The truth is that Facebook and Google AdWords are very different advertising platforms. Beyond being a means to advertise your business via the internet, the similarities stop abruptly.
Therefore, Facebook and Google AdWords are not the direct rivals you may have perceived them as. Many businesses advertise over both platforms to great success. Of course, you will need to understand how the platforms actually differ in order to choose which one serves your specific advertising goals. So what is the difference between the two?
To put it one way, Facebook brings your products to a new customer base, which tends to be a passive audience. Meanwhile, AdWords brings a new customer base to you, which is usually comprised of active searchers.
Facebook is certainly not shy of an audience with over 1.55 billion users monthly. And yes, they're active. But this doesn't mean ads are being splayed across your screens with zero relevance. In fact, one of Facebook's main selling points is the incredible accuracy and sophisticated level of targeting offered.
For a lot of users, Facebook is personal. They share their life moments, connect with good friends and search based on their personal interests and preferred categories of entertainment. The information users consume on Facebook becomes part of the evolution of their beliefs, and can impact behaviours, and influence word-of-mouth recommendations.
The data collected from all of this activity has made it possible for Facebook to create "lookalike audiences". The feature allows advertisers to reach new audiences who exhibit similar behaviours to their existing customers. It is the perfect way to get close to your ideal customer.
Facebook seems to have navigated around the issue of deterring users with advertising content by pioneering a visual style that allows ads to blend in with other content, making sessions feel uninterrupted and seamless as journeys.
With over 3.5 billion searches received every day (more than 40 000 every second on Google alone), it's no wonder AdWords is a dominating service. Ranging from 'How do I get wine stains out of carpet?' to 'Donuts near me', Google users are an active bunch who are hungry for answers to just about everything. Generally, the user is looking for a solution and frequently this takes the form of a product or service to suit their needs. There are two main kinds of ads on Google:
- – Google Search: using keywords that you bid on, this offering appears as prospective customers search for your relevant terms in the search engine
- – Google Display: these are the visual ads that you see in various places on the internet, which are usually intended to build brand awareness and to remind you of your recent search results, in the hopes of conversion.
And if you don't have a big budget for your ads? Don't fear! There are more factors that come into play besides your spend—the quality and relevance of the ad for example. The reasons for this are that Google wants to be seen and known as the reliable search engine that is providing accurate results and solving the problems of their users. For this reason, producing strategic, relevant, high-quality ads will even cost you less in the bidding process than poor quality ads. To determine the cost, Google uses what they call the click-through rate. This is basically the percentage of people who see your ad, and actually click on it. Google considers this click an upvote for your overall ad quality and relevance.
Unfortunately, some industries have expensive keywords and there's no sure way around it. The finance and legal industry, for example, have set the standard high with little wiggle room. The best thing you can do is ensure your ads meets the quality your desired users and Google wants to see.
Another tip: once your ad is up to scratch, make sure the landing page of your website is as well! The landing page is the first page visitors see after clicking on the ad. A strategic, well-designed landing page with a strong call to action will lead to better conversions. Ensure all the information visitors might need is displayed clearly and the next step in their user journey is clear.
Both platforms have incredible reach, but have different purposes. In fact, they can act as great complementaries to each other. It's really a matter of picking the one that you feel is best suited to your goal and will give the clearest path to reaching your desired audience.
If you would like to have a quick chat about your business's needs and goals, please get in touch!