February 6, 2024

Paid Advertising: LinkedIn vs Google for B2B marketing

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Paid advertising has been a long-standing, integral part of strategic marketing for years now; with the practise continually evolving to keep up with business’ needs, consumer insights and much more.

There are numerous ways to incorporate paid advertising into your marketing plan; from social media platforms and Google, to affiliate and influencer partnerships – but we’re here to compare LinkedIn and Google, as they’re two of the most beneficial platforms to consider for your B2B paid marketing strategy.


LinkedIn is commonly known as the kingpin B2B platform, whether that’s from an organic or paid marketing perspective. Compared to other platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn allows such detailed targeting that doesn’t require you to fight through the ‘noise’ to reach your ideal audience. So, let’s take a closer look at LinkedIn’s pros:

  • LinkedIn’s user base is much more suited to B2B businesses, allowing paid ads to be targeted towards a much higher quality of relevant and professional recipients and decision-makers.
  • LinkedIn has put even more time & effort into their advertising service recently, meaning conversion tracking, geo-targeting, budget management and CPC optimisation are all now improved.
  • LinkedIn offers a very granular approach when it comes to targeting, allowing advertisers to drill down on things like seniority, experience, skill set, academic background and more.
  • Refined targeting on LinkedIn allows advertisers to show the ‘need’ for their service or product to potential leads who otherwise may not think they have a need for it.
  • LinkedIn offers ‘Matched Audiences’ which allows advertisers to upload a custom audience of their choosing and have LinkedIn find similar profiles on the platform.
  • LinkedIn offers a variety of formats for adverts, including display ads, sponsored content ads and InMail ads.
  • LinkedIn has been shown to have a higher credibility and prestige when it comes to B2B marketing compared to other platforms (Source: Tequia Burt, Editor in Chief, LinkedIn Collective and LinkedIn Ads Blog).

It’s evident that LinkedIn has a whole range of beneficial features for paid B2B marketing; covering audience type, targeting, ROI and more, but it’s worth highlighting that, as mentioned above, not all LinkedIn users are ‘in market’ or even aware that they have a requirement for the products/services being advertised. This doesn’t necessarily make advertising on the platform harder, it just means that advertisers need to ensure that their paid-for content is as relevant, engaging and captivating as possible whilst clearly displaying the desired message in an appropriately digestible way for their specific audience.

So, how does Google compare?


The Google platform offers a range of options for B2B advertising; from search and display ads to shopping and video. Aside from format though, Google enables advertisers to find and target potential customers who are at a variety of stages in their buying journey, allowing ads to be targeted for each stage. Google advertising offers a range of features such as:

  • Allowing advertisers to identify people and companies who are ‘in market’ and actively searching for similar services or companies as theirs.
  • Google has a much wider network of users and therefore, audience, allowing advertisers to choose from a larger pool of potential buyers.
  • Google has its own tools to assist with the creation of adverts; such as their keyword planner, performance planner and more.
  • The content and timing of Google ads aligns with the consumer’s intent, showing ads as a direct result of a search query being made.
  • Google ads can be directly integrated into Google Analytics, keeping all paid and organic stats in one place for direct and thorough campaign comparison.
  • Google’s remarketing feature enables advertisers to serve ads to people who have previously interacted with their brand or website.

As the world’s largest search engine, Google has an incomparable audience base – but more doesn’t always mean more. Advertisers need to focus their strategies on competing with the often-vast number of competitors on the platform, showcasing their brand and its USPs clearly in order to stand out amongst the other paid (and organic!) results on the web who are all trying to achieve the same thing with the same – or similar – audience.

It’s worth noting too, that the more in-depth capabilities of LinkedIn advertising do tend to come at a higher price compared to that of Google, but as the data and the audience is more refined and targeted, we do tend to see a higher ROI on LinkedIn ads which makes the higher price tag much more acceptable!

It’s evident that both platforms offer a vast range of benefits and features for B2B advertisers to take advantage of, so which one is best to use?

Ultimately, it depends on your goal and budget but, if possible, it’s best to use both. Using both platforms cohesively will provide a full-funnel strategy that covers all stages of the buying journey – awareness, consideration and conversion.

LinkedIn is best for targeting decision-makers at the top & middle of the funnel, whereas Google tends to have more impact in converting prospects towards the bottom of the funnel (if converting leads is your overall goal, of course). Google ads are great for raising awareness and increasing consideration with people who are actively looking for your product or services, but the audience is much broader compared to that of LinkedIn, which is something to consider when deciding which platform is best for you and your business’s objectives.

Paid advertising can feel like a bit of a minefield in the ever-changing world of digital marketing, so if you need any support, get in touch with our friendly digital team here.


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