Everybody knows that Google and Facebook are among the most widely used platforms globally on the Internet.
Google is supposedly servicing 6.9 billion searches every day. Facebook has more than 1.4 billion active users each day.
Making use of search and social media for business promotion has become common.
Both giants are offering advertising services that are considered the most effective in the contemporary world. Any modern business, before deciding its digital strategic plan today, needs to understand the facts and figures about these two platforms.
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The role played by Google Ads and Facebook Ads in the modern business arena
Google Ads and Facebook Ads are unquestionably the top two advertising platforms today. Google enables you to get your ads to appear in Google search results and across the websites in Google’s ad network (Google AdWords). Facebook ads can be displayed across Facebook and Instagram, in addition to other sites in this social media channel’s wide network.
Both platforms offer demographic as well as behavior targeting. Google Ads include keyword targeting as well. To be able to choose the right digital advertising platform that caters to your unique needs, you need to first understand the differences between these two.
The major difference between Google Ads and Facebook Ads
Both Google Ads and Facebook Ads offer excellent opportunities to digital marketers and organizations to reach their target audience. The biggest, primary factor that differentiates Google and Facebook Ads is the search intent.
Although outwardly appearing to be adversaries, the two platforms are like two sides of the same coin. While users search for something on Google specifically, Facebook users get to view the ads based on their interests and behavior. Google adopts a pull marketing strategy whereas Facebook Ads is all about brand awareness.
Facebook Ads – the fundamentals
Facebook is one of the most extensively used social networks that enable people to catch up with their friends, view and share information. Facebook advertising, referred to as ‘paid social,’ is the practice of advertising on social networks. It is an effective social media strategic plan that helps to reach your intended target audience.
Facebook Ads Manager allows you to serve branded messages to users, and place your ads across its network. It facilitates engaging with one’s topic or business of specific interest. It is a paid system in which the placements include news feed and sidebar. Facebook ads is a typical example of making excellent use of social media for business.
The basics of Google Ads
The Google advertising system allows brands to amplify messages across the Google network. This includes more than 2 million websites on its display network and search network. Google is the world’s most popular and largest PPC advertising platform today.
Google AdWords usage has become so common and wide that the term ‘paid search’ has become synonymous with Google AdWords.
The main focus of the paid search is the use of text-based advertisements and targeting of keywords. It allows you to bid on keywords – the unique words and phrases that Google users make us of, in their queries. Ads may be displayed along with the search results. The advertiser is charged an amount each time a user clicks on an ad.
In short, users pay for the possibility of finding customers based on the search terms and keywords entered in Google search.
The benefits of Google Ads
While Google Ads and Facebook Ads are rich with unlimited business advantages, Google helps you to find potential customers in a variety of ways. The following are a few of the exclusive benefits of using Google Ads:
- Excellent audience reach: Handling over 75,000 search queries every second, Google definitely has an edge when it comes to choosing your advertising platform. It has the largest audience potential among all contemporary advertising platforms. The volume of Google searches keeps increasing every year.
- Intent: With Google, you get access to an unmatched number of potential audiences who actively look for information on goods and products. Google warrants the lead or purchase intent with its target-relevant keywords.
- A range of Ad formats available: Advertisers get a number of ad formats and endless options of add-ons with Google Ads. The major ad formats available in Google Ads are listed below:
- Text ads
- Image ads
- Video ads
- Responsive search ads
- App promotion ads
- Showcase shopping ads
- Call-only ads
- Product listing ads
- Caters to the needs of all industries: Unlike other social media platforms that serve users with specific purposes and domains, Google is open to almost any field. When you place your ad on Google Ads, your chances of securing a dominant position in the SERPs is excellent, regardless of the domain.
- Equal advertisement potential: Contrary to the common notion that a huge digital advertising budget is required for Google ads, it is the relevance and quality of your ads that determine the effectiveness. Users are likely to have a better experience when your ads are relevant. Relevance and user experience directly influence the quality score, a metric used by Google AdWords.
- Best suited for B2B: Google AdWords is a very effective marketing strategy for B2B. Paid ads ensure instant traffic and a place at the top of SERPs in a short time. It is a great choice for businesses that deal with B2B products and services.
The benefits of Facebook Ads
- An unmatched visual platform: Visual content is gaining increasing popularity across the globe. Facebook helps you to place visually powerful ads that attract more number of users. Facebook ads can seamlessly blend with all visual content in users’ News Feeds. This facilitates leveraging the virtues of visual ads while effortlessly conveying the aspirational messaging that makes your ads compelling.
- Reaching a wide network of the audience: The number of average daily users of Facebook is estimated to be over 1.66 million. With 66% of its total audience being active every day, Facebook has an excellent audience reach among all social media channels.
- Amazing targeting capability: Facebook has been the undisputed leading social media platform that connects a staggering number of users. Its audience targeting capability is unparalleled. People use to share almost anything on Facebook; the circulation of information on this platform is unsurpassable. This enables advertisers to perform in a more targeted manner with their content and messaging than any other platform.
- Lookalike audiences: It is one of the most effective targeting options on Facebook. This feature allows advertisers to upload relevant information of their present customer base to Facebook. Facebook then creates an audience similar to this original customer base. The new list will point to new users having similar behavior and interests.
- Budget-friendly advertising platform: Facebook is a relatively less expensive advertising platform that offers lower cost-per-click. Start-ups and organizations that have smaller advertising budgets will find Facebook advertising to be very effective.
- Better ROI: In addition to the granularity of targeting options and the tools available for creating engaging, beautiful ads, Facebook offers an incredible ROI.
Google Ads vs Facebook Ads – A comparative analysis
1. Size of audience
Google and Facebook have a huge reach. While Google supposedly handles an estimated 6 billion searches every day Facebook has around 1.75 billion daily active users.
Your target audience may be present on both the platforms, making it hard to determine which one would be your best fit with the audience size alone. You had better ask yourself whether your product is search-oriented or social.
Google Ads will only be fruitful if people actually search for a specific product. For businesses that release a new or innovative product about which people are not aware of, then Facebook is the right platform.
2. Buyer intent
Google Ads outperforms Facebook Ads when buyer intent is the criterion. For businesses that necessitate people to search for a specific product or service when they wish to make a purchase, Google is excellent. Search ads will place products and services right in front of potential customers when they exactly need it as they search for it.
Facebook, while considered more focused on facilitating socializing and relaxing, can still be incredibly useful in building your intended audience. Helping to create a sense of community on social media, it ensures that people are more likely to buy the product that they have heard about.
Google Ads are better for purchase intent. If your campaign aims at building brand awareness rather than prompt conversions, Facebook would be the best bet for your business.
3. Ad formats
The objective of your campaign again plays a significant role when ad formats are concerned. In Google Ads, you are given a block of text for catching the eyes of potential customers on the SERPs. Your overall format would be limited to text in the case of search ads.
On the other hand, Facebook, by enabling you to use image-based ads, facilitates adding a visual impact to your message. It keeps rolling out different ad formats, thus avoiding ad fatigue.
If your campaign requires a text-based search, Google proves to be most effective. If the visual component is considered, then Facebook is clearly the winner.
4. Targeting options
You can target and retarget specific audiences by using both Google Ads as well as Facebook Ads. Targeting by location, age, gender, and other factors is possible either way. However, Facebook is the winner when advanced targeting options are considered.
Facebook allows creating audiences based on a long list of behaviors and interests, as it is equipped with the massive information collected from the huge number of users.
When you are unsure who your audience is, then Google Ads are the best route. Facebook enables you to be specific about your audience. If you are targeting a niche, Facebook could be the right option for you.
5. Cost and ROI
The average cost-per-click on Google Ads varies for different industries. Placement of ads is the second factor that influences costs. While eCommerce businesses may manage with roughly USD $1.15 per click, businesses related to the legal industry may have to shell out as high as USD $6.75 per click.
Facebook Ads are comparatively less expensive per click than their Google counterparts. While businesses in the apparel industry may have to pay as low as USD $0.45 per click, finance, and insurance businesses may face a whopping USD $3.77 per click.
If cost is a major concern, you might find Google Ads a tad more expensive than Facebook Ads. Facebook tends to be more cost-effective.
6. Audience engagement
Making sure that your ads are running in places where they get the audience engaged is crucial. About 52% of marketers opine that Facebook Ads are more likely to engage the audience when compared to Google Ads.
The unique placement of ads is instrumental in achieving the real value on both platforms.
Testing to identify the right platform for your business
To simplify the hard task of choosing between Google Ads and Facebook Ads, you may run tests on both. This helps to determine which one performs better for your specific business and improves overall business growth.
Tests have indicated that the ability to generate brand awareness and the low cost are the major factors that make people fans of Facebook.
The fact that people with a purchase intent head primarily to the giant search engine makes Google more sought-after.
Google Ads and Facebook Ads complement each other in the digital marketing space. While Facebook Ads can be effectively used for creating brand awareness, Google Ads can be used for closing deals.
When it comes to choosing the right advertising platform that best suits your business needs, you need to understand the various factors such as the strengths and potential applications of each platform.
A blended approach – if feasible – would be the most effective option. Harnessing the power of both paid social and paid search is a remarkably powerful strategy that will reap all the benefits of your advertising efforts.
Guest author: Sorav Jain has been the lead social media strategist at echoVME. He is constantly helping and serving clients in Digital Marketing. With a vision to make India digital India, he has ventured into a digital marketing institute called Digital Scholar, offering training through online & offline for students to entrepreneurs.