Comparing Facebook Ads and Google AdWords

Which Method Is Right For Your Business?

How does a business decide on online advertising? Ad dollars are valuable – and should always be spent wisely. We can help you to make an informed decision the next time you need to choose between advertising with Facebook, or with Google.

Let’s Talk Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads keep gaining popularity for all of its extensive targeting features, but marketers aren’t too thrilled about the constant changes in the Facebook algorithm. In fact, according to Lars Backstrom's article via Facebook’s Newsroom site, the latest Facebook update prioritizes relevant posts from friends on a user’s News Feed will cause referral traffic to decline for certain Pages.

Another Dive for Organic Reach

While Facebook’s latest updates are good news for casual users, the same can’t be said for advertisers – as companies are going to have a much harder time reaching customers organically, or without paying for ads.

However, Facebook’s advertising does win in that it allows for very specific targeting, and allows for real-time engagement with customers if they happen to have questions or concerns. Oh, and let’s not forget the obvious one: there aren’t really any limitations on the content you post. You can advertise with images or videos to better appeal to your specific target.

Facebook allows companies to reach customers based on the following:

  • Location: Reach customers by country, province, city, phone number, postal code...
  • Demographics: Target age, gender, education, career, relationship status...etc.
  • Interests: While Google uses keywords, Facebook allows you to reach customers with specific hobbies, interests and “Liked” Pages.
  • Behaviors: Reach customers based on activities performed on or outside of Facebook, regarding things such as shopping behavior and device usage.
  • Partner Categories: targeting options from third-party data partners that allow you to reach customers based on offline behaviors like owning a home or being loyal to a specific company or product.

...and more.

Let’s Talk Google AdWords

While Google AdWords doesn’t allow the marketer much freedom of expression (ads are limited to just text with specific regulations), extravagant ad content isn’t exactly needed if a brand’s main motivation is to inform the customer on the blunt facts of what exactly they’re selling or offering.

Customers browsing Google aren’t really looking for a reason to love your brand, but are rather interested in making a convenient purchase.

Google allows companies to reach customers based on the following:

  • Location: Reach customers by country, specific areas, and location groups. Marketers definitely have an advantage here, as mobile users on the go can conveniently find the nearest business to accommodate their needs with the touch of a button.
  • Demographics: Target age, gender, and parental status.
  • Language: Target various languages.
  • Keywords: Google’s prime asset; use precise keywords to attract the right customers.
  • Negative Keywords: You can also choose specific unrelated keywords to exclude you from a customer’s search.
  • Device: Reach customers based on device, including mobile, desktop and tablet.

...and more.

It’s Your Call...

Ultimately, you’ll need to decide which marketing platform is going to be the best choice by asking this question: “What is my company’s current or primary goal?”.

Let’s conclude with what we think makes Facebook and Google advertising so different:

Facebook is for socializing. Users log in to see what their friends are up to, and to check in on what’s going on in the world. They aren’t necessarily on the hunt for a new purchase. Brands are better off choosing Facebook to advertise if their main goal is to generate awareness about the company, or grow a larger customer base. (Or, if they’ve got a lot of rich and colourful ads to show off).

Google is for shopping (whether it be for products or information). Users search on Google to get answers, or to ultimately make a purchase. Brands can find more success using Google to advertise if their primary goal is to generate local or direct product sales.

So... what is your business currently trying to achieve? (Remember, a combination of both Facebook and Google advertising is never out of the question, either)!

We hope you’ve been able to learn a little more about what separates the two strategies so that you can make the right choice the next time you run a PPC campaign.

Cheers from the iQuest team!

Google is for shopping (whether it be for products or information). Users search on Google to get answers, or to ultimately make a purchase.

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