Visable 360
The B2B magazine for digital sales
Visable 360
The B2B magazine for digital sales

XING Ads or LinkedIn Ads for B2B: which one pays off more?

It may make sense for B2B companies to integrate the business networks XING and LinkedIn into their marketing mix. But which one is more worthwhile: XING Ads or LinkedIn Ads? We explain the pros and cons of both platforms here.

Horse race

XING Ads vs LinkedIn Ads: the differences

Due to the professional basis of the XING and LinkedIn networks, both platforms offer interesting opportunities for advertising in the B2B environment. At first glance, the two are similar, but they differ quite a lot when taking a closer look at the details of each.


In January 2019, LinkedIn recorded 303 million active users worldwide, 13 million of which are in the DACH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) region, according to the company’s own numbers. XING is only active in the DACH region and has 17.5 million registered users to date, according to the company. The conclusion: if you are focused on German domestic business, XING Ads will work well for you. An international company would profit more from the global reach provided by LinkedIn Ads.


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Ad formats:

 Both business networks have a host of advertising formats in their portfolio, and they are slightly different. Carousel ads known from Facebook Ads, in which several products can be presented in just one advertising measure, is only bookable on LinkedIn.

XING scores points for special event ads, which advertise events such as seminars. And on the so-called XING Business pages, companies can specially highlight certain products or services.

When it comes to the handling of the ads for lead generation, LinkedIn is slightly more advantageous, as these can be linked to customer relationship management. On XING, registrations or other data still have to be exported manually (as of October 2019).


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In general, the analysis and optimisation of advertising campaigns is relatively complex on both portals. LinkedIn scores with its Insight Tag, a code for company websites. It allows for campaign optimisation, retargeting, and detailed insights into the target group.


Both portals have a comparably high cost per click (CPC) rate – usually between 3 and 10 euros. Advertising with XING Ads and LinkedIn Ads, however, is frequently worthwhile, as the B2B products and services advertised are also often in the upper price range. Tip: payment models with cost per thousand (CPM) of contacts are also possible and, in many cases, more affordable when broken down into clicks.



The target group can be well defined on both portals in terms of their level of education, career experience, industry distribution, region and age group. Thus, a relatively high number of conversions is possible. LinkedIn Ads offer, in contrast to XING Ads, somewhat more detailed targeting options. According to LinkedIn, lead campaigns on the platform are nearly three times more effective than comparable campaigns on Facebook and Twitter.

Conclusion: advertising on both platforms makes sense

XING Ads or LinkedIn Ads – it doesn’t have to be and either‒or decision. Both platforms are particularly suitable for B2B marketing, since the users visit it on both a professional and private level and are thus more open to business-based messages than Facebook, for instance. At the same time, the targeting is based on careers and hierarchy levels to minimise scatter loss of the ads.

Thanks to its international base and somewhat more detailed opportunities regarding targeting and tracking, LinkedIn has a slight advantage over XING. But if you believe your target group tends to be on XING, professional decision-makers can also be reached on this channel through effective ads.

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