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Facebook Ads or Google Ads: Where Should You Be Advertising?

December 7, 2017 at 5:20 PM

Torn between advertising on Facebook or Google AdWords? We’re here to help you out.

While there’s no black-and-white answer when it comes to platform selection, we’ve highlighted some of what our customers feel are the biggest use cases for these two platforms:


Benefits of advertising on Facebook

Advertising with Facebook Ads

Facebook lets businesses get in front of thousands of their best customers overnight with visually compelling advertisements. Additionally, its targeting is second to none as the user-generated platform has sliced and diced its members into thousands of targetable groups—everything from new moms and fitness buffs to vegans and fans of the Miami Dolphins. Whatever traits you’re looking for in your ideal customer persona, chances are Facebook can find it.

Facebook also outperforms Google AdWords on cost, with clicks typically costing 25% less.

Where Facebook thrives:

  • Building brand awareness: Facebook is great at getting your promotions a large reach at an affordable cost. If you’re looking to grow mindshare or make an announcement (e.g., a new product, temporary sale or store opening), consider using Facebook.
  • Creating demand: Some businesses serve an existing market, while others are creating a new market altogether. If your business is a first-mover or serves a niche market, there likely isn’t a lot of search volume for what you’re selling. You can, however, create that demand by proactively getting in front of potential buyers on Facebook and educating them about products that may be new to them.
  • Marketing at events: Geotargeting and display advertising is a powerful combination when it comes to marketing to event attendees. Conferences and other events are a great way to get in front of a community that shares a common interest, and Facebook advertising will give you the exposure you’re looking for whenever those attendees browse their favorite social network between sessions.
  • Encouraging word-of-mouth and engagement: Facebook lets you tap into its greater network to add a layer of social proof and community to your advertising. Unlike in AdWords, people who see your ad on Facebook will be able to like and comment on it—and anyone connected with them will see their engagement with your ad.
  • Promoting lifestyle and visual brands: Facebook is an ideal showroom for visual brands, giving companies the opportunity to hook customers with creative and compelling sponsored content. In contrast, Google AdWords’ search network is limited to text-based ads.


Benefits of advertising on Google AdWords

Advertising with Google AdWords

With Google AdWords, you’re able to ensure contextual relevance by targeting only those actively searching for products like yours. Instead of relying on interest groups to narrow down your geographic and demographic targeting, AdWords targets the keywords your customers use to conduct a search. This allows attorneys, for example, to show on the first page of a search result every time someone in their area is searching for a term like “lawyers near me.” As a result, many advertisers find that AdWords brings in higher intent traffic as you’re responding to a pre-existing need.

While a click will typically cost more in AdWords than it does in Facebook, they often see a superior conversion rate (meaning, a click is more likely to result in a sale).

Where AdWords thrives:

  • Marketing high-consideration products and services: Generally, the more expensive a product or service, the more research a customer puts into her purchase decision. While a customer probably won’t put too much thought into buying a sandwich, they will think long and hard about buying a car or finding the right doctor. And, they turn to Google to do this research—to search reviews, compare prices or look up features. Advertising on Google AdWords will let you stay top-of-mind throughout the purchase decision process by surfacing your ad anytime someone is researching options.
  • Appealing to urgency: No matter how many days someone has seen your display ad, there are some industries where customers have no need for your product or service until the one day they do. And then, it’s mission critical. When it comes to finding a plumber to fix a leaky pipe, for example, consumers are unlikely to recall that Facebook ad they saw a month ago. Instead, they go straight to Google to find the first plumber that can make it out. Google AdWords will let your website appear first for all of these high-intent and time-sensitive searches.
  • Undercutting competitors: It’s a dog-eat-dog world, and sometimes, the fastest way to grow market share is to steal it from a competitor. With AdWords, you can bid on the names of your competitors to appear above their results anytime someone searches for them. A local coffee shop, for example, can use this strategy to piggyback off the popularity of a more established competitor like Starbucks.

And there you have it—our top use cases for both Facebook and Google AdWords.

Of course, you’re not limited to just one, and many of our customers have found success dividing their advertising budget between the two platforms.


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Read more: 

The Basics of Google AdWords: How It Works and How to Use It to Advertise Your Business

How to Create a Successful Ad Campaign on Google AdWords

Calculating Your Advertising Budget: A First-Time Advertiser's Guide

10 Reasons Why Google Rejected Your Ad

Suggested Keywords For Your Industry: Google AdWords for Small Business

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