Google/Bing PPC vs. Facebook Ads vs. LinkedIn Ads

Discussion in 'General Business' started by Reece, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. Reece

    Reece Member

    Question of the Day:

    <blockquote>What are the pros and cons of the major online ad platforms: Google/Bing PPC, Facebook Ads, and LinkedIn Ads; and which ones should small businesses with a limited budget focus on to get the biggest bang for their buck?
    </blockquote>
     
  2. Amber

    Amber New Member

    Google/ Bing PPC
    Pro's:
    - Typically you will get the most traffic from these options. Obviously Google PPC will generate more clicks than Bing due to the vast difference in search market share, though these options will still produce more visits than the Facebook or LinkedIn ads.
    - Because these options generate a lot of clicks quickly, these are perfect tools to run A/B tests on landing pages, try out a new contact form, research the effectiveness of certain keywords prior to optimization.
    - One of the top reasons small businesses use Google and Bing PPC is to get visibility on the first page of search results for keywords their customers are using to search for their products and services. While this is effective, businesses must have a strategic plan for organically showing up in these search engine results pages as well. We have written a few Starticles on this and I encourage you to check them out.
    - SEO for Beginners Part 2 - Geo-Targeted Keywords: http://www.choosewhat.com/starticles/seo-for-beginners-part-ii-geo-targeted-keywords
    - How To Use 'Local SEO' to Attract More Customers in Your Area: http://www.choosewhat.com/starticles/how-to-use-local-seo-to-attract-more-customers-in-your-area
    Con's:
    - Due to the high volume of users, the cost can get very high, very quickly.
    - Also, the amount of qualified visitors are typically lower for the terms that generate the most traffic. It is important that you set Goal Pages and analyze the effectiveness of your campaign with using your website analytics AND Google/Bing ad performance reports.
     
  3. Amber

    Amber New Member

    Facebook Ads

    These ads get a bad wrap sometimes, although when used strategically, they can be VERY effective.

    Pro's:
    - The ads can be hyper targeted by gender, age, geo-location, interests, network, users who already "like" your page vs. users who do not "like" your page. Really, the sky is almost the limit on the targeting for these ads.
    - Also, ads are served with an image which can stand out to the users or grab more of an emotional response than the typical Google PPC ad on the right of a search results page
    - Very effective in driving "like"s to your page. While the monetary benefit here may not be direct, each "like" is a potential new customer you can now reach out to anytime you want... for FREE.

    Con's:
    - The conversion rate on these ads are typically VERY low. I recommend that you only use this form of marketing for branding or introducing a new product.
    - Companies that have an emotional attachment to the Facebook user typically will perform well here as well. (Colleges, Non-profit organizations, Churches, etc.)
    - Although Facebook advertising has been around for years, the adoption rate is still fairly low. This has caused a lot of disparity within the cost since these ads also work on a bidding system. I would recommend you keep a close eye on any campaigns you are running
    - The images are a great addition to these ads, but it is important that you refresh these at least EVERY 2 WEEKS. You will see a major drop off in activity if you do not rotate your ads image.

     
  4. Amber

    Amber New Member

    LinkedIn Ads
    This platform is in a bit of flux right now, a positive one, but I will have to keep my eye out on this ad serving platform. With that being said, I do have experience running successful LinkedIn ad campaigns and recently did a little research to find out where other small businesses have had excelled (and failed):
    Pro's:
    - This platform is great for niche B2B marketing, you can literally target your ads by company, job title, geo-location, school, skills, gender, etc.
    - If you are a talent acquisition or a recruiting firm, this is also a great marketing channel.
    Con's:
    - While they do allow lead capturing, you can only contact these leads through LinkedIn InMail. No email or phone number will be provided.
    - This medium is growing in readership, although they sell their advertisements by impressions, not clicks. Therefore, you are going to want to keep a close eye on the ability to drive QUALIFIED traffic to your site. Are the impressions you are paying for driving traffic? If not, don't give up. Test different images, targets and offers.
    - Industry standard benchmark CTR (click-through-rate) is .03% or higher
    - If you are still seeing lackluster performance. Look into SlideShare. They have 60 million monthly visitors, known as one of the largest professional content sharing communities in the world and companies like Disney, IBM, and Palms Hotel have seen great success on this website. Here is a Forbes article highlighting the benefits: http://www.forbes.com/sites/marketshare/2013/02/28/slideshare-the-quiet-giant-of-content-marketing/
     

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