Google Search advertising isn’t the only game in town when it comes to online advertising. It doesn’t matter that, for example, Bing has only a tiny fraction of the number of users – it’s pay per click advertising, so the expenditure usually works out to be proportionally lower too. Similarly, it could be worth giving other pay-per-click networks a try; but if so, it’s important to be aware of the difference in audience.
LinkedIn is very established, and has decent traffic. Can it work to sell products and services? Yes it can. However, it’s critical to remember that unlike search engine advertising, we’re not advertising to people who are visiting the site looking for products and services. Instead, they may be looking up details on business acquaintances, or they may be taking part in some of the surprisingly decent business conversations that can spring up. LinkedIn doesn’t usually offer an audience that necessarily wants to buy now – but it can deliver some highly targeted people who might be intrigued by the right message.
And don’t forget, it’s pay-per-click, so the relevance of the audience isn’t important in terms of reach, but in terms of being able to tailor the message. If an advertising medium could put our message in front of everyone on the planet but only charge us for relevant clicks, we’d take it. What the targeting offers us is a chance to write something that will excite that targeted audience.
Think of it this way: search advertising gives us the ability to put an advert in front of people who are searching online for information about blue widgets. So we make sure our advert says: “Our blue widgets are something you should investigate”. LinkedIn gives us the ability to put an advert in front of people who are, say, production engineers in Yorkshire. So we’d write an advert that says: “Find out why our blue widgets are of interest to production engineers in Yorkshire”.