When talking about social media marketing in aviation, LinkedIn is always discussed as the most credible. And yet, far more of the people we talk to are familiar with boosting posts on Facebook, but have never considered LinkedIn ads.

Why is that?

And are there reasons to devote some of that social media advertising budget to LinkedIn?

Our answer – yes, you should consider it, but with three caveats to be aware of:

1) LinkedIn ad targeting is not quite as granular as Facebook
2) It costs more per lead than Facebook (but we also explain why that may not be a bad thing!)
3) LinkedIn works better for certain types of ads – business to business services, events, or career and job related topics.

Hey, Paula Williams of ABCI. A lot of folks have asked us about LinkedIn, marketing, especially paid ads on LinkedIn. A lot of our clients are familiar with boosted ads, or paid ads on Facebook, and they’re wondering if they might get better results with LinkedIn and the answer is yes and no, there’s a couple of different expectations on LinkedIn than there are on Facebook. But, it’s a really good option to try, since the price of ads on Facebook has been going up quite a bit and also the markets are getting a lot more crowded for advertising on Facebook. It seems like there were no aviation companies a year ago that we were advertising on Facebook and now it’s fairly common. So, LinkedIn might be more fertile ground for you.

Three things that you should know if you’re considering doing paid ads on LinkedIn. Number one, is that the targeting is not quite as granular as Facebook. Just like Facebook, you can always upload your own list to target. You can do retargeting and other things like that to your own list. If you’re using their targeting mechanisms, it’s not quite as granular. Almost all of their targeting options are based on geography, position, job title, companies that people have worked with. You can also do past job titles and other things like that. It’s a little bit more career-oriented in terms of targeting, not so much behavior-oriented targeting. So, you can’t target people who have an interest in a particular magazine or whatever, quite as easily on. In, as you can on Facebook. So that’s thing number one, targeting is not quite as granular.

Thing number two, it costs more than Facebook costs more per lead, and they do have minimums on the budget for ads. Where as you can post, you can boost a Facebook post for five bucks and you know, see how it does, which is a really good option. If you’re testing a bunch of things to see what people will respond to. I would say, Facebook is a great testing ground, but you want to be a little bit more polished by the time you get to LinkedIn. Because you’re paying more for your ads. So, you want to make sure that they’re going to be effective paying more for a lead is not necessarily a bad thing. If it has a greater probability of turning into a customer, then, you can pay more for leads all day long. As long as you need X number of leads. You can turn out of every five leads. You can turn one into a customer and whatever you are paying for those leads is less than one-fifth of what they’re paying you and their first, especially in that first transaction. Then, you can do that all day long and keep making money. So, just because leads are more expensive, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But, it’s just something you need to be aware of.

You do want to make sure that your ads are a little bit more polished and a little bit more measured and that your numbers before you start advertising on LinkedIn. That also adds to the quality. It’s kind of an aside, the ads that you see on LinkedIn are usually higher quality because people have to spend more to get them there, and they have to work a little bit harder through the LinkedIn campaign manager. It’s not quite as easy as just clicking a button to boost a post. That’s probably why a lot of the ads on LinkedIn are higher quality and people expect more polished results and so on. So that’s thing number two. They’re a little more expensive.

Thing number three, is that they work really, really well for a few things: business-to-business sales, complex transactions, high-ticket sales, events, career job-related. That’s where LinkedIn got its start, was just kind of a resume site, but those are the types of things or the types of ads that we’ve seen work, really, really well on LinkedIn. We’ve also done some ads for our websites that have done really well in LinkedIn, probably because their business to business. Also, anything having to do with career type training. So, flight schools do really well on LinkedIn, job-related and so on. And events, if you’ve got an event that’s coming up that is more than two weeks in the future. I would say you need a little bit of a runway. But, paid ads on LinkedIn seem to work really well for events too.

Those are three quick points. If you’re thinking about paid advertising on LinkedIn that you might want to consider number one, it’s not quite as granular, and it’s targeting is Facebook. Number two, cost per lead is a little bit more. So it’s a little more expensive. Number three, it works really, really well for specific types of ads including this to business-to-business events, career, and job-related.