of emails and/or company names to set your target audience for your ad campaigns. You can also expand on these lists with lookalike audiences (available on every social media ads manager) which allows you to expand upon your target audience if your audience size is lower than intended. Fun fact: every platform allows you to upload email lists, but LinkedIn is the only platform where you can upload a company list. Why does this matter? Company list uploads allow for extended reach opportunities. Instead of reaching only engineer John Doe at XYZ Inc., you can now reach all engineers at XYZ Inc. This feature allows sales and marketing teams to scale quickly.

Full funnel

It's easy to build a successful full-funnel marketing strategy on LinkedIn. Take this sample campaign as an example for how you can lead prospects through your funnel -- video ad that educates about your product/service (top-funnel), follow up by promoting a blog post (mid-funnel), end with a case study for them to download to capture the prospects' contact information (lower-funnel) and follow up with a re-marketing campaign with another piece of valuable content to draw them in if you haven't been in contact with the lead yet.

Implementing these tips into your social media marketing strategy is a great first step towards seeing your lead pool expand. If you’d like to talk through these social platforms, lead generation, digital marketing, social media marketing, and/or LinkedIn advertising strategies don’t hesitate to get in touch for a free consultation!