The medical device industry faces multiple unique challenges, many of which are likely to persist well into the future. Due to increasing competition, supply chain disruptions, high cost of production, rising healthcare costs, and regulatory challenges, Medtech companies need a creative approach to market their products to their target audiences.
Digital ads are often part of a comprehensive Medtech marketing strategy, and for a good reason. However, deciding which platform - or combination of platforms - to focus on can be tricky. While Google and all social media channels offer value to users, understanding how the pros and cons apply specifically to Medtech is paramount.
This article focuses on Google Ads and LinkedIn Ads to help you gain a better understanding of how they differ and what each can bring to your marketing strategy.
Pros and Cons of Google Ads vs. LinkedIn Ads
Hands down, pay-per-click (PPC) ads are among the best marketing tactics to get your Medtech business in front of the right people at the right time. However, putting all your eggs in a single basket may cause you to miss out on potential business.
The desire to generate more leads is one of the primary reasons device companies explore other ad options. This is where social media comes into play. Although most social media channels offer paid search advertising opportunities, LinkedIn is one of the most relevant platforms in the medical device space.
Let's take a look at the pros and cons that Google Ads and LinkedIn Ads provide to Medtech marketers.
With 246 million unique Google users in the United States and 4.3 billion users worldwide, Google has a remarkable market share of 92.24%. As a result, Google Ads has a significantly wider reach than any other social media platform, including LinkedIn. While theoretically, a vast reach is a clear positive, ad optimization becomes critical to ensure you correctly target and drive only qualified leads.
LinkedIn has 850 million members worldwide and 211 million in North America. Since its primary purpose is to connect companies and professionals, it is an ideal platform for Medtech businesses targeting physicians, surgeons, hospitals, and other stakeholders in the healthcare industry.
Members use LinkedIn for entirely different reasons than Google. While Google is used as a search engine, LinkedIn is used to create social relationships and seek new business opportunities. So whether you are a Medtech startup or a leading medical device company, LinkedIn is a better option to increase brand awareness and reach specific niche audiences, such as neurosurgeons, cardiovascular surgeons, etc. In addition, LinkedIn lets you serve ads to decision-makers in several ways. So despite the smaller reach, LinkedIn allows you to be more specific with your targeting.
Undoubtedly, Google Ads is an excellent tool for targeting high-intent searches. Thanks to Google's massive reach, it makes sense to use Google Ads to target audiences who already know what they are looking for and benefit from the platform to deliver relevant ads to those specific users at the right time.
But what about engaging target audiences before they show intent? Which platform is more effective? It turns out that LinkedIn Ads have a clear advantage over Google Ads in this regard. LinkedIn Ads allows you to reach clearly defined audiences by showing ads to those that meet specific buyer criteria. Thanks to LinkedIn's refined targeting options, you can make surgeons aware of how your product meets a pain point they have but may be unaware of.
Google Ads allows you to segment your audience based on the following criteria:
Custom intent segments: auto-created (Display)
Your data segments (formerly known as remarketing)
In addition, Google offers Customer Match, which allows you to use your own data to reach customers. Regardless of how well you know your audience and the segment you want to target, avoiding clicks from non-viable leads may be difficult, which can drive up the cost of your PPC ad campaign. However, if your goal is to reach a broad audience, Google Ads is a great way to go.
One of the most significant advantages of LinkedIn is the possibility of account-based marketing execution. When people join LinkedIn, they are required to provide important details about themselves (such as professional experience, industry, title, and occupation) that can be extremely helpful when creating your ad marketing campaign.
LinkedIn also offers additional tools to help you reach your target segments. For example, the Matched Audience feature allows you to match your email list, company list, or website visitors with LinkedIn users. In addition, the Audience Templates simplify targeting through pre-populated targeting options. As a result, LinkedIn is a clear winner for microtargeting with over a hundred segmentation methods.
The average cost-per-click (CPC) for Google Ads is $1. However, you need to segment your audience appropriately to take advantage of the lower cost.
On average, LinkedIn ads' CPC is around $5 or $6 for 1,000 impressions. Although this is a more expensive option, if your company prefers LinkedIn Ads over Google Ads, consider running a limited number of ads on LinkedIn instead of an expansive PCP campaign.
Google offers more ad types than LinkedIn. Here is a list of the various options available:
App Promotion Ads
Product Shopping Ads
Showcase Shopping Ads
Lead Gen Forms
A significant commonality between the two platforms is display ads, allowing advertisers to expand their reach by targeting audiences on and off the platform.
So which is better? LinkedIn Ads vs. Google Ads for MedTech?
The answer is it depends. The truth is that both platforms offer some unique benefits that the other does not. Evaluate each advertising solution's pros and cons and determine which is best suited to help you achieve your specific campaign goals. Consider your budget, marketing goals, and target audience when making your decision.
Make an evidence-based decision about the best marketing platform to reach your specific goals. Then, before creating your ad campaign on either Google or LinkedIn, study the ad specs and targeting options and choose the appropriate ad format for your business.
Best of all, you do not necessarily have to choose between the two. Many companies use the two platforms simultaneously to reach their social media marketing goals.