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The Ultimate LinkedIn Ad Guide (& How it Compares to Facebook)

LinkedIn and Facebook, chalk and cheese, right? LinkedIn is often personified as the humourless academic, wary of the brave new world of social media and being dragged into it kicking and screaming all the way.

Facebook meanwhile, clad in shoddy trainers, is more like a recent graduate, still equipped with an innate chirpiness the world has yet to rob them of and flourishing in an era where ‘Likes’ and ‘Emojis’ are a typical means of communicating.

Things have changed

Maybe this was true once upon a time. Back when social media was considered ‘new’ and ‘cutting edge’. Now, we live in a time where our lives and our businesses are expected to be presented via social media.

Especially our businesses. To not have a presence, or better still multiple presences, tends to turn people off. Because in 2017, it’s not considered professional to be absent from social media.

Which is why Facebook, inevitably did not remain as primarily a personal platform and why LinkedIn could not remain at odds with the style and etiquette social media demands of its users.

The ultimate LinkedIn advertising guide

So, does this mean then that Facebook and LinkedIn are the same and interchangeable?

Facebook is mighty because it works for everyone. If your sole aim is to keep in touch with Jenny who you knew ten years ago from school, Facebook can accommodate you. If you’re a multi-million company wanting to resonate with your audience via targeted, creative advertising, Facebook can not only accommodate, it can be a catalyst for great success.

LinkedIn – not for everyone?

LinkedIn, on the other hand, is not for ‘everyone’ because it’s not concerned in you sharing pictures of your new-born or the failed pancake you created last night. In this way, it has remained true to its roots and kept its USP of being purely for professionals.

The real question here then is, how do they compare in terms of advertising? Is one better than the other? Do you only need one platform? So many questions and so little time.

In this ultimate LinkedIn ad guide, we will take you through all the advertising opportunities LinkedIn offers you, comparing the advertising options to those of Facebook, before having a Jeremy Kyle style showdown between the two to see who triumphs (cue boxing-ring bell).

The Basics: A LinkedIn Company Page

A Company Page

So, with any luck, you’ll already have one of these set up, but if not it’s easy. Simply go to the Work tab at the top right and scroll down to ‘create a company page’. Enter your company name and then you’ll be able to generate a company URL which will typically look like this:

linkedin.com/company/[Company Name]

Next, you need to verify that you are in fact a representative of the company by checking a box and then simply click ‘create page’. Unless you already have one, you might also be prompted to add an email address at this point too.

From here it’s simply a case of dressing the page up. Adding a company logo and background image plus a 250-2,000-word company description. You can also determine the kind of groups and influencers you wish to see in your company’s newsfeed and start adding posts.

Congratulations, you are now the proud owner of a company page that is simply bursting with potential.

Potential being the key word, a page that sits inactive, on any platform, is worse than no page at all.

So, now that we’ve got it, let’s flaunt it.

A Quick Rundown of Targeting Options

LinkedIn have an impressive amount of targeting options which you can utilise for your advertising campaigns. These include:

  • Company size
  • Job title
  • Field of study
  • Gender
  • Member Groups
  • Skills
  • Location
  • Education
  • Job Seniority
  • Job Function
  • Industry
  • Company name
  • Age

These are the main umbrella targeting options, most of which have more detailed subsets allowing you to create highly layered audiences.

Facebook vs LinkedIn Targeting?

This is a tricky one. There is no denying that LinkedIn’s targeting options are very good, they are layered and able to attack any professional sphere from any angle, be it Industry, Location or Job Seniority. The problem is, Facebook can attack anyone from any angle, meaning you can create emotive adverts as opposed to just logical ones.

So, for example, on LinkedIn you can target your ‘RSPCA Nurse role’ ad to members who have the right qualifications and are in the right location. Very logical and sure to reap rewards.

But Facebook means you can add the emotional layer of targeting people who also have shown an interest in the things surrounding the job in question, e.g. followers of animal rights pages, etc.

This additional layer can make for a more niche ad to a wider audience.

LinkedIn Ad Options

LinkedIn Ad Options

A Quick Breakdown of Ads and Specifications:

LinkedIn Ad Breakdown

Sponsored Content

The clues in the name with this one. This is an ad that began life as an organic post on your company page. You notice one day that it is resonating remarkably well with your audience and decide it is worth putting money behind. The content, once it has made the transition from organic to sponsored will be marked as ‘Sponsored’ to viewers and can take many forms, including an article, a news post or a YouTube video.

LinkedIn Sponsored Content

The key thing with Sponsored Content is that you are essentially taking the content from just being seen by your followers to being distributed to a wider, targeted audience that you determine. Your followers are in essence the canary down the mine, is this safe to put out into the wider world? Yes? Excellent.

To take a piece of content from organic to Sponsored, simply click the button below your chosen post that says, ‘Sponsor Content’ which will take you to the following screen:

Welcome To Campaign Manager

As you can see there are three options here, ‘Sponsored Content’, ‘Sponsored Inmail’ and ‘Text Ads’. We’ll get to the other two later but for now you need to click ‘Sponsored Content’.

The next page you’ll see is this:

Welcome to Campaign Manager Welcome to Campaign Manager

Fill in the form including company name and which currency you’ll be paying in before clicking ‘next’The next page you’ll see is the one above where you name your campaign. You’ll notice there are two options below that, either ‘send people to your website or content’ or ‘collect leads using LinkedIn lead gen forms’, we’ll get to those at some point, for now though, you need to pick the first one and click ‘next’.

At this juncture, you need to choose which of your organic posts you wish to use as the celebrity for your Sponsored Content campaign. Pick one and click next.

Target Audience

This is where the voodoo happens, or, as we marketers call it, the targeting happens. As you can see there is a plethora of demographics you can choose from in order to create a highly detailed and layered audience.  How you chose to target is a much trickier thing to sum up in neat little soundbite, but as with any platform that offers targeted advertising, it’s best to not go too granular, at least not at first.

That said narrower your targeting, the more expensive your outlay and the shorter the window of opportunity (you’ll run out of people to show your ad to). But arguably, the more precise your results will be.

So, a bigger audience will typically be cheaper, but your results will be less precise.

The trade-off then is to target for a specific goal, and then expand on good results.

Anyway

Save Audience

Once you’ve created your audience you’ll notice there are two other tick-boxes

The top option is the audience expansion option, which is essentially like the lookalike audience option you can choose with Facebook. The difference here is that it’s added onto your targeted audience with LinkedIn, rather than treated as an additional option as with Facebook. We recommend ticking it either way.

The second option you’ll see is the opportunity to deliver your campaign to your target audience beyond the LinkedIn feed. You’ll also notice this option is still in its beta stage. Fundamentally this allows you to send your content to partner sites of LinkedIn, thus gaining you an even bigger audience reach. Again, this is essentially LinkedIn’s answer to Facebook’s Audience Network.

It’s worth noting that whilst this option comes at no additional cost, you will likely find you get through your budget quicker as your impressions will generally go up.

Tick that box when you want to scale your ad campaign, after successful initial testing and results have come in.

Next:

Ad Spend

You can either manage your budget in terms of Impressions or Clicks (CPM or CPC). You have the same amount of control as with Facebook’s budgeting system with an added benefit of being given suggestions based on what other advertisers who are a running similar campaign are spending.

Again rule of thumb, if you want people to click your ad – start with CPC bidding.

Launch Campaign
The above is the last panel you’ll see and all that’s left to do is part with your money, wave your ad goodbye and wish it well for the future.

Comparison to Facebook

Sponsored Content is, for all intents and purposes, LinkedIn’s version of Facebook’s boosting of a post. The audience tailoring, bidding system, and format are all but identical.

The differences come in the targeting options. With Facebook, you can literally target anyone and anything, even if it’s women between the ages of 30-60 who like cacti. LinkedIn, unsurprisingly only target within the professional sphere which is very good, but nothing that Facebook doesn’t also do.

The other difference is that Facebook’s lookalike audience is an additional facet, whereas (under a different guise) you can add it to your sponsored content in LinkedIn without having to create another ad set.

Direct Sponsored Content

Improve Performance With Direct Sponsorship

Unlike Sponsored content, this does not appear on your company page, but it does appear in the audience’s news feed, allowing you to test your content without unnecessarily cluttering up your company page.  It also means that someone other than the page admin (though their permission is necessary) can add this content as it doesn’t begin life on your company/showcase pages.

So, the same procedure as before when creating this one. However, when you come to the page where you would choose which post to ‘boost’ you instead click the ‘create new sponsored content’.

This will open a new window with the ‘what’s on your mind?’ prompt where you can create a post from scratch. You can add a link, an image or a video. You can also check how it looks via the ‘preview’ button before pressing ‘save’.

121 Campaign

You’ll now see in your available content log that you can opt for the Direct Sponsored ad you’ve just created.  From this point you continue as before, with defining your audience and creating your budget.

Sponsored Content Versus Direct Sponsored Content

There’s a few key differences that might make you opt for one ad type over the other here. For instance, the great thing about Direct Sponsored Content is that unlike standard Sponsored Content, it doesn’t flag up on your company page, which means your followers aren’t bombarded with repetitive posting.

On the other hand, a standard piece of Sponsored Content can have the benefit of having a lot of pre-gained engagement on it (i.e. your canaries giving the signal that you’ve produced a good un’) giving it the social proofing a Direct piece does not have the luxury of.

There’s also the key issue of split-testing which is a fundamental part of any strategy regardless of the platform you choose to operate on. The only way to successfully split test in this case would be to use the Direct Sponsored Content option, otherwise once again, you have the issue of irritating the very people you’ve worked so hard to gain the respect of.

Our advice? Sponsored Content is for now and then, Direct Sponsored for the majority. Or if you prefer, the 80/20 rule.

Comparison to Facebook

Facebook

Direct Sponsored Content is the long-winded way of saying a ‘Dark post’ in Facebook vernacular. If we had to pick a platform to do this Darkly Directed Posting (see what we did there) we would probably say the Facebooks campaign manager is more intuitive and again, you have slightly more dexterity in what you can actually incorporate into the ad itself. Not only that but the targeting is just much wider, even if you are using Facebook for primarily professional causes, its layers of targeting still manage to beat LinkedIn’s options.

Text Ads

Text Ads

For a time, Text Ads were the only advertising method you had at your disposal on LinkedIn. Back when LinkedIn was still being a bit sullen and throwing Facebook dirty looks. Very much like Facebook’s version, LinkedIn’s Text ads are easily the simplest form of ad and live in the right-hand column.  A small logo, headline and a snippet of copy make these little ads, which live under the ‘ads you may be interested in’ area of the feed.

Text Ads Point Text Ads 2

To create a Text Ad, you go through the same process as before, obviously choosing the Text Ad campaign. Fill out all the fields as prompted, choosing the URL you want the ad to lead to, the layout and giving a brief description.

Then, as before, you go through the detailed targeting, bidding and finally payment windows.

And there you have it, a foxy little text ad.

Sponsored InMail

Sponsored InMail

Sponsored InMail is quite a clever fish in that it only delivers to your targeted audience when they’re online, meaning that your message is ‘fresh’ and more likely to be readily received.

InMail also allows for personalised invites to events and the promotion of content or services. Lastly, the aesthetically pleasing design means that your Call to Actions are always prominent no matter what device your audience is viewing it on.

Again, follow the initial steps in the campaign manager, but instead of selecting ‘Sponsored Content’ you instead need to choose ‘Sponsored InMail’. We know, it’s quite the plot twist.

Create InMail Campaign

The image above shows the next step, where you’ll decide the InMail ad name and who is going to be the allotted sender. It’s important to consider who will best resonate with an audience when completing this section. As the old saying goes, it’s who you know that often swings things, so rather than have someone who has no commercial presence, you need to pick someone who is considered to be an influencer where possible.

Add Inmail Content

The next window will be where you create the message itself. You’ll need a punchy subject line, a message that sounds non-generic and a footer if you think it’s necessary. You can also use custom greetings to make your emails feel that bit more tailored.

InMail Banner URL

The next step is to add the relevant landing page URL, a CTA and an image. It’s worth mentioning that utilising the banner image here is a must too, not only does it enforce your brand but if you opt to not use it, another may be put in its place which, to be frank, kind of sucks.

The next options are the same as before, audience targeting, payment method and bidding style. You’ll also get a nudge that you might want to consider split-testing your email campaigns, which once again, we would recommend on any platform for any campaign where possible. Either split on copy or image, not both right away, elsewise you run the risk of not necessarily knowing what it is you’ve discovered when one campaign outperforms the other.

General & Display Ad Formats

So, we’ve seen the various Ad Campaigns, now let’s have a quick look at the formats available to us:

Link-Sharing

Link Sharing

This is a Sponsored Content ad option and allows you to scrape information using a URL in the typical fashion. You can edit the image and tailor your ad copy.

The Basic Criteria for ‘Link Sharing ads’ :

  • Image Size: 1.91:1 ratio (1200x627px)
  • Introductory Text: 150 characters or less, including the landing page URL
  • Title: 70 characters or fewer

Embedded Rich Media

Embedded Rich Media

Again, this is a Sponsored/Direct Sponsored campaign format which allows you to incorporate a variety of formats (aside from video).

The Basic Criteria for ‘Embedded Rich Media:

  • Image Size: 1.91:1 ratio (1200x627px)
  • Introductory Text: 150 characters maximum
  • Embedded Videos aren’t supported in ad campaigns yet, which is missing a trick we think!

Click Flow Ads

Click Flow Ads

Click Flow ads are only available in the Sponsored/Direct Sponsored Content campaigns and are essentially ads which go out of their way to give you every opportunity to engage or convert. You can include a link to your company page, landing page as well as a link to the mobile details page so you can see the level and type of engagement an ad’s received.

The Basic Criteria for ‘Click Flow ads:

  • Introductory Text: 150 characters maximum
  • Image Size: 1.91:1 ratio (1200x627px)
  • Landing page, Company page URL link within text and embedded within the logo and/or image.

Lead Gen Ads

Lead Gen Ads

These are one of the better formats of Sponsored/Direct Sponsored Content campaigns. When a viewer clicks on the ad their information is automatically uploaded into the form including their name, contact details, job title, company name etc. Which means all the viewer has to do is click submit. The joy is that if someone has clicked on your ad, they have already shown a certain amount of intent, so to then be met with a pre-filled form is nothing short of a delight. Much the same way being given a puppy, rather than a parking ticket is a joy. Not that those are the usual options put forward when you park badly…

We digress…

The Basic Criteria for ‘Lead Gen Ads:

  • Headline: 40 characters maximum
  • Offer details: 160 characters’ maximum, which truncates after roughly 70 characters.
  • Must have a privacy policy URL that links to your company’s privacy policy page

Video

LinkedIn Ad Video

Videos were being hailed as the next big thing in 2016, which was strange because they’ve been doing a good job for years – increased engagement for less ad spend, that’s video. But that’s not important, what is important is that any marketer worth his salt knows that video is king among social media ads, and without it you can be missing out.

Part of the Sponsored and Direct Sponsored campaigns, Video uploads to LinkedIn can be scraped from a YouTube, SlideShare or Vimeo URLs.

Fair warning; Videos are powerful, but they can also eat up your budget so make sure the videos you’re uploading are not just a heavy sales pitch, actually offer value and that the landing page they direct to is congruent.

The Basic Criteria for ‘Video/SlideShare’:

  • Video format: YouTube, SlideShare or Vimeo URLs.
  • Introductory Text 150 characters maximum which includes the landing page URL.
  • Title: 70 characters maximum

Dynamic Ads

Follow this link for a full list of Dynamic Ad Specifications: https://www.linkedin.com/help/lms/answer/72819?query=Dynamic

Dynamic Ads

Dynamic Ads come in four different formats:

  • ‘Follow Company Ads’
  • ‘Jobs You May Be Interested In’
  • ‘Spotlight Ads’
  • ‘Picture Yourself’ Ads.

All these ad formats require you to go through LinkedIn’s Account Team support and is dependent on your quarterly marketing budget, (the minimum ad spend based on CPM is $25,000 per quarter) as opposed to the three self-service options of Sponsored Content, Direct Sponsored Content and Sponsored InMail (Sponsored InMail has both self-service and managed options).

(Click here for access to the Dynamic Ads submission form)

Dynamic ads have the core benefit of reacting to the behaviour of your audience, meaning they are highly personalised to whoever views them.  There are generally used to generate more followers, highlight job openings, or drive more conversions.

The Follow Company Ads

Company Following Ads

‘The Follow Company Ads’ option is, in a shocking twist, used primarily to generate more followers for your company. They are essentially display ads which utilise the viewer’s data in order to present them with a customised ad that will resonate and hopefully, coax them to convert.

The Basic Criteria for ‘Follow Company Ads’:

  • A Primary CTA: 50 characters’ maximum including spaces. This shows below your image.
  • A Secondary CTA: 70 characters’ maximum including spaces. This shows above your image.
  • Company Name: 25 characters’ maximum including spaces.
  • A main logo or image: 100x100px (recommended).
  • A ‘Visit’ CTA. If the viewer is already a follower of your company then the ‘Visit’ CTA will revert to either ‘Visit Company’ or ‘Visit Careers’ depending on what you would prefer.

Spotlight Ads

Spotlight Ads

Spotlight ads are an excellent way to raise awareness about your company and urge people to become part of your community and thus grow your following. Once again, they dynamically scrape the viewer’s details including their profile image, and allow you to customise the CTAs and image.  You can also include your company logo and of course, a link to your landing page.

And fear not, in instances where a member hasn’t uploaded a profile image, LinkedIn will cleverly insert and centre your logo or image instead.

You can also add a customised background for a particularly striking ad:

Spotlight Ads

The Basic Criteria for ‘Spotlight Ads:

  • A Primary CTA: 50 characters’ maximum including spaces. This shows below your image.
  • A Secondary CTA: 70 characters’ maximum including spaces. This shows above your image.
  • A main logo or image: 100x100px (recommended).
  • Small Intro Text: 18 characters’ maximum including spaces.
  • Custom Background Image (Optional): 300x250px. Worth noting you do compensate for this by losing your Secondary CTA so it may be worth testing what works better.

Picture Yourself Ads

Jobs your may be interesting

These ads are a particularly potent type of dynamic ad that prove to be a dream if you’re recruiting. Once again, information is dynamically populated into your advert including the viewers name and profile image. This gives jobhunters a very real and tangible idea of what it might be like to have a new fancy title with your prestigious company. It’s essentially trying a dress on in the changing room before you buy it and let’s be honest, that goes a long way towards buying, especially if you like what you see.

The Basic Criteria for ‘Picture Yourself’ Ads:

  • Branding Headline: Includes members first name plus the phrase ‘picture yourself at’ and then your company name. OR:
  • A Staffing Headline: Includes members first name plus the phrase ‘ready for your dream job’.
  • Company Name: 25 characters as a maximum including spaces.
  • Company logo: 100x100px (recommended).

Jobs You May Be Interested in Ads (JYMBII)

Another great choice for anyone wishing to recruit, especially if you have a set of roles you’re hoping to fill.  This is then perhaps a more sensible option for recruiters or larger companies, whereas the ‘Picture Yourself’ option suits smaller companies with fewer job openings.

The Basic Criteria for ‘Jobs You May Be Interested In’ Ads:

  • Company Name: 25 characters as a maximum including spaces.
  • Company logo: 100x100px (recommended).
  • 3 Job titles and correlating CTAs
  • URL to specific job description pages.

Analysing Your LinkedIn Campaigns

Analysing Campaigns

Behind every great campaign is data. It probably shouldn’t need saying (but we’ve been surprised before) that your campaigns are nothing without analysing your data. But it’s more than that, you’ve got to know what you’re looking for, too many people focus on the wrong metrics and that, ladies and gentlemen, is where you lose sight of the goal.

So, firstly you need to go to your LinkedIn Campaign manager which looks like the image above and is easy to access if you go to the top corner of your page and click on the ‘Work’ button and click ‘Advertise’.

Analysing Campaigns

You’ll see your campaigns listed and the metrics (above) which you can flit between. As with any platform, you can quite easily get overwhelmed by all the pretty numbers, like a kid in a sweetshop, so make it easy on yourself.  The really important areas to focus on are the Performance and Conversion tabs. The others are interesting and yes, useful to a point, but as with Facebook, the Performance and Conversion metrics are telling you the main things you want to know: Is this worth what it costs?

The CTR (via the Performance tab) is a must to keep an eye on. This quite literally tells you how many clicks your ad has acquired throughout its life. The recommendation of a healthy click-through-rate by LinkedIn itself is on average .025%, however we recommend aiming for .035%+ if you want to be the cream of the crop.

For CPM, the average spend is typically between $16-$24. If your campaigns are more about brand awareness than they are triggering some action then by all means throw some money at this bidding style. LinkedIn will offer you a minimum and a recommended spend, we suggest finding a mid-way point between the two, otherwise your relevancy score can suffer and your ads stop showing entirely.

Comparing LinkedIn’s Analytics to Facebook?

The analytics offered in Facebook are more in-depth but you might argue it’s easier to get confused and miss the data you actually need. LinkedIn, on the other hand, seems simpler and more palatable, especially if you’re new to the advertising game.

The other big difference of course, is the Pixel. Facebook’s been developing its own Pixel over the last couple of years, making it very easy to use and giving you full control to be able to customise the conversions you wish to track. LinkedIn however, came a little late to that game and only offer the Pixel as a third-party option, i.e. it isn’t their software. That isn’t a problem in and of itself but it does limit LinkedIn’s influence in it, though you might take the view that this liberates the advertiser more.

So, Which Platform Should You Choose?

And now we come to the thorniest issue of them all. Which platform should be hailed as King, what, if anything can be gained from choosing one over the other?

Now before this gets ugly (as debates on platform prowess invariably do) it’s important to point out that, as we said right at the start, LinkedIn and Facebook are not (if they ever were) chalk and cheese. The marketing climate and expectation is too competitive for them to be, if they were too disparate, one would have sunk by now.

But neither have, and that’s because both have (mostly) kept up with the times.

Mostly.

Despite LinkedIn’s best efforts, they still remain very much behind Facebook in terms of reach, user interface and advertising options. Take the launch of LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences which occurred in April 2017.

Matched Audiences

The 3 new audience types include a Website Retargeting option, which is of course, great, and a much-needed stop in the right direction but Facebook has been offering retargeting options since 2012, which means LinkedIn are still very much playing catch up.

Then, as we mentioned there’s the Facebook Pixel, which is undoubtedly a very powerful tool. True you can have a semblance of a Pixel in LinkedIn, but it’s not nearly as sophisticated as Facebooks.

Which is why LinkedIn is actively using Facebook as an indicator of what route to take.

Take the example of LinkedIn and its recent ‘Changing Rooms’ style makeover. You may have noticed how much sleeker it looks, how much more intuitive and simpler and familiar and….well, like Facebook it is.

A choice that is very much by design for a few reasons:

Facebook is still King.

(And if you can’t beat them, you lift heavily from their work and call it a ‘refresh’.)

Which isn’t a criticism of LinkedIn. For too long their interface was considered a little unintuitive and quickly becoming out of date visually. So, to mimic Facebook, who whilst not perfect, have got an interface that works (and one that lots of people are familiar with) is nothing but a smart move.

Social media awareness in the United States as of February 2017

Graph

The above table shows the percentage of Americans who are aware of the various Social Media Channels. Not only does LinkedIn come a long way down at 58% awareness level, but Facebook is still, unsurprisingly, reigning supreme over all the channels at 95%.

Facebook also still have the biggest audiences (estimated to be over 1.59 billion). But to some extent that’s understandable. Facebook caters to every man and his dog so of course, it will dominate the landscape more than that of something niche like LinkedIn. Is that a bad thing? Does that make LinkedIn inferior? Well, no, the two platforms are simply catching different fish and the pickier you are about what you’re trying to catch, the more you throw back. Not that we’re saying people are fish. Though Plenty of Fish got away with it so…

LinkedIn’s USP Is GOOD but Limiting

The key difference between Facebook and LinkedIn is intent, Facebook is far more social whereas LinkedIn is more ‘work mode’. That has a dramatic impact on many things including the type of content that works on each platform. An industry research piece might not be flavour of the month on Facebook, but on LinkedIn it feels natural.

This big difference means that there will always be a big difference between LinkedIn and Facebook, because they are fundamentally shooting for different things.

This isn’t a problem for LinkedIn, but if they are limited due to their USP, it’s even more important that they are as dexterous in the standard things like interface and advertising options.

So What about Advertising?

Well, after having an in depth look at what LinkedIn can offer in terms of advertising it is obvious that they have seriously upped their game over the last few years. The campaigns are similar to Facebook’s, just dressed differently, and the ad formats are almost as customisable as Facebooks are.

That said, there’s a certain amount of rough edges that LinkedIn still seem to have. The campaign manager for example can be a little difficult to navigate, it’s better than it was no doubt, but not perfect.

Equally, trying to edit an ad once you’ve put it out for instance is nigh on impossible and sure, we know editing an ad once you’ve published it can be problematic as it messes with the bidding system. That being said, the choice to meddle with an ad after you’ve published it should be yours and LinkedIn doesn’t seem to think you’re responsible enough to do so.

Similarly, attempting to clear your campaign manager of past or test campaigns is also something of a nightmare. By nightmare we mean it’s not possible (in any obvious way) to accomplish this very simple feat.

But these aren’t huge problems, just little things that make you appreciate how much Facebook has tried to iron out their interface.

The actual advertising formats on LinkedIn are pretty good, there’s no Canvas type format or Carousel, but it does have the core things you’d want as an advertiser so we can’t complain too much. Equally the targeting is very good, but still not a patch on Facebook and that’s to be expected, Facebook grew faster and thus had to adapt faster.

Is one better than the other?

You ask a hard question. Facebook is better to advertise on simply because you have more of everything, more options, more tailoring on ads, more targeting, more formats. And you can target people based on their job title etc. just as much as you can with LinkedIn.

But we aren’t saying LinkedIn should be omitted entirely because LinkedIn is really a B2B platform, a club essentially that has an etiquette and a lingo all its own.

Facebook, on the other hand, can handle B2B certainly, but we feel it works best for B2C businesses. It is a more natural environment for playful advertising, whereas LinkedIn still has some of its seriousness swirling around it. 

Pros and Cons of Advertising on LinkedIn V Facebook: A Quick Guide

LinkedIn

LinkedIn: Pros 

  • Access to high-value niche audiences.
  • Perfect for B2B campaigns.
  • Well placed for recruitment-based adverts.
  • Excellent for pushing business-based content.
  • Much less ‘noise’ than Facebook, easier to make an impression.

LinkedIn: Cons

  • CPC campaigns are typically more expensive than Facebooks.
  • Limited advertising options.
  • Campaign Manager unintuitive.
  • No Independent Pixel.
  • Targeting options good but limited. 

Facebook

Facebook: Pros

  • Huge reach.
  • Varied Ad Campaign options.
  • Highly layered targeting options and excellent audience generation.
  • CPC campaign price much lower.
  • Higher levels of engagement with posts. 

Facebook: Cons

  • A competitive terrain and so hard to stand out.
  • Organic reach becoming much harder to generate.
  • Fake accounts are still pervasive and obviously, fudge your data.

So: Who wins? 

We promised at the start of this that one platform would be crowned King at the start. That there would be a battle of epic proportions, similar to that of the battle for Middle Earth…

Well, we lied.

Because there is no King, but only a compromise, not as exciting granted but much more realistic.

We recommend having a LinkedIn presence as well as a Facebook one, simple as that.

Try your ads across platforms and see what comes of it, see if your copy and imagery is transferable, what works, what doesn’t? Think about who you’re truly trying to target and whether it’s worth paying a little more for a selective LinkedIn audience set.

But tread carefully, LinkedIn’s USP mean some things simply won’t wash and all you’ll do is alienate people. Anything that is too frivolous, or shows ignorance will not go down well, so pick and choose what you advertise there carefully. With Facebook you can be a little more daring, and with the cost much lower than LinkedIn you can also afford to work on a bit more of a trial and error basis.

Even if, at the end of it all, you feel Facebook can do everything you need, we still suggest you don’t shun LinkedIn entirely.

Why? Because a company page still holds weight and the connections you can make are invaluable. Many businesses and professionals will only be on LinkedIn, still seeing it as the only viable outlet for their business and if you aren’t there, you can miss out on opportunities.

 

 

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Nakita Mason

Author: Nakita Mason

Media Executive at Midas Media. When I'm not writing or reading, I'm wondering how I would fare in a Zombie apocalypse. Pretty sure I'd ace it.

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