Google and social media advertising

Working predominantly with business-to-business (B2B) professional services firms, there is little opportunity to do much advertising. Most of the firms I work with focus on generating online interest through content management and search strategies although social media advertising is becoming increasingly popular with some law, accountancy and property firms. I’m also interested in how social media can be used for recruitment advertising and also in my role as editor of a community page ( So I thought I’d pop along to a short training session run by Tim Prizeman of Kelso PR on Google and social media advertising.

Google advertising  

Most people are familiar with Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising which receive about 10-15% of the clicks compared to search results. For text ads, headlines can be up to two lots of 30 characters and the description up to 80 characters.

Tim presented an interesting comparison of Google Adwords vs social media advertising:

Google Social media
Pricing by auction Pricing by auction
Bid based on search terms Bid based on demographics
Little demographic information Demographic information
No variety in advertising style Various advertising style options

With 3.5 billion searches each day, Google ads are cost-effective and good for targeting people in research and buying modes. The downside is that the interface can seem complex. Long tail, descriptive phrases were most likely to generate the right sorts of leads at a reasonable price in business-to-business marketing,

In social media advertising, you target people by demographics and interest and the artificial intelligence means that ads can reach people who are likely to be most receptive.

LinkedIn advertising

LinkedIn has half a billion members. Targeting criteria include: job title, job seniority, job function, company size, location, country, company name, industry, gender, age, years of experience, skills, degrees, school and fields of study. There’s no minimum sized group for advertising.

In LinkedIn there are three main ways to advertise: sponsored content, text adverts (a thumbnail photo with a little text – presented in groups of three) and sponsored InMail. The larger banner adverts seen on the side panels are generally too expensive for professional service firms.

The minimum daily ad spend for text ads, sponsored content and InMail is £8.

I learned that there is a separate pathway for recruitment advertising.

Facebook advertising

Facebook has 2.1 billion monthly users. Targeting criteria include: job titles, income, location, age, gender, interests, people connected to your pages, relationship status, education, home type and life events. There’s a minimum reach of around 20,000.

Techniques include suggested posts and sponsored posts. Effectively you are boosting existing content posts.

Need for a strategy

Throughout the session, Tim stressed the need to consider the different stages of the buyer journey and to strive for early engagement:


Latent need or opportunity

Awareness of a need or opportunity


Seeking solutions

Researching solutions


Justifying the solution

Making the buying decision

He mentioned that research indicated that 70% of any decision is now made before speaking to a salesperson. He also observed that B2B marketing is often focused on the end of the buyer journey whereas thought leadership strategies concentrated on the earlier stages.

Tim stressed that there was no substitute for identifying the right product and message for the right person at the right time with the right value proposition. There’s more on strategic marketing here


What became apparent is that:

  1. You need to be clear about your target market, segmentation and personas
  2. There must be clarity on your value proposition (few professional service firms have effective differentiation strategies and a strong call to action (CTA) in order to measure impact and capture email details so that you can nurture the relationship. Ideas here included research downloads, guides, free events, diagnostics, videos, must-read blogs ad valuable advice.
  3. The advertising must take place within an integrated campaign

In terms of creating adverts and advertising campaigns, no doubt Tim would be able to help you. But he also suggested you look at successful campaigns at

Future Kelso events are listed here

Tim’s excellent book on thought leadership is reviewed here: