Choosing Between Facebook Ads and Google AdWords

There’s a good reason why Facebook and Google are two of the largest digital advertising platforms in the world. Each of these companies make it easy and relatively affordable for businesses of all sizes to reach new customers. However the option that’s right for you can depend on a few things.

Recently Facebook made even more changes to how their algorithmic feeds work, making it even more essential that businesses pay for ads in order to reach their audience. Meanwhile Google’s AdWords has been a mainstay even as competition from Facebook heats up. But, as Sherry Gray at SocialTimes points out, the two are not created equal. Here are a few things that separate the two offerings:

Targeting

Obviously targeting is paramount when it comes to advertising and both platforms offer it in their own way. While Facebook allows you to select demographic details and other factors to determine who sees your ad, Google simply relies on keyword searches. Both methods have their merits as the former can help you reach people you think will like your product while the latter might allow you to reach those who are actually in the market to buy now. 

Incidentally both forms of ads could actually be redundant if you’re not targeting properly. If your site ranks highly on Google (thanks to some good SEO work on your part) having an ad at the top of the search may be unnecessary. Additionally nothing is more frustrating that having Facebook serve your ads to people who already like your page. For those reasons you should be thoughtful (and willing to try some new things) when it comes to what and who you target on each site.

Location

Speaking of targeting, local retailers can benefit greatly by “near me” searches. Luckily these types of searches have swelled nearly 150% as many mobile users search for retailers, restaurants, and other businesses while on the go. This is one area where Google AdWords excels. Although Facebook also offers tools for reaching people in your area, it can’t match the relevance that Google has with users (yet).

Interaction

Let’s face it: Google search ads can be kind of cold. It’s just a link with some text. Product ads allow images but the essence of the ads remains factual in nature.  Your landing pages can have a little more character but you don’t want too big a disconnect with your ad copy in order to be effective.

This stands in sharp contrast to Facebook where users can quickly and easily see your page, message you, and more. Additionally the social network allows for all kinds of rich media options for your ads including photos and videos, which many consumers will find more inviting than some simple text.

The bottom line

At the end of the day both advertising giants have their advantages. As a result it’s probably best to experiment with both and see what kind of results you get. You might also want to experiment with building your brand through Facebook, while focusing on direct sales on Adwords. Also keep in mind that the battle between Google and Facebook is only intensifying meaning that new offerings from these companies are almost always in the works. Be ready to shake up your marketing plan, try new things, and ultimately find what products work best for you and your small business. 

Author

Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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