Year after year the debate arises between Facebook Advertising and Google Adwords as to which is the best option for your business. When implemented correctly, these two are the most effective and popular methods of driving huge traffic your way.

While there are some similarities, they each have their own benefits depending on your business, budget, target consumer, and strategic goals. Whether you are focusing on Facebook or Google, each platform gives immediate access to millions of users, and has the tools in place to make your marketing and demographic target effortless.

Until recently, Facebook Advertising and Google Adwords were considered in an adversarial way. They are often compared, and have some of the most powerful advertising features available in digital marketing. They also command a duopoly in the online advertising sector. Together, these companies account for 85% of every dollar spent on online ads. However, which one of them gives you the best returns on your time and money? Should you focus on one, or both? Making this decision can be tricky.

There are several factors to consider before deciding whether Facebook or Google Ads suit your needs better. Knowing these factors can serve you well in allocating your marketing budget, and generating the best ROI. In this article, we will analyze what sets them apart, the way the two platforms work, and the reason for using both as part of your wider digital marketing strategy. Before looking into the distinct features and strengths of Facebook Ads and Google Adwords, it is very important to understand the primary difference between the two, and the pros and cons of each.

Google Adwords - Paid Search Engine

Google Adwords, the world’s largest and most popular PPC advertising platform, is so widely used that it has become synonymous with the term ‘Paid Search’. The two terms are used mutually, even though there are other platforms which work in a similar way, such as Bing Ads. Google Adwords mainly focus on target keywords, and the use of text-based advertisements. Advertisers using Adwords hit on keywords (specific words or phrases included in search queries entered by Google users) with the hope their ads will be prominently displayed in the search results. Every time the user clicks on these ads, the advertiser is charged a certain amount of money - hence the name ‘Pay-per-click’ (PPC) advertising.

Facebook Advertising - Paid Social Networking Media

Facebook Ads, a prime example of ‘Paid Social Media’ - or, the mode of advertising on social networks - has become one of the most highly competitive and potentially cost-effective methods of advertising. It has the largest number of monthly active users (MAUs) of any social networking media in the world. Unlike Google Adwords, Facebook Ads help users find businesses based on the things they are interested in, and the way they behave online. In other words, Google Adwords helps you find new customers while Facebook Ads helps new customers find you.

Below are the strategies based on which you could pick the desired platform for your business. You can always hire marketing experts who serve your purpose, making judicious use of Google Adwords and Facebook Ads.

Objective

This is one of the most important driving forces behind every ad your business puts out. You need to decide whether you are building awareness, driving engagement, acquiring leads, or increasing sales. The ad platform you select depends on what you want to achieve through your ads. Facebook ads is probably the most versatile platform of the two, with their pre-existing objective options. They are especially effective in improving brand awareness, driving engagement, and promoting events. However, Google Adwords is the most desirable option when it comes to increasing sales and acquiring leads.

Are you looking for Product/Service?

Adverts on the Google platform work well only when people search for a particular product/service. The buyer is in the consideration stage of their search, and will actively look for a solution to an already identified problem. On Facebook, users are just searching through the site to idle away time. No user goes to a social media site with the intention of making a purchase. If you wish to target such users with your ads, then Google Ads undoubtedly work the best. If you want to make people aware of your brand’s product/service, and inform them why they should make the purchase, Facebook Ads are the most suitable option. People who are checking your ads on Google tend to see similar ads from competitors, due to lack of trust, identity, or brand awareness. In this case, you have just wasted your advertising money. If your brand is in the initial stages of marketing and is still not recognized by people, it’s better to go for Facebook Ads.

What are you selling?

If you have launched a brand-new product, it’s obvious that no user will search for it on Google. You can target related keywords, but people who would wish to make a purchase based on similarities is a big ask. This is where Facebook Ads are more useful than Adwords. Similarly, since ads on Google are mostly text-based, it is better to advertise products that are visually appealing on Facebook.

Budget

There are two main things to consider with regards to budget, and these platforms  - cost per click (CPC) and cost per acquisition (CPA). Facebook has constantly lowered CPC as compared to those on Adwords. This will instantly tempt you to consider the Facebook bandwagon; however, you need to stop and look at the CPA. If CPC for the Facebook Ads is 10 times less than that of Adwords but the conversion rate is 15 times higher on Google, it is wise to pay for the advert on Facebook. You need to monitor CPA and CPC carefully when deciding which platform suits your business best. In general, Facebook Ads provide more value for money when compared to Google Adwords.

Which Platform is better?

It is difficult to choose one platform over the other because their offerings are unique, and depend on your advertising objectives. If you are looking to brand your business and engage with your potential and existing customers, Facebook Ads is the best option. Its custom-made targeting options allow you to find a very specific audience, who will interact effortlessly with your company’s social media. If you are looking to advertise on YouTube or want to have a wider reach across the web, then Google Adwords is best. It is vast, and allows you to get in front of customers as they search the web.

If you wish to see immediate sales and targets, keyword targeting on Google is the best option. The biggest strength of Facebook Ads is the detailed targeting option it offers to social media sites. It has more detailed information about its users, which allows you to narrow down a specific demographic. You can select the users to whom you wish to advertise based on various factors such as age, gender, interest, geographical location, educational qualifications, and a lot more. Google, on the other hand, will show your ads to all those who search for the related keywords, making it impossible to limit the audience viewing your ads.

Conclusion

From the above points, it is clear there is no one clear option between the digital giants. Choosing between Facebook Ads and Google Adwords for advertising varies from business to business and if your wallet can take it, advertising on both platforms is always a smart idea.

If you have any questions on how to get started with Facebook Ads or Google Adwords, kindly contact us. Alternatively, you can add more tips on selecting either of these two in the comment box below.

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Posted 5 October, 2017

EdwardSuez

Sales & Marketing Guru

Edward is the Sales & Marketing Correspondent for Freelancer.com. He is currently based in Sydney, and is a self-confessed ice-cream fan.

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