No Fluff Comparison Between LinkedIn Ads, Facebook Ads, and Google Adwords

compare linkedin, facebook and adwordsLooking for a pay-per-click (PPC) ad solution? You will want to compare the big three: LinkedIn, Facebook and Google. Each platform requires experience to get the best return on investment (ROI).

Want to know the best part?

Keep reading below to quickly acquaint yourself with them:

LinkedIn Ads

Our Take: Niches matter here. So, research your target well and present the right direct response campaign to them. We prefer to lead with content though as it has better RoI in the long-term.

These ads promote your content to a specific audience: working professionals. The platform focuses on networking. Users identify their work history, professional skills and current role in their profile. Target ads according to those interests.

Ad Types

– Dynamic Ads encourage users to follow your organization. On desktop, these usually appear on the upper right hand column. The position varies on mobile by device. You can edit them to include different photos, headlines and call-to-action buttons.
– Sponsored content allows organizations to promote their post beyond current followers. This will appear in user’s newsfeed when they first log in.
– Sponsored InMail sends a private message from your organization to a user. This uses an employee account. The message looks like normal private message. LinkedIn adds small grey text labeling it as sponsored. If you use this, you can message people in bunk without being part of their network.

Set Up

For your first ad, they have a self-serve platform that you can get started with right away. Plug your credit card details in, and you’re off to the races.


LinkedIn targets professionals, identified by their workplace and role. In general, this audience uses the platform during business hours. They prefer information for networking, research and current events.


The site specifies ad campaigns for every budget. Each category offers different levels of affordability. The “total budget” option allows small, fast campaigns. The “daily budget” option, requires some management. You must research for best ROI. “Setting bids” requires the highest budget. It requires the most campaign maintenance. You’ll want to research this option before committing to a campaign.

Measuring Results

In general, the LinkedIn results offer low visibility into demographics of the results. But you can achieve this with segmenting your campaigns according to demographics right from the beginning. They include the basic information such as click-through and impressions. You can track most conversions, but not calls. There’s a convoluted way of tracking calls, but you’ll need to brush up on your attribution.

Facebook Ads

Our Take: Easy to start. Hard to do well. Even harder to scale.

They are the best known and most used. These ads need little training to build. In fact, many small businesses will use boosted posts for low-cost exposure. Most organizations experience a plateau. It gets harder to widen your audience over time. Facebook ads default to appear Instagram as well.

Ad Types

– Video ads and slideshow ads auto-play for users with sponsored, newsfeed placement.
– Image ads, canvas ads and carousel ads provide users with sponsored, newsfeed placement. You can customize headlines and call-to-action buttons.
– Boosted posts promote existing posts to a targeted audience. They display in a user’s newsfeed.
– Collection ads allow retailers to showcase a product from several angles in a single ad. These display in many locations depending on device.
– Event response ads push an organization’s event page to a wider audience. This displays in the user’s newsfeed.
– Page likes display a link allowing users to like and follow from their newsfeed.Set UpFacebook encourages users to review their guidelines and set up ads. They have an active help forum that answers common questions. Most organizations should use someone with experience to get the best ROI. But to get setup, the latest way is to create a Business Manager account.


In general, Facebook audiences check in throughout all times and days. Getting your audience right is the critical to the success of your campaigns. We have a proprietary way of finding which audience would work best for a client, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Find your style and stick to it. Just remember, Facebook users prefer news, entertainment and social contact. Target users with several criteria, including:

-Geographic Location
-ConnectionsCostBoosting posts starts as low as $5.00. To get the most out of your money, you’ll want to invest in producing quality content. Otherwise, your ad will get lost in this cluttered marketplace.

Measuring Results

Facebook offers detailed reporting including, impressions, clicks, video views and demographic results. But, they have had some issues in the past with over-reporting numbers. To ensure accuracy, cross-check their numbers with other metrics.

Google Adwords

Our Take: If your industry is quite popular and solves a popular need, you will need to look at Adwords with an extremely serious eye as it can really bring you business. Do it right though, or don’t do it at all. For example, we had a client who was spending over $65,000 per month – and was still just getting a trickle of leads. But they never noticed it. We went in and did it right where we cut that by 50% and for just $30,000 per month got them over 1000 leads.

Google Adwords provides promotion based on user searches. This ensures that your ad shows up in the right niche by keyword. Bidding and managing the budget requires experience and oversight. Otherwise, you’ll waste money trying to target your ideal audience.

Ad Types

– Text ads appear at the top of search results based on keywords. Using these, you can link to your website, customize the title and enter a description.
– Display ads appear on Google’s ad network, YouTube network and in search results. The size and placement varies by device. Also, you can upload a static image or build a dynamic ad. Like the text ads, Google targets by keyword.
– Display and Text ads combine the two options above for a more robust campaign.Set UpYou can create a Google ad by following the intuitive steps. Selecting the right keywords to optimize your campaign will need research. We recommend training to maximize your reach.


Your selected campaign keywords influence where ads appear. Overtime, you can see what audience engages with your ad. You can use complementary programs to cookie users or even Google’s own system for segmenting users. Then you can retarget or build lookalike audience.


Google ads don’t need a minimum spend. A small campaign runs about $100-$500. They offer cost-per-click or cost-per-impression.

Measuring Results

Google Adwords offers insights in their planner. Also, you can connect your campaign to Google Analytics. Results include demographic information, geographic location, and CPC or CPM. By far, Adwords has the best reporting. It can track calls, track forms, hell.. it can track ecommerce sales!

The Takeaway

Each of these platforms need little to start running ads. Insight and experience will get you the most benefit over time. Already running ads? Great, just make sure you’re using the right platform for your needs.

No Fluff Comparison Between LinkedIn Ads, Facebook Ads, and Google Adwords
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