What is the best PPC channel: Facebook Ads? Google AdWords? Twitter? LinkedIn?

Every year before Super Bowl, there’s a discussion around what else could you buy as an alternative to the $5 million ad placement.

According to AdWeek, $5 million can buy you:

  • 17 Snapchat lenses, the fun filters that overlay selfies. Each costs roughly $329,400
  • 22 sponsored BuzzFeed videos, each $254,500
  • 370 million display video impressions
  • 800 million impressions from banner ads

Alright, let’s be realistic – most advertisers don’t carry millions on their sleeves.

For most people, it’s a question of where to spend the $2,000 – $50,000 monthly ad budget.

And that’s where things get interesting as there’s no room for crazy-expensive mistakes. If you’re an SMB or a startup, you simply can’t afford a month of slow growth.

📍 Finding the right PPC channel matters. A lot.

The best way to find out which PPC channel returns the highest return on investment is to test all of them.

But as testing takes a tremendous amount of time and money, it makes more sense to read what’s worked for others.

This article will compare five PPC channels, based on insights I’ve learned in 3 years while creating and managing ad campaigns on Facebook Ads, Google AdWords, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

We’ll review three aspects of each advertising channel:

  1. What’s the average cost-per-click?
  2. Is the PPC channel worth your money?
  3. What’s the best way to get started?

1. Facebook Ads

Average cost-per-click for B2B in UK with smart audience targeting: $0.20 – $2.00

Facebook Ads are a real wildcard when it comes to your ad campaigns’ success. In my experience, there’s no way to tell how Facebook’s algorithms will act upon your new ad campaign.

The only problem with Facebook Ads is the unpredictability. We’ve seen similar blog article promotions have a $0.50 – $4.30 cost-per-click. With the same ad audience and bidding methods!

📍 Read more: 5 Steps to the Perfect Facebook Blog Promotion

But even if you’re at Facebook’s mercy when advertising on the platform, it’s mostly worth your money. Facebook’s laser-sharp audience targeting options make it a go-to place for both awareness and remarketing campaigns.

Reasons to use Facebook Ads:

  • Reasonable cost-per-click
  • Huge potential audience: you can reach 1.23 billion daily active users
  • Amazing audience targeting options, including Custom Audiences for remarketing
  • Brings great results when targeting a warm audience
  • Accurate ad tracking and simple A/B testing
  • Insightful reporting and highly optimizable campaigns
  • Variety of ad placements: Facebook news feeds, Instagram, Audience Network
  • When someone likes or shares your ad, it’ll also organically reach their Facebook friends
  • Lots of options for playing around with Facebook ad designs

Reasons not to use Facebook Ads:

  • If you’re unsure who your target audience is, you’re likely to get poor results
  • It takes some time to learn and become an expert
  • Campaigns might fail to take off and won’t deliver
  • You might have to deal with random comments

As you can see, there aren’t any severe counterarguments against using Facebook Ads. It’s one of the top PPC channels that you should definitely use and test.

 

2. Google Search Network

Average cost-per-click for B2B in UK with smart audience targeting: $2.00 – $12.00

(The CPC really depends on the keywords you’re bidding on)

📍 It is predicted that by 2020, Facebook And Google will serve 71% of the total mobile ad spend.

And there’s a reason for it: these are the two PPC channels that deliver the best results across all industries, both B2B and B2C.

The best thing about Google Search Network (ads that appear on Google’s search pages), is that you don’t have to exactly know your target audience. Instead, you’re targeting people who are specifically interested in your product.

With Google Search Network, you’re not targeting people based on their interests, but their search terms.

Reasons to use Google Search Network:

  • Great match between the search term and your offer
  • No need to know your target audience, only the relevant keywords
  • High ad relevance helps to get better leads that convert more easily
  • Reasonable cost-per-click
  • Complete overview and control over your campaigns’ results
  • Efficient bidding options

Reasons not to use Google Search Network:

  • If you use too broad keywords, you’ll get many irrelevant clicks, spending lots of money
  • Basically, you need to know what you’re doing before you can set up a PPC campaign on this channel
  • For some keywords, there’s a huge competition and high cost-per-click
  • You’ll need multiple landing pages to keep your offers relevant to search terms

All in all, Google Search Network is a critically important lead source for both B2B and B2C advertisers.

But you need to be aware that in order to be successful with this PPC channel, you first need to read and learn about the topic. Or hire a PPC agency to help you out.

3. Google Display Network

Average cost-per-click for B2B in UK with smart audience targeting: $0.80 – $2.00

Google Display Network allows you to deliver image ads or GIFs to Google’s display network partners’ websites. These include millions of top websites such as news publications, blogs, and many more sites.

📍 Google Display Network is a great channel for remarketing and reminding past website visitors of your offer. But it could also serve as an awareness channel.

Reasons to use Google Display Network:

  • Works well when retargeting past website visitors / purchasers
  • Your ads will appear on well-known sites
  • Reasonable cost-per-click prices
  • Insightful reporting and optimization possibilities
  • Good awareness building channel

Reasons not to use Google Display Network:

  • Tech-savvy people might have blocked display ads in their browser
  • It takes some time to learn and master  this PPC channel
  • You’ll need many ad designs in different sizes
  • When targeting a too vague audience, you’ll get poor results

Google Display Network can potentially deliver great results, especially with remarketing. Similarly to Google Search Network, it’s best if you spend some time learning about this topic before creating any ads.

4. Twitter Ads

Average cost-per-click for B2B in UK with smart targeting: $1.00 – $2.00

The main problem with Twitter Ads is the poor audience targeting. You won’t be able to reach a niche audience like on Facebook, and often this might mean paying for low-quality ad clicks.

To give you a proper comparison of Facebook Ads vs. Twitter Ads, here’s a brief overview of a 10-day experiment conducted by AdEspresso:

📍 When promoting an eBook with Facebook Lead Ads, the average cost-per-lead was $3.48. With Twitter Lead Cards, the average cost-per-lead it was $11.7.

Facebook Lead Ads outperformed Twitter Cards by 336%.

Now, this doesn’t mean that Facebook always outperforms Twitter, but if you have to choose whether to bet money on Facebook or Twitter Ads, I’d recommend that you lean on Facebook Ads first.

Reasons to use Twitter Ads:

  • You can target people based on hashtags and topics
  • If you’re promoting a cool and witty ad, it might work out really well
  • It’s a good addition to your other PPC campaigns
  • Quick and simple setup

Reasons not to use Twitter Ads:

  • Limited custom audience targeting, e.g. can’t exclude Custom Audiences
  • Sometimes, new ads are under review for days
  • I personally have never seen any good results from Twitter Ads
  • Limited reporting and it’s difficult to optimize your ads

As the final verdict, I’d say that if you’ve got a limited ad budget, try Facebook Ads and Google Search Network first.

Later, if you still have some extra budget left, you might want to run a test campaign on Twitter to see if this PPC channel works for you.

5. LinkedIn Ads

Average cost-per-click for B2B in UK with smart targeting: $3.00 – $12.00

📍 If you want your ad campaign to reach the CEO of a specific company, LinkedIn makes it possible… Kind of…

LinkedIn allows you to target people based on their employers and career levels, but you need to have at least 20 people in your target audience to run an ad campaign.

Another nice thing about LinkedIn ads is that this PPC channel rewards advertisers who regularly update ad copy & images with better engagement and a lower cost-per-click.

If you’re willing to update and optimize your campaigns, LinkedIn’s super high CPC might come down to a reasonable sum.

Reasons to use LinkedIn Ads:

  • You can target people based on their job titles % employers
  • LinkedIn’s a great place for B2B marketing as many C-Suite members use it
  • You can reach a super narrow target audience
  • Ad campaigns are simple to set up

Reasons not to use LinkedIn Ads:

  • High cost-per-click
  • Limited targeting options, poor interest-based targeting capacity
  • Smaller potential audience than on Facebook
  • Limited ad placements
  • Reports only show, CPC, impressions, and CTR
  • Difficult to optimize and improve
  • Fewer ad formats than on Facebook

Just like with Twitter Ads, you shouldn’t use LinkedIn Ads over Facebook Ads or Google Search Network. Rather than spend your limited budgets on LinkedIn, focus your efforts on Facebook first.

However, if you’re targeting a very narrow B2B audience that might not even use Facebook, you can use LinkedIn Ads to amplify your campaigns’ reach.

How to get started with new PPC channels:

Now that you’ve got an overview of five different PPC channels but are a total newbie, here are a few awesome resources to get you started.

Facebook Ads:

The best resources to learn about Facebook ads: AdEspresso blog, Jon Loomer
Become a Facebook remarketing pro with this guide I wrote for KlientBoost blog: 101-Point Guide to Master Facebook Custom Audiences
Golden Facebook ad tips that apply to every marketing campaign: Secrets Revealed: 47 Closely Guarded Facebook Ad Tips

Google Search Network:

The best resources to learn about Google Search Network: KlientBoost blog, WordStream blog
Here’s a complete Google AdWords guide by KISSmetrics: How to Create a Profitable Google AdWords Campaign (from Scratch)
Awesome course on traffic acquisition with Google AdWords by CXL.

Google Display Network:

The best resources to learn about Google Display Network: KlientBoost blog, WordStream blog
Quick guide to getting started by WordStream: 7 Tips to Master the Google Display Network
Super comprehensive Display network guide for hacks and tips by KlientBoost: Your AdWords Display Network Master Plan [67 Tips For More Conversions]

Twitter Ads:

The best resources to learn about Twitter Ads: HootSuite blog, Social Media Examiner
The guide that’ll give you a quick overview of Twitter marketing by HootSuite: How to Use Twitter Ads: The Complete Guide for Business
If you want to get more guides on Twitter Ads, see this post by Neil Patel: 9 Twitter Advertising Guides That’ll Help You Generate Better Results for Less

LinkedIn Ads:

The best resources to learn about LinkedIn Ads: KISSmetrics blog, Social Media Examiner
Top guide to for beginners by KISSmetrics: The Kissmetrics Guide To LinkedIn Ads – Part I: The Basics
A cool overview of how LinkedIn markets itself on the platform by AdWeek: How LinkedIn Markets on LinkedIn (Infographic)

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