The Reigning Champion – Google AdWords
Google started the first big pay-per-click advertising platform and it’s still the leader. Here are some of the pros and cons of Google AdWords.
- The largest reach of any PPC network. With billions of searches per day, you can reach the largest audience on the internet for any type of business or niche.
- Many choices of ad formats. You can advertise on Google using traditional text ads, location targeting, ads incorporating images and maps and much more.
- Keyword-based ads. While keyword research is often painstaking, there are benefits to this approach. AdWords forces you to fine tune your knowledge of keywords, which not only helps you create profitable ads but also helps you with organic content and overall customer targeting.
- Can be expensive. While costs vary depending on your industry and keywords, AdWords tends to cost more than Facebook ads.
- Steep learning curve. As mentioned, AdWords is all about mastering keywords. This takes quite a bit of study unless you outsource it to experts.
- Lack of targeting options. You can target by location but not using the kind of demographic data Facebook provides.
The Contender – Facebook Ads
Facebook has emerged as one of the new titans of online advertising – and it’s easy to see why.
- Social reach. Facebook is, by far, the largest social media platform with around 2 billion active users. So, while you aren’t reaching search engine users directly, you still have a huge audience.
- Precise targeting. While AdWords allows you to target with keywords, Facebook makes it more convenient in some ways. You can easily target by demographics such as gender, age, interests, education, income, and more. This makes it extremely convenient for targeting any audience you choose.
- Seamless ads. In some ways, Facebook offers even more creative ad options than Google. It’s especially strong when it comes to native ads and sponsored ads, which blend seamlessly with organic content.
- Low cost entry. You can start with a low budget. You can test ads with a low daily budget and scale up when they’re profitable.
- Lower conversions. While it’s often cheaper to advertise on Facebook than AdWords, conversions also tend to be lower. Despite this, many businesses run profitable campaigns that convert well.
- Newsfeed clutter. As more advertisers flock to Facebook and more and more ad types available, it’s often hard to get noticed. This is one reason for lower than average conversions.
- Fake profiles. While fraud is a risk with any type of advertising, it’s especially rampant on social media sites. There are millions of fake profiles on Facebook, which can distort your ad campaigns.
So, Which One is Better?
Is Google AdWords or Facebook ads a better investment for your marketing campaigns? There’s really no one right answer. Many businesses combine the two while others stick to one or the other. Do your own testing and find out which platform gives you the better results. Here are a few guidelines.
- If your advertising budget is very low, start with Facebook ads. You can test a campaign for $5 per day or less.
- If your target market is other businesses, you may find targeting your audience more easily through Google AdWords. Although Facebook does have options for B2B advertising its vast targeting options tend to be more B2C oriented. If you’re creative, though, you can generate B2B leads with Facebook.
Whichever platform you choose, keep careful track of your analytics. With AdWords, it’s easy to do this with Google Analytics. You can also use Google Analytics to track Facebook campaigns. Facebook also has its own analytics tools, Facebook Insights.