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Thu Sep 19 2019

Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads – Are You Using the Right Platform for Your Business?

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While Google Ads and Facebook Ads are both forms of paid advertising (PPC), they are not the same and can serve different purposes with their own merits and drawbacks. It’s best to think in terms of quality over quantity when it comes to PPC ads. It doesn’t matter how many millions of people each platform can reach, the most important question is whether or not your customers are there! So don’t just pick the most popular or the cheapest platform, it’s important to know about each tool and which one best suits your business and your customers. We’ve put together a step-by-step process to help you determine which of these paid advertising platforms might be right for your business.

Your Business & Your Customers

1. Understand Your Business

The first step in understanding PPC tools like Google Ads and Facebook Ads is to get your head around your own business objectives. Identify what your exact goals are. Potential goals for your business can include increasing your sales revenue, increasing leads, gaining traffic or simply building awareness of your brand. In other words, think of your business’ sales funnel, or your customer’s marketing journey and identify the parts that you need to work on. By understanding your sales funnel you will be able to identify where there are drop-offs in numbers and know exactly where to focus your attention – do you need more traffic, or are you getting traffic that’s not converting, for example.

The next step would be to work out what your key numbers are.

  • What is your budget for the month?
  • What kind of results are you expecting within different time limits?
  • How much will you spend on PPC?
  • How many purchases will you need to make a profit?

If you have multiple products/services or product/service categories, it is important to consider the different margins on these and to tweak your spend accordingly.

2. Understand Your Customers

Identify who your audience and target market is. Where do these people spend most of their time? What do they spend most of their time doing? And importantly for brick & mortar stores – are your online customers different to the customers that come in store in terms of demographic & behavioural tendencies?

In the context of Google and Facebook, what are they doing on each platform? Most importantly, we need to know whether each platform has the ability to target the specifics for your target market/s.

Still not sure? No worries, we’re about to get into the specifics of both Google Ads and Facebook Ads so that you can understand each one better and make more informed decisions.

Google Ads vs Facebook Ads

Google Ads – Keywords are King

The best way to differentiate Google Ads from Facebook Ads is that Google Ads are intent-based. This means that the customer already knows what they need or want and are already searching for it (eg. “Car servicing near me”).

This means two things:

  1. Keywords are king when it comes to Google Ads, and
  2. Ads need to be captivating enough to stand out from your competitors.

In terms of cost, Google Ads tend to be more “expensive”. Cost per click (CPC) is higher because it is capturing the users already taking action and looking to make a purchase. As a result, conversion rates are generally higher compared to other platforms including Facebook ads because you don’t have to convince users to purchase anything. They already know they want to purchase. You just have to convince them that your product or service is better than all the others in the category.

Google Ads have proven to be very successful in services and goods that are a necessity. For example, cleaning services, gardeners, financial planning, insurance and travel agents. If ads are clear, captivating, simple and give customers what they want, then they are likely to succeed on Google Ads.

Google Ads are also a great option for businesses or industries where customers require research (high involvement purchases). You can work your SEO strategy into your PPC campaign with Google ads to help your customers come to the right decision (choosing to buy from you)!

Facebook Ads – Audience Will Make or Break Your Campaign

In contrast to Google Ads, Facebook ads are disruption-based, meaning that they are the modern version of billboards and poster ads.

However, unlike billboards, Facebook Ads gives you and other advertisers the ability to target different audiences and to focus on specific business goals. It’s great for retailers, beauty businesses, health and fitness businesses, restaurants, educational programs and events.

Because Facebook ads allow for demographic targeting, making sure you know your audience is the first thing you need to get right when using Facebook Ads for your business.

Facebook is a very visual platform that allows you to use your own designs to sell your product or service to the user. Because your target audience may have no existing intention of making a purchase, Facebook Ads should be designed to stir a need within your consumers. This is not necessarily a drawback though.

Facebook ads sales funnel: Awareness - Interest - Consideration - Desire - Buy
Facebook Ads Sales Funnel

The Facebook Ads sales funnel gives you more opportunity to build a relationship with the audience during the different stages. This can be done through communication with your audience on posts or through actions such as website visits or video plays.

During the awareness and interest stage, you may choose to show your audience multiple stimuli to get them to consider a purchase. 

Be aware that engagement does not necessarily mean an intent to purchase. While clicks are great, the end goal is ultimately a sale. Facebook marketing has a longer funnel compared to Google because Google skips the – building interest section and jumps straight into consideration. This means you may need to offer different creative and messaging to different customers on Facebook (depending on which section of the sales funnel they are in).

Can Google Ads and Facebook Ads Be Used Together?

The short answer: Yes! You can definitely be on both platforms, especially if your brand is established or beginning to gain recognition.

Developing a strategy is key for doing mixed channel marketing, so if you’re planning on using both platforms make sure you have some kind of structure to your campaigns! For example, finding your primary channel for new prospects can be done through Google Ads (when someone searches for your service or good) and then remarket to these people through Facebook. On the other hand, you could try Facebook Ads as a primary channel for new prospects and remarket to them with Google display ads (to follow them around when they use Google)!

Things to consider when using both channels are:

  1. Your budget and whether it is feasible to use both.
    • If it isn’t feasible, be sure you know which one is best suited to your business (you’re often better to choose one channel with a higher budget than spread your spend too thin if you don’t have the budget to enable good results in each).
  2. How much weight you will give to each channel (this can be optimised as you go by keeping an eye on your sales funnel by marketing channel).
  3. Testing both channels for performance and whether there is synergy between them.

If you think you’re ready to start using Google Ads or Facebook Ads, remember not to worry too much about cost or user base at the beginning of your campaign. If you’re creating your ads right, it will work and pay off in time!

Having trouble or still have concerns before you begin marketing through Google or Facebook? Contact us for professional and experienced help on Google and Facebook advertising!

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