Facebook Ads or Google Ads?

Which promotional road is right for your business – Facebook or Google? The short answer is BOTH, if you have a significant and adequate budget to reach your audience across both channels. However as most small businesses have reasonably modest ad spend budgets I want to examine the differences, contrasts and similarities of the platforms so that you have the power to make the right choice for your business.

Facebook VS Google

Are these guys rivals? They are certainly two of the most powerful tech companies in the world. They both hold us, and our information in the palm of their hand and we as a modern society are reliant on them for just about everything from communication, education, to directions, opinions, social connection and of course business.

So how do they differ?

Google has 90.46% of the search engine market share worldwide. So really I could just stop there. Google Ads is what is known as a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) platform. Advertisers select a series of relevant search terms (keywords and phrases) used by search users (your potential customers). When a user clicks on an ad, the advertiser is charged. With over 63,000 searches per second (yes second), it is no surprise that Google is an important tool for advertising products and services.

Facebook has the largest number of monthly users in the world and has become a pinnacle advertising platform. Facebook Ads are what is known as social promotion. Advertisers select targeted audiences based on their preferences and behaviour online.

Both are used to promote products and services online however where AdWords helps you find new customers, while Facebook helps new customers find you.

Let’s break down each of the platforms.

Google Ads Advantages

With 3.5 billion searches daily, Google offers advertisers access to the biggest potential audience in the world, even a small piece can bring thousands of users who are actively looking for your type of goods and services to your door.

I’ve heard it being said that Google displays the ads of those with the largest advertising budget first. This is a myth as Google focuses on how relevant the ads is to the audience, not how much you’re spending.

The more relevant the ad is to the user, the more likely the ad is to be successful, if the user has a positive experience, they will keep using Google to search and Google will keep making money from advertising. Because Google is a business, and relevance is good business practise, they will keep serving up high quality and relevant ads. It also means if YOUR ads are awesome, you won’t have to bid as much for them as those that create what Google considers to be poor quality…Beware the dreaded “For all your (insert industry here) needs” ad copy.

Certain keywords and phrases on Google vary in price significantly, this is noticeable in industries with high competition such as Financial Services and Law. However the bid prices are still displayed according to the quality and relevance of the ad, even if the overall ads are higher cost.

For a detailed account of how Google Ads work, have a read of this blog. https://www.wordstream.com/articles/what-is-google-adwords

For the most part, Google Ads are text based. However advertisers can also take advantage and make ads ‘sexier’ and more appealing to users by using an extensive number of features such as reviews, site links, location targeting, shopping ads, feature banner ads, and many more. All services and industries are catered for so your business will be able to take advantage of these features to best showcase what you’re offering.

Facebook Ads Advantages

Facebook has no rival when it comes to the its colossal audience in the social media world. However its true advantage is the ability to target audience members so precisely that users virtually are served ads daily that they have been prequalify to want.

Have you ever been in the market for a new adult size baby romper and found that every ad on Facebook seems to be for adult baby dress ups (neither have I…but you get the point, and also each to their own). Facebook advertisers are able to track your activity online and put you into relevant target groups based on advertiser target preferences. If advertisers do their job properly, your ads will be served to those who are interested in your goods and services thus giving you quality leads in exchange for your ad spend.

Have you ever heard of ‘lookalike audiences’ – they’re pretty awesome. Advertisers can upload their customer database information to Facebook which then applies filters its own data which they get from third-party data brokers to match users whose information the advertiser uploads. Scared yet? This creates a look alike audience which allows advertisers to increase their potential customer base by advertising to new customers who have similar consumer behaviour and interests as their existing customers. Just remember …they’re watching you.

Facebook offers advertisers a huge range of ad formats; text based, visual, video, shopping display and many many more. The tracking is incredibly detailed and allows advertisers to change direction at anytime to enhance their campaigns. In other words it’s not like placing a press ad and hoping for the best. Thanks to Facebook there is no more yelling into open spaces hoping someone will hear you and actually be interested. If it isn’t working today, change it tomorrow.

 

HOT TIP FOR NEW PLAYERS:

If you’re looking to buy something say, a handmade lampshade for your Covid-19 office, type it into Google, click on two websites that come up, and search around for 3-5 seconds. Next time you are on Facebook you’ll have a plethora of handmade lampshade sellers to choose from. Saves you having to search through pages of small unknown, (sometimes offensive-to-a-web-designers-eye style) websites. That’s how I like to use Google and Facebook in combination to seek out some hard to find goodies. But it works for anything – houses, cars, fertility doctors. Give it a try.

 

The best part about Facebook Ads, is that it will show you your ROI before you’ve spent a cent. Based on your targeting and desired budget, Facebook will show you how many potential customers are in your chosen audience and how many engagements it expects you will receive. Brilliant eh?

So which one is right for you?

I am sorry to say that there is no clear cut answer. Truth be told if you can afford to do both well do both. If not, choose one and do it well. It really depends on the business, the location, the desired product or service being offered, the budget, the time of year and many more factors.

Here are some examples of businesses and advertising solutions:

Electrician looking for local residential clients all year round

This is a service that people only seek when they need it. It is a essential service but not a desired purchase. Using Google Adwords is a good choice because people will seek these services and click on his ads only with genuine interest, meaning he will only pay for genuine local leads.

Jewellery e-commerce seller with midrange price point jewellery around Mothers Day, Australia-wide audience

A luxury non-essential purchase. It is less likely that potential buyers will Google search for this type of product. If they do, this independent small business is unlikely to break through the noise of big companies such as Michael Hill Jeweller and Pandora. A Facebook ad campaign targeting people who have researched or purchased similar products online is a great strategy for this business. They can display beautiful visuals of their products as well as videos of happy mothers receiving their pieces.

While these are simple examples, they may shed some light on how to make a determination.

Whatever you decide is right for your business I urge you to do your research, take some online courses and get it right to avoid spending unnecessary money and ultimately determine that Google and Facebook Ads don’t work – because they do. If you plan to engage a professional do your due diligence and make sure they know what they’re doing and talking about. The return on investment you get by working with a true professional is well worth the spend. After all it is about the success of a business you have worked hard to create, it deserves to be nurtured.

Good luck. May the power of digital advertising be with you.

Digitally yours, Ala