Individually Google vs Facebook Ads fall into the broader marketing of PPC (or pay-per-click advertising), where the advertiser pays for each click (or thousand impressions). Therefore, both channels require you to pay for results, so the first thing you need to consider before choosing to advertise on either of these channels, is whether you have budget available. It is almost impossible to suggest an advertising budget, as, in the case of both channels, an appropriate advertising budget will vary hugely, depending on the industry in which you are operating, the audience that you are targeting, among other factors. For this reason, it’s worth doing some projections and forecasting before you get started. Both Facebook and Google have built-in planning tools to help you do this.
Google is the world’s most popular and widely used search engine, handling more than 3.5 billion searches per day. Google Ads allows you to place targeted adverts in the search results page in front of your ideal audience. Well I will be referring to ‘Google Ads’ as Search Engine Marketing via Google Search and Shopping. In the case of Google Search, this is namely keyword targeting. Advertisers can choose specific keywords or phrases that they’d like to target based on their unique product or service offering. Some of which includes; Location targeting, Device targeting, Demographic targeting, Similar audiences targeting, Affinity audiences targeting.
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Volume – As the world’s most popular and widely used search engine, Google is widely considered to be the leader in online advertising. 4 billion searches are made on Google every single day, with the volume of Google searches increasing by 10% every year.
Intent – Google offers advertisers access to an unprecedented and unequaled potential audience of users, who, as we have discussed, are actively looking for goods and services. The purchase or lead intent of the user is all but guaranteed, when targeting hyper-relevant, long tail keywords
Advanced – Google Ads is arguably the most advanced advertising platform, allowing advertisers access to the greatest volume of data and technical features, such as automated bidding, responsive ad copy and attribution reporting. Effectively analyzing this data and strategically using these features can enable advertisers to drive better performance and improved results.
Suitable for B2B – Google can be a wiser choice for those offering B2B services or products. If people are tasked with making a purchase while at work, they’ll head to a search engine to do this, not for a scroll through Instagram (hopefully!). This means Google Ads is a good choice for businesses selling B2B training courses, or commercial and industrial products.
Facebook Ads Manager allows you to place ads across Facebook, Instagram and the Audience Network. If you use Facebook or Instagram personally, you’ll undoubtedly have spotted some ads during your time browsing, whether that be in the news feed, stories, the Messenger app, or most recently across Facebook Marketplace. The core difference, however, is that Facebook/Instagram don’t benefit from user-intent in the same way that Google does, as the user has not initiated the process of searching prior to being served an ad. But, to make up for the difficulties surrounding user-intent on Facebook, the audience targeting options are far more detailed than those offered on Google Ads. While Google Ads allows keyword/product focused targeting, Facebook Ads helps users find businesses based on who they are. In addition to the location and demographics options found on Google Ads, Facebook’s demographic targeting options encompass life events and statuses.
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Reach – Facebook has additional advantages, while it does have a
smaller audience than Google, the potential audience reach is by no means
small. The platform has an estimated 1.66 billion daily active users and it’s
estimated that 66% of Facebook’s total audience is active every day.
Targeting – Facebook’s audience targeting proficiencies are unparalleled,
as people share so many details about their lives on Facebook – everything from
engagement announcements to restaurant choices and holiday snaps – as well as
engaging with content that is highly indicative of their personal interests,
beliefs, ideologies and values. This provides advertisers with the opportunity
to be even more targeted with their messaging and content than they can be on
Cost – Typically, Facebook is a slightly cheaper platform to
advertise on than Google, offering lower CPCs on the whole. In particular
sectors, such as finance and insurance, CPCs can be as high as $54 on Google!
Therefore, if you’re an advertiser just starting out with a relatively small
budget, Facebook advertising may be a more viable option for you than Google.
That said, thanks to the extensive range of targeting options and ad formats,
the platform has the potential to drive a good ROI for both limited and large
Creation of intent – if you’re a fan of luxury skincare products, you may not set
out to buy any skincare on any given day. However, if you pop onto Facebook and
see a particularly engaging ad advertising a great looking brand you’ve never
heard of, or if your preferred skincare brand is having a sale or launching a
new product, you’re still likely to make a purchase. It’s in these spontaneous
purchase scenarios that Facebook Ads triumphs over Google Ads.
The level of your brand awareness, the industry in which you
operate, the product/services you are promoting, will impact your approach to
advertising on both of these platforms. Facebook Ads can be used to raise
awareness of your brand or showcase new offerings, while Google Ads is great
for capturing users who are already searching for relevant products and
services. In the long run, both Google Ads and Facebook Ads are invaluable
platforms for advertisers to grow and expand their businesses.