Having recently completed a month-long campaign using the recently-launched LinkedIN DirectAds PPC advertising platform, I thought of comparing it with Google AdWords, the #1 PPC platform in the world. I’ve used the latter several times in the past, albeit not for the same product / service.
Both Google AdWords and LinkedIN DirectAds are intended to trigger action, so neither of them is the platform of choice when it comes to advertising for creating and promoting brands. For that, banner ads are perhaps more suited.
Having covered the similarity, let me get down to the differences between these two platforms.
When it comes to driving sheer volumes of traffic to the advertiser’s website, Google AdWords does a much better job than LinkedIN. With Google campaigns, I have averaged over 0.3% CTR (that is, clickthrough rate, which is defined as the number of clicks your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown), whereas my recent LinkedIN campaign delivered a measly CTR of 0.02%.
In other words, for a given number of times your ad is shown – also called ‘impressions’ – Google AdWords sends many more people to the advertiser’s website as compared to LinkedIN.
This huge difference is perhaps explained by the fact that Google AdWords uses purchase intent to target its ads, which LinkedIN doesn’t.
On the other hand, if you’re a B2B advertiser seeking to attract top level executives in target buyer organizations, you can specify that your LinkedIN ads should only be displayed to viewers at that level. You can’t do this with Google AdWords. Therefore, it could be argued that LinkedIN DirectAds delivers better quality of traffic. After all, you might find one visit by a C-Suite executive to your website to be far more valuable than several visits by operating-level people who might have a purchase intent (which is assured by Google AdWords) but no decision-making authority.