Every business, whether you’re a small business or large corporation has it’s own sweet spot when it comes to what digital marketing channel they prefer. So what’s the difference between Facebook ads and Google ads?
But first you need to understand how they work in order to pick the best one for your business and marketing needs.
So how does Google Ads work vs. Facebook Ads?
Google ads is bottom funnel and serves a proactiv audience with an intent to solve an immediate problem. For example, if I’m struggling with Facebook ads and looking for Facebook advertising I might do a local google search for Facebook ads marketing in Vancouver or Vancouver Facebook ads marketing. I’m searching because I have a problem that directly needs solving. I.e. need to hire an expert to fix my Facebook ads.
On the other hand, Facebook ads are top to middle funnel and serve a reactive audience. These audiences may not know exactly what they need or why they need it yet. So you’re making the first move to solve their problem before they begin the process.
Make sense? So the difference between Facebook ads and Google ads is it’s less about which is “better” and more about your business, offering and where you want to inject your ad into the funnel.
Paid Search VS Paid Social
Let’s be clear about the context of proactive and reactive.
It’s unlikely that someone searches for “emergency tow truck” until they drive into a ditch or lock their keys in their car.
Yes, they may be reacting to their situation, but they are being proactive by asking Google to find a solution (typically right now, or as soon as possible).
Those types of people are what old school salesman like to call Hot audiences.
So if I ran a tow truck company, and my offer was focused directly on consumers in need, I’d probably want to advertise on Google.
Now, on the flip side, let’s say my main offer was to sign people up to an ongoing roadside assistance plan. There’s not a lot of urgency there. I’m going to have to do some convincing to get people to part with their cash before they necessarily “need” to.
It’s easier to do that when my competitors are not around.
In that case, I’d probably want to advertise on Facebook, get in front of my audience at a time when they are in a social mood, and try to make them react.
Take a minute to put yourself in the head of your potential customers.
An ad that caters to a proactive searcher must make the case that their solution is preferable to all other offers.
But an ad that caters to a reactive socializer must make the case that there is a need to be filled in the first place. It’s more about getting them to take an action, rather than presenting your company as the best choice.
The Google search results are a battleground of competing services.
The Facebook social feed is a battleground of attention and awareness.
Let’s get into some specific strengths and weaknesses of each.
How Google Ads Work (Paid Search)
Google Ads show at the top of the search results, when the search words relate to the keywords of the ad.
When someone sees your ad, and then clicks on it, they will be taken to a page on your website.
To sum up Google Ads, they:
- target by intent/action and location
- satisfy an urgent desire / ease a pain
- drive traffic to your website
- require a landing page (the specific page where the ad leads)
- rely on convincing headlines and relevant keywords
Google Ads are the right choice for you when:
- You are not sure about the exact customer demographics, but you are sure about the words they use to describe the problem/desire they have
- You know there is a lot of web traffic but you just can’t crack the top results organically
- You want to test the appeal of a headline or certain keywords
Google Ads may be a poor choice if:
- very few people search online for the type of solution you offer (ie. Google Ads are NOT for building awareness)
- there is very little (or no) difference within the industry in terms of offer and price, and most business is done based on relationships
- your website already ranks in the top 3 organic results for your target keywords *
* I’m not saying that ads wouldn’t help in this case, but if you had limited time and budget it would be better to tweak/test your landing page to get more conversions first
How Facebook Ads Work (Paid Social)
Facebook Ads mainly show up in the Facebook news feed. But they can also show in the right side column, as well as Instagram.
They are wedged in between posts from friends and family, weird videos, political rants, and memes.
Someone sees your ad if they match the audience profile you have chosen to target (sex, age, location, interests, even an exact email address).
If they click on your ad, they can be taken to your website, or get a form to fill out right on Facebook, or start a chat with you in the Messenger window. *
* there are a lot of options, and these are the main ones
To sum up Facebook Ads, they:
- Target by gender, age, interests, locations, and demographics
- Create a desire / find a solution to their pain points
- Drive traffic to your website or start an online conversation
- Require either a landing page or Facebook Messenger
- Rely on a combination of highly visual images/videos and fine tuned copy that identifies with your audience and solves their pain points and problem
Facebook Ads are for you if:
- You want more customers, sales, leads or signups
- You need to build awareness, e-mail lists, and want to stay top of mind for audiences
- You don’t want to rely on your website or “if” people search for your keywords in Google
- You have lots of photo/video assets to test
- You don’t have the time or patience for cold calling
Facebook Ads may be a poor choice if:
- You don’t have the resources, time and expertise to continually test, optimize and run new campaigns & strategies
- You don’t have a proper customer or sale acquisition funnel setup
- You don’t have a product, service or other offering someone can perform an action on when they land on your website or landing page
- You don’t have any capacity for more sales or clients (Facebook ads work really well)
So overall, it really depends on your business and goals as to which channel is best for you. However, in our experiences, Facebook Ads consistently has lower cost, higher ROI/ROAS, and is infinitely scaleable vs. high cost, inconsistent clicks and limited growth potential with Google ads.
Are you struggling with your Facebook ads? Just not getting the results you want from other paid channels like Google ads? Click here and contact us today for a FREE strategy session to see if we can help.
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