As a business owner, you need to be careful about where to spend your money. Very few companies (especially small businesses) have the luxury of no holds barred spending. When it comes to spending your money on online advertising, there are hundreds of different platforms and programs to consider. The two most well-known are, of course, Google and Facebook. There are advantages and disadvantages to both advertising platforms, and those can vary based on many factors. So which is the so-called better platform? Let’s take a look.
Google Ads – The Good and The Bad
Google is the standard when it comes to online advertising and has been practically since its October 2000 launch. Google divides its ads into three primary segments –
- Google Search Ads – Provide advertisers with the ability to be seen by active users (and potential customers) at the exact moment when they’re looking for their particular product or service. Search ads are found on standard Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), Google Map results, and Gmail.
- Google Display Ads – Target a user passively, based on demographics, browsing history, and other buying signals. These ads are seen on the Google Display Network, a group of over 2 million websites and apps.
- Video Display Ads – This generally means YouTube ads. YouTube has approximately 2 billion daily users a day and is second only to Google for visits.
With such an extensive reach and undeniable success rate, plus a constantly evolving platform and increased artificial intelligence influence, Google Ads seems like it would make sense for just about any advertiser with enough money to sustain a campaign.
But the truth is a far cry from this theory, even with campaign benchmarks like these –
- Click through rate (CTR) – Search average – 3.17%, display average – 0.46%
- Cost per click (CPC) – Search average – $2.69, display average – $0.63
- Conversion rate – Search average – 3.75%, display average – 0.77%
- Cost per action (CPA) – Search average – $48.96, display average – $75.51
Facebook Ads – The Good and The Bad
Facebook is the enfant terrible, the advertising juggernaut that changed online marketing forever in November 2007, with their “Social Ads.” Facebook allowed advertisers to leverage user data such as pages and posts that they liked, taking advantage of the demographic and interest information at their disposal that other platforms could only dream of having.
Facebook users aren’t directly searching for a product or service they need when they go onto the site, unlike Google users. Instead, targeting on Facebook is ultra-precise… with options based on interests, demographics, behavior, and more.
With Facebook ads, users won’t necessarily be in the buyer mindset as they’re scrolling through their feed. The main focus on Facebook is delivering ads to the right people at the right time to build brand awareness, followers, website traffic, and pique interest to convert users into customers eventually.
Facebook advertisers can brag about their conversion metrics as well. According to WordStream –
- Average CTR (click-through rate) of 0.89%.
- Average CPC (cost per click) of $1.68
- Average conversion rate of 9.11%
- Average CPA (cost per action) of $19.68
So Which Is Better?
While some businesses, brands, or products might find tremendous success on Google, they may not find it on Facebook and vice versa. We’ve seen this firsthand on many occasions with various campaigns advertising the same product or service. One campaign will have drastically better results than another for no discernible reason. How is this possible? There are many similarities between the platforms, after all.
It comes down to the finer details and minutiae. While both platforms can target customers based on various demographic information and leverage personal data to pinpoint a defined customer persona, the demographics information used for targeting on each platform is different and comes from different sources.
Google Analytics tracks certain information that Facebook Analytics does not. The ability of each advertising platform to target users based on custom-created lists can factor in as well. These small but distinct differences can have immense ramifications for a campaign’s overall success.
So the question may not be, “Which advertising platform is better for your business?” It may be, “Which is the better platform for the product or service being marketed?” The same HVAC company may find substantially greater success with a central air conditioning sales campaign due to the subtle differences in demographics, browsing histories, and personal information that each platform has gathered.
For example, a Google advertiser may target a married female homeowner aged 40-55 who has shown an interest in climate control products and visited Best Buy’s website. A Facebook advertiser will target a female user who liked Facebook posts by Lennox, played a video on Carrier’s Facebook page, and has been commenting on their friends’ posts recently. They may end up being the same person, but their response to the same exact ad can be significantly different based on the platform she’s on when she sees it.
In this case, the Google Ad campaign will be more likely to convert users into customers within a shorter timeframe as the user is likely closer to making a purchase.
The Mindset – Google vs. Facebook
One other significant factor which needs to be considered is the mindset of the user. When searching for a new car or refrigerator, shoppers don’t go to Facebook and conduct product research.
They’ll visit the manufacturer’s website, consumer product review websites, and even sites like Amazon with aggregated user reviews. They might go to Facebook to see if their friends like or recommend the brand, what kind of reviews people leave, and maybe even look at the brand’s interaction and its followers. But Facebook is typically not the destination for a shopper who is looking to buy a product.
This kind of high-intent user is an ideal target for a Google search ad, however.
The Final Takeaway
So the takeaway here should be that a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t the best way to choose a marketing platform and spend your company’s money. When considering investing in a paid ads campaign, you should carefully consider what you’re marketing and the type of audience you’re looking to reach.
What kind of campaign are you looking to run? What are your goals and qualifies as a good lead, acceptable return on investment, or cost per acquisition? It would be best if you had answers to these questions before spending any money on a paid campaign.
Ideally, if you can, invest in campaigns on both platforms and leverage the distinct advantages of both. You can capture customers across a wider audience than you initially thought was possible. Running campaigns on two platforms offers you flexibility with your message, as you will be targeting users at different points of the sales journey. You can grow your brand recognition, build your brand’s trust and authority, and still capture new traffic and sales.
When you are ready to begin a paid ads campaign, whether on Google Ads or Facebook, or both, talk to the certified paid ads strategists at Efferent Media. They will work with you to create the message you want and deliver it to your ideal customer.
Whether you are looking to grow your brand’s name recognition, increase product sales, or expand your company’s customer or patient base, we can help you do it. Give us a call at (631) 867-0900 today, and let’s get started.