Advertising Online: Is LinkedIn, Facebook or Google Adwords better for Professional Services?

by Kirsten Hodgson

Photo courtesy jscreationzs

 A number of professionals have recently asked me about advertising on LinkedIn and Facebook and whether it’s something they should consider. I asked Anna Gervai, owner of Orchid Web Design (a full-service digital agency based in Auckland), author of Marketing Gum, and the moderator of the Social Media New Zealand group on LinkedIn for her insights.


This week Anna covers why you should consider advertising on social networks. Next week she talks about the sort of budget you need, what results you can expect and how to determine which platform will give you the best return.


Anna has also put together an exclusive FREE OFFER for those of you in New Zealand, which you won’t want to miss. See the end of this post for more information. 


Why should lawyers, accountants and other professionals consider advertising on social networks?


The most popular social channels in NZ that should be considered for attracting new clients through paid advertising are Facebook and LinkedIn.


These are often unfairly compared to Google Adwords (also called ‘pay per click’ or ‘paid search’ advertising) so we’ll look at the pros and cons of each.


The reason professionals such as lawyers and accountants should consider advertising on social networks is because of the demographic and professional targeting you can tap into, which Google Adwords (paid search) does not provide. With Google Adwords, you target based on keywords and location.


For example using Google Adwords, if you’re a lawyer wanting to grow your property clients with a focus on conveyancing, you could target search terms (called keywords) such as:


conveyancing    2,900 / month    $2.77 CPC

conveyance      2,400 / month    $2.80 CPC

property lawyer 1,600 / month    $2.63 CPC


The numbers per month beside each keyword indicate how many searches are made for that search term (keyword) within NZ every month using Google.


The dollar figure is an estimated cost per click (CPC) in NZD if you were using Google Adwords. This is usually the most you’ll pay for one click (more about that later).


One keyword means one search term by the way, not necessarily ‘one word’ so one keyword can be one, two, three or more words.


Your ad can be set to only show in search results when a person searches for one of those keywords, and only for the locations from which you want to attract clients (e.g. Auckland).


What are some of the differences to consider when comparing the 3 options?


CPC advertising – Facebook, Google Adwords and LinkedIn: All three give you the option of your ads appearing for free so you only pay for a result (when someone clicks on your ad) called Cost Per Click (CPC) advertising.


CPM advertising – Facebook and LinkedIn: Facebook and LinkedIn give you the option of CPM advertising (cost per thousand impressions) where you pay per thousand impressions (an impression being one view of your ad, whether someone clicks on your ad or not). Google Adwords does not give you the option of CPM.


Location targeting by city: Facebook and Google Adwords: Although all three give you the ability to target New Zealand, only Facebook and Google Adwords also offer location targeting by city (e.g.Auckland) which can rule LinkedIn ads out for certain professionals (n.b. LinkedIn does allow targeting by city in countries such as the USA and the UK).


Target by keyword: Google Adwords: Being able to target by keyword is why Google Adwords averages a much higher CTR (click through rate) than Facebook and LinkedIn, giving better results and therefore more potential clients.


Age targeting: Facebook and LinkedIn: Although both platforms let you target by age, Facebook provides the option to target by individual year from 13 to 64+ (e.g. you might want to target people aged 40 to 59), however LinkedIn has pre-set age targeting (18 to 24, 25 to 34, 35 to 54 and 55+) so doesn’t provide the same level of flexibility.


Target by job title: LinkedIn: A key reason LinkedIn stands out as a good choice for advertising professional services is the ability to target by job title and/or job function. You could target your ads to show only for Business Owners for example, or CFOs, CEO’s, HR professionals, Accountants and so on. This allows you to precisely reach the decision makers that best match your services.


Combine this with LinkedIn’s ability to target by industry and you can start to see the potential of LinkedIn advertising over the other two.


FREE OFFER for New Zealand Professionals reading this post:


Avoid making expensive mistakes with online advertising by having your Market Demand Reports (a set of 2 reports) run before you commit to your spend.


Normally $99+ GST, your set of reports is FREE if you contact Anna and mention this article before the end of February 2012.


You’ll need to be a professional working within New Zealand to take advantage of this offer and there is a limit of one free set of reports per company. There is no obligation to use Anna’s company or any of their services so go ahead and order your free report before time runs out.


Your report will tell you:

  •  The average number of searches made by New Zealanders each month for up to 300 search terms relating to your products and services.
  • The estimated CPC (cost per click) per search term if you were to run a Google Adwords campaign.
  • The trend in demand per search term over the last 10 to 12 months.
  • The best months in which to advertise – which months see market demand peak?


 You’re welcome to share a link to this post with others so they can take advantage of this offer too. 


Have you advertised on social media networks? How valuable have you found this to be? 


Do you have any questions for Anna? Post them in the comments box and she'll respond. 

Specialising in professional services and law firm marketing. I help firms to retain and grow existing clients and attract more of their ideal clients. My core services include social media for lead generation, voice of the client programmes and tender strategy and development. Outside of work I love to run. I’m a bit like Forest Gump in that I’m not that quick but can keep going for ages. I also enjoy coming up with new inventions. Unfortunately, most of them have already been invented! | * Professional services marketing consultant | * Legal marketing consultant | * Law firm marketing consultant
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  • Rick Shera

    Useful article thanx Kirsten

    • Kirsten Hodgson

      Glad you found it useful – part 2 is good too. Will publish it next Tue.

  • Laura Betters

    Off-line promoting may be the complete opposite of internet promotion. Web marketing is usually marketing/advertising performed on the internet. Not online marketing and advertising may be the conventional methods of marketing just like television/newspaper/magazine ads, posters, jingles, and the like. Perhaps online businesses can benefit from in the real world promoting and quite a few typically make use of either online and offline advertising techniques.

    Kind Regards

    Here is My blog For more Information regarding Offline marketing

    • Kirsten Hodgson

      Good point Laura. Online and offline activities should definitely be coordinated.

  • Jo Foster

    Really useful thanks Anna and Kirsten. You’ve made it all very simple and enticed me to investigate more!

    • Kirsten Hodgson

      Thanks Jo – I need to do the same as you! Good luck. Kirsten