Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads - Do I Need Both?

Blog_FacebookAdsVsGoogleAds.jpgWhile there are a number of online ad platforms, Google Ads and Facebook Ads tend to get most of the attention from marketers. For many of them, it feels like an either/or proposition, and the question becomes, “Which online ad platform should I use?”

As you might expect, there’s no easy answer. But maybe they’re asking the wrong question. More on that below. First, a little background on these two online advertising heavyweights.

“If you’re looking for the answer to ‘Which ads platform should I use?’ you may be asking the wrong question. ” TWEET THIS

Google AdWords

The world’s largest pay-per-click (PPC) platform, Google AdWords is the first thing that comes to mind for many people when they hear the term “paid search.” It utilizes keywords or phrases entered by a user, along with bids placed by advertisers, to determine which brief, text-based ads should be displayed. When a user clicks on an ad, the advertiser is charged a fee—hence the term “pay-per-click.” The concepts of bidding and ranking and exactly why one ad is displayed over another is more than we want to tackle in this post, but suffice it to say that it’s very scientific, and very lucrative for Google!

Some of the benefits of using Google’s PPC platform include:

  • Large potential audience. Billions of people around the world use the Google search engine.
  • Traffic driven immediately to your website. A user sees an ad that interests them… they click… they are instantly on the page of your site that you want them to see.
  • Powerful analytics. Google monitors every click and can provide in-depth reports on user behavior.
  • Granular control over how your ad budget is spent. You can dictate everything from how much you’ll spend for a specific click to how much you’ll spend on a given day.
  • Multiple targeting options. You indicate the time of day, day of the week, regions, and other parameters that will affect whether your ad is displayed.
  • An audience that is actively seeking what you’re selling. Google AdWords lets you “strike while the iron is hot,” so to speak.
  • Matching searcher's intent. When people have seen your ad, it's because they have searched on relevant keywords. Now, this can be because they are looking for a solution to their problem or a whole host of other reasons like checking out their competitors. 
Facebook Ads

Whereas Google’s focus is paid search, Facebook Ads are what is known as “paid social.” Facebook has more users than any other social network, so the potential for reaching people who may be interested in your offering is huge.

With Facebook Ads, rather than connecting with potential customers based on their search queries, you connect with them based on their interests and their online behavior. So, you might say that Google AdWords helps interested users find you, while Facebook Ads help you create more interested users.

Some of the benefits of Facebook Ads include:

  • Large potential audience. Facebook has more than two billion monthly active users.
  • Building audiences. Facebook allows you to build custom, saved and lookalike audiences. This layering allows you to create a micro targeted list. Not only can you start your targeting with attributes like age, income, interests and characteristics, you can also build similar or "lookalike" audiences from your saved client and contact lists. 
  • Powerful campaign tracking. Actionable insights are available for all campaigns and ads. 
  • Lower cost per click. In most cases, Facebook Ads cost less than Google Ads which means higher ROI. 
  • Video ads. Videos use in ads gets higher engagement over static photos. 
  • Retargeting. Facebook allows for a number of different regargeting techniques beyond just website visits. Let's say someone visits your shopping cart or sales page, but doesn't execute. No problem, you can retarget. 
  • Full-funnel targeting. Ads can be created as a set for the top, middle and bottom of the funnel, grabbing the attention of your buyers in the awareness stage and nurturing them through the funnel. 
Online Advertising Synergy

As you can see from the lists above, Google AdWords and Facebook Ads both have value. The main differences result in Facebook Ads helping you reach users when they're still in the awareness phase of the buyer’s journey ready to be engaged and educated, while Google Ads are ideal for reaching prospects who have moved to the consideration phase.

So, rather than asking “Which online ad platform should I use?,” a better question might be, “Can I use Google AdWords and Facebook Ads effectively together?” The answer there is a definite yes! Clearly the two platforms can work in concert to help move people through the stages of the buying cycle, from start to finish. For marketers who have the ability and the budget to create both Google AdWords and Facebook Ads campaigns, that may be the way to go.

As for organizations that have to choose? We feel that the superior targeting, lower cost, and re-marketing capability of the Facebook Ads platform (not to mention the fact that ads can blend seamlessly into a person’s news feed), will deliver the higher ROI.

Finding Your Optimal Mix

Determining the right combination of Google AdWords and Facebook Ads spend takes some time and effort. But once you’ve done that, you’ll see your lead generation and sales numbers soar! We can help you find that ideal mix. Contact us today.

Free Buyer Personas Template Download from THINK creative