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A Tale of Two Ad Forms: Facebook Ads vs. Google AdWords

 This is a guest post by Savannah Marie, a writer and online marketing enthusiast. She is the editor of her blog, Mixios, which focuses on online marketing, social media, and business. 

Facebook Ads vs. Google AdWords

If you’re in marketing, then you, like many people, may be caught up in an advertising dilemma, asking:  Would I be better off using Facebook Ads, or should I be using Google AdWords? 

Both forms of advertising can each be effective in their own right, but which you choose should depend on your advertising goals.  Read on for a more in-depth look at Facebook Ads and Google AdWords and the factors to consider with each so you can choose the form of advertising that’s right for you. 

Establishing a Brand

Both advertising platforms are capable of helping companies establish their brand, but they take different approaches.

With Facebook: The process takes a little more time because most customers are not going to click on a sponsored story or ad the first time if flashes before them.  Over time, through several interactions with advertisements, customers can see what that brand entails before clicking through to their Facebook page or website. 

With AdWords:  The first interaction users have with the business is typically the website.  This initial brand interaction will determine if the customer chooses to go with that company or go with another one.  Because of this, an excellent initial experience is crucial.  Brands have to make a great first impression because they have just a few seconds to show customers why they should buy from them. 

The Duration of Demand

One of the most notable differences between AdWords and Facebook advertising is demand duration. 

With Facebook:  Brand awareness is built slowly.  The odds of someone searching for a specific product are low.  However, after being exposed to the advertisement a few times, the target audience may become familiar with the brand, which could potentially generate sales.

This is a great option for industries that center on building a relationship with the customer. Ritacco Disability Law firm uses Facebook ads as a way to tell a story about their brand and the services they provide. The main advantage Facebook has is that customers receive frequent updates from the news feed. 

With AdWords:  Short-term achievement is a good fit for AdWords.  It can be costly for marketers to research keywords in the beginning stages of the purchasing funnel, but with AdWords, they can get a very quick return on their investment. 

Other Differences Between Facebook Ads and Google AdWords 

  • Facebook ads can be CPC or CPM, and they give you the option of inserting an image into the ad body.  Google AdWords, on the other hand, are CPC and text based.
  • Facebook ads are targeted with regard to demographics, while Google Ads on the search results page are contextual.
  • Facebook offers you the opportunity to use targeted display ads, but the challenge lies in the fact that you have to interest your audience enough so that they are enticed to stop what they are doing and click.  Google Ads, however, are displayed to searchers who are in the later stages of the purchasing process.  They already have the intention of acting on their search. 
  • Facebook facilitates the opportunity to maintain and develop relationships with users through updates on social media.  Google, on the other hand, directs the user outside the Google network, resulting in a more transactional focus. 

When determining which form of advertising you should choose, think about your goals and consider the following questions:

  • Are your advertising goals short-term or long term?
  • Are you marketing a specific service or product, or are you trying to promote brand awareness?

If there’s something specific you’re trying to sell, Google Adwords is probably your best option.  People use search engines to find products they already know they want to buy, so Adwords makes sense if product sales is your main intention.  But if you’re trying to get the word out about your brand and make people more familiar with it, you might want to try advertising on Facebook, where you can cultivate relationships with customers through updates on newsfeeds and links to your business’s Facebook page. When it comes to Facebook advertising and Google AdWords, one isn’t necessarily better than the other.  It’s all about figuring out which strategy works for you and your business to get you the results you want.