Which PPC Platform is Right for You?

Just when you thought you had PPC under your belt, along come some newbies!

If you have a website, you’re probably familiar with traditional PPC advertising options, like Google Adwords and Microsoft adCenter.  But now when you consider your PPC strategy, you have to consider LinkedIn and Facebook ads.

So, how do you know what best fits your needs, without burning through a whole lot of ad dollars in the process? Here are a few things to consider:

Traditional PPC Search is About Conversions

Search PPC is best for getting that sale, lead, or desired action by placing your business message in front of people as they’re searching.  It’s a great way for marketers to harness demand – after all, the searcher is telling you exactly what they’re looking for.  It’s not unusual for companies to get more new customers from search PPC than from any other channel, online or offline, and to make money on every sale.

There is a down side, though.  If no one is actively searching for your business, product, or service, you won’t get any traffic from search PPC, and even the best campaign in the world won’t affect your bottom line.  That’s where social PPC like LinkedIn and Facebook comes in.

LinkedIn PPC is a Recruiter’s Paradise

LinkedIn isn’t a search engine. People don’t go to linkedin.com, type in keywords, and get a page of search results from sites across the web.  Sure, you can search on LinkedIn, but it’s basically a site search; and people use it to find individuals, companies, or groups with whom they’d like to connect professionally.  They’re not looking for an answer to a question like they are when they go to Google or Bing.

Here’s a matrix with the key features of LinkedIn vs. search engines.

So why do people go to LinkedIn?  There are many reasons, but here are a few:

  • They’re looking for a job
  • They’re looking to hire someone and are using LinkedIn for recruiting
  • They’re checking the profiles of potential new hires
  • They want to connect with colleagues they just met or used to work with

LinkedIn is, therefore, an excellent fit for advertisers who need to reach businesspeople in a particular field.  For example, businesses looking to hire new staff can target prospective hires on LinkedIn, with a hook like a hiring bonus or finder’s fee to encourage response.

What about Facebook?

At this point, you may be wondering why you wouldn’t run Facebook ads instead of LinkedIn ads for your business.  After all, Facebook has 800 million users, while LinkedIn is just over 100 million – why not cast your net where the fish are?

Facebook ads can be highly effective for businesses, but they don’t work the same way LinkedIn ads do, because people visit the sites for two different reasons.

If you’re trying to increase your fan base with likes on your business page, or promoting Facebook contests, Facebook ads work great.  But it’s hard to get users to leave Facebook, because it’s similar to a huge, really fun party that no one wants to leave.

LinkedIn, on the other hand, is more like a business networking event.  People are there to talk about how they can help their business grow.  A whole lot of people are there to talk about getting a new job.  And they don’t mind leaving the LinkedIn site to learn more.

Every ad platform serves its own purpose.  Sometimes you need to host the party and get people talking; and other times, you just need to focus efforts on building your core business.  Consider your objectives carefully when assembling your PPC plan.  And remember, no matter what you do, test and refine.  That’s the key to success no matter which platform.

How have LinkedIn and Facebook ads Transformed Your PPC Plan?

Made a killer discovery? Tried and “Learned”? We want to know how you’ve utilized the newer PPC platforms and your point of view.