With Google Adwords’ shifts and Facebook’s ever-changing platform, it’s hard to keep up with all of the differences and decide which is the best move for your business to increase your ROI. In truth, using Google and Facebook for advertising space is beneficial for different reasons, and it depends on your ultimate goals to decide which is best for your business. Sometimes Google Adwords is more cost-effective for clients, and sometimes Facebook Ads are. If you can afford it, you should use both to get the maximum visibility for your business. Here’s why.
Audience Targeting Options
One of the biggest advantages of Facebook Advertising is its audience targeting power. Are you a moving company? Facebook can target people who are likely to move, live in an apartment, and have roommates. Do you have an online store of some sort? Target your exact audience by selecting people who like your type of product and even online shopping. Are you a local business? Refine your audience targeting to people only in your city who like the items you sell. Facebook collects so much data on it’s users from all over the internet. It knows just about everything, so why not use it to your advantage for customers?
Another big plus for Facebook Ads are its capability to retarget previous customers directly on their Facebook Feed. That’s right, you can upload your customer database to Facebook and it will find your customers on Facebook and target them with your ads. You can also create Lookalike audiences based on your customer list and target people with similar interests. Huge opportunities here if you use audience targeting correctly.
While you can’t target a specific audience with Google like you can with Facebook, the overall audience size for Google is much, much larger. There are about 40,000 search queries every second on Google, which means your potential audience with Google Adwords is astronomically larger than Facebook if your keywords are precise and well thought-out.
Facebook clearly wins in this category by a long shot. Since Facebook is a social media platform, the ads rely on being visually pleasing, engaging, and fun, whereas Google Ads are largely based around text and for the most part, dry. Facebook has a variety of specifications to they follow to ensure the ads on your Feed don’t feel too “ad-y” for lack of better word. For example, Facebook will lower the reach of your ads significantly, or even sometimes not show them at all, if the text in the image of your ad takes up above a certain percentage of the image. Even though Facebook has made some changes to their “20%” rule, the idea still remains generally the same for Facebook Ads – the less text the better.
This largely depends on your goals as a business. While Facebook is fun, engaging, and visually pleasing, people usually aren’t on Facebook to make a purchase right away. Facebook ads tend to be a bit more passive than Google Ads considering the customer hasn’t entered a search term to look for your product or service; it’s simply popping up on their Feed as they’re scrolling through to check on their friends. Facebook is great for keeping your brand in the back of customer’s minds.
On the other hand, when your ad is search-term related, as it would be on Google, your potential customer is searching for an answer to their question right away or in the very near future. If your Google Ad pops up for the particular search term the customer is looking for, they’re likely to visit your site and convert if they like what you have to offer. Google wins this category, but it’s best to have your ads on both platforms so you’re hitting both types of customers.
There’s not much competition here considering you can’t really interact with Google Ads. Facebook offers potential and return customers the opportunity to engage with their favorite brands in a personal way. Customer can like, comment to ask questions about your product, and even share your ad/offer with a friend if they choose to. This ultimately takes a bit more effort on the brand’s side, but can lead to bigger sales from ads since you are essentially available to answer questions hesitant buyers may have.
Return On Investment (ROI)
This is the biggest question we get from companies – Which platform will ultimately lead my business to a higher ROI? The answer? It really depends. Since Facebook offers much more specific audience targeting options, it generally leads to a lower cost per click for advertising campaigns and, in turn, and higher ROI. There’s no doubt that Facebook is one of the best-value advertising platforms on the internet currently considering the size of it’s reach and the affordability of running ads to a targeted audience.
Google Adwords tends to be a bit more competitive with a higher cost per click (CPC) since you are essentially placing your ads for specific keywords instead of general interest categories or life events like Facebook – but that’s also the advantage of it. Since you’re able to target specific keywords that are associated directly with your business goal, you may result in higher conversions for your ads even if the CPC is more expensive.
So, Which Is Better?
All in all, there’s no real clear winner. Both platforms have their advantages and disadvantages. Facebook Ads may be better for one business whereas Google Adwords may be a better option for someone else. Before you can answer this question, think about what your goal is for the ad you want to run. Is it general reach, brand awareness, to get your business’ name out there? Do you want to retarget previous customers or target people that have similar interests to them? Then Facebook Ads might be your best bet. Do you want to target people when they search for your product and/or service, specifically when they’re ready to convert? Then you might want to side with Google Adwords.
Like any marketing plan, the best course of action is to target your customers from multiple angles and platforms. More importantly, it’s crucial to perform tests to see where you get the best response. The only way to figure out whether Facebook or Google Ads is best for you is to test, test, and test some more!