For years, marketers have asked themselves: which is better for business? Facebook ads or Google ads? And if you’ve ever been on the same boat, then we’re here to demystify the differences and similarities of benefits of these two huge platforms.
Should you only use one or the other — or should you, in fact, use both?
Read on to discover exactly how Facebook ads vs Google ads stack up against one another, and discover a strategy that can help you make the most of either or both of these platforms all at the same time.
Let’s first look at how Google ads works.
Google ads, formerly known as Google AdWords, is a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing platform. Google asserts the position as the world’s leading search engine, collecting up to over 5 billion Google searches on a daily basis, as reported by Internet Live Stats.
Their paid search platform centers around targeting keywords that are then used in conjunction with text-based ads. Marketers and advertisers then rely on Google to help them bid on keywords – from exact keywords and even nuanced expressions like questions created as search queries that are typed in by Google users – then expect their ads to be shown alongside search results for these search queries.
Then whenever a user clicks on an ad that’s shown to them by Google on the search platform, the advertiser will have to pay a particular amount of money, which lends it the term pay-per-click advertising.
Google ads have a myriad of benefits, depending on your needs. They include the following:
- While you do have to bid on keywords, the highest bid doesn’t automatically always win. Your bid gets you in the running, and your ad’s relevance to the keywords in users brings you a spot on a webpage or search result page.
- Remarketing, which is reminding users that have interacted or engaged with your website before, is so much simpler when using Google ads. Let’s first assume someone scrolled through your site then added an item to their shopping cart, but didn’t check out or complete their purchase. With Google ads, you can now reconnect with such users as they search on Google, watch a YouTube video or scroll a site within Google’s Display Network.
- Furthermore, the platform’s user-friendly interface and unconventional features like search term report, advert editor, and auction insights simplify creating, adding, and tracking campaigns.
Now let’s take a look at Facebook ads and how this might differ from Google ads.
Basically, Facebook advertising involves making and running advertising campaigns that rely on the platform’s native Facebook Ads Manager tool to influence your target audience based on their location, profile data, and the like.
When you’re using Facebook ads, you can also select where you’d like to showcase your ads, e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, as well as any specific target device, e.g. mobile or desktop. The platform also lets you track and evaluate the performance of your advertising campaigns in keeping with your business requirements.
Facebook ads also have their own benefits, some of which Google ads don’t share. For instance:
- Facebook ads are one of the best ways to grow brand awareness and engagement, produce leads, increase traffic to your website, expand the reach of your content, and crafting awareness for your future events all because of one thing: so many people are on Facebook or its affiliated companies, i.e. Instagram.
- Facebook ads can also be more dynamic than some of Google ads’ options. For instance, you can run carousel ads that are interactive, as well as video ads — all of which are native to the platform and don’t feel as intrusive.
- Before launching a campaign on the platform, you can create a “lookalike audience,” which is fundamentally a user persona. Facebook ads will then display your ads to audiences that match your requirements. That’s one benefit the platform has over Google ads; it’s actually much more thorough about who you can target for your advertising campaigns.
Given everything we talked about above, the question must be asked again: which is better then? Facebook ads or Google ads?
The answer might surprise you.
Why not use both?
These platforms might often be pitted against each other and compared endlessly by cost and the like, but the truth is that Facebook ads and Google ads can actually work together and create a compound result in your advertising campaigns.
Any savvy marketer that knows their audience is online can benefit from running both types of ads — but of course, very strategically. Read on to discover some of the best ways to use Google ads and Facebook ads together in your next campaign.
Google discovery ads are visually attractive, custom-made ads that appear in Google’s feeds on the YouTube app, the Google app, and the Gmail app.
They’re intended to reach audiences in the moment that they’re prepared or ready to notice new products and services. This means they can get attention pretty quickly and give you some initial brand awareness, making them a crucial part of your top of funnel ads strategy.
Then right after this, when a user leaves a page on a site or on Google search or YouTube, you can then retarget these users using Facebook ads.
You’re more likely to have people go to Facebook when they’re more relaxed or scrolling aimlessly, which makes it a good time to remind them about your brand with a native campaign that doesn’t interrupt their scrolling experience.
On the other hand, you can also start with Facebook ads to increase your brand awareness quickly, then follow it up with some Google ads that can turn these users into leads.
You’ll be able to attract some eyeballs to your brand, product, or offer with an attractive Facebook ad, then follow up with any Google ads that might then turn these people into prospective buyers.
The initial brand awareness stage would make it ideal to create ads that get people’s attention, establish who you are as a brand, as well as any positioning you might already want users to know about you.
Later on, as users are making more deliberate choices and making search queries, you might then reach them with an ad on Google, or meet them through a programmatic ad on another site.
Let these ads become lead generation tools for your brand. You might want to highlight something free you’re giving away to nurture leads, such as offering a free audit or consultation call.
Another powerful way to use both Google ads and Facebook ads together is if you run an ecommerce store.
Google ads is one of the best platforms to use when a user is making a transactional search, e.g. looking for a new car, a new toaster, or etc. Google can recognize that a user’s search intent is to buy something, so they can send targeted ads that highlight a product users might be looking for.
If and when a user clicks through to view your product on your ecommerce store, then later leave the shop and not buy anything, that’s where you can follow up with a powerful Facebook retargeting ad campaign.
That same user who just visited your site might observe that the next time they log on to Facebook, they see ads showing the items they were previously viewing, or perhaps even put into their cart. Users might be reminded of the item they were looking at, then decide to purchase, making this a must-know strategy for any ecommerce store.
One way you might experiment with Facebook ads and Google ads are by using Facebook ads for product offers, that is, showing potential buyers what your product is. You can meet them on Facebook with engaging product video ads or carousels that lets them swipe through the benefits of your offer, and it can inspire immediate action and let users add to cart.
On the other hand, Google ads might be most attractive for content offers to get people to actually land on your site. This is especially true if you want to make the most of your advertising budget. You can save money by targeting some keywords with non-transactional search intent, then get users to click through to your content offer, e.g. a blog post, a whitepaper, or the like.
Finally, another powerful combination is using Google ads for customer acquisition, then following up with Facebook ads for nurturing and customer retention.
There’s no doubt that Google ads can often help you reach new customers, especially if you get users to land on your blog or content offers. But once a user is already a customer, why not use Facebook ads to share any new content or offers your business releases afterwards.
The latter is a great way to tell existing users about new features, brand new collections, and the like. So if you already have people funneling through from Google ads, you might be able to keep them buying from you with some strategically placed Facebook ads.
Of course, it’s not just about knowing how to use Facebook and Google ads. You also have to master advertising campaigns as a whole. Here are some tips we want to share to help you the next time you plan out your paid advertising campaigns.
- Make sure you use a diverse range of targeting, including both demographic and psychographic information about users (preferences, location, and age, income level) as well as behavioral cues (search history, acquisition history, and recurrently visited websites).
- When using paid marketing for the first time, start with smaller campaigns to see which messages and ads connect most with potential customers.
- Use analytics to track results for paid marketing campaigns. Popular analytics tools include Google Analytics, among others.
- Choose your social media channel founded on your target audience. For instance, if you are selling products for a company, LinkedIn might be the best channel. On the other hand, if you’re selling products to a younger demographic, then Instagram might serve you better.
- Think through the objective for your paid marketing campaign when assigning your budget and selecting your channel, messaging, and CTAs.
When marketers ask which is better, Facebook ads or Google ads, some of them might be in the mindset that one is better than the other, period. We hope this blog post has shown you that this isn’t the case — instead, these two platforms can work hand in hand to create a more powerful strategy.
Yes, Facebook ads and Google Ads are two separate tools with some overlying features. But when paired together, you can get a solid full-funnel approach that will let you attract, convert, and keep more customers.