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Marketing Strategy

Google Ads vs. LinkedIn Ads: Which channel works for B2B healthcare and biotech    

By November 2, 2020November 17th, 2020No Comments

Five years ago, almost all our client requests for pay-per-click (PPC) ads were for Google search and display ads.  

Today, our clients spend 80% of their PPC budget on LinkedIn, 10% on Google, and 10% on Facebook (which is quickly growing). 

For B2B marketers new to PPC advertising, how do you know which marketing channel will convert? 

With nearly two decades of digital marketing expertise, here’s what our team has uncovered about which PPC channel performs best for the various types of products and services offered by today’s B2B health tech, medical device, and life sciences companies. 

You may also be surprised to learn how many hard-to-reach professionals who don’t hold traditional desk jobs, including scientists and physicians, use LinkedIn to find out about new products and services.  

The right channel depends on the buyer’s urgency and length of the sales cycle

Google Search Ads are great at attracting buyers with time-sensitive issues: 

Server down? Google Ads works. 

Need a workplace or film crew screener for COVID-19? Google Ads converts. 

Need a patient safety system or want to learn more about a new medical device? Google Ads fails. 

In other words, Google Ads performs best for products and services that solve an immediate need for your buyers, who are likely ready to purchase or engage in an immediate discussion. 

This is in sharp contrast to LinkedIn Ads, which is better suited for higher-priced products and services that solve a long-term problem, and with sales cycles that go beyond 3–6 months. 

Further, LinkedIn Ads can increase awareness at the top of the funnel among potential buyers who aren’t actively searching for your products or services. As an added bonus, you can also target your ideal customers on LinkedIn with easy-to-use account-based marketing tools

While Google Ads reaches people when they are already looking for the product or service you offer, LinkedIn Ads is more likely to get in front of those buyers who don’t know you, don’t know your product exists, or how it can help them solve a nagging problem.

Your hard-to-reach healthcare and biotech target personas are on LinkedIn

Everyone uses Google, but LinkedIn? B2B marketers who assume their buyers aren’t on LinkedIn unless they are looking for a job typically default to Google Ads. To avoid throwing away money on Google Ads that don’t convert, we suggest you research your audience profiles on LinkedIn first.

Clarity Quest has successfully developed LinkedIn campaigns for clients to reach these hard-to-reach niche audiences in highly competitive industries: 

  • Scientific researchers
  • Pharmaceutical researchers
  • Pharmaceutical market access and marketing pros
  • Physicians, including surgeons
  • Pharma QA, engineering, and facilities leaders
  • Health system directors in operations, quality, and patient engagement
  • Medical device QA and RA directors
  • Sales and marketing (C-level down through manager level)

Read this success story to learn how we helped Relievant Medsystems, a surgical medical device company, generate more than 700 leads and increase visitors to their website from LinkedIn by 75%.

Ads getting rejected?

Check out our post on overcoming Google Ads restrictions.

Find the PPC advertising channel that’s right for your company

The product or service you offer and whether it solves an immediate or longer-term problem can impact which PPC advertising channel is most effective in generating leads for your company. 

While most B2B marketers look to Google first, our experience has shown that LinkedIn Ads can successfully deliver high-quality marketing and sales qualified leads, especially for those products and services with a longer sales cycle. 

We’ve also started seeing more B2B marketers turn to Facebook for their advanced algorithmic targeting capabilities. Contact us today to discuss your target audience profiles and which PPC digital marketing channel makes sense for your budget.

Chris Slocumb

Author Chris Slocumb

Chris is the founder and president of Clarity Quest Marketing, where she has the best job on the planet leading a talented group of marketers helping healthcare and technology companies grow revenues and visibility. To learn more about Chris' experiences and qualifications, visit our leadership team page.

More posts by Chris Slocumb