When I talk to people who are diving into LinkedIn ads for the first time, there is one thing I hear more than anything else, “LinkedIn ads are expensive!”
While I’d love to tell you LinkedIn ads are “super cheap with this one trick,” that’s just not the case. LinkedIn is an expensive ads platform. Even when following best practices, which we will go over more in depth in a future blog post, you will be spending more per click, lead, and acquisition than you would on Facebook or Google.
To put things into perspective, Facebook’s average cost-per-click is $1.72. Google’s average is between $1-2. LinkedIn’s average is between $8-12. As you can see, there is a massive difference between the platforms.
Why would you pay so much for ads on LinkedIn when you can run ads on Google or Facebook at a fraction of the cost? The answer: Targeting.
When it comes to targeting businesses or professionals, LinkedIn is second to none. LinkedIn is able to get your ads in front of the exact decision makers you want seeing your ads.
The platform allows you to target the exact job title, skills, seniority, location, company size, etc. that make up your dream customer persona. This is something none of the other platforms can even come close to.
But can LinkedIn be a profitable channel for your business? Maybe.
There are a few types of businesses that tend to perform poorly when running ads on LinkedIn.
Customer-Facing, or B2C
The first type of business that we wouldn’t recommend running on LinkedIn is B2C. This is because sales margins are usually fairly low, and with how high LinkedIn’s average CPC is, profit margins can be eaten up pretty quickly.
On top of that, LinkedIn members usually visit the platform with a purpose in mind, and that’s not always to buy something.
Another type of business that doesn’t tend to thrive on LinkedIn is the “hard sell” business, or those promoting a bottom-of-funnel offer. While businesses exist to sell product, not all potential customers, especially those on social media, are ready to buy after the first exposure to an advertisement. In most cases, it takes nurturing, or leading customers down the sales/marketing funnel, before they’re ready to convert. While we at B2Linked have seen these types of ads/businesses do well on the platform, they are usually big, well-known brand names (think Nike or IBM).
It’s important to remember that these ads will be most peoples’ first time learning about your business. Hitting them with a hard sell on first contact is like proposing on the first date.
The last type of business that doesn’t tend to perform well on the platform is app downloads. This is due to the cost of running ads on the platform mixed with the reasons previously stated. Even if you generated a 100% conversion rate, you’re paying from $8-12 for someone to download your app. With how many potentially click on your ad at that high a conversion rate, costs for running your ad could become pretty pricey, pretty quickly.
If your business doesn’t fit into any of these categories, LinkedIn could be a great fit for you! We’ve seen that, for customer lifetime values over $10,000, LinkedIn ads should be a no-brainer.
While these are what we have found to be poor performers on LinkedIn, we’d love to be proven wrong! Post a comment below and tell us about your success stories. If you’d like to learn more about this topic, as well as other LinkedIn ads best practices, tune in to The LinkedIn Ads Show podcast. Our own AJ Wilcox releases a new episode every Thursday, going over everything LinkedIn ads.
Written by Jacob Haynie