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Social Media PPC: Facebook Ads vs. LinkedIn Ads vs. Google AdWords, which would you choose?

Written by David Bryan, March 26, 2014
Facebook ads

Social Media PPC: Facebook Ads vs. LinkedIn Ads vs. Google AdWords, which would you choose?

Small business advertising and brand promotion using Facebook Ads


In the previous blog I looked at the benefits of using Facebook Ads for B2B marketing and recruitment: https://www.opace.co.uk/blog/facebook-ads-the-hidden-gem-of-b2b-marketing-and-recruitment.

I explained how Facebbook Ads worked on me (a self proclaimed sceptic at the time) and provided some insights as to how powerful and cost effective they can be in terms of reaching your target audience. This blog post will give some specific examples of small business advertising and brand promotion using Facebook Ads and the results they achieved when compared to Google AdWords and LinkedIn Ads.

Facebook Ads vs. Google AdWords Case Study


Our first case study will highlight the results of a small Facebook Ads campaign for a local Midlands based chauffeur business, Field Chauffeur Services and contrast this against their Google AdWords marketing. This is only a small campaign with a minimal budget

We have run multiple Facebook Ad campaigns for Field Chauffeur Services since we began marketing their website a few months back, the data below shows their latest campaign which has only been running in the last 5 days.

The Facebook Ad (Clicks to Website)

The Ad: A PPC style Ad (Clicks to Website) with an image, some copy explaining the company and very targeted criteria only looking at local individuals with job positions who may be interested in hiring a corporate or wedding chauffeur.

Facebook Ad Clicks to Website vs. Gogole AdWords

For a modest £38.50 investment the results we as follows:

REACH (PEOPLE WHO SAW THE AD)

  • 8,904

ACTIONS

  • 70 Website Clicks
  • 7 Post Likes
  • 3 Page Likes

TOTAL SPENT

  • £20.27

AVG. COST PER WEBSITE CLICK

  • £0.29

For reference, the results from a similar previous campaign we as follows:

REACH (PEOPLE WHO SAW THE AD)

  • 45,346

ACTIONS

  • 155 Website Clicks

TOTAL SPENT

  • £38.50

AVG. COST PER WEBSITE CLICK

  • £0.25

The Google Ad

The Ad: Several Ad Groups targeting regional keywords and service based keywords.

Over the same period of time the data is as follows:

IMPRESSIONS

  • 2,098

CLICKS

  • 26 Website Clicks

TOTAL SPENT

  • £39.12

AVG. COST PER WEBSITE CLICK

  • £1.50

Comparison over the last 5 days

With a combined budget of less than £60 over the past 5 days, and comparing with previous campaigns, we can make some fairly confident observations:

  • Facebook Reach is roughly 4 x that of Google Analytics Impressions: 8,904 reach vs. 2,098 impressions
  • Clicks achieved are more than double with Facebook Ads: 70 Facebook clicks vs. 26 Google clicks
  • Cost per click is more than 5 x cheaper with Facebook Ads: £0.29 average cost per click on Facebook vs. £1.50 on Google AdWords

Google Analytics data (including organic)

It wouldn’t be fair to only compare these metrics as they are very different platforms with potentially different audiences, so let’s look at some Google Analytics data:

  • Average bounce rate: Facebook Ads 81.58% vs. 65.38% from Google Ads and organic as the clear winner with 46.67%
  • Average pages per visit: Facebook Ads 1.63 vs. 1.58 from Google Ads and organic as the clear winner with 3.40
  • Average visitor duration: Facebook Ads 45 seconds vs. 15 seconds from Google Ads and organic as the clear winner with 4 minutes and 15 seconds

So in summary it would seem that Facebook scores slightly better in terms of visitor behaviour and Google outperforms in terms of bounce rate, although both are high in this respect. What is clear is that organic searches outperform both forms of paid advertising in every regard and with users spending over four minutes on average on the site, they’re clearly taking their time to get to know the client and their services.

Facebook Ads vs. LinkedIn Ads Case Study


Our next case study will highlight the results of a small Facebook Ads campaign for a local marketing director and freelancer, Liz Murphy and contrast this against her LinkedIn Ads campaign. Again this is only a small campaign with a minimal budget, designed to place her public LinkedIn profile in place of potential employers and make new connections.

The following campaigns were both run over a three week period.

The Facebook Ad (Clicks to Website)

The Ad: A PPC style Ad (Clicks to Website) a photo image, some copy explaining Liz and targeted criteria only looking at local Midlands based individuals with a senior business position e.g. director, ceo, sales/marketing manager and several others.

Facebook Ad clicks to website vs. LinkedIn Ads

Two ad preview modes

Combined potential audience for this advert: 344,000 people

REACH (PEOPLE WHO SAW THE AD)

  • 25,139

ACTIONS

  • Total combined clicks: 112
  • Combined website clicks: 68

TOTAL SPENT

  • £40.00

AVG. COST PER WEBSITE CLICK

  • £0.57

The LinkedIn Ad

The Ad: A PPC style Ad with a photo image, some copy explaining Liz and targeted criteria only looking at local Midlands based individuals with a senior business position e.g. director, ceo, sales/marketing manager and several others.

LinkedIn Ads vs. Facebook Ads

Audience: 142,207 LinkedIn Members

IMPRESSIONS

  • 358,349

ACTIONS

  • Website Clicks: 186

TOTAL SPENT

  • £279.00

AVG. COST PER WEBSITE CLICK

  • £1.50

Comparison

The budgets specified in each of the above campaigns were slightly different which makes it hard to make direct comparisons; however with a combined budget of less than £320 over the three weeks, we can make a fairly confident observation:

  • Cost per click is nearly 3 x cheaper with Facebook Ads: £0.57 average cost per click on Facebook vs. £1.50 on LinkedIn.
  • Based on the current data, we can estimate that a Facebook spend of £279.00 equivalent to LinkedIn, would have achieved roughly 476 clicks and a reach of nearly 176,000.

Although we can’t compare impressions with reach exactly, LinkedIn does seem to have the upper hand in this instance, achieving much greater exposure. Furthermore because we were using a LinkedIn business account we could also see who had viewed the profile, double check their job role and connect by sending personal message, a feature we’re unable to do with Facebook.

Conclusion


Hopefully with these two case studies you will have some useful ideas for using social media ads and the data provided will give you an idea as to the effectiveness of Facebook when compared to other popular PPC platforms like Google AdWords and LinkedIn Ads. Without a doubt Facebook has the business audience for B2B marketing and provides the most cost effective solution when compared to the two others in this blog post.

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