Social Media Networks like Facebook and LinkedIn offer businesses new channels through which to conduct marketing and advertising. But how effective are these, really? Ask any SEO or online marketing expert and they will tell you that it’s an organic process and it takes time to develop real results. The key is to have good content that turns people into repeat visitors to your website – eventually they will buy.
Really? “If you build it they will come?”
We recently conducted a poll in regards to advertising on one channel (LinkedIn) and the results, while not statistically significant, were interesting nonetheless.
When asked if anyone has placed an ad on LinkedIn, to advertise a product or service, 29% responded that they never even knew that LinkedIn had ads (ouch)! Of those who actually bought LinkedIn DirectAds, 14% spent $1,000 and 21% spent in the range of $30 – $120 for a range of impressions (roughly 2,000 – 15,000 total impressions per company or campaign).
In fact, one respondent’s results were very telling. For two identical ads placed on two different channels (LinkedIn and Google Adwords) and for the same length and period of time, their results were as follows:
1) LinkedIn DirectAds: ?
– Impressions: 1,923
?- Cost: $13.00
?- Click Through: 0 ?
– Conversion: 0
??2) Google Adwords (same period and ad content):
?- Impressions: 14,000
?- Cost: $14.00
?- Click Through: 6
?- Conversion: 0
??Their conclusion was that LinkedIn DirectAds is a waste of time and money. Google Adwords placements on LinkedIn were more effective, as they only had to pay for actual clicks (Note: this respondent placed a technical, IT targeted ad).
However, when the ads were for job placement services, or for candidates for specific job postings, most respondents felt that LinkedIn did a better job of delivering. In fact, one respondent had very good results. After spending about $150, they received 15 qualified responses to their job placement ad, and converted 20% of them into a revenue-generating placement.
Almost all of the respondents felt that LinkedIn was not effective for general advertising. For those involved in job placement and related services, however, it was seen as a cost-effective channel generating quality results.
As with any Marketing, the more effectively you can match your company’s message to your marketing channel, the better return you are likely to get on your investment. If you are a recruiter or provide products / services to job seekers, LinkedIn appears to be a viable alternative for your money. If your company doesn’t fall into one of these verticals, however, your money would be better spent elsewhere.