Google Ads vs Facebook Ads. On the surface they're two very similar pay per click platforms designed to generate paid traffic toward a destination goal, whether that be your website, app or social media page. They're successful for a reason and there are a multitude of success stories from businesses that have made these tools the foundation of their online advertising strategies.
But if you're a fledgling business and you're weighing up using these paid search tools for the first time. How do you know which advertising platform is right for you? Google Ads? Facebook Ads? Or even both combined?
The case for Google Ads (formerly known as Google Adwords)
The main pro for running Google Ads vs Facebook Ads is that there's really no better platform for showing people hyper relevant advertising based on the exact keywords they're looking for. Google Ads captures that demand. Want to target someone who's looking for "skip hire" in your town? You can target your Google Search Ads to that exact keyword, as well as seeing exactly how often that term is searched via keyword planning tools to make an effective advertising strategy around using the power of the world's largest search engine.
Google is also very good at making ads seem a natural part of the search engine experience. Google Shopping Ads and Google's Local Service Ads on Maps embed seamlessly into the organic search listings, and the Google Display Network gives you access to a huge array of partner sites as such as YouTube.
You also have a great deal of power at your elbow to really optimise your ad spend. It's key to any ad campaign - maximising that return on ad spend (ROAS) and Google Ads makes that easier than most other advertising platforms. Want to make an small increase to your budget on Tuesday because you get more enquiries then? You can! Want to trial different ways of bidding based on your business goals or disqualify irrelevant prospects in Google Search. You can do that too. You can always iterate and do better with your Google Ads Campaigns, and have a great degree of control over how you deliver your online advertising strategy.
The case against Google Ads
The biggest problem with Google Ads is the high barrier to entry. Those optimisation options come with complexity, and you'll almost certainly find the interface overwhelming at first. Another issue can often be cost. This can vary greatly from industry to industry, but if you're looking to experiment with a modest budget to start and you're in a competitive industry, you might find that the budget for your ad campaigns doesn't stretch very far.
The case for Facebook Ads
Being a social network, a big strength of Facebook's ads are the creativity and interactivity they allow you to have. You can run multiple ad variations testing video creative, slideshows, image based ads, carousels, and so many more with each being specifically optimisable by placement. You'll use the backup of your organic social media presence there to help you as well. Unlike Google Ads, campaigns become no longer just a one way conversation but a chance to really engage your audience into buying into your brand through careful management.
A Facebook advertising campaign is also often relatively low cost compared to other ads platforms so long as you can find your target audience. Offering powerful retargeting options which enables you to build a sales funnel and continual relationship with your prospective customers for relatively low cost. It's also relatively simple to use once set up.
The case against Facebook Ads
Facebook ads' main drawback is the same thing that gives it it's strength in that it's a social network. Remember that with Google you immediately had customers who were already searching for keywords and search terms you're able to advertise on. Well not so with Facebook Ads. You'll have to be generating audiences based on age, location, and demographics via Facebook's interest targeting interface if you have no audience data to work with at the beginning. And for some brands, this can make it terribly difficult to find an effective niche. You'll also struggle to disqualify some irrelevant parts of those audiences, as Facebook ads require some level of scale to operate.
That two way conversation you can have can also backfire against your brand if not carefully managed. If people don't like your brand or you've not lived up to the service standards you've promised, then they'll have no trouble letting you know, potentially putting off other prospective customers. The set up for Facebook ads is also often confusing and messy.
So what should I use then?
Using an advertising platform like Google Ads or Facebook Ads really comes down to what your business objectives are and what you're looking to achieve. Looking to generate conversions via an audience that knows what they're looking for? Then go for Google Ads, and use the power of Google Search to immediately match up prospects with the service they're looking for.
Looking to educate an audience on a product they're not sure they need yet, or build a fun/fluffy lifestyle brand? Then dazzle prospective customers with the creativity Facebook Ads allows you to have, and build a longer term relationship. There are not many better ad platforms than Facebook Ads for building brand awareness, provided you can find the correct audience.
If your business sounds like it could be both, then why not experiment with both Google Ads vs Facebook Ads. Through effective management, you could use both in tandem. Targeting searchers via the services they're looking for via search ads and then retargeting them with Facebook Ads with an offer to convert them.
It doesn't have to be a question of Google Ads vs Facebook Ads. It can be both working together.
Get a winning digital strategy
If you still need help deciding which of Google Ads vs Facebook Ads would be most effective for your business, you should enlist the help of industry experts who know how to operate both ad platforms. Both our Google Ads Management & Facebook Ads Management services can help you achieve your marketing goals. Contact us now on 01245 206456 to find out more!