LinkedIn Ads vs Facebook Ads for B2B Marketing

As a B2B marketer, you’re probably trying to understand LinkedIn ads vs Facebook ads. You want to use the right platform for your lead generation campaigns. Even with all of the analytics available in digital marketing, it’s tough to know which is best. Without the data to support one over the other, we are shooting blindly in the dark hoping to hit our target.

 

Facebook has over 2.2 billion active users, compared to LinkedIn’s 550+ million active users. Facebook also has the added advantage of owning Instagram (over 1 billion active users). But does the sheer size of the platform or fact that users spend more time on Facebook decide which is a better for your business?

 

Before diving into the LinkedIn ads vs Facebook ads conversation, I must say that this isn’t a one-size-fits-all type of answer. The “best” paid social advertising platform is going to vary from business to business. It really depends on different variables including your brand, your content, who you’re targeting, and your experience on each social media platform. However, it is important to know what each platform offers in terms of targeting, user intent, and cost.

User Intent

Because of its professional nature, advertisers tend to think that LinkedIn is a better platform for B2B markets. However, people don’t stop being business professionals just because they are on Facebook. If LinkedIn is the professional workplace, then Facebook is the casual lunch break—work still happens here. How many of us have wound up working through lunch despite intending to just get a meal and catch up on news? But these breaks are supposed to be stress free and casual. The same applies to Facebook.

 

Users are on Facebook to keep up with the shenanigans of family and friends. It’s more that you’re there to “vedge” out, but if you see something offering a solution to a work problem that’s been on your mind, you’re likely to click. Messaging has to be fun and eye-catching to cut through the noise of Facebook, so understand what your target audience is looking for and put yourself in front of them.

 

LinkedIn users use the platform for a variety of reasons, including networking, finding best practices or advice on things relatable to their career, etc. LinkedIn is a powerful tool that can be used for facilitating groups where like-minded people can come together and collaborate. These professional forums can be particularly effective if you regularly participate. You can ask questions, respond to issues and comments, and finally post information or articles that are helpful to the entire group.

Targeting

LinkedIn Facebook ads targeting

Both platforms offer retargeting. You are able to retarget website visitors or directly target a list from your database.

 

While LinkedIn is great for targeting people based on their job titles and employers, there are more options on Facebook for targeting abilities. With Facebook ad targeting, you can use combinations of real data (such as behaviors, demographics, and geolocation) to match ad creative to a hyper targeted audience. Facebook also offers “lookalike audiences.” These are audiences created from a seed audience. The seed audience can be current email database users, a list of leads or ABM target accounts, or even people that consume your content. The lookalike audience will find users similar to the interests, demographics, and behaviors of your seed audience. LinkedIn offers a similar feature called “Audience Expansion.”

 

Although LinkedIn has fewer users than Facebook, it makes up for it when targeting by company name, job title, company size, etc. This is especially important when performing account based marketing (ABM). While Facebook may know the job title and industry of some of its users, LinkedIn’s sole purpose is to host that information.

 

If you can point Facebook in the right direction in terms of targeting, then Facebook will target users based on the data of those that convert. Facebook will automatically optimize your campaign to help you get better results with minimal effort on your end. Facebook’s smart targeting is a very powerful feature and huge competitive advantage over LinkedIn.

 

Cost

Linkedin Facebook cost per lead

Currently, it’s cheaper to advertise on Facebook than LinkedIn. Keep in mind that Facebook is a larger pool in terms of users. Some users might lie on their profile or even leave out work information entirely. For B2B companies, that information is imperative. Although LinkedIn is more expensive, you’re paying to get better quality leads.

 

I suspect that over time, costs will rise on Facebook due to advertisers flocking to the platform. We are all competing against one another. The more people that use Facebook, the more expensive it will be to advertise.

 

LinkedIn is more expensive than Facebook. However, don’t steer clear of LinkedIn altogether. More expensive leads aren’t always a bad thing if the quality and ROI of those leads are higher. If you’re selling something that costs thousands of dollars, what’s a $150 CPL if that person turns into a $500,000 client? But if your product or service is lower in cost, Facebook is probably a more affordable option.

So, what’s the answer?

When it comes to LinkedIn ads vs Facebook ads, there’s no clear answer. Whether you’re promoting a webinar, blog post, or a new tech solution, they’re both great options that give advertisers the tools to reach people in a way that’s never been possible. Ultimately, the answer for your business will depend largely on the audience you’re targeting and what social media platform you’re most likely to engage with them on. It’s all about testing to see which works best for you. Think about your audience — developers might be less likely to hang out on LinkedIn, whereas business users are. I think the best answer is a well rounded approach that includes both mediums. If you’re not sure where to start with your social media advertising, reach out to us!