Google Ads vs Facebook Ads.
It’s a battle that rages on daily through marketing agency blog posts and opinion articles with many hardcore fans over the world keeping a close eye on the debate.
The fundamental mistake that people make when weighing in is thinking that Google and Facebook are in direct competition with each other. Did you know that both platforms advertise on… well, both platforms?
Shocking I know! But if you type “Facebook” into Google, the first line that appears is a Google Ad for Facebook…. I know your testing it so I’ll wait.
Lets first examine how these platforms are different from each other, the answer is broken into two categories, Search Intent vs Awareness.
Google = Search Intent
At any one point in time only 3% of people actually want what you are offering and this is where Google shines. People are on a mission, specifically looking for an item or service that they want or need and so they go to Google for their first port of call. Hence the phrase “Google It”.
Experienced Advertisers understand this principle and as such will structure their Google Ads and their website pages to match to the Search Intent.
Google experiences 63,000 searches every second, which translates into 5.6 Billion searches a day! Crazy right? But did you know that roughly 15% of those searches have never been searched before?
Understanding what your customers are searching for on Google means that you need to match those enquiries as closely as you can and provide the best answer.
Don’t think that just using a popular keyword like “Plumber” with a $100 budget is going to win you business. Identifying the keywords people are using to find a solution they will pay for is key.
Understand your customers pain points at the time of their search, set your geographical operating area and use a mixture of “phrase match” or “modifiers” to help match the searches you think people are using… “Plumber Brisbane Northside” or “Broken bathroom pipes” or “how do I get my two year olds harmonica out of the toilet?”.
The closer you match those search intents in your ads and your landing pages the better your Click Through Rates and Conversions will be.
Facebook = Awareness
At the other end of the spectrum we have the social beast that is Facebook.
With more than 1.5 Billion Active monthly users – that’s more than one-fifth of the world’s population, not counting inactive or infrequent users. Facebook has no rival to the enormity of its audience.
The real power of Facebook Ads lies in the level of granularity Advertisers have to target Facebook users.
Facebook’s users share almost every detail of their lives with family, friends and colleagues. They also search and consume content that aligns with a range of personal interests, beliefs and values which presents advertisers a unique opportunity, the ability to tailor advertised messaging to specific target audiences in a way that many of us once considered impossible. This level of intimacy now allows advertisers to get closer to their ideal customers than ever before.
Facebook also offers a more visceral visual experience, unlike their relatively dry, text-based cousin Google, Facebook ads are powerfully visual. The very best Facebook ads blend in seamlessly with the organic videos, images, and other visual content in users’ News Feeds. This enables advertisers to leverage not only the strongly persuasive qualities of visual ads but to do so in a way that conveys the aspirational messaging that makes high-quality ads so compelling.
So the burning question still remains… Which one should I use?
Hopefully now the question should actually be, how do I use both?
Both platforms are incredibly powerful and can cater for almost any type of business, but they should really be viewed complementary and not adversarial. On the surface they both have similarities, and yet some people will still insist on comparing Facebook Ads to the Google Display network, but the way that these platforms have evolved in their own directions still begs the question: “why do they have to be opposing?” when they really should be used in concert.
At the end of the day, leveraging the power of both platforms as paid search and paid social can be an incredibly effective advertising strategy. It does however require a multi-channel advertising strategy that aligns with the strengths of each respective platform and your product. Your marketing message can and should remain congruent across both platforms, understanding the best practices when using each platform is what will really help your ROI and Business Growth.