Google and Facebook dominate the online advertising space. At Atilus, we want to help our clients make the most of their advertising budget, so it’s important for us to understand which network is the best way to reach customers. The truth is – there’s not one right answer. However, it’s important to understand the difference between how advertising works on both platforms to understand what’s best for your business to reach its goals.
Paid Search vs. Paid Social
First, before you think about your advertisement strategy, take a step back and think about how people use both of these platforms. Google is a search network where you go when you’re asking a question, seeking information, or looking for a solution for your problem. Facebook is a social network where you go to connect with friends and share personal stories and information. You might make a search like “Mexican restaurant near me” when you’re in the mood for tacos on Google, or you might see a picture your best friend posted of a great meal with the restaurant tagged and decide to make a reservation there.
How Do Users See Your Ads?
On Google Adwords, you can narrow your audience by location, language, and a few other metrics – but the entire system is built around keywords. Advertisers bid on keywords to have your ad appear when someone searches that term. For example, when someone searches “women’s clothes for sale”, an e-commerce store could bid on that keyword to have their ads displayed. Your ads are primarily text and should use concise language to easily highlight the benefits of your product to the audience. Then, depending on the competition you could pay anywhere from $0.50 to $5 for their click.
On Facebook, you have many more options for targeting. You can target consumers by location, age, gender, relationship status, job title, and more. You can also use the interests and behaviors feature that uses Facebook likes and activity to further target users – so you can target people who have a photography hobby, who are outdoor enthusiasts, or those who like happy hour. Your ads will appear in the user’s newsfeed, among the social posts their Facebook friends are sharing. You can use images or videos to catch the eye of your audience as they scroll.
So, Which One Is Better for You?
Google Ads are best for immediate sales because your audience is someone searching for that keyword that they are ready to buy right now. Also, in niche industries where you can narrowly target your keywords at low bids, you can be cost-effective while gaining an advantage over competitors.
Facebook ads are the best for brand awareness and lead generation. With Facebook’s many options for highly targeted audiences, you can get your advertisements in front the exact audience you’re looking for. Users will see your ad on their newsfeeds, and with creative and quality content, they will catch customers’ eye and drive them to take action.