Google AdWords vs. Facebook Ads vs. LinkedIn Ads

Promoting your business via ads is a great way to drive traffic and get traction, but it is difficult to decide which type of ads to use, what to say, and who to say it to.  However, they each have their pros and cons and you need to have a deep understanding of your customer base, the specific pain your product solves, as well as knowledge about your marketing efforts and budget.  In this article I’ll try to shed some light on each method of advertising and provide some tips on how to choose the best one for your business.

Google AdWords

Google AdWords is search driven, meaning that your ads will show up when someone searches for something on Google.  Your ad could appear on the top, the sidebar, or the bottom of the page, depending on how much money you bid.  The key to optimizing Google Adwords is to understand what types of things your customers are searching for.  For example, if you want to start a new coffee shop in your city, you can make your ad show up when someone searches for a local coffee shop, and this person might see your ad when they search on Google.  You are charged per click on your ad, so if a person just sees your ad won’t actually cost you anything.

Facebook Ads

Unlike Google Adwords, Facebook Ads are not search-based.  However, Facebook provides scarily in-depth targeting based on all the information people make public on their profile.  You can target based on location, age, gender, and even things like life events or shopping behavior.  The targeting feature that Facebook provides is very powerful in certain situations.  For example, if you are a wedding planner, you can target ads to people who list that they are engaged on Facebook.  Facebook charges you for every impression, or every time someone sees your ad.  This makes it tough because you want to find a relevant audience that isn’t too broad, otherwise they might not be part of your customer base, but you also want a big enough audience so people will see your ad.

LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn Ads are more similar to Facebook because they allow extreme targeting based on all the information people have on their LinkedIn profiles.  LinkedIn has tons of information on peoples’ jobs, industries, education level, location, company size etc.  This can be really powerful for B2B businesses that are targeting certain types of consumers in certain roles or certain companies.  It is important to note that LinkedIn ads are significantly more expensive than Facebook and Adwords because of the vast information you can get from it.  Another thing to think about with LinkedIn is that most people searching on LinkedIn are looking for jobs or to network, not necessarily to buy things, so it really depends on your business.

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