Facebook ads and Google AdWords are the biggest digital advertising platforms that exist today. Together, these companies account for 85 percent of every dollar spent on online ads. And they are both the first platforms marketers rush to for advertising.
According to Forbes, Facebook saw a 50% increase in active advertisers from 2015-2016 and reached 3 million advertisers. In addition, Facebook accounts for 65% of total social network ad spend expected to reach $36 billion this year. Why such a significant growth? This is primarily due to the platform’s targeting capabilities, the growth of mobile, and the growth of engaged users.
On the other hand, Google has seen a 17% increase in revenues year over year, comparing 2014 to 2015 according to AdAge. Growth in revenues for AdWords are primarily attributed to the growth of mobile, shopping, and other ad formats.
But, what is the difference between Adwords and Facebook Ads?
One of the biggest differences between Google and Facebook ads is search intent. People go on Google to specifically search for something. It could be a specific product or a solution. Facebook is not a search engine. We go on Facebook to discover what our family and friends are up to or what people are talking about.
Facebook Ads is a great way to generate awareness for your brand or product with people who don’t know you. Also, you can accurately target who you want to reach, based on age, sex and interests. With Adwords you will reach people that are actively searching for a product or service. Your main target is people that are interested in what you offer.
What Advertising Platform is better for my Business?
Are you about to open a business and need help deciding? Or Maybe you’ve traditionally run PPC campaigns with AdWords, and you aren’t sure how Facebook Ads compare, or vice versa. We share with you this 10 points you have to consider and analyze in order to make an informed decision:
1.- Are you trying to create Brand Awareness or Conversions?
Maybe this is the most important point you need to understand to differentiate one from the other.
First of all, you need to understand what a conversion is. A conversion is any meaningful action completed by a visitor on your website. This could be anything from downloading a document, to subscribing to your mailing list. Businesses need to define what they consider to be a “meaningful action” to successfully track conversions.
If you want to expand your customer base or create awareness for your Brand and offerings, then use Facebook Ads. If you want to reach customers that are currently searching for your products, then Adwords is a better choice.
If you need a plumber, chances are you will use Google to find one in your area. You won’t wait for an ad to appear on your Facebook timeline. Adwords works well for services because it reaches customer searching for the business. In Facebook, the business is reaching out to the potential customer. That means it’s more likely get a conversion in Adwords rather than using passive advertising.
2.- What is your Advertising Budget? a Cost Comparison
In most cases, the cost per click (CPC) will be significantly higher for Google AdWords than Facebook ads. According to AdEspresso, the average CPC for Facebook Ads in the US was $0.28 in Q3 of 2016. Conversely, Google AdWords search average CPC was $2.32 according to WordStream. Therefore, on average, Facebook ads were approximately 88% cheaper than AdWords in 2016.
Remember to take in consideration how valuable a conversion is for your business. Also, consider what type of conversions you are looking to obtain. It’s not the same to pay $2 to land a $100 sale, than to pay $0.28 for a Facebook Like. It all depends on your campaign strategy.
3.- What is your Objective Niche and Competition?
You should consider the industry of your business and your competition when choosing your advertising platform. There are certain niches that are too expensive from a CPC perspective.
For example, niches like higher education, finance, legal, and healthcare are extremely competitive within AdWords. In this cases Facebook ads might be a more affordable alternative with extremely powerful targeting capabilities for many industries. Research using Adwords Keyword Planner to forecast your advertising expenses for your niche keywords.
4.- What is your Marketing Strategy’s Objective?
You should consider what you’re hoping to achieve from this marketing initiative. If your goal is increasing brand awareness or demand generation, Facebook ads would be your best bet. However, if you’re looking to generate sales or leads (i.e. demand capture), then AdWords might be a better bet.
With AdWords, a user is searching for what your Business is selling. Therefore, their intent to purchase is generally much higher. But you’ll need to once again consider overall costs. In several cases, we have seen lower cost-per-conversions (i.e. cost per leads) from Facebook ads than from Adwords.
A good Online Campaigns Management is crucial for advertising cost optimization. Be sure to track your CTR and Conversions to Optimize accordingly.
5.- What is your Buyer’s Journey? The process your clients take to buy a Product or Service
Understanding where the user is in the buyer’s journey will also help you decide which advertising channel to leverage.
To understand this concept, think what are the steps you take before making a purchase of, for example, a Laptop. Probably you visit your favorite tech blog or search for a list of the Top 10 Laptops of 2017. Maybe you saw an ad with an incredible sale, but first you check the store’s Facebook Page for bad reviews. Think like customer. Define your marketing strategy’s bases on your target audience.
If you want to attract users in the moment they are searching for a product or service, use AdWords. However, if you’re trying to bring more awareness or consideration to your offering, then Facebook ads can be more helpful. This is how both channels can complement and fuel the growth of your organization
6.- Demographics – Who is your target Audience?
To define who is your objective audience is a very important step in your marketing strategy. In this aspect, Facebook has a clear advantage over Adwords as it can target more specifically an audience.
Being a Social Network, you tend to share more personal information with Facebook than with Google. Facebook understands what is important for you, and targets its ads based on this information.
Facebook has the capability to target its ads based on specific life events. You can target people who have become recently engaged, people turning 65, or families who recently had a baby. This are life events that can easily be targeted with Facebook ads, but can’t be effectively targeted with AdWords.
On the other hand, a product or service offering that appeals to larger audiences might be better advertised on AdWords. Google can target Ads based on your general information, like Country, Age or Sex. It can also take in consideration your browsing and search history to define what interests you have.
7. -Relevant traffic – What channel will land you more interested customers?
An ad doesn’t always lead to a conversion. But AdWords helps you drive more interested customer to your landing page. People that find you thru Adwords are actively searching for the same product or service you are offering.
It is important to ensure you are driving relevant traffic in order to keep your campaign cost efficient and profitable. AdWords is a pay-per-click platform, so you will end up paying even if there is no sale. This means it’s important to monitor your statistics. There are a few metrics that are important to measure, including Click-through rate, Quality Score, Conversion Rate and Keywords Performance.
Adwords also works with extension that let your customers call your store instead of visiting a website. This is another way Adwords helps you to generate leads and potential sales.
If you are getting lots of traffic but few or none conversions, then you will have to optimize your website. If you are getting few traffic but are creating conversions, then consider optimizing your online campaign. You can use tools such as Google Analytics to measure your metrics and ensure your AdWords campaign is on track.
8.- Which platform will drive more physical traffic to your Local Business?
If you own a physical store, like a restaurant of coffee shop, Adwords can help you increase customers physical visits.
Adwords can target clients nearby your store based on their current location. Let’s imagine you are on a trip and you are looking for a good restaurant. Surely you will grab your phone, open Google and search for the best restaurants near you. With Adwords you can create campaigns that target visitors within a close radius from your shop. You can also target people showing interest visiting the Town your shop is at.
With Facebook Ads you create awareness to clients that are planning to visit the area in the near future. By creating promotions or discounts, people can plan ahead to visit your store. Again, Facebook is not a search engine, so chances are you don’t use it to search for restaurants of shops.
9.- User Engagement:
Facebook wins this point nearly hands-down. While Google generally offers user ratings, on Facebook, brands can interact—answer questions, offer additional information and overcome anticipated objections. There’s not much dissent that brand engagement drives sales and encourages customer loyalty.
Video ads are among the most powerful Facebook ad formats for generating user engagement. Video ads are becoming more and more popular among companies who want to promote their brands.
This, and the integration of Instagram Ads give a big advantage to Facebook over Adwords in user engagement. Instagram lets you use visually attractive images that guarantees a higher engagement compared to a text Ad.
Note that engagement and conversions are two totally different things, so this factor is not equally important to all businesses. If it’s important to you will depend on your marketing strategy.
10.- Ad Quality and Visuals
Facebook, with the help of Instagram, wins here as well. On Google Search, your ads can’t get much fancier than “bold”. If you really want to go crazy, you can use CAPS (please don’t). On Facebook, though, you can post graphics, a whole carousel of beautiful photos or a video.
Adwords Display Network Ads give advertisers the opportunity to use graphics and videos. On the down side, they are a little restrictive in the formats you can use and the places they appear. Creating a responsive and visually attractive ad banner requires a more technical knowledge, as you will have to format them to fit the standard sizes Google Adsense lets you use.
Just ask yourself, where do you see more attractive and engaging Ads? In Facebook, In Instagram or in Websites/Blogs? The use of visually attractive images gives you the chance to show the quality of the products you offer. Also, it gives you the chance to tell a story to your clients, increasing engagement with your brand.
It is important for businesses to analyze their options and know their goals before starting either a Facebook Ads or Google AdWords Campaign.
Consider advertising on Adwords if you would like to capture customers that already have an idea of what they want. This will bring in more qualified leads since there is already intent. You can target based on relevant keywords people will use while searching for the product or service you offer.
Facebook Ads are great when you want to build awareness of your brand or product. Facebook offers powerful targeting capabilities that allows you to target based on demographics, interest, and even behavior.
Building social proof is also something that you can do with Facebook Ads. People are becoming more and more social and it is a big factor that drives their purchasing decisions. People will trust your business a lot more if they see that your Facebook page has high activity and engagement.
Both Google AdWords and Facebook Ads are incredibly powerful advertising platforms. Since both have different strengths and weaknesses, they should not be compared as opposition but rather be used as complements. If you have enough budget for paid advertising, then you should definitely use both.
No matter which one you chose, tracking Conversions and CTR is vital to create successful Facebook or Adwords campaigns. You need to track this metrics to find out what is working and what is not, in order to optimize your campaign and gain more customers. Remember to define your goals and objectives, and decide based on what is more important to your business right now.
Want to know more? Contact us and let us know how we can help.