Advertising on Facebook or Google AdWords: Which is Better?

August 23, 2017
Google AdWords vs Facebook

As an Internet marketing Agency, we are often asked about the differences between advertising on social networks and advertising through Google AdWords. Our clients are interested in benefits, cost and expected results. Our experience shows that advertising on social media is a more cost-effective form of advertising compared to Google AdWords, especially for those companies working with the consumer market. However, AdWords tends to drive more direct (and measurable) conversions. Let’s look at the pros and cons of these two forms of advertising.

Google AdWords

Google Adwords

Advertising in Google Search is through the use of keywords. Focusing on the interests of the target audience, you choose the keywords you are willing to bid on. When a user types one of your keyword phrases into the Google search box, they will see your ad. Success lies in understanding what words or phrases your customers use, as well as the intent behind the search phrases. AdWords is a highly targeted approach to digital marketing.

To be successful with Google AdWords you need to have very effective ad copy and landing pages that are consistent with the search queries typed by your target customers. Campaigns that are successful at doing this will see good conversion rates and a great return on investment.

Pros of Google AdWords

  • The ability to collect a lot of useful data, which helps you improve your campaign and measure the results.
  • Broad potential audience (there are approximately 3.5 billion searches per day on Google)
  • Immediate increase in qualified traffic to your website
  • Total control over daily budget and maximum cost per click
  • Return on investment; you can determine accurate Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) and adjust your marketing budget to always bring a positive ROI
  • Targeting capabilities include location (as accurate as 2 km radius or by postal codes), time of day, day of week and specific web sites (when using the display network)
  • Different advertising options, including Display Network, Search Network, YouTube, Gmail, Remarketing, and Search Remarketing
  • Targeting those visitors to your website who already have shown some interest in your product or service and are more likely to be converted into a buyer
  • If you use other forms of advertising in Google, such as Google Shopping and YouTube Advertising, you can add pictures or videos to sell products and services

Cons of Google AdWords

  • AdWords can be costly if not managed properly
  • Profitable campaigns require regular monitoring and maintenance
  • Ad formats are very restrictive & character length is very limited
  • In competitive industries, cost-per-click can be very expensive
  • Depending on the target market, keywords can drive irrelevant traffic

Advertising in Facebook

Facebook Advertising

Facebook Ads are a great way to promote your brand to people that meet specific criteria. Facebook offers a robust platform that allows you to search for users based on where they live, their interests and relations, demographics, and social groups. Also, there is an increase in popularity of video advertising on Facebook, potentially competing with YouTube for a share of that large online audience.

The main advantage of Facebook Ads is that you can appeal to people that may not even be familiar with the product or service you offer. This is a very different approach than Google, where you reach only those who specifically searching for your services.

Pros of Facebook Advertising

  • Easy to create attractive ads
  • Many targeting options, including by city, region, age, likes/interests, income and other demographics data, which are based on direct user information, rather than inference (as on Google)
  • The ability to reach people at an early stage of the buying process before they realize the need for some goods or services, as well as attracting those who have already realized the existing need
  • Ability to easily use images and video to attract attention of the target market that will help to sell goods and services
  • CPC is relatively low depending for most industries (<$1 per click)

Cons of Facebook Advertising

  • If your campaigns are not configured correctly and are not monitored regularly, budget can easily be wasted on the wrong audience
  • Depending on the target market, most of the potential audience on Facebook can be irrelevant to your business. Campaigns for small markets require strategic audience targeting to be effective
  • There is less control over where and when your ads are displayed when compared to Google AdWords
  • It is difficult to control the “daily” budget
  • Due to the personal and social nature of the Facebook platform, Facebook advertising remains difficult for companies operating in B2C markets

So Which Ad Platform do we Recommend?

The answer to this question is highly dependent on the market your business is in. For many businesses we recommend using both Facebook and Google advertising, and sharing the budget allocated to online marketing between the two platforms. How you split your budget should depend on your business goals and the performance of your campaigns, and should be assessed regularly.

Do you have a new product that you are trying to promote or are you trying to broaden your customer base? In this case, it makes sense to invest in Facebook Ads, as it allows you to expand your audience at a low price. Facebook is an excellent tool to build awareness of a product or brand, and reach new customers.

On the other hand, if you already have an established product or service, and your interest is in driving leads or purchases, AdWords will provide increased website traffic, along with direct and measurable results. AdWords will give your business visibility when users are directly searching for the services you provide. AdWords also allows you to appear above your competitors in Google search results, regardless of your website’s organic search ranking.

Even though advertising on Facebook can be less expensive than AdWords, we do not recommend relying on it exclusively, especially if you need to increase sales. As in the case with any marketing plan, you should consider using multiple advertising channels to be successful.

As you strive to reach your target audience at every stage of the buying process, whether it’s on Facebook AdsGoogle AdWords, or through organic SEO, Ontario SEO can help you! Call us today at 647 361 5144 to learn more about our paid search advertising services.