LinkedIn Ads vs. XING Ads: Which Business Network Offers Better Advertising Opportunities?

The strong growth of the two professional platforms is no longer surprising. With the growing number of new registrations, LinkedIn and XING are becoming more and more interesting for advertisers. Because both networks are no longer used as pure recruiting platforms. Networking and consuming content from a professional context are very popular with users.

The advantage of a business network: The users are not online to pass the time. They want to use their precious time to get valuable and useful content.

If you have decided to advertise on a platform with a professional background, the question arises: which platform should I use? LinkedIn? XING?

Differences between the two platforms

Let’s take a look at the two platforms. Are they really that similar, or are there differences that one should consider when choosing the right advertising platform?

Difference # 1: who has more reach?

An important factor to consider is range. Are there enough potential users at all? XING is focused on the German-speaking area and has around 17 million users. On the contrary, LinkedIn started with an international orientation and only established itself over the years in the DACH region with 14 million users.

Difference # 2: Where can I better define my target group?

If I am considering advertising on LinkedIn and / or XING, my target group will probably be in the B2B sector or have a professional context. Both platforms offer numerous selection criteria, such as job title, career level and field of activity. LinkedIn has slightly more options than XING when it comes to selecting the target group.

Difference # 3: Who has the more specific campaign goals?

Another important point when creating advertisements: The campaign goal should support the business goal. Here the two professional platforms structure their campaign goals differently. LinkedIn focuses on the main goals of brand awareness, consideration and conversion, which are further split by sub-goals. At XING, on the other hand, I can only advertise my website, a XING event or a lead form. Engagement, video views and special website conversions such as a purchase cannot be selected as a campaign target, which is why the algorithm has little ability to target ads to purchases or other important conversions.

Difference # 4: Which ad formats can be used?

The display formats for both platforms. Both image and video ads as well as lead and mailing ads are possible.

Difference # 5: where can I analyze my ads more precisely?

Finally, a big difference in the measurement of the success of advertisements on the two platforms. XING does not have its own tracking pixel that can be implemented on the website. The only way to analyze results in more depth is through URL parameters. In addition to the use of URL parameters, LinkedIn has its own “insight tag” with which corresponding conversions on the website can be tracked, so that, in my opinion, LinkedIn has the clear advantage here.

The following articles are about advertising too. check them out.

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Video and Display Advertising with Google Ads: Few Direct Conversions, but a Good Introduction to the Customer Journey?

The New MSAN Advertising Format: Exciting Opportunities, Interesting Reach?

Now which platform is the better choice?

In summary, it can be said that LinkedIn provides a few more selection criteria, but XING is constantly working to offer advertisers more options.

There is no general answer to whether LinkedIn or XING is the better choice. That depends on a number of individual factors that are different in every company. When choosing between LinkedIn or XING as an advertising platform, you should therefore ask yourself exactly: Who is the target group? What do you want to achieve and to what extent do you want to be able to evaluate the results?

This video explains the difference between both platforms:

My personal conclusion

Two factors make LinkedIn my personal favorite:

  1. On the one hand, I have much more precise options for targeting my target group. Especially in the B2B area, I can target specific companies here. I also have the opportunity to create target groups based on website data. Not only for remarketing, but also to create so-called lookalikes to acquire new customers. One of my favorite audiences.
  2. Which brings us to the second point – tracking. With my own LinkedIn Insight Tag, I have much more precise options for evaluating and optimizing ads. I can also use it to create target groups and offer the algorithm options to better assess the campaign goal and thus the display.

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