Advertising on Linked In is easily double the price of running ads on Facebook… and enough for any lady to feel a little faint and break out the smelling salts.  It’s easy to be intimidated by the high costs and think “is it really worth it?”.

Let’s get down to digits: if Facebook is targeting an audience with a CPM of around $10, for Linked In, when attempting to target that same group, the CPM rockets up to $77. Yikes!

Now, some new to advertising might ask why two digital ad networks have such different costs: well, Linked In can target people based on job title or industry with precision – a precision that Facebook can’t. Let’s face it, few of us have updated our job on Facebook…ever. And so there is a high demand for Linked In targeting, and high costs due to this specialised access.

Now, when you’re running ads B2B or for a specific industry, Linked In really nails it. Facebook can target by ‘interest’, but that doesn’t really mean it’s your target audience, especially if you have a very niche focus for a B2B business.

I recently worked with a client in the services industry with a niche audience, and we put these two platforms head to head. We put a similar amount of money on both platforms, with the best targeting we could for each, for the same timeframe, and the same creative.

Let’s see what happened.

CASE STUDY: Facebook vs Linked In Costs

The challenge

Working with a client who is a niche B2B services provider, we wanted to raise awareness with new customers and lock in some new customers. This was the first time they’d used online ads, so we didn’t have a lot of history to work with in terms of data like pixels for retargeting, so we were starting from scratch.

We built a series of ‘awareness’ ads to get the target audience aware of the business, then, for those who visited the website, followed them up with specific ‘conversion’ themed ads to encourage booking.

We used both Facebook and Linked In for these ‘awareness’ ads, and used Facebook only for retargeting the website visitors due to the lower costs.

Because of this approach, we are in a unique position to answer the sweat-inducing question: is Linked In worth the expense?

Our approach

We did our best to target the awareness ads to the audience as effectively as possible.

On Facebook:

  • we targeted people who were in the industry based on interest, job title and if they were interested in any of the industry associations or awards.
  • we also created lookalikes of the mailing list (but didn’t yet have the pixel to do the same for the site).

Now, Facebook is great at targeting a lot of things, but targeting based on job title or employment industry is not one of them.

On Linked In, we could target people directly based on the job titles who were in the target industry without having to use any workarounds to try to find these people.

The campaign spend

We spent in the ballpark of $600 on each channel. On Facebook, the ad was seen by 65,479 times, and on Linked In just 14,005. In terms of sheer exposure – Facebook dwarfs Linked In. So you’d think that Facebook would have higher clickthroughs, right?

Wrong.

This is a niche B2B services provider. Because Linked In was targeting people based on their job, the ad was much more relevant than Facebook, which just targeted people with an interest in the field.

The Facebook ads had 82 clicks, while Linked In had 80 clicks.

If we break this down into a cost per click to compare the two side by side, Facebook is looking at $6 CPC, while Linked In is $8 CPC. In terms of the results, these platforms actually aren’t too different in price.

Yes, Linked In is still more expensive to run ads on, but the payoff in targeting a niche audience might well be worth it for businesses which are B2B, have a niche audience or industry which can’t be accessed by Facebook.

Conclusion

Facebook and Linked In are both tools to access your customers – and you need to choose the right tool for the job. For some businesses, Facebook’s ability to target based on interest and a low-cost is the solid approach. For other businesses, Linked In will give you that laser targeting. In the end, it’s about selecting the platform that will help your business achieve the goals it needs.

Many businesses are afraid to jump into Linked In ads because they are more expensive and will be seen by fewer people. But instead of casting a wide net, you’re using a practised spear, for some businesses that is just what you need for your growth.

Looking at running ads in 2018?

Rachel is an experienced Facebook Advertiser, keeping abreast of the ever-changing world of Facebook advertising. She looks for ways to set up clients to succeed in the long term to reach their business goals. Find out more about Rachel’s Facebook ads offering or get in touch today to see how Rachel can help you.


About Rachel Beaney

Rachel Beaney is an Australian freelance social media specialist with over a decade in digital media. She’s worked with global names like Microsoft, Samsung, News Corp and General Assembly, in addition to not-for-profits and government bodies. She loves helping clients solve their business needs with creative and data-driven solutions. Get in touch today to jump on a free consultation call to find out how Rachel can help you.



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