Facebook is for fun and is more personal whereas LinkedIn is for business and is more formal, right? That may be the case but when it comes to marketing, they’re both very similar networks. Both Facebook Ads and LinkedIn Ads are display networks. This means that the people who see your ads aren’t searching for a solution (like Google Ads).
Using a display network for online marketing means it’s your job to get your ads in front of the right people (you’ll have to do some research and testing to find out who that is), and then make them care enough to engage with the ad and hopefully convert.
If you’re trying to determine which platform you want to run ads on next and you’ve narrowed your selection down to LinkedIn Ads and Facebook Ads, then we’re here to help. We’ll be explaining the key differences so that you can decide which to start investing in.
The Key Differences
B2B and B2C Audiences
The biggest key difference between LinkedIn Ads and Facebook Ads is the division of B2B and B2C audiences.
Let’s start with the most common of those which you’re probably interested in the most: B2B audiences. A common question we hear when discussing this topic with clients is, “Can I get the same kind of results on Facebook for much cheaper than I’m getting for LinkedIn Ads? Because the CPMs are much lower”.
We won’t get too in-depth with this but before we go on, if you want to learn more about Facebook B2B strategies, check out our video.
Back on topic: B2B audiences. Basically what you’re going to experience when running B2B ads on these platforms is getting a lot more leads from Facebook. As great as that is, the quality of those leads will be a lot lower than those from LinkedIn. In other words, you’ll get fewer, but higher quality, leads from LinkedIn and more, but lower quality, leads from Facebook.
Here’s a quick example of how we use this to our advantage. We run most of our webinar registration campaigns with Facebook Ads for our B2B clients. The reason for this is that after factoring out disqualified leads and no-shows, we have a significantly higher Cost-Per-Lead per show up on LinkedIn Ads than we do on Facebook Ads.
Running the same exact campaign on LinkedIn Ads for webinar registrations usually results in a lot fewer sign-ups and a higher Cost-Per-Sign-Up, with the no-show rate being roughly the same as Facebook anyways.
Before we jump onto the next tip, let’s quickly discuss B2C. In this regard, Facebook Ads pretty much destroys LinkedIn Ads and for three main reasons.
Firstly, LinkedIn Ads come with really high CPMs. Secondly, the people on LinkedIn are usually looking for professional opportunities and job offers. Not many people are on LinkedIn and willing to buy a B2C product. And thirdly, the targeting you get on Facebook Ads is arguably the best in the industry.
So, if you’re selling a B2C product, we definitely recommend Facebook Ads.
Another big difference between LinkedIn Ads and Facebook Ads is their retargeting. Again, we’re heavily in favor of Facebook Ads when it comes to retargeting – they simply do it a lot better. Facebook has a much wider marketing reach in the sense that they do a great job at tracking users’ activity on so many websites (they have over 120 data points!). This sounds creepy (and it sorta is) but this is great for businesses looking to start online marketing.
In addition, a lot of Facebook’s audiences are B2C, and retargeting is great for B2C audiences. Another reason why we think that Facebook Ads is better for retargeting is that they have many more placements you can use. Consider the fact that Facebook Ads is integrated with Instagram – you can run ads on a whole other social media network.
Whereas with LinkedIn, all you have is newsfeed ads. Sure, there are other placement options on LinkedIn, but their CTRs pale in comparison to newsfeed ads.
Mix 'N Match
One strategy you could adopt is using both platforms. Run a cold traffic campaign with LinkedIn Ads to get users to your site, then retarget those users with Facebook Ads and you’ll get cheaper leads and better placement options. You’re getting the best of both worlds by doing this – the quality of LinkedIn Ads leads and the retargeting capabilities of Facebook Ads.
Audience Expansion and Lookalike Audiences
The final notable difference between the two platforms is their audience expansion and lookalike audience capabilities. Let’s say you’ve got two campaigns that you want to scale up.
On LinkedIn Ads, you’ll see a notification asking if you want to turn on audience expansion which will help you find more people like your existing customers. As helpful as this sounds, it will screw you over big time. All you’ll get are a bunch of low-quality leads that are nothing like your original audience. This has been consistent in our team’s experiences. That said, it does seem to be getting better over time, but it’s nowhere near Facebook Ads in this arena.
With Facebook Ads, you’ve got the option of broad and open targeting. After you get enough conversion events they will easily find more people who are like your original audience, and without using interest targeting. Generally, this will get you cheaper CPMs than LinkedIn would.
We see this comparison in lookalike audiences too. LinkedIn Ads hardly compare to Facebook Ads in this regard either. When you use Facebook Ads for this, you can use a lot less data while getting higher-quality leads.
LinkedIn Ads or Facebook Ads?
So, which platform is better: LinkedIn Ads or Facebook Ads? It’s not that simple. In B2B, using a strategy that combines both of these platforms is what will get you the best results. At the top of your funnel use LinkedIn Ads then at the bottom of your funnel use Facebook Retargeting Ads. You’ll get the benefits of LinkedIn’s detailed targeting as well as the benefits of Facebook’s retargeting capabilities.
On the other hand, in B2C, Facebook Ads should be your sole focus. You won’t get much traction, if any, from LinkedIn for the reasons we’ve already addressed. Your budget will be infinitely more effective if you only run ads on Facebook.
Hiring an Agency
Figuring out which platforms are your best bet is a difficult task for any business. The only things that can help you make a confident decision are experience and insight. Most business owners won’t have in-depth experience which is why hiring a PPC agency should be on your mind.
KonvertLab’s team has combined decades of experience working on all major ad platforms. As a PPC agency, we’ve worked in a vast number of industries. We know what works and what doesn’t, and we can help you launch your online marketing campaign without any problems. Book a call below and let’s get to work!