Google vs. Facebook Ads: Which One to Use and When?

Google and Facebook are two of the largest advertising platforms on the Internet. The question that clients often ask about these two is which one they should use and which one is more effective. Truthfully, these platforms are both great, but they are not in the same category and shouldn’t be subject to one-to-one comparisons. Facebook Ads and Google Ads’ effectiveness depends on your business model/structure, and what you’re planning to achieve. Let’s look at both and determine which one is better for your business. Note that sometimes both can be used together to create a powerful marketing machine!

Google Ads: Specific intent, paid search platform

Google Ads is a paid search platform that displays ads based on keyword queries entered in the Google search bar. For example, let’s say you are searching for “luxury leather boots.” The ads that will be displayed to you will revolve around those keywords (like in the example below) because chances are that you are looking to (have an intent) buy a pair.

Google Ads is intent-based and targets audiences with specific problems/requests, as described in the previous paragraph. If your business provides products or services that are focused on solving specific types of problems, Google Ads is the right platform for you.

Google Ads logo

Facebook Ads: Broader, interest-based audience

Facebook Ads focus on broader audiences with general intent, rather than a specific one. For example, you can target people by interests, group memberships, associations and so on. For instance, let’s say you’re targeting people who are interested in watches. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are looking to buy a specific watch anytime soon. Facebook ad platform is great if you want people to discover a new product. Let’s say you released a new watch collection and now you need to raise awareness about the product. In this case, it’d be better to use Facebook Ads rather than Google Ads.

Keep in mind that Facebook is a social platform where people go to look at pictures and connect with others. It’s thus often ineffective to try to sell your products directly. It’s much better to create informational content concentrated around the product first before you try and sell it. In the case above, for instance, you could write articles about watch maintenance, different materials, costs and etc. Eventually, after warming up to your audience, you could try selling them the products via a direct ad.

Facebook logo

Using them together

It’s possible that your business will benefit from using both platforms at the same time. So how do you proceed? The easiest way is to create search ads on Google and then remarketing campaigns on Facebook, targeting people who have visited your site after via your Google ads. For example, if you searched for luxury leather boots, visited a website that sells them but didn’t complete the purchase, there’s a high chance that you will be seeing ads on Facebook for the same product that you were thinking of buying. It can happen the same day, or weeks later. Remarketing has been shown to be quite effective, as people are more likely to complete the purchase during their subsequent visits rather than their first. We will soon be writing an in-depth article on how to use Google and Facebook Ads together to create a powerful campaign. If you’d like to know when it is ready, subscribe to the newsletter below.

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