Personally, I am a fan of LinkedIn’s advertising system, they make it incredibly easy to target very specific demographics, businesses, or even specific job title. As with many other channels, you can sponsor specific posts, so that you’re advertising through interesting and relevant content rather than more traditional advertising.

Here at Passle, we help professional services firms create more content on a regular basis. However, creating content is only the first step, you have to then make sure it’s seen by the right people. For many of these firms, LinkedIn is therefore a natural fit for sharing their content.

I thought it’d be interesting to look at the organic reach on LinkedIn of two firms currently using Passle, and work out how much the same reach would cost them if they were paying for the same reach. It’s an exercise that doesn’t promise any kind of scientific accuracy, but it’s quite fascinating:

Case Study 1

  • Where: Australia
  • 12 content creators
  • 163 posts created in 3 months using Passle which have been shared on LinkedIn 2,268 times so far.
  • If they carry on like this, that’s an estimated 16,848 shares over the course of 1 year.
  • Now, the average LinkedIn user has 930 connections according to Jeff Bullas, so those 16,484 could have a potential reach of 15,668,640.
  • Imagine you tried to replicate this reach through LinkedIn sponsored posts. At $22 per thousand views, you’d have to pay to the tune of $344,710 to achieve those same results.
  • Currently, this firm pays $12,816 to use Passle ($1,068 per seat).

It would cost 26.9 times more without Passle!

Case Study 2

  • Where: UK
  • 4 content creators
  • 116 posts created in 3 months using Passle which have been shared on LinkedIn 342 times so far.
  • If they carry on like this, that’s an estimated 2,964 shares over the course of 1 year.
  • Using Bullas’s figures, those shares could have a potential reach of 2,756,520.
  • The cost of LinkedIn advertising is slightly less in the UK at $20, so replicating this reach would cost $56,123.
  • Currently this firm pays $4,272 to use Passle ($1,068 per seat).

It would cost 13.1 times more without Passle!

Now there are caveats to this kind of exercise.

Firstly we’re assuming there’s a 100% reach for all shares, which isn’t a safe assumption. Secondly, both of these firms’ content creators do share their posts on social media, making it easier for their articles to spread. Not all of our clients do this – though we try to encourage them – the point of writing is to be read after all!

We’re also only looking at Linkedin, when many other channels contribute to reach, including websites, newsletters, other networks, etc…

Yet, the bottom line is that timely, authentic and relevant content is more powerful than advertising. As far as Linkedin goes, a known expert sharing their content to their network is more attractive than a stranger peddling to other strangers.

That's not to say you shouldn't experiment with Linkedin's advertising features too, it's more of an 'and' situation, than an 'or'.