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Choosing Google or Facebook Ads: Things to Know

When it comes to digital marketing, it’s no secret that Google and Facebook are the biggest channels around.

If you’re new to eCommerce or just starting with digital marketing, how can you tell which platform is the best for your business goals? This article will explain the differences between both Google and Facebook ads, including highlighting why you should use each one.

You might want to use Google Shopping next, since listing on the platform is now free for merchants. You can find out more about Google Shopping here.

What are Google Ads?

Google ads run off a pay-per-click or PPC advertising, meaning that advertisers pay every time someone clicks on their ads. PPC ads are typically displayed on search engine results pages or SERPs.

They can also be displayed within the network of the search engine. In the case of Google, this might include Youtube, other Search Partners or Google’s Display Network.

At the core of this model is the search network. This network is where customers are looking for products or services, and where merchants can list these products and services.

To manage this efficiently, the search network relies heavily on accurate keywords that pertain to the specific item being searched. This is important if you want prospective customers to find your business on a search engine results page.

The overall goal of using PPC advertising is to drive more traffic to your online store.

Google Ads
Google Ads

What are Facebook ads?

Facebook ads appear on places within Facebook, and can also be displayed on Instagram.

The main places for ade are newsfeeds, within the Facebook marketplace, video feeds, inboxes or the right-side column on Facebook. 

You might consider using Facebook because it’s the most popular, active social media platforms available at the moment. It’s also become a bustling hub for business activity.

Facebook Sponsored Post
Facebook Sponsored Post

What are the differences between Facebook and Google ads?

Firstly, the style of the ad is quite different on either platform. Facebook ads are more passive, as they usually appear on a newsfeed of a potential customer. This is totally the opposite for Google ads, which demand active user intent within the search that the customer performs.

If nobody is searching for your keywords with Google, you may not receive any leads. Facebook advertising doesn’t work like this.

Google represents PPC advertising, and involves bidding and optimising your bids. Essentially, businesses will pay for the potential to find new customers based on the search queries they enter on Google.

Facebook represents paid Social Media Marketing. It also allows you to target a specific demographic who may not have searched for your keywords.

The reason for doing so is because Facebook has an extremely high volume of monthly active users. This user base represents a lucrative environment for advertising your business in a different way than Google Ads.

Google Shopping
Google Shopping

Which ad type is better? 

The fact is that Google Ads and Facebook Ads are two very different platforms for advertising. This means that they both have different purposes and benefits for your business. 

We think both platforms are extremely lucrative platforms to use if you’re looking to advertise your business. They can be relatively cheap, depending on your budget and industry. Each of these channels has millions of active users every month – which can let you use specialised demographic targeting for ads. 

Google Ads is a bit easier to use than Facebook Ads. Google simply uses a dashboard that you can study and quickly understand what you’re looking at.

In terms of ease of access on Facebook, it’s not as clear cut. Facebook Ads require you to use Ad Manager. This is the dashboard for all of your Facebook advertising, and it can be quite intimidating to look at. 

Facebook Newsfeed Ad
Facebook Newsfeed Ad

Do I need Facebook or Google Ads?

Before you make any judgements, your answer should depend on your business objectives and your marketing budget. It’s not a fair to say that one sales channel is distinctively better than the other. 

No matter which platform you’re after, you should ask yourself two basic questions first:

  • What am I looking to get out of this platform?
  • What is the end goal for my business?

Your answers to these questions will influence the right choice for you.

Comparing Facebook Ads and Google Ads

You may consider using both platforms if you’re after sales and leads. Both perform well in this area, so there is no clear ‘winner’ here.

Some things you should note before deciding include:

  • What stage in the customer journey am I working on? Google users typically have more intent to purchase.
  • Does my product have a specific demographic, or will a large audience work? If your product is linked to specific events or audiences, Facebook has greater targeting capabilities including life-changing events and life experiences, such as marriages, engagements, birthdays and births.
  • Generally, Facebook (and Instagram) is better for brand awareness, engagement and increasing your social media following. If you want to add a narrative to your offering, Facebook is a better place to target specific customers through content marketing or promotions.
Google Youtube Ads
Google Youtube Ad
  • Typically, Google Ads is better for going after direct sales. If your product or service appeals to a massive audience, you might prefer to use Google Ads as it won’t single out a selective audience. 
  • What kind of Ads do you want to make? If you’re focusing on content-based or visual ads, Facebook is a better platform for displaying styled imagery – think photoshoots. Google Shopping includes visual ads, but these are typically limited to being images of your product at a very basic level.
  • Consider how well- known your brand is, as this could impact how you would rank on Google Ads. A mature brand is likely to achieve better results on Google, whereas newer brands can best gain a following using social media like Facebook/Instagram.

What is the best approach?

In today’s marketing climate, most of your customers are making decisions online, and will look at your content to make a decision.

Availability and accessibility across multiple devices are also necessary in order to stay competitive. It doesn’t make much sense to limit yourself to one channel – since channels have a tendency to act in a complementary way. 

We think you should consider a blended approach in an ideal situation. This is also known as multichannel or omnichannel marketing (depending on your setup) and involves multiple elements within your broader marketing strategy.

Ultimately, there’s no reason why you can’t use both platforms for different purposes.

Facebook Instagram Ad
Facebook Instagram Ads

Final Verdict

The beauty of digital marketing is that you can start investing more resources into one particular platform and channel, and adjust your budget and plan as you see your results every week. You’re always able to monitor your ads and see what’s working, and what should be changed.

We hope this article helped you understand the difference between two major players in digital marketing. We still think it’s smart to ask yourself specific, business-related questions before deciding to commit to a single platform.

In most cases, eCommerce stores may need a blend of channels to fulfil every objective for your business.  After all, each platform has unique strengths that can work together to drive results.

Remember to Chat to ShoppingFeeder Agency if you ever need help with your eCommerce store or digital marketing strategy. We’re an integrated solution that focuses on making it easier for you to sell your products on different channels.

Updated: 25/02/2021

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