The complexity of paid social media ads and paid search has increased radically over the last couple of years. With innovative ad formats, increased targeting options, as well as more proficient tools for measuring results, companies’ reach towards their target audiences is broader and more efficient than ever. This brings on new challenges, as both Google’s AdWords and Facebook social media ads have become so powerful and complex that most companies struggle with how and when they’re going to use them.
One of the best options offered by Facebook Adds has to be audience targeting. Facebook currently has over 1.86 billion active monthly users and over the years, it has collected a massive amount of data about them. Google targets its users based on keywords and topics, but Facebook has gone a step further than that. Third ad system targets people based on their beliefs, behaviors, habits, demographics, ideologies and particular set of values they uphold. This allows for a very precise audience targeting based on a number of different characteristics.
Another strong point of Facebook Ads is the social engagement aspect. The platform itself encourages potential customers to interact with, comment on and share numerous types of interest based content. With this information in mind, advertisers can create entire campaigns focused on generating more comments, likes, and shares. This makes the Facebook platform rather effective when it comes to not only company branding but also interacting and engaging with current customers, as well as potential ones.
Although Google has a lot of potential when it comes to local marketing strategies, Facebook has specific ad types such as Lead Ads and Local Awareness which offer some exclusive opportunities for marketing which aren’t easy to replicate with Google AdWords. Furthermore, Facebook Ads have a far lower cost per click (CPC) when compared to Google AdWords, with the average CPC rarely costing more than $2. Granted, AdWords do have a somewhat higher conversion rate, but it is possible to regulate a decent conversion rate using Facebook, especially due to cheaper clicks.
Facebook Ads Pros
To summarize, the pros of Facebook Ads include:
- Easy setup
- Capability to reach users early in the buying process
- Cheap cost-per-click
- Easy to track campaigns
- Excellent control over maximum CPC and daily budgets
- Instant traffic influx
- Immediate ROI
- Numerous targeting options
- Use of graphic and video Ads in order to pique the interest of the target audience
- It can be far more expensive than Google AdWords if not setup and maintained properly
- Lower conversion rates due to reaching customers so early in the buying process
- No option for Ad timing (times of day, week, month)
- Only really applicable for B2C companies
Keyword targeting is one of the main points separating Google from Facebook. Being the biggest search engine on the internet, Google also has the most available users. This allows for targeting customers which are looking for your service or product specifically and those with high intent for purchasing. With AdWords, you can create ad groups and campaigns which revolve around a certain keyword and produce ads relevant to the search queries users actually make.
And that is exactly the main difference between Google AdWords and Facebook Ads. Facebook helps customers find you, while AdWords helps you find potential customers. And locating potential customers is fairly easy for Google, as its Display Network currently covers over 2 million individual websites. Potential audiences can see the Ads in mobile apps while browsing their emails and while watching videos on YouTube.
Creating video ads is simple with Facebook, but the one feature which distinguishes Google from it is, of course, YouTube. It currently has around 1 billion active users and AdWords allow you to create specific marketing campaigns based on interests, demographics, particular ad placements, specific keywords people use, etc. Not only are video ads excellent four generating brand awareness, but they can also allow users to interact with them in numerous ways. Although Google AdWords allows for better reach and higher conversion rates, some of the keywords you target can be rather expensive when compared to Facebook Ads.
Google AdWords Pros
- Enormous potential audience
- Easy-to-track campaigns
- Excellent control over daily budgets and maximum CPC
- Instant traffic influx
- Immediate ROI
- Better conversion rates
- Different targeting options such as time of the day, week, specific regions and websites
- Numerous advertising options
- Very costly if not set up correctly
- Time-consuming setup and maintenance
- Limited ad space
- Depending on the industry in question, very high CPC
Remarketing and Retargeting options
Google AdWords remarketing allows advertisers to display their ads to users which have already visited their website. It’s a powerful marketing technique which ensures that advertisers stay connected to their target audience even after they leave the website. With Google’s vast network, marketers can present ads to potential customers even when they’re browsing different parts of the internet, which further improves brand exposure and increasing trust in your product or service. With the cost per click being lower for remarketing than it is for normal marketing campaigns, Google remarketing is an excellent tool to further increase the conversion rates.
Facebook also has a remarketing solution called Facebook Custom Audiences. Similar to Google, the Custom Audiences platform represents a lists of users who have already interacted with your brand. These include past buyers, current customers, high-value customers, etc. The biggest strength of Facebook Custom Audiences is the narrowness with which potential customers can be targeted, allowing for carefully created ads to be displayed to a number of selected individuals.
Both of these advertising platforms have their strengths and weaknesses. Picking one over the other can be quite difficult, as both offer unique results which mostly depend on your specific advertising goals. Facebook allows for very narrow targeting options, but Google’s keyword targeting is hard to beat when it comes to offering your products and services to a much broader audience. Instead of choosing one specific platform, it is best to use them in a complementary way. The best advertising strategy is one which uses all available assets in order to produce the best results.