Facebook vs. LinkedIn vs. Adello Direct – comparing B2B advertising solutions for a SaaS product – a live challenge

This is part one of our blog series: David vs Goliath – A live advertising competition to find out which advertising campaign platform performs best when it comes to B2B Marketing.

Launching a product for the B2B market is probably one of the major challenges of a Product Marketing Manager, unless you are already a well-established player in the market. Spreading the news across the world about your new awesome product to sell to a customer segment that you have considered as segment to target, is considerably easy when budget does not matter. But if you are running a startup or an SME business, campaign budget plays a significant role and you really care about the performance outcome of your campaigns. Every $ you spent, you want to spend well.

So our team decided to start an experiment of testing our new SaaS product by comparing it to two Goliath players in the programmatic advertising market: Facebook and LinkedIn. This is a live experiment with an unknown outcome. So, no polishing up from our side. Promise! We can fail and, hopefully, learn from our mistakes. But we hope that we can gain valuable learnings which platform better serves different B2B Marketing needs and purposes.

Communication Channels – Which ones should be chosen?

Choosing the right channels for your B2B Marketing communication is challenging. Should you concentrate on LinkedIn as a business network or is Facebook as a social network also relevant? Would Pinterest and Instagram provide you opportunities to present a product visually or can you ignore that platform for the moment? 

As a startup, you better start with one communication battlefield as you will not be able to play on all of them in the very beginning. Building up a B2B community takes time. But: you only have a certain amount of time and resources for your battles. Yes, social media publishing tools like Buffer or Hootsuite do help, but remember: you start from scratch as a new player in the market and thus need to build up your community first.

Programmatic Advertising for B2B

In order to grow your B2B community you have to offer something valuable to your audience, usually some kind of information, knowledge. The basic set for growing a community is standard: create an appealing website, provide valuable content via Content Marketing for your potential customers and engage with your community. Expanding your community beyond your personal network usually implies to run advertising campaigns.

And here comes the challenge: which ones to choose? 

I am honest with you: we first ignored Facebook as a communication channel. We are a deep-tech startup and simply could not imagine building a community for a B2B business on a social network. However, more and more B2B companies are on Facebook and the opportunity to run programmatic advertising campaigns in a social network is well-worth checking out. Plus, we surprisingly noticed a lot of website traffic coming through Facebook.

Our second choice is LinkedIn. We focused on that channel firsthand, as a business network provides us with the opportunity to engage with the key decision-makers in companies. Naturally, THE platform for a B2B company to concentrate on. 

Why not Google DV360? Yes, Google Ads…everybody does it, but we want to concentrate on In-App mobile advertising which are both offered on Facebook and LinkedIn but not on Google (maybe that live experiment will be worth another challenge in the future?!)

Last but not least: our own campaign manager on Adello Direct.

What does Adello Direct offer?

Sorry to sound like a salesperson now, but I feel you need some background information on our product first to understand the competition we are getting ourselves into.

Adello Direct offers programmatic advertising in a mobile environment. We have been serving big brands via key account management over the last years working together with media agencies.

With our new SaaS product, we offer the opportunity to create advertising campaigns like on Google, Facebook or LinkedIn for In-App and mobile web advertising. Not the smallest competitors we chose. That’s why we came up with the blunt approach of testing our performance results and compete with the big players.

Are you ready to follow this challenge? Stay tuned and read next week’s article on B2B advertising: How to set up advertising campaigns on Facebook, LinkedIn and Adello Direct. We will look into different targeting options and settings and analyze what will work on which advertising platform.

We are also curious to find out how you drive your B2B Marketing! Which campaign managers do you use, what do you like about it and what are you missing?

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